Don’t piss Lia of.
Turns out, Rey wasn’t wrong to fear Lia’s reaction, but she would lie if she were to claim that watching her father’s face morph into a terrified grimace as he tried to avoid all the cushions, Lia threw his way, didn’t make her entire week.
She would enjoy the show even longer, expanding her knowledge of swear words in the process. But it didn’t take long for bed linen to run out and when Lia grabbed a candlestick from the nightstand, Rey knew it was time to intervene.
Not that she wouldn’t enjoy seeing her father get whacked by it, but it was a good candlestick. Held the candles properly, not very heavy. It deserved a better end.
“Lia, pumpkin,” Rey said, putting her hands up as she slowly crept between the one hundred and sixty-eight meters of fury and her father, “I think it would be the best if you put that thing down.”
“Sure as hell, I will!”
Her loud response made Rey flinch, but she tried again: “Be reasonable. You wouldn’t want to burn this whole house down, would you?”
The candlestick was dangerously leaning, thanks to the weird angle, Lia held it in and there were already droplets of wax on the rug below her.
“This house? No. Of course, I don’t want to burn this house down.” The relief that flooded Rey’s veins came too early because Lia added: “I want to burn this entire pack down!”
Great. Just great.
“That would be kind of counterproductive, don’t you think? After all, we came here to help them.”
Rey hoped reminding Lia of her lifelong mission of helping people, would ease her serial killer tendencies, but she kind of didn’t think through that the girl was deadly furious with those people now. And it turned out to be a mistake. A really big one.
“Don’t even get me started on that! After what he did? After what all of them did? They still had the decency to ask you for help? I swear I am going to rip out every single stitch, I stitched on them!”
Rey shuddered as the image of Lia doing what she threatened to do, popped out in her mind: “That wouldn’t be a pleasant thing to see.”
“See if I care!” Lia yelled again. “The more pain, the better!”
Rey’s father made sure to collect all the cushions, Lia threw his way, and he relocated them out of her reach, while Rey was trying to convince her not to burn the place down. Once satisfied with his job, he said: “Look, I know, you are mad, but ... .”
“Mad?” Lia scoffed. “You think, I am mad? Oh, no, I was mad when I only had a hunch, you did something to her. But now? Now, that I know exactly what is it you did, I am furious!”
“Please don’t talk,” Rey whisper-begged him, “Lia has this thing when the more the person, she is pissed off at talks, the more her anger rises. It’s easier to just wait it out without speaking.”
“Well, I don’t know if you noticed, but your little intervention is doing a little to ease the situation,” he whispered back.
“You know, I am standing right here, right?”
“Yeah, I know.” Rey rolled her eyes after hearing Lia’s question. “It is kind of hard to overlook you with that thing in your hand. Lia, please, let’s just put that weapon of mass-destruction down and talk like civilised people.”
“With him?” Lia pointed behind Rey’s back with her free hand. “Why should I have a civilized conversation with a barbarian?”
“Because you are a better person?”
Rey could practically feel the dumbfounded stare her father was giving her back and okay, maybe it was a bit dumb, but it was worth a try.
This always looked a lot easier when she was a mere bystander of the fight. Everyone seemed to know exactly what to say to ease the situation.
Everyone except Rey, apparently.
Lia’s body narrowed from its battle position, the movement narrowing the candlestick back as well, and it took a bit of heaviness off Rey’s shoulders.
Of course, it was added back by Lia: “Why are you even standing there? You should be standing right here with me!”
She should, shouldn’t she?
Maybe. But Rey really didn’t see the point of it anymore.
She fought hard before it all went down. She fought with everything she had, and they still won. And even if she were to execute her revenge right now, it wouldn’t give her back the things she already lost.
“I don’t want to cause any problems. I just want to finish what was started and leave.”
And preferably never come back.
The last bit seemed a lot less difficult to accomplish two hours ago. If Lia were to make the decision of staying behind with her mate, would Rey be able to leave her best friend behind forever?
“Well, I do. I want to cause problems.” Lia made for a dramatic exit. Even her hair waved in the air as she spun around and aimed for the door.
Rey moved as well, but Lia grabbed the door handle before she could do anything to stop her and opened the door.
Rey expected their risen voices would bring unwanted attention but being greeted by an almost entire pack was still a surprise.
“Great. The whole assembly is here.” Lia voiced Rey’s thoughts, but in a lot angrier tone than Rey would.
“Lia, darling,” Brynn called out to her, “you should really calm down.” She stood in the centre of a circle the villagers created around her, S right by her side. Everyone else kept a safe distance, probably not to agitate Lia more than she already was.
“Calm down?” Lia repeated disbelievingly. “Why the hell is everyone telling me to calm down? Am I the only one who sees this? What he did,” she turned around to stab her eyes into Rey’s father. He was still hiding behind his daughter. “What they did ....” This time she turned back, pointing at the assembly in front of them. “How does it not make anyone else angry?”
“I could have their heads just for what they did to Rey,” Lia continued, "bbut what happened, it wasn’t just a crime against one person. It was a crime against every single werewolf who feels secure in this world. They did something horrible and no one even bats an eye? We all just continue to live like nothing happened?”
It might have been the first time in her life, but Lia actually left Brynn speechless. Brynn gaped at the younger woman, mouth slightly open, while Lia was trying her best to suppress the angry tears that pushed in her eyes.
“Lia.” Rey tried again, hoping for something at least a little bit useful would come out, but someone else interrupted her.
“What is all the commotion here?” The crowd parted and the new alpha walked through it, the aura of power following his every step.
Somehow his attitude made Lia even more furious. Then again, maybe it was just his presence in general: “Great. The boss of all bosses arrived. Not to sound mean or anything, but how can you even sleep at night?”
He stood in front of Lia, his position allowing him to see Rey perfectly as well. He scratched his head and said: “I sleep fine? I guess? What’s with the sudden interest.”
Rey rolled her eyes: “She knows.”
She guessed her father took care of letting anyone involved know, not to tell anything, while Lia and S would be staying here, so she didn’t feel like elaborating any further.
The grin on the alpha’s face disappeared as quickly as it came: “Oh.”
“Didn’t like the question about your sleeping habits? Let me ask you another one then. How can you be the alpha of the pack that forced you to break your mating bond?”
And there it was. Right out in the open. The first time someone said those words out loud.
The alpha shuddered a bit and a wave of embarrassment washed through the crowd as Lia said them. The numbing pain in Rey’s heart made its entrance as well.
“Lia, please,” Rey pleaded.
“Please what? Let him talk. I am really curious to know, just how can a rational human being even look their way? Because I can’t without having to suppress the urge to spit on every single one of them. But he doesn’t seem to have that problem,” Lia’s attention flipped from Rey to the new alpha, “or is it because you just don’t care? What did you lose in the end anyway? You are still the alpha of the pack. You even got yourself another pretty little mate.”
“Lia!” Brynn’s words came as a warning. “You are stepping over the line.”
“A line?” Lia scoffed. “Oh, trust me, there is no line left to cross. They all crossed it a long time ago.”