It was only after she’d gone—the autumn and spice of her scent lingering in the air in a silent rebellion she would’ve undoubtedly enjoyed had she known about it—that he loosened his hold on the wolf who was his more feral half.
It lunged for her scent.
Sucking in a harsh breath, Hawke fought the primal urge to go after her. He’d been battling the instinct for months, ever since the wolf decided that she was now an adult and, therefore, fair prey. The human half of him wasn’t having much success in changing the wolf’s mind, not when he had to fight the hunger to claim the most intimate of skin privileges every time she was in his presence.
“Christ.” Picking up the sleek new sat phone the techs had issued him four weeks ago, he put through a call to DarkRiver’s alpha.
Lucas answered on the second ring. “What is it?”
“Sienna won’t be heading down to spend time with you cats for a while.” Aside from the distance Sienna apparently needed from the den, from him, she’d been working with Lucas’s Psy mate, Sascha, to understand and gain control of her abilities. But—“I can’t let it go. Not this time.”
“Understood.” The answer of a fellow alpha.
Hawke sat on the edge of his desk, shoving a hand through his hair. “Can she handle it?” He knew she wouldn’t break—Sienna was too strong for that, a strength that acted like a drug on his wolf—but the power that lived within her was so vast, it had to be treated as the wildest of beasts.
“Last time she was down,” Lucas responded, “Sascha said she displayed an exceptional level of stability, nothing like when they first began to work together. They’re not having regular meetings anymore, so that’s not an issue.”
Mind at rest on that score at least, Hawke said, “I’ll make sure Judd keeps a psychic eye on her just in case.” Sienna wouldn’t appreciate the oversight, but fact was fact—she was dangerous, and he had to consider the safety of the pack as a whole. As for the ferocity of his protective instincts when it came to her, he wasn’t about to lie and pretend they didn’t exist.
“Can I ask what happened?” Lucas’s tone was curious.
Hawke gave the cat a quick rundown. “She’s been worse this past month.” Prior to that, her newfound stability had been noticed—and approved of—by all the senior members of the pack. “I’ve got to start coming down hard on her or it’ll cause discontent in the den.” Hierarchy was the glue that held a wolf pack together. As alpha, Hawke was at the top of that hierarchy. He could not, would not, accept rebellion from a subordinate.
“Yeah, I get it,” Lucas replied. “Surprises me though. She’s the perfect soldier down here, doesn’t ever give me lip. Got a mind as sharp as a razor.”
Hawke flexed and unflexed his claws. “Yeah, well, she’s not yours.”
A long, quiet pause. “I heard you were seeing someone.”
“You want to gossip?” Hawke made no attempt to hide his irritation.
“Kit and the other novices saw you with some drop-dead gorgeous blonde a few weeks ago. At a restaurant down by Pier 39.”
He thought back. “She’s a media consultant with CTX.” SnowDancer and DarkRiver held majority shares in the communications company, an investment that was paying off big-time as even Psy began to search for news reports free of the crushing influence of their dictatorial ruling Council. “Wanted to talk to me about doing an interview.”
“When’s it going to be on?”
“Next time you see a pig flying past the window.” Hawke didn’t play for the cameras, and he’d made damn sure Ms. Consultant understood that SnowDancer wasn’t planning to change its mean and carnivorous image to pretty and fluffy anytime soon. She could work with that or find another posi—A sudden thought sliced clean through his remembered annoyance, had his hand tightening on the phone. “Was Sienna with the novices?”
It was Hawke who paused this time, his wolf taking a watchful stance, caught between two competing needs. “There’s nothing I can do about that, Luc,” he said at last, every muscle in his body taut to the point of pain.
“That was what Nate said.”
The leopard sentinel was now happily mated with two cubs.
“Not the same.” It wasn’t simply a question of age—the brutal fact was that Hawke’s mate was dead. Had died as a child. Sienna didn’t understand what that meant, how little he had to give her, give any woman. If he was selfish enough to succumb to the unnamed but powerful pull between them, he knew full well he’d destroy her.
“Doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. Think about it.” Luc hung up.
She hasn’t slept with him, you know . . . Don’t leave it too late, Hawke, or you might just lose her.
Indigo’s words two months ago, speaking about Sienna and that cub who was stuck to her like glue whenever Hawke turned around. Aside from the fact the boy was a leopard, there was nothing wrong with Kit. He’d make the perfect ma—
A crunching sound.
His new sat phone bore a jagged crack through the screen.
RECOVERED FROM COMPUTER 2(A) TAGS: PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE, FATHER, E-PSY, ACTION REQUIRED AND COMPLETED1
FROM: Alice <[email protected]
TO: Dad <[email protected]
DATE: September 26th, 1970 at 11:43pm