“Your neck is looking mighty tempting right now, mate,” Lukas spat. His masculine voice was darkened with hatred.
Zena’s eyes flickered down to her armrests when she heard the distinctive sound of a rip. Lukas’ fingers were plunging into the grey leather, earning the material ten vindictive holes.
Would he hurt her? She wasn’t sure but she wouldn’t rule that possibility out.
“Isn’t this the part where you threaten me?” she quipped.
She knew that her sarcasm only served to ruffle his feathers. The man looked eager to boil over and scorn her with his fury. The shy tint of pink on his ears could attest to this.
Any normal person would try to simmer down his anger but if there’s one thing Zena knows it’s that she’s not exactly normal. Her friends, sister, and Lukas himself were convinced that when the moon goddess made her, she added a gallon of bravery and two tablespoons of crazy.
Lukas growled a second time, inching toward eruption. “I’m contemplating skipping that part and just throttling you.” There wasn’t a single giveaway in his voice or expression that incriminated him of bluffing.
“Kinky. But I don’t do BDSM. Sorry,” she shrugged, not giving up her jest-full streak.
Zena wasn’t afraid of him. She could take the unbearable man any day of the year. If anything, she was curious. She spent countless hours struggling to survive alongside him in the mountains but he was still the human embodiment of a question mark.
She shared warmth with him. Laid on his powerful chest skin-to-skin like a mother cradling her baby, siblings embracing, or lovers cuddling. Each paralyzingly cold night, her ear tuned into the steady thump of his heart and she drifted off to sleep with the confirmation that he had one.
Lukas seemed like a simple man; loathing and angry. But she wanted to know if there was more to the 6-foot-something, Armani suited, blank-faced asshole.
“The day I tie you is the day I haul you over a bridge, not fuck you,” he promised.
“Knowing you, you’d probably do the latter followed by the former,” she replied with a simple smile.
“You’re about one witty comment away from getting your spinal cord disconnected so answer me while I’m still asking: How did you get your hands on that information?” Lukas’ voice was now ragged. His anger was nearing its maximum threshold.
“You do an awful lot of sleeptalking when you’re high,” she revealed.
Lukas inhaled sharply and jabbed his fingers deeper into the armrests. The fact that they were still attached to the chair was a miracle.
“Stay out of my affairs, Zena. You have no idea about what happened and I don’t have the slightest interest in filling you in. Heed my first and final warning: if you fuck with my family it’ll cost you. Everyone knows Zya is a raging alcoholic. It would be a shame if she had a little too much to drink and did something irrational, wouldn’t it?” The threat was clearer than his eyes.
“Keep my sister’s name out of your opinionated mouth. I wasn’t going to rattle your daddy out but I sure as hell will use this information for retaliation if you push my hand. Heed that warning, Lukas.” Her playful expression melted into a stern glare.
“So you’re telling me your game plan isn’t to run this news by the council in a desperate attempt to keep Red River?” he asked.
“No. I don’t need to throw your father under the bus to keep my pack.”
“Then you’re a bigger fool than you’re given credit for,” he chastised.
The two leaders stared unblinkingly at each other for a couple of more seconds. Both of their faces were creased with enmity. Lukas itched to strangle her neck and Zena burned to sock his jaw.
Every cell in Lukas’ body ached with rebellion when he forced himself to stand straight and walk to a seat opposite from hers. He resumed staring out of the window, replaying what just unfolded.
Zena was a sympathetic moron. If Lukas had dirt on her he would’ve used it without hesitancy. He was sure that his disregard for others is one of the many things that made him a stronger alpha than her. When he sets a goal, he uses any means necessary to achieve it regardless of whose feelings get hurt. He would gladly step over anyone to bring himself to the top. Zena was too concerned with being honorable. Weak.
Of course, his father’s money laundering had a story to it. If Zena were to report it to the council, eyebrows would be raised but the damage wouldn’t be crippling. He would’ve fixed the situation and keep his reputation afloat.
About fifteen minutes later, they were in the clouds and on their way back to their packs.
Zena stared at the twinkling Canadian lights below them. Each one represented her endless thoughts.
She sighed tiredly. She was in a desperate need for a break but that would have to wait. Red River was probably up in flames by now and it would take everything in her to repair the ruins.