Purity (Coyote Tales 2)
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Copyright ©2014 Michelle Hasker
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Rory made the mistake of making eye contact with Dominick.
As usual, the were took her breath away. His rugged features and wind-tousled hair evidenced his many hours outdoors. Brilliant green eyes kept her focus on his face when she wanted to check out his chest and abs in the tight blue T-shirt. Relying on memory alone she could sculpt his body using clay, but she'd moved on from that. At least, she'd tried. He wasn't helping matters.
"The usual." He placed a twenty on the shiny mahogany counter and sat down on an empty bar stool. Since it was a slow Tuesday night Rory knew it was going to be impossible to avoid him. It would be best to just serve him his drink, be pleasant, and hope he called it an early night.
Rory took the twenty and made his change. When she put his change on the counter his hand covered hers. Even though the touch wasn't intimate she could feel it throughout her entire body. Dom was more than skilled with those large hands. The way he'd used them on her had reduced her to a spineless mess on more occasions than she cared to admit to.
"You can't hide forever, love."
"I'm not hiding." Her voice came out harsh and low as she struggled to slide her hand free.
"You know what I mean, Rory." His thumb brushed against the back of her hand, sending a spark of desire racing from the point of contact.
"Bartending is about the furthest from hiding--" She stopped talking when trouble walked in the door. Bennett. The last thing she needed. Especially when she had no plans to succumb to Dom ever again.
"What?" Dominick's expression hardened as he turned to see what she was staring at.
Rory took advantage of his distraction and pulled free, walking to the other end of the bar to clean glasses.
"Slumming again, I see." Bennett sat down in the empty stool to the right of Dom and signaled to Rory. She poured him a draft and carried it over. She set the mug down on a napkin and walked off without waiting for him to pay. She'd pay for his drinks herself as long as she didn't have to pretend to carry on a friendly conversation with him.
Bennett was a purist. He didn't agree with interspecies marriages and he did his best to terminate any relationships that violated his rules. In fact, he'd started his own group called Purity -- Radicals who resorted to physical violence more often than not. The alpha and pack enforcer were trying to run Bennett and his followers out of town, but they hadn't been able to pin any of the missing weres on them. Without evidence there wasn't much they could do other than keep an eye on them.
When Bennett's voice dropped in volume, Rory looked up from drying a glass. She met Dom's furious gaze. Whatever Bennett was saying, it was really pissing Dom off. If there was trouble it would be up to her to enforce it, or summon her bouncer, Daniel.
She walked toward them, not realizing she was dragging her feet until she was halfway to them. Mentally chastising herself for showing weakness, Rory straightened her spine and stepped up to the men, determined to take control of the situation.
"I don't care about your purist ideals or your sanctimonious crap. What do you think our alpha would have to say if she heard you talking like this?" Dominick was definitely upset if the tone and volume of his voice was anything to go by.
"Our alpha did what she was supposed to. For the greater good of the pack and our future. She mated pure. She understands what needs to be done."
"Abigail did mate, but it was for love. Darius just happens to be pure." Dom had one hand tightly clenched around his mug. Rory wondered if Bennett understood that the only reason he still had teeth was because Dom chose to let him keep them. "Abigail mated for love, which is why their bond is strong and true. They both are pure, but they are true mates. We have plenty of pure mated pairs in this pack. How many of them are true mates?"
"The pack's future is more important than your happiness."
"Who I mate happens to be none of your business."
"You're wrong. It impacts the whole pack. You put the future of coyote at risk."
"I don't support your beliefs, but if I did I would point out that there are enough pure blood mated pairs to breed for you."
"There are never enough."
"You don't have the backing of the pack so take this somewhere else. We're going to have to agree to disagree, Bennett. I've had enough of your fanaticism for the evening."
"This isn't over, Dominick. Don't think the rest of the pack will just let you and Rory live happily ever after together. She's not pure like you."
She'd heard enough. This was her place. Her patrons, and it was up to her whether or not she told anyone what she was or wasn't. Rory slammed her palms down on the counter and growled. Both men stopped arguing at the sound and watched her, suspicion in Bennett's eyes, love in Dom's.
At least she had their attention