“Oookay. Do I want to know, or should I flail around blindly?”

“Trust me, Bunny. If I could have, I would have already taken Cyn. Nothing would have stopped me.”

Bunny sat up straighter. Something in the other man’s voice called to everything in him that was Bear.

“But the time isn’t right. And until it is, I’ll do everything I can to see that she remains safe . And that means she can’t become either Wolf or Puma, understand?”

“No. Not unless it’s by my hand.”

“Understood.” Bunny’s foot hit the brake. He blinked. Since when did he take orders from anyone other than his father? “Julian?”

Bunny looked over at Tabby. The clueless, worried frown on her face told him she had no idea what was going on. But she trusted Julian with her life.

And Julian had almost given his saving Chloe.

“I do.” He hoped the conviction he felt was obvious in his voice. If it wasn’t, he’d reassure the man next time he saw him.

“Thank you.” He barely heard the whispered words before Julian cut the connection.

“I’m going to say it again,” Bunny muttered. He pulled back into traffic. “You have some freaky-ass friends.”

Tabby shook her head. “What the hell was that all about?”

“Not a clue.” And something tells me Julian isn’t much better off. If the Kermode didn’t know the answers, who the fuck did?

They couldn’t reach Cyn before they hit the Sprint store, and by the time they were done, it was late. They stopped for some fast food and ate in the car before heading back to Alex’s hotel room.

“Are you planning on living here?” She winced. She hadn’t meant to ask that question yet. They were newly mated, still learning each other. She had no idea whether or not he’d meant what he’d said in Noah’s that night, about possibly starting up a small business here in Halle.

He frowned. “You’re here.” They got out of the Jeep and headed for the front door of the hotel. “By the way, seen any houses you like?”

She stumbled. Real estate? That sounded permanent. “Um. Not recently.”

Okay. That was a total lie. There was this adorable little red brick house not far from Simon and Becky Holt’s that she’d totally fallen in love with, and it was for sale. The cottage-style house had both whimsy and dignity, with a black front door and shutters, but a garden with stone fairies in it. She was sure that the garden would be full of flowers come spring, hiding the fairies behind colorful blooms.

He nodded. “We’ll need to make an appointment, see what we can find.” He led her inside, his hand drifting down to her ass. “In the meantime, have I mentioned I love those fucking boots?”

Tabby grinned up at him. “Do you?” She put a little extra sway into her hips, his low growl music to her ears. After the night they’d had, they both deserved a little something special. After only two times with Alex, she already knew he’d make tonight memorable.

They entered his hotel room. She stepped inside, a wicked smile crossing her face at the sight of the bed.

“Hmm?” His voice had deepened, sending a quiver of anticipation down her spine.

She shivered at the note of command in his voice. She looked back over her shoulder. Her man stood there, his arms crossed over his chest, his legs spread wide. The bulge of his erection pulsed behind the zipper of his jeans. He looked dangerous.

She had two choices. Defy him and see what happened. Or strip and see what he had in mind.

Her hands went to the hem of her shirt and pulled it over her head. She was stubborn, not stupid.

The gleam of approval on his face told her she’d made the right decision. She wasn’t in the mood to fight tonight. She was in the mood to fuck.

She sent him a wicked grin and turned around. She kept her back to him and undid the clasp of her bra, letting it fall from her shoulders to the floor. She reached up and played with her nipples, feeling the sting of arousal all the way to her clit. The ring slipped between her fingers, heightening her arousal. She loved having her nipple ring played with. She could hear his breathing speed up, but refused to turn to see what he was doing.

His voice was a deep, husky rasp. She toed off the boots. There was no way she’d get her jeans off over them. She undid the snap to her jeans, pulled the zipper down and hooked her thumbs into the waistband. She pushed them down her legs, letting him see the thong she’d worn just for him.

She was bent down all the way, her pants almost to her ankles, but she stopped.

“Put the boots back on when you’re done.”

She smirked. Oh yeah. From the husky rasp of his voice, he really liked the boots. She tugged her jeans the rest of the way off and put the boots back on before straightening up. She stood there, her back to him, in nothing but her thong and her boots. The knowledge that he was thoroughly enjoying the view sent tingles down her spine. She’d never felt sexier in her fucking life.

She heard a noise behind her and risked a glance. He’d undone his jeans, pulled his cock out, and was slowly stroking himself, his gaze glued to her ass.

She let one brow rise. “See something you want?”

His eyes locked onto her mouth. “Hell, yes. Get over here.”

She turned around and rubbed her lips with the tip of her finger. She wasn’t certain he’d wanted her to see the shudder that passed through him, but damn if the knowledge didn’t make her feel even bolder. From the way he was eyeing her finger, she had a pretty good idea of where his thoughts had wandered. “If you get my mouth, what do I get?”

He stalked toward her, his hand still wrapped around his cock. “Good point. How about an even exchange?”

God, just the thought of his mouth on her pussy nearly dropped her to her knees.

Those gorgeous lips of his curved. “I don’t mind owing you one, but I’m not going to complain, either.” He walked past her to the end table and pulled out a bottle with a black lid. He placed it next to the pillow and lay down on the bed. He was still fully dressed, only his cock standing free. “C’mere, baby.”