Just After Midnight: Historical Romance

Free Just After Midnight: Historical Romance by Lori Handeland

Book: Just After Midnight: Historical Romance by Lori Handeland Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lori Handeland
head to lick her hand. Petting his coarse fur, she murmured her thanks until the electric lights blared to life above her.
    “Lovey, what in blazes is going on in here?”
    Megan looked up to see Queen, resplendent in an orange silk wrapper, surrounded by several of the girls. Everyone turned when footsteps pounded up the stairs. The only man with a room at The Celebration, Zechariah, the bartender, rushed through the door, armed with a heavy stick. His gaze took in the dazed Damon, with Megan kneeling at his side, and he lowered his weapon.
    “Right on time as usual, Zechariah,” Queen drawled. “I think you girls can go back to bed now. Meggie’s all right.”
    Amidst grumbling about lost sleep, the dancers retreated. Megan stood as Damon got to his feet, swayed a bit, then leaned against her leg.
    “Miss Daily, I heard a whole lot of banging around up here, then someone ran through the hall and out the front door, right past my room. Did one of them miners try somethin’ funny with you?” Zechariah peered at her closely and shook his club for emphasis. “Just tell me who and I’ll take care of ‘em.”
    “I woke up. Someone was going through my father’s papers, but I couldn’t see who.”
    “Why would anyone want Brian’s papers?” Queen wrinkled her nose at the overflowing desk.
    “I’m not sure, but it must have been important.” Megan rubbed at the sore skin of her throat. “He tried to strangle me before Damon drove him off”
    “Should I call the doctor?” Queen came farther into the room and put her heavy arm around Megan’s shoulders. Damon snarled, though he still swayed as though he would fall at any moment.
    “Relax, Damon.” Megan reassured the animal. “I don’t need a doctor, Queen. I only wish Zechariah had gotten a swipe at him.”
    “You’d best report this to the authorities in the mornin’.”  Zechariah headed back to his room.
    Queen stiffened then moved away. “I don’t like the law, Lovey. Never have.”
    “Zecheriah’s right. I don’t want this to happen again.”
    “It won’t. Probably just some drunk lookin’ for gold. Now that he knows about Damon, he won’t be back. Just make sure that beast is downstairs from now on.”
    “Downstairs? I think he’s earned the right to sleep in my room.” Megan patted the wolf's massive head before Damon trotted over to flop onto the carpet, closing his eyes with a peaceful sigh.
    When she looked up, Queen had disappeared.
    That’s odd , Megan thought. And I wanted to ask her about the gold claim, too. There's always tomorrow.
    She climbed into bed and, despite the upsetting events of the night, fell immediately into a deep sleep.
    Alex grimaced when he drew duty in the office for the next week. He really couldn’t complain, since he hadn’t worked there since his arrival in Dawson City. But he had always hated office work, and he detested the task even more since he had other places to be and people to question in regard to Joanna’s death.
    The morning dragged as the heat mounted, and the air inside the small office building matched the temperature outside degree for degree. Alex tugged on the collar of his uniform and sighed. This was going to be a long week.
    The door swung open and Alex glanced up, then came to his feet in a rush at the sight of Megan and Damon. The scent of just-cut lemons permeated the heavy air, and Alex breathed deeply of the cooling fragrance. Today she wore a frock the color of summer sunlight. The shade flattered her, though Alex had no liking for the seductive style she had adopted with her transformation.
    “Were you looking for me?” he asked, annoyed with the hopeful lilt to his voice.
    Megan seemed uncomfortable at finding him in the offices of the mounted police. She wrung her hands, glancing at the door with longing before swallowing and meeting his eyes with a challenging glare. “Not you in particular. I’d like to report an assault.”
    Alex clenched his teeth. Some

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