“I can provide you with another bride, equally attractive and much more agreeable,” Kray protested. “You want a bride that is submissive and will obey you, and show you the respect you’re due. That isn’t her. My apologies for bringing the wrong woman. I had no idea she was capable of the kind of behavior she’s displaying today.”
“Don’t tell me what I want in a bride,” Maxwell snapped. “You promised me this one. I want this one.”
Oh, goody, now I was the juicy bone that the two wolves were fighting over.
Still, he had saved me, and I was grateful for that.
Kray stood there, furious, not wanting to back down but not wanting to challenge Maxwell either.
“Your pack and my pack can meet on the field of battle,” Maxwell said, smiling a very nasty smile. “Or you and I can meet wolf to wolf. Shall we notify the Council of Elders?”
Maxwell was basically threatening to issue a formal Death Challenge. Winner would have the right to take over the other’s pack and lands. Somehow, I didn’t think Kray would take him up on that – and I was right.
“Fine. If you want her, take her. My family and I will be leaving at once; we will not be attending the wedding. As soon as the nuptials are complete, you will notify me. Then our packs are officially allied, and you will not be returning her to me. I don’t take used goods,” Kray sneered at me, and turned and left the cabin, still buck naked.
“Are you all right?” Maxwell asked me, scowling after him.
“I’m fine,” I assured Maxwell. “Thank you for rescuing me.”
He stuck his hand out, as I concentrated very hard on looking him in the eye and not noticing anything else.
“I’m Maxwell Battle,” he said. “We haven’t yet been formally introduced.”
“I’m Camille,” I muttered, unable to meet his gaze. All of a sudden I felt badly about lying to him.
He was still the jerk who had pretty much bought Camille without regard for her wishes, and he had just been fighting for me as if I were livestock, but he’d also just stood up for me against a very scary Alpha, and I was having a hard time hating his guts as much as I should.
Also I was afraid that I’d somehow complicated things with him. I hadn’t really given much thought to how my deception would affect Maxwell’s pack. Would the alliance be off? Probably. Would I somehow cause the packs to go to war with each other?
Hopefully the Renker family realize that it wasn’t Maxwell’s fault, and only be mad at me.
“So, uh, are you going to change into a tux?” I asked him.
He threw back his head and laughed, a warm, rich sound.
“You apparently don’t know that much about Timber Valley traditions,” he said. “We do things a little differently around here. I was wondering why you were wearing a wedding dress. It’s not really suited for the day’s activities.”
Interesting. What kind of activities could he be talking about? I wasn’t sure I liked the amused smirk on his face.
He grabbed me by the hand and led me out to the truck. He was still stark naked, but shifters are used to that. One of the men standing there raised an eyebrow, and reached into the bed of truck. He pulled out a pair of pants and handed them to Maxwell, who stepped into them and zipped them up. Shifters always carry spare clothing with them.
Now he was just standing there barechested, with that leather strip of a necklace and the jeans. His abs looked as if they’d been carved with a chisel. Looking at him sent ripples of heat through my body.
“Sounded like things got a little loud in there,” the man said. He was a dead ringer for Maxwell, but looked maybe a few years younger.