Numbers Page 36

’’She will have to accept me if we mate. She\s your family, and welcome to stay at Homeland with us. We could put her in the other bedroom if she needs to live with you.’’

’’No. Don\ ever say those words again. I could never live with my mother, and you couldn\ either. One of us would kill her within a week.’’

He looked stunned.

’’Look, I had to elope when Tommy and I got married. Do you know why?’’ She hurried on before he could say anything. ’’She went behind our backs to invite an extra hundred guests, changed the food menu for our reception, and the last straw was when I found out she\d called the bridal shop too. She pretended to be me during all that and told them I no longer wanted the dress I had chosen because she didn\ like it. She ordered a different one, a dress that she picked. I guess she figured by the time I found out it would be too late to do anything about it, but luckily for me, I called to check on all those things. I blew my stack. Tommy and I canceled the entire thing and flew to Vegas with some friends. I had Paul meet us there so he could walk me down the aisle. That\s my mom, Mourn. She\s sneaky, underhanded and controlling. She will do or say anything to make you reconsider being with me.’’

’’I wouldn\ do that, Dana.’’

’’I\ll go to the motel tonight with Paul and try to handle her. She\s angry that I extended my stay. I\m sure she\ll try to lay a guilt trip on me, but I\m not having any of it.’’

’’Guilt trip?’’

’’She\s a pro at doing that. She\ll bitch about the money she wasted to fly here, and how she had to check on me because she believes I must be having a breakdown or something. It\s just a ploy to try to get me to go home faster. I\m not giving in to her.’’

’’I\d like to meet your mother.’’

’’Not yet. We\ll tell her after the fact if we get serious. Trust me. I learned the first time not to give her a chance to mess things up for me. She\ll try to come between us, Mourn.’’

He growled softly.

’’Exactly.’’

’’Let\s eat.’’ He snarled the words.

She watched him tear open the boxes and put slices of pizza on their plates. She reached out and wrapped her hand over his forearm. He peered at her.

’’Please, don\ be angry. I\m sorry about this. I know we planned to spend the evening together. Would you mind if I dropped by when I get back? It might be late. I\d like to sleep with you again. I really enjoyed cuddling and waking up with you this morning.’’

Some of his frustration seemed to fade. ’’I did too. I\ll wait up for you.’’

Dana leaned in and boldly brushed her lips over his mouth. Mourn turned, pulling her into his arms, the food forgotten. He lifted her onto his lap and deepened the kiss. She finally pulled away to take her seat again.

’’Not to mention, we can\ ever let my mother stay with us. We got kind of loud last night. She\d hear us.’’

He grinned. ’’We share se* really well together.’’

’’We do.’’

He grasped her hand and pulled it up to his lips to kiss her palm. He opened his mouth and lightly traced his tongue over it. Dana jerked it away, laughing.

’’That tickles.’’

’’I know where it doesn\ .’’ His gaze dropped to her lap. ’’Forget food. I want to taste you.’’

Her body instantly responded. The night before, he\d shown her exactly what he could do with his mouth more than a few times. He was insatiable, not that she had any complaints. It made her wet just thinking about his hands on her, and the memory of him inside her.

’’Don\ tempt me.’’

’’I want to.’’ He leaned over to kiss her.

She put her hands on his chest to stop him. It made her want to groan because she could feel the muscles underneath her palms. She wanted to help him remove his shirt so she could touch him all over without anything between them.

’’We can\ . I want to know about your day and we need to eat. Hold that thought until I come back later. Paul said he\d pick me up in an hour. I guess we have to put on disguises and borrow one of your SUVs to leave Homeland. He said we have to leave early to drive around so we\ e not followed to the motel.’’

Mourn grumbled.

’’I know. I feel the same way. I took a nap after Paul left.’’ She grinned. ’’I didn\ get a lot of sleep last night. Are you tired?’’

’’No.’’

’’How was work?’’

’’I got to walk some of the walls today. They kept me away from the human-inhabited areas where protestors gather, but I\m learning the security protocols to keep our walls safe from breaches.’’

’’I don\ know how that is possible. Those walls are massive.’’

’’I was assured that they try. Some have shown up with hooks attached to ropes to toss at the top of the wall in hopes of climbing up. Two weeks ago a human male came with a big ladder and tried to prop it against the wall. They had him arrested for trespassing. A human female was caught with a hammer yesterday. Her intention was to beat through part of the wall to create a hole large enough for her to squeeze through.’’

’’Why would they do that?’’ She let her hands slide off his chest.

He straightened in his chair and picked up a piece of pizza. ’’Some males wish us harm. The female was a mate hunter.’’

’’What\s that?’’

’’It\s what we call the many human females who come to Homeland hoping a Species will take them as mates.’’

’’They do that?’’

’’Yes.’’ He took a bite. ’’They will yell up at officers on the wall, asking them to bring them inside. Some flash their bared bodies in hopes of tempting a male to comply.’’

Dana fixed her attention on her plate. His words replayed in her head. He could easily find a woman to be with him if they were outside the walls trying to break in. She hadn\ missed what else he\d said either. Women were flashing guys, and probably making all kinds of indecent proposals.

’’Are you going to be working the walls from now on?’’

’’I\m not certain. They are showing me all the jobs to see which one I would enjoy most.’’

She ate her pizza, lost in her thoughts. Mourn bumped her arm and she looked up at him to find him watching her.

’’What is wrong?’’

’’I didn\ know about mate hunters.’’


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