“Maybe, just maybe, two broken people could manage to create something whole.”
“Excuse me. I think you must’ve accidentally used the wrong pronoun.”
The growl that rumbled up out of his chest was loud enough to rattle the water glass on the bedside table.
“Fine, you can stand in the corner and cheer while I kill him.”
“I hear women are posting their phone numbers on the site for you.” Accompanied by sexy videos and photos.
Judd’s eyes gleamed. “Not after Brenna hacked the site and plastered a message on their homepage pointing out that I’m very happily mated to a wolf with sharp teeth, razored claws, and a wild case of insane jealousy.” A small smile that was nonetheless, quietly satisfied. “She also uploaded several gruesome photos of feral wolf kills.”
“I will love you until the day they put me in the earth.”
“When he put the old-fashioned mechanical toy on her palm, she stopped breathing. It was a tiny representation of an atom, complete with colored ball bearings standing in for neutrons, protons, and on the outside, arranged on arcs of fine wire, electrons. Turning the key on the side made the electrons move, what she’d thought were ball bearings actually finely crafted spheres of glass that sparked with color. A brilliant, thoughtful, wonderful gift for a physics major.
“Why magnesium?” she asked, identifying the atomic number of the light metal. His hand on her jaw, his mouth on her own. “Because it’s beautifully explosive, just like my X.”
“God hates me," she heard him mutter. "Now there are two of them.”
“Tell her we don’t bite.” “I don’t lie to my friends.”
“It’s Adria’s face I see when I think of home.”
“Life might hurt, might bruise, might forever scar, but it was for living.”
“Heart of my heart, that’s who you are, Adria Morgan. Chosen and forever.” Picking her hand off his cheek, he pressed a lingering kiss to the palm before placing it over the strong, steady rhythm of that very organ. “Wolf and man, you own every part of me.”
“No more chances, Golden Eyes. You’re mine and I’ll draw blood to enforce my claim.”
“You’ll hate me,” she said, her arms locked around him because she couldn’t not hold him when he was close. “One day, you’ll hate me.” It was the thing she most feared. Hand fisting in her hair, he pressed his forehead to her own, his eyes night-glow in the dark. “I will love you until the day they put me in the earth.”
“Jellyfish," Riaz said, after considering the other inhabitants of the sea. "Seriously, there cannnot be jellyfish changelings."
Hawke turned to look over his shoulder. "What the hell have you been smoking?"
Riaz shruged, his mood undampened. "It was green and leafy.”
“Eyes narrowed, Judd stared at the structure as if at a mortal enemy. Slapping his fellow lieutenant on the shoulder, Riaz said, "Don't even think about it." A pissed-off telekinetic versus the complex metal pylons and tubes of the jungle gym- the results would not be pretty.
Judd glanced at his watch. "I'll destroy it later.”
“Oh yeah, that’s the one who kept watching me as if she was waiting for me to grow fangs and try to eat her. I couldn’t help it—I used my claws to scratch my nose. Her eyes almost popped out of their sockets.”
“Content in a way he’d rarely been before Mercy, he simply stroked her until she purred. It delighted him as it always did. “I made you purr.” A lazy yawn. “I’m faking it.”
“Borrowing a hammer from Walker Lauren, she pounded the tickets into the office door with a nail. Hawke, passing by, helpfully held the tickets in place while she hammered the nail. He didn't say a word, his expression so bland it was clear he was highly amused.”
“It wasn’t simply about the sex any longer, wasn’t simply about assuaging the skin hunger that haunted them both. It was about saying good-bye to a dream that had never had a chance.”
“Don’t tell me you don’t wonder, don’t th—” “I fucking don’t!” He grabbed her upper arms, held her in place, the raw fury in his voice a wild thing. “I made my choice, and I chose you. Don’t you do this. Don’t you destroy us.”
“His gentleness twined another tendril around her heart, until she was so entangled in him, she knew she’d never break free. For the first time in her life, her wolf had chosen. And it had chosen this lone wolf. “You have me,” she whispered. All of me.”
“God you’re obstinate.” It was a snarl. “Must make me a masochist that I like that about you.” Her wolf bared its canines, charmed but trying not to allow it to matter. “I only get worse the more you know me. Consider it a lucky escape.”
“Mercy's eyes held equal parts shock, and delight. "Riley."
He felt his lips stretch even wider. "I think we need to celebrate with some brand-new etchings."
His cat's laugh was surprised and warm and the sound of home. "It's your etchings that got us into this position.”
“Look,” she said, making the conscious decision to wrench herself back before her frustrated wolf took control and she found herself feasting on male lips currently thin with anger, “it’s nothing personal. I’m generally a bitch.”
“Am I invited to this movie night,” Sam interrupted to say, “or were you planning to ignore me sitting right here?” “The ignore one,” Inés answered, quick as a shot. “My heart is broken.” “I bleed for you.” “Cruel.” “It wasn’t my best effort.”
“Dangerous, she thought, this was so dangerous. Too many pieces of her in his hands. She had to hold something back, some part of her that would protect her against the nights she woke to find him lying awake, a faraway expression on his face. Because it would happen—no matter the passionate tenderness growing ever deeper between them, she was second best, would always be second best.”
“It was the first time she’d consciously accepted that fact … and the fear that came with the knowledge. Martin had hurt her, but Riaz, he could savage her. “He does these things and they take my breath away, make my chest hurt.”
“Shh … Lie back and think of England.”
Laughter reawakened inside of her, bubbling its way past the raw burn of emotion. “I’d rather think of you.”
She felt his smile against the curve of her abdomen, his jaw rough with stubble that made her shiver as he kissed his way oh-so-slowly down her body.”
“I don’t want the … issues between us”—raging sexual arousal fused with the red haze of the anger that licked the air—“to bleed over into our working relationship. Let’s agree to stay out of each other’s way as much as possible, and be polite when it’s not.”
“The man she’d glimpsed that morning, and the one who’d cared enough to put his arms around a packmate who was hurting, he was dangerous, someone who spoke to her soul beyond the primitive tug of sex.”
“And she knew this silent dance between them would be decided tonight, one way or the other. Either she tore down every one of her defenses and accepted his claim to the soul, or she walked away. Except she didn’t think the latter was an option.”
“Did you ever fly a kite in bed?
Did you ever walk with ten cats on your head?
Did you ever milk this kind of cow?
Well, we can do it. We know how.
If you never did, you should.
These things are fun and fun is good.”
“I am sure that if the mothers of various nations could meet, there would be no more wars.”
“Kai neared his desk again, seeing that the fugitive's profile had been transferred to the screen. His frown deepened. Perhaps not dangerous, but young and inarguably good-looking. His prison photo showed him flippantly winking at the camera. Kai hated him immediately.”
“Sometimes you know in your heart you love someone, but you have to go away before your head can figure it out.”
“Do you think everybody misses somebody? Like I miss my mama?” “Mmmm-hmmm,” said Gloria. She closed her eyes. “I believe, sometimes, that the whole world has an aching heart.”
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