Bradi walked up from the training fields with one thing on his mind—checking on his wife. He’d spent more time lurking in the shadows over the last several weeks than not. He knew he was being a coward, and the fact that Nina had come right out and called him one to his face didn’t help either.
Come to think of it, every member of his family, including his holographic sister, had come right out and called him a coward.
Somehow, the thought of facing Marisa and telling her that they’d not only had sex but that she now carried his child, was his wife, his mate, his life, scared him to death. Being in love was the hardest thing he’d ever done. If she left, he’d never survive without her.
Bradi heard the sweet sound of her voice and followed the sound of it. He saw his sister Lorelei first, with her hands on her hips complaining about never letting Sevan impregnate her again and then he saw Marisa. Her long brown hair blew softly in the breeze and the white gown she wore made her look like an angel.
Laughing, she made a quick move toward Christian. Christian dodged her playful strike and swept her up in his arms. Bradi’s heart stopped when the two didn’t immediately break apart. The beast within him tried to rise as he watched Christian’s lips come down on Marisa’s. As quick as the kiss started, it ended, but the beast in Bradi didn’t care how chaste it was. That was his wife, damnit.
He ran headfast at Christian with the primal urge to tear his heart out. How dare he touch his mate? How dare he attempt to lay claim to that which had already been marked?
“Bradi, no!” Lorelei screamed.
He didn’t stop. Slamming into Christian, he toppled them both over. They rolled and Bradi let his claws spring forth from his fingers. He brought the tips up and pressed them to Christian’s throat. “Mine,” he growled out, the beast riding him too high to form much else.
Christian smiled smugly up at him. “Then it is high time you proved it.”
It hit Bradi then that he’d been baited. Christian had sensed him coming and kissed Marisa to get a rise out of him. It had worked. A little too well.
“What the hell are you doing?” Marisa asked, running up behind him. She pushed him hard, and he had the decency to pretend it hurt. “Get off him and suck those claws back in or whatever it is you do with them before somebody gets hurt. What were you thinking?”
“That you are mine,” Bradi said matter-of-factly.
“Oh, it’s about to get ugly around here. Come on, Christian. We better get out of here.” Lorelei reached down to help him up.
Bradi looked up to find Marisa glaring at him. Her green eyes were livid and he couldn’t recall a time when he wanted her more. She smacked him hard on the back of the head, and he bit back a laugh. “I belong to no one!”
“Not true. You are mine.”
She thumped him upside the head again. “I’m sorry, but the last one must have knocked what little sense you had right out of your thick skull. I belong to no one, Lieutenant Commander Janelle.”
“Actually,” he said, rising to his feet. “I would much rather prefer it if you call me by my newest title.”
“No. Husband.” He grinned and wagged his brows. “But you’re the only one who gets to call me that, wife.”
Marisa’s mouth dropped open and Bradi refused to back down. He’d spent weeks being afraid of this moment and he knew that it was now or never. “And while we are at it, wife, I think you should start thinking about what you want to name our child.”
Seconds ticked by, feeling more like hours. He expected Marisa to throw a fit. When she burst out laughing, he wasn’t sure what to do. “Oh, you had me for a minute there, Janelle. The husband thing was good, but the baby thing pushed it too far. Nice try, buddy. A baby requires sex. Of which, I’ve had none.”
She laughed harder and Bradi wasn’t sure what to do, so he gave into his animal instincts. Grabbing her up in his arms, he ignored her protests and headed toward his quarters.