Henry pulled the Shepherd’s Pie out of the oven and set it on the counter.
The kitchen door banged open. His mate Dakota stomped into the room, his brilliant wolf eyes immediately narrowing in on the hot dish.
“Looking for something?” Henry asked.
Dakota dragged his gaze from the food the glare at Henry. “You do that on purpose?”
“What?” Henry crossed his arms and leaned against the oven door.
“Lure me down here.” Dakota stalked closer to Henry, his wolf always lived closer to the surface than the others. Some pack members gave Dakota a wide birth because of his feral nature. There were prejudices against a wolf that turned into a man versus a man who could turn into a wolf.
“I like you close.” Henry wouldn’t defend his wish to have his mate with him.
Dakota usually helped out in the kitchen but he’d been out of the kitchen all morning and Henry had been too busy to hunt him down. His mate didn’t always prefer his human shape and Henry didn’t allow him in the kitchen in wolf form.
“Good. I like being near you too.” Dakota jumped up to sit on the stainless steel counter in front of Henry. Good thing he cleared that spot off in anticipation of Dakota coming. He’d learned to anticipate his mate. Dakota lifted his chin waiting for his kiss.
Bracing his hands on either side of Dakota, Henry pressed his lips to Dakota’s. No way would he leave Dakota hanging. Dakota only showed affection to Henry and he liked to encourage that side of him.
Dakota slid his cheek against Henry’s, one side then the other, marking him so no one else dared to think they had a chance. “Mine,” he growled, his voice rough with disuse. Dakota only spoke when necessary and not often.
“Always sweetheart. What have you been up to?”
“I was with Dare on the rooftop.”
Henry froze in surprise. “That’s good.” He supported anything that integrated Dakota more into the pack.
Dakota nodded. “The tiger is soothing.”
“Soothing, huh. I think Steven has a different take on that.” Dare often drove his mate Steven to the edge of his patience.
Dakota’s disdainful snort made Henry smile. “Steven needs more stillness. Dare understands a proper nap.”
Henry laughed. “I’m sure he does.”
“Is that ready yet?” Dakota tilted his head toward the food sitting on the counter.
“It’s still hot.”
Dakota nipped at Henry’s ear before leaning back. “Come back to the apartment. I’ll keep you busy until it’s cool.”
Henry glanced around at the mess of his kitchen. “Let’s go.”