Day 4 of NaNoWriMo and the story of Justice and Jack is moving forward so big yay! I’m pretty much avoiding Twitter for…reasons but I did check to see what today’s #1lineWed prompt was. Last week was devil/demon so today’s was the ver logical **ANGEL**. And since I didn’t have a snippet with an angel–well, I sort of did because one of the characters in the TVFD series is named Angel–but I just mention him by name. Anway, I’m babbling. I managed to work “angel” into the scene I worked on this afternoon. To set it up, Jack and Justice have a date. He’s arrived at her ranch to pick her up but she’s…not ready. She’s gotten an emergency call from the local game warden who’s bringing her an orphaned bobcat kitten. She’s just broken the news and he’s offered to do chores so she can prepare for the new baby.
“I…you…you don’t mind?”
“Naw. I like critters.” He would not add that his wolf was eying the fat doe with a limp. And the man did like animals and not necessarily to hunt and eat, though he’d done both as human and wolf.
“Well…okay, then. Thanks!”
Justice ducked into the barn. Jack finished feeding the deer, keeping a tight leash on his wolf. Even so, the buck snorted and pawed the ground until the feeding was done and Jack backed away. He checked on the armadillo, remembering the phone conversation. He was amazed at what Superglue and duct tape could do. He rummaged around, found a large coffee can labeled ARMADILLO. He emptied the contents—dirt and larvae—on the floor. The armored anteater went to work. Back in the storeroom, he discovered a clipboard with a chart. He marked off the deer and the armadillo. Then he set about taking care of the rest.
Jack caught the sound of tires crunching gravel first, then the motor sounds. He’d just turned the horses out into the corral. He swung over the fence and headed around the barn. Justice was already waiting as the dark green pickup with the bright green emblem of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He heard the mewling as Conor Paxton stepped out of the truck on the driver’s side.
“Ohhhh,” Justice sighed. “Look at you, baby.” She stepped forward and took the towel-wrapped bundle from Conor. “Yes, yes, baby. I know. You’re hungry. I’ve got some nummies for you.” Ignoring the men, she cuddled the baby bobcat and walked into the barn.
Conor dipped his chin at Jack. “Sheriff.”
“State Game Warden.”
They both laughed at their formality but shook hands.
“How ya doin’, Jack? And no offense but why in the Sam Hill would you quit the Rangers to become the Sheriff of Bandera County?”
“There are days I ask myself that same question.” Justice’s voice drifted out from the barn. She was singing a lullaby. To the animals. Who knew the woman had a voice like an angel? “And then there are days like today and I know.”
“Ah,” Conor exhaled as the light bulb came on. “Yeah. She’s a keeper.”
Jack whipped his head around to stare at Conor. The game warden held up both hands to hold him off.
“Easy there, Sheriff. I’m married to the most wonderful woman in the world. But, I gotta admit, Justice is gorgeous and what she does with the animals? A lot of times, it’s nothing short of a miracle. She has the touch. We’ve needed a rehabilitator in this area for years and she has been a godsend. Literally. I’ve brought in animals the vets advised they put down. Justice said she’d fix them. And she has. Every single time. She’s got a good heart.”
“Pretty woman, yeah, but that heart of hers. That’s the thing.”
“Oh, ho. You are smitten. But a word of warning, Jack. Don’t play with her. There are a lotta folks in these parts who love her for that heart. They—and that includes me—won’t be happy if that heart gets broken.”
Jack’s wolf growled and paced just beneath his skin. The idea of someone else claiming their mate—and Jack had to admit that yup, he was good and moonstruck—unsettled his animal half almost as much as the human part. He soothed the beast, promised him time with the woman they would claim, and nodded to the younger man. “I don’t think that’ll be a worry, son.”
“I got the feeling she’s in good hands, Jack, and I’m happy for you both. You’re a wily old wolf and a loner to boot. ’Bout time you settled down. And Justice? The idea of her livin’ out here on her own—not that she can’t take care of herself, but…well, you know what I mean.”
“Yeah.” Jack knew exactly what he meant.
So there ya go. Please remember that this is a rough draft so ignore any typos. I’m loving both of these characters. Writers, any angelic words to share? Readers, what do you think about angels as heroes? Yeah, yeah. Lame question but my coffee fix is lagging. Happy Hump Day, y’all.