Numbers Page 78

She wrapped her legs around his waist. ’’I missed you so much.’’

’’This is the first time I\ve felt completely alive, and not broken inside, since I lost you.’’

’’Me too.’’

He eased her down to her feet and removed her arms from his neck. ’’I won\ lose you again. That means you need to help me make you stronger without being difficult. Shower now, we will watch the movie so you can eat popcorn, and nap after that.’’ He paused. ’’Do you need a nap now?’’

’’No. I\m not sleepy.’’

He stepped away and turned on the shower, adjusting the temperature for her. He backed up. ’’Go in. I am going to clean up the couch.’’

’’Shower with me and I\ll help you when we get out.’’

’’No. That will lead to trouble. You\ll touch me and I\ll touch you.’’

She grinned. ’’I\d like that.’’

He shook his head. ’’Movie, popcorn and nap. I\ll feed you a big meal when we wake and that is when we\ll consider sharing se*. Not before.’’

’’What if I were to slip and fall?’’ Her grin widened. ’’I could get hurt if you aren\ in there with me.’’

A deep growl burst from him. ’’You\ e being bad. I know you, Candi. Don\ manipulate me.’’

’’I had to try.’’

A slow smile spread across his lips. ’’You are a troublemaker, but one who won\ share se* with me before you get some sleep and eat another meal.’’

’’All right. I can compromise.’’

’’We both will.’’

’’I would have rubbed you all over,’’ she teased, stepping into the shower stall. ’’I want to learn how to touch you in all the ways that make you feel good. That\s difficult to do if you won\ let me.’’

He didn\ respond and she glanced back. He wasn\ in the bathroom with her. He\d fled. She laughed. He might run, but he wouldn\ go far and he\d come back. He was her male. An overprotective one who would be difficult to deal with until she had padding on her bones, but he wasn\ the only stubborn one.

Hero scrubbed the couch down, grateful it was leather. It had been hell pulling out of Candi but his fear of getting her pregnant had motivated him to find the willpower and determination to do it. It had left a mess though.

He needed to get condoms, unwilling to further test his ability to pull away from her during se*. The shower turned off as he entered the bedroom to put on a pair of sweatpants. He jerked them up his legs and paused by the bathroom door, though he avoided watching her dry off.

’’I have to leave our home for a few minutes. Find one of my shirts to wear and I\ll hurry back.’’

’’You need more popcorn?’’

’’No.’’

He didn\ expand on that. He rushed to the front door, unlocked it and stepped into the hallway. Not many Species who shared the floor with him were at Homeland. They were doing their rotations at Reservation. He realized no one who might be home would have any condoms. Only Species who wanted to attempt to share se* with humans obtained them. He passed the elevator and jogged down a floor. He knocked on Searcher\s door. The male opened it quickly.

’’Hi, Hero.’’ He examined him with a quick sweep of his gaze and inhaled. The male grinned. ’’Congratulations.’’

The male couldn\ miss the scents coming off him. ’’Do you have condoms?’’

’’Somewhere.’’ The male stepped back. ’’Come in.’’

’’Thank you.’’

’’I just have to remember where I put them.’’

’’You don\ know?’’

Searcher shook his head. ’’I haven\ opened them. I like to be prepared.’’ He snapped his fingers. ’’Bathroom. They are right next to my first-aid kit. I used word association to remember where I put things. I\ll be right back.’’

Hero scowled, replaying what the male had said. He decided not to ask why the male believed he should keep condoms next to the first-aid kit. Searcher returned and held out a large, sealed box. ’’Here.’’

’’Thank you. I appreciate it.’’

’’How is your female doing? Everyone is worried about her.’’

’’She\s well.’’

A smile curved the male\s lips upward. ’’I would assume so since you\ e sharing se* with her. I\m happy for you. Is there anything we can do?’’

Hero held up the box. ’’This is it for now.’’ He spun away and left his friend\s home. He hurried upstairs, but the sight of two males and Breeze standing in the hallway slowed his steps. Breeze faced him with a grim look.

’’We have trouble.’’

’’Candi!’’ He tried to shove past Breeze.

The female flattened her palms on his chest and pushed him back. ’’We called your cell but you didn\ answer. I was about to knock until I heard you coming. She\s fine. We need to talk.’’

’’What is it?’’

Breeze let her hands drop and eyed the box he held. She smiled, staring at up him. ’’I\m glad you worked out sharing se*.’’

’’Breeze.’’ He scowled. ’’What is the problem?’’

Her expression sobered. ’’We interviewed Candi when she first arrived, but we only got basic information because she didn\ look well. Her health was the priority and we planned to do a more in-depth one once Trisha released her and she was deemed fit enough to answer all our questions. Then she found out you were alive and we knew it was important for you two to bond again.’’

’’You want to interview her now?’’ He shook his head. ’’Give her more time.’’

’’We did.’’ Fury spoke from behind him. ’’That\s the problem.’’

Hero spun, studying the grim male. ’’What are you doing here? I thought you weren\ working this week.’’

’’Your female\s photo is being shown on every news station. They found the body of the doctor she killed and the homicide investigation led back to the hospital where she was held. The police are actively hunting for Candi. We need to deal with this now, or it\s going to look bad later when we admit she\s here.’’

’’They were keeping her prisoner.’’ Indignation flashed hotly through Hero. ’’She killed to save her own life.’’

’’We\ e aware of this, but we didn\ reach out to the human authorities because we didn\ have enough details.’’ Breeze slid between Hero and the wall to stand next to Fury. ’’We can\ put it off any longer, Hero. That\s why we\ e here. I wish we had a few more days but this has to be handled right now before some human is mistaken for Candi. They have a full manhunt out for what they believe is an unstable and dangerous female who has already killed once.’’


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