Numbers Page 61

’’Yes. It does. Do you know what I\d tell another Species female?’’

’’What?’’

’’Fight for what you want. He\s your male, isn\ he? A stubborn, stupid one, but yours. You feel guilt for the feline at Mercile. We did what we had to, to survive. It\s a fact of life, and we\ e still here because we\ e strong. Stop feeling as if you owe him submission, and groveling. He should be kissing your ass and thanking you for saving his life. Don\ forget that and remind him.’’ She paused. ’’Males have their physical strength as an advantage, but we have the cunning skills to match them in other ways.’’

Candi appreciated the advice. ’’I can\ make him listen if he won\ be near me.’’

’’He\s not going to Reservation.’’

’’What is that?’’

’’It doesn\ matter since he\s not going. I clipped his wings. No pilot will fly him there.’’ She grinned. ’’Hero isn\ leaving Homeland.’’

’’He wants you to take me away.’’

’’I\m not going to pick you up and carry you kicking and screaming to the women\s dorm. The males will get their asses kicked if they try it. Do you feel like leaving?’’

’’No. I want to stay close to him.’’

Breeze grinned. ’’Give him hell.’’ She glanced down at Candi\s body. ’’You need to put on a lot of weight, but I can\ see him kicking you out of his bed. Do you understand?’’

’’No.’’

Breeze winced. ’’You only shared se* once. I forgot about that. I didn\ mean to eavesdrop, but canine hearing is good. Okay, get naked. He\s a male with strong feelings for you. Nature will take care of the rest.’’

’’He won\ even let me touch him.’’ She wasn\ opposed to the idea. She actually wished he would mount her.

’’Get naked and he\ll be the one doing the touching.’’

’’He will probably leave again.’’

’’Perhaps.’’

’’He has a female.’’ It tore her up, saying those words.

’’No, he doesn\ .’’ Breeze leaned in and took her hand. ’’You were part of a breeding experiment once so you might know that Species females were taken from male to male in hopes we\d get pregnant. Sometimes they would drug the males first. It made them violent and unable to think. We worried if we\d survive being mounted when they were in that state, and some of us were badly injured.’’

’’I\m so sorry.’’

Breeze squeezed and released her hand. ’’It wasn\ their fault. It was the drugs they were forced to take. They don\ remember their actions when they were in that condition and that\s a good thing for all of us. Some of our females avoid the ones they were bred with while on drugs. A female won\ tell a male he once hurt her because they\d tear themselves up the way your Hero is doing because he harmed you with that chain, only they\d be much worse. They didn\ just strike us. We don\ want them to suffer. Some of our females will share se* with one of those males from her past to make good memories in hopes of canceling out the bad. We have had good and bad experiences with them, and that makes it difficult to find absolute trust with a Species male. We\ e trying though. We do that by sharing se* with different males and not growing too close to one. So far though, we avoid mating with our males. I\d know if one of my females was serious about a Species male. It would be impossible to hide.’’

’’He might have feelings for a female.’’

’’There\s no one female he\s been steadily seeing. There isn\ a bond.’’ Breeze stood. ’’He just got out of the shower. I heard the water turn off. He might be able to hear us now.’’ She winked. ’’I\m leaving an officer in the hallway since a few Species are worried about your safety and his sanity. I told them he wouldn\ hurt you and you sure aren\ a spy.’’ She laughed. ’’But welcome to the NSO. We\ e a nosy, well-meaning bunch.’’ She lowered her voice. ’’Give him hell and don\ give up. Hurry in there before he gets dressed. He just opened his closet.’’

Breeze left and Candi stood and hesitantly walked toward the closed door. Can it be that simple? She wished, but didn\ hold out much hope. It took courage to open the door but she did, stepping inside his bedroom.

The sight of a mostly naked Hero left her mouth dry. He had a lot of muscles and had really filled out since their youth. His chest was broader, so were his shoulders, and he was much darker skinned. The sunshine had given him a golden hue that looked really good. The towel wrapped around his waist dipped low, revealing more muscles spread from his rib cage to the top of this towel.

’’What are you doing?’’ He spun, dropping a pair of jeans on the carpet.

Speak, she ordered, but no words formed. He was beautiful. It did funny things to her body and she understood. She wanted to touch him all over, explore him. She ached from the need.

’’Candi?’’ His voice came out gruff and harsh. ’’Get out.’’

She stepped farther into the room and closed the door, sealing them inside. He might run. She wouldn\ allow it. He\d have to throw her out of his way to leave his bedroom. That would mean having to touch her. That was something he didn\ want to do. She leaned against the cool wood.

Her gaze lifted to his face. He was furious. She accepted that. Breeze had made some really valid points and her own anger surfaced. Rage was one emotion she had learned worked to her advantage at times. She\d survived hell, just for the chance of going after the ones responsible for 927\s death. He was alive and they were in the same room. He should want to hold her as much as she wanted to be in his arms.

’’My pup isn\ a pup anymore.’’

He growled. ’’Don\ call me that.’’

’’That\s right. You\ e Hero, an adult male.’’ She stared at his chest, at his arms. ’’So strong and tough.’’ She met his glare. ’’At least you look that way, but you\ e a coward.’’

His mouth dropped open but he recovered, snarling. ’’What are you doing, Candi? Do you want me to attack you?’’

’’No. I want you to stop running as if this is a game of chase. We played that as children. It\s not fun right now.’’

’’I\m not playing games. You need to go to the women\s dorm.’’

’’I don\ belong there. I belong with you.’’


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