Catching the Cat Burglar

Catching the Cat Burglar by Cassie Wright Read Free Book Online

Book: Catching the Cat Burglar by Cassie Wright Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cassie Wright
then pours a glass for each of us, leaves the bottle, and steps away.
    Chase raises his glass. "A toast. To being unprofessional, and all the delights it may bring."
    I clink my glass with his, a sense of excitement and arousal expanding within me. Before I can stop myself, I say, "Just how unprofessional are we talking here?"
    Chase pauses, glass at his lips. "Very." Then he drinks, smiling as he does so. He is so damn hot. With his shirt collar open, I can see the upper ridges of his pecs. He's got some crazy definition going on, lean and hard-bodied. I want to unbutton that shirt. I want to explore the hard expanse of his muscles, their contours. I want to strip him and lick him from head to toe. The dirty things I could do to him. The dirty things I know he could do to me. Shit. Talk about unprofessional!
    I take a sip from my wine, and almost moan. It's rich, velvety, an amazing Pinot Noir that dances seductively across my palate like an Aurora Borealis of heavenly goodness.
    "So," says Chase, setting his glass down. "You never told me what you'd leave the library for. Do you have something lined up?"
    Oh, good. Relatively safe conversation. A chance to collect myself. I nod, sitting forward. "I've been volunteering for the Honeycomb Falls Police Department for six months now. We only have two full-time officers alongside the chief, so a half dozen volunteers like me help keep an eye on things."
    Chase looks genuinely surprised. "You're a volunteer police officer?"
    I scowl at him. "What? Why is that so hard to imagine?"
    He grins. "Actually, it makes total sense. I can picture it now. At some point fining kids for late book returns and patrolling the stacks to ensure orderly behavior just wasn't enough. You needed more. You needed a gun."
    "I do not need a gun, thank you very much. There's almost no violent crime in Honeycomb Falls. At all. And even if there was, I wouldn't shoot anybody." I pause. "Though now there's this wolf in town. A very dangerous shifter. The chief said he's a wanted killer."
    "I heard," said Chase, face becoming sober. "A warning played on the radio this afternoon, and there are warning flyers posted around town."
    "That guy I would need a gun for." I shiver. "But let's not talk about that."
    "Agreed." He leans forward, and for a moment I think he's going to take my hand. "Tell me more about why you want to be a police officer."
    I've got butterflies in my stomach. Am I really sitting here with this impossibly hot and wonderfully enigmatic and flirtatious man? Is he genuinely curious about me? I look into his eyes, and see that yes, he really, really is. "My father was a police officer in New York. We moved here when he retired, almost twenty years ago. He never talks much about his time on the force, but I know it shaped who he was. He's a strong, dignified man. He takes pride in his service. He takes pride in having helped his community. And I've always admired him for that. For dedicating his life to helping people. Making them safe. Protecting them."
    Chase nods, listening closely, but betraying no reaction. "Are your parents still around?"
    "No." I laugh fondly. "The winters here were too brutal. They both moved down to Florida five years ago. I visit them when I can. Sometimes they come up for the spring or the fall. What about you? Do you have family?"
    He flashes me a smile. "Who doesn't? I think our waitress is getting impatient. Are you ready to order?"
    I haven't even glanced at the menu. I pick it up, sipping a little more wine, and then realize that thus far Chase has evaded every question I've asked him. I've learned absolutely nothing about him. I glance at him over the top of my menu. What's he hiding?
    We order, and the conversation flows. Chase reveals himself to be consistently sharp, humorous, and yet I never quite manage to pierce that veil of mystery he hides behind. I do manage to learn that he's originally from Seattle, that his family is still out there, and that his

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