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A Love to Remember

Book Title: No Law Against Love

Author(s): Cheryl Alldredge

His first day on the job John Gage, small town Chief of Police, learns public enemy number one is a lady who refuses to pay her parking tickets. Confronting the problem might be the right thing to do, but paying a call on Calliope Smith, the woman who's been parking her elephant in front of Thompson's market, might turn into more of an adventure than he bargained for.


I dont see anyone else around. Are you alone out here, Miss Smith?

I have a helper, but hes off this afternoon. Thats why I let Tasha out to play. I cant give her any freedom when Barry is around. Tasha isnt too fond of men. I think she was mistreated by a male handler at some point in her past.

Tasha? The tiger?

Thats right. Even Father had to be careful around her. She still remembered the day her father brought the Bengal home as if it were yesterday. At the tender age of fifteen, Calliope had been awestruck by the beautiful animal. A feeling not so dissimilar to the one shed felt when shed looked out and seen Chief John Gage standing at her gate.

I assume this is a family run operation. Wheres the rest of your family?

They died in a car accident earlier this year.

Im sorry. That must have been rough on you.

Yes, it was... As the car stopped, Calliope looked at her childhood home and realized, sometime in the last few months, the sorrow in her heart had become manageable. But here, everywhere I look I see themalways happy. They loved the refuge, the animals, and the work they did here. It was a wonderful place to grow up.

She turned to look back at John and although his eyes were still hidden, she was certain he studied her from behind them. The only questionwhether he thought her a nut or just attractively original. Slowly he reached up and removed the mirrored sunglasses. His eyes devoured the features of her facelingering, she thought, on her lips. The very notion compelled her to study his sensual mouth, to wonder how hed taste.

After a long moment he got out of the car. He was half way around to open her door before Calliope recovered enough to comprehend. The gesture tugged at her heart, so she let him play the gentleman. The hand he offered to help her out felt warm and strong. She stepped out of the car and pushed to her feet, then led him around the edge of the house. She was just about to launch into her slightly rusty, guided tour mode when Tasha appeared in the window with a roar. John nearly jumped out of his skin.

You keep the tiger in your home? He sounded outraged.

No, not normally. She has a very safe enclosure on the other side of the house, but I didnt want to keep you waiting. Its okay. Shes house broken and very well behaved. Id be happy to introduce you to her.


She was startled by the strength of his reaction. Most people were wary, but fascinated by big cats like Tasha.

You dont like animals? She couldnt marry a man who didnt like animals.

Of course I do, but youve already said she doesnt like men. What are you trying to do, get me eaten?

Calliope laughed. She doesnt like men, but shes not liable to attack you with me handling her either. None of the big cats are ever completely tame, but Tashas very well behaved.

I didnt come here to meet your tiger. I came about the elephant.

Dolly? I know. Calliope, held up a hand to forestall any jibes at the name. Its a stupid name for an elephant, but its the name she came with. Why would you be here about Dolly?

Ive heard youve been riding her into town.

Oh, my. This is about Jethrows silly tickets, isnt it? I cant believe it. That man has hated me since kindergarten. You couldnt possibly have come here to arrest me because Jethrow, for some unknown reason, cant stand me?

Just then Tasha chose to roar and paw at the window. Chief Gage swore under his breath. I came here to decide if you needed arresting. So far the verdict is still out.

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Genre: Contemporary
Date Published: 02/01/2006

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