Kiss of Snow Page 21

Cold fire licked at her fingertips. Smothering it in her palm, she checked to make sure the kids were happy in their game before hissing a response under her breath. “I’d like to point out that you had a more powerful platform.” Drew might not be a lieutenant, but Sienna had seen the way Hawke and the others listened to him.

“Yeah, that does kinda suck for you.”

“You make me want to throw things at you.”

He hugged her again, before she could put some distance between them. Then the most sneaky wolf in the den lowered his voice and whispered, “But you’ve got an advantage, sweetheart. You’re already in his head. And you know how to mess with it.”

HAVING spent the day buried in strategy and preparation sessions for a war that seemed inevitable, Hawke didn’t get outside until after night had fallen in a lush black blanket. He was at the lake nearest the den, staring at the gentle lap of water when Rosalie appeared out of the trees to make her way across the pebbled shore. Her walk was that of a woman confident in her sensuality—the complete opposite of the cardinal Psy who watched him with an unstudied hunger that had almost broken his resolve last night.

A single touch and he would’ve had her naked in the silver kiss of the moonlight, her back cushioned by the softness of the lush green grass, her hair a ruby red flame over the wildflowers. So vivid was the image that the wolf growled, wanting to take control, to go hunting its favorite prey.

“That is not,” Rosalie said, fitting her tall, voluptuous body to his side, “the look of a man who can’t wait to get me into bed.”

He played his fingers through her hair, and though the thick, mahogany waves were beautiful, his mind kept circling back to the dark fall of silk he’d seen under the moon last night. “You’re too good for me, Rosa.”

A husky laugh. “Of course I am.” She pressed a kiss to his jaw, her breasts brushing his chest as she shifted to face him. “I can feel your wolf tugging at the reins.”

Hawke hated that he was being pushed into this by the physical needs of his changeling nature. But that had nothing to do with Rosalie. “I’m a bastard.”

“That you are,” she agreed, linking her arms around his neck.

He raised an eyebrow.

“Wow, talk about alpha. Makes me want to say ‘yes, please and again.’ ” Tracing his lips with her fingertip, she gave him a solemn look from those thickly lashed eyes of deepest green. “You know this, us, it’s freely given? No strings.”

Instead of lunging at the invitation as he’d half expected, Hawke’s wolf sat sullen, though it was being torn apart by the most savage sexual need. “I know.”

She tipped her head to the side, her hair cascading over her shoulder. “Then why aren’t you ripping my clothes off?” There was no judgment in the words, only the concern of a friend.

Reaching up, he brushed his fingers over her cheekbone. The wolf found her sensual, beautiful, intelligent. The man agreed. There was just one problem. “Indigo was right”—a realization that tilted his world on its axis—“it won’t satisfy my hunger.” The need that ravaged him was hotly specific, targeted to only one woman.

“You mean,” Rosalie said, hands on her hips, “you’re blowing me off after getting me all hot and bothered?”

“You mad?” He nuzzled at her, because the wolf didn’t want to hurt her.

Rosalie laughed, and it was a big, sensual sound from a woman who lived her life with a generosity of spirit that didn’t allow her to hold grudges. “It’s not exactly a surprise, sweetie.” Still smiling, she kissed him full on the mouth. “I came to you because we’re friends—you needed touch, and I figured you were too stubborn to go after her. I didn’t realize it had gotten to this point between you two.”

Hawke growled at the implied conclusion in her statement. “Just because I realize the need, doesn’t mean I’m going to act on it.”

“Let me make sure I have this right.” Rosalie poked him in the chest. “You want her so bad I can all but taste your arousal—and damn, but it’s sexy—but you’re not hunting her down?”

Hawke thought of how young Sienna was, how untried.

I have no plans to die a virgin.

He was no lover for a virgin, especially now, with his control so ragged it was in fucking shreds. Hell, he’d probably scare her so bad she’d never want to have sex again. “It’s complicated.”

“Huh.” Rosalie didn’t sound convinced, but his sat phone rang before she could grill him any further.

Answering it, he was surprised to hear José’s voice. “It’s Luc’s turn,” he said curtly, in no mood to babysit packmates who should know better. If they got into shit tonight, he’d let them cool their heels in jail.

The bar owner blew out a breath. “I’m thinking you don’t want another man handling your girl.”

Hawke’s claws sliced out. “Anyone touches her, they’re dead.”

“She’s fine—if you don’t count the amount of alcohol she’s slugging back . . . or the cat keeping her warm.”

Hawke’s growl rolled up out of his chest to color the air. “Make damn sure she doesn’t leave with him.” Stabbing the End button, he looked up to find Rosalie grinning from ear to ear. “Quiet.”

“Hey, I’m just an innocent bystander.” She raised her hands. “Though you might want to take off your mean face before you go get her.”

“She can bloody well deal with it.” It was a snarl.

SIENNA surreptitiously passed “her” sixth shot to Kit.

He made a face. “Did you have to order this girly shit?”

“I am a girl, in case you failed to notice.” The vodkas she’d ordered earlier had been easier to get rid of—the colorless liquid blended in with the empty or ice cube–filled glasses the wait staff cleared away on a regular basis. The shots, on the other hand, would stick out.

Shuddering, Kit made quick work of the butterscotch liqueur and slid the glass over before anyone was the wiser as to who had taken the actual shot.

“Dear God that was foul.” He gulped his beer. “That’s the last one I’m doing for you.”

“I think that should do the trick. José’s giving me the eye.” Sienna smiled goofily at the bartender, playing drunk.

The big deer changeling gave her a stare as flat as any wolf’s.

Deciding not to push her luck, she dipped her head toward Kit—to find him looking unexpectedly serious. “What is it?”

“I know you’ve got strong feelings for Hawke,” he said, angling his shoulders to face her, “but are you ready for where this, tonight, might lead?”

Sienna had asked herself the same question and found only one answer. “I’ll never know unless he gives us a chance.” She closed her hand over Kit’s.

“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.

Chapter 15

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.

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