Joey wasn’t dealing with the best of news. The phone call informing her that her niece was dead was bad enough, but her great-niece, Becky, was also in danger. Then finding out her twin sister, Margie, had Joey’s office bugged just about sent her over the edge. And now her mother’s life was being threatened for information on Becky. Joey was going to have to kill someone before this was all over with.
Pierce was having a time dealing with stress lately. Trying to please everyone and not giving himself any slack was about to do him in, and no one was helping him at all by telling him he needed to find a mate. Just thinking about that prospect was stressful too.
Pierce was gifted. Not only was he a bear, but he could read the minds of others. He was a great profiler. Meadow sent him to help Joey find the spies in her organization. As soon as Pierce met Joey, he knew he had found his mate at long last, but telling her would have to wait. With everything else she had going on, that information might make her head explode.
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ITUNES Coming Soon
Meadow Springs had been locked away in a hospital for several years. At sixteen she was a victim and sole survivor of the mass murder of her family. The ordeal had left her semi-comatose for a long time. Since she was the only survivor and couldn’t talk, the police tried to pin the murders on her, but it didn’t stick.
Josiah McCray was there the day that Meadow was brought to their home to go into hiding. The beautiful blonde in the wheelchair was a shadow of the woman she should be. All Josiah saw was his mate, and he loved her no matter what.
The killer was still out there, and Meadow had his identity locked inside her mind and the killer knew it. Everyone previously in charge of her care was now dead. There was no way that was a coincidence.
Meadow was a loose end, the one that got away. There was no way the killer could let her live….
Melody Austin was afraid of nearly everything, but like it or not, she was a survivor. When she was seventeen, she had survived a harrowing attack that left her mentally and physically scarred. Now, ten years later, her brother, Daniel, repeatedly asked her to talk about the disturbing events, to tell him what happened so that he could understand, but she remained silent. She knew he meant well, but telling him a bear was behind the attack at the school would get her locked up in a mental institution. No one would believe that story, and she couldn’t blame them.
Daniel had taken a job working for the McCrays. He made Mel promise that she’d join him in just a few days, but instead, Daniel received a call that his house was on fire, and Mel had been burned in the process. Daniel took Gannon with him to check on his sister.
Daniel had told Gannon that Mel was a bit skittish before they arrived on the scene. But the moment Gannon caught her scent; he knew she was his mate. He meant to reassure her by telling her that she was his mate and that everything would be all right, but the instant she heard that he was a bear shifter, she went wild, running back into the fire to get away from him.
When Gannon discovered that a bear was the cause of all her fears, he didn’t know how he could get past this. He couldn’t change what he was…. Was this doomed from the start?
Things hadn’t been going very well for Lucy and her two sisters. When their parents died, their uncle had moved in and took over. The girls, apparently, were too much trouble to worry about, so he’d dumped them onto the streets to fend for themselves.
It was just luck that Ian McCray and his family had found Lucy that day. Both Lucy and her sister, Jilly, were in bad need of medical attention. Ian was just thrilled to have found his mate alive. In their situation, it could have been much worse.
Lucy was thankful for the help, but she was just going from one man to another lording over her and dictating what she could and couldn’t do. It was marry Ian or lose her sisters for good. Ian was a nice man, but she was tired of everyone telling her what to do.
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“Joey, there’s a call for you.” She turned and looked at the man she’d hired just yesterday to answer calls for her. “He said it’s important he speaks with you now.” “Tell him to fuck off.” Turning back to the work she was doing, she knew that Harvey, her secretary, wasn’t going to last the day if he didn’t stop bothering her with little shit. “Well? Did you tell him?” “No. He said he’d have to have the police come here if you didn’t want to hear what he has to say. I’m not sure telling him to fuck off is such a good idea.” She stomped toward him. “Don’t hurt me.” That stopped her dead in her tracks. She’d never hurt anyone. Joey knew she had a volatile temper, but she never hurt people. Telling Harvey she was sorry for snapping at him, she picked up the phone and gave the idiot who called her today all she wanted to in the way of anger. “You had fucking better have your ducks in a row, you uneducated couch potato. I’m working in the event no one told you. What the fuck do you want?” His laughing wasn’t something she thought was helping. “I’m hanging up now. If you ever call here again, I will—” “Your niece, Rebecca Hightower, has been murdered.” Joey slid to the floor, her legs suddenly no longer strong enough to hold her up. She asked the man if her husband had done it. “At this point, we’re only assuming he did. Not that he was the one that pulled the trigger, but I think you understand what might have happened. Her daughter, Becky, is staying with my family. Becky told me I wasn’t to trust your sister, Margaret, with any information.” “No. Don’t call her. She and Peter are close.
I think she is still having an affair with him despite him being married to Rebecca. Where are you?” Ian told her his name as well as where they were. “And Becky? Is she hurt too? It wouldn’t be any sweat off his balls to kill his own child.” “She’s fine. Scared out of her mind. The doctor told us she was dehydrated and malnourished. We’re taking care that she is getting plenty of food and water. Rebecca is tagged as a Jane Doe for now. The police are friends of the family and have taken precautions to make sure no one knows of her death or that she was found. Becky told my daughter that her father would kill us all if he were to find us helping her.” “More than likely, he would. He’s not the best of people to be around.” Joey thought of all the things she knew about Peter. “I’d like to come and see Becky if you think it’ll be safe. I don’t want her hurt either. She and Rebecca have been through a great deal while she was married to that fat fuck.” “You certainly have a way with words.” She laughed with him. “If you don’t mind me saying so, I thought that with you being Becky’s great aunt, you’d be—at least sound a little older. You can’t be much older than Rebecca was.” “We’re all three the same age. Margie and I are twins. Rebecca is my older brother’s daughter. He was only sixteen when he got this girl, Sheila, pregnant. Mom had just found out that she was going to have us.
It was a race, Mom used to tell us, to see who delivered first. We were born a day earlier than Rebecca. My brother committed suicide about a week after his child was born.” Ian told her he was sorry. “Me too. I have no idea why I’m telling you this. You more than likely have a lot of things going on there too. Anyway, I’m not going to be coming there until I hear from you. Also, call me on my cell phone from now on. If you call and I don’t answer, it’s because I’m working. But I will return your call if you leave me a message.” After giving him the phone number, she told him she wanted to speak to Becky if she could. Ian told her he’d make sure she called her back when he returned home tonight. She was staying with his wife and her sisters. “Christ, man. How do you live in a house full of women? You must be the most patient person in the world to be able to do that.” Ian laughed, and she had to smile. He had a good laugh, one she thought she’d like to hear more often. “Just keep me updated, please. And when the time is right, I’ll tell my sister. She’s a pain in the ass most of the time, so I won’t subject you to that. Also, if you could tell Becky I love her, that would be great. Thanks for telling me, Ian. I’m sorry you’re involved in this. But I do appreciate you taking care of Becky for me. She’s the best thing Peter ever did.” After hanging up, she sat there on the floor, wondering what she was supposed to do now. If it were up to her, she’d hire someone to kill Peter off, then live a very happy life behind bars. But she’d made a promise to Rebecca that she’d not kill him or hire anyone to kill him. She’d feared for her life. “Joey? Am I fired?”
She looked up at Harvey and realized she had to be a nicer person. When a man older than her was afraid of her, then she was most certainly doing shit wrong. She told him she was sorry. “I knew you said no phone calls, but when he told me the police would be involved, I thought it best that he told you instead of the police showing up. That really would have upset you.” “It would have. You did the right thing in that.” She told him again she was sorry. “I’ve been under a great deal of pressure with this work. I don’t want to mess it up, and with all the stress of that, I tend to be snappish. I’ll work on trying not to make you fear me in the future.” “I thank you for that.” She nodded, then stood up. When he went back to his desk, she went back to her workroom. Being a clothing designer wasn’t as glamorous as people saw on television and in movies. It was difficult work trying to keep one step ahead of the people in the same industry. Not to mention having an idea what colors would be hot when the next season rolled around. Not that Joey put that much stock in the trends. Joey designed for the everyday woman. No puffy sleeves for her. Nothing made of taffeta or silk for this line. She did design clothing for evening wear, but her meat and potatoes were the things that women wore every day to work or even for shopping— sturdy clothing that stood up well to time, washing, and the seasons. “If you were to ask me if I’d wear that color, I’d have to tell you no. What is that called?” She looked over at her best friend and the woman that had given birth to her. Her mom was her partner too. Joey told her mom the color. “Pumpkin pie? You have got to be kidding me. If I had a pie of that color, I’d think it had turned.
What are you going to mate it to?” “Purple.” When she picked up the paisley print she’d been searching for before the call came in, she hung it on the board in front of her next to the pumpkin pie. She knew it would work, but she still wanted her mom’s opinion. “What do you think? Too much?” “No. I think it works well. I can see this in a shirt and the pie in a pair of shorts, or even a nice pair of pants. I know you hate the word slacks, but that’s what I was thinking of when I saw it. I really do like it.” Nodding, she put the two colors on the plate with the design. “I have a feeling you’re avoiding telling me about the phone call.” Joey nodded but didn’t look at her mom. “What is it, baby? Does it have to do with Rebecca?” “She’s gone.” Mom nodded but didn’t say anything as the two of them spoke quietly. “Becky is all right. Staying with a family in Ohio. I can’t go there until they figure out what to do about Peter. I’m also not telling Margie.” “No. She’d be all over that. Crowing to the winds that she is going to be the next Mrs. Hightower. The two of them should have married, to begin with. Then it would have been over with for this family. You know as well as I do that she would have cut ties with us so quickly we’d need a birth certificate to prove she’s related to us.” It was nearly nine that night when she heard from Becky. They talked for over an hour, and Joey felt so much better for it. She was being watched and taken care of. Also, she’d turned over the book and all the other things she’d collected in her young life to be put in the family safe. Joey wasn’t sure how good of an idea that had been, but there was little she could do about it from here. After hanging up with her niece, she was ready for bed. But a call from her sister, of all people, kept her up for the rest of the night.
“What happened today at work?” She asked Margie what she was talking about. “You. You got an important phone call that sent you to the floor. What is it? Rebecca again? If you know anything about her, you’d better be telling me, Joey. You know she’s run off again with his child.” “How would I know she’s run off? And the last time I remembered, Rebecca is a grown woman and can run off without people knowing about her whenever she wants. Are you having me spied on?” Margie said she was. “Why? What could you having me spied on do for you? I run a design shop, Margie. What on earth do you think you’re going to find out by doing that?” “You never know. I did find out you were upset, didn’t I? Were you going to call me and tell me about it? Doubtful. When did you become so secretive, Joey? It’s not a good look for you.” Joey asked her sister when she’d become so paranoid that she had to have her watched. “When you started not taking my side when it came to Peter. He’s a good man, you know. You should have more respect for him. All those things the paper is saying about him are lies, and you’d know that if you were to get to know him a little.”
“I’m not even sure why you’d think I should care what his life is like. As for what the papers say, your little spy should have told you I don’t have a newspaper delivered, nor do I own a television.” Margie told her she told her that. “Goodbye, Margie. I don’t know where you got your information, but I’m not discussing my personal life with you. Call off your spy, or I will. And press charges.” It was a woman. Joey decided she was going to take measures she’d never thought she’d have to with her own family. Making two phone calls, she felt better for taking a stand. In the morning, only a few hours from now, she was going to do what she should have done long ago, start keeping an eye on those that worked for her. Joey had been slacking on a lot of things of late. Well, no more.