Starting to feel an odd prickling at the back of her neck—as if she’d walked unawares into a trap—Indigo nonetheless picked up an artwork of a pastry and popped it into her mouth as he retrieved his own plate. The flavors exploded on her tongue in a burst of sweetness and spice. “Delicious.”
Drew’s smile was sharp, satisfied . . . and something else, something she couldn’t quite put her finger on but that made her wolf growl in warning as he murmured, “Good.”
Deciding to take the bull by the horns, she allowed him to pour the wine before saying, “So, what’s this about?”
“I’m leaving the pack.”
Her heart skipped a beat before she narrowed her eyes. “Uh-huh.”
He gave her a crooked smile. “No joke. I spoke to WinterFire in North Dakota. They’re willing to welcome me into the fold.”
WinterFire was a strong, but much, much smaller pack. “And what will you do in WinterFire?” She wasn’t buying it, not for an instant.
“Same thing I do here.”
“You’ll be bored out of your skull.” The breadth of their territory suited his skills particularly well.
Drew shrugged. “I’m willing to take that risk.”
Rolling her eyes, she leaned forward and saw his gaze dip to her cle**age. He didn’t even bother to pretend he wasn’t checking her out as she said, “Cut the crap, Drew. What’re you really up to?” Her br**sts suddenly felt too tight, too confined, her skin hot and aching.
Putting down his glass, Drew lifted his gaze to hers. “I’m serious, Indigo.” Solemn words.
For the first time, she felt a hint of uncertainty. “Are you insane? We can’t afford to lose one of the strongest males in the pack! Not to mention our tracker!”
“I want you,” he said with a blunt honesty that made her mind spin. “And you want me.”
Since her entire body was aflame at his proximity—to the point where he had to be able to scent her arousal—she could hardly deny that. “I’m not following your logic.”
“Far as I can see,” he murmured, stroking her flushed br**sts with his gaze, “only two things are keeping us apart. The first is the fact that you don’t think our union would be good for the health of the pack.”
“Removing yourself from the pack won’t exactly help the situation.”
“Yes,” he said, his tone intent, “it will. You won’t have to worry about confusion when it comes to the hierarchy—and WinterFire is happy for me to continue to work with SnowDancer as necessary.”
Hearing the rational argument, she felt her wolf’s claws dig into her skin, not in anger, but in a strange, wild panic. “You’ve thought this out.”
A muscle pulled taut in his jaw. “Yeah, I have. Because I’m not walking away from us, Indigo. I don’t care how hard I have to fight you.”
She curled her hand into a fist under the table. “You said two things. What’s the second?”
Scrunching up her napkin, she threw it at him. “My mule-headedness? I’m not the one who refuses to accept that we’re over!”
Having caught the napkin without effort, Drew put it down on the table. “Is that what you really want, Indy?”
“Of course! I don’t go around saying things I don’t mean.”
He got up, walking around and behind her while she remained in place—courtesy of her “mule-headedness.” Putting his hands on the arms of her chair, he leaned down until his lips brushed her ear. “Liar.”
“Drew, I’m in no mood—”
Kisses on her neck, slow, wet, coaxing. “I can put you in the mood.” Teeth, little nips and bites that made her entire body clench.
“Stop it.” She put her hands on his but didn’t push him away, too starved for skin-to-skin contact with him. God, but he’d addicted her to him. The realization terrified her, but not enough to break the connection. “We’re talking about your foolhardy idea to leave the pack.”
“Decision’s made.” Another kiss.
Claws threatening to release, she pushed back her chair and rose to face him. He watched her without blinking. “Where’s the zipper on your dress?”
Indigo lifted a shaking finger, pointed. “You are not leaving SnowDancer.”
“Decision’s not yours to make.” Cool words, dominance shimmering beneath the surface.
Moving out from behind the chair, she glared at him, one hand on the chair back, the other on her hip. “You’re being an idiot.”
“No, I’m being smart.” Taking a step toward her, he put his hand on the back of her neck and hauled her forward to meet his lips.
She was so shocked by the hard, fast move—though why, she didn’t know—she didn’t put up her defenses in time. Her hands flew to grip his waist, and she found herself not only giving him full access, but taking liberties of her own, her tongue tangling deliciously with his. He tasted of sin and temptation and all kinds of wicked. And her body, her body was starved for him.
When he moved both hands up to cup her face, she shivered and felt another barrier crumble. Because where the kiss ravaged, took, and demanded, his hold was almost unbearably tender. “You’re a stubborn fool,” she muttered against his mouth. “But I can’t seem to stop adoring you.”
He froze, his expression showing a sudden, unexpected vulnerability. “Don’t play with me like that, Indy.”