Shots and snarls rung off every few seconds in sync with Artemis’ footsteps.
She turned sharply, expecting to find the locked room containing the girls. Of course, her luck had other ideas. There was a man slipping a key into the lock. He turned once he sensed her and got one look at the barrel of her gun before a bloody hole formed in his forehead.
She stepped over the body and finished unlocking the door, unsurprisingly finding the girls shaking like leaves as they clung to each other for dear life.
“Come on,” she beckoned with a reassuring nod.
They stared at her helplessly for a split second before trustingly giving their legs the green light to approach her.
Artemis smiled while remaining tuned into the silence reigning the background. There were no more gunshots or growls and she didn’t know how she felt about that. As soon as she leaves this room, she will find out who won the battle.
“Artemis!” she heard soon after that thought crossed her.
“We’re good!” she threw back.
Wanting to judge for himself, Raiden rushed to find her. She was holding the door open as the rigid humans stepped outside. The only woman he focused on was her, checking for indications of injuries. Her hair had escaped its braid and her clothes were wrinkled but she didn’t seem to be in pain.
His feet decided that assuming she was fine wouldn’t be enough and so they carried him to her side. Artemis watched with acute shock as one of his big hands swept her winded hair over her shoulder and gently cupped her jaw, tipping her head up.
“Are you ok?” he asked throatily, lost between the contradiction of bloodthirst and a crave to nurture.
Artemis nodded when her mouth refused her command to reply.
Relief couldn’t cover what he felt at that moment. He didn't think twice before bending down and introducing his lips to her forehead.
A pleasant thrill throbbed inside Artemis. There was nothing sexual about it, merely affectionate.
“Aww isn’t that sweet?”
Raiden growled before flipping the safety switch off the gun and pointing in the direction of the mocking voice.
“You can’t shoot me, you ornery dickhead!” Sol reprimanded after he hid behind the wall just in case Wrath’s finger got itchy.
“Why the hell not? You’ve been asking to cease breathing for a while now with your stupid games,” Wrath growled back.
Artemis rolled her eyes and took step toward the wall Sol was hiding behind, intending on checking him for injuries.
“Artemis, if that’s you I recommend you stop walking. I’m butt-naked and lover-boy will put a bullet in said butt if you so as much look at it.”
She stole a glance at her mate who shrugged, liking the idea of putting a second hole on Sol's ass.
Artemis rolled her eyes before taking her shirt off, leaving herself in a tank top. She threw her long-sleeve over and it landed on the floor. Sol’s hand grabbed the shirt before disappearing again.
“Goodness gracious!” he yelled. “This thing reeks of sex! Damn Raiden, you must’ve impregnated her with triplets! Seriously, what—”
Wrath shot a warning round in his direction to halt his embarrassing rant. Both him and Artemis were flustered to some degree and refused to exchange looks.
Sol came out seconds later with the blue shirt wrapped around his waist. He ripped it and tied it around himself. It reaching mid-thigh but preserved his modesty. The rest of him was available to wandering eyes. He was tall and broad-shouldered, as expected of a lycan.
“Well, time to go,” he said as he eyed the women.
Artemis crossed her arms over herself and tried to focus on the situation at hand instead of her scent which did, in fact, smell like raw sex.
“We need to call this in so the council cleans it up. There are a lot of bodies. Did you bring a phone?” she asked Sol.
He nodded. “It’s in the car.”
Artemis squared her shoulders before turning to Raiden. “What do you plan on doing?” she dared.
Raiden’s brown eyes pinned her own. “I won’t leave you. Figure out what you will do with your parents. I can tell you right now that Lukas will be an issue. He is not a fan.”
Artemis nearly swallowed her tongue when he delivered that unexpectant answer. Her brain drummed with thoughts. Did this mean he was done trying to cut their bond? Could he possibly be accepting her?
She shook her head. She had wasted enough time pondering on what ifs and whys. She was tired of dedicating brain power to figuring the complicated man out.
“So you’re done running from me?” she whispers shakily, truly terrified of denial.
Raiden nodded. “Yes. I’m done.”
“Well, it’s about damn time!” This exclamation came from Sol who ducked once Raiden aimed and shot once more.