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Akela was trying to read the book Luna Allie had given her when music and children's laughter drifted in from the living room.
Curiosity prompted her to lay her book aside and go investigate.
Slowly she descended the stairs and stood in the open doorway to the large family room and kitchen.
All the furniture had been pushed to the side and there, in the middle of the floor, was Zion with his weird wolf smile and little Blossom on his hip swaying his hips and jumping around, making the curly haired 7-year-old squeal in delight.
Akela couldn't fight the little smirk as she leaned up on the doorframe, her arms hugging herself as he boogied around the room with the half-crazed children.
Blossom was mostly either climbing on him or hanging upside down from his hands.
Around his feet were Beta Ameer's two eldest children, Kahn and Gill.

"You should join in," an amused voice came from behind Akela.
She turned to see Hunter grinning.

"Once he gets them going he can go for hours," he continued before gesturing for Aimee to come closer.

She chuckled at her little cousins before disappearing into the kitchen.

Akela looked at Zion's swaying bottom and actually rather stylish moves around the labyrinth of children trying deliberately to trip him up.
He caught her eye with a cheeky wink.

"I'm sorry you're not getting the full effect of the song," he grinned and started mouthing the words to Tom Jones' Sex Bomb while made a couple of unsubtle rolls of his hips that had Akela's face glowing red hot in seconds.
Not from upset, but from sheer embarrassment over the fact that he looked downright delectable doing it.
At the back of her mind, some kind of dirt-fairy was cooking up an imaginary sensation of how it would feel like to have him make those motions in a different setting.
With a lot fewer clothes...

"Zion... you're destroying me!" She thought, knowing full well that he was picking up her emotions and hormones.
In return, she felt his amusement mixed with more than a little hope.
Her response had triggered something that made his normally placid eyes glow with something more feral.
Akela stared into his eyes, knowing he could feel her mated pull, fully assured that he would never ever hurt her.
He would never force her or take their bond for granted.

She knew that Abel in this situation would have walked over to her, touched her and somehow acknowledged their connection, probably with a kiss or a possessive declaration.
Zion just gave her a simple smile and turned his focus back to the children, spinning Kahn in the air while the twist of his furry ears was trained on Akela.

She gave him another grateful smile while trying to subdue that warm, fuzzy feeling threatening to break her heart and make that silly smile a regular feeling on her face.
An outburst of Zion's weirdly soundless laughter had her heart skipping, spinning and doing a weird little happy dance.
The next second her eyes filled with tears from the onslaught of emotions. She couldn't allow herself this luxury.
Not when she wasn't sure if Zion or Abel was hers.
She couldn't get these soft feeling for Kira's mate!

Kira, who was claimed by force.
Kira who'd given birth to the heir of the Alpha ruler.

She looked at Zion again.
That carefree, happy and selfless male was just what Kira would need if she ever got free.
He sent her another one of those happy doggie smiles as he swung Blossom over one shoulder with Kahn climbing up his leg.
His patience and kindness seemed endless. Even when Blossom grabbed his ears to stay steady on his shoulders while he lifted Kahn, he hardly flinched.
But those ears... those fluffy, soft ears.
Her hands remembered what the tufts of fur at the tip of them felt like between her fingers.
Her fingertips longed to touch the silky fur again.
Wrenching her heart out of its hopeful, soft ache, she pushed off the doorframe to go to the kitchen. Maybe a drink would soothe her suddenly tight and parched throat.

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