The homestead was quiet, the hour early and everyone was still in bed. Not necessarily asleep though. Outside, fresh snow had blanketed the ground again and the morning had yet to warm up. The perfect sort of day to stay in bed with the one you loved, all snuggled up and keeping each other warm.
Waverly Earp’s hands clenched around the sheet she was lying on, her eyes scrunched tightly shut, her hips rocking up desperately to meet the delicious swirl of her girlfriend’s tongue. She was trying to be quiet. She was trying to be respectful of this being Wynonna’s home as well and her sister probably being asleep. She had been made aware by her older sister that the walls were thin, had been made aware that her big sister didn’t need to hear how happy Nicole made her.
But she couldn’t help it if her redhead was so talented. She couldn’t lie still when her body demanded to writher, couldn’t keep her mouth shout when little moans and gasps, and not so little moans and gasps, bubbled up.
“Oh! God, Nicole, don’t stop!”
Nicole was between her spread legs using her talented tongue in the most pleasing way.
It was Valentine’s Day, and their day off, and no big bad needed dealing with. They had all the time in the world to indulge in each other for as long as they wanted, or at least until the call of breakfast got too strong. Or Wynonna decided to come and yell at them to knock it off.
Nicole had woken first, as was her habit, and had woken Waverly up with soft kisses to her girlfriend’s shoulder and neck, up to her chin and cheek. When that had resulted in hums of approval, she had slipped down the bed, or rather, down Waverly’s body, caressing and kissing exposed skin as she went.
“Nicole!” Waverly moaned aloud, unable to bite it back anymore. “Oh, God, baby!” She was getting close. She could feel her orgasm building in the pit of her belly, her tingling toes, her thundering heartbeat. “Oh!”
Nicole’s phone started ringing on the bedside table and had Waverly groaning for all the wrong reasons.
“No!” she gasped. “Don’t you dare answer that!”
The redhead started to pull away from the warm body of her girlfriend. “Sorry, baby. I have to,” she apologised.
Reaching down her own body, Waverly’s hand found the back of Nicole’s head, her fingers threading into silky red locks. “No, you don’t.”
Kissing her way back up Waverly’s quivering body, Nicole offered a small dimpled smile. “Babe, I’m the sheriff.”
“I’m your girlfriend,” Waverly pouted. “I’m so close, baby. The stupid town can wait.” She ran her hands down Nicole’s back and squeezed her thighs against the solid body laying between them. “If you love me, you’ll ignore it.”
Nicole groaned and dropped her head onto Waverly’s chest. “Waves.”
“Baby,” Waverly replied playfully, knowing full well she was winning the argument.
The redhead was saved from making the decision when the phone fell silent after the tenth ring. “Guess it wasn’t that important,” she grinned.
Smiling triumphantly, Waverly wiggled, indicating what she wanted. “Well then, Sheriff, show me what you’ve got.”
Not needing to be told twice and never wanting to deny her girlfriend anything, the redhead kissed her way back down her girlfriend’s body, more than ready to get back to their early morning lovemaking. She loved everything about this woman, the way she tasted, the way she smelt, the feel of her. She didn’t know what she had done to deserve Waverly Earp, but she thanked every deity she could think of regularly that things had worked out the way they had.
With her tongue swirling slowly around Waverly’s hard clit, she slipped two fingers inside her girlfriend and felt hot silky walls pulsing with impending climax. The couple were so caught up in the moment, neither heard the thumping footsteps on the stairs.
“Yo, sheriff dipshit! Turn your damn phone on. I’m not your secretary!” Wynonna called out grumpily, seconds before bursting into the bedroom. She screeched as she lay eyes on the bed, seeing way more than she ever wanted to see. “My eyes!”
“Wynonna!” Waverly shrieked in horror, going from intense pleasure to absolute embarrassment in two seconds flat. She scrambled to grab the blankets to cover herself and ended up kicking Nicole repeatedly as she moved.
“Jesus, Wynonna!” Nicole growled, holding a hand to the side of her head which had taken a hefty knock from her girlfriend’s legs and feet as Waverly scrambled to get clear of her. “Don’t you ever knock?”
“Why don’t you lock the door? You think I needed to see you doing adult things to my baby sister this early in the morning!” Wynonna complained, a hand slapped over her eyes and cheeks puffing out like she was going to throw up. “And don’t get me started on your pasty white butt!”
“Then stop entering rooms without knocking first!”
“Maybe you should turn your phone on then, Sheriff! I don’t need to be woken up by your deputies calling me in a panic because they can’t get a hold of you.”
Nicole frowned as she focused on the phone in the brunette’s hand, a sinking feeling settling in her belly. “Wynonna, you’re not on the phone to someone, are you?”
Looking down at the forgotten phone, Wynonna rolled her eyes. “Uhh, yeah. It’s for you. Some sort of emergency in town they need you for.”
“You at least muted it, right?” Nicole knew she hadn’t because she was Wynonna and why would she. She lived for driving Nicole mad.
“Nope. Guess everyone’s gonna know about your pale butt now.”
“Groaning in despair, the redhead waved the other woman forward, then remembered she had her eyes covered. “You’ll have to come here and give me the phone.”
“Uh-uhh, I’m not getting any closer. I’m traumatised enough.”
“Do you really want me to get up and come to you?”
“Wynonna come here and give her the damn phone!” Waverly growled, her embarrassment having faded and been replaced with anger and frustration.
Taking a small step towards the bed, Wynonna groaned unhappily as her bare foot got tangled up in someone’s bra. She flung the phone onto the bed and scarpered, yelling back that she needed loads of whiskey to get over her trauma and that they were paying for it.
“Hello?” Wynonna had neglected to mention who it was calling, and Nicole could only hope it wasn’t the mayor or someone of equal importance. Brown eyes widened as she listened to what she was being told by one of her deputies. “Try and keep people calm. I’ll be there as quickly as possible.” She hung up and clambered out of the warm bed, instantly shivering as the chill of the bedroom greeted her.
“Let me guess, someone in town forgot it was Valentine’s Day and an argument has broken out between him and his beloved,” Waverly groaned, knowing their romantic morning was well and truly over.
Glancing over her shoulder at her girlfriend, Nicole found Waverly with an arm over her eyes and a pout on her lips. Adorable, she thought, wanting nothing more than to kiss the pout away. “Apparently, baby Cupid is in town and has been floating around firing arrows at people.” She tugged on her trousers.
“Oh, so someone is drunk and causing a disturbance.”
“Bunny Loblaw was hit by one such arrow and now insists she is in love with a woman staring back at her from the diner’s window. There is no woman inside staring back at her, it’s just her reflection.”
Removing her arm from across her eyes, Waverly blinked at the redhead, trying to determine whether or not she was joking. “What?”
“Uh-huh. Anyway, despite the early hour, she’s causing quite the stir.”
Waverly sat up, distracting Nicole completely as the blankets fell away from her naked body. “You’re not joking?”
“Wish I was,” Nicole murmured. Forgetting that she was supposed to be hustling, the sheriff put a knee on the mattress for balance and lowered herself to indulge in Waverly’s sweet lips. “I really, really, want to stay here with you.”
“So, stay,” Waverly suggested, arms lifting and wrapping around her girlfriend’s neck, fingertips teasing dishevelled red locks.
“This damn town gets crazier and crazier,” Nicole groaned. “Let me deal with Bunny, then I’ll be straight back.” Standing up, she cleared her throat and tried to remember what it was she was doing. “WYNONNA!”
“I’M BUSY!” the brunette shouted back from downstairs.
“I NEED YOU.”
Rolling her eyes, Nicole shrugged on a shirt and walked over to the closed bedroom door as she started doing up the buttons. Opening the door, she half stepped out of the room. “Wynonna, it’s work. Get dressed.” Walking back over to the bed, she smiled apologetically at her girlfriend. “Sorry, baby. I was really looking forward to staying in bed with you.”
“Work is never done for a small-town sheriff I guess.”
Nicole took a seat on the edge of the bed to put her socks on. “I’ll make it up to you.”
“This could be a prank,” Waverly pointed out.
“Could be. Don’t think it is. Are you staying here or coming with?”
“You want me to come with?”
“You’re part of the team. My team.” The redhead smiled adoringly. “Plus, Wynonna might behave a little more if you’re with us.”
“You don’t really believe that, do you?” Waverly asked in amusement.
Nicole shrugged. “I live in hope.”
Knowing her girlfriend was in a hurry to get to town and not ready to get up just yet, Waverly waved a hand dismissively. “Call me once you know what’s what. Maybe I’ll swing by with hot coffee and doughnuts.”
Boots on and laced up, Nicole stood up as she nodded. “All right. Wish me luck.”
* * * * *
“So, what you’re saying is…” Wynonna blinked, pausing to give Nicole the chance to tell her she was joking. The redhead remained tight-lipped. “There’s a little baby Cupid floating around town armed with a bow and arrow.”
“And one of these arrows hit Bunny Loblaw and she’s now in love with herself?” Wynonna burst out laughing. “Fitting. That woman loves no one as much as she loves herself.”
Brown eyes briefly left the road to look at the brunette. “Now you get why I was called.”
“And you’re taking me with you because…?”
“You deal with… weird shit.”
Leaning forward, Wynonna started fiddling with the heating. “I used to deal with weird shit, but the rev-heads are gone now and I’m just back to being me.”
“You’re still pretty amazing, Wynonna,” Nicole complimented.
“I’m the greatest, everyone wants to be me.” Her gaze flicked to the redhead who looked back in amusement. “Okay, not so much,” she conceded. “But I should totally be able to retire though. Why do I still get called in when weird shit goes down?”
“Because everyone has learnt to trust that you’ll sort it out. Like when Bobo poisoned everyone, and you came up with the antidote.”
“Technically that was black badge,” Wynonna muttered. “All right, fine. But I expect you to buy me coffee and doughnuts. A girl needs fuel if she’s to save the town.”
“Waves mentioned supplying us if I put in a call.”
Looking over at the sheriff, Wynonna noted the lovesick look on her face and faked puking. “Bluh, you two make me sick.”
“No, we don’t. You’re secretly super happy that we have each other and love each other and….”
“And if you don’t shut up, I’m gonna throw up, then jump out of the car and leave you to deal.” The patrol car fell silent, but it wasn’t long before Wynonna started fidgeting again. “I suppose you two had big plans for today. Being the day of love and all.”
“Nothing major,” Nicole brushed off. “How about you and Doc, did you guys have any plans?”
Wynonna snorted. “Hardly. The love stuff isn’t our deal at all.” She exhaled heavily, shaking off her conflicted feelings on Doc Holliday. “So, what’s the plan for baby Cupid?”
“You’re asking me?”
“You’re the sheriff, Sheriff. Technically they called you, not me. I’m just your tag along.”
Eyes on the winding road, Nicole thought over what she had been told. “How do you plan for a floating baby Cupid?”
“Welcome to my world,” Wynonna grinned.
Nicole smiled as she glanced Wynonna’s way. “Waverly thinks this might all be a prank.”
“I say we leave Bunny to it. No harm no foul, right?”
“Okay, first we have to determine if it really is a floating baby Cupid and not just everyone tripping on happy drugs or something.”
“If it is drugs, we ship Bunny off to hospital for treatment.”
“And if there really is a Cupid?”
Nicole puffed out her cheeks. “I have no idea. This wasn’t covered in my training. Nothing in Purgatory was covered in my training.” She shook her head.
* * * * *
Parking the cruiser, Nicole turned off the engine and stared out the windshield at the scene before her. It was like the town had gone mad. Again. Quite a crowd had gathered, some of them were standing around looking bewildered, others were amused, and a few looked her way and smiled in relief.
Listening to the ticking of the cooling engine, brown eyes took in what was happening. She hadn’t been told there was a crowd, she had thought it was an isolated incident involving only Bunny Loblaw. “Okay, let’s see what we’ve got.” She undid her seatbelt and climbed out of the car, unprepared for the small group of people who rushed towards her and all started talking at once.
“Sheriff, she’s lost her mind!”
“She’s been talking to her reflection for the last half hour at least.”
“Never mind Bunny! Doug Amplas is making a fool of himself. He announced he’s in love with Alan.”
“Loudly and publicly here in town, much to his poor wife’s anger and embarrassment.”
“They’ve been friends for twenty years, maybe he is suddenly gay.”
“They say it spreads,” Harmoney Lantz spoke up, eyeing Nicole suspiciously.
Taking offence to that, Nicole put up her hands, calling for silence from them. “When did all this start?” She rolled her eyes as they all started talking over each other. “Which one of you was here first?” That didn’t help matters either. “All right, Harmoney, step over here with me. The rest of you wait by the cruiser. I’ll need to talk to all of you.”
Needing a hand, she turned to look for Wynonna and rolled her eyes when she spotted the brunette laughing loudly as she filmed what was going on with Bunny Loblaw. “Wynonna!”
Grinning, Wynonna looked at Nicole. “Are you seeing this, Haught-ness? Bun-Bun’s completely lost the plot. Look, I have it on film for future blackmailing purposes.”
“Blackmail is illegal, Wynonna.”
“Not if I’m trying to get you re-elected as sheriff.”
“Still illegal, Wynonna.” Looking around for one of her deputies, she spotted Robin across the street and waved him over.
“Sheriff, happy valentine’s day,” he smiled in greeting. “Glad you’re here. Things are a little… Purgatory.”
“So I’ve heard. Want to tell me what you know?”
“We got a call about Mrs. Loblaw acting strangely, so I came out to investigate. When I got here, I started getting reports from people about a baby with a bow and arrow floating around.”
“That’s what they said.”
“Have you seen him?”
“Not yet.” Robin frowned as he looked around. “I’m thinking mass hysteria.”
“Who said they had seen Cupid?”
“Eddie the firefighter and Colt Ogden.” He looked over in the direction he had last seen the two men. “Uhm, who are now acting odd.”
She looked in the direction he was looking and saw Colt Ogden sitting on the kerb crying. Colt was a big man, a manly man, who liked nothing more than spending hours in the gym. But here he was sobbing like a baby. “Why’s he crying?”
“No idea. He was fine.”
Looking at the dirty dancing firefighter, she recognised him as the one who had flirted with her when she was drumming up support for her election as sheriff. As he noticed her watching him, he smiled big and bright and gave her a delicate little wave before starting to dance his way over. “Oh, God!” she groaned, not needing that this early in the day. “Intercept Eddie for me, and question him while I talk to Harmoney,” she ordered. “Ask him what he saw, how it started, who else was around, you know the drill.”
“On it, Sheriff.”
Turning her attention to Wynonna, Nicole rolled her eyes at the other woman who was now encouraging Bunny’s bad behaviour. “Wynonna, I need you to question Clayton for me.”
“Wynonna,” the redhead sighed in a hard-done-by tone that made Wynonna roll her eyes.
“All right fine,” the brunette pouted.
Walking over to where Harmoney was waiting, Nicole smiled politely at the blonde as she took out her notebook. “You know, Mrs. Lantz, homophobic comments aren’t helpful and are illegal.”
“I didn’t say anything!”
“They say it spreads,” Nicole quoted. “While looking at me, who, it’s no secret, is a lesbian.”
“People do say that! They say…”
Nicole put up a hand, stopping the woman in her tracks. “I should just warn you I will arrest you if you say anything incriminating.” She watched the woman’s mouth snap shut. “Now, perhaps you can tell me what went on here this morning.” She started taking notes as the woman rambled, getting an idea of what had occurred but not how it had started. “I had a report of a flying Cupid armed with a bow and arrow. Can you verify that?”
“Cupid? Like the god of love Cupid?”
“Well, I didn’t see him. But then I wasn’t really looking. I was too busy watching poor Bunny.” Harmoney shook her head sadly. “She always appeared so competent, so in control, on top of her game.”
“She’s not dead, Mrs. Lantz.”
“It’s sad to see her have a breakdown like this. A public breakdown which won’t be easily covered up.”
“Bunny’s just suffering…” Nicole wracked her brain for a lie, a suitable lie. “The effects of a suspected gas leak. Thank you for your time.” She walked away before the woman could question her. “Robin,” she called out for his attention.
He walked over, cheeks burning red. “Sheriff?”
“What did Eddie have to say?”
“He wants to put on a private show for you. You, him and a bottle of baby oil.”
Blinking rapidly as she tried to rid herself of that mental picture, Nicole cleared her throat. “About the incident, Robin. What did he say about the incident?”
“Not much. Bunny was fine, then baby Cupid hit her with his love arrow and now she’s… doing what she’s doing.”
Wynonna wandered over, looking bored.
“What did Clayton have to say?” Nicole asked her.
“He was minding his own business when he heard shouting. Turning around to see what was going on, he saw Alan Roffe running away from Doug Amplas with a look of sheer terror on his face. Doug was shouting a declaration of love, while his poor, long suffering wife, Clayton’s words not mine, ran after the pair looking furious and humiliated.”
“He has no idea how it started then?”
“Nope. Why’s Colt bawling like a baby?”
“So, what is going on, Sheriff?” Robin asked.
“It appears a couple of people have…” Nicole thought of a lie, a plausible lie. “Had a reaction.”
Wynonna nodded, getting where this was going. “Uh-huh, suspected gas leak. Again.”
“And the truth?” Robin asked, looking at the pair. He suspected they knew more than they were letting on, they always seemed to.
“No idea,” Nicole shrugged. “I’m gonna call Waves. She can grab Jeremy and they can start researching…” She trailed off because what exactly were they going to research? “Wynonna, have you heard anyone mention seeing a flying or floating baby Cupid?”
“Nope. No one can shut up about Bunny’s breakdown.” She looked over at the usually high-strung woman and watched her caressing the pane of glass lovingly. “Poor Bun-Bun.”
“So, Colt and Eddie are the only two saying they saw Cupid?”
“You know, maybe there really is a gas leak this time,” Robin suggested.
She doubted it, that would be too normal for Purgatory. “Get on with questioning everyone whose waiting by the cruiser, Robin. Wynonna, stay out of trouble while I phone your sister.”
“I promise nothing.”
Taking out her phone, Nicole dialled Waverly, wanting nothing more than to hear her voice and ask her advice on possibilities for what was going on. Waverly had always been the smart, level-headed one. “Hey, baby,” she breathed down the line once her girlfriend had picked up.
“Hey, Cutie. Was it a prank?”
“Not sure. Something is definitely going on, but whether it involves Cupid or not is another matter. Bunny is acting like she’s in love with her reflection, Eddie is dirty dancing, Mr. Amplas suddenly declared his love for his lifelong friend Alan…”
“Just another day in Purgatory,” Waverly sighed down the line. “I’ll grab Jeremy and we’ll start researching.”
“Researching what though, I still don’t know if there really is a flying Cupid.”
“We’ll look into mischief demons, spells that make people act how they are currently acting, reports of an actual Cupid, who, I don’t know if you know this, stems from Roman mythology.”
“Ahh, babe, you know I love it when you go all research mode,” Nicole flirted. Brown eyes widened as she watched Tanner Beauclerc run past, a charging cow following close behind her. “Uhh, baby, I’ve gotta go. I’ve got cows.”
“What? Nicole, did you say…?”
The sheriff hung up and slipped the phone back into her pocket, before taking off in the direction of the terrified woman and trailing cow. “Wynonna, gonna need your help!”
“No, dude. I don’t do cows.” Standing with Clayton and Harmoney, Wynonna watched the sheriff give chase, phone out and recording everything, keen to see how this all played out.