"I already told you I’m not a lesbian,” Lydia said. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Laura staring at her while biting her lip.

“Is being a lesbian like being gay?” she asked slowly. She wasn’t prepared for the look Lydia gave her.

“Lesbian means the same thing as gay, it’s just specific to females,” she said. “Where did you learn that word?”

“Gay?” Laura asked. Lydia nodded. “My brother.”

The red-head’s eyes narrowed. “Where did your brother learn it?”

“His mate. My brother’s mate actually explains things about humans to him instead of just ignoring him all the time,” Laura said pointedly. Lydia rolled her eyes. “My brother says his mate never stops talking.”

The werewolf frowned when her mate stiffened and an expression of urgency appeared on her face.

“Did your brother find his mate the same night you found me?”

“Yes,” Laura answered warily.

“Have you met your brother’s mate?” Lydia asked.

“No, but Derek has described him many times.”

“Physical appearance?” Laura nodded. “Does he have whiskey colored eyes?”

Laura shook her head and gave a distressed whine when her mate deflated.

“I do not know what whiskey is, but if it is the same color as honey, then yes.”

“Cute nose? Pretty mouth? Long fingers?” Lydia questioned rapidly.

Laura stared. “You know him.”

“Did anyone else in your pack find their mate on the same night as you?” Lydia demanded to know.

“My sister Cora and pack brother Boyd,” Laura answered automatically. She was still reeling from the fact that her mate knew Derek’s.

“A boy and a girl right? Both with curly blond hair. The boy with blue eyes and the girl with brown,” Lydia said.

Laura’s mouth fell open. All of their mates knew each other.



“I just wanted a little taste."

“How about a taste of the back of my hand, bitch."



"Wait, so are they going out or not?” Danny asked.

“We don’t know,” Lydia growled. “We thought they were, but then they had a fight or something.” 

“But I'm sure I heard them making out in Derek’s room when I skipped class the other day,” Erica said.

“But then they weren’t talking to each other at the pack meeting,” Boyd said.

“But I swear they were holding hands under the table at breakfast for a little while this morning,” Isaac said.

Danny shook his head. “Only those two.”



She should have been average. 

By all accounts, she was exactly that until her thirteenth year.

Then her frizzy hair became lustrous and silky. Her metal smile gave way to even, pearly brilliance. Her spectacles disappeared into the ether, revealing luminous brown eyes. 

She became hauntingly beautiful.

And learned all the ways in which beauty demanded and caused pain.



He blinked, and then burst into laughter. 

"I've been alive since before any of your great-great grandparents were even conceived. I've watched all of you grow up since you were children. I can't imagine what would make you consider yourselves my elders."

He smiled malevolently.

"Unless you misspoke and meant to say you expect me to listen to my betters."

The room was silent.

His smile grew wider as his eyes scanned the room. 

"I see," he purred.



She quirked a brow at him. “I mean, I’m pretty, but I’m no super model.”

His eyebrows arched despite himself. That… about summed her up, yeah. He’d never heard a girl describe herself like that before. 

She burst into laughter. He stared at her, wondering what on earth she found so funny.

“I’m sorry,” she said, between giggles, “Your face. Your expression could not have more clearly said, ‘Wow, that was so accurate.’”

He felt a flush crawl into his cheeks. If his thoughts had been so obvious, he could only count his blessings that she found it amusing instead of insulting.



Alaric was brought up short as he entered his private rooms.

“I told you we would meet again,” Kane said with a smirk.

“I didn’t think you meant at our wedding,” Alaric replied dryly.

“Oh my, do you happen to have a priest hidden in your pocket?” Kane asked.

“No, he prefers to stay in the closet,” Alaric retorted.

Kane laughed delightedly.



“I’m Chip.”

She raised an eyebrow and started walking. “I usually make it a rule not to question names, but Chip? Really?”

“Yep. My teeth are my moneymaker,” he said dryly.

She stopped. When she turned to face him, her expression was so suspicious he had to truly consider whether he’d committed a crime.

“Are you implying that your parents named you after Chip Skylark?”

“My parents didn’t name me. My sister named me,” he replied inanely, completely caught off guard by her recognition. He made those jokes all the time and he’d never been called on it before. Most people just looked at him weirdly.

“So, yes, then.” She crossed her arms and eyed him. “But the real question is whether you know the song.”

His expression shifted to the distant, dead-eyed look of a soldier reliving memories of war.

“I know the song.”

She laughed and started walking again. “I want to meet your sister.”

“Which one?” he asked.

She laughed harder. ‘Oh god, another one,’ he thought.



“Ouch! Can you do something about this?” she exclaimed stepping away from the stove.

He hardly glanced away from his computer screen. “I think in the battle of human versus hot oil, I’m just as vulnerable as you are.”

She scoffed. “So what if you have skin too? I’m tired of this. Ouch!”



"She's our age and she already has her own house."

"Because she's a wackadoodle who forces herself to subsist on $100 a week."

"She's not a wackadoodle if she has a house."

"She definitely still is. She's just a wackadoodle with privacy."


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