Wednesday, June 6, 2012
And The Plot Thickens...
Tom hated it when the sheriff stared him down like this. He couldn’t tell if the old man was going to agree, disagree, or go totally ape-shit on him. Added to that was the fact that the sheriff was human, blessedly clueless about the fact he enforced the law in a county that had more shifters than humans, or that some of his deputies—namely Tom—were canids that hated to have to hold eye contact human-style. Heck, Tom wasn’t sure if Sheriff Coletrain even knew shifters existed of if he was simply too determined to not notice anything odd.
Or maybe he did know. He'd been sheriff for twenty years and had been a deputy for another twenty years before that. No way a good cop could remain oblivious for that long an no realize something was up.
"Tell me again," the sheriff rumbled in a voice too deep and gravely to fit his slight, elderly appearance. Tom held his breath a moment, then recited his story again.
"White female, age 26, licensed PI in Washington State, good rep with the Seatle PD. No one there knows anything about her being shady."
"And yet she turns up here, apparently running drugs," the sheriff cut in.
"And she gave herself away to me the moment she saw me," Tom said, agreeing. "She's got to be up to something but I'll be damned if I can figure out what it might be."
Sheriff Coletrain nodded his head, chewing on his pinkey finger, with a thoughtful look on his craggy face.
"Do it," he said after a few minutes. "Be careful, watch for a trap. For the love of god, try to thickly her story out. But go ahead and go along with it. For a chance to get that pimp off the streets for good, I'm willing to risk maybe looking a bit silly.
Do it, Tom thought. That was a double edged sword if ever there was one. The old man had meant go along with the informant. Tom’s body had heard go ahead and do the female. Both were risky but only first option was a good idea.
Finding information about her had been ridiculously easy, like she’d made no effort to hide who she was. As a PI, she would have known that, too. A quick check with the bus company on passenger manifests led him right to her. What he’d found out reassured him slightly that she wasn’t setting him up—Sheriff Coletrain would never have told him to go along with whatever hairbrained scheme she had planned otherwise. She was a good PI with a sterling rep and had literally delivered herself to him the moment she got off the bus. But it bugged him that he could not figure out what she was up to. Of course, with as easy as she’d made it to figure out who she was, he should probably be reassured that she’d made her “real” purpose here so hard to figure out.
Jenna grinned when she saw the selection of “herbal perfumes” she found at the local drug store. If she’d had any doubts that Talbot’s Peak, Montana was a shifter town, this display would have gotten rid of it. Regular human perfume was usually an offensive chemical train wreck to a shifter nose. Like most shifters living in the human world, Jenna had long ago learned to mix her own scents to make something resembling perfume using nature plant extracts. Clove oil could be used in a pinch to tone down the scent of an in-heat female but it made her smell like cough drops to humans.
She picked up a likely looking bottle labeled “Cool Spice” and read the label. Extract of clover, all-spice, elk musk, and cloves. She popped the cap off and took a sniff, then grinned again. Not only would it cut the scent of her mating hormones, it appealed to her inner canine and would even pass for normal perfume to a human nose. Perfect!
She browsed for a few more minutes then made herself head to the register with the bottle of Cool Spice and two other perfumes, as well. No way she was passing up a find like this, even if money was a bit tight. Besides, they were only five bucks a bottle. It wasn’t that big of a splurge.
Jenna wasn’t all the way out the door when another unusual scent hit her. It was one she knew only slightly but it raised her hackles in a bad way. She looked around and found an immensely large—and just slightly fat—man looking right at her. Jenna let her eyes sweep past him as if she was looking for something, but she knew she had her mark. And now she was very glad she’d recruited the sexy cop to help her take down her mark. There was no goddamned way she was going to play nice with a Tasmanian tiger!