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