Home > The Werewolf Meets His Match (Nocturne Falls #2)(8)

The Werewolf Meets His Match (Nocturne Falls #2)(8)
Author: Kristen Painter

He grunted. “You’re a tree hugger?”

She narrowed her eyes. “Have you ever run through that park?”

“The Georgia Pack hasn’t been allowed access to that park since—”

She held her hand up. “Right, sorry. I forgot about the edict.” Her father had declared the park off limits to anyone who wasn’t a registered member of the Tennessee Pack. “But I can tell you it’s beautiful. The kind of place that makes you forget your troubles and makes you glad to be a shifter. Completely spectacular. And the Army Corp of Engineers was going to bombard the place with a pesticide that would kill off this little black beetle that sometimes infests the trees. I’m all for saving trees, but that pesticide had the potential to kill off some of the other native species…birds, fish, you name it.”

He squinted. “You’d rather the beetle lived and the trees died?”

“No.” She rolled her eyes. “But there was a safer solution.”

“Such as?”

“Increasing the population of woodpeckers in the area. You know, set up a breeding program, that kind of thing.”

“Uh huh.” He flipped to another page. “And the grand theft auto?”

“I was eighteen and only along for the ride. My biggest crime was a bad choice in male companionship. Besides, that charge got pleaded down to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Which is a misdemeanor, in case you didn’t know.”

“I did know, thanks.”

The slight sarcasm in his tone frustrated her. “Dude, I was eighteen. Didn’t you ever do anything stupid when you were eighteen?”

A cloud of emotion flickered in his gaze for a hot second, then it was gone. “No.” He closed the file. “Where are you staying?”

“The holding cell is pretty comfortable.”

“I’m serious. Where are you staying?”

“Don’t know yet. Got any recommendations?”

His eyes narrowed. “How much can you afford?”

“Something between bench in the park and youth hostel.” It would be funny if it wasn’t true.

He sighed. “I have a guest room. You can stay with me. We need to get to know each other anyway.”

Since her father had sent her here with very little money and a threat hanging over her head, she’d take it. She had no choice. Not until the marriage was official. After that, she was getting Charlie back and the two of them were getting away from anyone who knew the name Kincaid. They’d have their fresh start and a chance to live their lives anyway they wanted to. “No monkey business. We may be getting married, but I don’t know you from a hole in the ground. I’m not just going to jump into bed with you because—”

He held up his hand. “That’s the last thing on my mind, I promise you.”

She smiled, knowing it was in her best interests to be as charming and likable as possible. Starting now. “In that case, it’s so gentlemanly of you to offer. You won’t even know I’m there.”

He snorted. “Somehow I doubt that.”

Birdie stared at Hank like he’d grown a horn. She gave Ivy a quick, judgmental glance, then returned to Hank. “You’re leaving with her.”

Hank grunted. “I’ll explain later, Birdie. You know how to reach me.”

She shook her head. “But I don’t understand…”

Hank pointed Ivy toward the back door of the station. “Car’s that way.”

Ivy kept her mouth shut until he opened the door on the passenger’s side for her and she got in. “That’s a relief. For a second I thought I might have to ride in the back again.”

He gave her a look as he shut the door and went around to the driver’s side.

“Your receptionist isn’t going to be happy when my prints come back and she finds out I’m a Kincaid.”

He pulled out of the lot. “I’ll deal with my aunt.”

“She’s your aunt?” Ivy laughed. “Wow. I would not have figured that.”

“She’s a good woman. Just nosy. And terrible at her job.”

“I’m guessing it’s the family connection that keeps her there?”

He nodded.

She started to lift her feet like she was going to put them on the dash, then apparently thought better of it. “That’s how a lot of Kincaids keep their jobs, too.”

He glanced at her. “Like who?”

“Like my older brothers.”

“They pretty deep in your father’s pocket?”

She twisted to face him. “You asking me as a law man or my intended?”

“Just trying to learn more about the family I’m marrying into.”

She hesitated. “Yeah, they’re in deep. If they’d been arrested, my father would have just flown in and paid off whoever it took to get them out. Because that’s how Clemens Kincaid rolls when it comes to his boys. Speaking of, can we not let him know about this incident? Although I do need to tell him I’ve arrived.”

“I won’t bring it up if you don’t.” Hank glanced over at her. “And with you? How’s ol’ Clem roll with you?”

She stared forward, but that didn’t hide the anger in her eyes. “He pretty much ignored me until he’d realized there was something to gain in marrying me off.”

Hank couldn’t imagine his father treating Bridget like a commodity. She’d always been his princess, his baby girl. And he’d always made sure her brothers treated her that way too. Hank pulled into Howler’s back lot. A lone Softail sat in the parking lot. It was a sweet ride, made even sweeter by the thought of Ivy on it. “That your bike?”

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