Silver Town is howling with Christmas cheer
Gray wolves Meghan MacTire and Sheriff Peter Jorgenson plan to spend the rest of their lives together, and what better time to start forever than Christmas? But they are both harboring dark secrets that are about to surface and threaten their future together. With holiday magic in the air and all Silver Town ready to celebrate, Meghan and Peter have to conquer the past if they’re to have any hope of spending this Christmas in each other’s arms.
“I have to change clothes,” Meghan MacTire said to her sisters, Laurel and Ellie. She was feeling a little anxious about the date she was going on with Sheriff Peter Jorgenson tonight, since she needed to tell him about her psychic ability to speak with and see ghosts.
Running their Victorian inn in wolf-run Silver Town, Colorado, had been keeping the triplet sister busy during the holiday season. And now it was just ten days until Christmas. Meghan had hoped she and the sheriff could go to her home for an intimate dinner and watch Christmas movies, like they’d been doing whenever they could get the free time. But tonight he wanted to take her out to the Silver Town Tavern. The food and atmosphere were great there, and it was private membership, so only wolves were allowed. Still, it wasn’t as relaxing after a hectic day. Especially when everyone in the pack was wondering if Peter and she were mating. If not, other bachelor males in the pack were waiting in the wings. Some were sure to see her and Peter at the tavern and would be keeping an eye on their relationship.
“Do you think he’s going to ask you tonight if you want to mate him?” Laurel asked. Her sisters had been dying to know when Peter would pop the question. They were both mated to Silver brothers and couldn’t wait until Meghan was mated as well.
“I don’t know. I’ll let you in on it if it happens, you know.” Meghan had been dating Peter for over a year now, not really typical but everyone was different. Sam and Silva, owners of a tea shop and the tavern, had dated for years before they finally tied the knot. Peter didn’t seem to be in a rush to ask Meghan to mate him, and she needed to discuss some issues with him that could affect how he viewed her.
Besides her ghost abilities, she had sent a wolf to prison before she moved to Silver Town, something one of their kind was never to do, and she hated to tell Peter. Even if he could live with what she’d done, she didn’t want anyone else in the pack to know. Would he be willing to keep her dark secret? Or would it bother him that he had to?
She could imagine the news getting out to the rest of the pack, and she knew some would no longer see her the same way. She wished that night had never happened, but it had. And there was nothing she could do to take it back.
She’d been so hurt the last time she’d mentioned it to a wolf boyfriend that she never wanted to discuss it with anyone again. The ex-boyfriend and her sisters were the only ones who knew. But she had to tell Peter before long. Tomorrow night. She couldn’t do it at the tavern. She had to talk to him privately about it before he asked her if she wanted to mate him, and she thought he might ask soon. She kept thinking something might be holding him back too, some dark secret of his own. Unless she was projecting her own mistake on him.
Meghan managed a smile for her sisters before she became too melancholy thinking about the notion. She pulled on her coat and headed for the back door of the inn.
“Have fun,” Laurel and Ellie both said.
“Thanks!” Meghan hurried outside to reach her Victorian house through the snow-covered garden. Just in case Peter proposed, she planned to wear a red satin dress, hoping she didn’t look too overdressed, as if she was expecting something to happen. But it was Christmastime, and she was going to dress up since she didn’t normally.
When she arrived home, she went upstairs to her bedroom and pulled the dress out of the closet. Maybe it would be a little much. Too dressy. Too shiny. Too sexy. Maybe she should just wear a green sweater and her MacTire plaid skirt and boots.
She brought them out and laid them next to the red dress on the canopied Victorian replica bed. She stripped out of her slacks and sweater and considered both outfits. It was cold out. Really cold out. And snowy.
She eyed the red dress. She’d never worn it for Peter. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be the wrong choice. She pulled off her bra and put on the red strapless one she’d purchased to wear with the dress. Then she pulled on the dress and struggled to reach the zipper on the low, low back. Darn it. She couldn’t reach it, no matter how hard she tried. She’d only worn the dress once—to a Christmas party two years ago when she and her sisters still lived in St. Augustine, Florida—and she’d forgotten she needed help with the zipper.
Before Peter arrived, she called Laurel. “Hey, I can’t get my zipper zipped. Can either you or Ellie come over and zip it up for me?”
“Ohmigod, you’re wearing the red dress. I’ll be right over. Unless you want Peter to zip it up for you.”
“Right. Hurry, before he gets here.” Meghan hated to ask. She knew Laurel would tell Ellie that Meghan was wearing the dress, created to hook a guy for sure. Yes, it was an eye-catcher, but she’d never caught a wolf’s attention while wearing it.
She brought out her red high heels before Laurel arrived. If Peter proposed, she wanted to be dressed for the occasion, though she reminded herself they still had to talk before she could say yes.
Deputy CJ Silver watched as Peter hurried to get his Stetson and the dark-brown suede coat lined with sherpa fleece that kept him warm on cold, snowy days like today. He was eager to pick Meghan up for the date.
“I think it’s a great idea to take Meghan to the tavern for dinner, but you really gotta tell her about your late wife, Peter,” CJ warned.
“I will. The time just hasn’t been right.”
CJ snorted. “It will never be right.” He raised an eyebrow. “You’re not proposing to her tonight, are you?”
Peter wanted to. With all his heart, he wanted to mate Meghan. He’d just been waiting for the right time to tell her he’d already had a mate.
“Her sisters keep asking her when you’re going to pop the big question. You’ve been dating Meghan for over a year already. The other bachelors are getting anxious.”
Peter smiled. “It’ll happen before long. I’m going to tell her. Not tonight. I wanted to take her out for dinner. She’s always cooking for us, so I wanted to treat her to something special for the Christmas holiday. Tomorrow, we’ll have dinner at her place and I’ll tell her then.”
CJ’s brows rose.
“Okay, don’t go telling anyone else, but I plan to propose to her after we go caroling with the group. I’ve arranged to take her on a sleigh ride. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for her, and you know how word spreads in the pack. Besides, if she’s angry about what I have to tell her, things might be called off or delayed a bit until we can work them out.”
CJ smiled. “I understand. I don’t think you’ll have a problem with her, but in any case, mum’s the word.”
“Thanks, CJ. I appreciate it.” Peter said good night and headed out into the blowing snow. He’d thought of talking to Meghan about his late wife while they had a nightcap after he drove her home from dinner, but he didn’t want to ruin a lovely night. He would have to play it by ear. He’d decided he would tell her, no matter what, tomorrow night.
He arrived to pick Meghan up at her house, figuring she’d be dressed in slacks, or maybe a skirt, and a sweater. But when he saw her in the red dress, her hair curled about her shoulders, hell, he didn’t want to leave the house. Not with her shoulders bared and the satiny fabric fitting smoothly over all her lovely curves. She sure filled the dress out in all the right places. A pair of high-heeled shoes made her legs look shapelier too. He wanted to ask Meghan if they could skip going out and just eat at her place. He had expected her to look as beautiful as usual, but more warm and cuddly, not hot and sexy.
“If it’s a little too dressy, I can wear a sweater and a plaid skirt,” she said, appearing a little self-conscious.
He was probably making her feel that way because his tongue was hanging out and he was taking in all her hotness without saying a word. He was stunned and intrigued. “Hot damn, Meghan, you are a feast for sore eyes.” He was torn between showing her off at the tavern and keeping her to himself in the privacy of her home.
She smiled brilliantly at him, and he pulled her in for a kiss. He meant it to be soft to begin with, but a barely soft kiss went straight to passionate and then ravenous, lips pressing, tongues exploring, bodies pressed together in hot delight. “God, you feel good.”
“You like the dress?”
“Hell, yeah. And I love the body it’s hugging. The dress and the lady are…hot.”
Meghan chuckled and wrapped her arms around his neck while he slid his hands down her satiny dress, realizing just how low the back was cut, and reached down to her buttocks and cupped them.
“You won’t be too cold?” he asked.
“You’ll keep me warm.”
He smiled. She was making him hot. As much as he wanted to stay here and hug her and kiss her, and a hell of a lot more, they had dinner reservations and he didn’t want to hold up the table. He sighed. “I guess I’m going to show you off tonight.” He helped her on with her winter coat, then escorted her outside to his car, holding her tight to make sure she didn’t slip on the icy sidewalk in her sexy heels.
A few minutes later, they arrived at the tavern. Peter escorted her inside, and everyone seated there turned to look, naturally.
Wolves were wary and had to keep humans out, so it was an instinctive reaction. But as soon as he removed her coat and handed it to Silva to hang up, the bachelor males whistled their approval. Bunch of wolves. They didn’t do it in a disrespectful way, but in a way that said he was one lucky guy.
Silva and Meghan smiled, but Meghan’s cheeks blushed beautifully. Peter shrugged out of his coat, and Silva took it too.
Peter led Meghan to their table and sat her so her naked back was to the wall. He sat close to her so they could talk in the noisy tavern while everyone was drinking, eating, and conversing. Orchestral Christmas music played overhead, courtesy of Silva. A poinsettia and a cinnamon-scented candle sat in the center of their table, the golden flame flickering.
Silva brought them white Christmas margaritas with green limes and a cherry adding a bit of Christmas color to the white drinks Peter had preordered. “Peter said they’re your favorite,” Silva said to Meghan.
“For Christmas, yes. Thanks, Peter,” Meghan said to him.
“I’m surprised he let you out of the house wearing that dress,” Silva said.
Peter hoped Meghan didn’t take Silva’s comment wrong. Though he’d been thinking the same thing.
“Oh, he wouldn’t have dared,” Meghan said, smiling. “I heard you have a steak special. With crumbled blue cheese? That’s what I want. Baked potato, the works, and a small salad with blue cheese dressing. I’ve thought of nothing else all day.”
“I’ll have the same,” Peter said, having acquired the taste once he’d tried it a while back after Meghan ordered it. She’d been good for him as far as trying out new things.
“You’ve got it,” Silva said.
When Silva had gone to the kitchen to give the new cook the order, Meghan said to Peter, “Thanks so much for taking me out to dinner tonight. You know me. I’m usually just as happy going home for the night and fixing us something to eat. But this is truly special.”
“It was about time I took you out for dinner. It’s been a while.”
“Well, this is really lovely, Peter. Thank you.” She sipped her drink and sat back in her chair, relaxing finally, and he was glad to see it.
Especially after the way he’d reacted to seeing her in the dress. “I was afraid I’d screwed things up when I was so…”
“Speechless when you saw me dressed too…”
“Dressed perfectly for tonight.”
“You didn’t screw things up.” She lifted her margarita off the table again. “If you’d acted like I wasn’t wearing anything special, I would have been disappointed. With the way your tongue was hanging out, I was worried it might be a little too dressy. But it’s Christmas, and as long as you can handle it…” She gave him a teasing smile.
Peter chuckled and took a swig of his ice water to cool down. “I certainly won’t have any trouble ‘handling’ it, but the other wolves… That’s another story.”
He loved hearing her laugh and was glad he’d brought her here for dinner and she was all his.
After a lovely dinner and the usual conversation about the crazy happenings at work, they finally headed back to her place. Peter sure wished they were ready to mate and he was peeling her out of that dress to expose all the curves the fabric was caressing.
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AMAZON | B&N | INDIEBOUND | APPLE | BAM | KOBO
AMAZON | B&N | INDIEBOUND | APPLE | BAM | KOBO