Sienna had glanced down at the plain jeans and gray sweatshirt she’d been wearing at the time. “What’s wrong with the way I dress?”
The petite honey blonde’s response had been a despairing shake of the head. “It says you’re two hundred and counting.”
Sometimes, Sienna felt exactly that, but that day, she’d given in to Nicki and gone wild. Kit had whistled the first time he’d seen her in the jeans, while Cory had fallen to his knees, hand over his heart. Sienna hadn’t yet worn them around the wolves . . . around Hawke, but her pride wouldn’t allow her to sit in her room while he put those strong hands all over another woman.
Her own hands fisted. No. No. No.
He wasn’t hers, had made it clear in a hundred different ways that he didn’t want to be hers. Fine.
Jeans on, she clipped on a red satin bra edged with white lace—one that plumped up her chest in a way that had had her arguing with Nicki in the dressing room. “I can’t wear this. It’s like I’m advertising!”
“Sweetie, if I had ta-tas like that, I’d advertise, too.” Nicki had looked down at her own smaller br**sts with a mournful sigh.
“Jase seems to like yours fine.”
A peach-colored blush. “Now, tops. Come on.”
Sienna pulled out one of the resulting purchases and slipped it on. A black shirt with long sleeves, it fit snug to her body and made it unmistakable that she had curves. The buttons were snaps of pounded metal, the only other decoration two tiny black pockets with the same type of buttons above her br**sts. While she didn’t usually wear things that followed her shape with such caressing closeness, she had to admit she liked the way the shirt made her feel.
Then there were the boots. Slick and black, they encased her legs to the knees, the heels wickedly spiked.
Her cell phone beeped as she was zipping up the second boot. “Hello.”
“Sin, it’s Evie. You ready?”
“Almost.” She paused. “We are getting dressed up, right?”
“Of course! I’m wearing my silver dress.”
Evie’s enthusiasm had Sienna setting her jaw, determination arcing through her veins. “That dress will get you arrested.”
Her best friend laughed. “You know you’d bail me out. See you in ten!”
Hanging up, Sienna quickly put in her special contacts, hiding the night-sky gaze that betrayed her identity, then pulled her hair back into a tight ponytail. She’d spoken to Indigo and her own family about her hair, and everyone had agreed the unusual color was no longer an issue, it had changed so much since she’d joined the den. Added to the fact that her friends had taken to calling her “Sin,” plus the contacts, it turned her into someone Ming LeBon wouldn’t even consider worthy of his attention.
That done, she pulled out the cosmetics case Judd’s mate, Brenna, had given her, making up her eyes in a “smoky” way she’d learned from Indigo. Nicki had liked the effect so much, she’d asked Sienna to teach her. That had felt good—being able to share such an innocent thing with a friend. It had made her feel young, not the old woman she’d been since the day she first understood why Ming LeBon wanted her by his side, his own personal monster on a psychic leash.
“Stop,” she ordered the brown-eyed woman in the mirror. “Not tonight. Be young and carefree tonight. Dance, drink, and laugh.” With that, she slicked on poppy red lip color, grabbed a small purse, and stepped out.
“Oh, Jesus Christ, thank you God.”
Startled by the masculine exclamation, she looked up to find herself facing Riordan, a novice soldier a year older than her. “Are you coming out with us?” she asked, closing her door.
“If I wasn’t, I damn well would be now.” He offered her his arm, bare below the short sleeves of a stone gray shirt that looked good on his muscular frame. “Paint yourself to my side, Sin. Real close. I think I feel a chill coming on.”
Shaking her head, she began to walk down the hall, her heels clicking on the floor. A few seconds later, she realized he was trailing behind her. “What’s the holdup?” Glancing back, she caught him red-handed. “Are you staring at my butt?”
Riordan didn’t bother to pretend innocence, his deep brown eyes full of wicked appreciation. “Hey, it’s a nice butt. And those jeans, oh, mama.”
It was exactly the confidence boost she needed. If Hawke refused to acknowledge the pulse of attraction between them—though she’d waited years to grow old enough for him, years where she’d blocked her ears to the gossip about who he was with and when—then she wasn’t going to take it lying down. “Pick your tongue up off the floor, and let’s go. Evie, Tai, and Cadence are probably already in the garage.”
She was proven right. But they weren’t the only ones. Maria was there, too, along with her boyfriend, Lake.
“Hey,” the other woman said, a tentative smile on her face. “I wanted to say sorry. It sucks that you got a worse punishment than me.”
Sienna shrugged. “My own fault.” It would be the last time she let her near-painful response to Hawke get in the way of how she lived her life. “No hard feelings.”
“Could we just . . .” Maria angled her head.
Nodding, Sienna stepped a little distance away from the others so she and Maria could talk in private. “I understand,” she said once they were out of hearing range. “We fought because your wolf wanted to establish dominance.”
“Yeah, well, that didn’t go so great.” A self-deprecating grin. “But what I said about you being cold-blooded—”