Tempting the Sheriff

 Book #1

Don’t believe what they tell you about Robin Hood, outlaw of Sherwood Forest. There never was such a man. But there is a woman, and that’s me, Robynne: fox shifter, master archer, and jaded outlaw with a fierce desire for justice.

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I hurried down the alley and around the corner, desperate to avoid my ex-lover. But a few streets later, I slowed, took a few deep breaths, and stopped.
Cowards run from their enemies, my father used to say. The brave face them.
I gathered my wits and chose my ground — the first step up a covered staircase in a backstreet. As footsteps over cobblestones signaled his approach, I crossed my arms and raised my chin.
“Robynne,” Daniel murmured, his voice not quite steady.
Good, because neither was mine. Still, I raised an eyebrow, trying to stay cool.
“Daniel.” I let a heartbeat go by, then pointed at the heavy chain of office around his shoulders. “Or should I say, Sheriff?”
His expression went hard. “Acting sheriff.”
If his word were text in an illuminated manuscript, acting would be big, bold, and surrounded by a dozen intricate figures.
He’d said it before, but it didn’t really register. Now, it finally hit me.
“Acting sheriff…since when?”
“Since this week.”
My gut flipped, and my cheeks burned.
“Oh.” I sounded as lame as I felt. Still, I stood firm, glad for the step that put me on eye level with Daniel. Dragons might be high and mighty, but foxes were quick and clever. Proud, too.
Maybe too proud sometimes.
He leaned closer, making my heart race.
“You know what they say,” Daniel murmured. “Don’t believe everything you hear about the sheriff.”
I had to give him that, but I couldn’t resist a little challenge. “Don’t believe everything you hear about outlaws.”