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Regret surfaced as he reevaluated his actions. He probably shouldn\ have bared his chest to her mother, but Darkness was the one who\d given him the idea. He\d said human females were impressed by muscles. He\d been desperate to show Daisy why he\d be a better mate for Dana than some doctor with a lot of money.

’’Forget everything my mother said,’’ Dana whispered, resting her head on his shoulder.

’’She doesn\ like me.’’

’’I don\ care. She\ll come around, or it\s her loss if she doesn\ , Mourn. You\ e a wonderful person.’’

’’Perhaps I can train to be a doctor.’’

She lifted her head to hold his gaze. ’’That\s not what you want to be, is it?’’

’’No, but I would become one if that will help your mother to accept us being mates.’’

’’You are so sweet, but stop thinking that way. Do you know what I want?’’

’’Tell me.’’

’’Don\ let my mom get to you. I fell in love with you just the way you are. I don\ plan to live the way she wants me to. You shouldn\ either. We\ll both be happier that way. We\ e building a future together. She can deal with it, or not be a part of it. Period.’’

He nodded. ’’I understand.’’


’’We\ll be home soon. I remember everything we\ e supposed to do.’’

She grinned. ’’You held that thought, huh?’’

’’As if I\d forget.’’ He reached up and stroked her cheek. ’’I swear I\ll be a good mate.’’

’’I swear that I will be too.’’

’’We\ e motivated to be happy together.’’

She nodded. ’’Yes. We are.’’

Chapter Eleven

It wasn\ just two guards posted at the side gate when they entered. A third canine New Species met their SUV as they cleared the first gate. He wore jeans and a T-shirt instead of a uniform. Mourn got out, and Dana scooted across the seat. He helped her down.

’’Hello, I\m Slade.’’ He smiled at Dana, but then focused on Mourn. ’’I take it there were no problems?’’

’’I didn\ break my word.’’

’’It went really well,’’ the driver of the SUV stated. ’’We had no trouble. No one realized who we were, and we were on the lookout for camera phones. It was very uneventful.’’

’’Good. I appreciate you taking Mourn outside. You\ e relieved.’’ Slade nodded to each man.

’’Not a problem, sir.’’

Both task force members walked away toward a building, just leaving the SUV there. Dana studied Slade, wondering who he was. He seemed to sense her watching him.

’’How did your mother take meeting Mourn and learning that you are with a New Species?’’

She grimaced. ’’My mom is kind of difficult. It could have gone a lot better, but that\s all on her.’’

’’It\s not because I\m Species,’’ Mourn added. ’’She wanted Dana to mate with a wealthy doctor.’’

Slade put his hands on his hips. ’’Where is Paul?’’

’’He\s with our mom, explaining how she can\ tell anyone I\m with Mourn, and he\s also probably trying to calm her down. She likes getting things her way.’’

Slade\s mouth twisted into a grim line. ’’Do you believe that she\ll go to the press to complain about you being here in hopes of putting pressure on us to force you to leave? We wouldn\ do that, but I\d like to warn our public relations team if it\s possible.’’

’’No. She\s aware that she\d have to move out of her home and go into hiding if anyone ever links our family to New Species. She won\ want to leave her friends and start her life over. She complained to me often about how Paul could mess up her life when he took a job here. She\s angry, but she will seethe without involving the press. My poor brother is getting an earful of it right now since he\s the only one she can bitch at.’’

Slade nodded and looked behind Dana. He shook his head. ’’She doesn\ need to be patted down. She\s Paul\s sister and she\s with Mourn.’’

Dana glanced back, realizing one of the gate guards had waited patiently behind her to do just that. He nodded and returned to his post. She looked back at Slade. He glanced between the two of them.

’’Dana has agreed to be my mate. We need papers,’’ Mourn informed him.

Slade\s mouth curved upward. ’’Congratulations.’’

They shook hands, and Slade pulled him into a quick hug. He turned to Dana and just smiled. ’’It\s nice to have you added to our New Species family.’’

’’Thank you.’’ She was relieved.

Slade gazed at Mourn. ’’I\ll let legal know to draw up the papers. Do you want them tonight or is the morning soon enough? The ones who do them have gone home already, but I can place a call.’’

’’Tomorrow is fine.’’ Dana didn\ want to put anyone out.

’’I will prove I\m stable now.’’ Mourn hesitated. ’’Do you think anyone will protest me taking a mate?’’

’’No.’’ Slade shook his head. ’’We\ e happy for you both. Take my Jeep and drive your mate home. I need to stay in this area for a while. We\ e expecting trouble.’’

’’May I help?’’

’’No thank you, Mourn. It\s more of an irritation than a serious problem. A few aggressive protestors pitched eggs at some of our males who were patrolling the wall so we turned on the water cannons.’’ Slade smiled at Dana. ’’It doesn\ harm them but it stings severely and we use very cold water. It tends to make them run away, but they always return to antagonize us after dark. Last time they splashed paint on a few of the gates. I volunteered to stay at this one for a while, to man the water cannons.’’ He chuckled. ’’I admit that it amuses me to soak them before they can cause damage.’’

She laughed. ’’I can totally understand that.’’

’’I\m just doing my duty by chilling them out.’’ Slade grinned. ’’Last week I nailed one right after he opened the can, planning on walking to the gates to splash them. He fell on his ass as soon as the water hit him and dumped red paint onto his lap. I made a copy of the surveillance feed to share at a meeting. We all got a good laugh over it.’’

Dana snickered. ’’You should start a website and show those morons over the internet. It would probably be pretty popular. I know I would enjoy seeing that.’’

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