Home > River Marked (Mercy Thompson #6)(14)

River Marked (Mercy Thompson #6)(14)
Author: Patricia Briggs

Maybe he felt that he was trying to do that to me. Maybe we both needed to lighten up the atmosphere a bit, give ourselves time to deal with all the changes.

I nipped his ear lightly. "If it were socially acceptable to tattoo my name across your forehead, I'd do it."

"I only see my forehead when I look in a mirror," he said. "I see my hand a lot more often."

"It wouldn't be for you," I told him. "You know who you belong to. It's for all the other women. Only fair to warn them when the wrong word might get them hurt. This coyote has fangs."

His chest vibrated under me, the laugh not making it all the way out yet. He relaxed subtly.

"I thought that if you're feeling primitive about this, it is only fair to let you know that I'm feeling pretty primitive, too," I informed him lightly.

Then I rolled off him and over the edge of the bed to drop down on the floor. I kicked my swimming suit, now cold and clammy, aside. "However, you ought to know that I can't work at the shop with my rings on unless I want to be known as Nine-Fingered Mercy. And"--I put my fingers on the pawprint just beneath my navel --"having gotten all the tattoos I ever intend to, I won't tattoo your name on my forehead or anything like that."

He jumped out of bed and strode to his suitcase. He unzipped the outer pocket and pulled out a flat box, which he handed to me.

I opened it to find a thick gold chain with a battered military dog tag on it. Hauptman, it read, Adam Alexander. The last time I'd seen it, it had been one of a pair on the same steel chain lying on Adam's chest of drawers.

"That's to put your rings on when you're at work," he said, taking the chain from me and putting it around my neck. As he fastened the chain, he kissed the back of my neck. He stayed there for a moment, his fingers tight on the necklace.

He'd given me one of his dog tags. I was never a soldier, but I'm a historian. I know why they started using a pair of dog tags. When a man died, and his buddies couldn't get the body out, they'd leave one tag with the body so anyone who found it could identify him. The other would be used to report his death.

That dog tag meant more to him than the ring did--and so it meant more to me, too. I noticed that the chain looked to be tough enough that I could wear it when running as a coyote, too.

"I need to go for a run," he told me, taking a full step back and slapping me lightly on my naked rump. His fingers lingered a little, testing the faint buckshot scars left from when I'd gotten a bit too close to a gun-happy rancher. "You want to come with?"

"Long run or short run?" I asked warily. Wolves love to run, but even most of them don't love to run the way Adam does.

He pulled on underwear and running shorts, socks and shoes as he considered my question. "Long run," he said, sounding a little surprised. "I'm a little wound up about something ..." He let his voice trail off and gave me a small, almost shy, grin. "Wolf instincts are good, but sometimes it's hard to figure out what's touching them off. Running helps connect the frontal lobe with the hindbrain."

"That helps?" I asked with sudden eagerness. It really irked me when I knew something and had no idea where it came from.

He laughed. "Sometimes. Sometimes I just get tired enough not to care. You staying here?"

"I am feeling extremely mellow," I told him. He'd run things off better if I wasn't with him. "I'll stay here. But you better put a shirt on, or your gorgeous self will cause an accident if you go running by the road, and someone sees you." He smiled at that; I think he thought I was joking. "I'll take a shower and read until you get back. By then we might think about food, making some or hunting some down."

He hesitated.

"Adam," I said, "we are out in the middle of nowhere. No one who hates me knows where we are unless you borrowed this rig from Marsilia. Go run. I'll be here for you when you get back--that's a promise."

He gave me one of his assessing looks, then left, closing the trailer door gently behind him. THE SHOWER IN THE TRAILER WASN'T HORRIBLE. I'D expected something only pygmies would be able to use, but it wasn't bad. I had no intention of using it, though, not with the camp showers available.

Camp showers should be primitive. I've used camp showers that only had cold water, that had no shower curtains, and some that I came out of feeling dirtier than I had when I went in. The camp showers here were an entirely different thing.

The whole building was air-conditioned down to a civilized and chilly contrast to the outdoor temperature. The floors were slate tile. The mirrors in the lavatories had hand-carved wooden frames. The countertop was a slab of dark green marble that contrasted beautifully with the bronze faucets. There were four shower rooms, in which the slate tile and bronze fixture theme was continued.

I'd never seen such a place in a campground-- or even in a hotel. The water pouring out of the giant-sized, ceiling-mounted showerheads was hot and sluiced the sweat out of my hair and worry for Adam off my shoulders. I stayed in the stall a long time, and the water never changed temperature.

When I was wrinkled and relaxed, I dressed in cutoffs and a T-shirt that had a picture of a ratty little house on it. The caption said, "Thieves welcome. Please don't feed the werewolves." Jesse had it made for me.

On the way back to the trailer, the sun baked the water out of my wet hair. I ducked in the trailer, pulled my book out of my suitcase, and went back outside to lie in the grass and read until Adam got back.

Most Popular
» Nothing But Trouble (Malibu University #1)
» Kill Switch (Devil's Night #3)
» Hold Me Today (Put A Ring On It #1)
» Spinning Silver
» Birthday Girl
» A Nordic King (Royal Romance #3)
» The Wild Heir (Royal Romance #2)
» The Swedish Prince (Royal Romance #1)
» Nothing Personal (Karina Halle)
» My Life in Shambles
» The Warrior Queen (The Hundredth Queen #4)
» The Rogue Queen (The Hundredth Queen #3)
billionaire.readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2024