“I don’t like seeing Sherra hurting,” Taber finally said in frustration. “And I sure as hell don’t like the little insults you seem to throw out so easily, but thanks. I was afraid she was ready to walk out for good.”
“No problem, cat boy. Just don’t start purring all over me or I might have to shoot you myself.” He shrugged his shoulders, not in the least comfortable with Taber’s sudden shift in mood. Taber laughed mockingly as he shook his head at Kane’s response.
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“Callan’s right,” he said. “You really can’t help yourself. You know someone will kill you for those insults eventually, don’t you?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Kane snorted. “I expect to hear your celebration clear into the deepest depths of hell. Now I have work to do even if you don’t. Later, purr bag.”
* * * * *
“You’re in trouble there, Sis.” Sherra flinched as Taber’s voice echoed up the stairs after Kane’s departure. “I have to admit, he kind of grows on you.”
She had watched the confrontation herself, amazed at how easily Kane had managed to diffuse Roni’s anger. But she had seen something else, too. She had seen the way his shoulders tensed, the flash of concern on his expression as his profile turned to her. He cared. She shook her head, realizing then how much Kane did care about them all. It wasn’t the first time he had drawn someone’s anger to him rather than allow it to grow into an explosive situation between others. His shoulders were broad and strong, but she wondered how much longer he could shoulder the
burdens he often took on.
“Yeah, I realize that.” Sherra walked down the stairs, tugging on her black jacket and adjusting the comm link to her ear as she headed for the front door. “I’ve known that for a long time now, Taber.”
She had been in trouble from the first day he showed up in her life at those damned labs. Taber shook his head as he approached her, his green eyes darker than her own and much too perceptive. He drew in a deep breath, a frown crossing his brow.
“Have you been in to see Doc yet?” he asked her.
Sherra shook her head. “Not yet. I called this morning and told him I would be in later, why?”
Taber shook his head, his brow creasing into a frown. “I’m not sure, but make certain you don’t miss that appointment. Your scent has altered in some way, I just can’t put my finger on how.”
Sherra shrugged. She had done that before and it had always been nothing, though normally it was Dawn who noticed the minute differences rather than one of her brothers.
“I’ll make it in this afternoon. You better catch up with Roni and see if she’s going to keep allowing you to live. I’ll tell Dawn to expect the two of you at the Lawrences’ cabin later. You won’t be able to keep her away any longer.”
“Yeah, I figured that one out already,” he growled in irritation. “I’m going to snap someone’s neck in two for allowing the information out. As soon as she lets me know just how the hell she found out.”
Sherra grinned back at him in amusement. It was funny. Taber had always been one of the calmest of the Breeds until the past year. Just as with Callan, the responsibility of protecting the women they had claimed, and the unborn children resulting from it, was stretching all their nerves to a breaking point.
“Good luck then.” She paused long enough to pat his shoulder before pulling the front door open and heading into the bright, crisp, clean air of the early fall day. The leaves were a hundred shades of brown, red and green as they prepared for the dormancy to come. The colors were dazzling to the eye and, not for the first time, filled Sherra with a sense of amazement.
It was more vivid today than it ever had been, though. She could feel a new sense of energy filling her, whipping through her body, and though she had just spent the night and early morning hours screaming beneath the fierce thrusts of Kane’s body, she realized she still desired him. Still needed him. It wasn’t the burning, painful ache that it had been, rather it was a reminder, a pulsing echo that vibrated through her body and made her remember the night past with a small shiver of longing. A small beep at her ear warned her that access to her personal channel was being requested. She reached up, flipping the switch that would block everyone but the person requesting a private conversation.
“Hey, gorgeous.” Kane’s voice filled her head, soft, amused, his voice heavy with the memories of the night they had shared.
Sherra smiled, shaking her head at that tone of voice.
“You’re supposed to be working, stud,” she reminded him, almost laughing at the memory of how that one little word could set his libido on fire.
“Oh, you’re bad,” he chuckled. “I might have to spank you.”
“Mmm.” She smiled as she moved across the compound, her steps light, filled with an energy she hadn’t known she could feel. “Sounds interesting. Maybe I could spank you next, though. I think you’d like that, Kane.”
“Probably too much.” She could hear the rueful resignation in his voice. “Baby, if your hand is delivering it, I’m sure I couldn’t help but enjoy it. What’s your schedule today?”
“Patrol,” she told him as she reached the small parking lot and the off-road Jeeps parked there. “I’ll be on the west sector providing support as we search some of the caves there for tunnels leading through the mountains. We don’t need anymore missile-toting assassins to come calling anytime soon.”
Kane snorted at that. “Keep your people out of those caves and let the explosives crew take care of it. We don’t need any more problems if they’ve wired the caverns too. The intel we finally received show some serious security weaknesses there. They would have to guess we’d find them eventually. Don’t take chances.”
Sherra rolled her eyes at the protectiveness in his tone.
“I’m a big girl, Kane, I know the rules,” she reminded him, smiling for no other reason than the sound of his voice lightened her heart. “I promise to be a good girl.”
“I’ll meet you in a few hours and we’ll sneak off somewhere for lunch and you can show me just how good you can be,” he suggested, his voice wicked. “I’ll provide the main course, you can provide the dessert.” His voice dropped, grew husky and filled with sexual promise. Sherra paused beside the Jeep, staring into the clear morning sky, a smile on her lips as Kane filled a part of her she didn’t know existed. She could feel warmth blooming in her heart, heat in her pu**y. She wanted him now, not later.