Living in a small wooden cabin at the edge of a forest while solving the mystery of recent murders, Eli learns that the locals believe a man-beast is responsible. As an outsider, he is watched very closely, even though he is working with the local sheriff, a man whose effect upon him is uncomfortably arousing.
The forest near Eli’s cabin had only squirrels, deer, and other such animals inhabiting it, so the fact that two people had been killed by a wild beast clearly had the citizens worried. Why was Eli’s firm involved in such a case? Eli’s father and the county’s sheriff, Stanley Blake, were friends. Stanley had called Eli’s father, and after a flight that lasted a few hours and a short taxi drive later, Eli arrived in the area.
He looked at his wristwatch. Stanley would be coming up to the cabin in a few minutes to meet him. Eli patted his black hair down, but before he could walk out of the bathroom there was a knock at the front door. “Eli, are you there? Can I come in?” asked a voice, a voice that surprisingly made Eli’s heart jump excitedly.
Eli walked out of the bathroom and it took all of his willpower to stop his jaw from dropping. Standing in front of him was a handsome, black-haired, tall, well-built man, and the fact that he was in his sheriff’s uniform wasn’t helping the matter.
“You must be Eli?” the man smiled.
Eli tried not to stare. “Yes,” he nodded. “Stanley?”
“At your service,” Stanley smiled. “I’m so glad you could come.”
Eli was expecting Stanley to be older, much older than the young man standing in front of him. He was probably twenty-four or twenty-five years old.
“My pleasure,” Eli smiled back and shook Stanley’s hand. He couldn’t explain it but he could feel his body grow warm as Stanley took his hand in his. “So…so, the murders,” said Eli as he let go of Stanley’s hand. He didn’t make eye contact with Stanley. He felt uncomfortable, even a bit aroused. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t seen handsome men before, but something about Stanley felt different to him.
He didn’t know if it was his imagination but he felt as if he were being followed. He quickened his pace as he noticed someone just a few feet behind him. The person was smaller than he and Eli knew no one would risk a mugging in broad daylight. Becoming annoyed, Eli spun around to confront his supposed stalker.
“Why were you following me?” Eli asked.
“I noticed you come out of the pub,” answered Rupert. “You’re new here, right? Why are you here? Why would you come to a small county where two murders have already taken place? My mom said not to talk to you when she saw you yesterday. I was with her when the taxi dropped you at the cabin near the woods and now…”
“Hold up, kid,” said Eli. “That’s a lot of questions you’re asking me. Why are you talking to me when your mother told you not to do so?”
“She’s always wary of people,” Rupert rolled his eyes. “And besides, it’s not every day that one gets to meet a man-beast.”
“A man what?” asked Eli.
“Don’t act as if you don’t know what I’m talking about,” laughed Rupert. “You know! A man-beast! Half beast, half man, with an unquenchable thirst for human flesh and blood. “You are a man-beast, right? Can you make me one, too?”
Eli looked at Rupert as if he were crazy. Not only was he being accused of being a man-beast, but he was asking him to turn him into one, too. “Just go home, kid,” said Eli.
“Oh, come on!” said Rupert. “I won’t tell anyone. No one needs to know.”
“Go home, Rupert,” said Eli.
“If you ever change your mind, you can always track me by my scent,” Rupert yelled at Eli as he continued walking towards the station.
Eli rolled his eyes. There was definitely something weird about the people living in the county. Eli knew about werewolves from the books and movies he had seen, but he had never read about man-beasts.
“His Unexpected Mate,” paranormal romance by T.L. West, is available from Apple, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, All Romance ebooks, Kobo ebooks, and Coffeetime Romance. Our website is http://www.beautobeau.com.