"No, damn it," Jake said. "I'm not letting you get away with this. If you're honest with yourself, you know you can't do this on your own. The vamps have practically declared war, and we need to stick together if we're going to send their asses packing." Jake reached for her, his touch sending a zing of pleasure through her despite the spike in her temper. The hand moved, petting her, his touch calming her ruffled mood. "Please, Lissa. At least give us a chance to explain our thoughts and plans."

It seemed as if everyone took a collective breath, awaiting her decision, while Jake kept on with his petting, soothing the agitation right out of her.

"Lissa," he prompted her.

"You'll include me in your decision making? You won't spring things on me?"

"I'll be the first to admit I didn't handle this situation well," her grandfather said. "with Deliliah being undercover, and me having to go away... We failed you, " her grandfather said. "We have a lot to make up for."

"The vamps aren't going to leave me alone, are they?"

Jake didn't let up on his touching, and she found herself moving closer. Oh, he was good. "I'm afraid not."

She didn't have any other choice. Frankly, she'd kind of become used to having Jake around, hearing his seductive thoughts. His touch. Oh, yeah. She did like the way he touched her.

"I'm glad about that," he whispered in her ear. "Because I love to touch you."

Lissa took a deep breath. "All right," she said finally. "I'll give this situation a go."

"And the kiss?" Jake whispered.

Lissa grinned up at him and winked. "We could try that too."