Relatively Risky Excerpt | Pauline Baird Jones

Relatively Risky Excerpt


He shifted uneasily. “They smile.” 

“Excuse me?” She blinked, though slowly, her lashes drifting down and then up as if that was all she had energy to do. 

“Your eyes. They smile.”

“Do they?” She touched the edge of one, as if feeling for the smile. 

“Inside them.” He knew he was being…something. Should shut up.

“Oh.” Her lips curved up to match her eyes. A slight breeze made the shadows on her face shift, revealing, then shading her mouth. 

“How was the muse?” he surprised himself by asking.

She made a face, punctuated it with a lazy shrug. 

His libido kicked it up a notch. Odd to feel that slow slide now. He dealt with the aftermath of human impulse at work all the time. Saw a butt load of human impulse—and some he considered not-human—helping to raise his siblings. He should understand it. Didn’t. He didn’t know why he’d come. Wasn’t sorry. Found himself remembering the moment when he’d almost kissed her and hadn’t. Maybe he should give into impulse every now and again. Sure couldn’t make a move now when they were up a tree. Was kind of sorry about that.

She shifted position, uncrossing her booted feet. She leaned forward, stowing her pad in the portfolio and securing it.

“You’re not from here, are you?” The question came out conversational, rather than cop-like. 

“Wyoming.” She turned her head, just enough for her sleepy gaze to meet his. “Not Star Valley.”

He grinned. “How did you know—” 

“Almost everyone’s ‘I know someone from Wyoming,’ is someone from Star Valley.” An amused frown pulled her brows together. “Not sure why. It’s not huge.”

“Not many towns in Wyoming are,” Alex pointed out, which was almost all he knew about the state. And that most of Yellowstone was in Wyoming. Okay, he just thought he knew that.

Her tiny nod conceded the point. It was followed by another lazy smile that made his insides relax some. He liked that she didn’t fidget or chatter. Looked at him straight, her gaze clear and honest. And smiling. There really was something about her eyes— 

“So you’re from not-Star Valley.”

Her chuckle was engaging.  

“Waipiti. I’m from Waipiti.”


“It’s a little place between Cody and Yellowstone. A really little place.”

“How did you get from there to here?” Her perch suited her, New Orleans did, too, but at the same time…he tried to picture a little town in Wyoming behind her, but he’d never been to Wyoming. Were Wyoming small towns like Louisiana small towns? Her eyes shadowed some and she looked away.

Relatively Risky: The Big Uneasy Book 1. Available now in digital and print. 

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