“Not in this lifetime.” Glory stomped past William, stopping just short of Ryan.
Ryan just sighed and began to pull off his clothing. Bunny was already tugging off his own clothes, terrified that Gary had managed to catch Tabby before he could get to her. It didn’t matter that Julian was with her. Black Bears rarely won a fight with a Wolf Pack. They would run, knowing the Pack could take them down.
Maybe he thought because the Pack was so small that he’d be able to defend Tabby?
“Why are you getting naked?” Glory’s wide eyes brought him back to what they were doing.
“We can’t shift in clothes. If we do, we’ll get tangled, which makes us vulnerable to attack.” Ryan was completely naked. He stretched, muscles flexing, joints popping. Bunny rolled his eyes. Ryan was showing off for his mate.
From the poleaxed look on her face, he’d succeeded. Her gaze couldn’t decide which part of his body to settle on. Ryan tipped her chin up and planted a kiss on her open mouth. “Stay with Uncle Will. He’ll keep you safe.”
Her jaw snapped shut. “I can take care of myself.”
Ryan pointed behind him. “He can take care of you better.”
Once again her jaw dropped. Where Bunny’s father had been now sat a grizzly Bear calmly scratching its ear. “Oh.” She nodded at the huge Bear. Bunny’s father was the only one in the family who rivaled him in size. “Okay. I’ll, um.” She sat down hard, bouncing a little. “Sit. Stay. Got it.” She reached under her without moving her eyes off Will Bunsun and removed a rock, tossing it aside absently.
That’s going to leave a mark. From the look on Ryan’s face he’d enjoy healing it, too.
Bunny rubbed his chest and sighed. He was forced to heal the tattoo the rest of the way and hope for the best, otherwise it would heal when he shifted. God knew what would happen to the glorious picture if he did that.
He did not want to meet his mate if her Wolf looked like a Shar-Pei.
Bunny nodded at Ryan and began to shift. He could see the shock still on Glory’s face as the two men both turned into grizzlies.
The shock turned to disgust when a long Bear tongue swiped up her cheek just before the two Bears charged into the woods.
Tabby was shocked when she hit the ground. Julian had batted her aside with one swipe of his paw before looming over her prone body. He snarled at the Wolves facing them, daring them to go after him.
They did, nipping at his flanks, trying to draw him away from her. He refused to go more than a few yards away, darting back to her when it looked like one of them might be ready to pounce. And every time she tried to stand, he pushed her back down with one paw, easily holding her in place. He was acting like a mama protecting her cubs. She growled up at him, demanding he let her go so she could fight. He couldn’t take on even this small a Pack by himself.
Julian looked down at her and shook his head. He wasn’t going to let her go.
Tabby bided her time, watching the Wolves harass Julian. Julian moved, going after one of the Wolves.
She shot to her feet and raced after Gary. She had one shot to save Julian and she wasn’t going to waste it.
She heard Julian’s pained cry behind her. She paused in her charge, glancing back. Julian was on the ground, his neck bloodied, two wolves dodging in and out, trying to get another bite in and finish the kill. But Julian continued to snap at them, his wounds healing before their eyes.
Too slowly. Tabby knew they were healing too slowly. He was still drained from saving Chloe. If he took a wound that was too deep, his visions would come true.
She tried to jump toward him, determined to protect him, when strong jaws clamped on her hind leg and dragged her back. She threw back her head and howled in pain, desperately hoping Alex would hear. If he didn’t come soon, she was going to lose Julian.
The pained howl of a Wolf had him sprinting through the trees. The top speed for a natural grizzly had once been clocked at thirty miles an hour. Bunny did his damndest to top that.
Bunny was furious. It wasn’t long before he could hear the yips and cries of the fight. He put on an extra burst of speed, knowing seconds could mean the difference between life and death.
Ten more steps would see him where he needed to be. Nine…eight…seven…
Tabby yelped, the sound full of anguish. And Bunny, terrified, ran faster.
Julian was barely breathing, his fur matted with blood, the color a dark golden green to her Wolf’s eyes, almost blending with the soft gold of his shoulders. She could smell the coppery scent of his blood, her own and the Wolves around them.
At least they’d managed to get off a few shots of their own before going down.
She snapped at Gary, trying to get him off of her. She struggled, but couldn’t break free, not without snapping her leg. She gave up and let him drag her back, knowing what he would attempt to do next.
He would try to mount her. And when he did, she would try to kill him.
Bunny skidded to a stop, taking in the scene through furious eyes. Bright red blood matted Julian’s fur, his throat almost shredded. He could already tell the Bear was unconscious, unable to assist Tabby in her fight.
Tabby was under Gary, the would-be Alpha Wolf attempting to mount her. Her dark brown and tan fur was matted with blood and dirt, the small tuft of green at the very top barely visible. She whimpered in pain when she tried to put weight on her back paw. The leg gave way beneath her, the shock nearly giving Gary the chance to enter her. She snapped and snarled, trying to toss Gary off, but he had a hold of her neck now and was hunching his hips forward, trying to fuck the smaller Wolf.
Gary was trying to rape Tabby.
Bunny roared and relaxed his iron control over his rage.
Tabby started at the terrifying roar. She knew who that was and renewed her struggles.
Her hind leg was killing her, her neck was sore, and she couldn’t get the son of a bitch off her to save her life. She looked up as far as she could with Gary’s teeth buried against her throat. There were two grizzlies. One went after the Wolves trying to finish off Julian. The other, larger one raced straight for Gary.
Gary let go of her and tried to back away, but he was too late. The grizzly swiped with his massive paw, sending the Wolf flying through the air. Tabby whimpered, her neck bleeding from where Gary had tried to embed his teeth.
Gary landed against a tree with a yelp of pain and a sickening thud, his sides heaving. Alex stood over her battered, bleeding body and growled. The expression in his eyes was full of pure rage. His muscles were tense with the need to kill, pure predator as he stared at his downed prey.