There was a swinging door between the kitchen and living room, and Lila blessed it. Which was a switch from earlier, when she’d been carrying boxes and mistimed the swing (“Ow, dammit!”).
But now the contrary thing concealed her for a crucial few seconds, and then the guy who kicked in her door came through, and she had the barrel up behind his ear before he was all the way in.
“Jeez, you Domino’s guys are persistent,” she hissed. “I told you. I. Don’t. Want. Any. Pizza. Jackass.”
“Please. If I was delivering pizza, it’d be Green Mill.”
That startled a laugh out of her. She had to give it to him, he didn’t sound rattled in the slightest. And he was distractingly good-looking. Not every guy could pull off a Caesar haircut. Or had eyes the color of forest moss.
Forest moss? Time to get laid. Not by this guy, though. Most likely.
His looks made up for his clothes: He was wearing scruffy slacks, a shirt he hadn’t bothered buttoning up all the way (which revealed the shoulders and abs of a swimmer, which was even more irritating), he didn’t have a coat, and…was that blood on his shirt cuff?
“Trespassing,” she prompted. “That’s you. That’s what you’re doing for some ungodly reason. Right now. In my house.” She started to walk him back into the kitchen. Once he’d kicked the door in, she hadn’t heard anything but footsteps, so hopefully her half-assed plan was going to work. She wasn’t afraid of him—not exactly—but there was the cub to think about. And he had just broken in. But she had no sense of real danger from him, and her gut instinct about people had yet to let her down. Still, precautions had to be taken. “Also, you noticed the gun, right?”
“The one you’re aggressively cleaning my ear with?” He tried to move his head away; she followed the movement with the barrel. “Yeah, that didn’t escape my attention.”
“You want to see aggressive cleaning? Break in again.”
He rolled those green, green eyes at her and scoffed. She should have been irked but had to give it to him: The guy had some plums. “Aw, c’mon. This is America. This isn’t the first time I’ve had a gun in my face this month. Which is a huge problem, by the way. How many hoops did you even have to jump through to get that thing? Not very many, I bet.”
Seriously with this? “Yeah, let’s leave your personal politics out of it, okay?”
“Plus, it’s not loaded—Jesus!”
She used that moment of inattention to drive her toes—clad in her second-favorite pair of steel-toed shoes—straight and hard into his ankle and, when he reflexively bent, dropped the (empty) .38 and shoved him with both hands, hard. He toppled backward through the open basement door
(shouldn’t have been in such a rush to get into the living room, pal)
and she slammed it shut. And shot the bolt. It wouldn’t hold him for long, which was fine.
She rushed into the living room, intent on her phone, only to pull up short when she realized
the girl–cub was gone.
(C) MaryJanice Davidson, Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2021. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.
BeWere My Heart #2
Bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson is back with an exciting series featuring a foster care system for baby shifters and at-risk teen shifters.
Oz Adway is a rare breed: an accountant who wants to get dirty. Bored with his safe office job, he volunteers to find runaway cub Sally Smalls. Too bad she’s taken refuge with “ordinary” human Lila Kai, a reluctant guardian who has no idea what’s going on, but will destroy anyone who tries to take the cub. All Oz needs is a chance to show the Interspecies Placement Agency what he can do, and he’s not about to let a gorgeous Stable jeopardize that. Too bad Lila is the most distracting creature he’s ever met…
About MaryJanice Davidson
MaryJanice Davidson has been credited with starting paranormal chick lit. She is the author of the Undead series and Me, Myself and Why? Her books have been listed on The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and she lists her goals as “Working for world peace, figuring out how to make potstickers, and speaking at writer and reader conferences around the world.” She lives in Minnesota.