Home > Wake A Sleeping Tiger (Breeds #31)(8)

Wake A Sleeping Tiger (Breeds #31)(8)
Author: Lora Leigh

   “Get out of my office and leave me the hell alone,” he ordered, trying to turn his attention back to the files he should be going over.

   His concentration was shot since the night he’d pulled Chelsea out of the Cerves desert compound.

   He kept expecting to hear from her or to see her walk through his office door, a wry smile on her lips asking for her position back. And he’d give it to her.

   He’d frown, berate her a bit, but he’d make certain she was reinstated and perhaps begin working her into some less dangerous assignments.

   If she’d just walk through that damned door.

   Gideon, Graeme, whatever the hell he was calling himself this week walked to the chair in front of Cullen’s desk and sat down casually, as though he had every right to be there. Except that was where Chelsea was supposed to be sitting and Cullen wasn’t in the mood to deal with Graeme’s dramatics.

   “You have that irritated look on your face, but the scent of rage is like wildfire.” Gideon tilted his head to the side, a thoughtful look on his face. “What’s going on, Cullen? I haven’t seen you for weeks. I could use some help in the labs.”

   Use some help in the labs?

   That Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality of his held an instinct for Breed genetics and an intelligence that could be damned scary.

   Graeme watched him in silence, his hands resting calmly on the arms of the chair, his savage features far too perceptive.

   Genetics wasn’t the only instinct his brother possessed. Graeme could get into a person’s head with frightening ease. And once he did, he’d turn order into chaos.

   “Go home,” Cullen ordered, feeling as disagreeable and put out as he knew he looked. “Torment Cat.”

   Dammit, he was getting tired of waiting for Chelsea to come back, and he was getting real damned tired of everyone he met talking about everything and anything but her. As though she had never worked in these offices, never made herself a part of their lives. Even the agents never spoke of her, as though waiting for him to ask if they’d seen her, talked to her.

   The only one he gave that satisfaction was his second in command, Ranger. They’d been friends since Cullen had been brought to the Navajo Nation.

   “Cat is actually the reason I’m here.” Gideon smiled then. It wasn’t a comforting look. “She asked me to come check on you. It seems few people have seen you except your agents. When asked about you they get this wary look on their faces, as though to speak is to court the wrath of demons.” Gideon gave him a brooding look. “You’re encroaching on my territory. Only I’m allowed to produce such reactions, not a recessed little snot such as yourself.”

   A recessed little snot?

   One of these days, he was going to kill Graeme. It was coming. Cullen could feel it.

   “Go home, spend some time with your woman, give her my condolences for when I kill your sorry ass. I’ll send your hide back to her for the memories,” Cullen promised, his fists clenching, hands aching with the effort to hold his fists back. He’d been after a good fistfight for weeks and no one seemed willing to give him one.

   Gideon would give him a fight, though, surely—

   His brother watched him suspiciously for a moment before grinning.

   “Oh, Cullen, brother,” he chuckled, his tone berating. “You’ve surely not lost your senses to the point that you’d actually believe you can direct all that aggression toward me? Have you?”

   Cullen came up from his chair.

   Enough of this bullshit.

   “Get out of my office,” he snarled. “Or I’ll not just get aggressive, Graeme.” He sneered the name. “I’ll make damned sure you don’t make the same mistake again.”

 

   Graeme stared at his brother and almost snickered.

   Cullen—or Judd, as he’d once been known—was so ready to fight he’d forgotten who he was dealing with. Not that Graeme would actually go primal during a fistfight with his brother, but Cullen wasn’t aware of that. Graeme would never let him in on that little secret. Until Cullen released the animal prowling inside him, desperate to be free, then Graeme had to play nice. His own animal demanded it. No claws unless claws were bared, or so his mate made him promise. He couldn’t think of any way to break that promise without pissing her off.

   Or actually hurting Cullen.

   Graeme didn’t want to do either.

   He actually felt sorry for his brother.

   Almost.

   He looked around the office as though backing down to Cullen’s demand.

   His brother was a man, not a kid, he reminded himself. Not a teenager who needed to be watched over, or a young man grieving the loss of a wife.

   A wife, not a mate, Graeme reminded himself. Cullen hadn’t lost his mate, but if he didn’t get his head out of his ass fairly fast, then he just might end up doing that now.

   Cullen sat down slowly. “Don’t you ever listen?” he growled, pushing his fingers through the overly long dark hair that was already fading to the more natural dark brown and blond strands.

   “Listen to who?” Graeme smirked. “You? Why would I do that? You never say anything I actually agree with.”

 

   Cullen doubted anyone said anything his brother agreed with.

   Running his hand along the back of his neck, he tried to tell himself that fighting with Graeme never accomplished anything. Even as children Graeme had inevitably won their disagreements.

   “Tell me why you’re here or get out,” Cullen breathed out roughly.

   The last thing he wanted to deal with was another of his brother’s little games.

   Graeme’s disagreeable grunt only irritated Cullen further.

   “As I said, Cat’s worried and asked me to check up on you,” Graeme stated then, a small frown appearing between his brows for no more than a second, as though he was not exactly certain why Cat’s request mattered.

   Everything about Cat mattered, though. From the moment Graeme had stared into the face of the four-day-old infant Cat had been when they were no more than eleven, nothing had mattered to Graeme but Cat. Her existence was everything. It had driven the far-too-intelligent, too-animalistic Graeme to actually find enough sanity to survive.

   Though Cullen doubted the meaning of survival some days when it came to Graeme’s life in the years before he’d returned to find the woman he’d given up when she was no more than twelve years old. Survival these days was looking pretty good for the too-calculating, beyond-genius-level Bengal Breed Cullen knew as his brother.

   “She shouldn’t worry. Is that all you wanted?” he gritted out when Graeme said nothing more.

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