Justice & Mating Collides (WIP Novel)

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Welcome to Dustin and Samantha’s permanet home page.  I will periodically update this page with words posted as the story progresses. This is not a complete body of work, but rather portions of the story in chronological order.

For a brief synopsis >>click here<<.

Bonus material Dustin’s Weapons.

***

Chapter 1, Part 1

He stood there frozen, in the small-darkened observation room, peering through the one-way glass into the interview room.  His eyes were riveted to the victim where she sat alone, waiting, under the fluorescent lighting.  Her petite body barely filled the chair she sat in.  Shivering in an upright fetal position, legs drawn up onto the chair, arms wrapped tightly around her knees, she tried to control the shivers that racked her 105-pound frame.

Glancing at his wristwatch, he realized the woman before him had lived through the worst five hours of her life, and he was about to add to that.  It was his job as lead Detective in the investigation for the Upland PD, to interview this woman.  To gather painful and embarrassing details necessary to aid him in solving the crime.  He was aware that the interview and questioning process would add to her distress, and that bothered him.

As he turned away from the victim, it occurred to him that he’d failed to acknowledge the psychiatrist upon entering the room.  She stood there, case file clutched to her chest, looking at the victim through frameless bifocals that magnified her solemn hazel eyes.

Clearing his throat, to get her attention, he said, “Hi I’m Detective Dustin Reynolds.”  In greeting, he extended his hand.

“Hello Detective, Dr. Ashton.  Nice to make your acquaintance.” she replied while barely shaking his hand.

“Have you been on this case long?”

“I was brought in a few minutes after she arrived at the hospital before she was examined.  So if that counts as long by your standards, Detective, then the answer is yes.”

The doctor’s rudeness and sarcasm were no surprise.  Most of the psychiatrists he’d worked with viewed the police force as a bunch of insensitive bastards, emotionally disconnected, who had little to no regard for their victims’ mental well-being, and only cared about one thing; solving the case.  This he was familiar with and understood.  It wasn’t the first, nor would it be the last time someone stereotyped him.  Long ago, he decided not to hold people accountable for their stupidity upon first encounters.  So he let it go.

“How is she?  What did the attending physician doctor have to say about her coming down to the station tonight to give her statement?”

Dr. Ashton glanced at him then to the victim and back again before grumbling, “Physically she has suffered some lacerations and bruises, and she may be impregnated, but it’s too soon to know.  Her physician recommended that she rest tonight and give her statement tomorrow from the comfort of her home.”

“I see.  How do you think she is doing?  Can she handle this right now?”

She just stared at him, with narrowed eyes, searching for something.  The silence stretched between them, but he held her steady stare.  As seconds ticked away, his wolf instincts pushed toward the surface, wanting out.

An unspoken dominance challenge agitated his wolf.  It was eager for battle to eliminate the perceived threat; energy flowed up his spine raising the hairs on the nape of his neck.  He soothed it back under the surface with a cleansing breath.  Inhaled through the nose, expanding the abdomen, exhale through slightly pursed lips, forcing all air from the lungs.  Controlling it was natural as breathing, a strength that enabled him to perform his duties as a Detective without risk of exposure.  She looked away first, backed down, and the wolf was triumphant.

***

She quickly took a mental inventory of everything stowed in her purse that could possibly be used as a weapon, and had nothing useful.  If she whipped out a small bottle of perfume or a manicure set to ward off her stalker he would surely mock her. No, the perfume would only be an irritant. Tomorrow, she would definitely be buying the pepper-spray she kept putting off. Casting frantic glances side-to-side and ahead she looked for something that could be used as a weapon.   There up ahead, peeking out from the overgrown ivy spreading across the sidewalk she spotted something shiny under the dim glow of the streetlights.  Relief and hope filled her as she drew closer and could see it was a forty-ounce Old English beer bottle, most likely discarded by a hoodlum like the one that followed her.  Excellent this could work; she watched enough bar-fight scenes on the big screen.  She refused to be a victim and would confront him head-on with the broken bottle in hand to scare him off.  If necessary, she would lash out and strike his face with the bottle and make him bleed. The thing Samantha Davies was not was a coward; she may suffer from panic attacks but that wouldn’t prevent her from putting up a fight – survival was in her nature. She learned how to survive the streets, growing up virtually alone, in some of the toughest neighborhoods.

***

When he reached the open doorway to his office he found the source sitting next to his desk with her back toward him. The room was infused with her scent; it was overwhelming and he nearly lost his balance as he grabbed the doorframe with both hands, gripping it tightly to steady himself. He proceeded to inhale her sweet succulent scent – deeply.  Nostrils flaring as he luxuriated in new sensations of pleasure that was intoxicating.  Closing his eyes he inhaled several times taking in the exotic sweet fruity notes that settled and tickled the back of his throat as he savored the flavors swirling against his tongue.

Dustin hesitated in the doorway, swaying slightly side-to-side as he fought to gain control from the animal rising up inside. He always possessed exquisite control, no matter the circumstances but this woman was throwing him completely off balance. Something was different about her; he never encountered anyone or anything like this before. Yet, if he was honest with himself he knew what this meant, but instincts and circumstances forced him into denial.  Drawing upon all of his strength, while trying to clear his mind and wrap his head around what was happening; he gathered enough composure to enter his office and face the woman sitting before his desk.

***

He double-checked his list to make sure everything was covered and nothing forgotten. Satisfied with his preparations, he decided it was time to go pick up his date. He slid into the ebony leather seat of his Santorini black metallic Land Rover LR4. He pulled out his CD case, found Santana’s Supernatural, and popped it in the disc player, skipping to track two, “Love of My Life,” a collaboration with Dave Matthews, as he pulled out of the garage to head down the mountain to the city to pick up his date.

***

In minutes, they were climbing the steep hill, hugging tight turns on a narrow road. They drove through a small village the length of a city block, where she spotted a café, mini-market, gas station, and a couple of pubs.

A mile or so past the village, Dustin pulled off the main road onto a trail that took them deep into the mountain. The trail was flanked on both sides with lush green plants; wildflowers graced the landscape while cedars towered above.

Around a steep bend, an enormous cabin came into view, with a deck that appeared to wrap around the entire cabin. He pulled into the cabin’s driveway, and pressed the button on his remote opening the garage door. As he parked the truck, Samantha wondered how in the world he could afford such a home on his own.

“Wow. this is your place?”

“Yes, this is my pride and joy – my sanctuary.”

Dustin opened her door and offered his hand to help her down, like a true gentleman. He escorted her to a side door in the garage leading them into the cabin. Crossing the threshold Samantha halted in awe of the place. It was like walking into first class Mountain Lodge, featuring vaulted ceilings with traditional wood beams and wide plank flooring in a rich dark walnut.

“Welcome to my home. I’m thrilled to have you here. I don’t have many guests outside of family. I hope you like the cabin, it was custom-built. Would you like me to show you around before or after dinner?”

“Before. Um I mean please, if there’s time, I can’t wait to see everything.”

He led her through the living room that featured a 65” flat screen theater system with Bose surround sound that would be perfect for watching sports, movies, or entertaining. She admired the massive floor to ceiling wood burning fireplace built from river rocks, and thought it would be the ideal spot to cozy up and relax after a long day.

The master suite was a luxurious open space. The room was decorated in deep hunter green and white. A second fireplace was the prominent feature in this space, which was double-sided, and shared with master bath. The master bath included a walk-in river rock waterfall shower and a two-person jetted tub. The fireplace served as a focal point from the tub, adding warmth to create a romantic ambiance. And of course there was a large walk in closet to complete the room, where his belongings barely filled a fourth of the open space.

Dustin showed her the remaining rooms; two sparsely decorated guest rooms and bathrooms, the gym, and the game room that was equipped with a wet bar, pool table and electronic dart board. He saved the kitchen for last since this is where they would be spending the first part of their evening together.

“At last the kitchen is through here, and this concludes the tour,” he said while motioning her forward with a sweep of his hand toward the room.

Samantha entered a gourmet kitchen that offered an expansive breakfast bar, Viking stove and top of the line stainless steel appliances. Beyond there was a formal Victorian dining room set that accommodated ten. A dream kitchen fit for professional cooks. An elegant space, fit for formal dinners or whimsical family gatherings.

“Please have a seat at the bar and keep me company while I do some last-minute preparations for dinner. Before I start, what can I get you to drink? Would you like a glass of Chianti or something else…I have sun tea, cola, water–”

“A glass of wine would be great, thank you.” She blurted out. Samantha normally didn’t drink alcohol, but welcomed the idea that a glass or two or a bottle might do the trick in settling her nerves. Yes, wine was exactly what she needed to loosen up a bit and quiet that nagging voice in her head that said, “I so do not belong here and he is out of my league,” which had her wanting to bolt back down the hill before they even had dinner.

 ***

Dustin joined her at the picture window overlooking the moonlit forest and smiled as he raised his glass and proposed, “A toast, ‘to having a nice meal, good conversation, and a peaceful evening far from prying eyes’ cheers.”  They clinked their wine glasses together and took their first sips.

***

Dustin pushed in close, cornering Samantha up against the wall as he relished in their combined warmth and how her hormones spiked in response to his wolf.  His frequent nearness was forcing her pup out of dormancy and it would soon reach the surface. With the full moon approaching, at the end of the week, there was no time left to waste. Tonight, he would begin to prepare her for what was about to unfold and attempt to explain the unexplainable. He knew he had to be cautious with the approach, so not to scare her off, or worse have her thinking that he was a mental case and in need of psychiatric help.

 ***

Out on the vast wooden deck that wrapped around the entire cabin, they sat side by side on oversized wooden chaise lounge chairs, in silence, while overlooking the forest edge. Dustin was staring off in deep thought as he contemplated how best to broach the sensitive subject.

“What’s the matter?” Samantha asked casting a sideways glance and saw the deep concentration etched in his face, “What’s with the serious look, and why are you being so quiet?  I thought you wanted to enjoy the evening and talk?”

“I do, but I don’t know where or how to begin.”

“What do you mean where to begin?  You’ve never been at a loss for words.”

“True.  Yet what I want to share with you now is going to be incredibly difficult for you understand and believe.  It’s important and I’m worried about how you will react – I don’t want to scare you.  It’s imperative that you listen to what I have to say with an open mind.”

Dustin turned toward Samantha, took her wine glass away and sat it on the end table. He clasped her hands in his and waited for her to meet his eyes before saying, “It’s imperative you listen to every word that I have to say with an open mind.”

“Dustin what is it, you’re scaring me.” She whispered.

“I’m sorry, please don’t be scared there is nothing to be scared of. I’m probably going to botch this no matter how hard I try, so please bear with me. Samantha, what I have to say is important and shocking.  I need you listen.  I mean really listen, with an open mind and trust what I have to tell you is very real.  Can you do that for me?”

“Absolutely.  You know you are the most trust-worthy man I’ve ever met.  Go on, just tell me what it is that has you so worked up.”  She said without hesitation.

“Have you ever wondered about your heritage? I mean where you come from what your folks were like?”  Dustin asked.

“Yes, but you know this already. I seem to remember having this conversation with you last week at the coffee shop.”

“I know. It’s just if your natural-born parents raised you I would not be put in this difficult situation.”

“What situation? I don’t understand.  My birth parents have nothing to do with the woman that I am.”

“That’s where you are wrong.”  Frustration got the best of him; he released her hands, stood and began pacing the deck.

“Dustin just tell me already, what is it that has you so on edge and acting like a caged animal ready to flee? What’s really going on here? Did you use your power and connections in the force to obtain personal and confidential information on my birth parents?”  Samantha felt betrayed by the only person she thought she could trust.  The very thought of her privacy being invaded by this man, and what ugly things he might have dug up made her sick to her stomach.  She worked so hard to get where she was today, and was finally able to put the past behind her where it belonged.  She hunched over in the lounge to cradle her head in her hands that were suspended on top of her knee’s to focus on her breathing in an attempt to stifle the panic attack that was threatening to overtake her. With her head down, she murmured, “I hope not, but if you…” Just breathe. “Tell me please.”

“God No! I didn’t do anything like that. I would never abuse my position in the force or investigate your past like that not unless you asked me to. Never, I swear it!”

Shoving his hands through his hair and pulling at them from the roots, he turned his back on her and looked out to the forest at a loss as he  searched for the right words to say. “Let me start with a question.  Do you believe there are things in this world not known to humanity?  I mean extraordinary things, living things amongst us, which go undetected all around us?”

His unusual question distracted her from the pending panic attack.  She lifted her head to see his big frame stamp out her view of the moon and responded, “Humph, I haven’t really given it much thought.  You mean like aliens or something?”

“No.  Not aliens, but yeah something like that. Let me put it another way.  Do you believe people, humans I mean, can possess special abilities or gifts from Mother Nature?”

“Sure, I believe people have special abilities like; ESP and Telepathy and what’s that thing when folks can communicate with the spirits of the dead?  Oh and those who have the ability to move things with their minds, like the kids in The Matrix. Those are all very real and extraordinary gifts. Why?”

Her response and willingness to believe in these things delighted him, and he said with a broad smile, “Mother Nature is a phenomenal beauty and there is far more extraordinary wonders in this world than you can imagine.” Relieved he returned to sit, but this time he squeezed right in beside her. Running his fingers through his hair, he cocked his head to the side and looked down at her with a questioning look in his eyes and continued with a sly grin, “All of the things you have shared with me about the recent changes you’ve been experiencing such as your increased appetite, inability to sleep, hot flashes, sensitivity to sounds and scents—” His train of thought was derailed when a pink tongue darted out to moisten full plump lips and trapped the bottom one behind a dainty white incisor.

***

When Samantha saw the golden flecks shimmer to life in his eyes, her grin grew wider. To measure his reaction she boldly bit harder on her trapped bottom lip before releasing it to guide her tongue back and forth across the sensitive, swelling flesh. A giggle escaped her, breaking the spell and brought Dustin back to his purpose. With effort, he was able to resume focus on the matter at hand. He reminded himself that this torture was only temporary. Once everything was out in the open and acknowledge and accepted, then he would be able to release the caged and frustrated animalistic needs that were growing intensely. He wasn’t sure whose desires were greater, but his wolf clawed at him at times like this when he had to pull back from its precious gift. Slight peace was gained through the knowledge that he would be able to claim his chosen – soon. Dustin tucked a loose strain of hair back from her face and continued, “All those things, along with our chemistry, and your libido. How did you put it? Coming out of hibernation,” a soft chuckle escaped his throat, “It’s all for a reason and good cause and can be explained.” He pulled her against his chest in a tight embrace, and rested his chin on the top of her silky-smooth hair and took in her scent. After a few calming minutes he whispered, “Let’s take a moonlight-stroll in the forest, while I share an ancient tale.”

“I’m not sure that’s wise. It’s too dark; I can barely see, and I don’t want to become prey to some wild animal lurking in the night.”

Dustin released her from his embrace and leaned back to see her ivory skin glow in the moonlight and looked directly in her eyes as he pronounced, “Don’t worry there’s nothing to fear out there. This is my…territory and I’ll protect you. Not that there is anything out there that you need protection from. Come let’s take a walk it’ll feel good.”

***

Dustin closed his eye’s and nuzzled Sam’s neck taking in her scent.  He was relieved that her senses were heightened, yet frustrated that she brushed them off so easily and attributed them to a figment of her imagination compliments of the wine. He needed her to believe. It was the only way to help her face the reality that she would soon be living.  He whispered at her ear, “Take me to it.”

Sam leaned back, opened her eyes and looked up at him over her shoulder. “To it?”

“Yes. Follow the sounds and lead the way.”

“But…but you can’t be serious?  What if it’s a momma bear out there with her cubs. We can’t just sneak up on them.  It’s too dangerous.”

“Trust me, it’s not a bear.  We are in no danger.”

“What if it’s a mountain lion or cougar roaming in the night?  Then what?”

“Sam, didn’t you just say that you felt completely safe and at ease out here? You said you wanted to track down and sneak up on the creature that is roaming about, so let’s do it.”

“Well yes, but we can’t just- “

Dustin pushed her forward, “No but’s and we can, so get moving. I know you can do this, you want to do this. Just follow the sounds.”

Sam opened her mouth to protest because the mere thought of trampling through the dark forest searching for an animal without any weapon was both stupid and dangerous, but she closed her mouth and without saying a word headed toward the sound of leafs rustling in the distance. He was right, she didn’t know how or why, but she wanted to track down that animal.

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One response to “Justice & Mating Collides (WIP Novel)

  1. Pingback: The Writing Process Blog Tour! | Kelly's Wandering Mind

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