The rental Suburban pulled out of Diana's driveway and headed through the development, an older couple from the red lupus garou pack driving it. After a moment's hesitation, the unmarked police car followed. “Now what, Caleb?” Diana asked. Her voice was tight and worried. Her cheeks flushed faintly. He hated to see her so concerned, and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders. “Now we wait for—” A different Suburban, this one black, pulled in front of the house. “Is it a red escort? The police wouldn’t send someone else, would they?” “I don’t think so.” Caleb started to walk outside. Diana tugged at his arm. “Wait for me. I’ve got to do something.” He couldn’t help looking at her in disbelief. “My mother always said to use the bathroom before I went anywhere,” she hastily explained. “Just don’t leave without me.” He tilted his chin down. “I won’t be leaving without you, honey, that’s for certain.” Her eyes held a wealth of worry; then she no
Four SUVs barreled up, scattering the gravel on the shoulder. Two parked in front of them, two behind, as if wedging them in, allowing them no chance of escape. The sun had nearly faded from the sky, and already the reds were ditching their clothes in the vehicles. Diana and Caleb waited. Despite the old man’s words, the gray was not likely a welcome sight among the reds, and the notion that Caleb—instead of a red—would kill their leader most likely didn’t bode well with many of them. As the old man said, there were many who probably felt that Diana could solve their problems by mating with one of the reds and thereby end the killings. What was done was done, and it wouldn't be repeated, but the problem was that, if Alfred won the prize, Ross, Nicol, and Simon would still be without mates. And they would continue their killing spree. The urge to mate ran in their blood. Desiring a mate who would race in the wild with them proved tantamount. Sexual relations with a woman in
The sound of Ragnar's howl nearly made Diana's heart stop. Caleb’s ears pulled back and he narrowed his eyes. His tail pointed straight out, parallel to the ground. Undoubtedly, he sensed the added danger when he caught the sound, too. It just couldn’t be Ragnar. Not when Caleb had so many reds to fight. Diana continued to recline on the ground, pretending not to be bothered, to show Caleb that she believed in him with all of her heart. But she couldn't smooth down the hair standing erect on the nape of her neck or tail. She couldn’t relax her tail, fixed straight as a spear, her body on full alert, ready to react if Ragnar made a sudden appearance. Then she reminded herself that she had her gun and it could give him a lot of heartburn for a while. Ross ran toward Caleb with his teeth bared. Fire burned in the depths of his brown eyes. Caleb responded , his leg and back muscles moving like a waterfall, fluid and powerful. Grabbing Ross by the throat, he snapped his nec
Before long, warm water filled the tub, and Caleb reclined on his back as she climbed on top of him. He kissed her lips and ran his hands over her breasts,heating her deep inside. “I have to say, Diana, you made me proud.” “I was afraid you’d be angry with me because I tried to help you.” He leisurely licked the bathwater off her cheek. “You love me and wanted to protect me. You didn’t do it because you felt I couldn’t handle him. It was just instinctive. An alpha female quality.” She washed his bloodied neck with care. Referring to her as having alpha qualities was the greatest compliment he could ever give. “I was so proud of you to submit to another red, to allow him to fight Simon for the right to be the leader of the pack.” Knowing how difficult it was not only to pretend to cower before a red, but in front of his mate—it had to have been the hardest thing he’d ever done. Her chest swelled with pride to think such a great gray wanted her for his very own.
On the way home, Diana tapped her thumbs on the steering wheel and then finally glanced at Caleb, his eyes drowsy, as he leaned his head against the passenger's window. He must have seen the upturned rug. “Ragnar slept in my bed,” she growled low. “Yeah.” He stared out the window. Did he find Ragnar’s note or not? Oh hell, no sense in keeping the situation secret. She squeezed the steering wheel and then loosened her hold. “He left a note.” Caleb looked at her. “Underneath the floorboard.” He didn’t say a word, just watched her with a stern look. “I . . . I had another gun; the bullets were meant for him.” “I know, Diana honey.” “You did?” Tears pricked her eyes. “Yeah.” “But you didn’t say anything.” “I didn’t want to worry you that he’d found the gun.” “Would you have let me keep it?” He ground his teeth and looked away. “Yeah. Even though I didn’t ever intend for you to have to use it.” She took a steadying breath. “Thanks
Despite loving her wolf form, Diana thought she could live without it forever if it meant she and Caleb would not have to face Ragnar’s wrath; after all, keeping her wolf form meant that she could possibly lose the gray she dearly loved. As before, she would be the dutiful mate and sit on the sidelines, relaxed and quiet, giving the illusion that she didn’t worry about Caleb’s strength. But as soon as the grays gathered for the evening spectacle, her heart sank. Crickets sounded their raucous tunes, frogs riveted from near the stream, and a breeze stirred pine needles with a whooshing sound. Cold and crisp, the smell of an expected snow touched the air. She wished the whisper of frost would harden Ragnar’s joints and make him unable to dodge Caleb’s lunges. That Ragnar’s teeth would fall out from disrepair. That his eyes and hearing were not so keen and he would make fatal mistakes, giving Caleb the advantage. But he was not an old wolf, only in his mid-thirties, and he wa
Five months later, Caleb cradled Diana in his arms while they nestled on a new redwood porch swing he had crafted for her. She gazed at the beautiful greenhouse situated nearby—twice as big as her old one and already filled with rhododendrons and azaleas from Oregon, now her second home. “Chrissie wants us to come to her wedding in two months. She and Henry moved the date up, afraid I couldn’t travel if they waited too long or, if they delayed it until after the babies are born, it would be harder for me to take them with us.” She smiled up at Caleb. He grunted. “I knock Thompson out during my rescuing you at the hospital, and he wants me to be his best man at his wedding? Humans. No figuring them.” “Hmm, maybe it’s the wolf in you he really likes.” Caleb shook his head, his hand caressing her belly, swelling with triplets. She sighed heavily against his chest. A wolf’s howl in the distance brought a smile to her lips. “The Sinapu sure have made strides to reintrod