Pearl snorted. “It’s kind of disgusting, really. If any couple in this room gets the sugary sweet award, it’s definitely you two.”

Ezra’s lips twitched — same as mine — as we watched Jack become still, before his head swung to her.

His eyes danced all over her face, asking, “You want to be a couple-couple?”

Her cheeks flushed, and she bit her lip, her English accent becoming heavy as she stuttered, “Well…maybe…if you…you know…would like to?” And damn, if her eyes weren’t earnest.

Jack’s lips didn’t slowly lift. He damn near blinded us all as he flashed his teeth, grinning from ear to ear. “Yes, I’d like that very much.” And I blinked when he decided to attack her mouth with his and play tonsil hockey with her right in front of us.

Ezra’s chest was shaking as he rested an elbow against the arm of the love seat, covering his mouth when Jack started maneuvering her down on the couch…which Pearl didn’t seem opposed to as she gripped his shirt, yanking him closer, not at all shy with what she physically wanted. I, on the other hand, really didn’t want a repeat performance, live and in person, of the freaky shit, so when Pearl started glowing a little, and I could have sworn I heard the sound of waves, I clapped my hands loudly while Ezra dropped his forehead on his hand, barely keeping his laugh silent.

“Hey!” I clapped again when they didn’t break it up. “If you guys start…hovering…again I’m going to shift and bite your asses.” Ezra lost it, his laughter booming throughout the room. I glared at him, pointing across from us where they were still going at it. “I’m glad you think this shit is funny, but I’m,” I rubbed at my ear, “starting to hear shit.” My head cocked. “It sounds like waves, but as if they’re rolling faster and faster.” I blinked. “I think I’m traumatized by what I saw earlier.”

Ezra doubled over, slapping my leg, apparently finding what I said hilarious.

I scowled and let a little of my power ripple out, kind of like a gentle shove in their direction to remind them we were here. I screamed as a blast of Mage and Elemental magic flew back at me so hard it tipped the love seat Ezra and I were on backward, both of us toppling with it because of the mini-explosion. Ezra stared down at me wide-eyed, having landed on me, and he whispered studiously, “Sweetheart, I’m thinking they didn’t appreciate the interruption.” He lowered his face, snickering at my ear. “And now that I’ve seen it begin, I’m pretty sure the wave sounds are a reflection of how turned on Jack’s becoming, same with how Pearl’s glowing.”

I blinked, staring at my feet, which were straight up in the air behind Ezra’s head, against the cushion. “Oh.” I blinked again, my eyes widening. “Oh, now I get the water and the sparkles.”

Jack opened his door to our bedroom forty minutes later, peeking his head out to where Ezra and I were sitting outside in the hallway. Empty dessert dishes surrounded us, which we had consumed after deciding to take them out with us while we waited, because Jack and Pearl sure as hell hadn’t broken apart even after we had righted the love seat. His smile was lazy and sated as he jerked his head, stating, “It’s safe to come in.”

“Wonderful,” I grumbled as Ezra helped me to my feet, grabbing off the ground the few empty plates Ezra hadn’t. “Maybe we can talk now before we pass out from a sugar overdose.”

Ezra groaned, rubbing his flat belly. “We probably shouldn’t have eaten that second piece of pumpkin pie.” A pause. “Or was that the third?”

“Fourth,” I muttered, burping quietly. “There were only two apple pies and three blackberry cobblers, but there were definitely four pieces of pumpkin pie.”

We both stared at the empty plates in our hands.

“Maybe we should have stopped with the apple pies,” Ezra murmured absently before moving into our room.

I licked my lips, following him. “Or maybe just had one of each.”

Ezra hummed. “We’ll try that next time. Show some restraint.”

I thought about how good all the desserts had been going down. “We could try.”

We set our plates down on the coffee table, and sat on the love seat with Jack and Pearl on the couch again, and this time, Ezra didn’t waste a second and plowed into our news, stating bluntly, “Tomorrow morning, Lily and I are leaving King Cave and going into hiding.” When Jack’s and Pearl’s jaws dropped, he held up a hand to stop anything they would have said. “Antonio had a vision. A future he said he can’t stop because he’s not powerful enough. The damn man was crying because he was so upset about…,” Ezra glanced at me, “what did he say exactly?”

Since Pearl and Jack were starting to appear freaked out, I stated it factually, “He said he was so sorry for the agony you two will endure, referring to Ezra and me.”

Ezra nodded, his eyes back to them. “So we’re leaving. Neither one of us wants the other harmed,” he shuddered, “like what happened today, so we’re getting the hell out, and we’ll try to make it on our own in hiding.”

Pearl’s jaw slowly shut, her lips pinching. “If Elder Farrar saw it,” she shook her head, her expression one of worry, “I don’t know if hiding will help.”

Jack lifted his head from where it had fallen in his hands, saying quietly, “But they have to try.”

I pointed at him. “That’s right. We do.” I stood, jumping a little on my feet, anxiety beginning to creep in further. “So we’re leaving before the sun comes up, and tonight, I’d like for all of us to watch a movie together. Do something mundane before we run.”

Pearl instantly stood and embraced me. “I don’t want you to go.”

“I know,” I whispered, hugging her tight. “I know.” Tears slipped down my cheeks at knowing this was probably the last night we had together. “But I want us to all relax before we leave. Enjoy our evening together.”

She nodded quickly, squeezing me, her own tears falling on my head. “Then let’s do it.”

And so we did, after the hugs and tears were through, lying down next to each other in bed and finding a good old-fashioned comedy to watch before we all passed out.

Chapter Thirty

Waking in the dead of night, I instantly knew something was wrong. Immediately, I calmed my heart rate but still took in the scents. I smelled Ezra, his spicy scent strong, just like his arms around me in our spooning position. I also smelled Pearl and Jack, Pearl’s scent the strongest, since she lay on the other side of me. But…I scented something off…something that made my wolf want to growl and that tried to make my body tremble. I had been in this exact situation before, but what I was scenting didn’t bode well. Because it was strong as hell, which meant…many bodies behind a Mage spell.

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