She wanted to thump him for worrying her so, but what stopped her was the open affection in his mental tones. She'd never heard that in his voice. But now he was speaking to her without any barriers...trusting her with everything he was. Swallowing, she wiped the backs of her hands across her eyes. "You idiot. I'll damage you myself if you don't shut up and hurry."
Male laughter in her mind. He sounded just as she'd always thought he'd sound if he laughed - arrogant, a touch bad, and drop-dead gorgeous. I can hear your thoughts.
"Then stop listening." But she was too happy to worry. And...this was Judd. He had under-the-skin privileges. "How can we talk like this anyway? None of the others can." Not that she'd seen.
I'm a high-level telepath. I could always send, even to very weak receivers, and you're not weak.
A small silence. "What did Enrique do?" She'd been avoiding the issue after no one had seemed to be able to give her any answers, but now Judd was in the one place she had vowed to never allow another being. And it felt right. "Tell me, I'm ready."
I don't know what his intention was, but it looks like he might have opened your mind in a way it was never meant to be opened. That's why you've been picking up fragments of others' thoughts and dreams, why you've been acting out of character. I need to teach you to shield, not like a changeling but like a Psy. Until you can, I'll shield you.
"Well, if we can talk like this, at least some good came out of that." She dropped a kiss on his forehead. Then frowned. Can I think to you?
Yes. He sounded delighted. Brenna, it's not just my telepathy and the changes in you that are allowing us to speak. I can see it - a bond like the one to my familial Net, except this one is...it's...I'm no poet...
A caress whispered through her mind and she knew he wanted her to close her eyes. So she did. A second later, she felt something travel down the bond. It was an image of the bond itself. A stunning kaleidoscope, twisted through with the martial threads of a soldier and the bright, animal sparks that represented her.
A tear streaked down her face. I love you.
She laughed at the possessive tone. "I've always been yours. Now hurry up or the others will find me here talking to myself."
I told you I didn't need any help.
"And I told you you're Pack now." She would beat that into his head even if it took a lifetime.
He went silent, obviously working. She didn't interrupt him and when he lifted those dark lashes twenty minutes later, all she could do was smile. "Hey."
Looking up into her eyes, he raised a hand to close over her nape. "Come here."
Bending down, she touched her lips to his. Warmth flowed from her to him and then back. The bond pulsed before sparking, sending a small electric shock down her spine. Gasping, she broke the kiss. "I don't think that's normal."
"You're mated to a Tk." He smiled and while it was small, it was most definitely a smile. The impact was, to say the least, devastating. "It looks as if I can do all sorts of things to you now that the bond's functioning as it should." As if to prove that, the next pulse traveled directly to the heat between her legs.
Sucking in a breath, she leaned over and bit his lower lip. "My turn." Mate, he was her mate. Hers forever. "Mine."
"Yours." His hand tightened on her nape as he allowed her to take advantage of him.
"Why wasn't the bond working before?" she asked the next time they came up for air. "My wolf couldn't sense it."
"Silence." Shadows in his voice. "It had me wrapped up so tight, I was blocking it, likely stopping you from feeling it, too. To accept it would probably have led to a fatal strike from the dissonance, so my brain protected itself the only way it could." There was anger now. "Silence tried to destroy us before we could begin."
"But the bond was always there," she whispered. "So take that, Psy Council. Not even your damn Silence can stop what's meant to be."
Judd's eyes widened at her vehemence and then that small smile widened a fraction. "I thought I told you to come here."
"And I thought I told you not to mess with me." But she went. Sometimes, you had to give in to a male. Especially when he was yours and he looked at you with that na**d heat in his eyes.
It was amazing what a man could do when he was properly motivated, Judd thought as he straightened Brenna's clothing. Just in time. Four wolves burst out of the forest seconds later. Walker wasn't that far behind, having been brought there on a snowmobile loaded with emergency medical equipment.
The wolves shifted as his brother got off the snowmobile and walked across. "Are you all right?"
Judd nodded. "Yes."
But another conversation was taking place on the LaurenNet.
You've disabled the Silence Protocol. There was no judgment in his brother's tone. It's already influencing the familial Net.
Judd realized Walker was right. We've been living with emotion since the children started adapting. It won't harm them.
No. Walker's psychic presence was a star that had an odd twisting motion at the center. He wasn't a martial Psy, and no one had ever been able to figure out what that twisting motion meant. There's a new mind in the Net.
Judd blinked and looked again. There she was, linked to the Net through him and protected by his powerful mind. None of the others could touch her, though her strong, affectionate nature was already influencing the flows of the tiny LaurenNet. Brenna. She couldn't see this, couldn't see her wild silver star with ricocheting shards of vibrant blue, but it was something that calmed his psychic mind. He could protect her now, no matter where she was. He'd know if she shed a single tear.