Numbers Page 33

’’Destiny said not to take it personally. She was on pain medication, and not thinking clearly. He said it might have been instinctual for her to want to be held by another primate as she died.’’

’’I\m sure he was right.’’

Mourn wouldn\ lie to Dana. ’’He was being kind. There were other primates there. Some of the females had come to be with her. She didn\ ask them to hold her. It was Destiny she reached for. Halfpint touched me by taking my hand. She fears males, but she must have seen how it hurt me, having to watch my mate die in another\s arms.’’

’’Who is Halfpint?’’

’’She\s one of the Gifts. They bonded to 139. My mate was the only primate female rescued who wasn\ a Gift.’’

’’What\s a gift?’’

’’Species who were created with domesticated, smaller animals and DNA from small humans. They were designed to be small and weak. They were to be given to the humans who invested a lot of money with Mercile Industries. They were gifted to them. Some thought of them as pets, others knew they weren\ strong enough to fight back if...when they were se*ually attacked. They kept them locked up inside their homes.’’

She looked horrified again.

He nodded. ’’Halfpint fears all males. She was heavily abused by the human who owned her. She still held my hand. That was comforting.’’

’’I\m glad she was there for you.’’

He took a deep breath and blew it out. ’’We have total honesty, Dana. My mate never looked at me or touched me the way you do. I know you worry that I want you to take her place in my life, but I want more than what I had. I am truly happy when I\m with you. For the first time in my life.’’

She stroked his hair and leaned closer. ’’Oh baby. I\m so sorry.’’ Tears shimmered in her eyes.

’’I know you can never say the same to me since you had a very close bond with your mate, but I hope that one day you will look at me and not wish it was him holding you instead.’’

’’You\ e breaking my heart,’’ she whispered. ’’Stop. Never say that again. That\s not true. I have never wished he was here instead of you. Not once. You\ e Mourn. You\ e sweet and kind. You\ e the se*iest man I\ve ever met. There\s no comparison. You make me happy and you make me feel alive. That\s your doing. Do you understand?’’

Her words helped, but they were being honest. ’’He was a good mate, and you had no lack of anything with him.’’

She shook her head. ’’I wouldn\ say that. I mean, he was good to me, but we had problems too, Mourn. Everyone does in a relationship.’’

’’You\ e saying that to make me feel better.’’

’’No. I\m not.’’ She released his hair and put her hand back on his shoulder, holding his gaze. ’’Do you want to hear some of my marital problems?’’

’’You had some?’’

’’Everyone does.’’ She paused. ’’Tommy always had to have things his way. He wasn\ pushy or mean about it, but don\ think he wouldn\ use humor and a lot of cajoling to get me to agree to whatever he wanted. He insisted I be at his side at the company he ran, despite knowing I didn\ want to work there. I had to put my career on hold. I resented it some, because I was always the one to bend and give in to what he wanted. He also liked to impress people and was very social. I didn\ care what everyone thought, and I\m not outgoing. We sometimes had arguments about that. He\d just smile and tell me how much he loved me, and that I\d make him happy if I tried a little harder to fit into the lifestyle he wanted. Sometimes that hurt me. Why didn\ my happiness matter? I was downright miserable at times, but I had to smile and bear it because it was important to him. He figured if it was important to him, it had to be important to me too. That never went both ways though. I was aware of it, but I wanted our marriage to work.’’

’’Did he ever abuse you, Dana?’’

’’No. Tommy wasn\ like that. He never would have hit me, or anything along those lines. He was just kind of selfish about certain things. He would actually make jokes about it, and he could be very charming to get me to stop being upset with him. Sometimes I resented that too. All his snobby friends ditched him as soon as they realized he wasn\ going to beat the cancer the second time. I felt bad for him, Mourn. In the end he finally realized what was really important. That was us spending time together. He tried hard to make it up to me.’’

He stroked her back, wanting to comfort her. ’’At least he was human. I\m not. Does that bother you? You\d have to give up the world you live in to be with me. I\m asking too much and being selfish, aren\ I?’’

’’No.’’ She shook her head and smiled. ’’That\s not being selfish. That\s a necessity, and it\s beyond your control, Mourn. You can\ exactly move into my house. Not to mention, I really enjoyed what we just did. You being New Species made mind-blowing oral se* happen, and did I tell you that you have the best body I\ve ever seen? You\ e beautiful in every sense of the word.’’

He chuckled, his mood lightening. ’’You like the purring.’’

’’I do.’’

’’I love your taste.’’ He glanced down at her thighs, which were spread over his lap, and reached to stroke her pussy with his finger. He looked up, watching her face. ’’I\m grateful you enjoy my touch.’’

She bit her lower lip and her eyes narrowed. A soft moan came from her and he suddenly flipped her over onto her back. He spread her thighs and slid down her. She liked his mouth, and he planned to show her how being his mate had its advantages.

’’I could do this to you for hours.’’ He used his tongue to play with her clit.

’’Mourn,’’ she rasped.

She was his female. He purred deeply and gripped her thighs to hold them open when she started to rock her hips against his mouth. He had her for the night, and he planned to make it a memorable one.

Chapter Nine

Dana entered Paul\s house, hoping he\d already left for work. She wasn\ that lucky. He sat at the island on a barstool with his laptop open in front of him and a cup of coffee in hand. He turned his head and looked at her, and then at the clock on the wall. His mouth tightened into a grim line as he glared at her.

’’I probably should have called last night to say I was spending the night at Mourn\s, but you knew where I was so you shouldn\ have worried.’’ She closed the door. ’’Where is Becky?’’

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