The Kitten Has Claws [Chapter 34]

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Chapter Thirty-Four

Nervous was not a word in Raine's dictionary. In fact, he despised the word. Nervous implied weakness and fear, and as Alpha he was far from weak. But right now, at this moment, Raine was scared as hell because tonight he was going to ask Noelle to be his mate, to be his wife forever. Nervous didn't even begin to describe how he felt. He was irritated with himself because he knew that Noelle loved him and wouldn't say no, but the doubt was still there.

"Come on, man, pull yourself together," he muttered, pacing back and forth in the dark. It was late afternoon and Noelle was with the other women having a girl's day.

Fletcher and Finn had both checked in on him, but he had growled menacingly and shooed them away. There was no way he was letting anyone see him this way. Gods, you would think he was a green lad, the way his knees were knocking and his palms were sweating.

"Rainey Painey!" he heard Jed croon loudly, "dinner time!" Raine groaned and ran a hand through his hair roughly. The guys had agreed to treat the women to dinner tonight, meaning they were going to cook it from scratch. Apparently it was time to get started. He took one last deep breath and shook his arms, letting them hang loosely from his side.

An emotionless mask was slipped over his face as he left the dark confines of his room to face the lighted hallways. He was determined to make sure that no one saw through his calm façade. The men knew something was up, but they also knew better than to tease him. At least, most of them did.

"Hey loner boy!" Jed grinned, when Raine entered the kitchen quietly. "How was your day confined in the dark? Make any new discoveries, or did you cry yourself sick with fear?"

Raine shot him a glare and flipped him off. His lips twitched when Paxton hit Jed upside the head in irritation. "What are we making?" Raine growled emotionlessly.

Fletcher placed a large cookbook on the table and pointed at a recipe, "Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo with garlic bread, a salad and canned peaches." He grinned proudly, pleased that they had come to an agreement over a recipe.

"Can we make it?" Raine asked warily. He'd never seen his men cook anything from scratch. Occasionally they barbequed some steaks, that was about all they could do.

"Of course we can," Fletcher scowled. "I know how to cook. If you're worried about it you can make the salad."

"Nah, he'll probably screw that up too," Paxton laughed softly.

Raine looked at him with a raised eyebrow. He let his eyes slowly take in Paxton's appearance, from the dark jeans, black t-shirt and frilly pink apron. "You're one to talk. Why the lovely pink apron, cupcake?"

Paxton scowled while the other men laughed. "He got the short straw," Finn chortled.

Raine realized everyone else had on an apron that wasn't quite as feminine. Jed's said, 'Kiss the Cook' of course. Sighing in resignation, Raine grabbed the plates and silver wear. "I'll set the table," he growled, opting for the task that wouldn't involve talking.

About an hour later the men had everything ready, all they needed now was the women. They drew straws to see who would have to fetch them. Paxton drew the short straw again. He growled angrily under his breath and started to untie his apron, but Fletcher stopped him. "Uh uh," he teased, "you have to keep the apron on when fetching the women."

"Fuck that," Paxton snarled.

"All in favor of leaving the apron on, raise your hand," Fletcher smiled, looking at the men. Everyone raised their hands—Jed raised both—and laughed at Paxton's expression. "Majority rules," Fletcher said with a shrug.

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