Dragonbane(Dark Hunter,book 24)(3) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
“Then what good is having a fire-breathing dragon on hand?”
“There’s always Simi,” Dev said. “With enough barbecue sauce, she’ll eat anything. Even obnoxious bear kin.”
“Y’all are so bad.” Frowning, Aimee placed her hand to her distended stomach and sucked her breath in sharply.
Fang immediately teleported to the backside of the counter to support her. “You okay?”
Leaning back against him, she smiled up at her husband. “Your sons are frolicking like cubs on a picnic-honey high.”
A proud smile spread across his face. “The little she-wolves are nocturnal… Like their father.”
She snorted at that. “I swear, if I have puppies, I’m turning you into a wolf rug for my floor.”
Fang laughed, then kissed her cheek. “Why don’t you go on up and rest? I’ll finish closing and prepping the bar.”
“Don’t worry. I won’t even attempt the paperwork. After the gnarled mess I made of it last time, I have learned my lesson to keep my paws off it.” Fang motioned for the tall, blond Amazon who was sweeping the floor to join them. A former Dark-Hunter, Samia was Dev’s better, much more attractive half. In spite of the Greek goddess Samia had once been enslaved to that Max couldn’t stand, Max liked Sam a great deal, especially since she didn’t talk much. And she never asked him questions about his guarded past – something he appreciated even more.
Like Aimee, Sam was compassionate and kind when it came to others, whether they were people, animals, or a mixture of the two.
As soon as Aimee’s pregnancy had been made public, Sam and Dev had moved back into Dev’s old room in Peltier House next door to soothe Dev’s fears, as he worried like an old woman over the health and well-being of his only sister. Not that Aimee needed it. With eleven blood-related brothers and even more in-laws and close friends, she had more than her share of males wanting to help her lift any object in the place, and carve body parts off her husband for risking her life with a complicated hybrid pregnancy.
“Sam?” Fang asked as the Amazon paused at the counter. “Will you please take Aimee up to bed for me and make sure she’s tucked in?”
“Sure. Be glad to.” Sam held her gloved hand out to Aimee. “C’mon, hon. You don’t want to overtax yourself. You need to take care of those Chow Chows you’re carrying.”
Aimee groaned at her worst fear of what her hybrid bear-wolf children might look like. “You’re off my Christmas list, Sam. Anyone else?”
Dev held his hands up and shook his head.
The bearswan glared at him, then turned toward her husband as Dev’s identical brother sauntered up to grab a fortified beer from Fang. The fierce, bloodthirsty grimace on his face would have sent small children screaming for their mothers and made seasoned gladiators wet their armor in terror.
Aimee tsked at his expression. “Fang, make sure Dev doesn’t kill Rémi while I’m gone.”
Popping the top off the beer, the bearswain looked at her with an even fiercer scowl. “Not Rémi… Cherif. Damn, Aims, you’re usually the only one who can tell us apart. Has the pregnancy knocked loose your brain cells?”
Aimee bit her lip. “Sorry, Boo. The way you’ve been scowling all night, I could have sworn you were Rémi.”
Dev, Rémi, and Cherif were part of a set of identical quadruplets, with their brother Quinn rounding out their number. Alone, the bears were badass. Together, they were damn near invincible.
Unless you happened to be a fire-breathing dragon. Then there wasn’t much in this world that provided a threat to your health or well-being.
Cherif snorted. “Yeah, well, what do you expect? Y’all threw me upstairs with Etienne all night. He’s been dry humping my last nerve like it’s the only female he’s seen for a hundred years. I swear, Maman should have done us all a favor and eaten that cub at birth. At least it would have saved my humor… and sanity. You’re all lucky they’re not hauling me away for murder right about now.”
“Here, here.” Dev clanked bottles with him. “Where is the little prick?”
“Finishing up a hand of poker with Eros. I’m hoping he wins and the god splinters him on the wall in anger. That’s one mess I’d volunteer to clean.”
Aimee met Max’s amused gaze. “Oh my God, they’re awful! I’m so glad you love your brother.”
Max shrugged as he rinsed off the soda nozzles and put them back in place. “What can I say? Absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder, and the guilt of having him locked away in a hell realm for a thousand years means I have to tolerate any annoying habit Illarion possesses with utmost patience.”
She popped Dev in the stomach. “See how great dragons are? You should be taking notes.”
“Fine. Lock Etienne and Rémi in a hell realm for a thousand years and I promise I’ll be nice to them when they get out.”
Fang laughed. “Give it up, Aimee. You’re not going to win this one.”
“Are you seriously taking his side?”
Fang went pale. “Uh, no. Never. I’m not a dumb wolf and I have no desire to sleep in a doghouse tonight.”
Playfully, she wagged her finger at him before she tapped his nose and kissed him.
All of a sudden, there was a loud crash upstairs that said Cherif might have gotten his wish that Eros had killed Etienne for winning. But it wasn’t the unexpected noise that made the hair on the back of Max’s neck rise. It was a fissure in the air he hadn’t felt in centuries. One that went down his spine like a shredder.
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