My mother was a scary person when she got angry.
I could always tell when she was in a bad mood. The warning signs were easy to read. Fast pacing around the house, firetruck-red cheeks, nostrils flaring. Oh, and the tears. “The tears of doom,” Kane would call it. That’s when you knew she was about to go mad bonkers.
The three of us avoided any confrontation with mom to keep her happy. Because even at a young age, we knew when to shut up when a woman has reached her limit.
That information has always stayed with me. So, I know I have to be very smart about this situation. The situation being my mate bashing Louisa’s head on the floor of Blair’s kitchen.
There’s a small amount of blood smeared on the tile close to Louisa, but I’m not sure if that’s from her head or her nose. It looks slanted, kinda like my jaw. I think Astrid punched Louisa and broke her nose before they ended up wrestling on the floor.
“Well, this is just perfect,” Kane mutters as he walks in behind me with the takeout we ordered for the girls. We invited them to dinner with the rest of us, but they didn’t want to leave Blair alone, so we thought they’d eat together. Foolish on our part. I don’t think they’ll be in the mood to eat, let alone share a meal together. “No, Louisa don’t- “Kane throws the food down on the table.
A flashing light blinds us, and I lift my hand to shield my eyes. But I don’t need to see to know what happened. Louisa used her magic to throw Astrid across the kitchen, hitting her back against the wall and knocking down some of the décor. I don’t get the chance to help my mate. I blink and she’s already standing, her stance threatening.
As stupid as it sounds, it turns me on. I can feel the tightening in my jeans as I watch her chest rise and fall with her harsh breaths. She looks like she’s about to rip Louisa’s head off. I want her to look at me like that while she rips my clothes off.
What the fuck am I thinking? This is not the time.
Louisa is on her feet and wiping the bloodstains from her nose with her wrist. “Is that the best you got?” she antagonizes Astrid. “Come on! Come at me with everything you have!”
The kitchen is a blur of fists and long hair. Glass shatters, random objects fly, and knives are sticking out of the table and countertops. Within a few minutes, the kitchen is a wreck, but I’m still frozen. I’m not even sure what started the fight, but whatever it was must’ve been pretty bad. I’ve never seen Astrid this mad.
“Enough of this shit!” Kane’s growl snaps me out of my thoughts. He is playing monkey in the middle, desperately trying to keep the girls apart. With both hands, he struggles to keep Astrid on one end and Louisa on the other. He looks up and the look he gives me screams “Are you kidding me.”
“A little help would be nice!”
I approach Astrid quickly, but cautiously. I can feel her rage through the bond, and I think that’s what kept me from interfering in the first place. Her blazing eyes lock with mine and she growls in my face when I reach to pull her away. And now I’m horny and a little scared. What a great combination.
“Let’s go take a walk,” I speak gently. But she’s not having any of it. Her shoulders visibly shake as she looks between me and Louisa. I step in front of her, blocking Louisa from her line of sight. I need to calm her down before we walk away. Otherwise, this mess will just be brought up later.
Slowly, I reach out and touch her wrist. Her breathing evens out and her shoulders seem less tense. I know the sparks have done the trick when I interlace our fingers together and lead her towards the backyard. She needs out of this house, far away from everything and everyone.
Just as we step outside, I can hear Louisa shouting expletives. I’m taking off my shirt when I notice Astrid getting worked up again. Her fists clench at her sides and it’s taking everything in her not to go back inside that house. There’s only one thing that will make her anger subside. “You need to run, Astrid.” I say, kicking off my shoes.
She blows out a quick breath before it happens. The tears of doom stream down her face.
“Don’t fight it. Just let go.”
She can’t hold back anymore. Shredding through her clothes, she shifts into her wolf and speeds through the trees. I remove my last piece of clothing and follow her lead.
“Your wolf is beautiful,” I tell her as soon as I shift back into human form. We’re both standing on opposite sides, shielding our naked bodies behind a tree. As much as I didn’t care about being bare in front of her, Astrid refused to shift unless I covered my eyes. I respect my mate’s privacy, so I reach my hand out and toss her my shirt because she tore her clothes. It should be big enough to cover her.
“Thanks,” she says. I can tell she’s in a way better mood. “And your wolf is…massive. I’ve never seen one that big before. Honestly, I got a little scared when I first saw you.”
I laugh because she did get a little scared when she first saw me. I thought it was cute. “Perks of being half demon.” I zip up my pants and reach for my shoes. “Although, if we’re being honest, you scared me tonight.”
“I scared you,” she remarks.
“If Kane and I hadn’t walked in when we did, I’m not sure the coven would have a head priestess anymore.” She lets out a dry laugh, but I’m being a hundred percent serious. Who knows what would have happened tonight.
Astrid sighs. “I was really trying to keep my cool.” She comes around the tree and I have to hold my breath. The oversized T-shirt swallows her tiny figure, stopping just at her thighs, which are covered in dry blood from the stab wound that crazy witch left behind. To say she looks amazing would be an understatement. There are no words to describe how good she looks wearing nothing but my T-shirt. My demon-wolf can hardly handle the sight. “How could she ever believe that I would do something to Blair?”
I stop looking at her thighs and make a face of confusion. “What do you mean she thinks you did something to Blair?”
“Louisa thinks I’m to blame for Blair’s sickness. She said she shouldn’t have left her wife with a stranger in their house because I could have done something shady to make her sick. What am I going to do?” Astrid throws her hands up, exasperated. “Trip her down the stairs and hope she’ll break her neck? Sneak into her bedroom at night with a knife? Oh, or maybe I’ll just slip something in her drink and poison her. The nerve of that bitch!”
I shake my head because they could have avoided this whole fight had Louisa kept her mouth shut. “I’m sorry Astrid. Louisa is a hard ass who can’t trust anyone. She’d rather blame you than admit that Blair might be seriously ill.” It’s hard to even admit that now because no one wants to see my best friend back to her old cheery self like I do.
Astrid frowns. “I just can’t wrap my head around it. After everything we’ve been through this past month, she has the audacity to put the blame on me. I’ve sat by Blair’s side on her worst nights. I cleaned up vomit, kept the house in order,
spoon fed her. I took care of Blair like we’d been friends for years and yet, I still get labeled the bad guy. What else do I need to do to prove my loyalty?”
“Nothing,” I tell her. “You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. Forget about Louisa and her accusations. She doesn’t know you like I do.”
That one comment seems to change her mood entirely. The corners of her mouth twist up in a smile. “Like you do?” she repeats softly.
Slowly, I close the distance between us. Her breath quickens with each step I take until I’m standing right in front of her. “I forgot to tell you something earlier.” I tuck a strand of hair behind her ear, twirling the end around my finger. She looks up at me, lust dancing in her eyes.
“What?” She says breathless.
It’s a dangerous game we play when we’re alone together. I can hardly control my wolf’s urges as I stare down at her. I should stop now, but the look in her eyes tells me she doesn’t really care how far we push the limits. She craves me as much as I crave her.
I lean down and whisper in her ear. “You are incredibly sexy when you get angry.”
She laughs, and it’s the most divine sound to my ears. “Hmm, so now I’m sexy and scary?”
“Mostly sexy.” I can’t keep my hands to myself anymore. My fingers find the corner of her mouth and trace her bottom lip. I see the sultry look in her eyes as her mouth pops open and takes the tip of my thumb and sucks it gently. And I swear I feel it from the inside out.
She throws her arms around me, and I wrap her legs around my waist, and we’re kissing hard. There is nothing slow about it. Our mouths and hands are desperate. How we manage to ever keep our hands off each other is beyond me.