“You almost lost your own life in the process.” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Cyn start. “That’s not something we’re likely to forget.”
“I couldn’t let her die.” For a brief second, white flashed through Julian’s hair, there and gone so quickly that if she hadn’t seen it before she would have declared it a trick of the light. “Her journey isn’t over yet.”
From the way Ryan’s eyes widened, he’d seen the flash of Julian’s hair as well.
Whether the Bear knew more of what that meant, she didn’t know. All she knew was she needed to corner her friend, tie him down, and get some goddamn answers. “Feeling better, Julian?”
He nodded, his gaze darting to Cyn before he answered Tabby. “Yeah, I’m good.
I’m going to stop in the hospital, see if there’s anything more I can do for Chloe.”
“No!” Ryan and Tabby’s voices rang out, startling Cyn and Glory. Tabby coughed.
“All things considered, I don’t think a hospital is a shiny, happy place for you to be, Jules.”
Glory inched away from Ryan, who’d been trying to put his arm around her waist.
“Why not? He spent the night there just fine.”
She shared a look with Julian, raising her brows. Did he want to reveal to the other two women what he was capable of?
He sighed, his shoulders slumping a bit. “No, it’s not. It’s fucking horrendous, but I’ll do what I have to do.” His knuckles rapped on the glass. “I’ll head there now.
Maybe I can wake her up, maybe not, but I have to try.”
Cyn glared at him, eyes narrowed dangerously. “One of these days you’re going to tell me what the fuck is up with you, aren’t you .”
Tabby could tell that was a statement, not a question. Cyn was on the warpath and apparently felt one of her own was threatened. Tabby hid her grin.
Julian wasn’t going to know what hit him when Cyn decided to let him claim her.
They shared a long look before Julian nodded slowly. “When everything is in place, you’ll know everything.”
Cyn just rolled her eyes and headed into the back room. Julian’s expression was completely closed off, but the tick in his jaw was back. She’d never seen the easygoing man look like that. He was staring at that curtain like he wanted to storm through it and lay siege to the woman hiding behind it.
“I’ll head back with you.” Ryan tugged one of Glory’s curls. “Be good.”
“Excuse me?” Glory glared up at him.
He tugged a little harder before letting Glory’s hair go. “And stop thinking about my cousin’s junk. I’d hate to have to rip it off.”
Ryan rolled his eyes. “Fine. I’ll just beat the shit out of him.”
She kept the growl going.
Ryan smiled weakly. “You can nurse him back to health.”
Now it was her turn to roll her eyes. “Get out of here.” The two men turned to leave. “Do me a favor? Tell Alex he owes me a new cell phone.” The two men left the store, shaking their heads. “Glory?”
“Could you give the poor guy a break? His sister’s in the hospital.”
Glory didn’t try to pretend she didn’t know what Tabby was talking about. “He’s just too much, you know? Big and overpowering and doesn’t know the term personal space.”
Tabby decided to tell a little white lie. “He likes you.” He more than liked her, he was a man trying to land his mate.
“Maybe too much.” Glory blew her bangs out of her eyes. “What would I do with him, anyway? Feed him, water him, build him a tree house? Can bears climb trees? Should I buy a house and put in a big fishpond? I could put in a fireplace and let him flop in front of it.”
Tabby stared at her friend. She crooked her finger at Glory. “C’mere.”
Tabby sniffed. “Nope, no drugs or alcohol. That means you’re insane. Ow.” She rubbed the top of her head. Glory could have bopped her with a little less enthusiasm. “Glory and Ryan sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g,” she sang.
Glory stomped her foot and marched into the back room, her back ramrod straight.
Tabby sighed and grabbed a piece of paper. She was going to wake the two of them up if it was the last thing she did.
“What the fuck is his problem?” Bunny rubbed the back of his head. Ryan stomped away from him again, a low growl in his throat. If he didn’t know better, he’d think Ryan was warning him away from his sister. It was starting to piss him off. He’d have to do a full hour of meditation or wind up accidentally breaking Ryan in half the next time he tried to smack Bunny.
“I have no idea.” Julian pulled his long hair back out of his face. “I’m sorry, there’s nothing more I can do. She will wake up, I can guarantee that much. How she’ll be when she does, I have no idea.”
Uncle Steve’s hand landed on Julian’s shoulder. “You’ve done more than anyone had the right to ask. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” He stood and stretched wearily. There were deep circles under Julian’s eyes, a testament to how much the healing took out of the Spirit Bear.
“I’m going to head out. Being here is difficult for me.”
“Understood.” Bunny turned to Uncle Steve and Aunt Laura. “I’m leaving too. I’m going to pick up Tabby at work.” He bent to give Aunt Laura a kiss. “Call me if you need me.”
“We will.” Uncle Steve pulled him into his arms and gave him a hug. “Call your parents, let them know you’re heading back to the hotel.”
He nodded. “This is Tabby’s home.” He’d already discussed it with his father. This area was a great place to expand into and would bring them closer to being a coast-to-coast company. They might even be able to get Eric down here to take a look around, if they could get his little brother to leave Oregon.
Bunny shook his head at Julian. “She will when I take her house hunting.”