Hood

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15

I tapped my foot, looking around the room.

“You seem anxious,” Travis said from the doorway.

I looked at him, nodding. “Anxious—that’s an understatement.”

He came over and sat next to me. “Well, what is it? You can tell me.”

“It’s not something to take lightly. I just don’t know how to tell anyone.” I sat back, taking a deep breath.

“Tell us what?”

I stood up. “I’ll tell everyone when I have a plan.” I left him in the game room and I made my way to the kitchen. Grabbing bacon from the fridge, I put a pan on the stove and turned it to medium-high. I put in oil and then laid in strips of bacon.

Jessie appeared at my side, causing me to jump. “Shit, you came out of nowhere.”

She smirked. “Good. It’s how I catch my prey and the enemy.” She pointed to my pan. “Making bacon?”

“What else would it be?” I lifted an eyebrow. “No meat tops bacon.”

She leaned closer, taking in the scent of the food. “We can definitely agree on that.”

I flipped my strips of bacon and sighed. “We have to get along, don’t we? I mean, you’re mated to my brother. We may have our issues but we have to at least tolerate each other. Jason is my twin, after all.”

Jessie crossed her arms. “Fine. I guess I can make an exception for Jason. I want to make him happy and if I have to tolerate you, so be it.”

I looked at her. “You really like my brother.”

She smiled. “Like? No, I love your brother. We’ve been together for a while, longer than since he’s lived here with you.”

I laid my crispy bacon on a plate and laid more raw pieces on the frying pan. “Really? How did you two meet?”

She sat down at the table and laughed. “That’s quite the story.”

“I’m listening.”

Jessie started, “A year ago, your brother visited this town. He wanted to check it out for the pack, see if it was something he could join. I was at work when he came in. Being werewolves, we both knew right away we were mated. He would visit me on shifts when he could. One day, he came over to me to buy his usual. A customer got pretty ticked off. She was not happy about him hogging up the line. Jason told her off. He’d barely got in line and this lady was an impatient bitch. She left the store quickly.”

I finished making my bacon, eating the strips.

“After my shift, I ran to thank your brother for getting rid of her. She was always a rude customer. Jason kissed me and I could not resist him after that point. We went to my place since he didn’t live here officially. One thing led to another and we had sex. It was the best sex I’ve ever had. After that, we talked about him joining my pack. It took him a few months but he found a place and we saw each other every chance we got,” she finished.

I looked at her, chewing bacon. “Geez, sounds like you two really love each other.”

She smiled. “Of course we do. We’re mates.”

“How have neither of you had a baby with all of this sex?” I finished off the delicious applewood smoked bacon.

Jessie’s smile fell.

I looked at her, swallowing. Oh no, what did I say?

“We almost had one. She was going to be our little princess. She didn’t make it past nine weeks.” Her entire mood changed from joyful to sorrowful.

I didn’t say anything. Nothing I said could make her feel better.

“I was going to tell Jason but time kept passing and before I knew, she was gone. He doesn’t know and I don’t want him to know. This kind of pain is hard to get over. He shouldn’t deal with it. I’ve worked to move on from it. I’ve just made sure to be extra careful to not have another baby for a long time.” Her eyes were a deep brown color, nearly black. It was impossible to miss the pain that resided in her eyes.

I nodded a bit, keeping my words to myself to not interrupt the mood.

I saw her wipe some tears from her cheeks. “I just love Jason.”

“I understand. I can’t get it because he’s my brother but I guess the dope deserves love, too.” I smiled a bit. “I’m glad he has someone.”

“Phillip told me you’re gaining feelings for him.”

I laughed. “Yes, I can see he’s excited about it. It took me a bit but I had to get to know him. One of these days we just might seal the deal.”

“Sex?”

“No, I mean we’ll make the relationship official.”

“Oh, oh. I see. Do you wanna have sex with him?” She squinted at me.

I lifted an eyebrow, giving her a smirk. “That beauty? Of course. But I want him to be ready when it happens. He told me he wants to have sex when we have connected on every other level first. I respect that. It’ll be a lot. I’ll have to teach the boy what he’s supposed to do.”

“That’s some self-control right there. I couldn’t do that. Jason is way too sexy.” She fanned herself.

“It’s been hard. But I know it will be worth it when it happens. Phillip is a great guy. It makes me question how I got so lucky with a guy like him. He’s just so nice and different from my brother. I worried about being with a guy like my brother.” I grimaced.

Jessie made a face. “That’s probably gross for you, yeah.”

Jason knocked on the wall. “Jessie, let’s go. We have to go to that meeting.”

“What meeting?” I asked.

Jessie looked at me. “There’s a pack meeting today. We’re all required to go. I’ll see you later.” She stood up from her chair and left the kitchen with my brother.

I got up and made my way back to the game room. I wasn’t invited to this meeting. I wasn’t apart of the pack. I was a stupid human.

I heard footsteps behind me, turning around. My cloak flew out around me, twisting before falling in place. “What are you two doing here?”

Whitney stepped forward, watching me with curiosity. “Why would we be anywhere else? I’m surprised you haven’t told anyone else. Why is that?”

“It’s a pretty big deal. Telling everyone you know, who are all werewolves, that their pack members are trying to kill me is not exactly easy. I have to make sure I do it in a way that doesn’t sound so crazy.”

Sawyer chuckled. “It already does. I’m sure it’ll sound crazier if you told the last part of our plan.”

“What last part?” I narrowed my eyes at them.

Whitney sat down in a chair, leaning back. “Phillip is our target. What good is it keeping him around if he accepts his human mate? He’s part of the problem.”

I stepped forward, clenching my fists. “Don’t you dare lay your nasty ass fingers on him.”

“What are you going to do about it?” She winked at me.

I went at her but Sawyer grabbed my arms, holding me back. Their strength was more than my own. “Easy there, human. You wouldn’t want to do anything stupid now,” he whispered.

My insides turned to mush and every bit of my body filled with fear. I was afraid I couldn’t save Phillip. I had to tell him. There was no way I could keep this to myself anymore.

Whitney stood up, clapping her hands together. She grabbed my chin, giving me a smile that made me want to slap the shit out of her. “It was lovely talking to you.”

Sawyer let go of me and the two of them left the room. I screamed out, not really sure how I was supposed to figure this out.

As the pack members slowly integrated back into the room, I saw Phillip’s smile grow when I came into his sight. I felt awful inside, knowing I was about to tear that smile off his beautiful face.

“Phillip, we need to talk.”

“What’s wrong?” He frowned.

I pulled my hood down, sighing. “Do you know Whitney and Sawyer?”

“Hardly. Why?”

“We were right. Someone from this pack is trying to hurt me. But those two are working together, not with the whole pack. I heard them. They’re trying to kill me and now they want to kill you. They say you’re part of the problem because you accept me as your mate.” I crossed my arms.

What came from his mouth was not the reaction I’d expected from Phillip.

He laughed. He laughed at me, stopping when he noticed I wasn’t laughing with him. “Shani, come on. Those two are idiots. They are not going to kill us. I know you’re worried. Can we try to enjoy this before letting those two ruin it?”

“Phillip, are you serious? They want to kill us! We can’t ignore threats.”

“They’re not threats. Shani, those two are not planning anything.”

“Why can’t you believe me?” I dropped my jaw. “Why would I be lying?”

Phillip frowned. “I know those two. You just got here.”

“You just said you barely know them. I can’t even look at you right now.” I gestured to him, shooing him away. I left the room and ran into Jessie and Jason.

“What’s going on?” my brother asked.

“He doesn’t believe me. Phillip thinks I’m lying and making up some excuse for some reason. Am I really seen as a liar?”

“No.” He shook his head.

I crossed my arms. “You made me out as a liar when I said werewolves exist. This town believes I’m killing wolves. Phillip thinks I’m lying about who’s trying to kill us. I’m seen as a liar. I get it. I’m just a big fat liar. Well, screw all of you.” I pushed them out of my way and left the house.

I stomped my way through the woods, trying to pinpoint exactly what about me made me seem like a liar. Why did they assume I was such a liar?

Had I told a lie to anyone? I couldn’t recall it.

I grabbed a tree and leaned against it. I had to just be that unlucky. There was a reason that people saw me as a liar all the time and I wanted to know why. I wasn’t the liar. My brother was. Was his lying spreading to me? Was his reputation reflecting onto my own?

People took the bad parts of him and put them on me. Anything they could do to make me worse than I was.

Phillip of all people didn’t believe me. He knew I didn’t kill those wolves when we met. He didn’t believe Sawyer and Whitney were trying to kill us both. Did he secretly know them? I had to wonder if Phillip knew them more than he was saying.

That was it. I wasn’t a liar. Everyone knew it. But all the liars were projecting their lies onto me to hide their lies. Jason told me I lied about werewolves to hide that he was one himself. Phillip told me they wouldn’t kill us to hide that he knew them on a deeper level. I had to know how he knew them. I was going to expose him for making me as the bad guy in this when he was the one who lied.

I ground my teeth together, remembering the words Sawyer and Whitney said. They believe they could get away with this. They knew he wouldn’t believe me and they knew why. I was going to have to somehow get it from them and Phillip.

There only laid one problem. I had to do this all before Phillip made a stupid joke about how I said they were killing us. If they knew that I told them, they were going to double down on their plan much more than they already had.

Phillip’s lack of logic could put us both in more danger.

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