Undercover eagle, p.1
Undercover Eagle, page 1part #14 of Return to Bear Creek Series
Table of Contents
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Chapter One – Beverly
Chapter Two – Liam
Chapter Three – Beverly
Chapter Four – Liam
Chapter Five – Beverly
Chapter Six – Liam
Chapter Seven – Beverly
Chapter Eight – Liam
Chapter Nine – Beverly
Chapter Ten – Liam
Chapter Eleven – Beverly
Chapter Twelve – Liam
Chapter Thirteen – Beverly
Chapter Fourteen – Liam
Chapter Fifteen – Beverly
Chapter Sixteen – Liam
Chapter Seventeen – Beverly
Chapter Eighteen – Liam
Wish Upon a Bear
Chapter One – Zara
Chapter Two – Theo
Chapter Three – Zara
Chapter Four – Theo
Chapter Five – Zara
Chapter Six – Theo
Chapter Seven – Zara
Chapter Eight – Theo
Chapter Nine – Zara
Chapter Ten – Theo
Chapter Eleven – Zara
Chapter Twelve – Theo
Chapter Thirteen – Zara
Chapter Fourteen – Theo
Chapter Fifteen – Zara
Chapter Sixteen – Theo
Chapter Seventeen – Zara
Chapter Eighteen – Theo
Get In Touch
Also By Harmony Raines
Return to Bear Creek
All rights reserved. This book, or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner without the express written consent of the author or publisher.
This is a work of fiction and is intended for mature audiences only. All characters within are eighteen years of age or older. Names, places, businesses, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, actual events or places is purely coincidental.
© 2018 Harmony Raines
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Return to Bear Creek
Beverly has flirted with every man in Bear Creek! OK, that might be a small exaggeration, but that’s how it seems. Worse, every man she’s ever flirted with turns right around and immediately settles down with his perfect woman.
What’s wrong with her?
All that changes when Liam walks into her life. He’s perfect, apart from one tiny detail. He owns Bear Creek Mountain Stores, and Beverly doesn’t want to be a small-town store owners wife. Not after spending her life as a small-town store owner’s daughter, and watching her parent's relationship suffer for it.
Beverly wants fun and excitement.
Liam took over the store to recoup the investment made by his mom, that his brother wasted, before getting arrested as a drug smuggler. He had no intention of staying in Bear Creek once he’d accomplished his goal. His life, his career, was elsewhere.
But his mate is here!
Beverly, a bundle of fun, wrapped up in the perfect package. Curves in all the right places, she sure knows how to handle herself. So when trouble threatens, he is more than happy to team up with her and save the day—Or the eagles!
Who says small-town life is boring?
Just don’t mention the eggs…
Chapter One – Beverly
“So, you snagged sex-on-legs.” Beverly eyed her friend Hannah with envy. “What does a girl have to do around here to get a man?” Hannah had invited Beverly over to dinner, and Beverly was hoping to pick up some tips on capturing the man of her dreams, which so far, she’d struck out on.
“Sorry, I can’t help you, I didn’t do anything.” Hannah grinned at Beverly as she set a large bowl of healthy salad down on the table. This was not what Beverly needed to hear. It dented her self-esteem to know that all the men she flirted with ignored her, before falling head over heels in love with other women.
“I think I need to skip the main course and go straight for dessert. Hey, didn’t you buy a Chocolate Velvet Heaven dessert the day you met him? Maybe I need one of those.” Beverly placed two glasses of wine on the table and sat down.
“The right man is out there waiting for you, Beverly. Just give it time.” Hannah set two plates, filled with chicken and new potatoes, on the table before she sat down across from Beverly and picked up her glass of wine. “Here’s to Mr. Right.”
“May he be Mr. Wrong in every way.” Beverly raised her glass.
“You don’t mean that.” Hannah dished up the salad.
Beverly sighed. “Don’t I? Knowing my luck, I’ll marry a small-town store owner like my dad.”
“And what’s wrong with that?” Hannah asked, searching Beverly’s face. “There’s nothing wrong with a steady man.”
Beverly sighed again. “That’s all my whole life has been. My dad has owned a grocery store since I was five. We’ve moved around while he built up one store after another until we moved to Bear Creek. I’ve often thought he’s more devoted to the business than he is to my mom and me. I don’t want that. We’ve never had a real vacation.” Beverly pressed her lips together, trying to keep the words in, but she had to let them out. “I’ve watched my parents grow apart. I don’t want that for me, and I don’t want that for my own children.”
“I didn’t realize.” Hannah pressed her lips together.
“I know what you’re thinking, that I’m being selfish. And I know I probably am. Dad worked hard, I know that. But he’s my dad too. And I missed out on that relationship.” Beverly looked down at her dinner, her appetite evaporating.
“That’s not what I was thinking at all,” Hannah told her gently. “I was thinking how sad it is that your dad didn’t take time out to watch you grow up. Childhood passes by so quickly.”
Beverly dashed a tear away before it had a chance to slide down her cheek. “At least when I have kids, I won’t make the same mistake. If I ever have kids.”
Hannah reached out a comforting hand. “You will, Beverly. I know the right man is out there for you.”
Beverly took a large gulp of her wine and then decided to make her own toast. “Here’s to a new me. I will no longer go and hunt him down, I’m going to let him find me.”
“I’m sure fate will have her way with you eventually.” Hannah joined her in raising her glass. “And don’t ever forget, you deserve the best.”
“But please don’t let him be a small-town store owner,” Beverly added and then burst out laughing. “Who am I kidding? I’d settle for any man right now.”
Hannah grinned. “The right man is out there for you, and if he happens to be a small-town store owner,then you’ll have to mold him into the man you want him to be.”
“Good thinking.” Beverly liked that idea. “Let’s eat. I’m starving.” She picked up her knife and fork and began to eat.
“Any gossip?” Hannah asked as she ate.
Beverly smiled. “Is that the only reason you invited me over?”
“No, but since you’re here…”
“Well, I did hear one snippet. It was about a whirlwind romance between a social worker and a hot ex-soldier. They are the talk of th
Hannah’s cheeks burned red. “Really? I don’t suppose it does much for my reputation, does it?”
“Ah, you’re all right, Hannah. I think most people are pleased how things turned out, especially for Sandra and Dustin. You know if anyone needs a happy ending it’s those two.” Beverly smiled sheepishly. “Don’t let on that I’m such a soft-hearted romantic fool. Men definitely will run a mile.”
“There’s nothing wrong with being romantic.” Hannah refilled their wine glasses.
“So, what’s it like, being in love?” Beverly quickly changed the subject. Sweet and romantic was not the person she strived to be. She’d seen firsthand how her sweet, romantic mom’s joie de vivre had faded away a little more as each year passed by.
“It’s…” Hannah took a gulp of wine. “Scary.”
“Scary. I thought Knox was a puppy dog. I’ve seen the way he looks at you, all big eyes and tongue hanging out.” Beverly pulled a face, which made Hannah laugh. It was a coping mechanism she deployed around her parents: make ’em laugh. Beverly had learned that from her grandpa.
“He does not look like that,” Hannah insisted.
“You look at him through rose-tinted glasses. Believe me, to the rest of us, that’s how he looks.” Beverly skewered a potato with her fork and ate it delicately, enjoying her fun.
“I thought you considered Knox to be sex-on-legs,” Hannah retorted.
“Before I realized he had been snapped up by you.” Beverly liked Hannah a lot: she was kind and funny, and looked like a high school cheerleader. It was obvious what Knox saw in her. With her blonde hair and blue eyes, and dimples that made her look as sweet as honey, she was perfect. Next to a woman like Hannah, Beverly never stood a chance.
“We had a connection.” Hannah’s expression grew serious. “And one day you will know that same connection. I’m sure of it.”
“Well, in an attempt to meet a hunky guy, I plan to join the Bear Creek Mountain Rescue team.” Beverly’s bombshell had the desired effect; Hannah’s fork paused on its way to her mouth.
“Mountain rescue? I didn’t know you were experienced in rescuing people.” Hannah set her fork down. “You weren’t joking about meeting a man who wasn’t a store owner.”
Beverly’s face grew serious. “It’s not really about meeting men. I want to do something with my life. Dad has been grooming me to take over the store since I was old enough to play with a toy cash register. And if that’s what my life is going to be, I need to have some kind of release. I’ve hiked over these mountains since we moved here two years ago. I know first aid, and I can climb. It’ll be a challenge, but I’m willing to learn.”
“I’m impressed,” Hannah said honestly. “I know you put on this front. But I also know you are deeper than that.”
“Don’t blow my cover.” Beverly winked and stabbed a tomato with her fork.
“Did you always know what you wanted to do?” Beverly asked Hannah. “Was becoming a social worker something you always dreamed of doing?”
“Not always, but for a very long time.” Hannah grew thoughtful. “I wanted to help people. In any small way I could.”
“So do I. And I don’t mean help them find their favorite brand of coffee.” Beverly sighed wistfully. “I want to make a difference. Stupid, I know.”
“Not stupid at all. I believe you can be whatever you put your mind to.” Hannah stood up. “And now I think we deserve dessert.” Hannah gathered up the plates and headed back to the kitchen. She returned a couple of minutes later with a rich chocolate cake. “You need some Chocolate Velvet Heaven.”
“I am not going to argue, and since tomorrow is my day off and I intend to go and convince the mountain rescue team they need me, I think I deserve it.”
“You do.” Hannah cut them both a large slice. “And if you need backup, I’m there. Girl power.”
“Brad is always coming in the store and saying they need volunteers for the mountain rescue team, especially during tourist season. As sheriff of Bear Creek, he takes responsibility for rounding up volunteers and the duty roster.” Butterflies fluttered in her stomach. Beverly hadn’t stepped out of her comfort zone since her family moved to Bear Creek and took over the general store. She had soon slipped into her role in the store, which included flirting outrageously with single men. But putting herself out there: going after something she wanted, and risking being turned down, that was scary.
“Hey, you’ll do great. They need women on the team,” Hannah told her.
“Yeah. But what if my reputation precedes me?” Beverly toyed with her cake. “I’ve probably flirted with every member of the team.”
“Except for Brad, since he’s been married forever.” Hannah looked shocked as she read Beverly’s expression. “You flirted with him too?”
“Of course, when I first moved to town. A man in uniform…” Beverly sat up straight in her chair. “Do you ever ask Knox to dress up in his uniform?”
“No.” Hannah opened her eyes wide. “No.”
Hannah shook her head. “Knox lost a lot of friends while on his last tour. It would be a mood-killer.”
Beverly’s shoulders sagged. “That must be terrible. I’m sorry I joked about it.”
“Don’t be silly. How were you to know?” Hannah scraped her plate clean. “That is some good cake.”
“I have to agree.” Beverly drank her wine, and got up from the table. “Come on, I’ll help you wash the dishes. Then I should get going.”
“You plan to eat and run?” Hannah asked.
“I need my beauty sleep.” Beverly walked to the kitchen. “And I’m sure sex-on-legs is waiting to come home.”
Hannah giggled. “He’s over at Jamie’s place. They are drinking beer while they paint the extension. It’s nearly finished. They’re having a last push to get it ready by the weekend.”
“Could you imagine having that many kids?” Beverly asked. Jamie was Knox’s best friend, and fellow retired soldier. He’d adopted two children and had two children of his own. Instead of moving, they were extending the family home to accommodate them all.
Hannah smiled wistfully. “I’d settle for one child.”
“Hey, it’ll happen. You guys have only been together a few weeks.”
“I just can’t wait to have a baby with Knox. I thought I could wait, because I love my career, but I want to complete our family.”
“You’ll make the perfect mom.”
“And you’ll make the perfect godmother,” Hannah said seriously.
“Yes, I have no wayward sisters, so I want you to be part of his or her life. To teach them how to have fun. If I ever get pregnant.” Hannah dumped the dishes in the sink.
“You will just have to practice more.” Beverly could not remember the last time she’d had sex. It was a long time ago. She might flirt like crazy, but she didn’t sleep around. Most people wouldn’t guess it, but she had enough self-respect to decide not to end up being a serial one-night stand.
Her skin tingled at the thought, and a deep ache in her core begged to be eased. She really did need to find a man.
Chapter Two – Liam
Liam placed his backpack on the counter. He was about to join the Bear Creek Mountain Rescue team. If they’d have him. While he was away, Leona was going to look after his store, which stocked everything you could ever need for a hike over the nearby mountains. “Hey, Leona, are you sure you can manage while I’m out?”
“Yes. There are a few tourists in town, but nothing I can’t handle.” Leona looked out of the window. “It’s a beautiful spring morning, you go and have fun.” She turned back to face him. “I don’t think you’ve left this store for a couple of weeks. People will begin to talk.”
“There’s so much to do.” Liam hefted the pack onto his shoulders. His muscles needed stretching, he’d planned to go out hiking over the mountain at every opportunity when he mo
“Nothing to do with that brother of yours?” Leona gave him a lopsided grin. “You are not him. Remember that.”
“I always remember it. I just hope Brad gives me a chance. It’s my first outing with the mountain rescue team.” He gave himself an appraising look. “Do I look professional?”
“Absolutely.” Leona walked across to him, and looked him up and down. “I asked Jacob to go easy on you.”
“You shouldn’t have.” Liam blushed a little.
“He’s my brother-in-law, and he knows how good you’ve been to me. You offered me this job when I needed it the most. I’ll always be grateful.” Leona was one of the first people to come into the store when Liam moved to Bear Creek and reopened it after his brother, Mike, was arrested for drug smuggling.
“Not as grateful as I am, Leona. I don’t think I could have done this without you.” It was Leona’s turn to blush. “I didn’t think I’d find anyone I could trust with my business. You know how hard it is, after someone close to you lets you down.”
“I do.” Leona met his eyes and smiled. “Now, if I can only see you settled down with a wife and a family, I’ll be happy.”
“Those are not my priorities right now.” Boy, did Leona believe that lie? No.
“I’ve seen the way you are with my boys. Jack and Harry adore you.”
“That’s because I can give them back when they are overexcited or need feeding.” He grinned as she pulled a face at him.
“I thought we agreed that honesty in our relationship was everything?” Leona arched her eyebrow and gave him a stern look.
“In our professional relationship.”
“Lie to yourself if you want, but don’t expect me to buy it.” She walked around the counter,and folded her arms. “Go on, you don’t want to be late.”
He leaned over and kissed her cheek. “Thanks for everything. And you are right, a family would make my life complete, but I’m not going out searching for her.”
by Harmony Raines have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes