Welcome to Gully’s Fall, a quaint little town in a farming district in Australia.
Now meet the cop, ambo, firies, inspector and vet, who will all find their perfect matches amidst laughter, friends, loyalty, passion, misbehaving pets and a little mystery!
Meet Moz, the RSPCA inspector
scroll down for excerpt Book 5 of the Gully’s Fall series
Something bad is happening around Gully’s Fall, and
RSPCA Inspector Moz Baylon is concerned about Del,
the fiercely independent clothes shop owner. She’s
seeing more than is safe for her. One concerned
warning, however, leads unexpectedly to a whole new
level of awareness between them.
Between two people, one spark can lead to a fire.
When darkness falls, seeing too much can lead to danger.
They were up to something, and knowing that mob, it couldn’t be good.
Sipping on a bottle of cold water, Del watched the scene over the road. Sitting on the roof of her house, the silicone gun beside her for yet another patch-up job, she had her knees bent, her elbow on one knee, the water bottle in her hand, her sneakered feet resting on the veranda roof.
Idly twirling the bottle, the water sloshing around inside, she squinted a little. Maybe next time she should bring the binoculars up here, have a decent look. Not that it mattered because she recognised the cars in front of the big house.
The early morning sun shone down warm, almost a little too warm, causing her to half close her eyes in enjoyment while keeping her gaze on the people across the road. Her rickety old house might be a little isolated in the shelter of bushes that ringed the clearing, and her neighbours might be further away than her parents preferred, but she liked the privacy. Just as she liked being able to sit on the roof and look out over the bushes, watching the cars go past and see her neighbours’ places.
It was the neighbour across the road that interested her right now. Pierce Harding, son of one of the wealthier farmers and a sleaze of the worst kind. He was keeping bad company, but then anyone who kept company with Brand Dawson, the town trouble-maker, kept bad company. The third man, known simply as Cutter, lived in Ellor’s Loop, two hours drive from Gully’s Fall. Now if Cutter was here as well, then some scheme was being plotted. An illegal scheme. Just had to be.
Taking another thoughtful sip of water, feeling the sun starting to burn just a little, Del’s gaze switched to track the big ute with the canopy that slowed along the road, indicated and turned into the driveway leading to Pierce’s house.
Hello, hello. The local RSPCA inspector.
Her interest piqued.
Now what would the walking mountain want with those three miscreants? What had they done? Her eyes narrowed as she watched the vehicle pull up near the car the three men were standing beside.
The RSPCA inspector got out of the ute, his very height and breadth dwarfing the three men as he approached them, his back to Del. She couldn’t see the expressions of the men properly, but there was no mistaking their body language. Cutter took a step back, Brand held his place on the other side of the car’s bonnet, and Pierce shuffled a little closer to Brand. The inspector stood easily, big arms loose by his side.
Nothing seemed to happen. They nodded, Brand gestured, the inspector obviously asked them something else, and Pierce suddenly led the way to a large shed not far from the house. Brand and Cutter stayed by the car as Pierce and the inspector disappeared inside the shed. They both emerged minutes later to disappear behind the shed. Finally, both strode back to the car, Pierce lagging behind the inspector’s much wider stride. The inspector spoke to them all before turning around.
As Del watched, Brand suddenly raised his arm and waved. She blinked as all four men tipped their faces towards her, then Cutter waved.
They’d spotted her. Big deal, it was her house, her roof, and she wouldn’t wave back to them if she was on fire. They were low scum who dealt in some shady deals. Except for the inspector. He could be an irritating arse, but he definitely was not crooked.
The inspector turned to the men and almost immediately they stopped waving, Brand slouching back down over the bonnet, Pierce taking a step backwards, Cutter thrusting his hands into his pockets. The inspector got back into the ute, the vehicle dipping under his weight, pulled it into an arc and drove back along the driveway.
Del tracked the utes progress along the driveway, watched it turn onto the road and unsurprisingly, it turned into her curving driveway at a sedate pace to wind its way along the bush-lined dusty track before coming to a stop in the wide space in front of the veranda.
The inspector got out of the ute, strode leisurely around to the front and rested his lean hips back against the bonnet, his long, heavy legs crossed leisurely at booted ankles. His arms folded across his chest, the material stretching across the bulge of his biceps and triceps. Tipping back his head, he looked right up at her, the sun reflecting off the mirrored sunglasses he wore.
Del took a mouthful of water while eyeing him back.
Moz Baylon, the new RSPCA inspector of Gully’s Fall and the surrounding towns. His beat covered a large area, up to five hundred kilometres and even more if needed. He was, she acknowledged, one hunk of manhood. The man stood around six foot nine and had muscles that reflected his hobby of weight lifting, presenting an imposing figure. Add to that his face, well… To be fair, when she’d first met him at Ash and Scott’s wedding over a year ago, she’d agreed with most of the town women – he was handsome in a bit of a rough-hewn way. Fair hair in a short ponytail, dark brown eyes, tanned skin, square jaw, firm lips. Tack on a gravely voice that rumbled from deep in that muscular chest and he was a panty-dampener, no doubt about it.
He didn’t make her panties damp. He did, however, have the power to annoy her at the most unexpected moments. Such as at the wedding.
She took another sip of water, continued to watch him watching her.
When the silence stretched a bit too uncomfortably, she drawled, “Keeping bad company nowadays, Moz.”
His head angled a little to one side. “You’re up on the roof.”
“We all noticed.”
“You and your bad company.”
“What is so appealing about sitting on the roof?”
“I can see everything that happens.”
“Nosey parker, then.”
“Call it what you like.” She shrugged. “I watch the cars, the houses, the bush. I enjoy myself. I like it.”
“Did you like those men spotting you up here and waving?”
“They’ve seen me up here before.”
The corner of his firm lips tightened just a fraction, the only hint he didn’t like her answer.
“So, what made you seek out that motley mob?”
“Work.” His gaze flicked to the step ladder propped up against the side of the house. “You coming down?”
“Why? Are you going to tell the boys if I don’t?”
“I can deal with you myself.”
Del arched one eyebrow. “I beg your pardon?”
A small smile flickered around Moz’s mouth. “I don’t need Ryder, Simon, Kirk or Scott sorting out my problem. I can do it myself.”
Cheeky prick. “I’m not your problem.”
“You’d think so, wouldn’t you?” There was a definite smile around his lips now.
copyright 2015 Angela Verdenius