Worse, her shifter boyfriend, who was constantly around her apartment, hadn’t noticed.
Ryan opened the front door of his apartment the next morning and stopped dead in his tracks. “Shit.”
No one should look that fucking cheerful that early in the morning. Ryan wanted to maul him just for the grin.
Ryan whimpered. Not him, too. Julian might live only because he had the coffee.
“Yeah, did you express your undying love?” Julian put his hand to his chest and fluttered his lashes.
There was not enough coffee in the world. “Hell. You’re going to make me talk about my feelings, aren’t you?”
Bunny started setting out the donuts while Julian poured three cups of coffee. “Yup. We might even curl our hair and wax our legs.”
Ryan whimpered and shut the door. “Can’t I just go to work?”
“Yeah, did you mate her?” Julian’s wicked expression would have looked more adult if he didn’t have a ring of powdered sugar around his mouth.
Nothing says “I’m sexy” like appearing as if you’ve just blown the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. “No.” He’d walked her to her door like a gentleman, refusing to give in to the howling of his Bear. He’d sat outside her apartment building, guarding her until the wee hours of the morning. He hadn’t scented anything strange around her apartment, but that didn’t mean whoever had left those presents wasn’t around. “But she told me I’m getting a second date.”
“Huh. For Glory that’s practically a proposal of marriage.” Julian fixed his coffee, adding enough sugar to send a six-year-old into orbit. “So things went well?”
Ryan took his cup and his donut and sat his ass on the sofa. If the two wanted to discuss his love life he was going to be comfortable, damn it. “Sort of.” When the two shot him concerned glances he told them about the gifts someone had been leaving his mate. “We think someone’s been watching her for a while now. They know her tastes, and I’m willing to bet that they know now that she’s living alone.”
“Shit.” Bunny clapped Ryan’s shoulder. “You need us to guard her?”
Julian shrugged, his expression unhappy. “I’ve got some free time.”
Ryan winced in sympathy. Julian hadn’t found a new job since Dr. Howard’s practice had shut down. The man was a registered nurse, but his gift as a Kermode prevented him from working in the hospital. The other doctors in town weren’t hiring at the moment, which meant Julian was SOL in Halle. He was even thinking of taking work outside Halle, just so his work visa wouldn’t get revoked. If that happened, he risked deportation back to Canada. Hell, Ryan was about to suggest he get a job at the local college campus. It would be something, at least. “Thanks, and yeah. Any help you can give would be good.”
Bunny squeezed his shoulder before letting go. “As far as the date went, did you round any bases?”
“What?” That innocent look on Bunny’s face was as out of place as whiskers on a rock. “When are you going to claim her?”
“I thought I’d get to second base first.” Ryan grinned at his cousin as Bunny settled on the sofa next to him.
“Good. Tabby wants this settled. She says Glory’s panic attack scared her, and when Tabby is frightened I’m one unhappy Bunny.” Bunny growled. “And if Glory has a stalker, Tabby is going to be very unhappy.”
“I swear, our mates are trouble magnets.” Julian sipped his coffee with an unhappy sigh.
“They could be Rangers fans.” When the other two stared at him blankly, he changed the subject. “We’re going to try and find out what happened to Hope.”
Julian settled on the overstuffed recliner Ryan loved napping in. “I can contact Gabe, see if he’s willing to help us look into her disappearance. We should tell him about the stuff someone’s been leaving for Glory as well.”
“We just decided to look into Hope’s disappearance. Glory says the presents have been showing up for a few weeks now, and from the looks of things the asshole’s been watching her, learning what she likes.”
Both men cursed, but Julian summed up his feelings perfectly. “We need to find this guy and rip his head off. I’m tired of our mates being in danger.”
“It could truly be a secret admirer, someone who simply wants to make an impression.”
Bunny could be right, but Ryan wasn’t so sure. “We can ask the girls if anything odd has gone on around the shop, but we all know the answer to that one.”
All three men grimaced. Sometimes it seemed like nothing normal ever happened around their girls.
Ryan sighed. “We should talk to Emma and Max Cannon. Since Glory and Hope were human when she disappeared, we might need their approval to borrow Gabe for the investigation.”
Bunny shook his head. “I don’t think so, because they were human. This would fall under Gabe’s job as sheriff of Halle, not as a Hunter or even the Second. There shouldn’t be any conflict, so I’d go straight to him with this.”
“I agree.” Julian leaned forward, impatiently brushing a lock of his waist-length black hair behind his ear. “This isn’t shifter business, but human. So his human authority would be ascendant. Besides, Max declared all three girls under his protection. He’d probably give his permission anyway, so the point is moot.”
Ryan had to admit they were probably right. “Then I’ll call him and ask him to meet us at Cynful. Glory can talk to him, explain what happened all those years ago.”
“And Gabe might even have the original missing person’s report on file, since she disappeared here in Halle.” Julian grinned. “Cyn will be willing to give you any help you need.”
“Tabby too, though I’ve already told her to take it easy. I don’t want her risking the baby.”