Jed McMurtry is a police officer, who is recuperating from a knife wound, sustained in the line of duty. Strange things start to happen, not the least of which is finding out that someone has been watching his house. The last thing he’s expecting is to meet Cora Surrey.
He woke in a cold sweat to the sound of someone knocking on his front door. Stiff and uncomfortable, he slipped on a pair of gym shorts and hobbled to the living room. Whoever it was hadn’t stopped knocking.
“I’m coming!” he bellowed. “Give it a fucking rest!” Usually, only his brother or cousins made that much noise. The knocking continued. “Jesus, what’s the problem?” He flung open the door without paying attention.
A tall blonde nearly slapped him in the face. She looked angry and Jed was at a loss to know who she was. It wasn’t one of Vivica’s cousins. He knew them all with varying degrees of familiarity and was on good terms with them. This woman looked as if she wanted to rip his lungs out through his anus.
“May I help you?”
“I hope to God so. Are you Jed?”
“Yeah. Who are you?”
“Milly’s granddaughter, Cora. I’ve got a bone to pick with you.”
“Can it wait? I just woke up. I need to rock a serious piss. Sit.” He pointed to the couch.
Cora hesitated on the threshold before following him inside. She slammed his door shut with an impressive thud. Jed went to the small bathroom a few feet away. When he came back out, she was still standing by the door, tapping her foot impatiently. Jed nodded to her and wandered into the kitchen. Cora stalked after him.
“Excuse me! I want to talk to you.”
“Talk in here. I need coffee. You want?” He held up the pot.
Cora’s frown turned puzzled. “Don’t you want to know why I’m here?”
“I figure you’ll get to it. In the meantime, you woke me up. I didn’t sleep very well and I need caffeine. Have a seat.” He nodded to the table and wandered, still shirtless and barefoot, to the coffee pot.
Cora didn’t speak while he went through the routine of preparing his coffee. He poured two mugs, added cream and sugar and brought them to the table. He grimaced as he sat. Cora’s expression changed from angry to concerned when she saw him flinch. Jed took a gulp of his coffee and waited for her to speak. She took a tentative sip, followed by another, before riveting him with her glare.
“Did you know Grandma is holed up in her master bedroom closet?”
Jed arched an eyebrow. “No. And?”
“She said you told her to do it!”
Jed frowned, reviewing conversations he’d had with Milly. “Nope. I told her to find a spot in the house where she felt safe, but I didn’t specifically say she was to hide in the closet.”
“But she said…!”
Jed held up his hand as if directing traffic. Amazingly, Cora stopped talking.
“Your grandmother has been uneasy since Bear died. She called me at three o’clock one morning in full freak out mode. I told her to find a safe spot and wait until I called her. I’m guessing that the closet represents that to her. I never told her to stay there.”
Cora’s face softened. “I guess I owe you an apology,” she admitted with a slight laugh.
Jed raised an eyebrow.
“I said some awful things.”
Jed shook his head, confused. Cora tilted her head from side to side.
“While you were in the bathroom,” she added.
“So, you slandered an injured man? Wow, you’re kinda cruel, Miss Cora.”
She laughed hard, throwing back her head. Her long, blonde curls fell around her face and shoulders in a sunny waterfall. Her green eyes sparkled as she giggled. “Oh, I’m a total bitch. I came over here to rip you a new asshole.”
Jed glanced behind himself, rising from his chair as he looked at his ass. “I don’t need another one. This one works fine. Thanks, though. I know who to call if it ever stops up.”
“I can’t tell you how pissed off I was when I got over here.”
“Did Milly tell you what I do for a living?”
Cora shook her head.
“I’m a cop. Believe me, I could tell.”
© 2019 Dellani Oakes