Friday, May 27, 2011

Protect and Serve: Hounding the Beat by Sharon Marie Bidwell

Protect and Serve: Hounding the Beat

by Sharon Maria Bidwell
Cover art: Bryan Keller
ISBN: 978-1-60521-640-9
Genre(s): Paranormal, Humor & Satire
Theme(s): Ménage, Bisexual and More, Shapeshifters, Men and Women in Uniform
Series: Protect and Serve
Length: Novella
Bobby loves his job, but he loves his fellow police officer Chantelle even more. Unfortunately, they work in the same department, and they will need to make some life-altering decisions soon. Some lives have already altered. Take his friend, Sam: a drunken driver has left him with a damaged leg and permanent limp. Sam's rethinking his career and his future for several reasons, one being that he's very much in love with Bobby, and a little in love with Chantelle. If explaining to Sam that they are happy to consider a ménage relationship doesn't complicate things, how is Bobby to tell Sam that he and Chantelle can turn furry at will?
But even if his voice doesn't turn a little "husky" in the attempt, Bobby first has to live long enough to explain. Someone out there has a vendetta, and ideas that may end their future before it's even begun.
Protect and Serve: Hounding the Beat
Sharon Maria Bidwell
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Sharon Maria Bidwell

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"I think I'll leave my helmet just where it is and carry you to the shower."
She pursed her lips and cocked her head, considering. "Fine, we can do that. Then you can do something else for me."
"What's that?"
"You can end this fight with Sam."
Bobby did nothing to suppress a groan. He pulled out of her, instantly aware of a feeling he could only liken to homesickness striking him in the general direction of his dick. It wanted to return to where it had been so nicely nestled and comfortable. "We are not fighting," he said, unsure whether he addressed the Sam issue, or was arguing with his cock. Down boy. No. You can't go back there. Well, you can... in a few minutes, in the shower. Patience.
"Maybe not a fight as such." Chantelle lay there ignoring the hand he held out to her to pull her to her feet. She seemed oblivious to any concerns that she might leave a wet patch on the seat. Great. Even that thought was turning him on. Both of them looked at his dick as it betrayed him. Stop waving at her.
"Bobby, he's miserable."
"He's moody."
"Well, yes, but more so since I came on the scene." Chantelle toyed with her navel, one finger circling, drawing his gaze down to the action. She lay naked, one leg out, one pulled back, heel on the edge of the sofa, knee swaying side to side. He got little flashes of flushed and distended lips, and had to fight not to fall to his knees to kiss them. If he did that while they were having this conversation, she wouldn't let him worship her. She'd box him around the ears with her knees, and then clamp his head in a vice with her thighs. She gazed up at him, pouting. "You know he loves you."
Bobby took a deep breath. It wasn't the first time she'd told him, but he'd heard it the first time only last week. "I'm sorry. I just don't see it. He's never said anything, given me any such indication."
"As far as he's concerned, you're straight."
Bobby deliberately glowered at her.
"Fine, macho man. You know what I mean." She kicked at one of his legs. "You're policemen. How many gay police do you know who are obvious about it? It's not as if another man would be a big deal for you, but Sam wasn't to know that. He wasn't about to tell you he loved you and lose your friendship, or risk losing your respect. I know you wouldn't have reacted that way, but he didn't. Still doesn't."
He couldn't argue with the scenario she presented to him. Sam had been a good policeman before some drunken bastard had aimed the stolen car he was driving at him, and Sam had ended up with a pronounced limp and a desk job. Analyst. Yeah, right. Just the right job for Sam... not!
Chantelle had taken over Sam's position in the department, and Bobby had fallen instantly and secretly in love with her -- secretly to anyone but Sam who had seen it in his eyes the moment he looked at her. Sam had warned him to tone down his reaction to her before everyone in the station realised. He had done nothing to come between them, when he could have so easily blabbed. If Sam loved him as Chantelle said he did, that's what Bobby called heroic.
Undoubtedly sensing his feelings, Chantelle said, "I know it eats you up. You wouldn't have met me if Sam hadn't been hurt. We both sort of owe him in a way."
Crouching, Bobby met her gaze. "What would you have me do?"
She shrugged. "If it were possible, would you shy from a relationship with Sam?"
"You mean if I'd known, would I have done something about his feelings?"
She hesitated, and then nodded. Bobby gave the idea his attention.
"Maybe. I like Sam well enough."
Chantelle raised an eyebrow.
"Fine. I love the guy. I just hadn't thought of Sam sexually."
"Because he's a man?"
Bobby stared at her. "Because he's human," he said slowly, deliberately. "To be with Sam, I would have had to explain what I am. I'm sure I don't have to explain why." His penis sometimes behaved the way any canine's did, and if he "tied" to Sam while inside him, it would have taken some explaining. He could see it now, having to hold the other man down while he spat and cursed at him, just so he wouldn't injure himself by trying to pull away. That was the best course of events he could have hoped for. He'd hate to see fear in Sam's eyes.
"So you've as much to be afraid of as Sam, maybe more."
"I guess. It was never an issue because --"
"Because you were too blind to see he loved you. Hell, Bobby, I can smell the desire coming from him every time he's near you. Why can't you?"

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