Numbers Page 86
He took a seat and Candi sat next to him. The females handed them each a plate with two tacos that were filled with vegetables and meat. She sniffed at it, not sure about those onion pieces she could see on top.
’’Try it,’’ Hero urged. He leaned in closer and showed her how to hold one as he took a bite. ’’Mmmmm.’’
She grinned and mimicked him, taking a bite. She closed her eyes, enjoying it. She swallowed and stared at her male. ’’Good.’’ She faced the females, all of them watching her. ’’I think I can make tacos. I like them.’’
The females got their own plates of tacos, and took seats on the other side of the island. Midnight suddenly turned around on her stool and snarled. It was a scary sound. It surprised Candi and she dropped her taco on her plate. Hero leaned in closer, putting his arm around her.
A feline male backed up, raising his hands, his gaze locked with Midnight. ’’What?’’
’’You touch our food and I\ll kick your ass.’’
The feline stuck out his lower lip, pouting. ’’It smells so good. Come on, Midnight. Just one?’’
’’How come he gets to eat?’’ The male glared at Hero.
’’He\s her mate and she helped us cook. You should have pitched in if you wanted to eat, instead of stalking around the living room area watching us.’’ Midnight turned, hunching over her food. ’’Try to sneak one and I will bite you.’’
The feline crept closer, but he didn\ make a move for her food. Instead he leaned in and whispered near her ear. ’’I\d like it if you bit me.’’
She snarled again and twisted her head. ’’Back off. I\m not playing with you.’’ She sighed and looked at Candi. ’’Males. All they think about is food and se*.’’
Sunshine lifted a taco off her plate and held it out toward the male. ’’Here.’’
The male backed away from Midnight and grinned, approaching Sunshine. ’’Thank you.’’
Sunshine shrugged. ’’I can\ stand to see someone beg for food. It\s pitiful.’’
He took the taco and pouted again. ’’Now I\ll feel guilt if I eat this.’’
’’You\ll get over it.’’ Sunshine laughed. ’’Take it before I change my mind.’’
He quickly ate it. ’’Now I owe you,’’ he purred softly. ’’Want to go to my room so I can show my appreciation? I\m still hungry.’’
Sunshine nodded. ’’Give me two minutes to finish this.’’ She held one more taco out to the male. ’’So you have your strength. You\ e going to need it. I\m full of energy today, and you can help me work it off.’’
He eagerly took it.
Bluebird rolled her eyes and bumped Midnight\s arm with her shoulder. ’’I see why you chose a human.’’
Midnight kept silent, eating.
Sunshine finished her food and stood. ’’I\ll see you guys later.’’ She ditched her dirty plate in the sink. ’’Bye, Candi.’’
Candi watched her and the male walk away together and looked at Hero, arching her eyebrows.
’’They are going to share se*,’’ he whispered.
’’Oh. They are a couple?’’
’’No.’’ Midnight put her food down. ’’Our females share se* with males. It\s a casual thing. Do you understand?’’
She didn\ , and shook her head.
’’Most of us don\ want to be with just one male. We like our freedom.’’ Bluebird shrugged. ’’It\s tough to choose just one, so why bother? Besides, they get kind of territorial.’’ She jerked her chin toward Hero. ’’He\s almost glued to your side. See? That would annoy me. Does it annoy you?’’
’’She loves him,’’ Midnight announced. ’’It\s probably comforting to her that he cares so deeply that he wants to be with her as much as possible.’’ She finished eating. ’’I need to go. I\m supposed to work. It was good spending time with you, Candi.’’ She glanced at Bluebird. ’’Do you want me to help you with dishes before I go?’’
’’No. I have this. It\s my day off.’’
Midnight left and they finished lunch. Hero stood. ’’I\ll do the dishes. It\s the least I can do.’’
’’Thanks.’’ Bluebird grinned. ’’We\ e going to bring dinner tonight at six. I\ll see you then.’’
’’They are so nice to me.’’ Candi really appreciated that. ’’Can you teach me how to load a dishwasher?’’
’’Later. You look a little tired. Why don\ you go to our home and I\ll be there in a few minutes? Can you find your way?’’
’’Yes, but I want to help you.’’
’’Rest.’’ He reached out and brushed his fingers over her cheek. ’’Food, sleep and then se*. Remember?’’
She laughed. ’’Ah. Now I understand.’’
’’Go lie down. I\ll be there soon. This won\ take long.’’
She left him and took the elevator to their floor. The door was unlocked. She entered and was halfway to the bedroom when someone knocked. She spun around, went back and opened it. Shock slammed through her at seeing the male who stood there.
She couldn\ speak.
’’I waited until you were alone to approach you. I heard about you making it to Homeland and came from Reservation, hoping you were the female they spoke of.’’ His pretty dark-blue catlike eyes peered at her with compassion.
’’You can\ be here,’’ she finally managed to whisper. ’’927 will kill you. He knows what happened between us.’’
’’Evelyn told me he attacked you for what we did. I\m so sorry. I heard he killed you.’’
’’That was a lie. Dr. C took me away and had me locked up elsewhere. You must go. I\m glad you survived, but he can\ see you. It would upset him.’’
The male blinked back tears. ’’I wanted to apologize. I tried not to hurt you. I fought and would have let them kill me before touching you if you hadn\ asked me to. I\ve regretted it ever since. I should have kept saying no.’’
’’Stop.’’ She stepped closer, glanced down the hallway, and then stared up at his face. ’’We did what we had to do to survive. That technician was killing you. Do you think I don\ remember your blood spilling? I do. It\s done. Don\ apologize, and let it go. Forgive yourself. I hold no pain or anger toward you. We both had no choice. You tried not to hurt me. I thank you for that. Now you must go and forget about the past. Please? It would just hurt him. He thought I chose you over him.’’