Aura

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31/Redeemed

I nearly suffocated from the amount of questions spilling from my mouth. What destiny? What did you do? Busy with what? What future?

Davis’s shoulders shook with a mute chortle. “Forgive me,” He paused to cover his smile. “You’re so different; it takes me by surprise each time.”

“Shut up, you know nothing about me.” My words dripped with spite. A plan began to form in my mind. Once he brought me to my mom we were leaving.

He sobered under my glare. The silence distanced our already fragile link to one another. I would never forgive him for leaving my mom like that. My mother never directly spoke ill of Davis, but she always blamed any fault I had on him. I learned to separate any unfavorable qualities and box them in with him. He was the reason I strived to follow so closely in my mother’s footsteps, because anything unlike her was more like him.

“I may not have been there for you in person,” Davis lifted a single finger to tap his temple. “-but I was there for you in my head. I always kept a close watch on you and your mom.” He mistook my silence as a green light to keep going. My arms wrapped tightly around my chest, any comfort was better than his lies. Out of the corner of my eye I caught his hands tightening against the wheel. “The intruder that didn’t have a chance to break in.”

“A cop lives down the street from us.” Although I hadn’t known that fact until today, it was still a valid argument.

His lips twitched in amusement at my childish attitude. “Yes, but it takes twenty minutes for the police to get to your house. If an anonymous call hadn’t been placed before, the locket heirloom your mother cherishes so much would’ve been stolen.” The locket was the one thing her parents let her leave with, her only connection to her family. She would’ve been devastated. I returned to glaring out the window, we were close to the edge of town. An ambulance was parked under the arch. Two paramedics were helping the woman from before into the back. I sighed with relief; she was alive which hopefully meant Michael would be too.

“She’ll be rested and back to herself by tomorrow.” His words weren’t comforting. Nash was driving back now from wherever he had gone, maybe only a few hours away. If Michael wouldn’t wake up until tomorrow he was useless to stop Nash from doing something rash. Would Nash believe Amber if she told him Davis had taken me? In my haste I hadn’t written anything about Davis in the note. I had only warned him about Seth.

Davis broke my train of thought. “-not right.” He muttered under his breath.

Alarm widened my eyes. “What’s not right?”

“You.” Davis simple stated with a shrug.

Me? I was the only right thing in this situation! My teeth ground together audibly. No, Jessica, he’s not worth it. With effort, my shoulders eventually relaxed and my jaw flexed with less force. “How am I not right?” I knew I shouldn’t have asked but as they say, curiosity killed the half-breed.

Davis’s lips puckered to the side and his forehead creased in speculation. I seethed. That was my face! How dare he make my expression! The idea of him actually being my father hit hard. My hand absentmindedly massaged my roiling belly. So this was what my mother felt when she looked at me. Davis and I were similar enough physically that I realized all these years I was inadvertently causing my mother pain. I was the reason she was kicked out, my grandparents would’ve forgiven her if she weren’t pregnant. I’m sure it was like a slap in the face for my appearance to resemble the very man who pulled a hit it and ditch routine.

“My visions have evolved into seeing double over time. The two options in life, take the red or blue pill. Back at the house you were supposed to choose from the two ways to warn Nash, yet you chose a third. This car ride I expected and prepared for you to either except me grudgingly or be passed out in the backseat.” A silent death threat pierced my gaze. His had blocked it in a placating fashion. “I know, I know. In my defense you stab me with a pen in that reality.”

“In my defense you would’ve deserved it.”

Davis tilted his head back enough to bark out a laugh. “You truly are your mother’s daughter. She nearly burned my ears scolding me the whole car ride.” A smug smile mocked his pain. I knew how intense my mother got when she was mad, I have no doubt she whipped out the dreaded shoe. He took a sharp turn off the highway down a minimum maintenance road. Overhanging branches shaded the mostly grass road.

“Has anyone else defied your visions before?” Stop talking to him Jessica he’s the enemy. Lord, when did I start talking to myself in the third person?

“No.” His answer was hesitant. Davis was deep in thought.

“So I keep surprising you with my own choices, maybe you were wrong all along.”

Davis briefly locked eyes with me, shock written clear across his scared features. Clarity gave way to courage. We were thinking the same thing. “You said before your future,” Davis opened his mouth to correct me but I beat him to it. “Everyone’s future was split two ways with me at the center. You made a choice that would seal my destiny.” At his confirmation I continued. “What did you see?” It was clear what choice he made, faking his death and staying the hell away from us for nearly twenty years.

A small cabin came into view. The bumpy road jostled his voice. I most definitely did not smile, or laugh. He was the enemy. The mantra repeated in my head. “Let’s talk inside. Rosa missed you.” My mother rocked on a chair under the covered porch, a shawl cocooned her. Her head bobbed, fighting sleep.

The moment the car parked, I was out the door. “Mamá!”

Her head snapped to attention. “Jessica?!” We embraced each other in a fierce hug. Davis passed by us silently, the front door shut to give us privacy.

I didn’t waste the opportunity. I jerked my mother towards the car. We were leaving, now. She resisted under my pressure. “Now’s our chance! Let’s go before he comes back.” I hissed under my breath at her refusal.

She shook her head wistfully and looked back to the door. Her arms wrapped around me and guided us back to the porch. My mother sat in the single rocker and patted the small space beside her. I attempted to influence her but her stern stare brook no argument, as usual. My body curled around her, the shawl a protective barrier from the chill. She rocked us in a steady rhythm. “Why Mamá?” I couldn’t help the break in my voice. Was she choosing Davis after all he’d done? Did she even know he was a werewolf?

“Amorcito.” Oh no. She only called me sweetheart two times in my life, and neither was followed with pleasant news. Seeing as how we didn’t have a dead pet, she could only be thinking of a way to say she was staying with Davis.

Moisture gathered behind my closed eyelids. He was the enemy. I won’t cry. He left us. Don’t cry.

“I want to forgive him.” My cheek pressed to her shoulder as I wound my arms around her. “He told me everything. I didn’t believe him at first, but then he turned into this-this wolf.” Her animated movements brought a smile to my lips. My nose burrowed deeper into the crook of her neck. I was distracted by the two bumps I felt there. Tears spilled when I opened my eyes to investigate. Two holes punctured the side of my mother’s neck. The front door slammed in place, Davis held up two hot mugs. My mother freed her arm and reached for one cup without hesitation.

Davis noticed my fixation on her neck. “The mating mark.” He clarified it was a love bite at my shock. “It completes the mating bond. I didn’t want to mark her so young before. As far as I can tell she can now feel the pull mates have to one another. This is new to me since the Goddess blessed me with a human mate.”

Understanding settled my fears. The pull I felt towards Nash. I couldn’t fault my mother since I was no better. Even when I thought Nash was a murderer, I couldn’t resist him for long. I needed to clear Nash’s name, even if it was only between us three. “Davis, why did you fake your death?”

Davis leaned against the door frame. I declined the steaming mug, so instead he sipped at it leisurely. “My first vision of you Jessica showed two paths. One mirror showed death at your feet, my hand and your mothers in yours.” He watched my face for any trace of insight. So the version of him that raised me would eventually lead to everyone dying. When I nodded my understanding, he continued. “The second mirror I was absent in your rearing, and you stood victorious.”

“Victorious against what?”

“The High Alpha.”

“What?! The super strong werewolf guy that everyone’s afraid of? Why would we fight? He’d obviously win!” My hands moved outward frantically displaying my panic.

“I’m not sure, that hasn’t been revealed to me yet. But that vision is why I slipped an extra herb, used to slow heart rates down, into my tea. I held it in my mouth until the High Alpha arrived, just in time for him to check for a pulse. The initial effects slow the heart rate down fast enough that it is weak and hard to feel a pulse.” Clever, I’ll give him that.

“Great now I know how to fake my own death, thanks.” I added bitterly.

“It was for all our lives Jessica.” The somber silence stretched uncomfortably.

I noticed the homey details to the little house. Davis had been so close to us this whole time. “So what did you do all these years here?”

Davis put two fingers to his lips, a burst of sound exploded in a whistle. I followed his gaze into the trees. One set of eyes glowed closer then multiplied into ten more. “I secured our future.”
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