Tempting Jupiter Excerpt – Distracting Freaks of Nature

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Another fun Tempting Jupiter excerpt…

 

Seneca kept his voice soft to keep from waking the woman. “How’s she doing?”

Jupiter pressed his fingers to her forehead. “She’s cool. No sign of fever.”

“That’s good.” He might not trust her, but Seneca didn’t wish her any further harm.

Jupiter sat on the edge of the bed. “Fee, we have food prepared.” He too, spoke softly.

If she still needed sleep, they would let her sleep. But her body also needed fuel to aid the accelerated healing injection they’d given her.

Eyes still shut, she stretched her good arm over her head and pointed her toes, stretching out everything in between.

Jupiter watched intently as her movements shifted the blanket. “How’s your shoulder?”

“The pain seems manageable at the moment,” she said. Her voice was sleepy and warm and Jupiter responded with a soft growl that did funny things to Seneca’s gut. Did it affect her the same? He didn’t miss the way Jupiter leaned toward the woman, breathing in her scent. That didn’t affect anything so low as his abdomen, it tightened a fist around his heart.

“You haven’t tried moving the arm yet,” Jupiter teased.

She opened her eyes and frowned. “There’s no rush, is there?”

Jupiter barked under his breath. “You can stay in bed as long as you like, but I have no intention of letting my food get cold.”

Feeona lifted her head from the bed, eyes taking in her surroundings. “Well, why didn’t you say the food was warm?”

Seneca stilled, making himself just another item in the room. He wasn’t ready to know if she would include him into their banter or use her wit to put him firmly on the outside.

Jupiter moved off the bed and squatted down within her reaching distance. “Do you want something for the pain before you try getting up?”

“No.” Her head dropped back to the bed with a thump. “I don’t want to pass out again. How long was I out this time?”

“A day,” Jupiter rumbled.

“Not too bad.” She reached for Jupiter, using her good arm. She wrapped her fingers around his biceps and used him to slowly pull herself up into a seated position. She touched him like a woman sure of her mate.

Seneca had to look away. The ache in his chest insisted, but her scent, her voice painted a picture in his mind.

“Good,” she said. “Plenty of time for a meal before I have to check on the ship’s systems.” There was a buoyancy to her voice that Seneca found appealing. He could see how that might draw Jupiter.

Seneca’s own weakness defeated him and he let his gaze slip back to his pack-brother and the woman.

Jupiter lifted her out of the bed and into his arms. The night before, he’d urged her out of all but her under-things and into a Dog-sized tunic. It left her legs bare from just above the knee. When they’d found the tunic for her, they’d also found the clothes they were now wearing.

Jupiter carried Feeona to the table. She wrapped her good arm around his neck, pressing against him more than necessary, but not enough to be overtly seductive. She liked being in his arms—Seneca couldn’t fault her for that.

Jupiter put her down in one of the Dog-sized seats. Her bare feet didn’t reach the floor and she looked almost child-like. The lines of strain etched into her face, the way she held herself stiffly upright, made it impossible for Seneca to dislike her. She didn’t complain. She didn’t demand consideration. There was no need. Her quiet resilience did more to focus Jupiter’s attention than any play for his interest. His pack mate grabbed a pillow from the bed and stuffed it behind her back. She relaxed instantly, a result that stamped satisfaction across Jupiter’s face.

“Well, hello-there, Seneca.” Her words snapped his gaze to hers.

“Hello.” He’d been too busy studying Jupiter’s focus on her to realize hers had shifted to him. He went back to portioning the food onto platters. “I hope you’re hungry.”

“Starved.” She sniffed the air then pressed her lips together and made an mmm of approval. She shot him a smile, then her eyes went wide as she took a look at the cooking equipment. “Wow. That’s not your average food prepper.”

Seneca dipped his chin in agreement. “This room seems to have been converted for the use of Arena Dogs.”

She chuckled. “I’ll say. Looks like the standard nutrition processor units have been ripped out and replaced.” She narrowed her eyes. “Is that real meat?”

Jupiter chuckled. “We found packs of them in the ship’s supplies.”

“Yes.” Seneca turned to offer the server of food and the motion shifted the shirt he’d pulled on when he’d crawled out of bed. He hadn’t bothered to fasten it and the movement gave Fee a fair view of his chest. It surprised him to realize she noticed. He’d been ogled by humans plenty, but her momentary fascination didn’t bother him. Especially after she realized she’d been caught looking and her embarrassment showed on her face. He smiled pleasantly to let her off the hook then handed the server to Jupiter.

His pack mate took the food, but his gaze was fixed on Feeona. He was still shirtless and he quickly captured her attention. She seemed to find it hard to keep her concentration on Jupiter’s face. Seneca understood the temptation of Jupiter’s body, but he found Jupiter’s face even more fascinating. Those broad, masculine features and brown eyes warmed as he soaked in her appreciation.

“Sorry,” she blurted out. “You’re both just damn distracting freaks of nature. In my experience, men don’t look like you.”

Jupiter’s eyes flashed and she threw up a hand to stop his anger. “No,” she said firmly. “That was a compliment.”

Seneca swallowed a chuckle at her bluntness.

“Less compliments,” grumbled Jupiter. “More eating.”

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