Home > The Shifter Romances The Writer (Nocturne Falls #6)(17)

The Shifter Romances The Writer (Nocturne Falls #6)(17)
Author: Kristen Painter

“I look like that after a big lunch. Are you sure that’s a baby in that little bump?”

Delaney nodded and laughed. “Yep. I’m almost four months now.”

“Picked out any names yet?”

“Not really. We talk about them a lot, but nothing’s stuck. I’m sure it’ll come to us as we get closer.” Delaney put her hands on her hips. “You look happy. And a little weirded out. What’s going on?”

Roxy shrugged. “I wish I knew. Do you have a minute to talk?” The shop was kind of busy. “I don’t want to take you away from your work. Maybe after you close?”

Delaney waved that idea away. “I have all kinds of time for you. We can go in my office. You want a slice of something? Some truffles? Coffee?”

Roxy eyed the display cases. “Yes, definitely. But there are too many options. I need help. Anything new I haven’t tried yet?”

“Let’s see, what’s new… I’ve got these fireball truffles I just came up with. Plus a new mocha flourless cake. The strawberry champagne bonbons aren’t as new but they’re a summer only thing and I just started stocking them again. Oh, and adult chocolate-covered cherries. You should definitely have one of those.”

“What are adult chocolate-covered cherries?”

“The cherries are soaked in moonshine. I hear they’re good, but I haven’t been able to try them myself.” She patted her stomach. “You’d really be doing me a favor.”

Roxy laughed. “Well, if it’s doing you a favor, how can I not help out a friend?”

Delaney nodded. “Exactly.” She looped her arm through Roxy’s. “C’mon.”

Roxy let Delaney guide her back behind the counters, and a few minutes later, they were in Delaney’s office with two plates of sweets and two small bottles of milk.

Roxy took the chair beside Delaney’s desk and dug into the mocha flourless cake. The coffee-chocolate goodness of it spread across her tongue and raised goose bumps on her arms. “Oh man. I could weep at how good this is.”

Delaney grinned and finished the bite of truffle she’d just taken. “You want a slice to take home?”

“Just one?” Roxy laughed, then shook her head. “I don’t know if it’ll keep in the trunk. I still have some other errands to run. I better not this time. Trust me, this plate will keep me going for a long time.”

“Good.” Delaney sat back in her desk chair. “So what’s up?”

Roxy rested her fork on the edge of her plate. “This is going to sound really strange. It’s the stress of the divorce, I know that’s all it is, but…I…I’m seeing things. Weird things.”

Delaney’s brows lifted, but that’s where the surprise on her face ended. “Like what?”

Roxy rubbed her forehead. “I thought I saw a black panther this morning. I’m pretty sure that was just a weird shadow, or someone’s overgrown house cat, but still. And then when the woman came to install my tank—”


“Mm-hmm. I’m embarrassed to even say this, but I could have sworn I saw gills behind her ear. Because of course the woman who owns the fish tank place would have gills.” Roxy groaned and shook her head. “I’m sort of worried that all this stress from moving and getting divorced and being behind on my book is making the stuff I write about come to life.”

Because that’s all it was. Stress. Nothing like what had happened to her mother.

Delaney bit her lip. “Stress does do strange things to people. I don’t think you should worry about it too much. Hey, maybe it’ll give you some new story ideas.”

Roxy leaned in. “Your teeth look odd. Pointed, sort of.”

“What?” Delaney seemed to pale a little. She closed her mouth and then, after a breath, said, “I thought the divorce was final. Didn’t you say it was just a matter of time?”

“Yes, and when I said that, I thought I’d have the signed papers any day. They still haven’t come.” Roxy stabbed another piece of cake. Delaney’s teeth seemed normal now. Weird. “That jerk. He’s really dragging this out. Oh, and get this, because emailing and texting me wasn’t enough, he just sent me this creepy little note asking me if I was enjoying my new house.”


She scowled. “He cannot leave me alone. I can’t believe I ever fell for him. He was so different when we first got together. But man, once that ring went on, he changed completely. Absolutely thought that little band of gold made me his property.”

Delaney made a noise of disgust. “The sooner you’re done with him the better.”

“I’ll say.”

“You know what? You need to get out. Spend some time doing something that will take your mind off things. The book can wait a little bit, right? Your fans aren’t going anywhere. Did you get your dad’s car yet? Take it out for a drive maybe—”

Roxy started laughing.

“What’s so funny?” Delaney asked.

“I went for a drive. And ended up with a ticket.”

“Oh no! Do you want me to have Hugh take care of that for you? Because he can. And he will.”

“No, no. I already paid it. Plus the officer responsible took me out to lunch.”

Delaney’s mouth hung open. “What? Why didn’t you start with that?” She swatted Roxy’s leg. “Now that’s news. Who was it?”

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