Mate's Appeal(40)

By: Robbie Cox

The detective took the offered card, annoyance covering his face.

Lainie then turned her back on Detective Rance Culpepper and his arrogance, as well as the purring of her panther. Both of which were more than getting on her nerves right then.

Ten minutes later, she knocked on her brother’s cabin door, still struggling to put Rance out of her mind. She didn’t need the distraction, not on her case, not in her day, and definitely not in her life. She also didn’t need her panther getting all hot and bothered over some out-of-towner. She left Draven Falls to avoid an arranged mating. Relationships just left you heartbroken and damaged. She had done well following Agatha Rochester’s advice and getting the distractions out of her life. She sighed as she heard the doorknob turning. And Rance could very well be a distraction.

“Hey, what’s going on?” Dimitri stood in the doorway, wearing only a pair of jeans and holding a cup of coffee.

Lainie glanced behind him to see if he was alone, and then grinned as she spotted Adira, Dimitri’s mate sitting on the couch, covered up in a blanket. “I won’t be long. Hate to disturb the happy couple. You really should start thinking about a proper wedding, you know. That is if the two of you can keep your hands off each other long enough to endure one.” She gave Adira a finger wave. “Don’t you two have jobs or anything?”

“Is that jealousy I hear?” Dimitri asked as he leaned back on the doorframe. “And we both have the day off, thanks. Now, is there a reason you’re here or did you just want to cock-block me?”

“Is that even possible anymore?” Lainie grinned, and then grew serious. “Actually, I wanted to know if you knew anything about a Roger O’Brien. He was shot a little while ago. Some kids found his body in the woods.”

Dimitri ran a hand through his shaggy, blond hair. “Wow. Unreal. Any suspects?”

“Not yet, although some detective from Pensacola showed up claiming Roger was a witness in a murder. The jerk even tried to take over my case. Some balls he has.”

“Got that close to him, did you?” Dimitri smirked, laughing at his own joke.

She knew he teased her, but she also recalled how her panther wanted to get closer to Rance Culpepper’s cock and balls. The urge grew even when the man was out of sight, but Lainie didn’t leave Draven Falls, avoiding a mating her parents wanted, just to get stuck in a mating here. She needed to get this case solved and Rance out of her hair. “Roger O’Brien?” she repeated. “What can you tell me?”

Dimitri shrugged. “Pretty much a loner. I’m not even sure how he heard about our town. He said he needed a quiet, secluded place to lay low because some pretty bad people hunted him back home. He promised he didn’t do anything wrong, that he witnessed something terrible, and now those people wanted him dead. We went over the rules of living here, and I invited him to the Friday night bonfires. He never showed, of course. Hell, I’m not even sure he ventured out of his cabin.”

“Taking the hiding thing really far, huh?” She took a deep breath, as she glanced out at the woods around her brother’s cabin. “Seems that detective told the truth about Roger witnessing something.” She turned her gaze back to Dimitri as she nodded her head. “I think I’ll check out his cabin before heading back to the department. Thanks for your help.” She leaned into the door, waving at Adira again. “Bye, Adira. Make sure my brother treats you right.” She grinned. “Of course, if he doesn’t, you can always zap him or something. Maybe turn him into a frog?” She grinned as she patted her brother’s arm. “You’d make a good frog, I think.”

“Get out of here,” he said with a shake of his head. “And good luck with your case.”

Lainie waved as she turned and headed back to her car. She didn’t need luck with her case. She just needed that moronic detective to stay out of her way.