“I’ve wanted to do that all morning,” he breathed, kissing me more softly. “It’s safer to kiss you with clothes on right now.” He moved to my throat, left a small trail of fire as he proceeded to kiss my neck, up to my ear. Goose bumps danced up my arms, hot shivers shot down my spine. I slid my fingers down his chest, taking my time, resting my hands on his hips. Oh man, he felt so right.
“Bear’s here.” I whispered in his ear, lightly pushing him away, saved by the bell. What did my body not understand about the word no! Had Bear not interrupted us I would have wound my hands into his hair and continued kissing him for the rest of the morning. It was getting harder to keep my distance from him. I was losing control over this situation and he wasn’t helping.
Max dragged his hands through his hair, his breathing uneven. “That’s becoming annoying.”
I gave a shaky laugh. “I can’t help it; it’s a blessing and a curse.” More of a blessing than a curse, I thought.
We both tried to shake off our desire as we ventured to the front door to let Bear in.
“Make sure to wait until he knocks, he doesn’t know you can do this and I don’t want him to,” Max said, slowing down our pace.
Max didn’t need to remind me, most people didn’t know I was a sensitive. I preferred to keep it that way. I waved to Chase on the way to the frond door, patiently waited for Bear to knock, then gave it another minute before I answered.
“Hey Bear, what a nice surprise, come on in.”
Max grasped my hand tightly. I couldn’t shake it loose, so I had to step to the side to let everyone in.
“Montana, Max.” Bear stomped his feet, shaking some of the snow off his boots, while eying Max’s hand in mine at the same time.
“I hope you don’t mind, my son Tree and I wanted to drop off some pumpkin pies for you and ended up picking up some hitchhikers on the drive over. This is my son Joshua; just call him Tree, Alexis, and Trina.”
They all crowded into my kitchen. “Oh man, it smells so good in here,” Alexis exclaimed, breathing in the scents of food from Chase’s cooking.
Bear came up behind me and tugged on my shirt, causing Max to tighten his grip on my hand even more.
“Can I use your phone to call Rose? It’s been a hectic morning,” he blushed, “I forgot mine at home.”
“Sure,” I dug it out of my back pocket, “use the solarium.”
“Okay Max, what gives?” I whispered, holding our hands up, while marching towards the fireplace.
“I want you by my side. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
“Hmm, now tell me the truth. I promise I won’t run away or anything.”
“Maybe not, but you sneak away every chance you get.”
“I don’t sneak, I walk.”
Everyone moved into the living room, joining us. Interrupted again, this was getting very annoying.
“You have a great place Montana, and I haven’t even seen the whole house.” Alexis giggled as she spoke. “I hope you don’t mind us barging in on you. Our car broke down close to town. Bear and Tree were nice enough to tow us to the nearest garage, before inviting us up here to drop off the pies. They said they could get us a room at the cute little bed and breakfast in town while our car is being fixed.”
“It’s not a problem. What’s your destination?”
Max lightly brushed his fingers over my knuckles. I momentarily lost focus on the conversation. No wonder I was always sneaking out of the house.
Trina smiled. “We are on a sabbatical, so we’ve decided to drive wherever our heart desires.”
Alexis smiled and giggled again. “The hot springs, we’re going to camp there for a few days. I’ve heard it’s beautiful.”
“It is. I’ve seen several meteor showers at the springs. Keep your eyes open for them and shooting stars.”
“Ooh, shooting stars.” Trina said, her eyes lit up at the prospect.
Alexis laughed, “Were from L.A., so nature is a real adventure to us. We did a ton of reading on the subject before our vacation, hopefully were prepared for anything that might happen.”
I thought about the psycho-man creature out there. I really wanted to tell them to go somewhere else, but Max said everyone was safe, except me. I had to believe him or go insane worrying.
“Well if you run into any problems my casa is always open.”
“Thank you, we’ll remember that,” they both said simultaneously and broke down into giggles.
“Look who I found,” Bear said, coaxing Killer into the room. He flushed red as he handed me my phone. Good, he was able to talk to Rose.
Killer didn’t quite make it to the fireplace before Trina and Alexis pounced on him.
“What’s his name?” Trina cooed.
“Killer,” Max, Chase, Bear and I replied at the same time.
“Ooh, you do look like a Killer.” Trina said, rubbing his face while giving him a hug. “A Killer hunk of a dog,” she giggled again.
I think Killer blushed.
When Chase rose to check on the food I took the opportunity to break free from Max. I followed Chase into the kitchen, put some fresh coffee onto brew, and poked around at the food. “How much do we have?”
Chase grabbed my hand, “Enough to feed everybody.” He leaned into me, whispering into my ear. “Be nice to him Montana, he really likes you.”
“What’s going on in here?” Max grumbled, striding up to us.
Startled, we jumped away from each other.
“Is everything all right?” Max asked.
“Better than ever,” I replied.
“You never answered my question.”
“Chase and I were discussing dinner arrangements.”
“It looked like he was going to kiss you,” Max growled.
“Are you jealous?” I regretted saying it as soon as it came out of my mouth. Max glared at me. Chase gave me a dirty look before turning his back and walking out of the kitchen.
“I’m sorry Max, that was uncalled for. You just startled me when you came in. I swear there’s nothing going on between me and Chase, but to be honest with you, I do like him a lot.”
This time I had to grab Max’s hand to keep him from stomping out of the kitchen.
“If I was to have a younger brother it would be Chase.” There was no use in starting a fight between them.
I watched the anger on Max’s face subside. He tugged my hair and chuckled. A moan escaped my mouth as he slid his hand up the back of my neck and pulled me toward him. Oh man, oh man, what was happening to me?
To prove I still had some self control I stuck my tongue out at him and dodged his embrace. I heard Max chuckle again.
“I need a break before the party gets started.” I said as I bailed out onto the back deck with Max on my heels. “And I’m trying not to sneak out on you anymore.”
I leaned against the railing, scoping out my property. “Where do you think he is? I haven’t sensed him lately and I feel like I’m falling into a false sense of security.”
“I think he’s in its molting phase. That’s why I’m leaving in the morning.” He surveyed the landscape.
“He’s shedding his skin? Does that mean he’s growing?”
“No, he’s adapting to the environment, to the snow.”
“What are you saying? Does he change colors?”
“It’s classified. I wish I could tell you more, but I’ve already said too much. He shouldn’t be bothering you for the next couple of days, but please be careful anyway.” Max held my gaze. “Chase will be staying here, regardless, to keep an eye on everything.”
I caught his drift, he meant to keep an eye on me through Chase.
“Is it safe enough to go riding tomorrow? Lightning’s probably getting restless.”
“As long as you take Chase, I need to get back inside. I’ve neglected my duties long enough. Are we done out here?”
“Yeah, it’s starting to get cold.”
He reached out to me, changed his mind, and dropped his hand back to his side.