Thursday, May 8, 2014

GEEK IN THE WOODS by Cheryl Dragon

GEEK IN THE WOODS by Cheryl Dragon 

Major construction disrupts more than Ray Hooker’s life; it rattles his small town with a secret.

As sexy genius Eric Ridgeway continues building his state-of-the-art think tank, the town’s shifter population is terrified their identities will be uncovered by the group of incoming scientists. When fear drives vandals to slow construction, Ray helps Eric defend his property. Their relationship heats up and, in order to protect Eric, Ray reveals that he’s a bear shifter.

Now, not only is his secret out of the bag, but Ray needs to decide if loving Eric is worth the risk of discovery by other scientists. None of that will matter if their newfound attraction can’t outlast fear, lies and distrust!



The talk all over Bear Cove was about the big construction machines rolling in and out as work was done on a large piece of land. The small town shared a boarder with Greenville, Maine, but the new property owner wasn’t from either place. Ray Hooker didn’t like the unsettled feeling change brought to the small town he loved, but he’d adapt.

He walked into Bear Cove’s only gay bar, The Black Den, and nodded to a few people. The well-maintained building looked more like a hunting lodge with flannel and a touch of flair. He knew all of the people there had the same question on their mind. They wanted to ask Ray what he knew. Since he ran the local handyman business and matched men to projects and work, he knew the business and local contractors.

Grabbing a stool at the bar, Ray smiled at his old pal behind it. Gus had a talent for listening, like every good bartender, but Gus went even further. He always had a feeling about what troubled people. Even when they were little kids. He always seemed interested and kept things to himself, which was why Ray tried not to impose too much.

“What’s new?” Gus asked.

Ray sighed and looked around. The music actually stopped and people gathered. “We all know a new man has come to town. All that construction has meant some added work around here so let’s not get negative. The new owner is a genius. The eccentrics like to have a lot of land and build their dreams. He’s clearly a millionaire and a scientist from Princeton and Stanford.”

“Eric Ridgeway. He’s staying at the Bear Cove Inn,” said a young man who worked at the inn.

“Dr. Ridgeway is a PhD in environmental something or other. I looked him up. Very rich, very well connected, and very smart.” Thad, Ray’s other best friend, folded his arms.

Ray smiled at Thad, who was the local tech head. Until now, Thad had always been the smartest guy in town.

“A tree hugger?” someone asked.

“A scientist,” Thad repeated. “We have to be careful. He’s not just here to save an owl or hunt some game.”

Ray traded a look with Gus. “Thad’s right. We need to get the word out. All shifters need to be on extra alert. Be very careful when and where you shift. No unnecessary risks. We don’t need any scientists to uncover the secret here.”

“Maybe we can get rid of him?” suggested Matthew.

The young hothead was exactly what Ray had been worried about and why he hadn’t broken the bad news sooner. He needed to see the truth for himself. That building was massive. Plenty of scientists had to be coming. “None of that. He’s bought land legally. He can build whatever he wants. Plans are for a think tank.”

“What’s that?” Gus asked.

“A place where geniuses get together and debate, work, and solve the mysteries of the universe,” Thad said.

“So far none of those think tanks have worked out then, I guess.” Gus laughed.

There were snickers and mutterings from the patrons. The bar drew men from Bear Cove and Greenville. Here there was no secret of shifters living alongside humans. But outsiders were eyed with suspicion.

“He might not be around much. They might stick to their think tank. Do their work and go away. The building will be big enough to house them so they might not mingle with the population. We don’t need to panic,” Ray said.

“We’re being invaded by scientists. Men who study, investigate, and dissect things for a living. I don’t want to be cut up or locked in a cage and tested on like a lab rat.” Matthew scowled.

A couple of his friends nodded in agreement. Ray didn’t like the crowd’s growing agitation... The sight of tense muscles and clenched fists wasn’t good.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We need to be careful. Not giveaway our secret. We’ve done it plenty of times. Tourists come in every summer. Plenty of the humans around here have friends or family come to visit. We can do this. Avoid the geeks if you like, but don’t harass them. Making them suspicious won’t help anyone. The sheriff has to do his job, not keep our secret. This think tank could be good. It might mean permanent jobs. Don’t panic because one new guy comes to town,” Ray said.

He didn’t want to add that the attractive man with glasses he’d spied at the construction site was lean and not overly tall but solid. That the guy had brown hair, blue eyes, and a calm way about him. That Ray wanted to know the scientist better, not run him off.


No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...