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’’I don\ want to go into details. Should I not stay here? I don\ want to make Paul uncomfortable. Mourn asked me to move in with him. I don\ think I\m quite ready for that yet, but I\d hate to overstay my welcome.’’
’’You\ e fine. Paul will calm down. Our home is yours for as long as you want to stay at Homeland.’’
Dana rose to her feet. ’’I should shower.’’
’’Are you hungry?’’
’’I\ll make you something.’’
Becky stood. ’’I\m happy for you, Dana.’’
’’Thanks.’’ She returned to the guest bedroom.
* * * * *
Mourn wished that Dana had agreed to live with him, but they\d get to spend more time together. Darkness had texted him right after he\d gone on shift that he\d secured couples housing for him. Mourn planned to stop by the men\s dorm after work to grab the two duffle bags he\d packed, pick up food from the bar and go get Dana. It made him smile, thinking about seeing her soon.
He exited one of the buildings and came to a halt when he spotted Paul leaning up against his Jeep. The male didn\ look pleased, but he\d obviously sought him out. Mourn stifled a snarl but couldn\ keep the anger out of his voice. ’’I promised Dana I wouldn\ fight you. Don\ attack me, Paul.’’
’’I\m not the suicidal bastard. That\s you.’’
’’Did you come to threaten me to stay away from Dana?’’
’’I would if I thought it would do any good.’’ Paul shook his head. ’’She made it clear that she is set on getting to know you better.’’ Paul reached behind him and Mourn growled, prepared to defend himself if the male had a weapon.
Paul withdrew a package that he\d stashed under the back of his shirt, and held it out. ’’Take this.’’ He tossed it.
Mourn caught it and looked at the large padded envelope. ’’What is it?’’
’’Condoms. I wasn\ going to walk around searching for you with a clearly marked box. I put a few dozen of them inside. I can\ stop you from seeing Dana, but I\ll be damned if I\m going to allow you to get her pregnant. She has no idea that can happen, and I know you can\ tell her because she\s not your mate. Don\ ever touch my sister again without wearing one. Am I clear?’’
’’I wasn\ aware you knew about the children.’’
Paul snorted. ’’Of course I do. I work with Trisha. They tried to hide it from me at first, but I\m not a moron. She\d never cheat on Slade. I knew as soon as she got pregnant who that baby belonged to, and I also could figure out why it\s classified. I\m not going to let you trap my sister into mating to you because you knocked her up. It\s not like she can leave here with your baby. The NSO wouldn\ allow it, because of the danger to her and the baby.’’
Mourn glanced down at the package, and then back at Paul. ’’Thank you.’’
’’Do you know how to use them?’’
Mourn shook his head.
Paul cursed, spun around and put his hands on the hood of the Jeep. ’’This is so messed up.’’ He turned around. ’’Ask someone. I can\ even go there. She\s my sister. It was hard enough bringing you those, knowing you need them because of what you plan to do with her. You hurt her, and I\ll make you pay. You come into Medical often enough. Remember that. You lay a finger on her in anger, and I\ll get even. You\ll wake up in a full-body cast. That\s way worse than restraints. Am I clear?’’
’’I would never hurt Dana.’’
’’Don\ break her heart either. Are you sure you are serious about her? She\s not like your females, Mourn. They can have se* with a guy and be your friend. She takes that shit very non casually. Do you understand?’’
’’I would mate her if she would say yes.’’
’’I don\ want to hear that. She needs someone who has his shit together, and that\s not you. Dana has been through hell and back. The last thing she needs is to have to take care of another guy on his way out of life. Did she tell you she was going to be a nurse like me until Tommy was diagnosed with cancer?’’
Mourn shook his head.
’’Hospitals remind her of all he endured so now she works in an office. My mom told me Dana would be all smiles in front of Tommy, reassuring him it was all great and good. Our mother found her one day in the garage hiding behind some boxes. She crouched there sobbing. That\s the kind of person she is. She was ripped to shreds inside, but hid it from her husband because she always put his needs first. Don\ do that to her, Mourn. Don\ make her be strong for you and help you deal with your shit. She\s got plenty of her own that she can barely withstand.’’
It tore at Mourn, hearing of Dana\s suffering. ’’I won\ . We\ e helping each other.’’
’’Are you sure about that?’’ Paul stepped closer, studying his face. ’’She needs someone who is going to take care of her, not the other way around. Just think about that. If you can\ be that man, get the hell away from her.’’
Mourn watched Paul walk down the sidewalk, grateful the male hadn\ come to fight him. He glanced down at the package in his hand and sighed. He\d have to ask someone how to use condoms. He climbed into the Jeep and went to the next building on his rounds. He spotted Jinx talking to a female who was picking up mail. He walked up to them.
’’May I speak to you?’’
Jinx frowned but, excused himself from the other Species. ’’Sure.’’ He walked outside and turned.
Mourn closed the door and held his gaze. ’’What do you know about condoms?’’
The male\s eyebrows shot up. ’’What?’’
’’I need someone to tell me how to use them. Did you take the class, or have you used them before?’’
Jinx nodded. ’’Yeah. I take it that the rumors going around about you and Paul\s sister are true?’’
’’Yes. We are spending time together.’’
’’Let\s go to the bar. Christmas keeps some bananas on hand to make shakes. It is a good way to teach you how to put one on. We\ll need to go to my place first so I can grab a few condoms.’’
’’I have condoms in my Jeep.’’
’’Okay. Let\s go.’’
Dana was nervous. Paul hadn\ returned all day so she figured he must be avoiding her. Becky kept glancing at the door too.