Be Careful What You Summon Book 3
Two years ago Ronda Calhoun participated in a summoning ceremony with her single friends. All approaching forty, they felt immortals might appreciate women with a little more maturity and experience. For the others it worked! But why isn’t Ronda’s immortal showing up? Private investigator Nate Smith didn’t know what he had back when he and Ronda dated in high school. Now older and wiser, he knows that she’s the one he wants to spend his long life with. Arranging to run into her again isn’t a problem, but confessing he’s a werewolf might ruin everything.
She glanced up at him. Confident, tall and handsome. He seemed to have matured both inside and out. If this new Nate stuck around, she’d give him no cause to find another “easy Denise,” the girl in high school that lured him away with sexual innuendos. It’s not that she didn’t remember the hurt, but she had transcended it. It had been a learning experience. Understanding a man’s needs better now, she wouldn’t let that happen again…maybe. Probably. I’ll see how it goes.
As they were strolling, Ronda worked up her courage to talk with him about the call from Lorena.
“I want to run something by you, Nate.”
“Sure. What is it?”
“I got a call from my ex-fiancé’s fiancée the other night,” she began.
“You’ve got my attention,” he said.
“Missing as in missing persons?”
“I don’t know. It could be nothing. He gets cold feet.”
“Does he do this often?”
“He did it to me.”
“Well, then, he’s an idiot,” Nate said. “Tell me more.”
“She told me he was coming to see me.”
“No. I had no idea he was even thinking about me until she said he was.”
“So he may have changed his mind, or lied to her, or met with foul play before he had a chance to show up at your door.”
Alarmed, she tried not to show it. Of course, that he could have met with foul play had been in the back of her mind, but she had hoped it was a ridiculous idea. “What do you think?” she asked.
“I don’t have an opinion yet. Can I ask you a few questions about his character and your relationship?”
“Oh, I’d rather not get into that. Not tonight, anyway.”
“Sure,” Nate said. He squeezed her in a side hug as they walked around a puddle from the melting snow. “Is it possible his fiancée could be inventing this story?”
“She has a real future in acting if she was. Why would she lie about that? Just to take a peek at the ex?”
Nate shrugged. “That and stranger things have been known to happen.” Careful, Nate. Don’t scare her to death.
“Do you think she could be up to something?”
“Don’t know yet. Do you have any pictures of them?”
“Not her, but I kept one of him. I have it with me.” She stopped walking, rummaged through her pocketbook and handed him the photo of Michael leaning against the rocks with wind-tousled, dark hair and deep-set eyes.
“You still carry it?”
Handing it to him, she gave him a sidelong glance. “No. I just dug it out of a box of mementos. Do you have any ex-significant others?”
He was quiet for a moment. How could he tell her that he still hadn’t found anyone who measured up to her? “Not really. Can I keep the photo?”
“No. You can borrow it.”
He raised an eyebrow. Looking at the picture, he said, “I’m glad you told me about this. Have you met the woman in person? How did you leave it?”
“It was just a phone call, and I said I’d call her if I learned anything helpful.”
“That’s fine. Now back away.” Nate looked in her eyes with conviction.
“Why don’t you let me poke around a bit? I’d like to know that you’re safe at least.”
“Here.” Ronda found the scrap of paper with Lorena’s number on it. “Take her phone number so I won’t be tempted to use it.”
“Thanks. That may help me find something useful.” He frowned at the paper. “What’s her name?”
“Lorena. That’s all I have, I’m afraid. No last name.”
“That will have to be enough.” Nate tucked the number and photo in his leather jacket’s inner pocket.
He escorted her to her car and took both of her hands in his. Gazing into her eyes for a long moment, he wondered what kind of a goodbye she might expect. He hoped he was guessing correctly as he folded her into a close, warm hug. The self-restraint seemed a necessary evil at this stage with a woman who had been hurt so badly. Even so, he wanted to sweep her into a passionate embrace and kiss her with all the desire that rushed through him. Just holding her was causing his cock to stir. Keep it in check, buddy. She’s worth the wait.
As he was stroking her back, Ronda sighed and said out loud, “Why do I meet the nicest men at the worst possible times?”
He smiled. The nicest men. Did he deserve that? Damn it, he would. He’d do whatever he had to do to prove to her that he cared—more than before—that he couldn’t get her off of his mind and probably never would. “Don’t worry about the timing, Ronnie. I’ll be around for a while.” Except when the moon is full.