“Hi, babe. Are you ready to go back to our room?”
“Oh, I’m ready, all right,” Brett turned a furious face toward him. “Ready to find out why this son-of-a-bitch thinks he can keep sending letters tomy mate!”
“What are you talking about, Brett? Is that my mail? Let me see.” Brett turned his back on him and walked quickly down the hall to their room, Evan behind him, half running to keep up with him. Brett slammed the door back on its hinges and threw himself down on the sofa, glaring up at Evan. He held up the letter and then flipped it over to him contemptuously.“Here. Read it if you want to, and then I’m writing a return.”
Evan caught the letter, shaking his head at the display of jealousy. “You have no reason to act like this, you know. Ididn’t do anything. I certainly didn’t ask him to write to me again.”
“I know,” he said through gritted teeth. “That’s why I’m so calm.”
Evan raised his eyebrows.“This is your idea of calm?”
“He knowsyou’re with me, damn it. Why does he keep writing?”
“I have no idea. Eric is flirtatious and thinks he’s charming.” Evan opened the letter and sat down beside him so he could read it along with him.“Look, let’s read it together—you’ll see I haven’t been secretly corresponding with him.”
“No, I don’t need to do that. I trust you—it’s this guy I don’t trust.”
“I’m sure it’s nothing.” Evan ripped into the back of the letter and began to read.“Dear Evan—I know I should have thought of this sooner, but since I got your mother’s letter, all I can think about...” Evan’s voice trailed off, and he got a dumbfounded look on his face.“Oh God...”
“What?” Brett pulled the letter out of Evan’s hand and continued to read. “...since I got your mother’s letter, all I can think about is you, sweetheart. I made the biggest mistake of my life letting you go, and I know it now. Please come back to me...” The timbre of Brett’s voice dropped at least an octave as he read, and his eyes started to glow. He crumpled the paper in his hand and glared unbelievingly at Evan. He turned slowly back to the letter, straightening it out, then holding it up out of reach and pushing Evan back as he made a dive for it.“All I can think about are your luscious lips, and your sweet little ass I fit into so perfectly. You were mine first, and you’ll be mine again. All you have to do is get away from him and then call me and tell me where to meet you.Waiting for you, my little bunny.” Brett turned an incredulous, stunned gaze on Evan.“His little bunny? His fucking little bunny!Oh my God! I’ll show that motherfucker whose goddamn bunnyyou are!”
He jumped to his feet, murder in his eye, and began to pace back and forth like a wild animal. Evan had seen him shift once before and he thought he was near that state again. His claws came out as he gripped the letter and hair began to sprout on his chest and face. With his already glowing eyes, he was a frightening sight to behold. He picked up a vase from beside the sofa and threw it against the wall and then he put his fist into the wall next to it, shattering the drywall and causing bits of plaster and insulation to float around the room. He picked up a chair next and bounced it off the door, splintering the legs and looked around for something else to throw as the door suddenly flew open, and Casey and Rory stood looking in with concern.
Evan knew what they must be seeing—him cowering on the couch with his arms over his head to avoid the flying debris and Evan, half-shifted, wildly looking around for more objects to toss around the room. They only hesitated a fraction of a second before Casey made it over to Brett and put him in a headlock, while Rory, ignoring pack law, threw Evan over his shoulder and ran out of the room with him. He put him down outside when he saw Logan hurrying toward them.
“Logan, watch out for Evan!” Then he rushed back in to help subdue Brett. Evan made one attempt to go back in, worried that Brett might be hurt, before Logan took him out to the main room and sat him down.
“They won’t hurt him. They’ll just stay with him until he calms down. Did he shift?”
Evan nodded. Logan smiled and patted his arm.“A wolf in full tantrum mode is pretty scary. He didn’t hurt you, did he?”
Shaking his head, Evan folded his trembling hands together.“No, the furniture and walls got the worst of it.”
“What in hell happened?”
Evan put his head in his hands.“I got a letter from my stupid ex-boyfriend asking me to come back home to him.”
Logan’s eyes opened wide.“Oh, shit.”
“Yeah, and he was saying stuff about my body and he c -called me his little bunny.”
Logan looked astonished for a moment and then convulsed in laughter, leaning over and holding his sides.“I’m so sorry, Evan, I’m not laughing at you, really. I just got a sudden image of Ian’s face if I got a letter like that. God, to a wolf, that’s justifiable homicide.”
“I haven’t led him on, Logan, really. The last letter I got I just threw away. Brett saw me throw it away.”
“Yeah, Brett has left the building right now, Evan, or his rational self has. From the sound of things in there, he’s now in full wolf mode.” Brett could see reinforcements running toward their room as snarls, loud thuds and shouts drifted down the hall.
“C’mon with me, and let’s go upstairs.We need to help Nicky anyway, and you can’t go back in there anytime soon.You’ll just remind him how much he wants to kill yourex.”
“But Nicky and Marco...” he trailed off as he saw Marco sprinting down the steps on the way to their room, barefoot and still fastening up his jeans.Evan’s shoulders slumped. “Now Nicky will be pissed off too.”
Logan looked speculatively after Marco.“Oh, he finished his uh...business with Nicky. Why do you think he’s the last to arrive?” Laughing at the look on Evan’s face, he pulled him up the stairs and over to the alpha’s quarters.
Rapping his knuckles on the door as he entered, Logan called out.“Nicky! Evan and I are here. Get decent and come out to the living room.”
Nicky appeared a few moments later, blond hair tousled and sticking up all over his head, cheeks reddened from Marco’s beard, and still managing to look gorgeous.“What’s all the commotion downstairs?Marco took off out of here like the place was on fire.”
Logan told Nicky about the letter and he chuckled sympathetically.“First time he partially shifted in front of you?”
“No, the second,” Evan said, “but I didn’t like it any better.”
Nicky plopped down on the sofa and put his bare feet up on the coffee table.“They’ll get him calmed down in a few minutes. Now before they get here, tell me about this guy who wrote the letter.Were you guys together long?”
“A little over a year. We met in college and moved in together for a year or so after we graduated. He cheated on me almost from the beginning. The last time was with another friend of ours, and I walked in on them. It was an ugly breakup and I don’t even know why my mother talked to him about me. She was angry with him for a long time.”
“Better the devil you know...” Logan said.
“Maybe. Anyway, she’s the one who gave him my address.” He wrung his hands together for a moment, realized what he was doing and jammed them in his pockets.“Will they punish him now? They wouldn’t hurt him, right?”
Nicky snorted.“More likely help him plan your ex-boyfriend’s murder. No, they’ll just calm him down some, empathize with him, slap him on the back and tell him not to take it out on the furniture next time.”
“Brett won’t go after my ex or anything, will he? I mean, they wouldn’t really m-murder him...would they?”
Logan laughed and shook his head.“No, Evan, don’t worry. He should be perfectly safe so long as he stays away from the compound. That’s not to say Brett won’t have a word with him if he keeps bothering you, but they’re not savages.” Nicky rolled his eyes, and Logan smiled at him.“Well, not totally.”
Nicky cocked his head to one side as they heard loud voices on the stairs.“Oh hell, here they come. Logan, you can help me with the dishes.Evan’s going to be busy for a while.”
Evan stood up and backed toward the kitchen.“Oh no, he’s not coming near me. He scared the shit out of me just now. What if he starts thinking about it again and starts to shift all over again?”
Logan patted his shoulder sympathetically.“You don’t have to go with him. Tell Marco if you want to stay here for a while.”
Nicky shrugged.“You can, but Marco may not want to get involved in this one. My advice is just to go with him. Let him fuss over you and apologize and have his way.If you don’t he’ll just get even more jealous and think you don’t want to be with him.”
Marco came in the room, followed by a somewhat subdued Brett, who was back to his human form. Brett came immediately over to Evan and put his arms around him.“I’m sorry, honey. Are you okay?I didn’t mean to scare you.”
The minute Evan saw him, his handsome face creased with worry and concern, he melted and allowed Brett to pull him into his arms. What was there about these wolves that made them so compelling and hard to resist? Other than the fact that they were beautiful. And sexy. And hot as fuck.
Murmuring to him, Brett drew him to the door. Evan looked back over his shoulder in time to see one of Nicky’s eyelids drop in a slow, deliberate wink.
Brett led him downstairs and back to their room. He watched Evan look around the main sitting area to see that the debris of the chair and vase had been cleaned up and the room straightened. The pets they called in from the clean-up crew worked pretty fast. He wondered if this kind of losing control thing happened often enough with a wolf that they had the clean-up down to a science. Maybe all the wolves needed to learn a little better self-control. Okay, make that definitely.