She had zero resistance against him when he got like this, when she could see both man and wolf watching her with a tenderness that quite simply, undid her. Closing her hands over the warm silk of his shoulders, she stroked and petted until a lazy growl rumbled in his chest. “I’m glad,” she said. “I’d hate it if you were holding back with me.”
“Impossible.” He angled his neck in a silent request, and she gently massaged a spot that would’ve made him purr had he been a cat.
The possessive thought was familiar—Hawke brought out her most primitive instincts. “Just so you know, when I get really mad, I might singe your eyebrows,” she murmured, because she knew if she gave an inch, he’d take not a mile, but the entire road.
“Fine.” Lashes lifting, he curved his hand around her neck to tug her down. “Then we can kiss and make up. Twice.”
She laughed into the slow, deep seduction of his kiss, her br**sts tightening against the soft cotton of the T-shirt she’d grabbed when she woke—the whole idea of a nightgown or pajamas was ridiculous with an alpha wolf in bed with her. Nothing ever stayed on. Half the time, the nightclothes ended up shredded. So now she just stole his T-shirts when she woke. He, of course, was pure changeling, had no problem with nudity.
Not that she minded the view.
Breaking the kiss to take a breath, she brushed back the damp thickness of his hair, her thighs spread on either side of his body, his hands warm and possessive below the hem of the T-shirt. “What do you have planned today?” she asked, her heart wrenching at the perfection of this moment where she had the right to touch him, to care for him, to call him her own.
He nipped at her fingers before answering, the wolf playing with her. “I think I’ll spend most of the day with Felix and his team.”
She couldn’t help her instinctive flinch at the memory of exactly how the area being replanted had become so barren, every tiny blade of grass turned to ash.
Hawke’s response was to bite sharply at her lower lip. “I told you not to do that.”
Scowling, she rubbed at the sting. “I’m allowed to think about what I did.”
“What you did was save the lives of your packmates.” Tugging her close, he suckled the spot he’d bitten, soothing the momentary hurt. “That’s what counts.”
“I’m not sorry I did what I did.” It had been a choice made in battle, against an enemy that wouldn’t stop. No matter how many years she lived, she would never forget the crunching, ugly sound of a hundred guns smashing into the skulls of dazed and wounded SnowDancers. Her act had been the right one at that time, in that place. “It’s just…” She’d annihilated the Pure Psy army, killed so many men and women who’d had the misfortune to pick the wrong side.
Her wolf held her gaze. “Talk to me.”
So she did. And he listened. He understood. Until she could breathe again, her chest expanding with each inhale. It wasn’t the first time they’d spoken of that terrible day, neither would it be the last—but knowing that he’d be there anytime she needed him, it was everything.
“Any other plans for the day?” she asked afterward, fixing his hair because she loved playing with it … and because touching Hawke calmed her on the deepest level, until sometimes, when the memories hit too hard, he simply shifted and allowed her to pet the huge silver-gold wolf that was the other half of his nature, as long as she needed.
“I’ll take Harley down with me,” he said, arching his neck when she ran her nails over his scalp the way he liked. “It’ll give me an opportunity to see how he’s developing.” Another pleasured growl, his hands flexing against her skin.
Her mate made her so damn glad she was a woman. “Has he stabilized?” The young male was shaping up to be a powerful dominant.
“He’s getting there. Boy’s got a strong will.” He squeezed her thighs with those hands she’d felt on every inch of her body. “Like someone else I know.”
“That’s why the wolf pushes you,” he said, pressing a kiss to the inside of her knee that made her shiver. “Wolf and man both know you’ll push back. It’d be no fun if you were a weakling.”
Seduced, she was being utterly seduced by a wolf who knew her far too well. “The thing with the maternal females?” They hadn’t had a chance to talk much the previous night, the dinner going later than expected. Given the people around the table, it was unsurprising the talk had turned to the increasing instability of the PsyNet.
Judd had disappeared around ten, heading for a meeting with his contacts, so it was likely he’d have more data to share with Hawke today. After he did, Sienna knew Hawke would make it a point to talk the information over with her—a true alpha pair needed to forge a trust that ran deeper than sensuality, than the mating bond. It had to encompass the very heart of what it took to keep SnowDancer strong. “You survived the meeting at least.”
Hawke’s groan was eloquent. “I have a headache just thinking about it. Ask me again after sex and I might have the will to talk about it.”
She laughed. “Nice to know I’m not the only one scared by Nell.”
“Nothing scares me, least of all a woman who is maybe all of a hundred-and-ten pounds and happens to be three years my junior.”
“Keep telling yourself that.”
Narrowed wolf eyes. “Smart-asses get their comeuppance.” Stroking his hands up under the edge of the T-shirt, he ran his thumbs over the sensitive crease of her thighs, smiled a very wolfish smile at the tremor that shook her. “You were quiet when we were discussing the mating ceremony last night.”