I sit beneath a tree, enjoying the spring breeze as it blows over my heated skin. The scene in front of me is one of violence. Not true violence, but training. Talia never went back to the Katu Pack but has moved into my father’s house permanently.
She has become as much a part of this pack as I was of hers. She helps Silas train the guards and even offers self-defense classes to the women in the pack.
“Everyone should know how to defend themselves,” she said to me, and I couldn’t agree more.
“Shouldn’t you be resting?” Silas asks as he saunters toward me.
“Are you telling me what to do?” I challenge playfully.
“Never!” Silas holds his hands up in mock surrender before plopping down beside me in the grass. “But your alpha may take notice that his heavily pregnant mate isn’t where he left her.”
“He can k!ss my pregnant ass,” I grumble.
“Oh, no. What did he do this time?” Silas laughs as he lies down on the soft grass.
“He’s being an overprotective douche,” I complain. I’m being melodramatic, but for Christ’s sake. “He wants me to stay in bed all day. I will lose my ever-loving mind staring at the ceiling.”
“Hey,” Silas says gently, taking my hand in his. Our friendship, the one I was certain we would never have, has grown by leaps and bounds. I would even call him one of my favorite people. “He’s just protective.”
“Yeah, I know.” I sniffle as tears gather in my eyes. I’m such a bitch to my poor Rowan sometimes. But I blame it all on the hormones. “Thanks for reminding me.”
“Silas!” Talia yells. “I need you to demonstrate the shoulder throw.”
“Fvcking woman,” Silas grumbles getting to his feet.
“You like her, and you know it,” I joke.
Silas freezes mid-step before turning back to me. There is something in his gaze, but I’m not sure what it is. It’s fleeting and gone in an instant before he smiles.
“I do not,” he retorts. “But I do like you.” Silas reaches into his pocket and pulls out my favorite candy bar before tossing it my way.
“I love you, Silas!” I yell at his retreating form, which he just waves off with a chuckle.
“I hope that was a brother-sister type of I love you,” Rowan rasps into my ear. “I would hate to have to kill my beta.” He lifts me easily and situates me between his thighs as I laugh.
“No, it was a chocolate kind of I love you,” I reply, waving the candy bar in front of his face.
“That is a completely acceptable kind of love to have for someone who isn’t your mate.” Rowan chuckles.
Rubbing my swollen belly, he watches the training intently. Talia uses Silas to show the other men how to flip someone over their shoulders. It’s funny to watch this tiny woman throw a man Silas’s size with ease. The guards chuckle before trying the move on each other.
“Are you happy, mate?” Rowan asks.
“Couldn’t be happier,” I reply, snuggling back into his chest.