Casteel leapt down, immediately reaching for me. I took his hands and he lifted me from the saddle, placing me on the ground beside him. His hands slid to my hips and lingered.
I looked up at him, and he bent down, pressing his lips to my forehead. The sweet kiss tugged at my heart. His arm stayed around me as we turned.
Kieran and Jasper had stopped in front of us. It wasn’t them that had caught my attention. It was the wolven not in their mortal forms. They had followed us into the courtyard, and there were… gods, there had to be hundreds of them. They prowled along the stables and the estate. Dozens leapt onto the walls of the courtyard.
Others climbed the wide steps of the estate and stood between the pillars. They parted, creating a path between us and the bronze doors, but before Casteel or I could move, they shifted. All of them at once.
Fur thinned and gave way to flesh. Bones cracked and shrunk, fusing back together. Limbs straightened and claws retracted into nails. Within seconds, they stood in their mortals forms. There was a whole lot of skin on display. More than I ever needed to see.
My cheeks started to heat as I struggled to not look, well, anywhere. I started to ask Casteel what was happening, but the wolven moved simultaneously.
Right hands balled into fists. They placed them over the center of their chests and then sunk onto one knee, lowering their heads. All of them—the wolven in the courtyard, the ones on the wall, on the steps and between the pillars.
I felt a little dizzy as Jasper and Kieran turned to us and followed suit.
All of them bowed.
“They have never done that for me,” Casteel murmured.
Kieran lifted his head just enough for me to see he smirked.
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