Loaded for Bear (Grizzly Cove Book 10)

By: Bianca D Arc




Tales of the Were – Grizzly Cove #10



A woman with a legacy of magic…

Mellie is trying her best to come up with a way to protect the waters around Grizzly Cove from the leviathan and its minions, but it’s not easy. The ancient grimoire she’s been given holds the recipe for a potion that just might work. The only problem is that one of the ingredients is dragon’s blood. Whether that’s a euphemism or there really were dragons living at the time the spell book was written, she’s not sure, but she’s tried everything and so far, no luck.

A man willing to do anything for her…

Peter wants to help Mellie, even if it means calling in favors from the lands of his ancestors. When he admits knowledge of dragon shifters—something his family has kept secret for generations—he agrees to help Mellie any way he can. Even if it requires him to work all night long to help her find an answer.

A love they cannot deny…

Peter and Mellie are drawn together in ways they cannot resist. She is fast becoming his everything, he just wonders if she can feel the same. But when push comes to shove and a dragon tries to catch her eye, Peter proves he is more than man enough to win the lady fair and keep her heart safe forevermore. If, that is, the leviathan doesn’t succeed in killing them both first.

They will confront evil together, but only the Goddess knows if their love will see them through and allow them to survive to fight another day.





DEDICATION



To my family. I finished writing this book during a tough time emotionally for us—right around a very sad anniversary in our lives—the anniversary of the loss of my mother. You might say this book gave me something else to focus on that put me in a happier place while writing it. I hope that comes through and that you all enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I truly love Grizzly Cove and if it existed, I’d love to live there.







CHAPTER ONE



Amelia Ricoletti—Mellie, to her friends—ran down the hallway, holding her breath. Billows of smoke followed her, along with the blaring beep of the fire alarm.

“Shit!” she whispered, angry at this latest fumble at potion-making. No way she could hide this failure. She could hear her sister’s feet pounding up the stairs from the bookstore to the apartment already.

Sure enough, Urse burst in the door, worry on her face. She waved her hands and said a few words, and the smoke cleared, the siren stopped beeping on the smoke alarm, and Mellie could breathe fresh air again as the windows opened seemingly of their own accord. Urse might be frowning at her, but sometimes, it was good to have a spell-wielding witch around.

Mellie leaned one hand against the back of a chair and sighed in defeat. She’d been so close this time. At least… She’d thought she’d been closer to the right combination of ingredients for the complex spell she wanted to cast through her potion-witchery. The fact that the mess had burst into flames meant she’d been utterly wrong.

Urse came over and put her hand on Mellie’s shoulder. “You okay?”

“Yeah.” Mellie looked up to meet her sister’s eyes, afraid there would be condemnation in her gaze.

They’d both been tasked with making Grizzly Cove safer for the shifters and other magical folk who sought shelter here. So far, Urse had done a bang-up job casting wards that kept evil creatures of the deep away and protecting the waters of the cove itself. Her ward was both permanent and immensely powerful. Everyone agreed Urse had done an amazing thing, and she’d found true love at the same time.

Her older sister was now mated to the Alpha bear, John Marshall, whom many people called simply Big John. Mellie liked her new brother-in-law a lot. He was a good man, and he’d made Urse happier than Mellie had ever seen her. Everything had turned around for Urse. Her life was really great.

It was Mellie’s that sucked. She’d been given the simple task of creating a potion that she could put into the water that would hopefully drive the evil leviathan and its minions even farther away from the mouth of the cove. Simple, right?

Yeah… Not so much.

Mellie had been working on this for months now and failing every time. This latest batch had been a rather spectacular failure. It was broad daylight, and everybody had probably seen the billowing smoke coming out of the windows.

Great. Just great. Mellie was quickly becoming the town joke.

“Some all-powerful strega I turned out to be,” she mumbled.

“Aw, honey…” Urse put her arm around her younger sister’s shoulders and squeezed. “It’ll work out. You’ll find the right recipe. I know it. You’re one of the most powerful strega in generations. We both are. I do spells and wards, but you, my dear sister, are a potion master. But let’s face it. You’ve taken on probably the hardest problem you’ll face in your lifetime. Roma wasn’t built in a day.”

The sisters were of Italian descent and were hereditary witches steeped in the traditions of Italy. They were a special breed of witch, known as strega, as had been many generations of women in their family before them. Urse and Mellie had found their niche in Grizzly Cove, and a purpose for their magic-craft. Protecting the people who called this place home had become a mission both sisters shared.