Valiant Page 61

Valiant smiled. ’’Yes. Thank you.’’ He moved to allow the stranger to step inside. ’’Justice North, I\d like to introduce you to my Tammy.’’

Justice North? That\s why he looked familiar to her. Tammy forced a smile, tried not to gawk at him, but he was a celebrity. He was the leader and figurehead of the New Species Organization and the most well-known of them. On television and in print his eyes and hair didn\ seem so dark. Tammy wasn\ sure if she should just keep smiling at him or if she should try to shake his hand.

’’It\s nice to meet you,’’ she rose to her feet but stayed in place.

He smiled at her but she noticed he carefully made sure his sharp teeth weren\ noticeable when he faced her. She almost smacked her forehead as she realized why she hadn\ recognized him. That was why she hadn\ gotten it was him. It wasn\ just the hair and eyes but he smiled without showing his sharp teeth every time she\d ever seen him on TV or in pictures.

’’It is good to meet you as well, Tammy.’’

’’Did you see the baby?’’ Valiant closed the door.

Justice chuckled. ’’I did. He\s perfect. Slade and Trisha are very proud and happy. We all are overjoyed with his healthy birth.’’

’’And the boy is Species.’’

Justice seemed to beam with joy. ’’He is definitely Species.’’

’’I had wondered if the human traits would be stronger than Slade\s.’’ Valiant spoke softly. ’’I hope, if my mate and I have a child together, that it will resemble me. Tammy believes our baby would be adorable.’’

’’We all hoped Species traits would carry on when the baby was born. It is a good thing to no longer be alone and know we will live on in our children with future generations.’’ Justice paused. ’’But to have a child who would appear fully human would be a blessing too. To just be given the gift of them is enough.’’

Tammy kept silent, not sure what to say, as she watched the two men talk. She wondered if she should give them some time alone but then Justice looked at her. He chuckled as he glanced at Valiant.

’’You are so small.’’ Justice studied her. ’’Forgive me for my amusement but Valiant was adamant in some discussions we held that we should never be with humans and if any of us were going to mate with one, they needed to be strapping, large females. I find it humorous that he would claim you. I mean no offense but it is,’’ he grinned, still hiding his teeth, ’’amusing.’’

’’I understand.’’ Tammy smiled. ’’I\m not offended. He\s huge and I\m not. Would you like to have a seat?’’

’’I unfortunately can\ stay. My life is filled with schedules that always keep me on the move. I will be here for the day to meet with security and I have an appointment with the person who does my hair.’’ He reached up to touch it. He sighed heavily. ’’Our public relations team demands that I lighten it before I go before any cameras.’’ He met her gaze. ’’Do I appear more frightening with dark hair, to you?’’

’’I didn\ recognize you at first. I thought you looked familiar but I didn\ know why until I heard your name. Your eyes seem darker right now too.’’

’’I am forced to wear contacts too. Again, they seem to think humans will accept me easier if I appear softer. They also change my looks when I\m traveling in public to try to hide my real identity since I\m so well-known.’’

’’You look fine to me,’’ she admitted. ’’But different.’’

’’Thank you.’’

Valiant studied the other man. ’’Are you staying in the hotel tonight? We\d enjoy sharing a meal with you.’’

’’I wish I could but I have to hold a press conference tonight at Homeland for the evening news. A helicopter will fly me home after my last meeting this afternoon. I\ll probably eat dinner on the ride home. One day I wish to take a few days off. Unfortunately, I don\ see that happening any time soon. I will be back the day after tomorrow. I have to fly in for a meeting with the mayor of the town before I go back to Homeland for an interview with a local newspaper. It\s endless.’’

’’You should find someone to claim.’’ Valiant gave him a sympathetic look. ’’A mate would make you happy.’’

Justice chuckled. ’’I don\ have the time, Valiant. Every day is usually this hectic. There are always meetings and conferences or places I need to go to for more meetings. No female would wish to share my burdens.’’

’’You have a hard life.’’ Valiant inched closer and grasped his shoulder to give it a squeeze before his arm dropped. ’’You have sacrificed much for us, Justice. We all owe you and appreciate it.’’

Justice shrugged. ’’Someone had to do it, Valiant. I was the best at adapting to humans and had the best ability to blend in. It was just natural that I took the job.’’

’’If there is ever anything...’’ Valiant left the rest of that sentence unsaid but his meaning was clear.

’’Thank you and I already know that.’’ Justice smiled at Tammy. ’’It was very nice to meet you and welcome to the family.’’

Valiant closed the door after the departing New Species leader and walked to Tammy. He had a sad expression on his face. ’’I do not envy him his life.’’

’’He\s a busy man, that\s for sure.’’

Valiant nodded and suddenly pulled Tammy into his arms. ’’I am glad that my only responsibility is to make you happy. He carries the weight of all New Species on his shoulders.’’

’’Are we going to take the last name of North too when we marry?’’

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