“Part of the reason I am still jumpy is because Jimmy is out on the street. He was released after only a month on attempted kidnapping charges. How is that fair to me?” she demanded, she had been furious the judge let Jimmy out, after only a month because of his good behavior. He’d been charged with up to a year in jail and a permanent order to remain at least five hundred feet away from Eloise.
“You’re right it isn’t fair, has Jimmy done something?” Josie replied, reaching out to take one of her hands, squeezing it gently.
“Not that I can lay blame to him for, I keep finding little notes tucked into my door, mailbox, my desk at work. All of them are uncomfortable to read, they talk about how much my “admirer” loves to see me every day. He has missed seeing me at my normal coffee shop, he wants to do um…” she blushed and looked over to see Marcus glaring at her.
“Do what?” he growled and she tensed.
“Marcus runs his own protection agency, he helped Xander and me get my artwork back from my vile ex-husband. He is someone you can trust with your life,” Roxie assured her. Eloise looked from her to Josie, who gave a small nod in agreement.
“Some of the notes get very detailed in what he wants to do to my body,” she whispered, watching Marcus, his face turned to stone and he growled deep in his chest. She normally would have been frightened, but Marcus didn’t scare her. He made her feel protected, safe, as if her stalker couldn’t reach her.
“Where did you say you find the notes?” Evelyn asked, bringing her attention back to the women at the bar.
“Everywhere, I’ve found them in my desk at work, on the windshield of my car, my mailbox, even once on my pillow. I instantly ordered my landlord to change the locks on my apartment. I couldn’t sleep there for two weeks while I waited for him to change the locks,” she explained.
“Is that when you asked to stay with Rhett and me?” Josie asked, she nodded. She’d told Josie they had to spray her apartment for ants and needed her out for two weeks.
“I knew spraying for bugs didn’t take two weeks! I was just so happy to have you at my house I didn’t question your story,” Josie remarked, giving her an amused look.
“Have you gone to the police?” Marcus wanted to know, she turned to look at him and shook her head.
“I know how police officers work, they say they will look into it, send extra patrols around my home. In a week they stop looking and I am back to square one.” She rolled her eyes, unfortunately this hadn’t been the first time she’d been stalked. In high school she had been followed around by a shy boy who’d moved into the neighborhood. She’d said hello to him to be nice and it turned into two years of him stalking her around her small town. She went to the police and they ignored her the first time, it took her mother getting involved for the police to take her seriously.
The only reason she figured out it was him was because when she went to college three states away, he followed her. She had her mom look into where he had gotten into college and his parents had said he didn’t apply. She then kept track of every time he showed up around her, when weird notes or gifts were left and soon, she managed to get him on tape. Confronting him, he confessed his feelings and she shot him down. He moved back home and she hadn’t heard from him ever again.
“Where did you get that idea?” Roxie asked, Eloise rubbed between her eyes, she was starting to get a headache talking about this.
“I was stalked my senior year of high school and freshman year of college by this lonely boy from my town. Once I confronted him, he moved back home and got a job at the local hardware store. I haven’t heard from him since, and my mom keeps tabs on him. She isn’t convinced he has left me alone for good. That was over ten years ago,” she shared and frowned. Everyone was staring at her in shock, this was why she didn’t want to say anything. Now they knew about her past and she was trying to leave everything in Kill Turn Falls behind her.
“Was this guy a shifter?” Marcus wanted to know; Eloise didn’t know.
“I have no clue; shifters were not talked about in our town. I grew up in a pretty backwoods place, we hunted for our meat and everyone knew everyone else. When William moved into town with his family, it was big news. He was a scrawny kid, probably no taller than I am now. It looked like puberty had missed him, he was constantly picked on by the football players at our school. I was nice to him and that convinced him I was meant to be his. He followed me to college and I turned him down explaining I wasn’t interested in dating anyone at the time. It took me putting security cameras outside of my apartment to figure out who it was leaving me notes and gifts. The police did nothing, I won’t become a victim again.” She shook her head, frustrated this was happening again.
“You need to have someone help you Ellie, you can’t let this stalker get close to you again. Do you think it is William?” Josie asked, Eloise shook her head.
“He is in Kill Turn Falls in Washington state, how could he be here?” she asked, she couldn’t imagine a man holding a candle for her for twelve years.
“I think it is Jimmy to be honest,” she shared and the women nodded their agreement.
“Just on the safe side, I think you should go to the police. I will come with you and make sure they do their job,” Marcus offered, she still was hesitant to get police involved, but with Marcus she might get results.
“Okay, we can go tomorrow morning,” she agreed, and was struck with how handsome he looked when he smiled.
“I will meet you at the police station at say ten? I know you are going to be off late,” he offered, and she had to stifle a laugh.
“Don’t you have to work late?” she asked, finding her first smile, since she’d started sharing her problem.
“Yes, but I’m a bear I don’t need a lot of sleep,” he replied and she knew he was lying.
“Don’t bears hibernate in the winter? Shouldn’t your bear need more sleep?” she countered, and was rewarded when he blushed.
“You caught me. I just get a little slower first thing in the morning.” He admitted with a shrug and she laughed.
“I would love to see your bear, I bet you are huge and amazing to look at,” she remarked and then covered her mouth. You never asked a shifter to see their animal, unless they were your mate. He just made her feel so comfortable she slipped.
“I am so sorry, I shouldn’t have said that,” she apologized, he shook his head, his eyes laughing silently at her blunder.
“No harm done, to be honest my bear would like for you to meet him,” he replied and it was her turn to blush.
“Last call!” Lindsay the other bartender yelled, making Eloise jump.
“I really should get back to work, even though the event is ending, the club is open for another two hours.” With a vast amount of effort, she forced herself to turn back to her orders and realized she had four waiting to be filled. Quickly diving back into work mode, she tried to ignore the looming bear behind her.