“Maria.” Reaching out, he did hug her then, rubbing his chin over the softness of those pretty curls. “Talk to me, sweetheart. You know you can.”
Another sniff, this one distinctly wetter. “All the girls warned me about him, but I didn’t listen. I thought I could tame him. How stupid!”
Andrew cuddled her closer, until she was almost in his lap. “Tell me.”
And she did, pouring out her heart. Kieran, for all his humanity—having been adopted into SnowDancer—was more of a wolf on the prowl than most, leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake. Maria, Andrew thought, wasn’t the first casualty, nor would she be the last. Her heart would heal, but he sympathized with the burning hurt of the fresh bruise—he knew better than most how badly the heart could ache when the one you wanted didn’t want you back.
Indigo had been a warm, luscious presence beside him all night long, her legs tangled with his, smooth against his rougher skin, but he didn’t make the mistake of thinking she’d changed her mind about his suitability as a lover. Still, she’d responded to him in a sexual way more than once since they’d hit the mountains, the scent of her desire a taunting perfume.
It had taken everything he had not to stroke his fingers up to cup her breast last night after she kissed him, to nuzzle his way down and lap up the warm, erotic scent at the juncture of her thighs, to pleasure her with his mouth and his hands, to adore her in the most rawly sexual of ways.
He’d almost snapped when he’d realized she was fighting against her own body’s needs once again. Sometimes he wanted to shake Indigo, make her see sense. After the arousal he’d scented, he now knew he could seduce her by stoking up the embers of her passion until her wolf—sensual, tactile, with far fewer concerns than the human—pushed her into his arms.
But of course, it wasn’t that simple.
Feeling Maria rub her damp cheek against his chest, he pulled his attention back to the present, running his hand over and along her back until she quieted down. “Kieran’s an idiot,” he murmured, continuing to pet her with the undemanding caresses of a packmate. “When you grow up a little more and become the woman you’re going to be, he’s going to kick himself. And you can rub his face in it.”
Maria gave him a shaky smile, dark eyes near black even to his night vision. “You know how to stroke a woman’s ego.”
Using his thumbs, he wiped away the remnants of her tears. “It’s easy with someone like you.” Too bad he was stuck on a woman who might just drive them both to insanity with her refusal to even admit the possibility that there might be something between them.
Indigo found herself alone half an hour after Drew left with Maria clinging to him like kudzu. No guesses as to what the two of them were doing, though thankfully, they’d gone far enough out of range that she couldn’t hear or scent their bodies. As for Hawke, he’d noticed that four of the juveniles weren’t as exhausted as their peers and had rounded them up for an exploration of the night-swathed forest.
The eight Hawke had left behind were all lost in deep sleep, their faces—no matter the form they’d chosen—content. Only Indigo remained awake by the fire, her spine stiff, her wolf snarling inside her mind as she stared at the spot where Drew had disappeared into the dark, his arm curled around Maria’s shapely form.
Her eyes shifted without conscious control, until she saw everything with the wolf’s piercing night vision. Furious with her lack of control, she went to the tent—to be confronted by Drew’s sleeping bag. He wasn’t likely to come back here, and even if he did, she sure as hell did not intend to sleep next to a male who stank of another woman. Decision made, she rolled up his bag and put both it and his pack in a neat pile against a tree a small distance away, where he couldn’t miss it.
Just being a good packmate, she told herself. It had nothing to do with the fact that an odd kind of anger was boiling through her system. She didn’t want to sleep with Drew. Okay, yes, she did, but she wasn’t going to do it, so she had no reason to be so savagely angry that he’d gone off with another female. There was nothing worse than a woman who played dog in the manger—it would be the worst kind of hypocrisy on her part.
Her mind snapshotted to an image of Drew’s na**d body as he dropped the towel the night of the storm, his muscled flesh inviting touch. Maria was probably in raptures—Enough.
Stripping off her clothes, she pulled on a large tee over her panties and slipped in between the unzipped halves of her sleeping bag. She’d ended up kicking off the top half last night, not needing it given the blazing heat of Drew’s body. His heartbeat had been a slow, steady rhythm behind her, his breath warm against her temple. Sometime in the night, he’d spread his hand out over her abdomen and intertwined his legs with her own, the hairs on his thighs rubbing rough and sensuous against her skin. It hadn’t only been comforting to sleep like two tangled pups, it had been . . . more.
Gritting her teeth against the heavy impression of memory, she closed her eyes. Sleep continued to evade her like the most frustrating prey . . . and she was wide awake when she scented two familiar forms coming back to camp. Her hand fisted and she set her jaw, determined not to take a deeper breath, to peel apart the scents in a search for the musky taste of sex.
“Looks like everyone’s asleep.” A feminine whisper.
A pause and though Indigo knew it was impossible, she could’ve sworn Drew’s eyes were drilling into her skull. “You better get some rest, too.”