|Home > Rebecca Zanetti > Dark Protectors > Shadowed (Page 37)|
|Shadowed(Dark Protectors #6) by Rebecca Zanetti|
“Thank you.” Her grin was stunning. “I’m going to miss those boys after this year when they head off to college.”
“You’ve taught them well, Milaya.” Pride filled Max. He slipped a finger between her breasts and tugged the blue material away.
She slapped his hands. “We don’t have time to play.”
There was always time to play. So he dropped his mouth to her neck and traced her beating pulse with his tongue. She sighed and pushed him while angling her head so he’d have better access. He nipped just under her jaw.
She sighed, sliding her hands around his waist. Then she stiffened and drew back. “Why do you have a gun?”
He frowned. “I always have a gun.”
“We’re going to a wedding.” She shook her head.
Well, yeah. But they’d all be armed—even the groom would have a weapon somewhere. “Sweetheart, we’re at war. I’m always armed.”
“No.” She lifted the gun free of his waistband, turning it over.
He didn’t like seeing a weapon in her hands, and his heart rate increased. So he gently removed the gun and placed it on top of the refrigerator. “We’ll just leave this here.”
Her sweet smile made him feel like he’d already won a war. “Thank you,” she breathed.
He nodded. Of course, he had another gun along his leg and three knives hidden on his body. He was a bodyguard to the king, after all. “You know I’m a soldier, right?”
“Sure.” She patted his butt. “But this is a family wedding where your brother is finding happiness. No guns.”
Had she met his family? “If you say so.” He’d accepted a long time ago that even though they weren’t blood, the Kayrs brothers were his family. The idea filled him with warmth. “Weddings aren’t always safe.”
Sarah rolled her eyes. “Of course they’re safe. Don’t worry—this will be a relaxing, fun time.”
God. Sometimes he just loved her optimistic view of life. They were walking into a wedding room filled with vampires, witches, and shifters. It’d be a miracle if nobody got shot. So he smiled and gathered his mate close. “You’re right. This will be perfect.” He’d make damn well sure of it, just to keep his Sarah happy.
Kane leaned against the fireplace, his gaze implacable on the blond beauty trying to look innocent across the room. “What did you do?”
She lifted a creamy shoulder. “I have no idea what you mean.” So they were going to play it that way, were they? He set his scotch on the mantle. “When was the last time I spanked you, Amber?”
His mate lifted her chin. “Last week, when I organized the protest against the group doing animal testing on nail polish.”
“No.” He prowled closer to her, appreciating the fire that flashed into her gorgeous eyes. “I believe the protest was fine. It was your breaking and entering the facilities and putting yourself in danger that guaranteed my palm print on your ass.” He’d always planned to mate a logical easygoing doctor or scientist. Thank God Amber had blasted his plan to hell. The woman was a planet-protecting vegan with spirit. Which was fine, so long as she kept out of danger. “You know to be careful.”
She lifted her chin. “Careful is for wussies.”
Damn. Not one inch of her was afraid of him. He couldn’t help the slow smile. “Those countermoves you learned from Conn were damn good.” She’d nearly taken out his knee before he’d flipped her over it.
“I know.” She smoothed her hands down his tuxedo jacket. “I’m a pacifist, but I have no problem knocking you out next time you try it.”
“Tell me. Now.” He didn’t need to go into more detail. The woman could always read him.
Her grin was all imp. “I just made sure one of the caterers learned veal is bad.”
He didn’t want to know. He really didn’t want to know. “Tell me you didn’t mess with the menu Brenna wanted.”
“I didn’t. Brenna would never want veal.” Amber’s eyes widened. “You really need to learn to relax.”
With her as a mate? There was no relaxing. He tugged on a strand of her curly hair. “You promised to have fun today and not mess with anybody.”
“I always keep my promises.”
Uh-huh. “Did you hear the demons called and want to negotiate a truce?”
“No.” She stilled. “Do you think they mean it?”
“I truly don’t know.” He brushed a thumb along her smooth jaw. “I like the idea of peace.”
“Me, too.” She grabbed his lapels and yanked him down for a hard kiss. “If we stopped fighting the demons, we could spend more time and resources fighting the virus.”
Exactly. There was no question Virus-27 needed to be cured before more mates were infected, and Kane would love to spend all his time working on science instead of strategy. The idea of his mate being susceptible to the damn bug kept him up more nights than he could count. “I’m sure once everything settles after the wedding, we’ll sit down and figure out the right path.”
“Do you think Jase will want peace?” Amber asked, snuggling closer.
“Yes and no.” Kane slipped a hand down her bare back. “I’ll need to talk to Conn to figure out where we’d hold negotiations. This would be a military act.”
“So long as we find peace.”
Kane nodded, his hand dipping lower. “I love this dress.”
His wild vegan tilted her chin and smiled into his eyes. “I love you. Let’s go to the wedding.”
Conn paced the wall of windows of their house, his hands in his pockets. The sun glittered off the ocean waves. What a perfect day for a wedding. He needed to relax and put himself into party mode.
Moira swept into the room. “Sorry I’m late.”
“You’re fine.” He turned from the window and nearly swallowed his tongue. Talk about an understatement. “You’re gorgeous, Dailtín.”
She smiled, her green eyes lighting up. “Brenna made us all wear blue dresses, and I thought mine needed some sparkle.”
Yeah. Shimmering, sparkling, sexy-as-hell dress. “I totally agree.” He tugged his hands free. “Where’s your weapon?”
She lifted her chin, power dancing along her skin. “Which one?”
“You keep looking at me like that, and we’re never gonna make it to the wedding.” He wanted to tease her, but damn, he might be serious. Getting her naked and beneath him was far too appealing.
Delight flashed across her face. “While I love the thought of grappling in bed all day, your baby brother is marrying my baby sister. Our families would break down our front door looking for us.”
Now that was the truth. He studied his witch. “You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in three centuries.”
Her smile slid to sweet. “Aren’t you charming today.”
“Just thankful.” And he was. Thankful for her, for his family, for the fact that Jase was healing. Life held promise again. “I’d be lost without you, Moira Dunne-Kayrs. Sometimes I forget to tell you that.”
Her expression softened, and she approached him, hands flattening on his chest. “What’s going on?”
He grinned. “I give you a compliment, and you ask me what’s up?”
“No. I can feel something is up. You’re thoughtful—and wary.” Curiosity and understanding commingled in her eyes. “Is it the offer from the demons?”
He lifted his chin. “Maybe. You know how in battle, you can feel an opponent switch their approach?”
“I feel like we should be looking over our right shoulders.” The instinct didn’t make sense, but it was one he trusted. “Something’s coming.”
“Aye. Something’s coming.” Moira slid her dress up her right thigh to reveal a gun tucked securely in place. “But not today. Today is for love and family.”
He glanced at the clock. “Love, huh?”
She let her skirt fall and backed away. “No. No time. No.”
“Oh, my little Irish beauty.” He stalked her, steering her toward the wall. “You know I don’t like that word.”
Blue danced on her skin, and she formed a plasma ball, her eyes lighting with fun. “Don’t make me blow you up.”
“You throw that, and I’ll be inside you within minutes.” God, he hoped she threw. One thing he knew without question was his witch couldn’t resist a challenge.
She kept retreating. “Blast it. We need to get to the wedding—you know that. Stop moving, damn it.”
“Moira, I’m going to have you before we leave this house. Easy or hard, it’s going to happen.” He loved the fire that lit her eyes as well as the dare that lifted her chin. “So stop moving and kiss me.”
Predictably, his woman threw the plasma.
He caught the fire and fizzled the flames out between his fingers. Then, with a grin, he lunged for his mate.
Brenna smoothed down the Irish lace, appreciating the centuries of women who had worn the dress before her. Love and hope lived in the soft fabric. She stood in the small room of the lodge while the sun played across the ocean outside. She smiled at her older sister. “Moira, your hair needs work.”
Moira grinned and sat at the vanity to fix her hair. “Sorry I was late. ’Twas totally Conn’s fault.”
Aye. Brenna didn’t need a road map. “I figured.”
Moira turned. “Tell me you’re happy.”
“I’m happy.” Brenna smiled as she realized the truth of the statement. “I love him.”
“Good.” Moira patted wild curls into place. “Life as a Kayrs mate isn’t easy, but it’s well worth it. They’re good men.”
“I know.” Brenna nodded. “Jase likes me for me, and not for who the world thinks I should be.”
Moira laughed, her eyes sparkling. “That does sound familiar, you know. The world thought I should sit on the council and dictate policy. Only Conn knew that I belonged on the front lines dealing with witches misusing magic.”
“I like sitting on the council.” Glancing at the quiet street outside the window, Brenna leaned toward her sister. “Janie had a vision regarding the Prophecies of Arias and thinks she needs to read the book to end the current war.”
Moira blinked. “What did you tell her?”
“Just that the book didn’t exist, and if it did, I’d need to go through the proper channels to gain her access. But we should get her access, don’t you think?”
“Yes.” Moira slipped her feet back into the heels. “The book is in an ancient language, and I have no idea what it says. Do you think she’ll be able to decipher the pages?”
“Maybe.” Brenna touched up her makeup. “She deserves a chance to try.”
The door burst open, and Deb Stewart swept inside with the bouquets, her dress swishing. “Everyone is seated.”
Brenna reached for her arrangement of bluebells and green rosemary. “Everyone getting along?”
Deb grinned. “I didn’t say that. Your sisters are all in blue, as are the Realm mates, but everyone chose different blues.”
“That’s fine.” Brenna stretched her calves in the high heels.
“Yeah, I know. But some of the shifters wore blue, too.” Deb laughed. “And the younger Realm vampires are seriously flirting with a group of female wolf shifters out of Washington, and their Alpha is glaring.”
“Their Alpha is Terrent Vilks, and he’s an ally,” Moira said, reaching for her bouquet.
Brenna sighed. “Yeah, but Terrent is over-the-top protective of his pack.”
Deb nodded. “I think he’s with a very pretty shifter who knocked over a row of baskets?”
Brenna laughed. “Yes, Maggie is his mate, and she’s a bit . . . um . . .”
“Clumsy as hell,” Moira said flatly. “But we love her anyway. Speaking of shifters, have the lion shifters arrived?”
“Yes.” Deb patted her hair back into place. “Jordan and Katie were already busy chasing two energetic seven-year-olds around. Those cougar twins are just too cute for words.”
“I can’t wait to catch up with everyone,” Brenna said. “But, we do need to tell Garrett to watch out for the wolf cheerleaders. Terrent won’t let Garrett seduce one of those girls.”
“Seduce?” Moira coughed. “Garrett wouldn’t know how to seduce a sure thing. The kid is cute, but seduce? I don’t think so.”
Brenna glided toward the door. They’d better get a move on before all hell broke loose. “Garrett is a Kayrs who recently survived battle with both Kurjans and demons. He’s a hero, and he has the vampire’s charm. Plain and simple.”
Moira frowned. “Good point. Let’s get him occupied before the wolves declare war on us, too.”
Brenna chuckled. “Here I thought my wedding day would be calm.”
“To a Kayrs?” Moira shook her head. “Your life will never be calm. But let’s go get married.”
Brenna waited until her family and friends took their places before sliding her hand through her father’s arm. Doctor Dunne smiled down at her, and she nudged him. “Two daughters mating vampires, huh? You okay?”
Her father grinned. “My girls have found love and adventure. Of course I’m happy.” The music started, and he escorted Brenna into the main room of the lodge, which had been turned into a wedding venue for the day.