Ryan was in awe of her. She worked just as hard as he did at something she loved, and didn’t let anyone give her crap for it.

Her own piercings were subtle. She had a pretty, glittery diamond nose stud, a delicate silver ring in her eyebrow, tiny silver rings up her right ear and another diamond stud he’d heard called a Monroe, right above her upper lip on the right side. As far as he was concerned each piercing only enhanced her beauty, made her more exotic. He wanted to lick each one, to strip her and see if she had any piercings in places he hadn’t discovered yet. Did she sport studs in her nipples, or little hoops he could tug on? Were her labia pierced, or her clit? He shuddered with need just picturing her sweet pink flesh decorated with gold and silver.

Speaking of piercings, perhaps it was time he asked for one. “If you were going to pierce me, where would you do it?”

The grin she shot him was so full of evil he nearly backed up. “You sure you want me to answer that?”

“I’m serious.” He sighed, not sure how to get through to her. It always felt like he took one step forward, but she’d take two steps back. “I want you to give me a piercing, but it will be my first one. What should I get?”

She sat back, her expression becoming serious, professional. “How adventurous are you feeling, and how will a piercing affect your work?”

“I’m pretty much stuck in the office, doing paperwork.” He was the head accountant for Bunsun Exteriors, Pennsylvania branch. Thanks to Bunny, he didn’t have to return to Oregon. When Bunny opened the Pennsylvania branch he’d brought Ryan in as the money man and head paper pusher. So far, business was slowly growing, partly on the reputation of Bunsun Exteriors and partly due to the hard work of Bunny, Ryan and Eric.

He decided to push a little bit. “Pick something you’d like to look at.”

She gave him that innocent look that always spelled trouble. “But, Ryan, they don’t make a Chris Hemsworth piercing.”

He growled, but she just laughed. “Think of something else, SG.”

She grumbled a bit under her breath at the familiar nickname. Her head tilted left, then right, then left again, and all the while she just…stared. He squirmed under her gaze, wondering how she’d try and emasculate him this time. But instead she surprised him. “I think, considering what you do for a living, we should keep it simple. Do you want one ear done, or both?”

He was almost disappointed. He’d thought she’d suggest an eyebrow ring or a nipple piercing, though he’d probably balk at a Jacob’s Ladder. “That’s it? An ear piercing?”

She giggled, the sweetest sound he’d ever heard. He could listen to Glory’s laughter for the rest of his life and never get tired of it. “You want a gauge? I can get one that looks like a tire rim.”

“Those are the huge ear piercings, right?” That was one piercing he knew he didn’t want. While he didn’t mind the look on other people, it just wasn’t him. “I think if I’m doing my ear we’ll stick to a stud.”

She made a face, and he wondered if he’d picked wrong. Maybe she’d been testing him, seeing how far he’d go to fit in with her life. “Any particular kind of stud?”

He shrugged. On this, he could be flexible. “You pick.”

“I have something. Wait here.” She got up, her sandwich half finished, to root around in her piercing stores. She pulled out little drawers, rooting through the jewelry within them until she pulled something out with a satisfied “Ha! Found it.” She held out the little stud by his eye, nodding in satisfaction. “It’s a titanium stud with a London blue topaz. What do you think?”

She held out a stud much larger than he’d thought it would be. The dark metal made the blue of the gem stand out. It was unique, just like his mate. “I like it.”

“It matches your hair and eyes.” Her startled expression was quickly suppressed. She must not have meant to tell him that.

She rolled her eyes at him, but that delicious pink tone raced across her cheeks again. “It’s not an engagement ring, Mr. Williams.”

He kissed the fingers holding the stud. “Not yet, anyway.”

She snatched her hand back, but he could tell she was wavering in her resolve not to go out with him. “I’m so charging you full price.”

He grabbed her hand and held it between her own, the stud digging into both their palms. “Go out with me.”

“Please. We’ll make it a lunch date rather than a dinner date, something nice and casual.” He put some of the desperation he’d been feeling for months behind the plea. “Please, Glory.”

Her shoulders slumped. “I’m going to regret this.”

Those pale blue eyes were full of uncertainty. “Yes.”

Ryan leapt from the table with a war cry. “She said yes!”

Immediately Glory was surrounded by her friends, all three women chattering a mile a minute. Ryan stumbled as Alex pounded him on the back. “Congratulations, cuz. How did you get her to agree?”

“Exactly.” Because if Glory thought Ryan was going to stop at a single date, she had another think coming.

Ryan didn’t stay in the back for long. Oh, no. He had that look in his eye, the one that said he was up to something and Glory had better watch out. The last time he’d gotten that determined look he’d nearly ripped the head off of Cyn’s ex-boyfriend, the one Glory had chosen to flirt with.

Glory pretended not to notice when Ryan pulled Tabby aside for a little chat. Too bad she didn’t have that super-shifter hearing her friends now had, because she’d love to know why Tabby suddenly shot her a sly look before whispering in Ryan’s ear.

It got worse when Cyn joined them, also whispering in Ryan’s ear. Ryan grinned at something Cyn said, laughing out loud when Tabby added a quiet remark that Glory barely heard.

So Glory pasted on her most innocent smile and strolled over to them. “What are you three talking about?”