Prymal Lust
an apartment. What are rentals like out here? Is the vacancy rate high?”
    “Slow down, sugar. The grand opening’s in two weeks. And you’re going to have to pass muster. Plan a tasting menu and serve it. If, your cooking’s up to par, you have the job.” Lycus opened the fridge and fished out a bottle of ranch dressing. He gave it to Jaz.
    “Two weeks?” Her cheeks flushed. “I’ll have to get to work finding a place right away."
    “Think you could cook in this kitchen?” Axe waved at the gourmet appliances. He hardly cooked but had still bought only the best for his home. “From tomorrow, I’ll be down at the base all day long. Why don’t you stay here while you look for an apartment? That way there’s no time pressure.”
    She gaped at him. Worried her lower lip.
    “No strings attached.” As if. Axe intended to bind her to him. ASAP.
    “I’d feel better knowing you were here, sis. I have to admit I’ve been worrying about where you’ll be once I start BUD/S. From what the senior chiefs have told me, I won’t have a spare moment for the next few months. Do it for me. For my piece of mind. Beside this is a cook’s haven. Isn’t that a Viking stove?” Jaz waved the bottle at the appliance.
    Tania grinned at her brother. “Oh yeah. I’ve been salivating. And that’s a double convection oven.”
    “Nope. One’s steam and the other’s convection.” Axe’s smile spread when Tania’s eyes widened and she gawked at the stove.
    “Really? A steam oven? Is that a warming drawer?”
    He followed her finger point and shrugged. “Pretty sure it is. Never used it before. A couple of manuals came with the stove and a DVD. They’re in the cabinet next to the fridge. Have at it.”
    She lit up like a string of Christmas light. Her eyes sparkled in the fading sun’s rays.
    Man, he loved making her glow.
    Lycus cocked his head. “That could work. You pre-cook everything to almost done here at the ranch. Every dish gets finished in the wine bar. Have to warn you—you’re one of three competing for the job and the decision’s going to be made before the week’s out. Can you handle the pressure and the timing?”
    She huffed. “Of course. All I have to do is learn all this new equipment fast.”
    “Maybe you should christen that warming drawer now, then. Your steaks are likely cold as a witch’s tit by now,” Lycus drawled.
    “For sure.” Jaz agreed. “I wolfed mine down. Pun intended.”
    A shadow dimmed the twinkle in her eyes. She marched out of the room and onto the back deck.
    Axe was on her heels in a flash. He hooked her elbow with his. “What? Talk to me. Why did you shut down like that?”
    Her lips flattened. “How long have you three known about each other?”
    “A few months. Give or take a few days.” He firmed his hands around her waist. “Jaz couldn’t tell you, Tania. We had to keep things secret.”
    “You don’t understand. He’s my twin.” She tried to keep the abject hurt out of her voice, but he heard her waver on the last word.
    “He’s an alpha without a pack. He’s the youngest son. He’s lived his life in a void, knowing he’ll probably never find a mate. When he found out about the drugs, Jaz went ballistic. It was the last straw.” When she shivered Axe tugged her into his arms.
    Her eyes widened. She stared at him, nostrils quivering. “Drugs?”
    “The only way the Senior Council could tame the need to mate claim was to drug every Wylfen.”
    She balked. “No. So not true.”
    He gave her a sharp glance. “You haven’t taken your vitamins for two months.”
    “I misplaced them when I moved.” Her brows pulled together.
    “Not so. Jaz threw them out when you moved.” Axe stroked Tania’s spine willing her to accept his explanation.
    “I don’t get this.” She pelted the statement at him.
    “Every Wylfen is fed a chemical cocktail designed to tame the mate claim need from puberty until they’re mate allianced.”
    She simply stared at him,

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