Ivy let Bridget lead since she hadn’t had a tour of the place yet. The living room was quite a space. Bridget sat on one end of a massive brown leather sofa, so Ivy took the opposite end. A huge stone fireplace and mammoth flat-screen fought for attention in the room. Definitely a guy’s room. There wasn’t much in the way of personal touches, but maybe that was because he worked a lot. Or because there was no woman in his life, outside of his sister, to do that sort of stuff.
Hank must have dropped the food off in the kitchen, because he no longer had the bag when he came in. “Bridget, just listen until I’m done. You can ask questions later.”
“You’re not the boss of me.”
She sighed. “Go on.”
Hank spilled the details of the treaty and the marriage that would seal it. Ivy watched Bridget’s face. Her expressions ranged from anger to horror to sympathy. Clearly she and her brother were a lot closer than Ivy and her brothers. Hank took a deep breath and finished. “So that’s it. Ivy and I are going to take the next few days to make sure we’re compatible, but that’s basically a formality at this point. The marriage will happen in three days. On the full moon.”
Bridget frowned. “Dad said you had to do this?”
“No. He gave me an out. But if the marriage doesn’t happen, Clemens has promised war. I’m not doing that to my family or my pack.”
Ivy sucked in a breath, surprised her father had gone so far as to threaten war. He did whatever he thought necessary to get what he wanted, but going to war would be a new low even for him.
Hank and Bridget looked at her.
Ivy shook her head. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.”
“Really?” Bridget’s brows went up. “You had no idea?”
“No, I didn’t.” Ivy shot a look right back at her. “Believe me or don’t, but I’m not exactly part of my father’s inner circle. I didn’t even know about this marriage deal until yesterday.” And then her father had given her half an hour to pack and get moving, which was the real reason she’d brought only a few things with her.
And she still hadn’t texted him. Well, screw him. He had to know she was here. She’d call as soon as she damn well got around to it.
Bridget made a soft noise. “That sucks. It all sucks, actually.”
“It’s what happens to the children of pack leaders.” Hank stared at his sister pointedly. “You know that. I know that. Ivy knows that. And we aren’t always privy to the details.”
Bridget looked at Ivy again, this time her gaze a little softer. “You’re lucky you ended up with Hank. It could have been a lot worse.”
Ivy held back a snort. Bridget really had no idea what worse was. “I don’t really know your brother yet, but I’m sure that’s true.”
Bridget returned her attention to Hank. “You’re definitely going to get married?”
“You see another option?”
“No.” Bridget sighed and leaned back, her gaze shifting to Ivy once again. “You do anything to hurt him, and I swear I will—”
“Bridget,” Hank interrupted. “Making threats in front of an officer of the law isn’t advisable. Not to mention that’s my soon-to-be wife you’re threatening.” Hank’s face was as serious as could be.
“And?” Bridget challenged him.
Ivy snorted out a laugh.
Hank and Bridget looked at her again.
“Sorry, but the whole soon-to-be wife thing just sounds so…weird.” She composed herself, because there was no doubt by Bridget’s stern expression that she was serious. “I promise I’m not here to cause trouble. Despite my start.”
Bridget nodded. “Good.” She stuck her hand out. “Kincaid or not, I guess you’re about to be part of the family. We should get to know each other. I’ll give you my cell number in case you need anything.”
Ivy tried not to let her mouth hang open at Bridget’s sudden acceptance. She couldn’t imagine a Kincaid saying the same thing to a Merrow. Didn’t mean she trusted the woman yet, but she shook Bridget’s hand anyway. Of course, neither she nor her brother knew exactly what this marriage to Ivy meant, but they’d find out as soon as the deal was sealed per her father’s orders. Remorse built in her belly. Neither Hank nor his sister deserved the trick Clemens was about to play on their pack. “Thank you. I really appreciate that.”
Ivy’s stomach growled.
Bridget grinned and hooked a thumb toward the kitchen. “Go appreciate the food I brought before it gets any colder.” She nodded at Hank as she stood. “You, too. Come on, Ivy, I’ll give you my number in the kitchen.”
The three of them headed in that direction, and a few minutes later, Ivy had Bridget’s cell number programmed into her phone, Bridget had left, and Ivy was chowing down on the best lukewarm bacon cheeseburger she’d eaten in her life.
She swallowed the bite she’d just taken. “Your sister’s nice.”
“Did you expect her not to be?” Hank downed three fries at once. “Other than her threat to hurt you if you hurt me, of course.”
“That’s just sibling love.” Ivy remembered that, but since her youngest brother, Sam, had fallen under their father’s sway, he’d drifted away from her. She tucked a piece of lettuce back under the bun. “I’m a Kincaid. I expected to be treated like one.”