Sol picked up his shrilling cellphone without bothering to check who was calling. Before he got to greet the stranger, hysterics jumped out of the line.
“I need help! A tire dipped into a hole, and the car tilted. Sol, please…”
Shock stirred the dinner in his gut, threatening to make him hurl. Although the woman’s voice was accented with desperation, he had no issues recognizing her. “Slow down, Karen. Where are you? Are you hurt?”
The combined sounds of splattering rain and panic answered him. “No. No, I– the car is on its side. I can’t get out.”
Sol shoved his feet into shoes as he pocketed his keys, taming his roaring worry. “Send me your location. I’ll be there with backup, okay?”
“Yes. Thank you. I’m sorry–”
“There’s nothing to be sorry about,” he interrupted. “I’m glad you’re safe. Just send me your location, and it’ll all be over,” he assured.
He could hear the hesitation in her voice but was glad when she sent her location seconds after hanging up.
He practically sprouted wings and flew out of his office. The rain was so boisterous that it practically blinded him as he ran in the direction of Stone’s house. He pounded on the door, demanding entrance. Soon enough, an alerted Stone opened it.
“What is it?” he threw, scanning the rain for signs of trouble.
“Well… Karen got in a car accident.”
Stone’s face snapped in Sol’s direction faster than a raindrop hit the ground.
“What?” he all but wheezed.
Sol wiped a hand across his soaked face. “I need to get her. Are you coming?”
He didn’t bother to answer, having grown tired of words and craving action. He ran around his house, b-lining for his wrangler since no other cars would welcome his broadness. Before he could claim the driver’s seat, Sol placed a hand on a tense shoulder. “Maybe I should drive,” he suggested.
Stone nodded reluctantly, understanding that he shouldn’t be behind the wheel when his brain was seizing with thoughts, and his chest with emotions. As soon as they were both seated, Sol took off with a speed that made them liable of getting into their own car accident.
Stone watched the chaos of the storm have its way with the world. Life seemed surreal. He reached a confused hand out to his window, wondering if he was asleep. The cold bit his fingertips when they touched the glass, and the small sensation was enough to certify reality.
The windshield wipers tried to do their job, but Stone found himself glaring with the promise of death. At that instant, nothing was good enough– the speed the car was traveling in, and the amount of water the wipers flicked off. What if they drove right past her? What if they missed her?
Fear sizzled inside his chest like the static on a TV– haywire and disruptive. His body became property of the emotion, and he couldn’t do anything but let it have its way with him.
Within the trillions of cells made up his stature, he couldn’t find a single reason as to why he was reacting so strongly to the thought of Karen being in danger. The woman had fueled his insecurity those two years ago when she ran away. She had rejected him without any words or reasoning. And yet, he was running in her direction like fire to gasoline.
Was it pathetic that he didn't care about his pride?
Was it sad that he wanted Karen away from the threat of death and in the shelter of his arms?
Was it foolish that he hoped that as long as she was safe, he had a chance?
During the past few days, fatigue weighed his shoulders down, his mouth became tasteless, and his motivation became plagued. He had become infatuated with the temptress of darkness, but now he wanted to become unfaithful. Now, he wanted Karen.
A slanted car appeared in the distance. Sol slammed on the breaks, making their seatbelts dig into their very existence. Stone didn’t bother to register the pain. He pushed past the door and entered the rain’s oppression.
“Karen!” Sol yelled out.
“I’m here!” a voice Stone had dreamt about screamed back.
Karen stared up at the opposite window, expecting Sol’s face to appear. Grey eyes met her instead, lighting up her view as if they were the sun itself. Instantly, she forgot how to string words into sentences.
“Support the car so it doesn’t slam back to its side,” Stone told Sol with a swipe to his soaked face.
Sol agreed and moved to action. When he was in position, Stone pressed his lower body against the car and opened the driver’s door.
His urgent grey eyes stared down at her. Warily, she shifted her legs out from the dashboard and stood up. The second her mate’s giant shoulders were in her hands, the electrocution of the mate bond made them both tremble hard enough to make the car shake.
Stone returned back to Earth first. He secured an arm around her waist and easily tugged her out of the wrecked vehicle. Karen expected to be placed back on the ground, but was instead swept into thick arms.
Stone's wolf’s demand to nurture was crippling. He was always seeking ways to help people, to fix things, but that itch became all the more burning when it came to his mate.
As she dangled from his arms, Karen was mortified. Only her father, brother, and a few scales had carried her weight before. There was no furrow on Stone’s brow that indicated that her weight pained him, but she was still discomforted by the fact that he had been introduced to it.
He placed her back on the ground and opened the door for her, wanting her to get out of the rain as soon as possible. Karen complied, sliding into the car and glancing at her lap.
There, in her trembling fist, was a handful of tulips.
A/N: This is a short story AND it contains heavy sexual content. Please don’t read if you don’t like these.