“You guys are crazy. I like that about you.” Barney grinned. “I’m going to try and hunt that Wolf’s scent down.” Barney stopped just outside the coffee shop. “I’ll call you if I find anything.” And with a final, weird glance in Julian’s direction the Hunter took off for parts unknown, his cowboy hat still pushed back and his long brown duster flapping around his legs.
“Someone’s lovin’ the drama.” Julian opened the coffee shop door with a smirk.
Ryan smiled. “Then he’s definitely come to the right town.”
Glory watched closely as Julian, Ryan and that Barney guy all trooped into Cynful Tattoos with grim expressions. They took one look at her and immediately had guilt stamped all over them. What the hell could have happened while Ryan was out getting coffee? The coffee shop was only three blocks away, and as far as she knew Ryan wasn’t the one the Wolf was after.
But it was obvious something had happened from the quick glance all three exchanged. She crossed her arms over her chest and glared at them. “Okay, guys. Spill. What happened?”
Both Julian and Ryan exchanged a startled glance, but Barney merely flopped into a chair with a nonchalance that didn’t fool her for a moment. “I’m thinking of getting a tattoo.”
“Good.” Cyn, who’d just come out of the back room, grinned at the Hunter. “Come with me and we’ll hook you up.”
Barney, reluctance written all over his face, followed Cyn to her station. She bet the man would have something inked on his skin before the end of the day.
Barney would learn not to lie to Cyn. It just wasn’t worth it.
Glory kept most of her attention on Julian and Ryan. One of them would crack and she’d know what had gone on. “Well?”
Julian patted Ryan’s arm. “I love you, man, but you’re on your own.” He then carried his two coffee cups over to Cyn, handing one to her with a quick kiss and a whispered word that had Cyn glancing sharply over at Ryan.
Like that was going to calm her down. “Rye,” she growled, startled at how deep her voice sounded.
“I’m fine. You can see that.”
“So something did happen.” God, she got that he was trying to keep her calm and all, but this dancing around shit was getting on her nerves.
He stared at her for a moment before answering. “I was attacked on the way back from the coffee shop.”
Glory’s blood ran cold. Her arms fell to her sides as her breath caught in her throat. “Are you hurt?”
Julian. He’d needed Julian’s healing powers. That meant it had been bad, right? Because she knew from Alex that all Bears could heal minor wounds like other people breathed. “Rye?”
“I’m fine, SG. I swear it.” Before she realized it he was in front of her, holding her hand, anchoring her before the panic could take her over. “I’m here, safe and sound, but he got away. Even better, Barney and Gabe got his scent.” Ryan sighed and took hold of her arms, rubbing up and down. The soothing motion frightened her even more. “It was the same Wolf that attacked you.”
Glory took a deep breath. Something inside her stirred, angered by the thought that Ryan had been injured. How dare someone lay a hand on her man? How dare someone try and take him away from her?
She was going to…
Her fingers twitched, itched in a strange way.
She was going to rip into the man who’d thought Ryan could be taken from her.
She blinked. What? “You mean like yours do?”
He nodded, looking unbearably pleased with himself. “And you definitely smell like Bear now.”
Oh, thank fuck. If Tabby had bitten her, that would have been one thing. She loved Tabby like a sister and would have been proud to be her Pack mate.
Being changed against her will, forced to call the psycho who’d possibly stolen her sister, her Pack mate? That would have sucked big time.
Still, Glory wasn’t finding it easy to let go of her anger. “I want to find the guy who hurt you and shove his nuts up his anus.”
Ryan choked on a laugh. “Down, SG. Your claws are showing.”
Glory looked down at her hands. Sure enough, her claws were visible. They weren’t quite the five-inch monsters Ryan sported, but they were close. “Holy shit.”
Ryan hugged her. “It’s fine, Glory. This is what’s supposed to happen.” He chuckled again. “But I think you’re going to change fast, just like Cyn did.”
“Wonderful.” Just what she needed on top of everything else. A big, furry ass.
“Look on the bright side. You’ll be able to open the pickle jar all by yourself now.” Ryan laughed as she smacked his arm and curled his fingers around her claws, hiding them from general sight. “Where’d your brother and sister go?”
“They left soon after you did. Temp said something about going back to their hotel to get some rest.”
She didn’t like the speculation in Ryan’s voice, but she couldn’t blame him. He was attacked right after Temp and Faith left. It would be natural to suspect the new element in their lives.
But Ryan hadn’t seen the way Temp had looked at her or the gratitude in Faith’s eyes when she’d returned her sister’s embrace. The two of them really wanted a life that included Glory.
And the dread she’d seen on their faces whenever their father was mentioned was all too familiar. Ryan didn’t know what it was like to fear a parent, to know what it was like to realize that the person who was supposed to protect you was the one you needed protection from. But Glory did, and so did Temp and Faith.
If they were acting, they were damn good at it.
“Barney is going after the guy who did this.” Ryan’s embrace tightened. “And so will I.”
“What? No.” The guy had already hurt Ryan once.
“Listen. You know Gabe is a Hunter, right?” Ryan let go, cupping her face in his hands. “Remember what Barney said when we met with my family?” She nodded reluctantly. “Barney swears I’m one too.”