Julian grumbled at her. He wanted her to call her Wolf. With a smile, she allowed the change, pulling her Wolf to the front, more than ready to run on four paws.
She lifted her nose to the breeze, catching the faint scent of rabbit, mouse, and the occasional deer.
No sign of Gary or his friends. Not yet, anyway.
The big white Bear sat back and began rolling on the ground, a strange sound coming from him. If she didn’t know better, she’d swear he was laughing at her.
She yipped at him, dancing around him, eager to get him moving.
Julian got up and shook his head, swiping his tongue along her ear. He made that strange sound one more time before settling his weight on all fours, waiting for her to lead the way.
With a flick of her muzzle she pointed toward the north. Julian nodded his great white head and followed her. She kept the pace easy for him, unsure how much energy he would need in the coming battle.
And, from the prickling of her ears, the battle was almost upon them, with or without Gary’s scent.
He saw her Jeep, but not her. Damn it. She should have waited for him before heading off on her own. God knew what kind of trouble she’d get into before he found her. Fuck the fact that Julian was with her, he needed to be the one protecting her.
Bunny tried his best to still his growing anxiety. He didn’t know if she’d run into Gary yet or not, but from here on out they were moving silently, leaving the bikes behind. The sound of their Harleys would alert Gary to their presence, and they definitely didn’t want to do that. If they were lucky, they’d catch up to Gary before he did any damage. If they could get him to the Alpha and prove he’d disobeyed a direct command from the local authorities, he’d be banished from Halle, possibly even disciplined by his own Pack Alpha. Bunny could only hope so.
He parked the bike next to Tabby’s SUV and stopped the engine. “Ready?”
Ryan pulled off his helmet and dismounted. “Just a minute.” He held out his hand for Glory’s helmet. Her pale blue hair tumbled down to her waist. From the dazed expression on her face he’d say she’d never ridden a motorcycle before.
Either that or she’d always remained on tarmac. The drive through the woods had been rough. “You okay?”
“I think my tailbone is broken.” She got off with a wince, shaking out her filmy skirts. “Well, damn. You broke my ass.”
Ryan stopped her. “You stay where I put you, right?”
She glared at Ryan and slammed the helmet into his stomach. He coughed out a surprised breath. “Let’s go, Teddy.”
Before they could start off, another motorcycle pulled up next to them. Bunny grinned. He recognized the bike. “Hey, Dad.”
“Boys.” His father got off the bike, his hazel eyes somber, his dark hair ruffled by the breeze. “I understand you might need some…help?” He frowned at Glory for a moment before a big grin crossed his face. Bunny bet it was the powder blue curls.
William shrugged, his attention diverted from Ryan’s mate. “Not sure you could call it that, exactly. Let’s just say I was sleeping and I had a dream that I should head over this way. So here I am.”
“Bear is looking out for us,” Ryan said solemnly. Bunny nodded, agreeing. Only Bear himself could have sent his father that vision.
“Anyone want to fill me in?”
“Gary is somewhere in these woods. So are Tabby and Julian.”
William growled, the sound low and fierce. “He’s going after my daughter-in-law?”
All three Bears turned and stared at Glory.
She crossed her arms defiantly over her chest. “They’re not.”
“She’s right. We’re mated. That’s much more permanent than marriage.” Though, if Tabby wanted to go through a ceremony, he’d be proud to stand up in church and recite his vows. In fact, the more he thought about it, the more he considered insisting on it. It would be one more way to make it known she belonged to him.
Ryan rolled his eyes. “C’mon, Glory. Let’s go.” He took hold of her arm, ignoring her attempt to pull away from him. Bunny was pretty sure the attempt was automatic at this point. “They went that way.”
“Mm-hmm.” He looked into the Jeep and saw two piles of clothes. “And they shifted.” His eyes darkened. He did not like the thought of his Tabby seeing any male but him naked. He didn’t care that in the Packs and Prides nudity meant nothing during a shift. It meant something to him , dammit. His father never allowed his mother to run around naked, that was for sure.
Of course, she laughed at his growls and did what she damn well pleased, but his father didn’t exactly allow it.
“Follow me.” Ryan led the way, Glory stomping in her delicate looking boots right by his side.
Bunny hid a smile. Something told him she’d give his cousin hell, but in the end she’d be just what he needed.
Tabby growled. The son of a bitch had stayed downwind. He was still in human form, but he was naked and ready to shift at any moment.
“Wow, what a coincidence. Here I am, out for a leisurely run, and who do I run into but the fucking Outcast and her baby polar Bear.”
Tabby rolled her eyes. Julian was going to kick his ass just for the polar Bear comment.
She couldn’t attack, not yet. Not until he made a threatening move. She wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize her new place in the Pride, and kicking Gary’s ass without cause would definitely make problems for her.
The two idiots Gary took everywhere laughed. Hell, after six months in Halle, she still didn’t know their names. They’d moved to flank Gary, protecting their precious wannabe Alpha. Tabby snorted. Right. He’s an Alpha. And I’m a Teletubby.
Gary looked over her shoulder at Julian. “I have no quarrel with you, Bear. Back away and you won’t get hurt.”
Julian’s answer was the deep, throbbing roar of a black bear, echoing through the woods to be heard miles away.
Gary smiled. “So be it. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to fight a Bear.”
Gary and his buddies began to shift.
Bunny’s head lifted at the sound of the other Bear’s roar. “They’re farther than I thought.”
“They must have shifted.” William began tugging off his clothes. “You two go on ahead; I’ll guard my soon-to-be niece.”