Winter Wars

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Trina fends off Ryner’s helping hand in favor of getting up on her own.

I frown. Just what was going through her mind to make her that sick? Being the rare and wonderful person she is, Trina’s gag reflex is triggered when she sees something disgusting. It’s weird and more inconvenient than one would think.

“Ryner, can you and Trina go find Lacey?” Sebastian hates Alpha males with a passion—everyone who works for him are weak willed and spineless. Someone like Ryner would just make him more unstable than he already is.

Ryner growls but says nothing in opposition. Trina stalks out and Ryner follows. Two people hustle in to clean up the mess (scary as always with their uncanny ability to know where a mess is without anyone telling them). Jayson gives me a look that I know well: should he or should he not be worried about what I’m going to do. Truthfully, I don’t think he should. I’m on edge in this house. Letting Sebastian touch me once was hard enough, there’s no way I’d let it happen again.

“Sebastian, you owe me. You owe me years and weeks and experiences I can never get back,” I take the gun from his hand and give it to Jayson. “I don’t know why you never killed me when you had the chance.” This is something I had dwelled on before. I had been nothing but a nuisance to him, a pain in his side. Before we met, I’d never seen him in my life, we had no prior connection.

“I could never hurt you, let alone kill you,” He says sinking onto the bed. “Even if you don’t believe me, I do love you.”

I wave it away. Never once did I believe that. Infatuated obsession and love are two very different things.

“The only reason I didn’t leave with Ryner and Trina is because a) it won’t take them long to find Lacey and b) I don’t want you to interfere. And Sea Bass,” I say using his nickname hoping to at least appeal to his softer side. “I want you to honor our deal. If I need help, you give to me. No questions asked.”

He narrows his eyes. “No questions asked.” He agrees after a moment. Sebastian’s eyes shift to Jayson who had been leaning against the wall. “We need to talk. Alone.”

I mull over that for a minute. I doubt he could hurt me even if he really wanted to. I had speed, strength, and agility on my side. “Sure,”

“Marcy,” Jayson warns.

“Jayson, I’ll be fine.” He glares at me as if trying to see past my easy going facade before grumbling and leaving after a moment.

“Who is he?” Sebastian asks as he studies me. “To you, I mean.”

“He’s… a friend.”

“You hesitated.”

I cross my arms and lean against the door. “It’s complicated.” How could I accurately explain who Jayson is to me? Even I have a hard time understanding it.

“Do you love him?”

“More than life,” As the words pass through my lips, I know that they’re true. Even I had been the worst person in the world to Jayson, I know that I would still give my life for him. I would give a number of things for him even if he wouldn’t in return. The power of love, I guess.

The silence stretches on before he asks, “Did you ever love me?”

“No,” I say softly. “I never loved you.”

“Do you hate me?”

I think over my answer before giving a careful reply. “For a while, hating you was the only way I could keep from snapping, but recently, there are so many more pressing things that need my undivided attention. I can’t divert my energy into doing something that holds no value. So, no. I don’t hate you anymore.”

“Do they know all that’s happened? With you and me?”

I snort. “Not on their lives would I ever tell.”

He nods. “I’d rather them not harbor more hate for me then they already do.”

“What do you care?”

“I… I’ve recently had an outside view of my comings and goings and I’d rather not make more mistakes.”

“I thought you seemed different. I don’t have the overwhelming desire to flee.” I hold out my hand hearing Trina’s voice outside. “I hope to hear from you.”

Reluctantly he takes my hand. “Ditto,”

“Will you ever tell us?”

I stand up from the map and turn to Jayson.

As soon as we got back, Ryner and Trina wandered off somewhere and Jayson had gone outside toting weapons galore into the forest.

After settling Lacey into the infirmary, I made a beeline toward the War Room. Greg had been in here and informed me of all the goings on—finally—and it had been less than optimistic. The Alphas still hadn’t come to an agreement about the militia and most of them were ready to kick off my throne—their thoughts in so many words. Small skirmishes were still breaking out along the border, as many people were leaving the west as they were coming. With the number of people leaving and coming and the economy collapsing (yes, it finally died) nothing is worth anything so space is limited and trying to be equally distributed—at least that’s something the Alphas are good at. And even then so much open/farm land is gonna be razed and take years to get back some of its value.

After seeing my expression, half dejected and half determined, Greg left me to go over any ideas I might have.

Two hours have passed since then.

I drag my attention away from the map. Much of my conversation with Penny had come to mind. I shift my thoughts toward Jayson. He looks freshly showed: wet hair, different wrinkle free clothes, bare feet.

“Will I ever tell you what?”

“What happened in your time with Sebastian,” He walks further in and glances at the map. I’m not surprised by the question. I hadn’t doubted he could hear our conversation.

“As I said, not on your life.”

“How about yours?”

“Ha-ha,” I roll my eyes.

“Honestly, are you never going to tell?”

“Not if I can help it,” I glance at the map again and pick up one of the notes: Boston??? “There are a lot things that I know that I’d rather not divulge.”

“Hmm,” he hums looking over the map with a critical eye. With Jayson, certain things are hard to find out. He has a personality similar to mine underneath that nervous demeanor so I have to wonder. Just what can he do that he’s not telling me?

“Did you mean it?” he asks turning towards me again. “When you said you loved me?”

Unlike before, it’s easier to look him in the eye. “I don’t lie, Jayson. I meant what I said. I know that it didn’t seem that way for a while.” Jayson snorts. “I feel like crap every time I look at you because of everything even if I had a lot going on—” Lack of sleep, killer (literally) headache, Mother Nature sucker punching my gut. “—but I could have handled it better. I really am sorry.”

He smirks and tugs at a loose strand of my hair. “I know. You charged in to save me at the risk of you own life. Again.”

I shrug. “It’s the least I could do. It was partially my fault and you and Ryner spent years protecting me and Trina—God knows how many times you’ve saved us.”

“But going against an Alpha?” he raises his eyebrow. “And four of them at that. You’d have to be crazy or incredibly brave.”

“I’d go with crazy,”

“Aren’t you two adorable?”

A chill travels down my spine. “What the hell do you want, Matrianna?”

“Oh, no, love, no need to be on edge,” Matrianna crosses her legs as she hops on top of the map table. “I just came to remind you of my offer.” She looks at Jayson and smiles. “And my advice. But I see that you’re busy, so maybe I’ll pop in another time.” And just like that, she’s gone.

“What was she talking about?” I stay silent as I hustle through the halls. If I don’t say anything, I won’t be lying. Jayson stays on my heels. “Marcy, what was she talking about?”

“You don’t need to worry about it.” True enough. It’s not his problem.


“Really, it’s fine.”

Suddenly, my feet are lifted off the ground and I’m tossed over Jayson’s shoulder. “Just what the hell do you think you’re doing?”

I started to panic for two reasons: one, he was touching me. His arm had hooked around the back of my knees as he carries me downstairs. Two, what I had dreamed barely a few hours ago is starting to make sense.

“You won’t talk to me, so maybe you’ll talk to Trina.”

A fresh wave of panic seized my stomach. “Have mercy, Jayson.” He knows as well as I do that Trina is the only person that can make me talk.

“Then talk to me,” He passes through the kitchen. Claire and Victor raise their eyebrows. I wave as Jayson takes me through the back door.

“Fine, but put me down and swear on your life you’ll never do it again unless I’m okay with it.”

In one swift movement, Jayson sets me on my feet again. “I swear it on your life.”

That is the type of crap that makes me want to kick your ass from here to hell.”

He smirks down at me. “You won’t. I know you won’t.” And he’s right, I won’t. Because I want to stay on his good side. Just what happened to the Jayson I met in May? He was nervous and shy and awkward. Now he’s definitely more confident (anybody else would have a broken bone from pulling that), more outspoken, and, just a little, cocky.

“Are you sure this is where it is?” A female voice carries on the wind.

“My dear, no matter how many times you ask, my answer will always be the same.” A male voice floats to us.

I take Jayson’s hand and rush to the front. Four or five wolves have surrounded the duo. In a matter of seconds they would pounce and I would be too far away. “Brace yourself,” Jayson tightens his grip on my hand as I take one more step and push off the ground. In a split second, I stand in front of the vampires and Jayson guards them from behind. In the second I made the jump, my wolves pounced.

When they saw me and Jayson, they stopped in their tracks. Marcus and four others I’d only seen a glimpse of pull back toting a mixture of modern and medieval weapons.

The woman behind me squeaks in alarm.

“My dear,” the man said. I can hear the smile in his voice. “I can’t believe you ever doubted me.”

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