Kitty Saves the World Page 71

A sacrifice, for a child. As it should be.

I wiped tears away with the back of my hand. I was leaking. I didn’t say thank you, because there were rules about thanking fairies—you didn’t do it, it angered them. I wasn’t sure if that rule applied to … Powers, or whatever they were, but for something this magical and crazy it seemed best not to take chances. I clasped the stone wolf tight in my hand. A clear gesture of astonishment and maybe even gratitude.

“Have a nice day, Katherine Norville,” the pale Man in Black said. They walked away. Just like that.

For what seemed a very long time, I stood still. Long enough for the sun to rise fully over the horizon and bathe me in light. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think.

I wanted to find Ben. I needed Ben, right now.

I still didn’t know what had happened to Ben and the others. I couldn’t form the thought that Ashtoreth may have won, that Rick and his friends might have been a few minutes too late. I couldn’t face it. So I stood by the shore of the lake, turned to the direction I’d last seen my mate, put my hands around my mouth and howled. Called his name, but it sounded like an echoing wolf song to my ears.

Ten seconds, I waited. Twenty.

Then heard the responding call, “Kitty!”

I ran. Met him coming down the slope that marked out this inlet of the lake. He looked battered, even with his werewolf healing. Bruises on his cheek, cuts on his arms. But they were just cuts, and he hadn’t been poisoned by silver. He smelled safe. I took a running leap into his arms, and he caught me, pulling me close, body to body. I might never let go.

He loosened his grip enough to let me breathe, but we held each other’s arms and started talking in a hyperactive, adrenaline-fueled flood.

“We’re still here,” he said. “Does that mean we won?”

“I think so? Probably?”

“Roman—”

“Dead. Gone. Ashtoreth—she didn’t kill you.”

“She smacked me—I fell, that’s where I got the cuts. Then she went after you. I couldn’t stop her, I freaked out, almost lost it—”

“Rick came back! Rick and the vampire ninjas!”

“I know! I ran into them as they were leaving, they’ve got this Land Rover with blacked-out windows—”

I kissed him, because I couldn’t stand there not kissing him anymore. His hands tightened around me; his lips took a second to get over the shock and stress and respond. When they did, I kissed even more, devouring kisses, and my body reacted, legs wrapping around his, locking me to him. I wanted to rip his clothes off. And why the hell not? There was no one around. It was a beautiful morning. I slipped my hands under his shirt, rubbed them up his warm back.

He gave a hoarse chuckle and spoke between kisses, “Not that I’m complaining, but something’s gotten into you.”

“A year and a day,” I said, which I knew made no sense. I didn’t care about sense. I did a quick round of math. I didn’t even stop to think if I trusted the Men in Black. I didn’t much care if this was going to turn out to be another cosmic joke. It was a chance, and I had faith. “We have three months to get knocked up.”

He stared at me. “Wait. What?”

“Too much to explain. But there’s a chance. We have a chance. Please say yes.”

Another moment of staring at me, and I was afraid he was going to make me explain, or he was going to say he didn’t want a baby after all, or it was all too much and he didn’t want anything to do with me anymore. But what he did, finally, was grab my shirt and pull it over my head, and hitch my legs over his hips so he could carry me to the nearest clear spot of ground.

Between nuzzling my ear and massaging my breast, he found the stone wolf around my neck. “This,” he said, his voice husky, “has something to do with it?”

“More magic,” I murmured back.

“Figured,” he said, and moved on to yanking off my jeans.

My head tilted back, my eyes closed. “Don’t you want to know what it does?”

“Not interested in anything but you right now, hon.”

And those right there were the real magic words.

Chapter 21

OUR SEX was fast and fueled by adrenaline. It was also filled with love and need and relief. Resting after, the cool air against our skin and the bright sun made this feel like the morning after a full moon. I started giggling out of sheer joy at being alive, and Ben joined in. We’d saved the world. We could do anything.

Over the next rise, the geysers of West Thumb had started bubbling again, a pleasant, distant froth and hissing that reminded me of boiling pasta or a mad scientist’s lab. The caldera had settled. Nothing was going to be blowing up today.

Far too quickly, we heard voices and caught the scent of familiar people walking upwind.

“Shit,” Ben muttered against my naked shoulder.

I grinned. “They’re alive.”

We scrambled for our clothes and managed to make ourselves presentable by the time Cormac came over the rise, looking for us. Well, actually, Ben was picking pine needles out of my hair when Cormac, Tina, and Sun came over the rise. Ben might actually have blushed when Cormac stopped, smirked, looking around at the treetops as if examining the foliage.

I took another breath, scanned the group—Grant and Hardin were missing, and my gut twisted.

“Where…” I said, stepping forward. “What … Grant, Jessi—”

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