Glory was trying to hide her smile behind her hand. “Hey, Bunny.”
“Hi, Glory.” He wondered what the half guilty, half amused look on her face was all about. “Hey, what happened here today? Julian told me he and Ryan were here this morning and for some reason when Ryan came back he smacked me.”
Glory’s face took on an innocent expression that didn’t fool him for a moment. “I have no idea. We were talking about the ocean and boats when he showed up.
Does he get seasick?”
Okay, something’s going on here. Ryan had practically bitten his head off more than once today. “Please tell me you didn’t do something that’s going to make my cousin try to kick my ass.”
Glory shrugged. “I have no idea what has him upset. Did you say something to him, Tabby?”
Tabby shook her finger at Glory. “Keep me out of this, your pixieness.”
He growled down at Glory, careful to keep the sound human. “What happened? If I’m going to die, I deserve to know why.”
“Glory decided to, um… And Ryan walked in while she was…heh.” Was Tabby blushing? “You know what? You’re better off not knowing.”
Now he was intrigued. “Glory?”
She sighed. “Fine.” She tossed her head back. “Oh, Bunny ,” she moaned. Tabby leapt toward the counter, but Glory evaded her easily. “Bunny, Bunny,” she chanted, each one becoming more breathless, until “ Bunny! ”
Now it was Bunny’s turn to blush. “Yeah, that will do it.” He pinched the bridge of his nose and tried to figure out how to explain to the little pixie that moaning another man’s name was a surefire way to get her mate to lose his damn mind.
“Do yourself a favor and don’t do that again, okay? Not unless you want to find out exactly what Ryan’s capable of where you’re concerned.” Knowing his cousin, Glory would find herself marked and claimed before she could blink. “You ready to go, baby?”
“Yup. Let me grab my purse and we’re out of here.” She glared at Glory. “Behave, your pixieness.”
“Again, do I want to know?”
Tabby clamped her lips shut and practically ran out the front door. By this time, even the tips of her ears were red.
Bunny’s lips twitched. Hell, with these three around, at least his life would never be boring.
“Tabby,” a voice drawled out of the darkness. “Where are you off to, Outcast?”
She stepped back before she could stop herself. “Gary.” She let her eyes bleed into her Wolf’s, checking around the darkened street for Gary and his goons.
She turned so rapidly she almost lost her balance. There, just stepping out of the alleyway next to the store, were Gary and his buddies. “Leave me alone, asshole.”
She had to get away before these guys went after Alex or worse, Glory and Cyn.
Hell, Mrs. H. was still inside. She didn’t know if they’d go after a harmless old woman, but Mrs. H. wouldn’t stand by and let someone she liked get hurt. She’d try to save Tabby and wind up getting savaged.
An arm slipped around her waist, her mate’s scent filling her senses. “Is there a problem here?”
Oh fuck. Alex. She felt herself tense, ready to defend her mate. “No, no problem.”
Please go back inside. A Bear could hold off one Wolf, but a Wolf Pack? He’d be mangled. She wouldn’t allow Gary to lay a hand on Alex. She’d never forgive herself if anything happened to her mate.
“So does yours.” Alex’s arm tightened around her waist. “You’re Gary, right?”
Alex’s voice sounded soft and menacing. Shit. He sounded just like he had at Noah’s that night. The muscles in his arm were tight with tension.
“That’s right. And you are?”
“Tabby’s mate.” She could feel his claws against her waist, but didn’t dare look down. She’d seen Julian’s nails turn black, the tips become deadly sharp. She didn’t need to see them to know Alex’s were the same way.
Gary did look. His eyes widened briefly. “Oh.”
One of Alex’s claws began rhythmically tapping against her stomach. She held perfectly still, knowing he would never intentionally hurt her. “That’s right. We’re not going to have any trouble, are we, boys?”
Gary’s eyes gleamed in the light of the streetlamp. “You’re not Wolf, so allow me to explain a few things to you.” Those tapping claws stopped, scraped across her skin. She twitched when one scratched her belly. “You’re right. I’m not Wolf. I’m Bear.”
Gary laughed. “Wait. You mated a Bear ?” His three goons laughed along with him. “A fucking Bear? You’re kidding me, right?”
Tabby clamped her lips shut. Whatever the hell Alex was up to, there was no way she could stop it now.
“Listen, Bear . Tabby is Outcast. That makes her fair game to any Wolf who wants a piece, got it?”
For some strange reason, Alex relaxed behind her. “Is that so? Well, let me tell you something, Wolf . Tabby is no longer a Wolf problem. She’s mine.”
Gary laughed again. He wiped away an imaginary tear. “Oh, that’s good. A Bear.”
He shook his hand at Tabby and Alex. “Run along. I’ll deal with you both later.”
Gary turned his back on them and motioned for his Pack. They grinned at Tabby and Bunny before turning and following Gary down the street, the small Pack still laughing.
“What. The. Fuck?” Tabby turned in Alex’s arms, heedless of the claws scraping along her flesh. The scratches would heal quickly enough. “What the hell was that all about?” And why hadn’t Gary attacked them?
Alex shrugged, but his narrowed eyes were glued to Gary’s retreating form. “I have no idea.” His hands absently stroked her flesh, healing the scratches he’d made.
“I would guess that he didn’t want his ass in jail.”
They both turned to find Gabe standing behind them. “I thought maybe I should update you on the prints we found on the stink bomb.” He gestured toward the door of Living Art. “Mind if we go in, get it all over with at once?”