Daily Archives: May 1, 2017

Matthew’s Present

Matthew’s Present by Sarah Hadley Brook

I won a copy of this book in a drawing and I couldn’t be more pleased. I not only read a delightful story, but was introduced to a new author.

Who doesn’t remember their first kiss? I remember mine, and it was sixty-two years ago.

Matthew and Tyler both remember that day back in high school even though they never saw each other again. It took a six-year-old’s whisper into Santa’s ear to bring them together.

Although it’s meant as a story about two men falling in love, I saw more in it than that. I saw a sister who accepted and loved her brother enough to teach her six-year-old daughter that Uncle Matthew would rather have a boyfriend than a girlfriend. Admittedly, I guessed what Hannah asked Santa for, but didn’t know how he would deliver it.

My rating – 5 stars

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The Adventures of Damien and Drew – chapter one

The Adventures of Damien and Drew

Part I

Damien and the Wolf

Chapter one

Damien Talon looked down at the rural gravel road. No traffic was visible for at least five miles in either direction. As he began descending, the talons wrapped around the handlebars of the big motorcycle transformed into hands. By the time the wheels of the bike hit the gravel, dragon had become fully human, and the bright morning sun hit his champagne-blond hair warming the top of his head after the chill of flight.

He was tired of following dead-end leads in this case. After six months, he’d found no sign of his quarry and was beginning to think the man had completely disappeared. This was the part of his job he hated. Hopefully he could bring this guy in alive. He hated the fact that his last case had ended in the culprit’s death before he could face his accusers.

His mind wandered to the last lead he’d followed. The person there bore no resemblance at all to Jake Bush. The two nights in the company of the bear shifter who’d provided the false lead had been enjoyable, but he wasn’t someone Damien would want to have around for any length of time. Was he ever going to find someone to fill the void in his heart left by James nearly a hundred years ago when he was killed with a silver blade? That was one problem with living so long. Just about the time you thought happiness would last forever, someone died and you were left alone. Maybe someday he’d find his ‘happily ever after’.

Damien parked the silver Harley in front of the police department of Oak Grove, stepped off the bike, brushed his hair out of his eyes, and looked up and down the street. He thought it strange that there was no one visible in the middle of the morning. A chill ran up his spine, and his magical senses told him he was finally in the right place. The evil he chased was nearby. He walked into the building and approached the desk sergeant. “Good morning. I’m looking for Captain Keller.”

The sergeant looked up from his computer behind the waist-high wall. “May I tell him who’s here?”

“Damien Talon.”

“Is he expecting you?”

“I don’t think so. I haven’t communicated with him.”

“May I tell him what it’s regarding?”

He hesitated. It wasn’t always a good idea to reveal too much to humans. “I’m really not sure. I just know I’m supposed to be here.” If he were Spiderman, he’d call it ‘Spidey senses’. He guessed he could call it ‘dragon senses’.

The sergeant stood and walked down a hall.

Damien looked around at the stark furnishings. He took a deep breath. Yes, Bush was close, but he wasn’t sure just where yet.

The sergeant returned. “Have a seat; he’ll be with you shortly. Would you like some coffee?”

“Never drink the stuff. It interferes with my senses.”

The sergeant looked at him questioningly.

“Mr. Talon?”

He turned and came face to face with an older, stocky man. His uniform identified him as a chief of police.

“I’m Chief Mason. How can I help you?”

“Thanks for seeing me.” Damien pulled a photo out of an inside pocket in his leather jacket. “Have you seen this man?”

The chief looked at the photo and then handed it to the sergeant. “Can’t say I have. How about you, Jones?”

Sergeant Jones shook his head. “No. Not that I remember.”

“Come on back to my office.” The chief opened the gate in the low wall. “Who do you work for? Do you have any ID?”

Damien pulled a badge holder off of his belt and showed it to the chief.

Mason squinted at the badge. “C.O.S.” He looked back at Damien. “I’ve never heard of this agency.”

“We keep a pretty low profile most of the time.” Damien smiled. “Rest assured, we’re the good guys.”

The chief opened the door to his office and stood back for Damien to enter.

“Have a seat. Are you an American agency?”

“That depends on who you ask and what you mean by American. We’re more international than American. We go after the bad guys who belong to our group. Kind of like good cops who go after bad cops. Some these are really bad guys, and some are just mischief makers.”

The chief went behind his desk and sat. “Would you like some coffee?”

Damien sat facing the desk. “Your sergeant already offered. I’m not much into coffee.”

“So what has this guy done?”

“Found out his wife was unfaithful. Killed her and her four kids.”

The chief’s eyes and mouth popped open. “Why didn’t he just leave? The wife, I can see. But four innocent kids?”

“Yeah.”

Chief Keller clicked his computer mouse over the screen. “I don’t see any bulletins about him.”

“We keep a pretty tight rein on our people, try to keep things out of the main stream and handle them ourselves.”

“Who are your people?”

“We belong to an elite group. Don’t like to advertise ourselves too much.”

“So you think your guy’s here?”

Damien raised an eyebrow. “I know he’s here somewhere. I just have to find him.”

The chief squinted. “I don’t want any trouble.”

“No trouble from me. Just keep your men out of my way, and I’ll handle things.”

The chief stood and held out his hand. “Don’t give me cause to lock you up.”

“Don’t worry.” Damien softly chuckled as he stood and shook the chief’s hand. “You’d have a hard time doing that anyway. Can you tell me a cheap but clean motel to stay at?”

“There’s a Super 8 on the highway north of town.”

“Thanks. I’ll see you around.”

* * *

Damien checked into the motel and left his gear. He invoked an invisibility spell and went out of the door startling a maid who was coming out of the unit next door.

She looked around frantically as he closed and locked the door. She walked away shaking her head and muttering to herself about a ghost.

Damien stood on the sidewalk outside the unit, morphed into his natural dragon form, and took off. He flew over the town watching all movement below him. After about half an hour of finding no sign of anyone who tripped his radar, he returned to the motel, landed, and morphed back into human form. He stepped behind a dumpster and dropped his invisibility. Going into the room, he pulled out his phone and called his superior officer. “Captain?”

There was a loud exhale of breath. “What have you found?” Captain Willis asked in his cigarette-roughened voice.

“He’s here; I can feel him. I met with the police chief. Told him I was looking for Bush. He and the desk sergeant both said they haven’t seen him. Keller was inquisitive as to who I work for.”

“What did you say?”

Damien grinned. “Just that I work for an international agency of good guys.”

“Keep in touch, and try to stay out of trouble this time. I don’t want to have to explain things to the mortals like I did last time. Had to do a mind cleansing so they’d forget what happened. Can’t have dragons popping up all over the place killing people.”

“Ten-four, I’ll try.”

Damien stripped and lay on the bed. Pictures of the slain children filled his mind. Why kill the kids? They were innocent. After tossing for several minutes, he finally fell asleep.