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Marcus frowned. “I don’t know.”

After a moment, the female seemed to recover. “I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else for a second there,” she said to Roni.

That explained it. So why did Roni have the feeling the woman was lying her ass off?

“I’m Kerrie. I’m from Teagan’s pack. That’s how I met Marcus. He and I are, um, were, um . . . well, you know.”

Oh, Roni did know. She also knew that Kerrie was trying to rub it in her face. Bitch. So she didn’t bother introducing herself. If that seemed rude, good.

“This is Roni,” said Marcus, breaking the tense silence.

“Nice to meet you, Roni.” Nice? She didn’t seem to find it “nice” at all. Kerrie switched her focus to Marcus then, her smile bright and huge. “How are you? You look great. Better than when I last saw you, which was . . .” Her eyes briefly slid to Roni. “Anyway, how are things going for the Phoenix Pack?”

Marcus had been around females long enough to know when they were making subtle “I once slept with him” statements that would provoke another female. He wouldn’t have expected it of Kerrie. She’d never struck him as petty or bitchy. But right now, he was seeing her in a new light.

Delivering a clear message to both Roni and Kerrie, he kissed the palm of Roni’s hand again and then began massaging her inner wrist with his thumb. “Everything’s fine, thanks.”

As she stared at the Amazon, Roni realized she’d never experienced jealousy before. Not the kind of jealousy that made someone want to jump across the table and rip out some bitch’s spinal cord. Right then, though, that seemed like a sound plan. Her wolf was sure up for it, despite being slightly placated by Marcus’s possessive gesture. Roni wasn’t so placated, but she was rather enjoying the bitter gleam in Kerrie’s eyes. The bitch was envious to the point of being bitter? What fun.

Kerrie grabbed a chair. “You don’t mind if I eat with you, do you?”

“Yeah, I do,” said Roni. If Marcus didn’t back her up on this, she was so out of there.

“Excuse me?”

“Did I stutter?”

Kerrie’s mouth bobbed open and closed. “Have I upset you in some way?”

“Upset me?” Roni snorted. “You’re on solid food, aren’t you?” The female simply wasn’t important enough to affect her that deeply.

“Look, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you or something, but—”

“You can’t eyeball someone’s male and expect her to eat with you. It’s really that simple.” Kerrie looked to Marcus for some backup, but he wisely said nothing. “You can go now.”

Wearing a wounded look that was totally fake, Kerrie walked to the counter and began talking to Deana.

Only then did Roni turn to Marcus, who was surprisingly quiet. “You’re not going to lecture me about being rude to your friend?”

“Sweetheart, you really have no idea how hard it makes me to see you get all possessive like that.” It made him want to fuck her within an inch of her life.

Typical male. “I’m not dumb, I know you’ve got a past. But that doesn’t mean I have to be okay with it being flaunted in my face.”

“You’re right, she was being a bitch. You handled it well.” Just then, Teagan brought out their orders, and Kerrie was forgotten. Roni really enjoyed the food, which pleased Marcus and his sisters. He wasn’t impressed that she wanted to share with him again—or that she snatched some of his fries.

Unsurprisingly, his sisters dragged him into the kitchen for a “chat” before he left, which was basically an interrogation about how he felt about Roni and what he intended to do about those feelings. He managed to artfully blow off most of the questions.

When he exited the kitchen, he saw that Kerrie was talking to Roni, who looked ready to slap her. Protectiveness made him want to barge over there and bare his teeth at Kerrie, but he knew Roni would be pissed by that, so he stood back to allow her to take care of the matter herself.

“He must like you a lot to bring you to meet his sisters,” said Kerrie. “I’m sure you know what I told him, that he’s spoken of me.”

“Nope. Never heard about you before.” It was clear to Marcus that Roni meant it as an insult, and it clearly hit home.

“I’m a Seer. I had a vision of Marcus with his mate; I saw her. You’re not her.” Kerrie seemed to take delight in saying that. “She’s bruised deep inside, and she needs him. Don’t get in the way of that.”

Shit. Marcus hadn’t wanted to bring this up to Roni, worried she’d do something stupid like make the way clear for this female he didn’t even want.

“She needs him,” continued Kerrie. “His path is to find her, to save her—only he can.”

Roni’s expression was deadpan. “Well then, she’d better come fight for him.” Her unexpected words made him smile.

Kerrie gaped. “You’d really stay with him? You’d really get in the way of that?”

“I spoke to a Seer once. She told me my father would be Alpha of the pack one day. He was already dead at the time.”

“My vision was—”

“Just a vision. I don’t place much faith in them. But if Marcus’s path truly is so set in stone, he’ll find her without trying, won’t he? So don’t worry your bitter little head.”

Marcus chose that moment to approach. “Ready, gorgeous?”

Roni nodded. “Definitely. There’s a weird smell in here.” She then cast Kerrie a withering look and strolled out of the diner, knowing Marcus would follow. She’d sensed him behind her and Kerrie, knew he’d been listening, and she appreciated that he let her deal with the bitch herself. It wasn’t until they were both in the car and leaving the parking lot that she spoke again. “So . . . Kerrie’s a Seer.”

He smoothed his hand along her thigh. “I didn’t tell you about the vision for three reasons: One, I was worried it would make you walk away. Two, I don’t want the vision to come true—the future she described isn’t one I’d want. Three, I’m not sure I believe the vision means anything anymore. In any case, I couldn’t make the female the Seer described happy, and she couldn’t make me happy either.”

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