“Jazz?” echoed Frankie.
“That’s Harley’s cousin,” Gwen told her. “You’ll see Harley in a second. She plays the electric violin. Totally awesome.”
Ally clapped her hands. “Here you go, everyone. Beers, cosmos, tequila, and cocktails galore.”
Riley was there first. She tossed back the tequila and then slammed the glass on the bar. “Needed that.”
Makenna snickered and turned to Frankie. “Riley can do that for hours before she even nears the vicinity of drunk. I think it’s a raven thing.”
Trick grabbed two beers—one for Frankie, one for himself—and then propped her up on a bar stool. Situating himself between her legs, he splayed one hand on her back. “You sure you want to chance getting shit-faced again? I’d really rather not have to summon a priest.”
She snorted. “I’ll be sticking to water after this. I can’t deal with two killer hangovers in one month.”
A broad male wolf suddenly appeared at Trick’s side and tipped his chin in greeting.
“Frankie, this is Jesse,” said Trick. “Jesse, this is my mate.”
Eyes so dark they were almost black studied Frankie carefully. Jesse then inclined his head, so she gave him a brief nod and said, “You’re Harley’s mate, right?” Trick had told her plenty about the Mercury Pack.
Jesse’s mouth softened at the mention of his mate. “I am. She’ll be over to meet you after her set.”
“Bracken doing any better?” Trick asked him.
Jesse’s eyes dulled. “No. I’m just so fucking glad that Ally had a vision showing him injured and dying. He was bleeding out when we arrived on the scene. By that time the extremists had hightailed it out of there. Ally healed him, but I think part of him wishes she hadn’t.” Hearing clapping, Jesse looked at the stage. His pained expression smoothed out a little at the sight of his mate. “Looks like Harley’s up now.”
Frankie turned to the stage just as a dark-haired, golden-eyed female walked on holding a metallic-blue S-shaped electric violin. Casting Jesse a quick, intimate smile, Harley propped the instrument on her left collarbone and placed the left side of her jaw on the chin rest. She and the DJ played alongside each other, and the tune had the entire dance floor going wild.
Drawing out the final note, Harley gave the audience a beaming smile. They clapped and cheered as she left the stage.
“She’s really talented,” said Frankie.
Jesse’s smile was one of pride. “I know, right?” His gaze was on the curtain that led backstage. Mere moments later, Harley appeared from behind the curtain and—smiling at each of the people who shouted compliments—made her way to the bar. Jesse pulled her into his arms and kissed her hard. “Amazing, as always.”
Harley’s mouth curved, her modesty clear. “Well, thank you.”
Shaya spoke then. “Harley, this is Frankie.” Leaning toward Frankie, she mock whispered, “Quick warning: our pretty kitty’s not good at talking with strangers.”
Harley rolled her eyes. “I heard about your mating,” she told Frankie. “Congratulations.”
Frankie smiled. “Thanks.”
Harley looked at Shaya. “See, I can talk to people.”
“You said six words,” Jesse pointed out. “But that’s actually progress.”
Shaya turned to Trick. “Did Nick tell you that Morelli called us, asking for a meet?”
Trick nodded. “I can’t say I’m surprised that Nick hung up on him without a word.”
Shaya’s nose wrinkled. “Yeah, my mate’s not what you’d call social. A little like his sister, actually.” She flicked a glance at Roni, who’d shoved a lollipop in her mouth and looked the height of uncomfortable.
Jaime turned to Makenna, sipping her cosmo, and then she frowned. “You’re texting Grace, aren’t you?”
Makenna didn’t even look up from her cell phone. “I just want to check that Sienna’s okay.”
Jaime sighed. “She’ll be fine. Relax. Enjoy yourself.”
“Trick, thought I might find you here.”
At those words Frankie’s eyes snapped to the broad, Latin-looking guy who was fast shrugging his way through her pack mates, making a beeline for Trick. And going by Marcus’s wince and Trick’s sudden stillness, this was someone from Trick’s past. Awesome.
“You haven’t been to Enigma in a while and—” Rio paused, taking in Trick’s proximity to Frankie and their claiming marks. “And you’re mated,” he sensed.
“That’s right.” Silently cursing, Trick tightened his hold on her as he said, “Frankie, this is Rio. Rio, this is my mate, Frankie.” A mate who was currently staring at Rio, her face blank. Feeling her agitation through their bond, Trick soothingly rubbed her back and laid a possessive kiss on her temple, hoping to keep her and her wolf calm.
Rio was staring right back at her, clearly gobsmacked. Then he seemed to shake it off. “I didn’t expect your mate to be female.”
Frankie gave him a hard smile. “Funny old world, isn’t it?” She took a long swig from her bottle, keeping her eyes on the male. Black bear, she sensed. Her wolf bared her teeth, wanting him gone. His very scent offended the wolf.
Marcus leaned toward Rio and spoke into his ear only loud enough for the bear to hear. Whatever he said made Rio bristle, and his eyes scanned their crowd. It was only then that Frankie realized that every Phoenix and Mercury member was glaring at the bear. He gave Trick one last look and then walked away. Smart.
Trick turned to her and rubbed his nose against hers. “Sorry about that.”
“Why?” she asked. “You didn’t do anything.”
“I don’t ever want you being touched by anything or anyone from my past, even though none of them were important to me.”
While that was sweet . . . “There’s no way you can guarantee that, just as I wasn’t able to keep my past away from you. You handled Vance just fine, and I handled the bear—note that I didn’t smash the bottle over his head, despite the temptation being so strong.”
His mouth kicked up into a smile and he kissed her neck. “I like it when you get all possessive.”
“It’s hot. My wolf likes it a fuck of a lot.”
“Does he now?” She tilted her head slightly, giving him access to his claiming mark. Her eyes fell closed as he licked and nipped and traced it with his tongue. Feeling the weight of someone’s glare, she opened her eyes and saw Rio watching them from the other end of the bar. It was instinct to possessively prick her claws into Trick’s back.
Trick looked up, his gaze trapping hers, and kissed her hard and deep. “Mine.”
She smiled. “Not gonna argue with that.” At the sound of a low growl, Frankie looked in time to see Roni smack her mate’s chest.
“No, no, no,” said Roni. “There will be no dancing.”
Marcus curled his arms around her. “But sweetheart—”
“No. You’re not getting your way this time.”
But he got his way after Roni had downed a few shots. They all gravitated to the dance floor, and Frankie wasn’t surprised to find that Trick danced as smoothly and confidently as he did everything else. He also had her totally turned on.