Sometimes it was easy to forget that Bears were omnivores. She didn’t think she’d ever forget that again.
She struggled to her feet, wincing, unable to put her full weight on her back paw.
It wasn’t broken, but it felt badly sprained. She nuzzled Alex’s leg as he settled back on all fours. He was massive, much larger than the other grizzly. She stretched up and licked the underside of his jaw, barely able to reach him with the tip of her tongue.
Alex’s eyes never left Gary, but the insane growls lessened with her display of affection. Now, pure rage was filtered by determination, turning what might have been a massacre into an execution. She had no doubts that Alex would win.
She did have to wonder how many pieces Gary would be in when Alex was done.
Bunny stared at the Wolf struggling to his feet. Off to his left, he could hear Ryan quickly dispatching the lesser Wolves. Now it was up to him to deal with Gary.
He started forward, snarling when he felt Tabby trying to keep pace. He needed her to stand back, let him deal with her attacker, but he couldn’t tell her that in this form. He didn’t dare take his eyes off the Wolf. Gary would take any advantage he gave him, and Bunny had no intention of bleeding for the asshole.
But Gary would bleed for him. Oh, would he bleed.
Gary rose to fight him, using those darting tactics Packs used to bring down large prey, but the shifter was off balance. Bunny, thanks to Bear’s gift, knew Gary had banged his head pretty hard and was probably fighting off a concussion. That, added to the ribs he’d cracked when he hit the tree, were making him slower and much clumsier than he’d been when he’d faced Tabby and Julian.
Poor puppy. Bunny grinned, showing his fangs. He reached out one long arm and knocked Gary sideways. He wasn’t ready to finish the kill yet. He wanted Gary to suffer first.
Tabby yipped. He darted a quick glance at her, startled when she limped her way toward Julian. The other Bear did not look good. He wasn’t healing as quickly as he should. Those legendary Spirit Bear powers seemed to have deserted him.
Shit. Whatever Julian had done to help Chloe must have weakened him more than Bunny had first thought. He needed help, and he’d need it soon.
Sharp, cold pain sliced across his side. He whirled back to face his opponent.
He’d taken his eyes off Gary for too long and the Wolf had gotten him for it. He roared and knocked the Wolf back, his claws raking along Gary’s side. The Wolf howled. Blood dripped from wounds inflicted by five-inch claws. As Wolf, he wouldn’t heal, not without help, or without shifting. And shifting right now would merely give Bunny the opening he needed to finish him.
He narrowed his eyes and gathered himself. It was time for the real battle to begin.
Sharp claws, flashing teeth, flying fur, and the smell of blood assaulted her senses. The battle was joined for real. Each shifter tried his best to savage the other, Gary fighting for his life, Alex fighting for his mate and the life of her friend.
The two Wolves who had come with Gary were down, defeated by Ryan in such a short amount of time that Tabby was surprised at how long it was taking Alex to finish the battle. The two Wolves who’d shadowed Gary’s every move had even changed, lying there naked and pathetic, covered in dirt and blood and tears.
They were babbling, begging the huge grizzly for mercy.
Ryan chuffed at them and turned his attention to Julian. She knew the healing powers of the Bears and hoped he’d be able to help him. Because she could hear Julian’s heartbeat, and it was slowing down.
Bunny stopped Gary from darting under him. He couldn’t afford to expose his soft belly to the Wolf. He got a good bite on the Wolf’s tail, earning a pained yip from Gary before he pulled free. They circled one another, each watching for another opening, another chance for claws and fangs to do some serious damage.
Without the rest of his Pack, there was no way Gary could win, not against someone like Bunny.
Bunny saw his opening and charged the Wolf, raking his claws down Gary’s left haunch, opening his hip down to the bone. The Wolf went down, unable to put weight on the leg.
Bunny pulled himself around quickly, his snarl daring the Wolf to get back up.
Gary didn’t. Panting, the man changed, turning human. He clutched his hip, moaning in agony. If Bunny let him live, he’d need a hospital.
Bunny was debating that. He was leaning more toward not.
Tabby limped back to him, and the pain she felt sealed Gary’s fate.
Tabby tried to stop Alex from killing Gary. Too many questions would be asked if a man was found naked, mauled by a grizzly bear. But even limping as quickly as she could, she wasn’t fast enough. So she was surprised when a golden body separated Bunny from his prey. She stiffened, knowing who was blocking Alex.
Emma could have gotten hurt if Alex hadn’t pulled his blow at the last minute, recognizing the scent of the Curana.
“Really, you don’t want to do that.” Max Cannon stepped out from the trees, gloriously naked. She ignored Alex’s glare and got a good eyeful before politely turning her back on her Alpha’s nudity. Simply put, the man was built like a fucking golden god. How could she not look?
From Alex’s low growl, she’d be paying for that bit of gratuitous eye candy later.
Right now, they had more important things to deal with.
“For one thing, I have some questions for Gary Sanders of Phoenix, Arizona.”
Arizona? I thought he was from New Mexico.
“Like, who his Alpha is, and why he thought it was okay to disobey me on Pride lands?” That invisible mist poured out of the Alpha, demanding compliance from all around him.
“Jesus Christ on a pogo stick. You’re huge !” Tabby’s eyes rolled and landed on the naked form of Emma Cannon. She stood, staring wide-eyed at Alex, her head barely reaching his chest. “What the hell do they feed you guys in…where are you from? Do elephants look at you and say, ‘Goddamn, you’re big ’?”
There was a gusty sigh. “Emma. Could you focus on the bad guy here?”
“Sorry.” But she didn’t look sorry as she quickly shifted to Puma.
Tabby ignored her Curana and bowed down, baring her belly for her Alpha. Out of respect for Alex, she kept one eye closed.
The other eye was for the man candy. The Alpha was seriously hot . And, as the saying went, she was mated, not dead.