Trenton gave a soft sigh as he turned to stare out the windshield. “I actually like cuddling up to your furry side, she’s warm.”
“And she likes cuddling with you, you’re soft and smooth,” she admitted with a whisper.
“Smooth? My chest and legs are almost as furry as hers.”
“Well, to her you might as well be hairless, and I like your hairy chest, it’s a turn on for me,” she admitted. After a pause, she added, “You know, all the guys I’ve ever known, well, except you and my dad, had their hair waxed off all over. Of course, most of them have been underwear models, so…”
“Hm… sexy young things with big packages to show off. Should I be worried about that?” He asked.
Melissa heard the insecurity in his voice. I remember him telling me I could have my pick of men because of my beauty. Does he still think I would leave him?
“Trust me, my sweet man, you have nothing to worry about. I think all that starving themselves to appear thin in front of the camera shrunk those packages. Such a shame.”
He gave her a horrified look as he probed, “Shrunk?”
I’m never going to worry about those five extra pounds again,” he informed her swiftly.
“Like you have an extra five pounds on you anyway,” she teased.
They were still laughing as she pulled her truck into the parking lot. The laughter faded as they gazed at the damage done to Trenton’s storefront.
Trenton gave a tired groan and muttered, “Well, let’s go see the damage. My dad’s going to love this when he hears about it.”
Melissa grabbed hold of his hand before he could climb out his open door and reinstated, “Together Trenton, remember, we do this together.”
They both got out of the truck and met at the front in silence. The damage was bad.
Trenton felt as if he would be physically sick as he and Melissa stood on the sidewalk staring into the building. He’d lost so much inventory he’d be trying to figure it out for days. His insurance guy was going to hate his and probably pawn him off on someone else after this!
“Who would do such a thing?” Cindy asked as she joined them.
“Sadly, I think I know,” Melissa answered quietly.
Cindy and Trenton looked over at her and she gave a head nod to her left.
Turning his head slightly, Trenton saw Billy and his friend Carl standing off to the side of everything laughing. Thinking about it for a moment, he mused, “I wonder if they’re the ones who caused my wreck too.”
“Possibly,” Cindy stated. “I heard about you knocking him out the other night, Trenton. Billy doesn’t take well to public humiliation; it would be just like him to retaliate. I also heard you got the girl he wanted, a double whammy as far as he’s concerned. I hate to say this Trenton, but he seems to have it out for you, it will continue unless you put him in his place somehow.”
“Oh, and exactly how do I do that? No matter what I do, he’ll just do worse in retaliation,” Trenton argued sarcastically.
“Let’s start by taking our suspicions to the police. They won’t be able to do anything without evidence, but it puts it on file. We’ll also mention the board in the road,” Melissa suggested.
“I thought you said that with it gone…” Trenton reminded her.
“I know, but we could still have it put in there. Come on, I know the female officer, let’s go talk to her,” Melissa said as she pointed out a woman in uniform. Then she led the way over and they had a long talk with the officer before heading to the diner.
Stepping inside the diner, Trenton took a deep breath, his belly growling as he said, “Man, it smells good in here.”
“Yeah, I’m going to have to learn to cook for you. All mom had to do was go hunt something and bring Dad back some fresh kill… man, she had it easy!”
Trenton chuckled at her as he placed his hand on the curve of her back so he could lead her to an empty booth. Then, he had her sit down and scoot in so he could sit down next to her.
“Your mom did the hunting, and your dad enjoyed the spoils?” Trenton asked. “Is that why you wanted to feed me that day?”
Melissa smiled. “Yeah, she did because that is the way of the wolven. The female picks the male and she cares for his needs. I remember my mom feeding my dad while she sat on his lap when I was little. It seemed so romantic to me. Anyway, that includes bringing home the…”
“Hello, you two. We haven’t seen you for… whoa! Trenton, what happened to you?” Naomi asked as she stared at his bruised face.
“I had a car accident,” Trenton informed her. “I’m surprised you hadn’t heard about it with small-town gossip being what it is.”
Naomi shook her head. “No, I hadn’t heard, but I’m glad you’re alright. I did see what someone did to your store when I came in this morning. Such a shame that someone would do something like that.”
Trenton grunted as he looked out the window and across the street at his damaged storefront, muttering, “Yeah.”
“Well, what can I get you today?” Naomi asked.
“I would like the biggest steak you have… no, make that two steaks! I’ve been eating my cooking for two days and I’m starved,” Melissa answered. “I’ll also take a baked potato, baked beans, a roll instead of toast if you have it, and pie.”
Naomi laughed as she wrote it all down. “Better order up Trenton before she eats us out of business!”
“I’ll take the chicken fried steak, white gravy, and fries,” he ordered. “I’ll have a piece of pie today too.”
With a nod, Naomi left them.
“So, what else does the female wolven do?” Trenton asked close to her ear as he propped his chin on her shoulder.
“Hm… the usual I suppose. My mom didn’t work, so she kept the house and took care of me. They wanted a house full of kids, but mom hurt herself when she was younger, and it caused problems. I was the only babe she was able to carry to term.”
“I have a feeling you were spoiled,” Trenton teased as he tugged a lock of hair.
Melissa shrugged, but agreed, “Maybe. However, Dad made good money and could afford it, I suppose. Oh, Trenton, I so wish they were around to meet you and help me know what to do.”
“Do about what exactly?”
“About this thing with Chad and… well, about you,” Melissa said as she turned from the window, giving him an earnest look. “I’m so lost, Trenton. I never thought I’d find my chosen one, and then when I did, he’s human. I don’t know-how… all mom ever told me was what to do if my chosen one was a wolven.”
“Well, we’ll figure it out together. Since you know, I didn’t plan on the woman I love being something besides human, ’cause you know, there is no such thing as a wolven,” Trenton teased, tapping her on the nose just as Naomi returned with their food.
They were almost through eating when they were interrupted by an obnoxious voice.
Trenton gave an annoyed groan and Melissa let out a quiet snarl, yet both turned to look at Victoria with a smile.
“Still eating like a fat cow, I see,” Victoria said snidely.
“No, I’m not eating like one, just eating one,” Melissa returned.
Victoria huffed at her then turned on the charm for Trenton. With a distressed look on her face, she asked, “Oh, Trenton, your beautiful face, what happened?”
Victoria gasped, and placed one hand on her chest, the other on his shoulder. “If I’d known you were hurt, I would have come and taken care of you.”
Trenton gave a tired sigh; this had gone on long enough. “Look, Victoria, I’m sure you’re a very nice girl, but that’s the thing, you’re just a girl. I’m thirty years old and I want a woman, a woman close to my age, and I’ve found that woman in Melissa. Now you need to leave me alone and find someone closer to your age.”
“Why? Why would you want her and not me? Yes, I’m young in body, but I’m mature and, and I’m pretty!” Victoria cried out before tears began to fall.
Tears, I can’t handle tears. Trenton gave Melissa a “help me” look.
“Victoria, stop, don’t embarrass yourself,” Melissa said calmly. “You’ve always known he had no interest in you, yet you continued to follow him around. Trust me, when you find the one who is made just for you, you’ll forget all about Trenton. When you meet him, you’ll wonder what you ever saw in every guy you’ve ever crushed on.”
“He would have fallen for me if you hadn’t come,” Victoria argued as she sniffled and wiped at her cheeks.
“No, he wouldn’t, because he isn’t the one for you Victoria,” Melissa argued calmly.
“Who will ever come to this small town to find me?” Victoria asked. “I’ll probably end up an old maid with a thousand cats, and I hate cats!”
Melissa laughed before suggesting, “Do what I did. You’re pretty, so make it work for you. I took up modeling and eventually it brought me to the man I plan to spend my life with. The point is, Victoria, don’t give up too easily or you really won’t find him.”
Victoria finally nodded, then left them.
“Thank you,” Naomi said softly from where she stood next to the table.
Trenton hadn’t even realized she was there until she spoke.
“You’re welcome. Now she needs your help and your encouragement. Help her understand that she doesn’t have to settle for just anyone because she can’t do better. Even if it means letting her leave the nest,” Melissa said with a smile.
Trenton couldn’t stop the yawn that suddenly left him. He muttered an apology before yawning again.
“I think someone has overdone it. Let’s get you back to the house,” Melissa said then as she snickered at him.
“No, I need to call my insurance company and…” Trenton mumbled.
She stopped his arguing by placing a finger on his lips and asking, “Yes, I agree, they do need to be called, but you can’t do that from the store, now can you?” When he shook his head, no, she continued, “Cindy said she’d get someone to board the place up so nobody will try to take what’s left. Let her do that for you while you go home and make those calls from the comfort of your bed.”
Trenton rubbed his forehead tiredly, wincing when he hit a bruised place. “You’re right, and I need to call my parents. I’d hate for them to hear about this from someone else.”
So, standing up, he helped Melissa up, tossed some bills on the table, then took her hand. Together they told Naomi goodbye before heading out and making their way to Melissa’s truck and drove off for Trenton’s house.