Bear the Burn (Fire Bears Book 2)

Bear the Burn (Fire Bears Book 2) by T. S. Joyce Page A

Book: Bear the Burn (Fire Bears Book 2) by T. S. Joyce Read Free Book Online
Authors: T. S. Joyce
husband, and all the sudden, she didn’t have a son anymore, either. And I’d lost my whole world, too. I still talk to her. She was the one who told me to move out here and start fresh. She was worried I’d never move on. I moved out right after the funeral and got a job waiting tables, but she said I deserved a better life and offered to pay for my vet tech school. Right before I moved here, she made a big home cooked meal and had me over. It was hard going over to her house after Jay passed. She kept his room just the same, and her walls were covered in his pictures. She had turned her home into a memorial, while I hid everything that reminded me of him so it wouldn’t hurt so bad. But I went for dinner, and I didn’t even cry when she told me she was afraid I’d never move on from Jay and I would end up just like her—alone. She said it was her biggest fear, and she wanted me to learn to live again because Jay wouldn’t have liked me moping about for him after so much time. It’s just…” She swallowed a lump that had formed in her throat. “It’s just hard to move on sometimes, you know?”
    Several quiet heartbeats of time passed as he stroked his fingertips up and down the curve of her waist. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything that deeply. Not loss or joy or love or anything. Not until I met you. I think maybe you are a much better person than I am, Quinn.”
    “You love your family.”
    “I do, but I don’t remember crying at my dad’s funeral. I didn’t cry when we found out he’d had an affair either, even though my brothers were pissed. I didn’t feel betrayed or anything. Just saw it as getting a surprise half-brother. I looked up to Bruiser just as much as I looked up to my other brothers. Still do.”
    “You’re the baby of the family?”
    Dade ran his fingers through her hair, smoothing the tresses before pressing his lips against her neck. “I am. Ma used to try and coddle me relentlessly, and I remember I would get so mad. I wanted to be tough and immovable like my brothers, so I trained myself not to be affected. I became the get-shit-done member of our family. And when things went bad, I forced myself not to feel anything. I just looked for solutions and tried to find ways to get my family out of whatever shit storm we were weathering. And after a while, it was easy. Life was easier because I had no feelings when I took out our targets. Other soldiers struggled, hell, even my brothers struggled when we went overseas to fight, but I didn’t. It was just a place to be at the time, and the danger part was something I was already used to. I was a bear shifter in Krueger’s sites. My shelf life wasn’t going to be a long one, so I lived like I was already dead.”
    “What about when you got your scars. Were you scared then?”
    “No. Just hurt and ready to not feel the pain anymore. Feeling was an irritant, like an itch deep in my muscle or a splinter in my hand I couldn’t reach.”
    “You feel now, though. I see how much your eyes have softened up. When did that happen?”
    He was quiet so long she thought he wouldn’t answer, so she rolled over and snuggled her cheek against his chest.
    “You’ll think it’s silly,” he murmured.
    “I swear I won’t.”
    Dade rested his chin on top of her head and inhaled deeply before releasing a long breath. “Cody chose Boone over me, and I was hurt for the first time in a really long time.”
    “How did he choose Boone?”
    We were in this barn Krueger had lured us to by kidnapping Cody’s mate, Rory. We all had the trackers in our necks, but Cody had the only knife to cut them out. I know Boone was right beside Cody, so it made sense that he cut his out first, but there was still this part of me that wondered if he’d chosen my brother to save first for a deeper reason. Like, maybe Boone was more valuable or Cody cared about him more.”
    “Dade, I don’t think that’s it. I think he just made a split second decision

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