Kitty Goes to War Page 66

“I sense a research project coming on,” Ben said. Flip, news show. Flip, sports channel. Flip, a twenty-year-old movie I couldn’t remember the name of.

How would I even begin such a project? The evidence would be circumstantial: military units or individuals with a reputation for aggression, viciousness, and for possessing supernatural abilities. Bloody battles happening on nights of the full moon. How intriguing. There had to be a way to find out.

“Do you think Tyler’s going to be okay?” I asked after another five minutes.

“Eventually,” Ben said. “I think he’s going to be living one day at a time for a while.”

Yeah. I knew how that went. I sighed. “I wonder if this is what it’s like to send a kid to college.”

Not that I was ever going to find out what that was like for real. But I could imagine: a mix of pride and sadness. Was Tyler going to be all right? Would he write?

I couldn’t have children—no female lycanthrope could because embryos didn’t survive shape-shifting. Some days, I thought I had no business even thinking of having kids, the way my life went. The late hours, the supernatural politics, the death-defying, injury-producing escapes. I could hear the phone call now: “Hi, Mom? Could you look after Junior while I chase a rogue werewolf across half the state?” And who would look after a baby on full-moon nights? So maybe it was just as well.

It still made me sad. I could find a way. I could adopt, I could hire a baby-sitter. I’d made the rest of my life work pretty well, hadn’t I? I wiped my eyes before the tears could start.

“Hey,” Ben said. “You okay?”

I felt stupid. Whiney, needy, and stupid. I ought to be able to cope without dumping all this on Ben. And I knew what he’d say to that: who else could I talk to, if not him?

“Do you think I’d be a good mother?” I said.

He glanced at me. Then he shut off the TV and set the remote aside. “That’s a bigger question than you’re making it sound.” I must have frowned, because he put his arms around me. “I think you’d be an excellent mother. You’d drive your kids crazy, but you’d do it excellently.”

“Really?” I said.

He grabbed me, one hand lacing into my hair, the other settling on my hip, and pulled me into a long, startling kiss. And then some. And then some more, before we both came up gasping for air. I had on a silly grin.

“Really,” he said.

Suddenly, being too wired to sleep seemed like a good thing.

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