“He doesn’t want me.” Not enough to see past his preconceptions. Her jaw tightened, her muscles tensing as if in readiness for a fight. Stubborn, arrogant, infuriating man!
“Hey.” Evie put her hand on Sienna’s arm. “Maybe that’s good news—seriously, any woman who takes him on is going to need brass balls. Big ones.”
“Are you saying mine are too small?” It was easier to be flip, to stoke the heat of her frustrated anger than to acknowledge the hurt inside of her, the bruise that kept growing ever bigger in spite of all her vows to not allow this pull toward Hawke to savage her.
“Smartass.” Laughing, Evie shook her head. “Look, if there really is nothing going on, he has to make sure the Pack males know that. Otherwise, not only will your dating life go into a death spiral inside the pack, the boys will scare off any other male, changeling or human, who dares look in your direction.”
“No?” Sienna had no interest in dating anyone else, but she would not be humiliated by being claimed by Hawke and then left unwanted.
“You’ve been around the XY component of SnowDancer for several years.” Evie raised her eyebrows. “What do you think?”
“Pack males stick together.”
With that thought circling in her mind, she wasn’t in any mood to see Hawke walking out of the trees near the White Zone, where she’d gone to wait for Judd. His wolf-pale eyes spotted her at once, and he changed direction to block out the night in front of her. “Where are you going?” he asked, as if he had every right to know.
“None of your business.” A dangerous silence greeted her words . . . and she couldn’t help herself. “Unless you’re pulling rank?”
A silence that had her skin stretching tight over her bones, her heartbeat hammering in her ears.
“Had to push, didn’t you, Sienna?” Stepping close, close enough that she had to tip her head back to meet his gaze, he took a long, deep breath. “You changed your shampoo.”
A sudden, melting warmth invaded her body at the sound of his voice—as if he was savoring the scent. “Lara had some samples she gave out to the women in the break room this morning.” The SnowDancer healer had been in an edgy kind of mood, so Sienna had kept her mouth shut and taken the sample when it was shoved into her hand. “It’s wild apples.” She had no idea why she’d said that, why she continued to speak to him.
“I like it.” He lifted his hand to run a strand of her hair through his fingers.
Fighting every cell in her body, she stepped back. “Stop it. No touching. No acting possessive.”
Hawke’s wolf prowled to the surface, a primal presence behind the human skin. “Oh?”
“All or nothing.” She held her ground though she was shaking inside, her blood going alternately hot and cold. “If you want me, take me. Or let me go.”
A slow blink, the force of his personality a pulse against her skin, a near physical push. If she’d been smart, she would’ve backed down, but this was her emotional life on the line, and she’d fought too hard to surrender it to anyone. Even an alpha wolf used to dominance. “I just found out,” she said through a throat that was suddenly bone dry, “that none of the boys are going to ask me out after the scene you pulled at Wild.
“Take out an ad if you need to,” she continued when the wolf just watched her without blinking, “but make sure they know I’m not yours.” Her need for him was a claw ripping at her insides. When he finally slept with Rosalie or another packmate, it would savage her—she couldn’t control that, but she damn well could ensure she didn’t have to suffer the humiliation of being publicly discarded.
A low growl that made the hairs on the back of her neck rise. Staying in place was hard, so hard, when all she wanted to do was back down and crawl all over him. No. No more. He plans to take a lover. The mental reminder of what he intended to do to sate his wolf’s touch-hunger was the last straw. “I mean it, Hawke.” She was done with throwing herself at a man who didn’t want her.
“So decisive,” he murmured in that calm tone that had adrenaline flooding her body, the primitive part of her brain conscious she was in the presence of a predator. “Got your eye on someone?”
She didn’t know what made her say it. “No. But I have no plans to die a virgin.”
HAWKE WENT PREDATOR-STILL. “Kit’s been a good boy, has he?”
“Again, none of your business.” Refusing to be intimidated, she glanced over his shoulder. “Excuse me, my ride’s here.”
Hawke stepped sideways to block her. “No.”
Her body threatened to lock her into place, so strong was the impact of him. Only her fury kept her going. “Move.”
Ignoring her command, he continued to hold her gaze with that wild wolf one even as he directed his next words to Judd, who’d just hopped out of the SUV. “Where are you taking her?”
“We were heading down to see Sascha, but I’ve just had a contact I need to chase up fast.” Judd looked at Sienna. “Okay if we delay this till tomorrow?”
“No need.” Hawke smiled and held his hand back for the keys. “I can drive her to the cats.”
Sienna stared at Judd, sending him telepathic messages that seemed to go unheard. “No, that’s fine,” she said out loud. “I can wai—”
But Judd was already handing Hawke the keys. “Better you go down tonight,” he said. “Since the visit’s been cleared with Sascha’s security.”