Rashad & Ceana

Chapter One

“You stay with me you hear?” Ceana said over the sound of gun fire as she put pressure on the wound in her partner’s chest. A bullet whizzed past her head and struck the building next to her. “Listen Colin, listen to me. I have to keep these guys back so don’t you fucking die on me.”

“I don’t…ah…plan on it. Just go.”

She moved away from him and raised her head up over the back of the car they were hiding behind. What they had assumed would be a routine traffic stop had turned into a nightmare. When she and Colin had exited the car, one of the men from the car in front of them had leaned out and opened fire. Colin had taken two to the chest and she had opened fire as she dragged him across the street. She opened fire, one of her bullets catching one of the perpetrators in the chest. “You fucking bitch.” His friend screamed.

“The only bitch I see is you.” She screamed back. The traded bullets until one hit her shoulder, sending her jerking back. She dropped her gun and gripped her shoulder, screaming in anger and pain. She could hear the man crossing the street and when she looked up he was standing over her.

“I’m sorry, but who’s the bitch?”

The loud roar startled them both and their eyes jumped to the large tiger standing on the roof of the car. The man started to aim at the tiger when it pounced on him, making him scream when it slashed his chest open with its razor sharp claws. The large beast knocked the gun away and the man beneath him actually passed out he was so scared. Ceana crawled over to Colin, worried when he wasn’t moving and at his extremely pale face. “Colin, you better be alive damn it. You have a wife and a little girl on the way, so hang on.” She checked his pulse, relieved to find it beating.

She grabbed Colin’s gun when she heard movement behind her, making the man standing there throw his hands up. “Whoa, it’s okay. I just want to help.”

“You, were you the tiger? You were weren’t you? It’s your eyes.” She hissed in pain. “Get over here and put pressure on his wounds. Help should be here soon.”

Rashad walked over and knelt down by Colin, applying pressure where it was needed so Ceana could just relax as much as possible with her own wounds. “thanks” Ceana said and Rashad answered “I would have been an asshole if I didn’t help.”

“the world is full of them, nice people too but as a cop I can sometimes be on the more pessimistic side of human nature”

“Just relax until help gets here”

“Its only a shoulder wound”

“That scream said more than you’re letting on”

“It was my bodies natural reaction. Its not so bad, not compared to my partner.” They were silent until sirens blared in their direction. Ceana talked to her fellow officers while the medics bandaged her. They took Colin off right away, knowing he needed surgery and more blood as quickly as they could get to it.

“I’m not going to the hospital, it was a through and through.” Ceana said stubbornly.

“Ceana please, the chief will make you go.” One of the officers said.

“He can try.”

“You should really go.” Rashad interrupted. “Trust me, through and through or not, you could get an infection. At least let me take you if you won’t let the EMTs.”

“Come on Ceana, let uh…” he looked at his notes, “Lieutenant Colonel Rashad Breedan, wow really that quite the rank.” He cleared his throat. “Sorry, at least let him take you Ceana, I mean you did get him wrangled into a fire fight.”

She gave an exasperated sigh. “Oh fine, you men. Fir i gcónaí mar sin dúr.”

The officer flinched. “That didn’t sound nice, I suspect she just insulted us.”

“I’m not worried about insults, try having a drill sergeant screaming in your face.” He turned his attention back to Ceana. “Please, come with me.”

“Alright, alright.” She looked at the officer. “Do not call my parents, mom’ll have a heart attack”

“Yes ma’am.”

She followed Rashad to his car, irritated she was being made to go to the hospital and with a complete stranger. He pulled the passenger door open for her and she arched an eyebrow in question. “Being in the military tends to make you polite, please get in.” She sat down and he closed the door for her before going around to the driver side and climbing in. “So what did you say back there?”

“Excuse me?”

“You were insulting us right, what did you say?”

“I said all men are stupid.”

He smiled. “That they are, the need to protect people, especially women, how annoying.”

“I thought tigers were supposed to be beautiful and graceful creatures, not sarcastic.”

He chuckled. “Sorry to disappoint you, it’s not my fault I’m so ugly.” She looked out the passenger window, not wanting him to see her amusement. “It’s in my nature you know, the need to protect women. I was raised to always protect and respect women, especially when they need me. I did not step in to make you look weak, I stepped in because you were about to die and I refused to let that happen.”

“I thanked you didn’t I?”

“seemed a little begrudging though” The smile tore onto her face and she knew he noticed. She pushed it back down anyway and kept looking out the window. Rashad walked with her inside “I’ll be here in the waiting room”

“You can go home. I’ll be fine”

“You don’t have a ride”

“Thats what taxis are for”

“Come on, let me help you. It will bother me if I don’t see for myself you’re alright”

“How about you give me your number and I’ll text you when I’m done here.” He sighed “You are such a difficult woman. Thank goodness I’ve had practice with that in the military”

“Think you’re going to break me?”

“I wouldn’t dream of it. Strong willed women are always the best” He winked and she handed him her phone “hurry up” he chuckled and put his number in “I can stay”

“You can go. I’ll call or text you later”

“fine, I’d like to see proof of some discharge papers to make sure you stayed until they released you. Picture message them to me” She didn’t answer and he smiled again, chuckling on the inside before leaving. He was tempted to stay anyway but he wanted to get to know her and continuing to annoy her probably wasn’t the best method.

Ceana sat through having her wound thoroughly examined and then stitched closed. She was given pain medication and orders to take it easy until they could be taken out. Once she told the doctor she understood she was given her discharge papers and a prescription for pain medication. She rolled her eyes, tucking the prescription into her pocket and pulling out her phone. She was half tempted to get a cab, but decided against it since she had told Rashad she would text him and she couldn’t very well go back on her word. She sighed, taking a picture of her discharge papers and adding the message, meet me out front before sending it to him. She got out of bed, grabbing her jacket and putting it on as she left the room.

Rashad was in the middle of eating lunch when his phone vibrated. He pulled it out, smiling when he saw Ceana had acquiesced to his request. He tucked his phone back into his pocket and wrapped up the rest of his sandwich. He left City Sub and drove happily to the hospital, chuckling when he saw her sitting out front looking irritated. “You look far too happy.” She said when she got in.

“It’s not every day you get to meet some as extraordinary as you.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere.”

“Flattery? I was being completely honest. You took a bullet and didn’t let it slow you down, you’re one tough woman.”

“Well thank you I guess.”

He smiled, making her heart flutter. “So, where would you like me to take you?”

She sighed. “First to the precinct, if I don’t report in then my boss will give me an earful. He’s going to make me take time off.”

“Don’t say that like it’s a bad thing. If you don’t let yourself heal completely, you could cause even more damage to yourself. I’ve seen men who thought that just because they were in the military they could continue working after being wounded. A couple of them got nerve damage so please rest when your chief tells you too.”

She sighed, not liking being told what to do even if the other person was right. Rashad drove to the precinct and walked inside with her. He listened as the they talked and as predicted he told her she was taking time off no matter how she felt about it and all the men in the precinct knew she wasn’t to be working on anything until he gave the clear she could work. “fine” she said and he shook his head “it’s for your own good Ceana. We all just care about you”

“I know”

“You’re taking her home?” The chief asked Rashad then Ceana interrupted ‘My car is here”

“Driving isn’t resting, let me take you home”

“Driving isn’t hard”

“Ceana” the chief said and she sighed again “okay okay, take me home. Will someone bring my car though? This man can hardly live with me until you all stop fussing”

“someone will bring your car. Go home and rest, don’t even think about work”

“You’re pushing it.” He hugged her then shook Rashads hand. “Its an honor to meet someone of your rank sir”

“dont call me sir, I’m Rashad”

“Alright, Rashad then, please take care of Ceana. If she doesn’t follow my orders then handcuff her to her bed.”

“Yes sir.” He replied with a chuckle.

“Hey now, none of that, no ganging up on me.” Ceana reprimanded.

“Home, now.”

Ceana gave an unladylike snort and turned away. Rashad rubbed the back of his neck and followed. She went straight to his car, jerked the passenger door open and got in with an angry huff. He slid behind the wheel and buckled up then looked at her. “What?” She asked.

“Please buckle up.” She rolled her eyes and buckled her seat belt. “I’ll need your address.” She shot him a glare then looked away and mumbled it to him. He punched it into his GPS and pulled out of the parking lot. Two officers followed them, one in her car and one in a cruiser. When he stopped in front of her house, she was out of his car before he could even put it in park. He grabbed the bag she had left in the back seat and followed her.

“Damn it, I lost my key.” She was saying when he walked up.

“It’s probably in here.” He held up the hospital bag of her things and she snatched it out of his hand.

“Thanks.” She fished out her key, waved at the officers then unlocked her door and pushed it open. “So will you be handcuffing me to my bed?”

“Will I have too?”

“Of course not, the chief’s word is law.”

“That means no lifting heavy things.”

“Does the TV controller count?”

“No, thats perfect. Sit down and relax”

“You going home?”

“Not yet unless you’re forcing me to leave”

“I guess you can watch TV with me” He smiled and sat down with her on the couch. She flipped through the channels and finally stopped on one that was playing a rerun of Revenge. “I’ll never stop thinking Spy Kids when I watch this show”

“Spy Kids?”

“You’ve never seen it?”

“I don’t watch a lot of television”

“Let me see if Red Box has the Spy Kids movies.” She started to get up and he said “desktop or laptop?”

“Laptop”

“Then let me get it. Where can i find it?”

“Its a laptop”

“They can be heavy now where.”

“My bedroom, tucked under my bed” He got up and soon returned with her laptop. She opened it and was pleased to find a Red Box near her carried the movie. She purchased them and planned on picking them up herself but Rashad insisted on going and letting her stay here. He finally got her to agree and left. She sighed “this is going to be hard to get used to” Ceana said to the room since she was alone.

She was still watching Revenge when Rashad came back. He was bearing ice cream and he noticed the question in her eyes “I get cravings for the stuff”

“can I have some?”

“Of course, where can i find your bowls?’

“When you’re facing my oven its the second cabinet to the left. Silverwear is middle drawer” He handed her the movies and went into the kitchen. Since she had seen this episode of Revenge she put the first movie in then sat back down to wait for her ice cream.

Chapter Two

“I hope chocolate chip mint is okay.” He said when he came back and handed her a bowl.

“Sounds delicious.”

He smiled and her heart gave a little leap. She jerked her eyes away from him and pushed play on the controller. He sat there in silence, slowly eating his ice cream while the movie played. She kept glancing at him, studying his features. He was handsome, bronzed skin, his amber eyes standing out in his face. He was well built, his face had a couple of scars and she tried to think what could have caused them. “Tactical knife.” He suddenly said, making her jump.

“What?”

“The scars were caused by a tactical knife.” He looked at her.

“Are you psychic?”

“There are only two reasons you’d keep looking at me, either you think I’m cute or you’re interested in my scars. So which is it?”

“Scars of course.”

He chuckled. “I got in a close quarters fight with a Russian man who had military training. He sliced my face open, came really close to taking out my right eye.”

“Why were you fighting?”

“He was some asshole’s bodyguard. He nearly killed two of my men. Anyway, he sliced me open so I repaid the favor.” He held out his hand and she watched as his nails lengthened into sharp claws and then receded again.

“That’s a handy trick.”

“He wasn’t expecting it and he did lose an eye. This movie is really good by the way.”

“I’m glad you like it. This ice cream is really good” he smiled then went back to watching the movie with her. They finished the first one then started the second. Ceanas eyes were getting heavy from the day and she didn’t want to fall asleep on the couch so she got up “where you going?” Rashad asked “To bed, I’m tired and if I stay out here much longer I’ll fall asleep. Thanks for staying. I’ll call if I need anything”

“Can i stay? I told your boss I’d make sure you behaved”

“I’m sure you have a life”

“Not one I need to go to right now. I want to see the rest of this movie. I’ll just sleep right here on the couch”

“alright”

“where can i get a blanket and pillow?”

“Grab a pillow off my bed and blankets are in the hall closet” he got up and retrieved what he needed “goodnight Ceana”

“Night, enjoy the movie. Watch the other two without me if you feel like it”

“I was enjoying watching them with you so I’ll save the two after this one for when you’re awake.”

“suit yourself. You’re welcome to anything I have but dont come in my room without knocking”

“Do you think I’m that type of man?”

‘No, I just wanted to make that clear anyway. If i thought you were that type of man you wouldn’t be sleeping on my couch.”

“Good, because I’d rather gargle with acid than hurt you.”

“You mean a woman.”

“No, I mean you. I’ve hit plenty of women since being in the military.”

“Oh, well then I’m glad I guess. Good night.”

He nodded and she went into her room. He switched off the TV then pulled his t-shirt off and flopped down on the couch. He laid there for awhile, listening to the sound of Ceana’s heartbeat and breathing until they slowed and he knew she was sleeping. He closed his eyes, allowing himself to drift off. He jerked awake early the next morning, the sun just above the horizon. He sat up, stretching then getting to his feet and folding his blanket. He looked at his watch and decided to fix breakfast for Ceana. He went through her pantry and fridge and finally settled on chocolate chip pancakes and coffee.

The pain and stiffness in her shoulder is what woke her. Ceana groaned, her eyes fluttering open. She slowly sat up and gently moved her shoulder around until it felt looser. It felt like she had taken a punch from an MMA fighter. She swung her legs over the edge of the bed and stood, exiting her room. She completely forgot Rashad was there until she walked into the kitchen and gave a surprised yelp when she saw him standing there.

“Good morning to you too.” He said as he looked over his shoulder and gave her his sexiest smile.

Her hand actually went to her chest as her heart danced excitedly. It kind of annoyed her he had this effect on her so she said, “Shouldn’t you be wearing a shirt?”

“Shouldn’t you be wearing pants?” He countered. She looked down her face flaming red when she realized she was only in a tank top and panties. She turned and hurried back into her room, completely embarrassed. “I never took you for the thong type, I thought you’d be all boy shorts.”

She came out as she was tying the drawstring on her sweats. “You looked, I thought you were supposed to be all polite.”

“I glanced, forgive me.” He handed her a cup of coffee and she brought it to her lips. “But it was a mighty fine sight.”

She nearly choked on her coffee at his boldness. “You…you…”

“Made pancakes. Sit down and I’ll make your plate.”

She huffed and sat down, causing him to smile which only made her blush more. He sat a plate down in front of her then took the chair beside Ceana with a plate of his own. “You’re not going to put on a shirt?”

“Doesn’t bother me if you look”

“who says i want to?” He barely stifled his chuckle “When are you leaving?” she asked slightly annoyed at how he was teasing her. He stood, obviously upset he annoyed her. Wordlessly he walked to where his shirt lay and slipped it on before returning to the table. “I thought I was at least welcome until we watched all our movies”

“You didn’t have to put your shirt on”

“I obviously did”

“No, it’s me. I’m about as cuddly as sandpaper”

“I doubt thats true. If I held you you’d be like a downy pillow.”

“Dont be so sure, I mean, how do you know I cuddle?”

“I don’t, I’m just saying I’m sure I would greatly enjoy holding you”

“Eat before your food gets cold.” She ordered then took a bite of her pancakes. She glanced up from her plate, her heart skipping a beat when she saw him staring. He was following her movements just like a cat. “Do I have something on my face?”

“No, you’re just an interesting person.”

“Maybe I should buy a laser pointer.” She teased and he started laughing.

“I may be a tiger, but I’m not that cat like.”

“You have extremely good focus.”

“All predators do when they’re stalking their prey.”

Her cheeks turned pink. “Are you calling me prey?”

“You’ve caught my attention Ceana with your hot temper and unwavering strength and loyalty. I’ve never met someone like you.”

“Yeah right.”

“In cat terms, you’re my ball of yarn. Interesting, never boring, and I don’t mind getting tangled up in your craziness.”

She cleared her throat. “Would you mind taking me to the hospital today so I can see how my partner is doing?” She asked, wanting the subject changed.

He held back the smile trying to force its way onto his face. “Of course, I’m sure he’ll be happy to see you.”

“Thanks.”

When breakfast was over Rashad insisted in cleaning up. When he was done he asked “you want to go ahead over?”

“Yeah, let me put some real clothes on”

‘afterwards i want to stop by my place for some clothes.”

“Okay, I’m obviously not going to be able to get rid of you so I may aswell not fight it” He smiled and she walked into her bedroom. She honestly liked that thought of having a handsome, obviously caring man in her house a few days, even if he did get a little annoying now and then. When she was changed they locked up and loaded into Rashads car then started down the road to the hospital.

Once inside Rashad said “why don’t I go ahead and grab my things so you can have some time alone with your partner”

“sure, I’ll see you in a little bit” Ceana followed a nurse and Rashad walked back out.

“There’s my foul mouthed partner, I was wondering when you’d show up.” Colin said when she walked into his room.

“Now that’s no way to talk to your hero.”

He laughed then winced in pain. “I was told you got hit too, you alright?”

“Just a hit to the shoulder, the big boss had forbade me to do anything but be lazy.”

“Man that must be tough.”

“Yeah well he asked Rashad to watch over me, he’s the guy who saved my ass while I was saving yours.”

“I heard he’s a military man, probably the best option to keep you from doing anything stupid.”

She flicked his forehead. “Where’s Maddie?”

“I told her to go home and get some rest. She stayed up all night worrying, she’s pregnant and doesn’t need to be doing that. She said she’d be back at lunch.” He sighed. “I was so close to dying Ceana. They told me if you hadn’t acted as fast as you did, I might have bled out.” He held his hand up and she took it. “Thank you for making sure I could see Maddie again and for making damn sure I got to be there for the birth of my daughter.”

“You idiot, you’re going to make me cry. Just learn to get out of the way next time, I would hate to have to change partners.”

He smiled. “Same to you, I need you to be my pain in the ass.”

“Alright, I’m going to let you get some rest, have Maddie call if you guys need anything.”

“I will and tell that Rashad guy I said if he has to tie you up to keep you in line to do it.”

“Will do punk.” She left his room and sent a message to Rashad that she was going to walk down the street from the hospital to the 7 Eleven.

He checked his phone and was glad his bag was already packed. He hurried out the door and jumped in his car. Ceana and her mouth could get her in any amount of trouble fast and he wanted to make sure nothing happened until her wounds were healed. He was almost surprised to see Ceana leaning against the store, peacefully drinking an orangejuice and holding a bag of gummy worms. “wow, you haven’t started a riot or anything” he said with a grin and she smiled “I dont cause a ruckus all the time’

“get in and we’ll go back to your place”

“It’ll be boring there”

“You need to be resting Ceana”

“fine fine” she opened the door and hopped in “that visit was shorter than I expected” Rashad said as he pulled his car around to a pump to fill it up while he was there anyway. “he needs rest more than I do. I’m just grateful he lived, his wife and kid need him”

“They certainly have you to thank. You were amazing”

“I know, don’t have to tell me” He chuckled then got out to pay for and pump gas. He filled his car up then drove Ceana back to her place. “we should have returned those two movies we already watched” Ceana pointed out then Rashad answered “I’ll just do them all at once, they are only a dollar a day”

“True, I guess do you want to watch the other two while I have to do this whole resting thing”

“sure” He hadn’t finished the second as he said he’d do last night but he was sure it wouldn’t matter when watching the third. Sequels tend to reexplain things anyway.

Chapter Three

When they got back to her place he grabbed his bag and followed her inside. She grew mildly irritated when he insisted she sit while he got the movie started. She rolled her eyes, but took a seat anyway since it made him so happy to take care of her. Once he had it going he went into the kitchen and got them both something to drink. “Here, I figured you’d be thirsty.”

“Thank you.”

“If you need anything just ask and I’ll get it.”

She laughed. “So you’re going to be my slave until my wound heals?”

He shrugged. “I said I’d watch over you and that means making your meals, getting you something to drink, lifting things for you.”

“You sound like a boyfriend.”

“Well then just let me spoil you.”

She blushed and looked at the TV. “So, do you have any family?”

“Just my parents.”

“What do they do?”

“Mom was in the Israeli army and my dad was a marine. They’ve been retired for awhile now.”

“Wow so being in the military is a family thing then, that’s cool.”

He smiled and scooted closer. “What about you Ceana, tell me about your family.”

“Well I have two sisters, Marta plays the harp and Shona’s in kindergarten. Neither of my parents were cops, it’s just what I always wanted to do. I also have my grandmother, she’s the best, her cookies are just amazing.” She glanced at him then back at her glass. “We’re all pretty close, not like tigers I imagine. I mean most cats lead solitary lives right?”

“We’re not regular tigers, but yes some do. For instance, I’ve never had a mate. When I finally get one though, I plan on retiring from the military to be with her. I don’t want my work to get in the way.”

“That’s sweet” His smile widened and she could have sworn she saw a slight shine to his eyes before he just turned and began watching the movie. Him talking about a mate made her nervous, she could barely take in the movie she was so nervous. Noticing Rashad asked “Are you okay Ceana?’

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?’

“You seem preoccupied.”

“I’m just enjoying the movie”

“I like talking to you, we can talk about anything Ceana”

“I’m really good”

“Another amazing thing about being a tiger is I can detect changes in emotion and body language which means I know when I’m being lied too. So please tell me what’s wrong.”

She shot him a glare. “I said it’s nothing you stubborn beast so let it go.”

He leaned in really close and she instinctively swung at him. He caught her wrist and shoved her back, pinning her down. “Now that’s no way to treat a guest.”

“I’m sorry, it was a reflex.”

“Hmm.” Then he grinned. “You don’t like me talking about mates. Is that because you thought I was talking about you? Do you believe I would take you as my mate?”

“Well…”

“You’re beautiful, you’re strong, you have a hot temper that I find incredibly adorable and unreasonably sexy, choosing you seems logical.” He sighed and kissed her forehead then let her up. “No more swinging at me, you could hurt that shoulder.”

“Sorry.” He hugged her, his hand moving up and down her back. He was undeniably attracted to her, just being close to her excited the tiger, had it purring with happiness.

“Ceana, you really are perfect, I could very easily fall in love with someone like you.”

She buried her face in his chest. He had not said her, just someone like her and it made her feel a little sad. “It would take someone like you to deal with a person as hot headed as me.” She found herself playing with his shirt and asked, “Would you change into a tiger for me?”

“Why?”

“Well, it’s just I didn’t really get to see it and touch it last time and I really want to pet a tiger.”

“How childish.”

“Jerk.”

He held her tighter to keep her from trying to hit him. “It’s cute and of course I will, I’ll do anything you ask.”

“sure, after being a jerk about it. I can see some other tiger, there are plenty” She shot back since he could fall in love with just anybody that had her personality. She saw a faint hint of emotion in his eyes before he shifted for her. She just stared at him a few moments then decided she would be childish if she didn’t take the opportunity to stroke his fur. She ran her hands through the warm, gorgeous softness a few times, keeping her compliments to herself. “thank you” Ceana said as she pulled her hands away.

He rubbed his head against her hand, purring as if to ask for more. She scratched his head then rubbed down his fur a few more times, a small smile returning as she enjoyed the feel of him and he her. It would be nice to cuddle with and stroke him for hours but soon she said gently “Okay now I’m done being a child. Turn back”

He leaned his full weight on her, knocking her back on the couch. He rubbed his head against her stomach, the movement pushing her shirt up a little. He licked his tongue over the exposed skin and she laughed. “Stop it you stupid cat.” He raised his head and she could see the amusement dancing in his eyes. He moved higher, his sandpaper tongue moving over her cheek. She laughed even harder, unable to push him off. “Enough, you’re heavy.” He looked down at her smiling face and shifted back, making her heart leap in her chest. It was a whole other thing having him on top of her in his human form. “Get off.”

“But you’re so comfortable.” He rested his head on her chest. “Maybe I’ll stay here forever.”

“You will not. Stop being a bad kitty and get off.”

“I need to change anyway, I tore my shirt.”

“Well why would you shift in your clothes?”

“Do you want to see me naked?”

She blushed. “No way!” She gripped his shoulders and started to push him off, but he grabbed her wrists.

“Don’t use your shoulder.” He ordered softly as he moved off of her and pulled her into a sitting position. “You really don’t know how to listen do you? I can’t imagine how frustrating that must have been for your parents. You’re so, so stubborn.”

“I thought you liked that about women like me.”

He frowned. “Did I hurt your feelings?”

“No, just go change your shirt.”

“Ceana?”

“Just get and I’ll order us something to eat.”

“C” he started to say her name again and she sighed “Please stop and put on a shirt. You like my type, thats great. Thank you for going through the trouble of shifting for me and being here. I’m hungry and I’m sure you are. I need to hurry and get better so you dont need to be here any longer. I’m holding you up from finding someone. This is all I’m saying to you until a shirt is on your body and I’ve finished ordering food” Ceana got up and went for her phone. Still frowning Rashad got up and went to slip on a shirt.

He sighed, feeling stupid as he pulled on his shirt. He had obviously insulted her by calling her want to see his tiger childish and made her feel bad by saying he could love someone like her. He hated he didn’t have a better way with words. Words had never been his forte. She sat down to order so he returned to the couch, laying his head on her shoulder. Ceana blushed, wondering why he kept trying to be so snuggly. Maybe being in cat form that brief time made him take on kitten like qualities, it couldn’t have anything to do with her specifically.

She hungup “did what i ordered sound like somthing you’d like?”

“I’m not picky, the military cures anybody of picky eating”

“good, I realized as I ordered i probably should have asked you first. You were just killing me with the insistence.”

“I hurt your feelings”

“No you didn’t”

‘It does no good to lie to me”

“well what is there to talk about Rashad?”

“I’m not always the best at expressing myself how I mean things. I didn’t mean to hurt you”

“who says I care?”

“Your body is telling me” He lifted his head and grabbed her chin to make Ceana look at him. She turned her head, taking it out of his hand “why do you keep touching me”
“Because I like you.”

“Whatever, why don’t you go find another tiger to roll around with.”

“Please look at me.” She crossed her arms defensively over her chest and kept her head turned away. He leaned in and pressed a kiss into her neck, making her hand dart up and grab him by his throat and her head snap around so she was looking him in the eye. “That’s better.”

“I really hate people who play with other people.” He grabbed her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing her knuckles then pressing her palm against his face.

“I’m not playing with you, please forgive me for hurting you. I always speak so bluntly, it’s just the way I am, the way I was raised. My parents never spare words, not even for me.”

“I don’t believe you and I meant what I said, go find another tiger.”

He rubbed his cheek against her palm, his other arm snaking around her waist and pulling her in. “I’ve already found another tiger and her name is Ceana.”

She gave him a confused look. “I’m not a tiger.”

“Maybe not physically, but in spirit you are definitely a tiger. Passionate, stubborn, you refuse to be held back or held down by anyone just like a tiger.”

Her hear did a little flip and she felt a knot forming in her throat. “Stop being so sweet just because you got in trouble, it’s not fair damn it.”

He took her hand and pressed it to his chest. She was amazed at how fast it was going. “It’s been like that since I’ve been with you. Perhaps it will beat itself to death.”

“Shut up.”

“At least if I die, it will be your face I see last.”

“I really hate you.”

“Liar, you’re just mad because I was insensitive.” His face moved closer to hers and her heart nearly stopped. “I’m sorry Ceana, so sorry.” There was a knock on the door that shattered the moment and he sighed. “That was fast.”

“They’re just down the street.”

“Stay put, I’m not done apologizing.”

Chapter Four

Her heart was going crazy as he walked away, paid for the food then brought it back. “I move mine to a plate” she said and he walked into the kitchen with it to put it on a plate for her. He decided to put his own on a plate too while he was in there so he could throw all the containers and bag away. He realized she forgot to order drinks so grabbed them each one from the fridge before bringing everything back into the living room. He set everything on the coffee table then scooted closer to her.

“We should eat first.” The words rushed out of her mouth and she looked away from him in embarrassment.

“Not until I am forgiven.” He took her face in his hands and pressed his lips against hers before she could further protest. Her fingers gripped his shirt, her body slowly relaxing as his mouth moved against hers. She was dizzy, feeling drugged, euphoric. She became so overwhelmed that she turned her head, parting their lips. “Everything alright?”

“I forgive you okay, lets eat before the food gets cold.”

“Ceana, please look at me.” She turned her eyes to him and he gave her another quick kiss. “I love you.”

“What?”

“I don’t want a woman like you, I want you and only you, that’s what I meant to say before. You are the most amazing woman I have ever met and I love spending time with you. I want you as my mate.”

“Can I think about it while we eat?”

He smiled. “Of course, it’s a big decision.”

She took a deep breath when he turned away from her to grab his food. She knew he could hear how quickly her heart was beating and could smell her arousal. It wasn’t fair his senses gave him an insight into what she was feeling. She tried her best to keep her attention on her food, but their closeness distracted her and she wound up with sauce on her face. She went for a napkin, but he leaned in and licked the sauce off the corner of her mouth, his rough tongue giving her goosebumps.

“Your tongue tickles.”

“Should I lick you some more?”

“No, perv.”

“If I was being a perv I would have said something like, my tongue can do more than tickle.”

She grabbed one of her throw pillows and hit him with it. “Eat before I do something mean.”

He chuckled happily and returned to eating. When they were both done he looked at her. She couldn’t quite read his expression but she could tell he was waiting on her answer. “I have to admit everything about me reacts to you. It’s why I was so hurt when you said a woman like me and then called me childish for wanting to see the other side of you and feel it. I think I would like to be your mate” He smiled then leaned in for a kiss. “you will never regret this” he said as he slid his nose up hers. Ceana blushed, not understanding how he did this to her but looking forward to having him around.

~ The End ~

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