Beary Guarded (Polar Bliss Book 2)

By: Ruby Shae


“Great,” she said, deadpan.

She should have let him end it today.

“You know what I find funny?” Ryker smiled.

Funny?

What could he possibly find funny in this conversation?

“What?” she asked, slightly irritated.

“You said you wanted a puppy,” he laughed, “and a week later, a dog walks into Polar Bliss. What are the odds?”

“Oh, please,” she said, trying not to laugh. “The two things have nothing to do with each other.”

But she had to admit, it was strange.

“Right,” Ryker said, stretching out the word as if he knew some big secret. “Let’s finish that wall so we can go home.”

They put all the trash back in the bags, and while Ryker took it out to the dumpster, she finished the last portion of the wall, and then they cleaned up the paint supplies together.

Later that night, she thought about Ryker’s observation again, and smiled.

She knew it didn’t mean anything, but she couldn’t deny the fact that the wolf’s presence was an odd coincidence. She hadn’t met that many wolf shifters, but she’d heard they hated being referred to as dogs. She briefly wondered what the sheriff thought about it, before shaking her head to clear it.

It didn’t matter what he thought, and she would never get the chance to ask him anyway.

The next time she saw him, which she hoped would be soon, he would say what he had to say, and her heart would silently break, mourning the life she knew she would never have.



***



Nate hung up the phone and sighed.

“Another one?” John asked.

“Yep.”

“Lord, that’s over a dozen calls in two hours.”

“Sixteen,” Nate growled.

Fuck! He didn’t have time for this.

“Sixteen? Damn, that’s more calls than we’ve had in the past year. I’ll take this one, and the next few,” John said. “They’ll stop once they see you’ve let the old man loose.”

Nate doubted it, but he didn’t say as much. Unfortunately, he’d been down this road before. Whenever he took a new job, fake calls from badge bunnies came in for days. When he’d found Riley—he’d learned her name from her brothers the next day—he’d hoped to stop the calls before they started by showing everyone who he belonged to. Of course, his mate had other plans, and he hadn’t seen her since.

After he left Polar Bliss on Saturday, he went shopping for a barbeque grill, and then groceries. With the cabinets and fridge stocked, he unpacked the few boxes he had and put everything away. Because he’d moved so many times, and spent most of his time in apartments, he’d had very few possessions to begin with, but when he’d bought the house, he’d downsized even more.

Aside from the bed, a dresser, and a small end table, he’d sold the rest of his furniture. As he ate dinner over the kitchen sink the night before, he realized getting rid of everything might not have been the best plan, but he didn’t regret it.

In fact, if his mate ever decided to talk to him, he’d be more than happy to let her pick out his new stuff, or or at the very least, help him decide what to buy. Sadly, he knew she would never come to him, and so far, he couldn’t’ seem to catch a break.

Sunday, he’d woken anxious and desperate to see the curvy beauty again, but when he arrived at the coffee shop, he was faced with her two brothers. He’d ordered a Polar Bare, and waited at the counter, but it had taken them an hour and a half to kindly reveal she had the whole day off. The older of the two had seemed to take pity on him, and after introducing himself, and his younger brother, he’d shared his sister’s name—Riley—and told him she’d be working today.

Nate had left the place hopeful, and went shopping for his office supplies.

Today was his first day on the job and he’d planned on visiting Polar Bliss during his first break, but neither him nor John had gotten a break yet today. Jake had worked the previous night, Chris had worked the mid-shift, and he and John had been answering the phone all morning.

He’d taken the first few calls so the public could get to know his face, and he could get to know the town and its residents, but that had been a mistake. It seemed the more people saw him, the more calls came in, and he was beyond annoyed.

He didn’t want to turn away anyone who really needed help, but after sixteen calls ranging from missing animals, suspicious men roaming the streets, and fake burglaries, he’d had enough. He’d been lenient so far, but if he didn’t get a break soon, the next person who called was going to get a lesson on exactly what constitutes a need to call the local police, and the penalty for wasting the sheriff’s time, money and resources.

John took the most recent call, and intercepted another on his way out the door. Surprisingly, the old man had been right. When word got out that Nate was no longer leaving the office, the calls almost immediately died. When John returned, they both breathed a sigh of relief, and an hour later, he left the office on foot and headed to Polar Bliss.

Walking had been another mistake.

Several residents, both men and women, stopped to chat with him along the way, and welcome him to the town, among other things. Thankfully, he’d always been good about identifying genuine, caring citizens from those who were just looking for a good time. He engaged with nearly everyone, but he quickly dismissed those looking for something he wasn’t willing to give.