Jack arrived at the home of Anastasia and George Erikson at six o’clock sharp. He spent the day working with his brothers to track down the criminal on the loose but had been distracted by the thought of this dinner. Was he nervous? Watching Sienna do yoga the night before had sent every testosterone raged hormone in his body to the brink of discovery, and it took all his control to keep his eyes from blazing gold. The memory of her body moving sensually in an outfit that looked like it was painted on instantly sent a rush of blood to his groin. Before Jack knocked on the door, he adjusted himself and tried to think unsexy thoughts. When George answered the door his body obediently obeyed as Jack told his inner wolf to take a cold shower.
“Evening, George,” he said as he walked in the cabin. Jack’s nose inhaled the mouth-watering aroma of something delicious being created in the kitchen.
“Make yourself at home, I have some pigs in a blanket on the coffee table. Dinner shouldn’t be much longer,” Anastasia said as she smiled at Jack and took the bottle of wine he handed to her.
“Sienna! The Sheriff’s here!” Anastasia shouted down the hall in a singsong voice. She moved around the kitchen as if she were floating on a cloud.
Just as Jack took a seat in front of the hors d’oeuvres, Sienna entered the room. Her long, honey-colored hair was loose and hung past her shoulders. She was wearing a floor length, long sleeved, maroon colored dress that hugged her body tight but looked stretchy. A leather belt sat loosely on her hips with a couple of tassels hanging down towards her left thigh. Her worn leather boots gave her an extra inch to her height. She was touching her gold necklace with her right hand. She looked at Jack and smiled. Was she blushing? She turned to open a bottle of wine before he could tell for sure.
“Catch any bad guys today, Sheriff?” Sienna asked as she worked the corkscrew.
“Not yet, but my guys are on it,” he said as she started to pour.
“Glass of wine, Sheriff? Or we have some beer in the fridge?” Sienna asked.
“Call me Jack.” Sienna locked eyes with him before she looked away.
“Sienna, get us some beers. The Sheriff doesn’t want your grape juice, am I right?” George asked him with a chuckle.
“A beer would be great,” Jack said and watched her walk toward the kitchen.
“I hope you’re hungry, Sheriff. I’ve got meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and a special surprise for dessert,” Anastasia announced proudly. Just then the phone rang. “I’ll get it,” she announced in a slightly exaggerated singsong voice. “Oh, hi Gladys. No, nothing at all. You don’t say. Well, of course, George and I will help you. We’ll be right over, not a problem.”
“What? We’re about to eat!” George protested angrily.
“George, get your shoes on. We have to run over to Gladys’ house. She has a raccoon stuck in her kitchen, and she can’t get it out. She thinks it crawled through the loose attic window,” Anastasia announced in a suspiciously deliberate manner. “Jack and Sienna, please get started eating, and we’ll be back in a little bit.”
“Sounds like you can handle-”
“George! Now!” Anastasia barked at her husband. Grumbling, George headed to the front door.
As she glanced back at them, Jack couldn’t help but notice a satisfied grin on Anastasia’s face, and he was beginning to think they’d been set up.
Sienna stared like a deer in the headlights as her grandma abandoned the feast in front of them for a raccoon emergency. Grandma had been acting weird all day and Sienna finally pieced together that she had been plotting the entire time to put Jack and her in a romantic setting. Alone. Sienna wanted to be mad at Grandma for meddling, but she smiled and laughed at her matchmaking efforts. She looked over at Jack who was smiling as well, indicating he was aware of what just happened.
“You’ll have to forgive Grandma. She means well,” Sienna sighed and handed Jack a cold beer.
“Anastasia is a sweetheart. I’ve always been fond of your grandparents,” he said and took a swig.
“Let’s not waste a hot meal. Please, sit and eat,” Sienna said as she headed towards the table. Jack pulled out her chair for her and she slid in. A flutter of butterflies hopped around her stomach in response to the gentlemanly gesture.
“Your grandma’s a great cook. This looks amazing,” Jack said as he eyed the food in front of them. Sienna loaded up her plate, and Jack did the same. He waited until she took a bite before he began to eat.
Conversation flowed freely, and Sienna found talking to him to be effortless. He told her lots of funny stories from his time as an officer. Saying their town was eccentric was an understatement, and there were no shortage of funny stories. Sienna poured another glass of wine, pacing herself with the meal so Jack wouldn’t see her sloppy drunk again.
“Where’s your dad?” Jack asked.
“He bought a house in North Carolina when I started college. He’s still there, but I can tell he’s restless. He has an Airstream that he thinks of as more of a home than the house. I know he’s only sticking around because that’s where I am,” Sienna said feeling a little guilty at the thought of him alone in North Carolina.
“Do you see yourself settling there?” Jack asked with interest.
“I don’t know. I love the ocean, but that’s about the only thing that’s kept me there. The fact is, Jack, I’ve been a little lost. I don’t really know where I’m supposed to be or what I’m supposed to be doing. That’s why I came out here for a visit. I was hoping that a little time away would give me clarity,” Sienna said, taking a big sip of wine.
“And has it?”
“I don’t know. Aside from Grandpa’s attack, everything has felt so… normal. Like time stopped when I left and then started back up the minute I returned. The only thing missing is my mom. But I know nothing can change that,” she said trying to not sound too melancholy. “Want some dessert?”
“I’m actually full. I think I’ll have to rain check on the dessert,” he said keeping his gaze on her. Sienna took a look at the clock and was surprised to see that her grandparents had been gone longer than she would have expected. Grandpa must be starving. Luckily there was plenty of food left for him. She looked at the clock again. “That’s odd.”
“What?” Jack said following her gaze.
“It’s past Hemingway’s dinnertime. He scratches on the front door about an hour before he gets his dinner. He’s almost two hours late,” she said getting up to look out the window.
“I’m sure he’s around somewhere,” Jack said.
“You don’t know that cat. He never misses a meal.” Sienna was starting to get worried. “I need to go look around outside. He could be hurt,” she said reaching for her jacket. Sometimes he hung out under the cars. What if Grandma ran over him?
“You’re not going alone,” Jack said as he followed her out the door without grabbing his jacket.
The crisp night air felt cold on her flushed face as Sienna opened the front door. She went towards the cars and sighed in relief at the absence of a cat corpse. She scanned the immediate area surrounding the house when her eyes locked on Jack who was standing like a statue in front of her. His navy, flannel shirt was rolled up at the sleeves, and the buckle on his leather belt flickered in the moonlight drawing her attention to his groin. She blushed madly at the thoughts bouncing around her brain when she realized her eyes were beginning to glow. They glowed brighter as she noticed Jack’s eyes glowing in response.
Suddenly, his face was an inch from hers, and she could feel his deep breaths on her face. His natural musk filled her nose, and Sienna could feel a growing sensation between her legs.
She put a hand on his rock hard bicep to steady herself as his other arm pulled her close. He leaned in and kissed Sienna passionately. Jack’s lips were hot and soft, and Sienna melted beneath him. As his tongue gently gained entrance to her mouth, they began to explore each other.
She wrapped a hand around his neck and ran her other hand along his muscular back. He pulled her closer, his hand ran along her thigh. She moaned as she felt him harden against her lower abdomen, which caused him to growl in response. Sienna gasped for air, feeling dizzy from the intense physical desire overcoming her. He leaned his head forward and kissed her neck. As she sunk further into the hand that was reaching to cup one of her breasts, Sienna opened her eyes. She looked over Jack’s shoulder and completely froze as a scream escaped her mouth.