A sneak peak at Polar Shift, chapter 2. It’s not edited, so be aware if that!
Holly shivered, tingles racing through her body. “It feels like I’m being…” She frowned, peering around the diner until her eyes found the big man setting in the corner. She dragged in a sharp breath as he stared at her, need flashing across his face for a moment before a shield of indifference slide into place.
“Being what?” Kandy asked, following Holly’s gaze to the guy at the corner table. “Ahh…” Sig was staring at Holly, his face stoic. Anyone observing the two of them together would realize something had taken place between them before coming to Mistletoe. She’d asked Holly once, but the Holly declared it was the past and better left there.
She’d asked Rudy if he had any notion what had transpired, since he’d known Sig from thier SEAL days. But he’d just shook his head and grumbled something along the lines of it not being any of his business.
“Come on, hon,” Kandy touched Holly’s arm. “Let’s get you seated and fed.” She waited for the other woman’s gaze to break away from Sig’s and focus back on her. “Holly?”
With a shiver, Holly looked from Sig to Kandy, and with a quiet sigh, nodded. “Thanks, Kandy, but I’ll just take something to go.” She lifted a hand and rubbed her right temple. “I have a mountain of paper work to finish on the poisoned shifters that were released today. I’ll eat when I get back to med center.” Both women walked to the bar and Holly slid onto a stool before picking up a menu from where it was stuck between the salt and pepper shakers. Kandy walked around the bar and stopped in front of Holly.
“Are you positive you want it to go, Holly?” She peeked to where Sig was sitting, noting his eyes had followed them and were locked onto Holly’s back.
“He’s staring at me, isn’t he?” Holly asked with a sigh.
Kandy nodded. “Yeah.” She narrowed her gaze on Sig. “Try to ignore him.”
Holly gave a low snort before shaking her head. “Easier said than done, Kandy.” She stared down at the menu. “I’m just beat right now. That’s the only reason seeing him bothers me.” Lier! Her inner voice grunted.
That same voice had called her a coward when she’d wanted to turn around and run back to Seattle on seeing Sig Olson stalking toward her in the small Deadhorse, Alaska airport. To say it was a shock to him was like saying a hurricane was gentle summer’s rain. Holly shook her head, struggling to clear out the memory of that encounter. Lost in thought, she started when Kandy cleared her throat.
“So… what will it be tonight, girlfriend?”
“Umm…” Holly wrinkled her nose as she decide what she wanted. “I’ll have the…”
“Rudy’s Kickass Mac n Cheese?” Kandy was already writing it down on her notepad as she chuckled. Rudy’s had great food and the best Alaskan brewed ales and Holly told herself she was going to try everything that was on the menu at least once. But not tonight.
“God, I’m so predictable!” Holly grimaced. “Yeah, the mac n cheese.” So much for trying something new, she thought. But damn, Rudy’s mac n cheese was to die for. Just thinking about food had her stomach rumbling loudly . She felt her face heating up and realized she was turning a nice pink shade.
“Please, tell me only the two of us heard that?” Holly groaned, her hands covering her face in embarrassment. She dropped her hands and peered up as Kandy started to giggle.
“I… I want to say we were the only two, but…” The words sounded a bit breathless, her giggles turning into chuckles. “The place is full of shifters, elves, and who knows what else. All with super-duper hearing.” Kandy sucked in a tremendous breath before blowing it all right back out, struggling to reclaim some control. Once she had, she sobered and glowered at her friend. “Did you even eat today?” There was worry in her voice.
“I had a banana and a cappuccino at work this morning.” Kandy had to lean over the counter to catch her words.
“And that was when this morning?” Kandy stepped back, frowning, palms on her curvy hips.
“Umm… around six or six-thirty this morning.”
Kandy threw up her arms and rolled her eyes. “No wonder your belly is loud!” She turned and with a few brief steps slapped Holly’s order on the counter between the bar and kitchen. “One mac n cheese to go, sweetcheeks!” A growl sounded and Rudy’s rich, rough voice came from kitchen.
“Told ya, babe, don’t call me that while we’re workin’.”
Holly laughed as Kandy stuck her tongue out and blew a raspberry at her mate. There was an abundance of love there and she envied the bond between the blond and her reindeer shifter mate. She’d had that, once, with… Stop! Don’t think about him. Kandy turned her attention back to her friend and shook a finger at her.
“For god’s sake, Holly, you’re a doctor! You know better then go with eating.” She huffed. “I mean, you get on other people about taking care of themselves, especially in this weather.”
“Yeah, I realize that, Kandy.” Holly admitted. She was aware that she didn’t always follow her own advice. “I’ll try harder, OK?” She grinned.
“OK, OK,” Kandy narrowed her eyes as she studied her friend. “But if you don’t, I’ll call Jamie and we’ll both show up to be sure you taking care of yourself.”
“Order up!” The shout came from the kitchen and Kandy walked to where Rudy had deposited a large, insulated bag on the counter. “One mac n cheese to go!”
Kandy puckered her kips and blew her mate a kiss. He smirked and wiggled his eyebrows at her.
“Yeah… promises, promises, big guy.” She teased as she walked back to Holly. “Here you go.” She handed the bag to her. “It should remain hot until you get back to the med center.”
“Thanks, Kandy.” Holly reached over the counter and squeezed her hand. Looking toward the kitchen, she yelled back “Thanks, Rudy!” He grunted at her and brandished the large spatula he was using in her direction.
“Be careful out there, Holly.” Kandy tilted her head toward the exit. “It’s nasty cold out there. Where are parked?”
“I’m not.” Kandy’s eyebrows wrinkled at that. “I got a lift with one of the lab techs who was headed this way. He dropped me off a few from blocks here.”
“So how are getting back?”
“I’ll order an Uber and wait outside for it.” Mistletoe may be small but they did have most things big towns did, Uber was one of them. Well…sort of Uber. Theirs consisted of one snowmobile, a newer snow cat, and one eight dog sled team. Kandy frowned.
“You shouldn’t be standing around outside in this weather.” Her gazed shifted past Holly to a place behind her. Holly tensed, her body stiffening, tingles racing up and down her spine.
“She’s not going to be.” Sig said from behind Holly. Deep and smoky, it sent quivers through her. “She’s leaving with me.”