Riley Aedan Kincaid személy
the most senior SnowDancer Lieutenant
second in hierarchy only to Hawke
nicknamed “the Wall”
heavily muscled in his wolf form, built for stubborn endurance
uses rigid control to keep his wolf on a tight leash
older brother of Brenna and and Andrew Kincaid
mother and father were lieutenants who died protecting the pack
raised his younger brother and sister after their parents died
blames himself for not keeping Brenna safe after her abduction
always planned on having a submissive mate
the calmer he acts, the angrier he is
quiet sense of humor, loved by children
always seems quiet, practical and grounded
stubborn and completely focused
solid looking and deceptively appears to move slow
can take down a fully grown wolf in his human form in mere seconds
short deep chestnut hair, chocolate eyes
30 years old
mate of Mercy Smith
“Bren, don’t say a word.”
Brenna took one look at Riley’s face and bit back a laugh. Not fast enough. Her oldest brother turned to her with that look. The one that made everyone behave. But this time, she was laughing too hard to hold it in any longer.
Riley just waited until she’d gotten it out of her system before raising an eyebrow.
“You and Mercy. I love it!”
She sniggered. “You wanted Little Miss Submissive and you got a DarkRiver sentinel.” Her giggles started again, deep in her throat.
“Brenna, I’m still your eldest brother.”
“And I’m mated to a big, bad Psy.” She put on her best annoying little-sister voice. “Plus you know you love me.”
“I know that right now, I wish I had some duct tape to put over your mouth.”
Riley stirred beside her. “You need us the rest of the day?”
It was Lucas who answered. “No. Go . . . play.”
Hawke’s grim look turned wolf-wicked as Mercy narrowed her eyes at her alpha and left the room. She felt Riley exit beside her, though he didn’t say a word until they were back in the main corridors. “I guess the secret’s out.”
“What’re you talking about?” she said, the devil in her taking over. Seeing that bloody, broken body had been the final straw—she needed to decompress. And what better way than by teasing Riley?
“You,” he said, his voice dropping as she stopped and turned to face him, “and me.” (…)
“Don’t flatter yourself.” She shoved her hands into the back pockets of her jeans and rocked back on her heels, decision made. Excitement was a taut bow inside her as she said, “I had an itch. You scratched it. End of story.” A low growl that made her thighs clench. But she smiled and wiggled her fingers. “See ya later, wolfie.”
That was when the door opened. “Riley?”
Of course she’d known he was there—she was a sentinel. And in some part of his soul, he’d counted on that. “Don’t ask me any questions tonight, Mercy.” He didn’t look at her, feeling vulnerable in a way that panicked his wolf.
“All right.” Soft footsteps. “But would you like to come inside?” Wary of her agreement, but needing . . . something, he walked in. She took his hand, her golden eyes luminous in the dark. “Come on, wolf.”
He let her lead him to the bedroom.
“Boots off,” she said, and crawled beneath the blanket.
“No questions,” she said again after an endless moment, and lifted up the edge of the blanket.
Man and wolf both hungered for the simple beauty of her touch. He had no power, no will, to resist.
Standing, he crossed the carpet to slide into bed beside her, fully dressed. And when her arms came around him, when her fingers stroked into his hair, he buried his face in the curve of her neck and let the unexpected tenderness heal the wounds of the night.
Sometime before dawn, he slept.
[Riley]“You never answered my question.”
“Whether you’re running from us because you don’t think you can handle me.”
“I did answer it. I said I didn’t have time.”
“Doesn’t mean you have an entry into my pants anytime you please.”
“Jesus, Mercy, I just wanted to talk to you.”
She felt a little twinge. Of guilt. Of hunger. “Talk now.”
“Fine.” He told her about the conversation he’d witnessed between Hawke and Sienna.
Mercy’s antennae twanged. “Something’s seriously wrong.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought. I want you to tell Sascha. She’s the one Psy we know who might have a shot at getting to the bottom of this. Judd says Sienna’s stonewalling him.”
“Why didn’t you call her yourself?”
Not even a pause. “Because it’s you I want to talk to.” No lies. No subterfuge. No hiding his intent.
“Damn it, Riley. This’ll leave us both broken in the end.” The naked emotional response pushed out past any logical rebuttal. She was starting to think of him as hers , but he wasn’t, might never be. Not when her leopard wouldn’t even accept the bonds of scent.
“And is fighting it any less painful?”
No. No, it hurts just as bad.
“What would you say if I asked you a hypothetical question?” he [Riley] asked after giving Hawke his report.
Hawke’s eyes gleamed. “That there are no such things as hypothetical questions.”
“That’s what I thought.” He lapsed back into thought.
Hawke stared at him. “I can answer your hypothetical question, though.”
“You don’t know what it is.”
“I know you’re jumpy as hell for Mercy. Go find her. Get naked. The end.”
Riley looked at his alpha. “That’s your pitch to women? Let’s get naked?” He snorted. “No wonder your balls are blue.”
Hawke gave him a one-finger salute. “Go take care of your own balls.”
“She’s[Sienna] a juvenile,” Hawke said. “My instincts tell me to protect her, that’s all.”
That only seemed to irritate Hawke. “You piss me off, Riley.”
“All grounded and practical and shit.”
“That’s what she says.”
“Ah.” Hawke’s face relaxed a fraction. “So Ms. Mercy’s the reason you were out here sulking.”
“I brood. You sulk.”
Hawke bared his teeth. “I’m your alpha. Show some respect.”
Riley snorted, though he was anything but relaxed. “I saw you puke your guts out after you stuffed yourself on chocolate cake. Respect’s not coming easy.”
“I was seven. And I seem to recall you threw up first.”
“You have a faulty memory.”
“So,” Riley asked, “what have you got for me?”
Taking his hand, she placed it palm-down over her heart. It would hurt like a bitch, she thought, but he was hers to protect as much as she was his. “Me.” And she opened up her soul, laid herself bare.
The mating bond shoved through her body like white lightning, hot and wild and right. Incredibly, wonderfully right. His energy was different from hers—wolf, not leopard—but it laced itself with her own until their combined strength was far greater than either would’ve ever been alone.
He closed his hand around her fingers and squeezed. “Wake up, kitty,” he said, trying to reach the wildness in her. “I need you.” He hadn’t said that to anyone since the day his parents died.
Deep in his soul, he thought he felt a pulse of love, of warmth, but the mating bond was new. He didn’t know if it had been real or if he’d imagined it because he needed it so much. In his hand, her fingers lay quiescent, so unlike the woman he adored with every part of him.
All those years they’d danced around each other, all those insults they’d hurled at each other, all those times they’d stood nose to nose, toe to toe, it had been preparation, he thought. They hadn’t been ready for each other then.
But now they were and damn if he was going to let fate steal the future from them. Getting into bed beside her with effort, he held her to his heart. And then he dropped every remaining shield, every barrier, and willed her to heal.
Rolling her eyes, Sascha turned back to Mercy. “We should go in and grab seats—Tamsyn was here when you woke this morning and she said you’re going to be fine, but you need more bed rest. Lara gave the same orders to you.” She pointed an admonishing finger at Riley.
“Sascha darling, I don’t know what you and the cat get up to in bed, but those two aren’t resting.” Hawke padded over, and Mercy noticed that though he was wearing jeans and a white tee, he was barefoot. Crazy wolf..