Mia hated driving in the dark, but tonight she had no choice. She glanced at the rearview mirror as they left the road lights behind and switched up her headlights as the car hit a smaller road.
Panic gripped her hard, but she refused to let it control her. Every time it rose to choke her, she took a few deep breaths and carried on driving. She had no choice. Getting to Goldclaw was her only option.
That car behind was bothering her. It kept moving from side to side as if trying to find a way past, but she couldn’t let it. It might just be the people belonging to the organization trying to catch her. The Grid, it called itself. She called them bastards, and worse.
If they caught her, they’d kill her. Then they’d take the two precious babies strapped in the back, and she’d never see them again. She couldn’t let them do it, not anymore. Not ever. Her mind kept racing around the same track. She’d done the only thing she could and grabbed the only chance she’d had.
The road was getting narrower. The freeway hadn’t lasted long, and all she had to go on were road signs. No Sat Nav. She didn’t even have a phone. Now the signs were getting less frequent, and she was scared. She’d stop at the next town, maybe find somewhere to park and get a few hours’ rest. Relief swept through her when she recalled the bottles she had stashed in the well of the empty passenger seat next to her. She might starve, but she could keep the babies going until she got to Goldclaw. If she ever got there.
No, she couldn’t think like that. She turned a corner, way too fast, but that car behind her was making her antsy. It kept driving up close, almost nudging her. Maybe it was a bad driver, or somebody in a hurry. As soon as she got somewhere with room for more than one car, she’d let him past.
He flashed his lights, and she blinked to get the dazzle out of her eyes. One of the babies whimpered. She risked another glance in the rearview mirror. The baby settled again, harrumphed, shifted in his chair, and then fell asleep again. The driver of the car behind remained masked in shadow. There were two passengers, not one as she’d first thought. She didn’t recognize the car, but that didn’t mean anything. It didn’t mean they weren’t chasing her.
Of course they’d chase her. A dip in the road made her jump, but the babies didn’t wake. When they were awake, they were full of mischief, but asleep, they were good as gold—so precious she daren’t fail now. She kept her speed steady, not too fast, but not slow enough to annoy the bastard tailgating her. So far he’d only tried to get past, not to nudge or toot his horn at her. She wanted to keep it that way.
On these uneven surfaces in the dark, she should keep her eyes firmly fixed on the road ahead, but she had to check.
The babies were still asleep. For the first hour of this journey, she’d driven with them screaming. Then she’d pulled in at a gas station and used the credit card she’d stolen to buy two baby seats, some formula, bottles, disposable diapers, and cans of baby food, as well as a set of sweats for herself. The store clerk had been singularly uninterested in her purchases, for which she’d been deeply grateful.
Before that, she’d managed with their portable crib and the seat belts, but her heart had been in her mouth every time she’d gone over the tiniest bump. But what choice had she had? None, that was all. She’d stolen the first car with an open door old enough to hotwire. That hadn’t left her much choice because most modern cars were hotwire-proof, at least to amateurs like her. She’d had the choice of a gorgeous and beautifully kept vintage Italian model, and an old, run-down but serviceable one. She’d chosen the old one, not least because the owner would be less likely to make a fuss when he or she found it gone.
Maybe a disreputable past had its benefits—or at least, association with the disreputable. She grimaced. All those years trying to be respectable, and it was her shady childhood learning to steal and hotwire cars that had served her best.
Her heart pounded when the road ended, and she had to make a choice. Left or right? Shit, she didn’t even know if it was north or south, without even a compass to guide her. Not that it would have been much help. All she had was a name—Goldclaw. She’d been lucky to find a sign, and she’d followed them ever since.
This car had swung in behind her about ten miles back. She should have stolen another car, or traded this one in at a shady dealer’s. Anything, but—oh, fuck, stop panicking!
Being outside after five years in the same place made her antsy. That little room, with its bed, chair, and medical equipment, most of which was taken out when they didn’t need to use them on her, was all she’d known. She remembered who she’d been and what she’d had before they’d taken her, but it was like a dream. Once she was out in the world again, it had shocked her with its sheer size. Far bigger than she remembered—far too big to handle. Getting in the car had come as a relief, because it was confined. But out there—fuck, it was too much.
Her heart pounded as she took a chance and turned right. At the least, she’d come to a sign and find out where she was. If she were lucky, she’d find a bigger road. Then she could let this guy pass safely. But if he overtook her here, he could stop in front of her, and then she’d have no chance.
When he’d heard her cry, “No!” she’d woken him from an exhausted slumber, but Jag had leaped out of bed immediately. He’d put on pajama bottoms before he went to bed. He did that sometimes, because he was a restless sleeper and he didn’t want to bump into one of the hands, or worse, Caroline. She might expect more than he was prepared to give her. Unlike Dion, Jag was well aware of Caroline’s interest, but he wanted to ease her out gradually, not shock her or hurt her by refusing her outright.
Mia—now, that was different. At first he’d distrusted her, but now it seemed they were on the same side. She didn’t have the Grid tattoo because she was one of them—they’d branded her in their own sick way. He could have killed anyone who’d done that to that perfect, porcelain skin. When he’d caught himself thinking that, he’d known he was in trouble. He wanted her. The meeting in the kitchen earlier had filled him with a sense of rightness. This woman—easy, sexy, now she’d bathed and the worst of her bruises had gone—appealed to him at the most primitive level. And she’d lost that terror from her expression, the scared-rabbit look he’d hated. He liked seeing her like this, at home here, comfortable, moving around the kitchen as if she’d always been there.
He still didn’t like the idea of a woman invading his home on a permanent basis. If he couldn’t have his breedmate, then he wouldn’t have anybody. And he sure didn’t take kindly to having another breed couple’s children in his home, however cute they happened to be. Jag didn’t do cute, he told himself firmly, ignoring the appeal of the tykes. As cubs, they’d tugged at his heartstrings, and there he was believing he didn’t have any.
But when she’d cried out, he hadn’t thought. He’d leapt out of bed and wrenched open the connecting door before he could think straight. His tiger to the fore, he’d moving as silently to stand by the window before he pounced.
Only then, when adrenaline had ebbed, did he see the truth. She’d begged him not to go. Dion, his breed partner, had gotten there first.
His cock stood to attention as he watched the pair on the bed. Dion had shoved the sheets aside, and he was inside her, his taut buttocks demonstrating how deep he was. She’d just said something—Jag didn’t know what—that had frozen him in the act. He’d lifted up so he saw her breasts, small but perfect, the nipples hard, brown little buds just waiting for his mouth.
He should slip away before she saw him. Being his partner, Dion had become aware of his presence as soon as Jag had entered the room, but Mia was too caught up in Dion to notice him at first. But fuck that, he was staying until she asked him to leave. Dion wouldn’t. He liked being watched, for one thing, as Jag did. Spectating was the second best thing about sharing a woman. The first being, of course, fucking her and knowing his breed partner was watching.
So he leaned against the wall, folded his arms, and waited.
Mia gasped, and adorably, crossed her arm over her chest.
“Don’t do that on my account,” Jag said. “You’re gorgeous. Show me more, if you like.”
Her attention went from Dion to him and back, but in that brief glance, he didn’t see fear or repulsion in her eyes. He saw desire gleaming in the blue depths.
He kept his voice low and steady, as he would to a skittish filly. “You’re beautiful, Mia. I came here because I heard you cry out. I want to stay and make you cry out some more. But I’ll go if you want me to. You’ve got ten seconds before I join you in that bed and show you what it’s like to have two men all over your body. Dion is willing. Look at him if you don’t believe me.”
She stared at Jag, frozen. Dion remained poised on top of her, inside her cunt, the lucky fuck.
“One,” he began. “Two.” Okay maybe it was a bit fast for a second, but she didn’t seem to mind. “Three.”
“Yes,” she said.
“Come or go?”
That was all he needed. Shedding his pajama bottoms, he left them on the floor and padded to the bedside. This bed was huge, so there was plenty of room for the three of them, even if they rolled around a little, which he totally intended to do.
Mia shuddered when he touched her, grazing his hand over her breast, savoring the soft, silky skin before he took her nipple between his thumb and forefinger and pinched.
Her cry sent her jolting toward Dion, who started moving. He fucked her with steady, regular strokes, and Jag wondered at his restraint. Dion usually went at it like a buck in heat, but he was taking a lot of care. Maybe her injuries, or the shock she’d undergone, made him careful. He determined to take equal care with her when it was his turn.