Pelican Bay Security is full of hot former Navy SEALS, a small costal town in Maine (with a crime problem), and a group of Bakery Girls waiting to cause trouble.
When I moved here to set up a new security company as a fugitive recovery specialist, I didn’t plan to find my next-door neighbor breaking into her aunt’s house. I also didn’t expect the random henchmen harassing her for diamonds she insists she doesn’t have.
Tabitha is running from an ex-boyfriend, and I desperately want to help. As a former Navy SEAL I have the skills to deal with almost any i***t willing to give his girlfriend a black eye. Her lies, drama, and ex-boyfriend catch up with her and it may not be something I can handle on my own. I just hope if things turn violent, we both come out alive.
A fun, humorous romantic suspense series from USA Today bestselling author, Megan Matthews!
#explicit #Suggested age 18+
Pelican Bay Security is created by Megan Matthews, an eGlobal Creative Publishing Signed Author.
My salvation lies straight ahead.
Exit number six — Pelican Bay.
It took one week and 1,965 miles of driving, but I've successfully left my life in Westford, Oklahoma. I've had a full week to clear my head and leave my previous poor choices behind me. One hour south of the Canadian border rests the sleepy seaside town of Pelican Bay. The town where I'll begin my new life.
A smarter life.
A happier life.
A quiet life.
The small, discreet town on Maine's northern coast sits on rocky beaches surrounded by thick evergreen woods. It's almost cut off from the rest of the world. It's also about as far as you can get from Oklahoma while still on American soil. But those are added perks and aren't included in the reason I'm ultimately here.
A short man in a brown uniform, the name John written on his name tag, delivered the final decision in the form of certified mail two weeks ago.
My great aunt Gertie died.
I'd known that. I didn't know she left me her two bedroom one bath nine-hundred square foot home in her will. A quick stop at a local lawyer's office to sign the paperwork and I became a home owner. It was anticlimactic. No one released balloons or took pictures with me holding a set of keys. All those things excited new homeowners do. For my safety I kept my milestone a secret from everyone but my mother. It's easier to flee if no one knows where you're going.
Gertie's house wouldn't be much to some, but it provided me with an escape exactly when I needed one. Less than seventy-two hours after signing the papers, I loaded my car with four boxes of clothes, two boxes of shoes, and random pictures and other memories.
And seventy-five thousand dollars from Mario's safe. Hey, a girl needs start-up funds for a fresh new life.
There aren't many job options in Pelican Bay. The small fishing and tourism town won't have much use for a twenty-six-year-old with a bachelor's degree in community service. The four years of live-in-girlfriend status where I occasionally helped out at my boyfriend's pizza chain is sure to be a resume booster. Or not. Especially when I can't use him as a reference.
The paved country road curves to the right. A large wooden sign with "Welcome to Pelican Bay" in thick cursive stands on the side of the two lanes, parts of the paint chipped away through the years of tough Maine weather. The town logo, a pelican sitting on a fence post, greets everyone who drives into town, the same symbol I remember from my time spent on the coast as a teenager. "Population, 2,986" painted on a rectangular piece of wood hangs below the welcome sign. They're proud of the fact the entire town would fit in one apartment building in Westford.
Oh well, 2,987 now, Pelican Bay. Tabitha is moving in.
The road darkens as I drive past the lit up sign. My cell phone beeps three times — the little marker set as my car disappears off the GPS screen. I slow and turn off the now useless phone determined to get to Aunt Gertie's house from memory. It can't be too hard.
The coast of Maine is jagged and rocky, the water cuts through the land in harsh divides, creating inlets and bays throughout the area. I've spent the entire drive up the coast enjoying the view of each little seaside town. It's a different world in this part of the country, unlike anything in Westford. I couldn't be happier; although, it doesn't take much to beat the concrete jungle I've left.
Large patches of evergreens dot both sides of the road, but I spot lights ahead. A sure sign I'm closer to town. The school buildings on the right side of the road are newer, with an addition added since my last visit, but I cross First Street and the scenery becomes familiar — the small combined police and fire department, the last government building before the shops of Main Street consume the view out my front window.
I sigh, happy. Pelican Bay hasn't changed. Each little shop is its own small, unique building on either side of the main road into town. Small details dot every store front from sloped roofs to the shingled siding you find in coastal towns. Nothing like the rows and rows of similar brick buildings in Westford. There's Bonnie's Diner with the large glass windows, the beauty parlor next door, and the small gas station across the street. I cross the Second Street intersection and almost stop the car. Tom's Grocery and Goodies, my favorite deli, is vacant, the large windows boarded up with ugly sheets of plywood. His classic neon sign above the door is gone.
I guess not everything stayed the same.
The smell of fresh sea water enters the car through the open window and I breathe deeply. It's been a long time. Pelican Bay's small patch of beach is another block or two ahead. The beach was always my favorite place to visit when I'd stay with Aunt Gertie. Every summer from the year I turned thirteen until I started college at Oklahoma State University was spent here in Pelican Bay. My afternoons consisted of lounging on the shell-speckled sand and taking in what little sun I could.
My life back in Westford wasn't horrible — far from it. But at twelve my mother remarried. Dan, her new husband accepted me like one of his own, but he wanted kids with his genetic code. My mother's attempt to fulfill those wishes included her popping out one kid each year for the next three. Summers in Pelican Bay allowed me to escape the dirty diapers and temper tantrums, which took over my daily life at home.
I pull my car into the parking lot at the end of Main Street with beach access and stop next to the Two Scoops Creamery. The small red sided building is now shut up for the winter, and the sign advertises a Memorial Day opening. They used to serve the best raspberry twist ice cream cones. I'm not sure how I'll wait a month to buy one.
The beach is deserted. Of course, it's seven o'clock on a Sunday night and the temperatures routinely fall below fifty degrees this time of year. Thank you, Internet, for that exciting bit of Maine trivia.
Regardless, I exit the car and lean against the hood listening to the waves as they batter the rocks along the coastline. A seagull squawks overhead and a mist of cold salt water floats in the air, chilling my exposed arms, but still I stay. My eyes track the dark night sky to catch a glimpse of the seagull, but even with the sweep of the light house's beam every few seconds, he's not visible in the night sky.
I'm lost in memories, but also I'm just lost. The large maple tree I use as a marker to turn off Main to Aunt Gertie's house is missing. Or I missed it. I'm not sure which.
Without a working GPS I'll be forced to drive through town in hopes I'll catch another landmark to lead me to Miller Street. I slide off my car hood and turn back toward the vehicles when two people on the street catch my attention. It's doubtful serial killers concern themselves with Pelican Bay — too many small town gossips. I walk in their direction and we meet on the other side of the ice cream shop.
Closer and with the light from one of the lot lamps, I discern they're a couple. Both are in their late sixties or even seventies. Long grey hair is tied back in a knot for the tall lanky male, his tie-dyed long sleeve shirt a size too big for him. His companion is a shorter stockier woman with her own long grey hair left untied as it's carried in the breeze behind her.
"Hi." I walk up to them and try to present myself in a nonthreatening manner. With my dark brown hair pulled back into a messy bun on top of my head and my five foot four stature, I'm pretty sure I pull it off.
"What can I do for you, young lady?" the man reaches an outstretched hand.