A Bear's Protection(45)

By: Roxie Noir

Hudson nodded once and let go. The woman moaned softly, and then the EMTs got to work.

The moment that Hudson’s hands were free of her, Julius wrapped his arms around the other man, holding him close.

“I’m covered in blood,” Hudson murmured in his ear.

“I don’t care,” Julius murmured back.

He felt Hudson’s arms wrap around him too, holding him tight, and he inhaled deeply, smelling his mate’s scent: leather and musk and a the faint but ever-present smell of engine grease.

“I don’t know what I’d do without you,” Hudson said.

Then he pulled back just enough for Julius to kiss him, hard.

Julius could still feel the adrenaline jolting through his veins as he pressed his lips against Hudson’s, snaking his hand around the other man’s jaw, holding him tight as Hudson parted his lips to let Julius’s tongue in, wrestling with his own.

Then they broke apart, both still breathing hard. Julius closed his eyes and rested his forehead against his mate’s, letting himself be thankful for just a moment that they were both okay.

From behind him, he heard a woman’s acid voice.

“At least there’s only two of them,” she said. She sounded as if she was watching a dog take a dump on her favorite shoes. “They can’t reproduce.”

“Don’t look,” Hudson murmured, too late. Julius had already turned and searched out the speaker.

She couldn’t have been more than fifty, but the frown lines etched into her face made her look at least fifteen years older. Her hair was piled on top of her head, and she wore a plain long-sleeved shirt, a long denim skirt, and tennis shoes.

Julius recognized her immediately: Barbie Taylor, one of the most outspoken anti-shifter activists in America.

Standing next to her was the girl he’d protected. The curvy, gorgeous brunette.

Julius growled, despite himself.

“Come on,” said Hudson, his gruff voice right in Julius’s ear. “Don’t do this.”

Julius could feel his mate tense up. Hudson hated the Taylors just as much as he did.

He forced himself to stop growling, and Hudson kissed his neck, just under his ear.

Then Hudson froze. Instinctually, Julius knew he’d seen the girl. He could feel in his mate the same sudden freeze and overwhelming need he’d felt only a few minutes ago. He ran his hand over Hudson’s thick side, feeling every muscle underneath his black t-shirt, his eyes still locked with Barbie’s.

Hudson bit his earlobe, hard, and Julius gasped.

“They ought to take them all to the woods and fence them in,” Barbie said, the corners of her ugly, pink-painted mouth turned down. “Come on, Quinn.”

Quinn dipped her head, cast one final, inscrutable look at Julius and Hudson, and then followed Barbie away.

They watched her go, both barely breathing. When she finally disappeared into the crowd, Julius turned to face Hudson again, looking deep into his mate’s eyes.

For a long moment, they were both speechless.

At last, Julius spoke up.

“It’s a bad time,” he said. “This can’t happen now.”

Hudson put his thick hand gently on the side of Julius’s face and ran one thumb along his partner’s cheek.

“I’m not sure we get to decide that,” he said, quietly. “But let’s take one thing at a time.”

Julius nodded. There was still chaos all around them, people shouting, children screaming. They were both still kneeling on the stone steps, where Hudson had been when Julius found him.

“Come on, Attorney Bloom,” said Hudson, a slight smile on his lips. “Don’t let them ruin your show.”

Julius gave Hudson another quick kiss and then stood, ready to face anything.

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