“Maybe I’ll discover I’ve taken on more than I can handle,” she admitted, because Hawke was never going to be an easy lover—if she even got him to consider the idea of a relationship. “But I know, I know, that I can’t sit by and watch him go to another woman.”
An intent gaze. “You’ve really thought about it.”
“Yes.” Whatever happened, continuing on as they had—with the relentless beat of unresolved tension between them—was no longer an option. “Doesn’t mean I’m not nervous.”
Kit turned up his hand to squeeze hers, a feline smile in his eyes. “My money’s on you.”
Leaning forward to press her lips to his cheek, she said, “When should I climb on the bar again?”
“Given the time José made the call, and how fast Hawke is probably driving, I’d say in about two minutes.”
“Good.” Picking up her cell phone from where it sat on the bar, she tucked it into a back pocket, having not brought a purse. “That gives you two minutes to get out.”
“I’m not running.” Pure affront.
Sienna had been in a pack long enough to understand male pride—even stupid male pride. “It’s not running. You’ll mess up my whole plan if Hawke’s focused on you instead of me.”
“Huh.” Finishing off his beer, he rose off the barstool.
Then he did something completely, totally unexpected. Hauling her against his body, he took her mouth in a hot, wild tangle of a kiss that spoke of the man he would one day become. Her heart was pumping double-time by the time he finished. “Um, well, that was . . .” Okay, she thought, okay. Maybe they didn’t have the combustible chemistry she had with Hawke, but Kit could get her into bed if he put his mind to it. And that was a surprise. “Not nice,” she finally managed to get out. “A very ‘not nice’ kiss.”
Smiling in masculine satisfaction, Kit rocked back on his heels. “Fair warning—now you smell like me in an intimate way. He’s not going to like that.”
Cunning cat. Good thing he was on her side. “Showtime.”
Kit leaned in to speak with his lips brushing her ear. “I won’t be far. If he’s too out of control, I’ll get you out.”
“He won’t hurt me.” Of that she was more certain than she was of anything else in her life. “Haul me up.”
Kit lifted her onto the bar beside another girl, a slender leopard female who blew Sienna a kiss. Whistles sounded from around the bar as Kit melted away, leaving the two of them silhouetted against the electric blue lights of the glass wall behind the bar, the bottles of alcohol so many glittering jewels against the glow. Well aware Nicki was only flirting with her to tease Jason, Sienna blew back a kiss, and the bar exploded.
The crowd was chanting “kiss, kiss, kiss” when Hawke walked inside.
That was when Sienna learned the meaning of the term alpha.
HE DIDN’T SAY a word, didn’t so much as make a sound, but as soon as one person saw him, they nudged another. It took less than thirty seconds for the club to go deadly silent, José turning off the music at the same instant.
Nicki slid down the bar into Jason’s arms, mouthing, “Good luck,” at Sienna before she disappeared into the group of DarkRiver youths in one corner.
Reaching the bar, Hawke looked up. It was the wolf who watched her, the wolf who said, “Shoulder or feet?”
She swallowed. “Feet.”
“Good choice.” He didn’t step back as she sat down and slipped off the bar, his body heat slapping against her bare skin with masculine aggressiveness.
Suddenly, the corset-style top she’d bought on her own after that shopping trip with Nicki didn’t seem such a great idea. It left her feeling all but naked, her shoulders bare, her br**sts plumped up above the bodice, her abdomen exposed from just below her belly button to the top of her low slung jeans. With her breath coming in jagged bursts, it felt as if she was offering her br**sts to him with each inhale.
Hawke didn’t say a single word, gave no indication that he’d noticed her state of dress as he put his hand on her lower back and herded her to the door.
She almost went.
Halfway there, she dug in her heels, determined to make him admit he wasn’t just here to pick up a pack member who’d had too much to drink. But one look at his face and she knew it’d be a very bad idea to confront him here. She could see Nicki and Evie over his shoulder, frantically shaking their heads. Jason was wincing, but edging forward while Kit and Tai had begun to shoulder their way through the crowd—as if to protect her.
Their loyalty ignited a deep warmth with her.
But this was a private war.
Sliding her arm through Hawke’s, she pressed her breast against the part of his arm bared by the short sleeves of his white T-shirt. “Where’s the car?” She didn’t bother to slur her voice. His senses were too acute to have missed the fact that she was stone-cold sober.
In response, he untangled his arm from hers, put his hand on her lower back again—the touch a hot, rough shock that made things low in her body clench—and walked her out.
“Good luck,” the bouncer muttered as she passed, not even making a token attempt at pretending he was going to stand in Hawke’s way.
If she’d been him, she wouldn’t have either.
Because unlike the other night, Hawke didn’t look pissed. This was an anger that went deeper, ran far colder. Why the difference, she didn’t know . . . until they got to beside the SUV, and he leaned down to growl, “You smell of another man.”