“I’ll need a sparring partner.”
“Karate?” Those completely human-seeming eyes brightened in interest.
“Hot damn. Let’s do it.”
Lucas coughed. “If you two have stopped flirting, we have business to discuss.”
Indigo grinned but stayed silent. Mercy wasn’t so reticent. “So that’s what it takes to get into Dorian’s pants. I’ll let the sentinel-chasers know.”
Her packmate’s growl only widened her smirk.”
“God, you’re sexy when you talk Psy.”
“Judd figured he must have done something right along the way. How else could a rebel arrow have earned the right to call this amazing woman his own? Even if it was a mistake, too damn bad. He was never giving her up.”
“You're walking funny," Lucy said, a shit-eating grin on her face. Five days of out of this world sex with a starving man could do that to a girl.
"You're just jealous." Brenna pushed through the door into DarkRiver's business HQ.
Lucy made a mournful face. "Yes, I am. Goddamn but your man is hot. And he smiles at you! I've seen him do it, even if no one believes me.”
“She was more than willing to let him walk off his temper. And the man had one, even if he wasn't willing to admit it.”
“Brenna’s eyes widened. Raising a hand, she brushed his hair gently off his forehead.
“Why do I keep telling you things I swore I’d take to my grave?”
The contact shot electricity through his nerves. “Because you know I’ll always be your shield against the nightmares.”
“Brenna was fixing some kind of a small computronic device when he found her in her quarters. “Judd,” she said, putting down her tools. “You can’t be here. The dissonance—”
He interrupted her panicked words. “I need to ask you something important.”
“What could be more important than your life?” She sounded close to tears.
“Your life. If you die, I don’t know if I’d stay sane.” A simple truth.”
“I made lasagna for dinner," Tamsyn called out. "That work for you?"
He continued to look at her, as if he'd drink her up with his eyes. "Anything is fine."
"Maybe I shouldn't waste my lasagna on you, then." Tamsyn grabbed a container from the cooling unit. "How about some cardboard instead?"
Brenna found herself amused in spite of the blood that continued to scent the air and the taut expectation that stretched between her and Judd. Lips twitching, she waited for his response.
"Cardboard has no nutritional value." Utterly toneless. "Lasagna would be a better choice.”
“Where did you learn your charm—the gulag?”
“Aren‘t you going to get up?"
He put a hand on the curve of her hip, a possessive gesture that had already become
"No. Let‘s have more sex.”
“Can I bite you here, too?”
“Since Sienna was in an unusually cooperative mood, the session went well. He was returning from it midmorning - after a short detour - when a small naked body barreled into him in one of the main corridors. Steadying the boy with Tk, he looked down. The child lifted a finger to his lips. "Shh. I'm hiding." With that, he went behind Judd and scrambled into a small alcove. "Quickly!
Not sure why he obeyed the order, Judd backed up to stand in front of the alcove, arms crossed.
A flustered Lara came running around the corner a few seconds later. "Have you seen Ben? Four-year-old. Naked as a jaybird?"
"How tall is he?" Judd asked in his most overbearing Psy manner.
Lara stared. "He's four. How tall do you think he is? Have you seen him or not?"
"Let me think...did you say he was naked?"
"He was about to be bathed. Slippery little monkey."
A giggle from behind Judd.
Lara's eyes widened and then her lips twitched. "So you haven't seen him?"
"Without a proper description, I can't be sure."
The healer was obviously trying not to laugh. "You shouldn't encourage him - he's incorrigible as it is."
Judd felt childish hands on his left calf and then Ben poked his head out. "I'm incorwigeable, did ya hear?"
Judd nodded. "I do believe you've been found. Why don't you go have your bath?"
"Come on, munchkin." Lara held out a hand.
Surprisingly strong baby arms and legs wrapped around Judd's leg. "No. I wanna stay with Uncle Judd."
Lara anticipated his question. "Ben spends a lot of time with Marlee."
"I spend a lot of time with Marlee," a small voice piped up.”
“Those unearthly eyes were so close, she could see the reflection of her own furious expression in their depths. “I’d rather watch you take a lover than die at my hands.”
She knew how much those words must’ve tortured him. Even now, the air was staining bloodred with anger. “And would you let that man live?” she whispered.
No response. That gave her hope even when hope seemed impossible. “Then we fight, Judd.” She dared to place her hand gently on his chest. He flinched but didn’t move away. “We fight until every avenue is closed and then we dig under the roadblocks. Because I am not walking away from us.” Strong words, but she was shaking. He could destroy her with a few careless comments.
“You’re the strongest, most determined woman I know.” He played his fingers along the strands of her hair. “You’d make mincemeat out of a lesser man. It’s a good thing you belong to me.”
Relief almost collapsed her knees. “Not funny.”
“I’m serious.” Something very male moved over his face. “If you say yes now, I won’t let you go if you decide I’m not what you want later on down the road. You say yes, you say yes forever. Be sure.”
“A tear streaked down her face. I love you.
She laughed at the possessive tone. "I've always been yours...”
“Then I almost pity Judd.” Leaning in, she whispered, “Make him uncomfortable. Don’t take no for an answer. Push. Push him until he loses control. Remember, fire melts ice.”
Brenna looked into those eerie night-sky eyes as Faith drew back. “Could be a dangerous game.”
“You don’t seem to be the kind of woman content with safe and easy.”
“No.” She also wasn’t the kind of woman who gave up at the first obstacle. Judd might be categorically Psy, but she was a SnowDancer.”
“He kissed her. Hard. Fast. Vaughn.”
“She can. But I don’t care what she thinks, she’s not back to full strength yet.”
Hawke raised an eyebrow. “Want a piece of advice, one male to another?” Judd waited. “Wolf females get really, really, really pissed off when their males don’t support them against others in public.” A flashing smile. “You’re going to have to grovel to get back in her good graces.”
“Loyalty. I understand that.” And he did.
Hawke angled his head. “One of the scouts is returning.”
“No conflicting loyalties?"
"Not yet." But if it came to that, he had already made his choice. Her name was Brenna and she was his heartbeat.”
“She nodded, lower lip trembling for an instant before she got it under control. "I'm such a baby. I was fine as long as I was cleaning up, but as soon as I stopped, I got so angry. Almost as if I was picking up everyone else's anger, too."
He matched her smaller strides as they walked, choosing to focus on the lighter aspect of her comment - they'd discuss the other later. "You might be a baby, but you're mine. And I like babysitting.”
“Oh, God, Judd.” She squeezed his hand. “I felt the…shadow of that, an echo. If what I felt was diluted, how are you still conscious?”
“Why did you feel it?” Protective instincts roared to life. “We aren’t mated.”
Her shattered eyes went wide. “Are you sure?”
His heart actually stopped for a second, he wanted so much for her to belong to him on the most irrevocable level. “I guess we’ll find out.”
“A finely tuned spike of pain speared through his skull, signalling a detectable breach in his conditioning. He didn't want to stop his decent into chaos. What he wanted was to hurt the men who'd dared look at her.”
“So you really meant what you said to me yesterday?" Her voice rose. "I should find myself a nice wolf and settle down?"
He fought off the rising incursions of dissonance, the razor blades sliding through his brain stem and traveling down his spine. "That would be rushing things.”
“His eyes fixed on hers, the gold flecks darkening to amber. "An assassin who looks after his own skin? That's exactly what I am, Brenna. I would rather die than harm you, but anyone else? I could kill them without blinking. It's what I was born to do.”
“Reaching up, he began using the exercise bar to do chin-ups. The repetitive act helped focus his mind as it multitasked. One thing was certain—he refused to never again experience the intimacy of being with Brenna. It wasn’t the sex, though that had been the most amazing experience of his life. It was the way he’d made her laugh, made her smile, made her complain and then cuddle. All because she’d felt safe, reassured by the strength of their emotional connection.
He would not steal that feeling from her. And he most definitely was not going to surrender her to another male who could give her what she needed. The idea made him want to break something.”
“While waiting for Brenna to prepare the drink he did as directed and worked through their conversation. It would've gone faster had he not kept getting distracted by the sight of her moving with feminine efficiency mere meters away. The sway of her hips were-"Don't I ever want to lick a woman all up?"
She squeaked, then swivelled to face him, bracing her hands on the counter behind her. "Not quite how I would've put it." Her tone was higher than normal.
"You," he said quietly, no longer able to lie, "You tempt me."
"Oh." Her breasts rose up as she took a deep, shuddering breath. "You've never let on."
Yes, he had. If she ever saw the way he watched her when she wasn't looking, she'd be in no doubt as to the strength of his unacceptable reaction to her.”
“I thought your degree was in computronics.” It didn’t please Judd that there was something he hadn’t known about her. An emotional reaction. The sweat rolling down his spine felt like ice this time.”
“Judd’s fists were so tight, he was in danger of fracturing his own bones. He understood why Brenna had needed to talk to Dorian. He even understood that the leopard saw Brenna as a young sister, not a potential lover. None of that made any difference. Judd wanted to be the one she turned to when in need.
Ice picks of pain shoved through his skull, dissonance so vicious it nearly shut down his consciousness. The countdown was getting inexorably closer to the end. Uncurling his fingers with sheer force of will, he watched the blood rush back in. Last night had made it clear that he’d already crossed too many lines, broken too many rules. Soon, it would be too late to draw back.
“Thank you, Dorian.”
No, he would not pull back. Brenna was his. His to pleasure. And his to comfort...”
“If the alpha tried to separate him from Brenna, he'd have a fight on his hands. A bloody one.”
“He and Brenna were different in one crucial respect, a difference they had both gone to great lengths to avoid discussing - the lack of a mating bond between them.
He was a psychic being. He would have seen it had it been present in any form. That it wasn't, was a sign that though they might be drawn to each other, they weren't made to fit. He didn't give a damn. He was keeping her.”
“What do you ask from Judd in exchange for giving sanctuary to the kids?'
His pale eyes iced over. 'Judd is a fully trained Psy assassin with experience in covert wet work. I’d be a fool if I didn’t utilize his skills.' She choked back a cry. 'How can you ask that of him?' An alpha looked after his own.
He didn’t destroy them. But maybe Hawke didn’t consider the Laurens his own. After all, and for reasons she’d never known, he hated the Psy as much as her brothers did.
His face gentled, an unexpected softening of harsh masculine lines. Closing the distance between them, he cupped her cheek. 'He is who and what he is, Brenna. If you want something different, you shouldn’t be with him.'
'He’s the only one I want to be with.'
'Then accept his beast like you do your own.”
“My guard will run you through if he catches you looking at my face," said Arianna.
"I don't think so. I think it might be treason to kill a duke," said Luciano.
"But you're not a duke," said Arianna.
"I will be if you marry me," said Luciano.
"Yes, you would be," said Arianna.
"If you are asking me."
"And if I accepted."
"I do. With all my heart.”
“Thank God life ends—we'd never survive it. From Big Bang to weary shag, the history of the world. Our flesh is ferocious...our bodies will kill us...our bones will outlive us.”
“My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible.
All are of no value unless they are followed by action.”
“a face that looked like it had been whittled out of driftwood.”
“...things happen when you least expect them. Things that can change your whole life.”
BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.
We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.
Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.