Protected by a Bear (Mate Me Book 2)

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Chapter 18

“Hi Rhett, it is Ellie, I’m not going to be able to make it to work today because of the snow. I’m staying at Marcus Zephyr’s house for a while,” she started, she didn’t know how to bring up the stalker.

“Josie told me you had a stalker and she’d asked Marcus to stay on as extra help on all of your shifts. I’ve closed to club for the night, it is too risky to stay open. The weather reports say we are going to be getting a bad blizzard coming through the area tonight,” Rhett answered.

“About working any shifts, Marcus and I talked and he thinks I should cut back on my hours,” she explained.

“I think we need to create a situation to draw out her stalker, I want to be able to get him away from her as quickly as possible,” Marcus added, she looked at him and he had a worried look on his face. Taking a minute to take him in, she saw true concern for her safety in his eyes.

“What did you have in mind?” Rhett asked.

“Normally, Eloise works Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at the club. I was thinking she cuts back to just Saturdays. That is your busiest night and Eloise can still make decent tips. I don’t think she should do more than that, we want to control the situations in which her stalker watches her,” Marcus explained, Eloise sat back and listened. She hadn’t thought about limiting where her stalker saw her, she’d just tried to avoid him completely. It hadn’t worked, if anything his efforts had doubled.

“I take it you will be with her on those nights?” Rhett questioned. She could hear the concern in his voice.

“Yes, I want to see if we can figure out a pattern of who shows up every week.”

“I have quite a few regulars,” Rhett shared and she nodded. A few of the regulars made a point of saying hello to her.

“Can you get me their names? I promise I won’t do anything to them, just look into their backgrounds,” Marcus assured him, she knew Rhett wouldn’t want to lose any business because of Marcus snooping.

“Sure, I’ll email you. Ellie are you going to be okay with Marcus? Josie will have my head if I knowingly leave you in an uncomfortable situation,” Rhett asked.

“I am fine Rhett. Marcus has been a complete gentleman,” she said, winking when Marcus blushed. She knew he was thinking about their private time together on his couch.

“I’ll see you next Saturday then Ellie,” Rhett said and hung up. She pressed the end button on her phone and saw an alert pop up.

All schools will be closed tomorrow due to snow.

Good, she could stay with Marcus and work out exactly what they had planned.

“Are you okay going to just once a week? I didn’t want you to feel limited by me not wanting you to work at all,” Marcus asked, he put a hand on her arm and she shivered as an electric shock passed through her to settle in the pit of her stomach.

“I’ll make it work,” she replied, mentally working through her bills. She’d have to put her groceries on her credit card and her heat was going to have to wait to be fixed in her car. It was going to be a very cold winter in her car.

“I don’t want you to just make it work, I’d like to help.” He turned so their knees were touching and she could look him directly in the eyes. Her heart fluttered at his words, the last man she dated had insisted on paying Dutch when they went out.

“My teaching salary will pay for my apartment and bills. The only thing I might need help with are my groceries.” She didn’t mention her car, she couldn’t ask him to pay for something so expensive.

“I’ll take you grocery shopping once you go back home,” he promised, for some reason her heart hurt at the thought of going back home.

“Thanks, so I’ve had work cancelled for tomorrow because of the snow. Want to make dinner together?” she asked, her hands were itching to get inside his massive kitchen.

“Sure, but it is only four, want to watch a movie?” He gestured to the ceiling to floor bookshelves packed with blu-rays. She stood and walked over; she was surprised to find an eclectic collection. He had the traditional superhero movies, but also movies from the fifties and sixties with Cary Grant. Her favorite movie of all time was Operation Petticoat. He had it, she grabbed it and brought it over for his approval.

“I love these older movies, I’m a little surprised someone like you has them,” she said handing him the movie. He smiled, got up and put the movie in for them to watch.

“My dad got me into these movies, I like this one and The Great Race is also a classic.” She hummed her agreement; her mom had loved Cary Grant and Robert Redford. They would do movie night on Friday nights, the only time her mom hadn’t been doing a double shift.

“What about you?” he asked, coming to sit next to her. He held up his arm and she snuggled up against his chest.

“My mom, we did movie nights every Friday. She made homemade pizza, ice cream sundaes and soda. It was the only time I was allowed soda growing up. It was an expense we couldn’t afford,” she shared resting a hand on his chest. With him at her side and the fire roaring she felt pleasantly warm.

“What about your dad?” he asked, pressing play on the movie.

“I only saw him for two weeks a year. Spring break and a week in the summer. He was happy to have his own family of boys,” she answered. A low growl admitted from his chest and she looked up at him.

“Sorry, we shifters take care of own. My bear is unhappy your father treated you that way,” he explained and her heart warmed.

“I’ve come to terms with my father a long time ago, but thank you.” She gave him a quick kiss and he gave her a lopsided grin.

“I’ll take care of you, I promise,” he whispered, pulling her close. She smiled and they fell silent watching the movie. Every so often Marcus would kiss her temple or pull her close. Halfway through the movie he pulled her into his lap, her legs hanging off his lap. She curled up and kissed his neck below his ear earning her an almost purr. Wanting to hear it again she nipped at his earlobe.

“I thought we were watching a movie?” he asked, giving her a sly smile. She shrugged and wrapped her arms around his neck. He growled playfully and pushed her back against the arm of the couch. She laughed and held her arms out for him. Carefully he lowered himself over her body. She marveled at the feel of his long, hard body pressed against her petite, curvy frame.

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