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Page 9

Sean nodded. “And a good morning to you.”

He fetched a toolbox from the porch, slid off his leather jacket, and squatted down to examine something on his motorcycle’s engine. Andrea wasn’t familiar enough with motorcycles to know what he was doing, but she enjoyed watching his biceps play and his thighs move under his jeans as he worked.

A Shifter woman emerged onto the porch of the house beyond the Morrisseys’, another Feline, dressed for the warm weather in a low-cut sleeveless top and shorts. She hopped up on her porch railing and dangled her legs as Andrea did. “Hey, Seanie.”

Sean gave her a brief glance. “Caitlin.”

“I’ve come home from San Antonio.”

“I can see that.”

Andrea watched Caitlin grumpily. If the woman leaned any farther forward, she’d fall off the porch, not to mention right out of her blouse.

“You should come over and say hi, Seanie,” Caitlin said. “A girl might think you’d forgotten her.”

Sean grinned but kept his gaze on his motorcycle. “Oh, I haven’t forgotten you, Caitlin.”

Andrea’s chest burned. Goddess, she wasn’t jealous of that overly obvious Feline girl, was she? Andrea had always thought her Fae blood suppressed her mate-possessive instincts—she’d never had them for any other male she’d ever met. But the minute this woman with her br**sts spilling from her top cast a glance at Sean, Andrea’s fighting instincts stirred to life. She growled low in her throat.

Oh, gods, she was jealous. Proprietary and jealous, like a she-wolf in heat.

“Hey, Sean,” Andrea couldn’t stop herself from saying. “Thanks for walking me home last night.”

Sean glanced up at her expressionlessly. “Just doing my job.”

“Seanie likes his job,” Caitlin sang. “He’s a sweetheart. So protective.”

Sean returned his attention to his motorcycle, not bothering to answer.

“Well, well,” another female voice drawled. “If it isn’t Sean Morrissey.”

A woman stopped on the sidewalk in front of Sean’s house and folded her arms. She was a bear, tall like Glory but more muscular, though her muscles didn’t detract from her beauty. She was strong but thoroughly feminine.

“Rebecca,” Sean greeted her, voice neutral. “How are you this fine morning?”

“Better now that I’ve taken in the sights.”

Andrea stifled another growl. These females were perfectly in their rights to flirt with Sean, because according to Shifter rules, Sean would not be off-limits until he and Andrea had the official mate blessings. Until then, Sean was fair game.

In the unfair world of Shifters, however, the mate-claim put Andrea off the market, females being scarce and jealously guarded. No other male would dare try to move on Andrea until she rejected Sean’s claim, unless that male wanted to challenge Sean for her. And Andrea had the feeling that no sane male would challenge Sean. The aura of raw power he walked in would make them run away in terror before they even got close.

“Go on with you now,” Sean was saying to Rebecca. “You must have better things to do than watch a man fix a bloody stubborn bike.”

Rebecca shook her head, still smiling. “Not really.”

“Me either,” Caitlin called from the other porch. “I could watch you all day, Seanie. In fact, why don’t you bring that bike over here, and I’ll make us some lemonade?”

“Or you could come to my house,” Rebecca said. “I’d give you Guinness.”

Rebecca was a little older, probably more experienced than Caitlin, who wasn’t much beyond cub years. Neither of them were looking for mates, Andrea could tell. Just mating.

“What we really want is to see all you’ve got, Sean,” Andrea called. She barely stopped herself from snarling, her fingers wanting to turn to claws. “We say we’ll give you lemonade or Guinness, but it’s only to get you out of those sweet jeans.”

Sean glanced up, the skin around his eyes tightening. “Is that so?”

“That is so. Right, ladies?”

Rebecca laughed. “You are so right. Is it boxers under there? Or a thong?”

Sean’s brows rose. “So, you’re taking bets on my underwear now?”

“Come on, show us what you’ve got, Seanie,” Caitlin said.

“Yes, come on, Sean,” Andrea said, forcing herself to remain relaxed. “Settle the bet. I say briefs.”

“You don’t know Seanie then,” Caitlin almost crowed. “It’s boxers. Black satin.”

Rebecca touched her lower lip. “I’m holding out for a thong.”

Sean stood up, socket wrench in hand, his gaze locked on Andrea’s. “You’re serious.”

Andrea gave him a slow smile. “You betcha. Who’s right, Seanie?”

Sean fixed his unreadable blue gaze on her for a long moment. His eyes sucked her in, made her want to leap off the porch and fall at his feet, begging him to be gentle—but not too gentle. She’d be down there kissing his boots in a second. Pathetic.

Andrea met his gaze with a steady one of her own, challenging, daring.

A smile of pure sin spread across Sean’s face. “If I settle the bet, will you ladies let me get on with some work?”

“Depends on the answer,” Andrea said. “Go on, Sean. Make our day.”

Sean kept up the wicked smile a few seconds longer. Then he shrugged, dropped his wrench, unbuckled his belt, and slid his jeans down his backside.

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