My stomach tightens and heart begins to sprint in my chest as I pull up to the house. I’m gonna die tonight, Ivy is going to murder me. My previous anger and coldness towards her and Michael earlier lost the fight and was trampled by several other emotions. I inhale deeply trying to disable the vice crushing my inners.
The lights glow subtly through the curtain covered windows, a beacon home. Ivy is still waiting up for my return. I will my legs to travel to the front door. I really don’t want to face Ivy… or Michael, after finding out what I have. Yet, I know running away from my problems won’t fix them. I took my breather, now it’s time to jump into the shark infested waters.
I open the door and am greeted with silence.
“Ivy,” I call. I receive no response. I quirk my brow in confusion; I’d thought someone would be here. Continuing into the house, I go to my room to change. As I wander down the hall, a door crashes open.
“Blaire!” Ivy hollers. She rounds the corner from the kitchen and flings her arms around me when she’s found me. When she pulls away, her eyes observe every inch of me. The concern in her eyes causes a lump in my throat. I had caused her so much worry. “Where have you been? Where did you go? Do you know how worried I was? You just marched out the door and left. We had no idea where you were going and when or if you’d come back!” She stops abruptly, arms frozen in the air where she’d been pointing between the door, herself, and me. Her nose scrunches up like she’s smelled rotting trash. “Who were you with?” She crosses her arms and gives me a scrutinizing look, cocking her brow and looking me up and down. Her hawk eyes cause me to squirm like a restless mouse, ready to run from its hunter’s watchful eyes.
“I-I um… I can explain,” I say. She sniffs again.
“You were with another wolf. I can smell them,” Ivy interrupts, pointing an accusatory finger. “Who was it? Who was so important you left all of us in the dark?” She flaps her arms like a flustered bird would its wings. The hurt flashes in her eyes and is soon followed by anger. The worry she had when she walked in the door has disappeared like a bubble popping in the air. There for a moment and gone the next.
I don’t know what to say. She has knocked me speechless and my heart is starting to pick up at the thought of talking about Ryder.
“And don’t lie to me. Right now your heart is pounding loud enough for anyone in a mile radius to hear. You’re hiding something,” Ivy states. I cross my arms like it will help cover the sound of my heart. I suddenly feel extremely vulnerable. Swallowing down the little saliva left in my dry mouth, I start to speak.
“I hadn’t planned for it.” I stop unsure of where to start.
My hesitancy causes Ivy to prompt me. “Plan for what?”
“A couple weeks ago it was so simple. The future was so simple. You know what I hadn’t planned for in my future?” I whisper in a sudden sort of craze. I meet her eyes that have continued to watch my every move. The reality of my life begins to set in as I think about the incident that changed it all. “I hadn’t planned on being attacked by wolves, being saved by a wolf man, falling desperately in love with him, losing my totally normal life and being a “mate” to a member ofーof… a group of werewolves!” The words came tumbling out before I processed what I was saying, growing until I’m almost shouting in disbelief. I’m sucking at the air, like I’d been stuck drowning under the water and I’ve finally broken the surface, as I begin to process the words in panic. My eyes grow wide.
Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.
Ivy’s eyes swell in surprise at my sudden outburst. “What?”
“No I didn’t mean that. I… I don’t know what I mean,” I stammer, trying to take back what I said. I run a hand through my hair. “I umm… I forgive you and Michael, I believe you,” I am literally barfing all the words up. Whatever comes up is coming out. “I can understand why you wouldn’t tell me because suddenly I’m feeling very overwhelmed and-and” Ivy starts waving her hands in my face.
“Hey, hey. Shhh,” she starts and gently grabs me by the shoulders. “Calm down.” She commands as her steely, grey eyes hold my gaze. I will myself to focus on the small details of her face, so similar to mine, until my thoughts have calmed to the trickling of a stream. I take several long deep breaths. Why were my insides so calm when speaking to Ryder? The whole concept of werewolves made sense when he spoke about it, but now it’s as if the reality of the situation has finally kicked in. With a final eyeing, Ivy speaks.
“You ready to talk about it?” I simply nod my head and lead her to come sit with me.
I told her everything.
Every last detail from that very first, eventful night. The snap of connection when I first met his eyes, to the dream, to meeting him tonight, and everything in between. She sat in a solemn silence, soaking up each word like a sponge. When I’ve finally spilled all my guts, we sit in silence. The clock in the kitchen becomes an annoying reminder of the length of our silence. Tik. Tik. Tik.
“Please say something,” I plead, wishing for this agonizingly torturous gap of noiselessness to disappear. Ivy raises her eyes from the floor to my face. Her elbows rest on her knees and her hands hold each other slackly out in front of her.
“You need to tell Michael when he gets back. He deserves to know,” Ivy says.
“Gets back from where?” I ask. I had noticed his absence and I felt both relieved and empty with his absence.
“Him and James had some pack business to attend to. More aggressive rogues,” Ivy states simply, but I can see the concern floating around in her eyes, like ducks on a pond. Fear streaks through me at the mention of aggressive wolves. Any form of aggressive animal is not something to mess with.
The back door flies open, making me jump. From where I sit at the counter, I can see who comes in. Those forest green eyes and beautiful, blonde curls I would never forget. Michael.
“Where have you been?!” The fire burns in his eyes. After a short moment of shock, the last words I thought I'd say in a situation like this form on my lips and take flight.
“Honey, I’m home,” I say quietly, raising the end of my sentence in almost a question. Oh, boy.