Mountain Fire

Mountain Fire by Brenda Margriet Read Free Book Online

Book: Mountain Fire by Brenda Margriet Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brenda Margriet
Tags: Suspense
He softly kissed her bruised forehead, trailing his lips down her cheek to rub them gently against the mark on her chin. Icy hot feathers tickled down her spine.
    “Better?” he whispered.
    “Much,” she whispered back.
    Alex took her to an elegant restaurant in a renovated heritage house overlooking the Fraser River. Public areas had been restored to honour the original 1920’s fashion. The rooms were small, with three or four intimate tables in each. They were seated in a window nook with a sweeping vista of the silt laden river flowing below and the sandy cutbanks stretching above.
    There were few other diners. The maître d’, a middle-aged man with a complacent paunch and a paucity of hair, brought their drinks and took their meal orders. After he left they sat in a comfortable silence. June gazed contentedly out the window at the rush of water streaming past. When she turned back Alex was studying her yet again.
    She lifted an eyebrow. “What?”
    He tilted his head to the side. “Nothing. I like looking at you.”
    Self-consciously she lifted a hand to her forehead. “Even though I appear to have been dragged over the pavement?” she said. “Oh, wait, I was.”
    Her attempt at nonchalance didn’t lighten Alex’s stare. “Even though,” he said.
    She couldn’t hold his look any longer, and let her attention wander to the maître d’, ushering other diners to a table in the far corner. With a start she recognized one of the newcomers, and leaned forward to speak without being overheard. “See that man over there, the one with the curly dark hair and the goatee?”
    Alex’s eyes slipped casually across the room.
    “That’s Richard Fleetham, from RiverForce,” she said.
    “Who’s with him?”
    “I don’t know.”
    The other man was large and bulky, with an impression of strength, not fat. His hair was dark grey and combed aggressively back from a high forehead. His voice rumbled, heavy with an Eastern European, perhaps German, accent, when he spoke to the maître d’. Richard scanned the room casually. He saw June and his hand froze in mid-air as he accepted the menu.
    He excused himself from his companion and crossed to their table. “June! Whatever happened?”
    “It’s just a few scratches and bruises. Alex, I’d like you to meet Richard Fleetham. Richard, Alex Weaver.”
    Richard absently shook hands. “But, really, tell me what happened to your lovely face.”
    “I had a bit of an accident after the meeting last night,” she said. “A motorcyclist knocked me down.”
    His brows narrowed in concern. “Did he not see you?”
    “It was so quick. I’m not really sure how it happened.”
    Richard understood what she wasn’t saying. “You mean it was on purpose. Why on earth would someone do that to you? Did he take anything?”
    “Nothing. It’s all a bit of a mystery.”
    “I should say so. I’m certainly glad to see you’re okay. We wouldn’t want to lose you from our RiverForce team.” He glanced over to where a waiter was now presenting a bottle of wine to the heavyset man. “I must get back to my guest. It was a pleasure to meet you, Alex.”
    He started toward his table, then paused. “You wouldn’t be the same Alex that June was telling me about yesterday? The conservation officer she assisted?”
    “I am,” Alex said.
    “Any news on the investigation?”
    “Unfortunately not.”
    “It’s an awful situation.” Richard shook his head. “I wish you luck catching the criminals.”
    June watched him take his seat. He spoke quietly to the other man, who turned his head toward her. His eyes were a hard, pale blue, and an odd sense of disquiet crept across her shoulders as he surveyed her dourly. Then her view was blocked by the waiter, weaving through the tables with a plate in each hand, fingers protected with large, snowy white napkins, and she shook off her uneasiness.
    She and Alex dined on rare roast beef, fresh asparagus, and baked potatoes, and enjoyed a

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