Kitty Raises Hell Page 51

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“You were supposed to stay out of trouble,” he said, scowling, his voice tight, obviously trying not to yell. “You were supposed to call me if you got in trouble or did something that was likely to get you in trouble.”

“I forgot. I’m sorry.” I had an urge to look away, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to give ground.

He shut his eyes for a moment. “If it were any other time, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But something out there is trying to kill you. When I got back to the condo and you weren’t there, and you hadn’t left a message—” He shook his head. “I could almost kill you myself.”

I didn’t believe it, but he spoke calmly, and there was something in his eyes, amber and wolfish, and his shoulders were bunched up, tense, like hackles. His body language was edging toward ferocious.

“Tina and the others found something,” I said. “Another clue. Maybe another step toward stopping this thing.”

“That’s good,” he said flatly.

Then nothing, for five heartbeats. Six.

“We can’t do anything else tonight. Maybe we should go home and get some sleep.” Cue tail wagging. Imaginary tail wagging. I hoped the thought came through.

“Yeah. Okay.”

Usually when Ben was angry at me, he yelled. We both yelled, and then it all went away. This tamped-down temper—it almost sounded like he’d given up. The problem of the demon almost faded from my attention.

I ducked inside long enough to tell the others to get some sleep and say good night.

We spent twenty minutes of dead silence on the ride home. I was so tense I wanted to scream. Howl. Something. I wanted to stick my tail between my legs and grovel. I’d have to turn Wolf to do that. It would almost be worth it; wolves were so much better at apologizing than people.

Finally, by the time we parked, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I tried apologizing from the parking lot to the condo. Ben walked quickly, keeping a stride ahead of me. Making me beg until we were finally home. I shut the door behind us.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry—how many times do I have to say it?”

“Until it sounds like you actually mean it,” Ben said.

We both turned away at that one. Ben huffed a sigh, ran his hand through his already mussed hair. I crossed my arms and squeezed my eyes shut, trying to stop the stinging.

This was never going to get easier, was it? We were always going to fight like this. Being married to each other didn’t change the fact that both of us were opinionated and stubborn to a fault. We both wanted to be in charge. We both thought we knew best.

I bowed my head. Took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” I said softly. “I’ll call you next time.” Be honest, now. “I’ll try to remember.”

I didn’t dare look at him to see how he took this. I listened, took in his scent, tried to sense him, feel the heat of his body. When he spoke at last, there was almost a smile in his voice. “I really hope there isn’t a next time. At least where the demon hunting is concerned.”

Smiling weakly, I looked over my shoulder at him. Then I turned, sidling up to him. Tail low, ears flat—at least if I had them in this form, that was what they’d be doing. It was amazing, though, how much of that attitude the human body could emulate. Slouching, I looked up at him with big puppy-dog eyes.

“Can we go ahead and skip to the making-up part?” I said. Making up, making out...

He glared, resisting. Playing hard to get. Still a little angry. So, how much could I get away with? I took a breath through my nose, hoping to catch a scent, a clue.

He was focused on me. His body was saying yes.

I hooked my fingers over the waistband of his jeans, pulling myself toward him. He rocked a little but stood his ground, making me come to him. I was okay with that.

Body to body, I breathed out, brushing his throat, almost close enough to kiss him. Not quite. I watched movement under his skin as he swallowed. A quick kiss, a taste of salty skin with a flick of tongue at the V of his open collar.

My hands slid to the button of his jeans, unfastening it. Then I opened the zipper, slowly. He made a sound deep in his chest, like he didn’t want to let it out, didn’t want to admit I was getting to him. He was perfectly capable of running away if he wanted to. He didn’t. Looking up, I could just see the smile touch his lips.

I slid my hand down the open access, maneuvered under his boxers to bare skin, and felt for him. Wasn’t hard to find. Throbbing manhood, they called it. Ben had it. He shivered a little at my touch. Pressed into me. His hand—fingers spread, eager—found my hip, slid to my backside.

I kissed his chin—he turned his face and caught my lips with his.

Cradling him, melted against him, I urged him on. Pulled him to the sofa, pushed him down, climbed on top of him. I was hungry for him. And relieved that he hadn’t walked away. Grateful and thrilled. It all wrapped together with heat and lust building in me. I pulled off my shirt, tossed it aside. Grabbed his jeans and yanked down. Rubbed my hands up his body and watched him flex under my touch. He closed his eyes, and his hand clenched on the sofa.

I considered: This had been a pretty big fight. I’d screwed up, I could admit that. That meant I was going to have to spend a good long time making it up to Ben, right?

I could do that.

* * *
I felt better in the morning. That might have been from anticipating the show, looking forward to taking the next step. Or it might have been from being curled up in bed with Ben, who was smiling vaguely in his sleep. The apology must have worked.

Despite everything, I was looking forward to talking about the demon on the show. Some people accused me of being a sensationalist, of fishing for controversy. Maybe even of inciting controversy. Really, I loved drawing back the curtain, dragging this stuff into the open, kicking and screaming sometimes, and shining a bright light on it. I thought of it as dispelling ignorance. Ignorance bred fear, and I didn’t like being afraid.

I didn’t want to have to wait through an entire day until it was time to do the show. On the other hand, vampires couldn’t bother me during the day.

No, bothering me during the day was Detective Hardin’s job. I would have loved another hour or two of sleep on a day when I had to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at midnight, but Hardin called my cell phone.

“What have you been doing?” said Hardin, and she wasn’t happy.

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