Dressed only in a pair of khaki cargo pants, he looked oh-so-touchable.
“Doing what?” Rising to her feet, she curled her fingers into her palms. This inexorable sensual pull she felt toward Drew, it unsettled her—more than unsettled her, if she was honest. She was used to holding the reins in her dealings with the opposite sex.
Shaking his head in a way that was distinctly wolfish, he curved one hand around her calf, looking up with those wonderful, changeable eyes. “Worrying about all the things that could go wrong. Enjoy the moment, Indy. Enjoy what we are—”
“If you think I can do that,” she said with a wry smile, some of her tension dissipating, “you don’t know me.”
He squeezed her leg. “Yeah, that’s why I decided to haul myself awake at this ungodly hour and come rescue you.”
“It’s at least a couple of hours past dawn.” The forest was awash in the chatter of birds, the sky a pale azure with shimmering undertones of gold and pink that presaged a brilliant day.
Drew made a face, eyes on the play of sunlight dappling the water. “A couple of hours past dawn? Are you insane? Noon is when rational people wake up.”
Laughing, she leaned lightly against him as he moved his hand over her leg in a lazy caress. “How do you function when you’re on night watch or the early shift?”
“I function fine. I just prefer to lie in bed if at all possible.”
“You sure you’re a wolf?” she teased. “You sound like a big ole lazy cat to me.”
He grumbled low in his throat. “I’d throw you in the pool for that, but I’m feeling too mellow after the way you worked me over last night.”
“You’re not the one with bruises on your back.”
An unrepentant smile. “You don’t have any—I checked already.” Rising when she made as if to push him into the water, he slid his hands under her tee to cup her na**d bottom. “Hey, Indy?”
Surprised by his oddly solemn tone, she looked up. “What is it?”
“How come you’re avoiding touching me?”
She glanced down at her hands to see that she’d clenched them into fists again. Groaning, she pressed her forehead against his chest. “I’m sorry.” He didn’t deserve this.
A kiss on her temple, strong hands petting the globes they’d palmed. “Have you had enough after only one night?”
She almost fell for that mournful voice—but the fiend’s eyes were dancing when she looked up. “Very funny.”
He squeezed the flesh he’d been stroking. “Freak-out, huh? I told you, I kinda expected it.”
Wrapping her arms around him, she nodded. “I’m not used to being this . . .” Close to addiction.
He dipped his head, met her gaze. “Does it help if I tell you I’m already a junkie? And that I intend to indulge as much as possible—and then do it some more? I can tie you to the bed if you like, so you can’t touch.”
Her wolf swiped a paw at him at the outrageous teasing. “I think it’s you who needs to be tied up,” she muttered darkly, but his complete ease with the hunger between them did go a long way toward making her more comfortable with the depth of her own need. “Come here.”
“For what?” he asked, suspicion in every syllable.
Her wolf laughed. “For a good-morning kiss—I’ve decided to let you live.”
His eyes gleamed. “Excellent idea.” He’d slid down to his knees and pulled her sex to the voracious demand of his mouth before she could do more than gasp in a breath. Clenching her hand in his hair, she went to pull him back up . . . but then he did something with his tongue that made her toes curl, and she found herself spreading her legs to give him better access.
A pleased rumble against her, followed by pleasure upon pleasure.
Later, after he’d teased her to the point that she’d been driven to threats of murder, they took a dip and ate.
“Since we’re both up at this ridiculous hour anyway,” Drew grumbled afterward, “do you want to hike up to Wolf Point?”
Wolf Point, so named by the first wolves who’d settled in this region, offered a breathtaking view across the lakes that dotted the area. On a day like this, the sky up there would be an excruciating blue, the sun’s rays bright and harsh. Her skin tingled in sensory pleasure. “Yes, let’s.”
“Take our packs so we can camp up there?”
At her nod, he began to roll up the sleeping bags while she turned off and packed the laz-fire. “We should go back to the den tomorrow,” she said as they finished.
“Yeah.” Drew’s gaze was serious. “We left Hawke short-handed. You think we should head back now?”
Mentally reviewing who was in the den and able to fill in, she shook her head. “I have my cell—he’d have called if he needed us.” She wanted more time to explore this unexpected bond between her and Drew. Because there’d be no hiding it when they returned to the den, not with the intimacies they’d shared—and would continue to share. Wolf noses would sniff it out in about one second flat.
“Do you want to hide it?” Drew asked without warning.
Hearing the absolute neutrality of his voice, her spine went stiff. “What?”
It startled her that he’d guessed the direction of her thoughts, but her answer was immediate. “No.” She was unsure and confused, but she was no coward—not now that she’d made the decision to dance with him. More, she was proud of the male she’d chosen. Whatever happened, he was hers, and other women would do well to keep their paws off him. “I’ll give you one phone call to warn your harem you’re now off-limits.”