“I don’t know much about them other than they’re so reclusive my grandfather thought they were a myth until Jamie Howard came home from Canada. He told us some stories about the ones he’d met.” Gabe sighed. “If your mate is Kermode, he’s the closest thing we shifters have to a mystical priest.”
“So you’re telling me he has magic powers?” Cyn’s expression turned cynical.
“Not quite. Hell, I’d try to explain it, but I don’t understand it myself. Bunny?”
Alex shook his head. “Sorry, we know a little more, but not much. The Kermode are…” He got a far-away look in his eyes. “They’re treasured. Respected. They have powers other Bears only dream of. It’s said Bear Himself walks with them and guides their dreams.”
“Then why is he here?” They all turned to Glory, who shrugged. “Seriously? Why is he here if they never leave Canada?”
Gabe looked thoughtfully at Cyn. “Good question. Has anyone ever asked him?”
“We’re getting off topic.” Tabby sat in Cyn’s abandoned seat. Her feet were killing her. “I’d really suggest letting your mates claim you. If they scent another man on you, they’ll freak the fuck out.”
“Maybe that would be a good thing.” Cyn began to pace around the room.
“Besides, I’d like the ability to protect myself from Gary and the Gutless Wonders.”
Glory giggled. “I agree. And don’t try to tell me I need some big strapping man to do it, either.”
Alex closed his mouth. “I wasn’t going to say anything.”
The three women stared at him until his cheeks began to turn red.
“So now it’s a matter of deciding what we’d like to be.” Cyn locked eyes with Glory. The mischief in them was daunting.
“It’s like picking out a new dress that will never go out of style.”
“Oh lord.” Tabby put her head in her hands. It was going to be a long night.
Alex took the keys to Tabby’s Jeep out of her hands. “Your friends are insane.”
Alex shook his head. At least the sign over the curtained-off area now made sense. He opened the passenger door and waited for Tabby to climb in. “What do you think they’ll decide?”
“Knowing them both?” She scooted in without protest and waited until he was settled behind the wheel before continuing. “Glory will jump the first shifter she sees and beg for a bite. Cyn will think about it and eventually go with her first instinct. I expect she’ll call Gabe before the end of the week.”
“I’m not sure that’s fair to either Ryan or Julian.” He started the Jeep and took off, leaving the Harley behind. It had begun to rain while they were in the shop and he had no desire to get soaked on the way back to the hotel. “They should be the ones to change their mates.”
Tabby shrugged. “Here.” She reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. “Call Ryan. Tell him what Glory’s pondering and see what happens.”
He stared at her. She grinned back. “That’s evil.”
Her grin turned into a snarl. “I did until someone crunched my phone.”
He began dialing his cousin’s number. “Right. First stop, the Sprint store.”
“Hey, Ryan. There’s something you need to know.”
“Is Chloe okay?” He could be at the hospital in fifteen minutes if he needed to.
“Anderson came by Living Art and filled the girls in on some stuff he’s checking out. He offered to change both Cyn and Glory so they can protect themselves if Tabby’s attacker turns out to be a shifter.”
“Son of a bitch .” Ryan’s inhuman growl filled his ear. “Where is Glory?”
“We just left her at Living Art.”
The phone clicked when Ryan hung up on him.
Tabby took the phone he handed over and dialed, then put it back in his hands.
He frowned but put it back up to his ear.
Julian didn’t sound any better than he had an hour ago. “Julian, you sound like shit.”
He could hear the rustling of cloth, possibly sheets. “Yeah, well I feel like shit.
“Anderson came by Living Art. He offered to change both Cyn and Glory so they can take care of themselves if Tabby’s attacker turns out to be a shifter and goes after either of them.”
There was silence on the other end of the line for a moment. “And this concerns me how?”
Bunny pulled the phone away from his ear. “Cyn. Not a Bear.” Still nothing.
That got a reaction. “Shit.” The man sounded more awake now. “What did Tabby tell her?”
Bunny frowned. Wasn’t Cyn’s reaction more important? “She said it was a bad idea, but she gave Cyn the impression that the reason you hadn’t changed her was because you were waiting for something. Cyn didn’t handle that too well.”
“Goddamn mother fucking son of a bitch.” Julian sighed. “Let me see which way the woman’s planning on jumping and if I need to stop her.”
“Aren’t you going to claim her?”
Bunny winced and pulled the phone away from his ear. Damn, Julian could yell .
He checked the driver’s side window to see if his brains were currently sliding down the glass. “Dude, I hate to say it, but your time might be up.”
“Shit. Fuck!” He could hear more rustling cloth. “Who the hell told Tabby she could say anything?”
“I think my mate was trying to prevent your mate from making a mistake.”
There was the sound of a huge crash. “Any idea who she was thinking of asking to change her?”
“I think she was leaning toward a Puma.”
“That won’t do. Tell Tabby that if she can’t talk Cyn out of it, she has to get your Aunt Laura to change her into a Fox. That’s the only other option.”