Numbers Page 69

Candi needed to sit. She retreated to a chair and collapsed into it. Jealousy and pain struck her at knowing so many females had touched him, but she also had heard everything he\d said. He hadn\ wanted to watch anyone die. She would never forget the feline male and the beating he\d taken before she\d agreed to let him mount her. He had refused to take her by force. She understood.

’’Is that the answer you wanted?’’ 927 snarled. ’’I won\ lie.’’

She saw rage in his eyes as she stared into them from across the room. ’’I don\ want you to.’’

’’No. You wish me to watch you suffer. I see your pain.’’ He fisted his hands at his sides, advanced a few steps, and then stopped. His nostrils flared. ’’I can smell it.’’

’’I don\ want you to suffer. Why would you think that?’’

He spun away, pacing the small confines of the kitchen space. He finally punched a cabinet, the wood splitting from the force of it. Part of it broke off and hit the counter, and then the floor. He snarled.

Candi rose and rushed forward. His hand bled. ’’You\ e hurt.’’

He turned his head, growling. ’’Get back.’’

She froze.

He turned on the faucet and shoved his torn skin under the running water. She backed up a little but then stepped sideways, putting her body between him and the front door in case he tried to leave again. She wasn\ above throwing herself in front of him to keep him there. It was obvious he didn\ want her to touch him so she doubted he\d be willing to put his hands on her to get her out of his way.

He turned off the water and used a dishtowel to wrap his hand. ’’I don\ plan on storming out. You don\ have to stand there.’’

She didn\ deny that\s exactly why she\d chosen that spot. ’’Breeze said there should be a medical kit in your bathroom. Do you want me to get it?’’

He shook his head. ’’Why would she tell you that?’’

’’She saw my feet.’’

He frowned and stared at her feet. ’’What?’’

’’I cut them when I ran after you.’’

He snarled. ’’I didn\ smell the blood. Let me see.’’

’’It\s fine.’’

He lunged out of the kitchen. She held her ground when he grabbed hold of her waist and just lifted her. He strode to the couch and dropped her on it, grasped one of her ankles and yanked it up to study the bottom of her foot.

’’Damn it. It\s not bleeding anymore, but it needs to be cleaned. You\ e not Species. You can easily get infections.’’ He released it and reached for her other ankle, capturing it in his uninjured hand, and lifted it. ’’You have two cuts. Stay put. Don\ move.’’ He let her go but then he looked at her, his expression tightening.

She followed his line of sight and realized the shirt she wore had ridden up when he dropped her on the couch and lifted her legs. Part of her pussy was exposed. His mouth tightened into a grim line when she glanced up to see his reaction. He held still, his attention focused there.

’’I don\ want you to suffer, my pup. Never. Why did you say that?’’

That got a reaction from him. He twisted away and stomped into the bedroom. She sat up a little and pulled the shirt down. He returned quickly with a white box that had First Aid and a red symbol stamped across the top. He dropped to his knees, shoved the coffee table to the side, and set the box on top of it. He opened it, removed a few items, and then grabbed one of her ankles, lifting her foot.

’’This might burn. Prepare.’’

She nodded, watching him use his teeth to rip off a corner of a packet that he\d pressed to his mouth. He used the wet swab to rub against the cut. It wasn\ pleasant and he wasn\ gentle. She clenched her teeth but didn\ make a sound. He really made sure it was clean before he stopped and applied a bandage. He set her foot down on one side of his thigh and went after her other foot. She lifted it for him.

He glanced down between her thighs and froze. She knew what he saw with her thighs parted and one leg lifted. She was exposed again, flashing him the view of her pussy. She contemplated reaching down to hold the shirt in place over it but decided against it.

He tore his gaze away, cleaned the second cut and slapped a bandage on it. He unwrapped the dishtowel from his hand, twisted his body to the side and tended to his own injury. She stayed put, liking that he was just a few feet away.

’’Are we going to pretend you didn\ accuse me of wanting to hurt you?’’ She kept her tone soft.

’’Yes.’’

’’Do you believe that?’’ It would hurt her if he did.

He closed the box and made a pile of the discarded items next to it on the table. He refused to look at her.

’’I don\ want to upset or anger you. I\m trying to get to know the male you\ve become. That\s all. I\m afraid you don\ want me anymore and that another female matters more to you than I do.’’

He sat back on his heels and regarded her. It was clear that he masked his features to hide his emotions. ’’I don\ want to talk about this.’’

’’We tell each other everything.’’

’’We did once. Not anymore. Things have changed.’’

That hurt. ’’Do you want me to leave?’’

’’I don\ know. You\ e alive. I don\ know how to react or what to think. I\m trying to stay calm, but I feel highly unsettled.’’

He was at least talking to her. ’’I might not have fought so hard to survive if I\d known I would bring you this much pain, my pup.’’

He leaned in. ’’Don\ say that. And don\ call me your pup.’’ The anger was back in his voice.

She dropped her gaze to his chest. The sight of his tan, bare skin through the rips of his shirt was a good thing to focus on instead. ’’I\ll leave if I only bring you suffering.’’ She lifted her legs, turned, and tried to scoot down the couch to avoid touching him.

He reached out and put his open palm over her stomach. She stopped moving. He didn\ say anything as long seconds passed. She liked the warmth of his hand there, heating her skin though the thin material of the shirt.

’’No female could ever take your place.’’

She dared look at him and he appeared sad to her. She felt the same way. ’’Do you know what hurts the most?’’

’’What?’’ He pulled his hand away.

’’It\s not that you mounted other females. You believed I\d chosen another male over you and that I died. It\s learning that you don\ want me anymore. I\m nothing now except bad memories that cause you to have terrible feelings. That tears me apart inside, Hero.’’ The name would always be foreign, but she did it for him. ’’I\ll tell Breeze to let you go to your Reservation place and I\ll stay out of your sight. I love you with everything that I am, but I won\ be selfish. I give you peace. Forget I am alive. I won\ exist to you anymore.’’


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