“Uh-huh. He vibrates.” It was a whisper meant to carry to his ears alone. “I think I’ll try him out tonight.”
His fingers were pressing down so hard, he was probably going to leave bruises. She didn’t care. Not when he was burning her up with the heat in his eyes. “Don’t.”
Raising her arms, she linked them behind his neck. “Why not?”
“Your first time shouldn’t be with that .”
She shrugged. “I’m getting older, Nathan. I have needs.” Dark, clawing needs. Needs only he could fulfill.
“Promise me you won’t use that stupid toy.”
“It’s not stupid.” She rubbed against the hardness of him and heard him suck in a breath. “It’s smaller than you, though.”
“Christ.” Pulling her arms off his neck, he spun her around so she faced him. “Don’t. Use. That. Thing. ” It was an order.
“Why not?” She pressed into him, the leopard in her inciting a desire to taunt, to torment. “Lots of women do it.”
Eyes going cat, he leaned down to speak against her ear, his lips teasing a suddenly sensitive portion of her anatomy. “If you promise not to use it on yourself tonight,” he whispered, “I’ll use it on you.”
Her legs threatened to collapse. “When?”
She was weak, so weak where he was concerned. “I promise I won’t use it tonight.”
He nipped at the shell of her ear and it was then she realized he’d danced them to the farthest edge of the Pack Circle, well away from the reach of the temporary lights. She whimpered and held on. “Nate.”
“Shh. It won’t be that long, baby.” His hand stroked over her back, a rigid inflexibility to his body that hadn’t been there before. “You need a little more time.”
A nauseous feeling twisted through her. “Nate, you said you’d—”
“When the time is right.” There it was again, that tense restraint…as if with her surrender, he had found control.
Anger and pain mixed a caustic brew inside her. “Well,” she said, wrenching away from him, “I only promised not to use it tonight.”
“And,” she continued, “I’m not going to fall for that dirty trick again.” She began backing into the Circle. “I’m sick of being teased and left wanting. Tomorrow night, I’m taking care of business.”
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS.
Nate glared into his morning coffee and then at the duty roster he’d just received from Cian. Punching in the sentinel’s code on the comm console, he waited for Cian’s face to appear. “What the hell are you on? This roster is a joke!” He was so pissed, he consigned seniority and rank to Hades.
Cian blinked. “I heard you wanted to be on the perimeter, away from Tammy.”
“I don’t recall asking for that particular favor .”
The other man winced at his tone. “You do make a point of avoiding her whenever she comes after you.” He frowned. “Though she seems to have stopped doing that lately.”
That observation made Nate’s incisors threaten to erupt. The leopard was not happy with Tamsyn right now. Neither was the man. They both wanted to bite. To dominate. To mark. “Switch me with Juanita.”
“You sure?” Cian scowled. “You’re not exactly in a good mood. Do you want to be around Tammy?”
It was an insult—as if he’d ever hurt her. “If I had wanted advice, I’d have asked for it. Switch.”
“Fine.” Cian threw up his hands. “I’ll tell Nita.”
“And mind your own damn business from now on.” Turning off the comm, he finished his coffee and headed out. He was hungry, but he figured Tammy would have something—she was the best cook in DarkRiver.
His new watch area was in the immediate vicinity of the Pack Circle and included Tammy’s home among a few others. On his first pass, it appeared she was still asleep, but he caught the sharp freshness of tea leaves on the second pass. Since he’d remained in human form, it was easy to walk up to her back door and knock.
He knew she had to have scented him, but she peered out suspiciously from the kitchen window before opening the door with a scowl. “What are you doing here?”
Okay, so she was still mad. His c**k throbbed at the memory of the events that had led to their fight. He wanted to put his hands on the sweet curves of her bottom, crush her to him, and kiss the hell out of her bad mood.
“Good morning to you, too, sunshine,” he managed to say through the chokehold of desire. It was torture being near her, but that was infinitely better than the distance she’d maintained over the past few days.
“You’re just hungry.” She snorted and turned away, leaving the door open.
He walked in to find her at the counter, cutting slices of bread from what looked like a home-baked loaf. He forced himself to stand to the side instead of going behind her and bending down to draw in the lusciously feminine scent along the line of her throat. “Only bread today?”
She lifted the knife and pointed it in his direction. “Do you want to get fed or not?”
“I love bread.” He knew how to stroke his mate when she needed stroking. His mind immediately took the image and ran with it, ratcheting his hunger past explosive. “Why are you half-dressed?” She was wearing his old football shirt and those ridiculous pink fluffy slippers. Sexy and adorable. A killer combination.