There she was.
“Hey.” Memories tumbled into him, pain and anguish . . . and the incredible power of someone holding him to life.
She didn’t say a word, just pushed past Lara to crawl into bed beside him, her face buried in his neck. His heart almost stopped. She’d done it in front of everyone, his strong, private, incredibly proud mate. And then he didn’t care, because he could feel damp heat against his skin. “Out,” he snapped.
“Indy, please don’t cry.” He couldn’t stand it. Indigo was tough to her bones; he’d never seen her cry. “Please, baby, please.”
Her hand clenched on his shoulder, her tears heartbreakingly silent.
He stroked one hand into her hair, a little lost, but determined to give his mate what she needed. “I promise not to get shot again. Twice in one lifetime should be enough to fulfill anyone’s quota.” He kissed the parts of her face he could see, her ear, the corner of her eye. “Baby, you have to stop.”
His wolf was going insane inside him, scratching and clawing in distress. Giving in to the animal—and ignoring the sharp aches and twinges of his body—he shifted to take her mouth in a kiss that was a passionate mix of apology, possession, and sheer tenderness. When he finally allowed her to breathe, her eyes glittered up at him, a bright, brilliant indigo.
Unable to bear the sight of the tear trails that marked her cheeks, he kissed them off. “I’m sorry,” he said against her lips.
“You should be.” A husky reprimand, his Indigo coming back to sparking life. “If you make me go through that again”—her fingers clenching in his hair, holding him close—“so help me, God, I’m going to kick your ass three ways to Sunday.”
He bent his head and let her tell him off, hiding the wolf’s smile against her neck. Because her hands were stroking over his body even as she spoke, her legs locked around him. Sighing because he was home, he closed his eyes and gave in to the demands of his bruised and battered body.
Indigo knew the instant Drew fell asleep, sprawled over her in a big, gorgeous spread of muscled male flesh. Feeling her throat thicken again at the thought of how close she’d come to losing him, she pressed a kiss to his temple and forced herself to unhook her legs from around him, afraid she’d put pressure on his wounds.
“Is it safe to come in?” It was a whisper from the doorway.
Indigo nodded at Lara. “He’s out.”
Lara tiptoed in—though Indigo had a feeling Drew was well and truly down for the count—and ran her hands over his body. “He’s fine.” Relieved words. “His body’s healing the remaining damage at its own pace, and I’m going to let it. It’ll ensure he rests.”
“I’ll make sure he does exactly as you order.” Indigo’s hands tightened in Drew’s hair. “God, but he’s got me good.” It was a heart-shuddering jolt, the rush of emotion she’d finally allowed herself to feel now that he was safe.
Lara hitched herself up to sit on the bed. “We’re all jealous, you know, all the unmated women.” A smile full of the wolf’s laughter. “Not only is he a strong, younger male who’ll probably drive you ragged in bed—”
Indigo’s glare had no effect.
“—he adores the ground you walk on.” The healer placed one hand on the back of Drew’s shoulder in gentle affection. “I’d cut off my right arm to have a man look at me the way Drew looks at you.”
“Sorry, he’s mine.” The sudden, violent need to hold him close, to quench her thirst for him, had her scowling at Lara’s hand.
The healer lifted it off with a grin. “How are you going to get out from under him?”
Indigo tried to shift Drew off a fraction. He grumbled in his sleep and shoved a hand under her T-shirt to cup her breast as he snuggled his face deeper into her neck. Looking up to see Lara trying not to burst out laughing, Indigo felt her own lips twitch. “Maybe you should lock the door on your way out.”
The healer did just that . . . and Indigo decided she’d earned some time off. Hooking one leg carefully over Drew’s uninjured side, she put her arms around the heavy heat of him and let sleep sweep her under.
Indigo left Drew to brief Hawke on an unexpected message Drew discovered on his phone when he rose again and was able to check his messages. As a result, she found herself at a highly secure and private location three days later, about to take part in a meeting none of them could’ve dreamed up, even in their wildest, most insane dreams.
Hawke sat on one side of the table, Riley to his left and a heavily pregnant Sascha Duncan to his right, with her mate, Lucas, next to her. Indigo, DarkRiver sentinels Nathan and Dorian, and a still-healing but stubborn Drew, held up the wall at their back, while Riaz was standing watch outside the meeting room with Mercy by his side.
Across from them sat Councilors Nikita Duncan and Anthony Kyriakus. Nikita had Max Shannon to her right, with Max’s wife, Sophia, sitting beside him; while Anthony had a tall, brown-eyed, brown-skinned young man next to him. Tanique Gray was apparently Anthony’s son and Faith’s half brother, and, from the looks of things, he had chosen to ally himself with his father in adulthood.
Indigo’s job was to protect her alpha, and to that aim, she kept her eyes resolutely on the threat posed by the Councilors. She had, she thought, never brushed against so cold a personality as that of Nikita Duncan. Even Anthony Kyriakus, for all his power, didn’t ruffle her wolf’s fur as badly.