It had been three days since the attacks on Ryan and Glory. Three days during which they’d heard nothing, not even from Barney. Ryan was slowly going out of his mind even as he quietly moved Glory into his apartment. Thank fuck Bunny understood, because his cousin had been instrumental in getting Glory’s things packed and over to Ryan’s.
Tabby still hadn’t noticed that her old apartment key was missing. Once she did, she’d spill the beans to Glory and there’d be hell to pay.
But for now, Ryan was simply enjoying the fact that within the next week or two his mate would be a permanent part of his home, whether she knew it or not. Now all he had to do was find her father, find her stalker, make sure her brother and sister were on the up-and-up and get his ass trained as a Hunter before he did something irrevocably stupid, like get himself or his mate dead.
Too bad the man who’d come all the way to Halle to do just that had fucking disappeared on him. Not even Gabe could find the other Hunter, and Sarah, the Pride Omega, seemed blind to his presence.
So it was with some surprise that Ryan woke to the sound of voices in his living room. One held the sweet tones of his mate, making him smile as he stretched.
It didn’t take him long to figure out who the other voice belonged to.
“Shit.” Ryan rolled onto his back and dragged his hand over his face. “Why does he come over here so god-damn early?” He rolled out of bed to his feet, ready to confront the man who kept barging into his home.
“Hey, Ryan.” Barney poked his head into Ryan and Glory’s bedroom and waved. “Your mate’s making me breakfast.”
Barney merely grinned. “She’s cute, like a Polly Pocket. I’m thinking of tucking her in my jacket and carrying her home.”
“Shouldn’t you be saying that about your own mate?”
“Pfft. I put her in my pocket and she’ll bite my balls off.” Barney winked. “But your mate is making me bacon. Can I keep her?”
Ryan slammed the bathroom door shut, ignoring Barney’s bark of laughter. Glory hadn’t made him breakfast yet. She usually made him pick up breakfast sandwiches from Frank’s. So why was she making it for the pain in the ass Hunter?
When he was finally dressed and ready to face Barney he headed into his tiny kitchen, stopping short at the sight of Barney and Glory chatting and laughing together with ease. “So you’re okay with it?”
Glory grinned and handed Barney a plate of bacon and eggs. “Sounds good to me.”
“Excellent.” Barney moaned happily as he bit into the bacon. “This is good. Marry me?”
Glory blushed and turned back to the stove.
Ryan wondered if his mate would like a new bearskin rug.
It mollified him a little when his mate walked over and kissed him on the chin. “Good morning, sweetheart.” Ignoring the asshole sitting at his dinette set eating his food, Ryan claimed Glory’s lips in a kiss that heated his blood and hardened his cock. He wanted to take her back to the bedroom and mark her again, prove to the world that this incredible woman was his.
“Knock it off, I’m trying to eat over here.”
Ryan snarled. “What the fuck do you want, Barney?”
“To train you.” Barney waggled his brows as he stuffed his face with some toast. “It’s time.”
“Don’t talk with your mouth full.” Glory, the dazed expression she’d had just a second before fading away, went back into the kitchen. “How do you want your eggs, Ryan?”
“Got it.” She broke four eggs into the pan and began making his breakfast.
“What does the training entail?” Ryan settled at the dinette table and tried not to watch the way Glory danced around the kitchen. It was hard to keep his attention away from his beautiful mate.
He needed to look into buying a house in Halle. He could afford it. Hell, maybe Glory had something in mind. They could even pick something between where Tabby and Bunny had moved to and where Julian and Cyn lived if it made her feel more comfortable. He wanted his family close by, but her connection to Cyn was so close she’d probably be more comfortable living near the Kodiak.
Anything his mate wanted was fine by him. He would find a way to make it happen, even if he had to borrow money from his parents to get it done.
Glory could use some happy in her life, and Ryan was just the Bear to deliver it.
“Normally, I’d be taking you to different terrains, teaching you how to track and capture, or kill, each type of shifter.” Barney’s voice drifted over Ryan, but he barely paid attention. He was too busy watching his mate’s ass as she bent over to pull the butter and bread from the fridge. “But since you refuse to leave Halle, and the Senate has declared these to be special circumstances—”
“What?” Ryan whipped around to stare at Barney in shock, his mate’s backside forgotten. “What kind of special circumstances? Is this because I won’t leave my mate?”
“It has nothing to do with you, Ryan, and everything to do with Julian and your sister.” Barney grinned. “Did you think we didn’t know about Chloe?”
Shit. He needed to head the man off. “Leave my sister alone.”
“Barney.” If he had to, there’d be one less Hunter in the world. Chloe was never going to be hurt again, not if Ryan had any say in it. His sister had been through enough.
“Look. I’m not the one who calls the shots.” Barney shot Glory a glance. “If I had my way, your ass would be in Montana right now, and unmated, for the next six months.” He shrugged, ignoring the spoon Glory dropped on the floor. “But it’s not. I’m here to train you, yes, but I’m also here to observe Julian and Chloe.” Barney smiled, and for the first time Ryan understood the man really was a Hunter. The look was grim, vicious, and Ryan almost shivered at the menace in it. “And I’m not happy that you tried to hide the fact that your sister is a white Fox from me.”
“What would you do if it was your sister, Barney? Hmm? She nearly died.” Ryan still had nightmares about the time when none of them thought she’d wake up. “She’s linked to Julian because he had to do something to wake her up, something on so deep a level they’re telepathically bonded now. She has trouble speaking and her hands don’t work right, and she’s had to give up every single damn dream she’s ever had. What would you do if it was your sister?”