Color under her hands, the wolf with fur the distinctive color of silver-birch bark shifting into a human with lake blue eyes and rain-slick hair. “I don’t think so.” He was on her before she knew it, cupping her face in his hands, his mouth on hers.
The caress was hot, hard, a slamming fist that held her motionless. And then . . . an inferno punching through her body, making her tangle her hand in that thick brown hair, tug back his head. “What,” she said on a gasping breath, “are you doing?”
“I thought it’d be obvious.” Laughter in his eyes, the lake seared by sunshine as his thumbs stroked over her cheekbones. “I want to lick you up right now.”
She didn’t take it personally. “You’re high on adrenaline from the hunt.” Pushing off his hands, she angled her head. “And loss of blood.” It ran in a clean, water-diluted line down his side. “You definitely need stitches.”
“No, I don’t.” He kissed her again, pushing her down to the earth.
This time, she didn’t back away at once. And got the full impact of the kiss . . . and of the rigid arousal nudging at the sensitive dip of her abdomen. Her heartbeat accelerated, startling her enough that she bit hard at his lip. “It’s cold down here.” Though the snow had melted away in this part of the range, the Sierra Nevada retained the chill kiss of winter even in the blush of spring.
A repentant look. She found herself on top an instant later. Still being kissed. Groaning at the stubborn wolf—who could kiss so insanely well that she was tempted to let him have at it—she pushed at his shoulders. “Get up before you die of blood loss, you lunatic.”
A scowl. And then Drew kissed her again.
Andrew heard Indigo moan, felt her body soften a delicious fraction before the lieutenant got herself under control. Pushing off his shoulders, she rolled away to crouch beside him on the forest floor, her namesake eyes bright with the wolf’s night-glow gaze. “I’ll forgive you for slobbering over me that one time. But do it again and I’ll put you on your ass.”
“I’m already there.” He sat up. “And I seem to recall you slobbering back.” Her tongue had been a sleek, fast dart in his mouth before that damn self-discipline of hers had kicked in. “Want to do it some more?”
She pushed back her hair. “I give up. Stay here. Die of blood loss. I’m going to go slip into a nice warm bath and eat the slice of New York cheesecake I bribed Lucy to sneak up to me past the ravaging hordes.”
“You have cheesecake?” He prowled over to crouch by her. It was hard, so f**king hard, to pretend this was only a game, to play with her, when all he wanted to do was bury his face in her neck and just . . . be. “Will you share if I come back?”
A low feminine growl that probably would’ve sent most men packing. “Are you trying to blackmail me?”
“Would I do that?” Needing to touch her, he pressed his lips to the skin of her shoulder.
She didn’t push him away—a high-ranking female allowing skin privileges to a male she thought needed the anchor. He didn’t want to be just another male, just another wolf. But if it would get him near her, then he’d take it . . . for now.
“Indy.” Shifting so that he was behind her, he buried his nose in her neck, drawing deep and smiling in savage satisfaction when he scented her alone. No male. She didn’t have a lover she’d accepted to that level. He’d already known that, but it was good to have the confirmation. Because he’d made his decision—to stop circling and fight for what he wanted.
And he wanted Indigo.
Smart, dangerous, fascinating Indigo.
Reaching back, she tugged at his hair. “No cheesecake unless you stop using that stupid nickname.”
He nipped at her fingers. Got a sigh. “Come on. Let’s go home.” She shifted under his hands, a beautiful deep gray wolf with eyes that were a startling burnished gold.
Taking a deep breath, he shifted beside her and let her lead them back. Once in the den, she bullied him to the healer and stood there snarling low in her throat until he shifted into human form and let Lara poke and prod at him. Only when Indigo was certain he was behaving did she leave.
His joy dimmed.
He could still feel her skin, silky and wet against his, still taste the wild heat of her mouth. God, but he craved the right to have her. Except that she was a dominant female, the highest-ranking woman in the pack, and he was a male whose dominance level was ambiguous—an unusual situation in a wolf pack, but his work for their alpha depended on him being seen as outside the hierarchy. However, no matter how you cut it, she outranked him; she’d been lieutenant for years. Added to that, she was four years older.
Frustrated at his thoughts, he moped his way back to his rooms when Lara released him, barely noticing the flesh-colored thin-skin bandage the healer had slapped on his side. He was just getting out of the shower when he heard the door to his room open. Indigo’s scent followed a moment later. Rubbing haphazardly at his hair, he wrapped the towel around his waist and walked out to find her sitting cross-legged on his bed, her back to the wall, a huge slice of cheesecake on the saucer she had in her hand.
She was here. In his territory.
Leaning against the bathroom doorway, he just watched her. Her skin was flushed with heat, so she’d taken that bath. And the hair she usually tied up in a ponytail lay sleek and damp down the back of her white T-shirt. Her soft black pajama pants hid the long length of her legs, but Andrew had memorized every lithely muscled inch of her.