“Yes,” she drawled. She pulled the sheet up around herself, hiding her beautiful breasts from him. “Who told you otherwise?”

Something inside him eased. That was not the response of a guilty woman. “Ex-boyfriend?”

Tabby stared at him for a moment before carefully blanking her features.

“Nothing you need to worry about.”

Oh, hell. Now that wouldn’t do at all. “Bullshit.”

“Alex,” she sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose.

“He called because he heard you’d gotten hurt, but as soon as he heard my voice, he asked if you’d cheated on him again. He told me he was your boyfriend.” The possessive fury rose in him again. He battled it back down, knowing he’d failed when her expression turned wary. “So if he’s a pain in your ass that makes him a pain in my ass.” A pain he’d be more than happy to rub out if it came down to it.

“This is something the sheriff knows about?” He settled on the edge of the bed.

“Yeah. It’s an ongoing pain. I’m just having trouble finding the right medicine to get rid of it.” She smiled weakly. “Can we go out for breakfast now?”

He stared at her, deliberately letting his eyes bleed to brown. “I’m more than willing to take care of Gary for you.”

She shook her head, panic drifting across her face. “No. Alex, no. You have more than enough to worry about. Let Gabe handle it. Please?”

Tabby was rubbing his arm, her expression pleading. He didn’t understand the hint of worry in her eyes, but she was obviously upset. He closed his eyes and let go of the anger. The last thing he wanted to do was get into a fight in his new hometown. He couldn’t risk losing this place when it meant so much to Tabby.

“Could he have been the one who hit you?”

She blinked, looked shocked. “I don’t know. Maybe? Whoever it was stayed downwind, and no one saw anything.”

He nodded. He’d definitely be paying the sheriff a visit. “If he did, he’d better pray the sheriff gets to him first. Understand?” She nodded, her shoulders relaxing in what looked suspiciously like relief. He cupped her cheek, his chest rumbling happily when she nuzzled into his hand. “I have to do my yoga before we go, and I’m thinking we could both use a shower. What would you like to eat?”

She tilted her head. “Yoga?” Her lips twitched. She looked both amused and intrigued.

This wouldn’t be the first time someone teased him over the yoga he did every day. “Don’t. Please. It helps more than you know.” If it wasn’t for the peaceful meditations he did each day, he probably would have killed someone by now.

“Does it hurt? I’ve seen some of the positions people get into and it looks massively uncomfy.”

He smiled, relieved. She wasn’t going to give him shit. “Not once you’re used to it, no. It’s a nice, slow stretch that helps to center me.”

She nodded. “Yoga, huh? That explains your truly epic ass.” She tilted her head and tried to sneak a peek.

He felt himself blushing. No one had ever called his ass epic before.

He’d have felt more comfortable about it before the comment about his ass. “Sure.

Just do me a favor and keep quiet, especially after I put my music on, okay?”

She looked intrigued. “Sure. But afterwards I want bacon.”

He’d talk to Anderson once he got to the hospital. She might not want to give him the details on Gary, but he bet the Puma would be more than happy to fill him in.

“Not sausage?” He pointed to his groin and waggled his eyebrows.

“Fine.” He stood up and tugged her out of the bed. “Yoga, shower, then food.”

He grinned. “You going to do some ink on me?”

She stumbled. One finger traced the Ursa Major stars on his lower back. “What kind?”

The heat in her voice had him nearly growling with need. “You’ll see.”

“I should hope so if I’m going to be tattooing you.” She settled back, ready to watch him stretch.

He unpacked his iPod and plugged it in, selecting the music he’d learned put him in the best frame of mind for his meditation. He settled into the routine, ignoring her start of surprise at his choice of music. Granted, not many of his friends were familiar with Loreena McKennitt, but the Celtic music soothed him, the woman’s voice and style calming the beast in him.

“Damn. Just…damn. I’m going to like mornings with you. Naked yoga doesn’t sound nearly so skuzzy now.”

He felt his cheeks flush again and glared at her. The lust on her face was making this difficult. Triangle pose was a real bitch with a hard-on. “Tabby,” he growled, moving to Proud Warrior, arms outstretched, legs wide, his weight evenly balanced between his straight back leg and his bent front one. His erection bobbed between his legs, shooting the calm he was aiming for all to hell.

“Sorry.” She headed into the bathroom to presumably take care of business. Once she was out of sight, he was able to concentrate on the movements of his body, allowing his muscles and mind to ease into his day. He slipped into the final pose, legs crossed, hands resting on knees, his eyes closed. A fine sheen of sweat covered his body. His slow breath cleansed his mind. He felt invigorated and completely at peace.

“You finally done, Gandhi? I have bacon to hunt down.”

He opened one eye. “You’re going to be a serious pain in my ass about this, aren’t you?”

She leaned against the doorjamb and smirked at him, showing fang. “What part of hungry carnivore did you not get?”

He shook his head and stood up. “Fine. You’re hungry and I smell bad. Shower first, remember?”

She waltzed into the bathroom and grabbed his toothbrush. She started to brush her teeth.

His stomach rumbled. Suddenly he was ravenous. “You know what? Hurry up, I want my strawberry pancakes.”

“Real strawberries? Nothing. That syrupy crap they put on pancakes? Blech.” She shuddered delicately and handed him his toothbrush. “Here. You can join me in the shower when you’re done.”