Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
What is Not in a Name
Wolves of Stone Ridge: Book Sixty
Out of the Cage: When a law officer moves to a small town for a new start, the last thing he expects is coming face to face with the mystical.
If Goliath Dickman hadn’t had the most loving and supportive parents he could ever imagine—and he’s seen plenty of depravity during his years on the force—he would have thought his parents hated him. After all, how could they have named him what they did? Goliath would never tarnish the memory of his beloved mother by saying such a thing out loud, however. So when the opportunity arises, he transfers to a deputy position in a small town.
After losing his temper on the first day—thank goodness they’d been understanding guys—Goliath asks the others to call him Ollie, and he settles in at his new place in his new town. He runs across Earl Raukus at a local restaurant and finds himself enamored with the pretty, brown-eyed blond. Unfortunately, Goliath spots Earl laughing and chatting with a black-haired guy across the room, and his hopes are dashed.
Imagine Goliath’s confusion when Earl continues flirting with him. Uncertain, he switches to his default—he clams up, responding curtly. Confused by the hurt that fills Earl’s eyes, Goliath tracks him down…and discovers something the town can’t possibly want getting out. Could the world of shifters truly be real, and what would be his place within it?
Excerpt - What is Not in a Name
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After getting drink orders from a newly seated couple at another table, Earl headed to the kitchen. He found Ollie’s order ready and placed it on a platter. Then he poured the sodas the new table wanted, added an extra container of barbeque sauce to his tray, and headed back out.
Earl dropped off the drinks before approaching Ollie’s table. Anticipation filled him, and his body practically vibrated with excitement. He appreciated that his black jeans were tight enough to hide his half-hard dick.
“Here we are, Ollie,” Earl greeted with a smile. He placed the Caesar salad on the table first, gaining his mate’s attention. Upon seeing the shuttered expression on the big man’s tanned face, he froze for an instant. “Uh, and your bottomless riblets and fries.” When Ollie still didn’t smile back, Earl nearly forgot to add the barbeque sauce. He glanced at the tray, confusion filling him. “Uh, here’s the barbeque sauce.” As Earl tucked the tray under his arm, he asked, “Can I get you anything else?”
“No, I’m good,” Ollie rumbled, returning his attention to the food. “Thanks.”
Even though Ollie’s dismissal was clear, Earl stood stock-still in shock.
What the hell?
Needing to try again, Earl glanced at Ollie’s half-full beer and asked, “Need another beer?”
Unable to help himself, Earl couldn’t keep the hurt look off his face. He quickly cleared it, knowing it wasn’t the time or place. Earl couldn’t figure out Ollie’s shift in behavior, and he felt his wolf whine in the back of his mind.
When Ollie continued to ignore him, digging into his Caesar salad, Earl knew he needed to get moving.
Hell, he was at work, after all.
Earl swallowed hard as he turned away.
I’ll check on him later. Maybe he’s just hungry.
Except, the next time Earl stopped at Ollie’s table, his food was gone, and instead of asking for seconds when Earl offered, he replied, “Just need the check.”
Confused and hurt, Earl did as his mate bid. The human was ready with his debit card, not even glancing at the total. Earl quickly ran it, noticing the name on it read Goliath P Dickman.
Goliath Dickman. No wonder he wants to be called Ollie.
With a shake of his head, Earl returned to the table. His mate was already standing, ready and waiting for the receipt.
Damn, is he tall. Wow! I wanna climb his six-foot-eight body in the worst way.
“Did everything taste okay?” Earl asked, needing just a little more contact with his mate, although, by then, he sort of felt like a glutton for punishment.
“Yeah,” Ollie replied shortly as he signed the check. “Everything was delicious.”
Unable to help himself, Earl found his attention focusing on Ollie’s jeans-clad ass…and it was a thing of beauty.
Except, when Ollie straightened and glanced at him, the human furrowed his brows. He even glanced toward the bar area. His jaw tightened, and he turned away as he grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair.
Disappointed, Earl whispered, “Have a good night.”
As Earl collected the check, absently noticing that he’d received a twenty-percent tip, he couldn’t figure out what the hell had changed.
Why did my mate clam up?
“Earl, is everything okay?”
Turning, Earl found Alpha Declan standing near his shoulder. “Um.” He couldn’t seem to help how small his voice came out, and he struggled with how to explain to the alpha wolf shifter.
Declan rested his hand on Earl’s shoulder and squeezed lightly. “I scented yer distress from halfway across the room,” he murmured, his black brows furrowing. “What happened?” Declan glanced in the direction of the doors. “Something with our town’s newest deputy?”
“Ollie’s our town’s newest deputy?” Earl murmured, heart speeding up in his chest as he thought about his mate in uniform. “Damn.”
“Aye,” Declan confirmed, squeezing once more. “Did he say somethin’ bigoted or something?”
“No,” Earl quickly assured, shaking his head. “He…he’s my mate.” Even as Declan’s features morphed into one of surprised happiness, Earl added softly, “But he stopped chatting with me after I brought him his meal. I don’t know why.”
Declan glanced toward the door again, his expression turning musing. “Hmmm. I’ll talk to Anthony about him,” he assured. “Get his read on him.” Returning his attention to Earl, Declan urged, “Finish yer shift, then go for a run tomorrow with yer friends. Take a bit of time to relax.” With a reassuring smile, his alpha told him, “We’ll sort this out.”
“Thank you, Alpha,” Earl whispered, then winced, realizing what he’d said.
After another reassuring squeeze, Declan released him and headed back toward his table.
Doing as his alpha recommended, Earl returned to work, doing his best to ignore Emily’s stares.