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Page 37

She’d emerged from the Mustang with that cool look that disdained Sean’s protectiveness. But she was his mate, damn it, or as near as. One glance into Andrea’s gray eyes told him she didn’t care. The woman was driving him over-the-edge insane.

Sean stood right behind her in the living room. Andrea didn’t like that, but too damn bad. Her scent aroused the fires inside him, rage and wanting all mixed together. He recognized the primal urge of a male in mate frenzy, and he clenched his teeth against it. He’d left town thinking she was protected, and returning and finding that his father had let her leave Shiftertown, unescorted, had made his dominant anger explode like a geyser. Liam had had to hold him back from that fight too.

With effort, Sean wrenched his attention from Andrea and focused on Glory’s words.

“These Shifters were going on about how they don’t want Shifters and humans mingling anymore,” Glory was saying. “They say it’s diluting us, making us weak. Interesting, don’t you think?”

“I heard them too.” Andrea stood so close to Sean that he could easily wrap his arms around her, though he knew that if he did, she’d only elbow him in the gut. “I thought they were reacting to the shootings, but then they went on about how the they thought the shootings were a good thing. The incidents would widen the distance between humans and Shifters, as it should be, they said.”

“The Shifters were from north Austin?” Liam asked.

“From everywhere, Liam,” Glory said. “North Austin, out by Llano, plus from this Shiftertown right here.”

“The bastards,” Connor spat. “Shifters in this Shiftertown should be loyal to Liam.”

Liam rubbed his forehead. “Shite, this is all we’re needing.”

“A faction.” Dylan’s voice was grim. “Shifters from different clans and Shiftertowns forming their own power group. Were they different species?”

Glory shook her head. “All Feline.”

“Hairballs, every single one of them,” Andrea put in.

Sean wanted to touch her. He wanted to run his hands along her shoulders, lick her from neck to the base of her spine.

“We need to be having a chat with these Felines, I’m thinking.” Liam looked at Sean, eyes flat and angry. “Up for some confrontation, Sean?”

“Yeah,” Connor said eagerly. “Send Sean in to kick some ass. Can I watch?”

Sean’s attention was pulled from Liam and problems in Shiftertown to the curve of Andrea’s cheek, the way her black ringlets brushed it when she turned her head. He could lean down and nuzzle her, smell her hair, taste the salt of her skin. A low growl left his throat.

Liam’s waiting stare didn’t pull him out of it. The whole family knew damn well how distracted Sean was with this unfinished mate-claim. Liam and Connor were taking side bets on how long it would be before Sean combusted.

Liam looked away. “Dad?”

Dylan shrugged. “It’s your call now, son. I’ll back you up if it comes to a fight, but the first approach must come from you.”

Liam acknowledged that, and even in his distracted state, Sean could tell Liam wasn’t happy about it. Liam hadn’t worn the mantle of power long, and it still bothered him to have his father defer to him. Sean understood; his own anger at his father today disturbed him underneath it all. Changes in the hierarchy were hell.

Sean knew that someday he’d slide in dominance beneath his own son, and the thought of having a son brought him back around to thoughts of mating. With Andrea. Sean let his fingers drift under Andrea’s hair to the smooth skin of her neck. She flushed but didn’t shake him off.

Glory laughed. “Well, we know Sean’s priorities today.”

“He can’t help it.” Liam slanted a smile at Kim, the mate for whom his frenzy hadn’t yet cooled. “Trust me, I know how it goes. Take Andrea home, Sean. We’ll kick some Feline ass later.”

CHAPTER ELEVEN

“I don’t need to be taken home,” Andrea said as Sean opened the door of Glory’s house. He went inside first to check that the way was safe and gestured her to follow him.

The house was dark and empty. Glory and Dylan had remained at the Morrisseys’, Dylan helping to reassure Connor that Andrea wouldn’t be punished. Andrea had been a bad wolf, and so had Glory, but the mean alphas were going to cut them some slack for the good intelligence they’d brought home.

Andrea went straight to the kitchen and grabbed the coffeepot. The cold day was getting darker and colder, and she needed coffee.

Sean divested himself of his sword and then leaned his fists on the breakfast bar, muscles tightening. “I’m damn sorry if you walking into danger bothers me, Andy-love. I’m funny that way.”

“I only went to find Glory to talk her into coming back home. I have to live in this house; I don’t want the walls falling down around me because Glory and Dylan have a knock-down, drag-out fight.”

“Dylan wouldn’t do that.”

Andrea noisily ran water to fill the pot. “No, he gets all cold and disappears, and then I have to live with Glory’s bad temper. Why can’t the two of them just mate and get it over with? Then the rest of us can sleep.”

“Because it eats him up inside, my mother’s death.” Sean’s fists were even tighter, his knuckles whitening. “It was a long time ago, but he hasn’t gotten over it. The grief, it destroyed him.”

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