However, she felt more hopeful of deciphering the oblique nature of some of the chapters today, after having spoken to a Forgotten empath, an elderly lady named Maya.
“Only cardinals could stop riots,” Maya had said in response to Sascha’s question, her trim figure active as she paced in front of her comm screen. “So I wasn’t taught how, but I have a vague memory of my grandmother talking about a ‘terminal field.’ ”
Maya hadn’t been able to dig up any memories of what the term might actually mean, but it was a start. With that in mind, Sascha was about to reread the section on riot control when she heard Lucas moving about in the living area. “Lucas.” She kept her tone soft, knowing he’d hear.
He filled the doorway, all green eyes and dark hair. Such a beautiful man, was her mate. Such a dangerous one, too, especially when the protective streak that had been honed in blood was riding him. “Do you have time to discuss something?”
His expression gentled. “Two minutes? I want to send this note off to Zara.”
“I’ll be here.” Watching as he left, she played with the spine of the Eldridge book.
“You need a better bedtime story.” Lucas prowled in to sprawl on his back beside her.
She raised her head instinctively, and he slid one arm beneath before turning to curve his big body around hers. It had become their favorite sleeping position.
“I’m not sleepy,” she said. “Just wanted to rest my feet.”
“I’ll give you a foot rub.”
Joy shimmered through her, an incandescent light. “Lucas, you do realize you’re spoiling me beyond redemption?”
“Don’t worry—I plan to ignore you once you give me my baby princess.”
She laughed, secure in the knowledge of his love. “Did you manage to talk to Sienna?” The teenager, part of a family of Psy defectors that had found sanctuary with the SnowDancer wolves, had been staying with DarkRiver on and off for the past few months.
“She got up to the SnowDancer den safe and sound.” A kiss pressed to the sensitive skin below her ear. “She’s a very good driver.”
“And Kit?” The DarkRiver male was a young soldier, a future alpha—and appeared to be forming an attachment to Sienna.
“He’s still down here.” Lucas sounded as if he was frowning in thought. “I don’t know if we have any right to say anything. They’re both adults.”
“I’m not sure if Sienna is thinking straight.” The Psy teenager had been close to the breaking point when she first came to stay with DarkRiver. She’d stabilized since then, but . . . “How’s Hawke?”
Lucas didn’t curse at the mention of the SnowDancer alpha, an indication of just how seriously he was taking this. “Seems fine, but it’s hard to read another alpha—we get pretty good at keeping our thoughts to ourselves when necessary.”
“Hawke and Sienna—there’s something there.” A raw, almost angry fury. “With Kit, it’s harder to pinpoint. I can sense something between them, but what, I can’t yet tell.”
“Kit would be the better choice for her,” Lucas said in a quiet tone that did nothing to hide the depth of his concern for everyone involved. “Hawke isn’t going to be easy on any woman he takes as his own. And the fact is, he lost the girl who would’ve been his mate as a child. I don’t know if his wolf will allow him to accept another female on that level.”
Sascha had no answer to that. Like changeling leopards, wolves mated for life. She’d sensed Hawke’s anger, his wolf’s tormented rage, but she’d also sensed Sienna’s anguish at her response to the SnowDancer alpha. And then there was Kit—gorgeous, loyal, strong Kit.
“Is that what you wanted to discuss?” Lucas took the book from her hand and put it on the bedside table before returning to hold her close again.
The imp of mischief that had awakened after she mated with Lucas made a sudden appearance. “No—did you hear the wolves are calling Mercy ‘their’ sentinel?”
A growl that made every hair on her body rise in primal response. “She might’ve had the bad taste to mate with a wolf, but she’s ours. They try to co-opt her, I’ll be giving you a nice, new Hawke-fur coat for your birthday.”
Unable to withhold her laughter, she patted his arm. “You’re so easy.”
“Brat.” But the panther was laughing with her. “You okay?”
She knew he was talking about Nikita, about the confused emotions in Sascha’s heart. “I’m getting there.”
Sophie, my sweet, sexy, Sophie, I do think I’d like to unbutton that perfect little suit jacket. After that, I’d like to slip each and every tiny pearl button out of its slot to open your shirt to the waist.
—Handwritten note from Max to Sophia
Max walked out of the shower an hour later to find Morpheus glaring at him from the bed. “What?” he asked, pulling on a pair of jeans and a dark green T-shirt.
The cat continued to glare.
“I fed you,” Max muttered, glad for the prosaic reality of life for giving him a way out of the memories that had haunted him for over a decade. “Don’t scowl at me because you snarfed it in one minute and now have a stomachache.”
Morpheus licked his paw. He was not amused.
Deciding not to pet the damn cat right then in case it decided to bite off his hand, he ran a comb through his hair and walked out to the kitchen. Thanks to the grocery shopping he’d done the day he arrived, he had all the ingredients for the dinner he planned to cook for Sophia.