Reaching up, she stroked over and stopped at her hair tie. “What the—” A chocolate kiss sat in her hand.
He waited for her reaction.
Holding his gaze, she peeled away the silver wrapper and closed her lips over it in a way designed to make a certain part of his anatomy throb. “Delicious.” Licking her lips, she pointed south. “Time to work.”
He worked, but by the time Indigo left to return to the den to take one of her classes—they couldn’t afford to be slack on that, especially now—he’d kissed her on the lips five more times and showered her with several hidden candy kisses.
A few were found by gleeful packmates, who solemnly delivered them to Indigo . . . who just as solemnly accepted each offering. His wolf was pleased with this day’s work.
Tai came up to him after Indigo left. “Teach me,” he demanded.
“Courtship. Because, from the smile on Indigo’s face, you’re really good at it.”
Andrew thought of last night, of the power of the emotions that had passed between them. She’d opened her arms to him when he’d returned to the bed, and he’d felt her wolf’s presence in every atom of her being as they lay intertwined. It had been a stunning intimacy, but—“She hasn’t accepted the mating yet.” You could never, ever be certain of a dominant female’s choice until that moment.
“I know I’m only a novice, but I think that’s because female wolves like to run their men ragged.” A scowl. “And because she’s having too much fun playing with you.”
Andrew was still thinking over Tai’s words as he entered his room that night, having spent all day with the search team. They’d discovered only one other camera, but they weren’t going to let up. The bloody things were so small and cunningly camouflaged that they could be easily overlooked.
Frowning, he stopped on the way to the shower.
There was something wrong with the room, but he couldn’t put a finger on it. Shucking his clothes, he washed, then walked out. He still couldn’t figure out what was different . . . until he went to grab a pair of sweatpants from the dresser.
A laugh escaped him.
Platypus had been given an eye patch embroidered with a skull and crossbones.
Picking up the little note under the bear’s paw, he saw Indigo’s scrawl: I think he looks rather dashing, don’t you? Come sleep with me when you get back.
That was exactly what he did. “When are you going to mate with me?” he asked her in the midnight hours, as he slid into the melting heat of her body.
Her eyes, gone wolf-gold, gleamed in the darkness at him. “We’re considering it.”
His own wolf bit back a grin of triumph, even as his heart expanded. “I’m going to sleep with you every night.”
“You sound very certain.” An edge of dominance.
“Oh, I am.” Instead of snarling at her, he kissed her slow and easy. “You’d miss me if I wasn’t here.”
Her body arched up as he stopped his strokes. “Drew.” It was a warning.
But he was bigger and heavier, so he pinned her to the sheets. “Admit it.” Kisses on her lips, nibbles on her jaw, licks on the line of her throat. “Say it.”
She twisted her body and almost managed to put him on his back. Laughing, he pinned her again. “Hey, you nearly broke a very important part of my anatomy in half.” Unable to resist the slick heat of her, he began to move again, deep and hard.
Indigo fractured under him moments later, and he wasn’t far behind. He realized she hadn’t said what he’d asked her to, hadn’t admitted that vulnerability, and that worried him, because for the mating bond to snap into place, she had to open her soul to him.
No shields, no walls, no protections.
Still, he thought, cuddling her close, she was without a doubt taking an active part in the mating dance, and that was a very good sign. Patience, he counseled his wolf, just a little more patience.
Councilor Henry Scott looked at the man he’d put in charge of the SnowDancer operation. “You assured me they wouldn’t uncover the surveillance.”
“They shouldn’t have, but at the current pace, they’ll have the entire area cleared within a week, two at most.”
Henry shook his head. “We can’t rely on having that length of time. We need to act now.” While they still maintained something of an element of surprise.
“I have a team ready to go. When would you like us to mobilize?”
“Tomorrow. Focus on the primary target.”
“It’ll be done.”
“Wait.” Henry flicked up a second image. “Send a couple of your men to remove him, too.” There was no point in waiting, not when a dual assassination would have a much stronger impact.
Early the next morning, her heart smiling at the way she’d woken to find Drew sprawled all over her—and the bed—Indigo sat beside Joshua on the pebbled shore of the lake nearest the den.
The search for the cameras was ongoing in the mountains, with different men and women being rotated in each day, but she and Hawke had both agreed she needed to continue to work with their young. They didn’t want to lose all the progress they’d made to date.
“So?” she asked the boy beside her, examining his expression, his posture, for any hint that he continued to have problems with his wolf.
A quick smile. “I’m doing better. Hawke’s been keeping an eye on me, too.”
“Good.” Indigo’s wolf looked out at the boy, made a judgment. “Your wolf is still very near the surface.”