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she hadn t even realized was there. Anger burned through her veins. They d attempted to kill her
mates, and that was a crime she couldn t allow to go unpunished.
Tayen straightened and moved to another branch, using the trunk of the tree to keep her hidden,
but still observing their defenses. The larger man she d bitten had a rifle slung across his back, while
his partner cradled a pistol in his left hand. She suspected they both had knives, but the guns were her
main concern.
She jumped to a lower branch and caught a waft of alcohol. They d obviously been drinking, a
dangerous combination with the weapons. She paused, judging her best line of attack as she waited
for the perfect time to leap. Her body twitched, her muscles primed for the upcoming battle, when a
new scent joined the others. She turned, recognition dawning on her a moment before Rogan and
Quinn burst through the trees, weapons drawn, rain dotting their skin.
 Drop the gun, asshole, or I might find an excuse to fire. Quinn motioned to the smaller man
with the muzzle of his gun.  Trust me. We re in a very bad mood. Now drop it.
The men looked at each other, then back at Rogan and Quinn. The poacher nodded and tossed
the gun on the ground, dropping his hands behind his back. Rogan shouted at him to keep them where
he could see them. The guy grumbled and raised his hands, but Tayen saw him slip a knife down his
shirtsleeve. She glanced at the other man, growling when he did the same thing. Fear prickled up her
spine as the scene unfolded before her.
Rogan moved forward, holstering his gun as he reached for his cuffs, obviously confident Quinn
would cover him. But she knew the bad weather had masked the men s movements.
Instinct took over and she jumped down from the branch in front of Rogan. He stopped in mid-
step, but didn t back away as she bared her teeth and hissed at the poachers. The men cursed and
drew their knives, brandishing them in defense. Tayen stayed vigilant, drawing closer, her ears laid
flat, her fur raised. She could smell their fear as she hissed again, pawing the ground with her claws.
She sensed movement behind her as Rogan stepped closer, his gun once again pointed at the poachers.
 Bloody hell, you hid knives in your shirts? Rogan grunted in disgust.  Do you idiots have any
idea what kind of prison time you ll get if you kill a Ranger? He shook his head.  Put them down,
before you end up cutting yourself.
The men stared at her, fear widening their eyes. They pointed at the cat, the knives shaking in
their grasp.
Quinn joined Rogan.  I believe my partner asked you to lose the knives.
The larger man shook his head.  Are you crazy? There s a fucking bobcat right there! What the
hell? Is it some kind of trained attack animal?
Quinn smiled.  Something like that. Only she s far from trained& it s more mutual respect. So I
suggest you move slowly, so she doesn t feel threatened.
 The cat feels threatened? Right. The poacher slowly lowered his hand and placed the knife
on the ground, his partner following suit.
Rogan mumbled under his breath as he cuffed both men and turned them toward the clearing just
beyond the trees. He looked at her then at Quinn.
Quinn nodded and waved Rogan on. Quinn waited until the men disappeared behind the trees
before turning to her.
 I don t trust those jerks enough to leave Rogan alone with them. But we re far from finished.
He bent down, but didn t try to touch her.  Do you have any idea how long we ve been traipsing
around these woods searching for you? I never knew tracking a bobcat was so damn hard. He looked
down before finally meeting her gaze.  I know we behaved like fools, sweetheart, and I m sorry. I
wouldn t blame you if you never wanted to see us again, but I m asking just the same. If you think
we re worth another shot, meet us back at the house. We ll keep the light on until you come home& as
long as it takes.
He sighed and stood, jogging after Rogan. She stayed there, rain pelting her fur, the scent of her
mates heavy in the humid air. She closed her eyes and listened to the storm rage through the forest,
unsure of her next move. The lone coyote howled again, its mournful tones echoing the feeling inside
her. She looked to where Quinn and Rogan had disappeared, the leaves on the bushes still swaying
from their retreat. They d come after her. That had to mean something.
She pawed at the ground, undecided. Then she took off running, her nose leading her home.
Chapter Seven
Rogan paced across the living room floor, pausing to look out the window after every pass.
They d been home for hours, but Tayen still hadn t returned. He d hoped they d find her waiting for
them after they d tossed the two men in jail and filled out the necessary paperwork. But the house had
been exactly as they d left it empty.
 If you don t stop pacing, you re going to wear a bloody groove in the wood. Quinn leaned
against the fireplace.  Besides, it isn t going to make Tayen materialize out of the darkness.
 It gives me something to do. Just sitting here, waiting, is killing me. Rogan looked over at
Quinn.  What if she doesn t come?
 She ll come. Quinn stuffed his hands in his pockets and looked out the window.  But if she
doesn t then we ll go over to her place and pound on the door until she lets us in. I told her this
wasn t over, and I meant it.
 You also said it was my choice.
Both men whirled around, staring at the woman standing in the hallway. She was wearing one
of Quinn s shirts, her feet bare on the wooden floor.
Rogan s jaw hinged open in surprise, his heart jackhammering in his chest. He looked at the
door then back at her.  How the hell did you get in here without us hearing you?
She shrugged.  You left the window in the bedroom open. It s a pretty easy leap. She tugged
on the sleeve.  I hope you don t mind. I m a bit chilled from the rain.
Rogan nodded, not sure what to say. A part of him didn t think she d actually show, and he was
too busy trying to breathe to think of a suitable reply.
Quinn stepped forward.  We can light the fire if you d like.
She shook her head, toeing the floor as if she wasn t quite sure what to say either.  I ll be fine.
But thanks.
Rogan scoffed and joined Quinn.  This is stupid. We just spent three days discovering every
inch of each other. Surely we can sit down and talk.
 Talking s not the issue. It s what happens next. She crossed over to the window and stared
out at the darkness.  Nothing s changed since I left. We re at a crossroads, and I think you made your
feelings pretty clear.
 If acting like idiots is your idea of clear, then yeah, we did. Quinn raised an eyebrow.  But [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]