Home > The Shifter Romances The Writer (Nocturne Falls #6)(7)

The Shifter Romances The Writer (Nocturne Falls #6)(7)
Author: Kristen Painter

She hesitated. “Only if you never call me ma’am again.”

He nodded. “Done.”

She shook his hand. “Then I think we can move forward. I’d rather be friends with the cop next door than enemies. You know, in case I throw any wild parties.”

Her hand was soft and delicate, but her grip was firm. “As long as I’m invited.”

She smirked as they ended the handshake. “I’ll keep that in mind, but honestly, it’s not likely to happen. I’m pretty boring. I work from home and generally leave the house as little as possible. Although Nocturne Falls might change that. Seems like a really fun place.”

“It is. Or it can be. I don’t go out much myself either.” At least not since he started studying for the sergeant’s exam.

She squinted at him. “I actually thought I met you earlier. I mean you my neighbor, not you you. Anyway. There was a guy standing on your property when I left to take my drive this morning. Sort of looked like a younger version of you.”

“That was a younger version of me. My brother, Diego.” Alex sighed. “He’s staying with me while he gets back on his feet.” Or until Alex evicted him.

Roxy smiled. “That’s nice of you. Hey, you want a beer?”

He hesitated. It wasn’t every day an attractive woman asked him in for a beer, but she was human. He didn’t want to lead her on if she was thinking they were going to be more than neighbors.

“I’m not a mass murderer or anything, I swear. I only kill fictional people.”

He frowned. “What?”

She laughed. “I’m a writer.”

“Oh.” A beer with his new, hot neighbor? Or back to his own house and the Diego invasion? “A beer would be great.” He’d just make sure she knew he wasn’t looking to get involved, that he wanted to keep things strictly on a friend level.

Especially because he couldn’t exactly explain that he only dated other supernaturals.

“You sure I’m not interrupting anything?”

Roxy shook her head at Officer Hotness aka Alex, the man candy who lived next door. “You’re not. I’m on a break.” By which she meant she was procrastinating on writing the book she should have been halfway through by now, but whatever. Getting to know her handsome neighbor was definitely more important. And maybe the only way she’d avoid tickets in the future. “C’mon in.” She pulled the door open wide and stepped back.

“I just thought maybe I was interrupting your workout.”

She made a face, then glanced down at what she was wearing. Cropped T-shirt and yoga pants. They could definitely be interpreted as workout gear. “Because of my outfit? These are my work clothes. I go for comfort.”

“I see that.” He stepped inside. “Not that you don’t look good. You do. I mean, you look fine in comfortable clothes.”

He shifted uncomfortably, and she laughed. “Relax, Officer Cruz.” She headed for the kitchen, tossing the card he’d brought over onto the counter. He was really cute when he was flustered. And not writing her a ticket. “Light beer okay? That’s all I have.”

“Sure. And call me Alex, please.”

She pulled two out of the fridge and handed him one.

He took it, twisted the top off with his bare hand, then gave it back and gestured for the other one.

She gave him the other bottle while she stared at the one he’d already opened. “Um, these aren’t twist-offs.”

The sound of the second bottle cap hitting the kitchen counter filled the brief silence. He smiled oddly. “Are you sure? They came off pretty easy.”

She just nodded. He didn’t seem like he was showing off, but that little act was sort of impressive. Just like his biceps. The man looked very fit.

He lifted his bottle toward hers. “Here’s to new neighbors. And friends.”

“To new neighbors. And fewer tickets written by friends.” She winked as she took a sip of her beer.

He nodded and laughed before drinking his. “So you’re a writer? What do you write?”

And there it was. His reaction to her answer would be very telling. Because she wasn’t going to sugarcoat it or dance around the truth. That life was over. This one was all about truth and not being afraid. She leaned against the kitchen counter and lifted her chin. “I write romance novels.”

“Seriously?” He took a seat on a bar stool at the counter.

She wasn’t sure how to interpret that, but the question still put her on the defensive. “Yes.”

He grinned. “My mother is addicted to romance novels. I think she reads one a day. She’s hooked on this series right now…the Black Moon Brothers, or something like that. The hero is a werewolf and a vampire.”

Roxy bit back a laugh. “You mean the Blood Moon Brotherhood?”

“Yeah, I think that’s it. You know it?”

She nodded, doing her best to look nonchalant. “A little. Been writing it for three years.”

He blinked at her. “For real?”

She nodded. “Yep. That’s how I bought this house.”

“Wow.” He mumbled something in Spanish she didn’t understand.

“What was that?”

“Just that my mother will kill me if she finds out I gave her favorite author a ticket.” A sudden look of panic came over his face. “I can’t tell her I met you. Or that you live next door. She’ll be here tomorrow. She’ll try to move in with me. Or you. There’s no telling, really. She’s crazy like that.”

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