The Eden Hall Series

Protecting Eden

Protecting Eden - Vol. 4

Chicago Police Detective Sean Clary returns to active duty after a knife injury only to get an assignment that turns out to be his greatest challenge.  His motto had always been "Protect and Serve", but he'd never been in a position to possibly lose his future by protecting his past.

Carena Cabot shows him that although he is a unique man, there is a woman out there just like him and she forces him to finally face himself.

ISBN/EAN13:  1434840735 / 9781434840738
Page Count:  432
Binding Type:  US Trade Paper
Trim Size:  5.25"x8"
Language:  English

“Your coffee is on the counter,” Sean said as he went back to reading the paper.  The paperboy had startled him earlier when he’d thrown the paper on the porch, but it gave him the rush he needed to get through the last few hours.  “I didn’t know what you take in it.”

“Everything,” Rena said, opening the cabinet for the creamer, “a little creamer and lots of sugar.  I see you found the paper.”

“Yeah, and your paperboy is lucky he’ll live to tell about it.”

“Why?  Was there a problem?”  Rena hadn’t had any difficulty with the paperboy.  The paper had always been on the porch each morning when she walked out to leave.

“No, other than I almost shot him,” Sean said without looking up.

It was too early for her mind to process things promptly, and she just stood staring at him, trying to decipher why a paperboy would need to be shot.

“Keep staring at me and I might do a trick,” Sean said, finally looking up slowly with that mischievous smile that knotted her stomach.  “You’re not a morning person, are you?”

Rena finally smiled as she managed to sort out part of what he said.  “I’m just a little slow.  Why would you shoot the paperboy?”  Maybe he was a gang member, too.

Sean leaned back to look at her, which just made his smile widen.  She was in a fog but it was a smoky sexy fog.  “I heard the thump of it hitting the porch and nobody told me we got the paper.  Of course, it didn’t wake the boss in there, not even when I opened the door and went out to shoot him.”

Rena giggled as the image formed in her mind and she sat down at the table.  “Did you scare the poor boy?”

“I don’t know.  We’ll have to wait and see, but I bet he brings it up and hands it to me tomorrow.”

Rena lowered her face into her hand to giggle again.  She wasn’t used to laughing so early in the morning, but touching her face reminded her of how she must look.  It was too late now to hide though.  “Okay, I’m caught up and I’m ready for your trick,” she said setting her coffee cup down on the table and clasping her hands in her lap.

Sean picked up the drugstore sale flyer he had pulled from the middle of the newspaper.  It was slick heavy paper, bordered in a pale pink and Rena watched as he folded it diagonally into a triangle.  Opening it up, he folded the edges in until it resembled a miniature kite.  He kept folding the edges in and she wasn’t able to follow the steps until he sat it in front of her and went back to reading the newspaper.

She reached out and touched it with one finger, scooting it an inch on the flat bottom as she smiled.  “It doesn’t bite,” he said as he watched her stare at it.  She really did move, think and speak in slow motion in the morning, and he thought it was cute.  “Are you waiting for it to quack?  I’m good but I’m not that good.”

“Of course not,” she said, smiling as she picked it up off the table and sat it in the palm of her hand.  “Swans don’t quack.” 

“What do they do?”  Sean asked.

“There are many different kinds of swans, but most of them have a soft musical laughter made from long whoops and clucking sounds.  Of course the mute swan isn’t really mute.  That one hisses and barks, probably frustrated with his lack of communication skills.  The male swan is the cob and the female is called a pen.  Their babies are called cygnets and…”

“I know I’m probably going to be sorry I asked, but why do you know so much about swans?”

“They’re important in a lot of religions and cultures, even revered in some, like Hinduism.  Massage is also an integral part of some religious and cultural rites, so it came up from time to time when I was studying.  They’re beautiful, elegant birds and I’ve always liked them.  You know all of the swans in Britain are considered owned by the Queen of England.  That must be how you know you’re a queen, when you own all the swans in your country.  They’re honorable birds too…”

“God, you sound like my roommate,” Sean said, dropping his head in his hand.

“He probably knows all about them, too, because there’s an Irish legend.  You should ask him to tell you about the Children of the Lir.”

“Oh yeah, he needs that kind of encouragement.”

She stood up and leaned forward to cup his chin in her palm.  “Well, I love it.  Thank you,” she said, kissing his cheek lightly.  She picked up her coffee cup and turned to walk back into her bedroom.

“What makes them honorable?”  Sean asked as she walked away.

Glancing over her shoulder, she smiled.  “They mate for life.”  Tossing her hair back, she laughed at his bewildered expression and went to her bedroom to get ready for work.

Sean chuckled at her comment.  He recognized that female sneer she tossed at him.  Women always thought men were against that concept.  Just because he didn’t think he could do it, didn’t mean he didn’t admire those that could.