The Female

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Chapter 40 - Window

GRAY

“Come on.” I urge Charlie, patting her butt hoping she’ll get a move on and walk faster.

When she said she wanted to do one last thing before bed, I thought it’d be quick, but should’ve known better. Sometimes I feel she moves at a snail’s pace just to piss me off.

“Don’t rush me.” Charlie snaps, spinning to poke at my chest. I frown, lifting my hands in surrender as she turns back around and continues her slow mozying. “I have shorter legs than you, and nobody asked you to follow me around all day like an oversized poodle.” She continues.

I frown, unsure what a poodle is and whether or not I should be offended. At least she used the word oversized. I like that she thinks of me as being large.

“I follow you around because I like you.” I state, comforted as the familiar scent of her happiness reaches my nose. She likes me too.

She doesn’t need to know I’m following her around because I’m scared of Shay hurting her. Aziel seems to think he’s got the woman wrapped around her finger and that she’s going to listen to his every command, but he fails to realize that Demons from Envy don’t just sit around and play house with the competition.

The woman is sneaky, and I don’t trust her not to try and hurt Charlie when our backs are turned. If that means I follow my female around all day long, then so be it. Aziel will be forced to scramble and complete all the work I’m unable to get done, but that’s on him.

Plus, following her around provides the added bonus of keeping her distracted enough that she doesn’t have a good opportunity to ask about the females.

Charlie continues her slow walking until she reaches the doors that lead to the backyard, and I eagerly rush ahead to open them for her. Rock told me it’s considered polite for Human men to open them for their females, and even though he laughed as he shared it, he seems to have been telling the truth.

If I tried to open the door for a Demon woman she’d probably punch me in the balls, but Charlie flushes and nods her head in thanks.

Grinning, I flick on the patio light so she can see and follow behind her until we reach the small garden bed that she planted her Human seeds in. I’m not surprised to see nothing’s growing, but refrain from making any comments as she bends and inspects the soil.

If she’d told me what she was planning before going ahead and getting to work, I would’ve purchased some dirt from the Human world. I’ll have to order her some for the next planting season.

Charlie groans and sticks her finger into the soil as if it’ll give her answers, and I tilt my head to the side in confusion. She’s not a very good gardener.

“I’m sorry your plants aren’t growing.” I state.

“I don’t know what I did wrong.” She admits quietly.

I perk up at that. If there’s anything I’m good at, it’s gardening. Silas told me to let her do it herself and not to nitpick, which I’ve been careful not to do, but can’t contain my excitement as she asks for help.

“Well, you planted them off-season and in dirt that doesn’t contain all the good bits they need to survive. This part of the house also gets a lot of shade, so even if they did have enough nutrients, they probably wouldn’t get very big. You’ve also only watered them once in the past month, which is not nearly-” I start, trailing off as I realize she’s not listening.

Her body’s rigid as she cranes her neck and stares in through the library windows. The blinds are lowered so I can’t see anything at my height, but from where she sits, she has a perfect view through the tiny crack that was left open.

Crouching down, I peer through the window in the direction she’s looking. My lips pull into a straight line at the sight in front of me, and I gently reach out and grab her hip in what I’m hoping is a comforting gesture.

I know for certain Aziel’s aware of Charlie’s attention on him, and pointedly avoids looking in our direction as he pushes Shay against the bookcase and slams his body into hers.

Charlie flinches, her breath shallow as Aziel kisses down Shay’s neck. The anger and hurt her body emits is suffocating, and I grab her arm and yank her to her feet before she can see any more. Aziel will stop the moment he senses our eyes are off him, but Charlie doesn’t know that.

Charlie scoffs and pushes at me as I force her to her feet, but I don’t care. I’m not going to let her sit here and hurt herself in the name of spite.

“Charlotte! Stop!” I order as she continues to thrash.

She freezes, her eyes turning venomous as she swivels around to face me. I wince as her lip curls upward, knowing she’s unhappy with what I’ve done. She looks me up and down in what I’m sure is supposed to be a menacing gesture, before spitting the word erection at me in my language and stomping away.

I sink my teeth into my bottom lip as I try to hold back a laugh. I’m sure she was trying to call me a dick or give some sort of insult involving my manhood, but unfortunately missed the mark. I let out a huff as if she’s hurt my feelings and follow behind her.

“That’s not very nice.” I state.

She scoffs and continues ignoring me as she stomps through the house, and I avoid commenting my praise that she’s finally moving at a reasonable pace. I know she’s embarrassed about having been caught watching Aziel, and is even more so over the fact that I had to practically wrestle her away.

I don’t mind, though, and just wish she wasn’t looking in on something that hurt her feelings. I would have much rather she peeked in and saw him jerking off or wandering around with a hard-on or something.

Silas loves to watch and lurk, too. It’s nothing new in our home.

Charlie’s anger distracts me from my own as I follow her upstairs and into my bedroom. She rushes into my closet to grab some pajamas before walking into the shower and slamming the door shut behind her. I take that as a cue to give her some personal space, and tug off my clothing before crawling into bed.

I feel the betrayal heavy in my heart when she’s gone, and replay the scene of Aziel and Shay in my mind as I wait for Charlie to finish up and come to bed. I don’t understand why he’s fighting so hard to keep Charlie at a distance. I know we never anticipated taking a weak breed as our bonded, but times are changing and he needs to get with it.

He’s always been weird about keeping his emotions under lock and key, having learned from a young age that when he expresses them they get exploited, but that was hundreds of years ago and it’s time for him to get over it. Silas and I aren’t his father, and we have no intentions of stealing Charlie or using her against him in any way.

He’s only shown me true softness when I’m in his head, and I know that’s only because he believes as long as things stay in his mind he’s safe.

Stupid Wrath.

Charlie’s muffled sniffles make their way to my ears as she washes herself, and I clench my fists in frustration. I’m going to crawl into that man’s bedroom tonight and strangle him myself. She’s trying so hard to pretend what’s happening isn’t affecting her, but I know all of this is breaking her heart.

I lay still and pretend to be sleepy as Charlie emerges from the bathroom and crawls into my bed. I wrap my arm around her waist and pull her against my front as she settles, pressing soft kisses on her shoulder and back.

“I’m sorry for snapping at you.” She shakily apologizes.

I hum, continuing to shower her in kisses and affection.

“You don’t need to apologize.” I murmur. “You’ve been through so much these past few months, and I admire your strength. I’ve done much worse when I’m feeling hurt.” I admit softly.

Charlie relaxes as I assure her I’m not angry. I stroke my hand down her arm and whisper truthful praises into her ear until she sags and falls asleep in my arms. My Human is heartbroken.

Once I know she’s asleep, I close my eyes and let my mind seep out in search of a body to infiltrate. Charlie’s beckons to me, begging me to come in, but I continue moving in search of Aziel and Shay. I want to know if he took her to his bed.

Silas’s mind is as closed off as ever as I slink past his wing and into Aziel’s. To my relief, there’s no sign of Shay as I ease down the hallway and into his bedroom. Aziel’s presence is warm and comforting as I move around his room, and with a hum I note he’s already asleep.

Being a greedy bastard must be exhausting.

I already know this is a bad idea as I rush back to Charlie and pull her mind from her head. It’s dangerous and hard to do, but I’ll bring her back to her body before anything bad happens. We won’t be gone for long.

I can feel her confusion as I lead her into Aziel’s room, her soul unfamiliar with being taken from her body. My lips twitch at the trust she must have in me to let me do this to her. Even though she’s unfamiliar with what I’m doing, a soul can’t be removed without permission, and she so quickly gave it to me.

I materialize her into a body as we enter Aziel’s room. She looks shocked as she glances down at herself and then at Aziel’s sleeping form.

“Gray? What’s happening?” She asks.

I smile, grabbing her hand and pulling her into my chest. Even though we aren’t real and have no power over the physical world in this form, I make it so she can still feel me as if I’m a solid object.

“You’re sleeping.” I inform her. “I’m going to take you into Aziel’s mind.”

She frowns, shaking her head as she tries to pull away. I tighten my grip, preventing her escape. I know she’s scared, but this will be good for her in the long run. I need her to see there’s nothing to be afraid of in her home.

Despite her objections, she lets me wrap my arms around her waist and slink her into Aziel’s head. It’s a bit harder than usual, his body unfamiliar with Charlie and putting up some resistance, but I stroke our bond until he settles and lets us in.

Poor Wrath never stood a chance at keeping me away.

Charlie holds my arms as I navigate us to Aziel’s dream. I’m willing to bet none of what she’s experiencing makes sense and is nothing more to her than loud sounds and bright blobs of color. Someday I’ll be happy to show her how to navigate and read a mind. Hers is so beautiful.

Finding and latching onto Aziel, I pull all three of us into a new dream. Charlie and I hide in the corner, watching, as Aziel sits at the dining table across from a very angry Shay. Charlie opens her mouth and begins to speak, but I clamp a hand over it before she can give away our presence.

Aziel’s too smart not to notice the hushed whispers of another in his mind.

“It’s truly frustrating. Valentine won’t stop complaining about him, and no amount of compliments is doing the trick.” Shay complains, launching into a tirade about the Lust drama. She’s always loved my kind. “Honestly, I think that Romeo should just fuck her and get it over with. It’s honestly embarrassing, and I can’t believe Lust tried to pawn her off on you.” She continues, scoffing at the mere thought of Aziel choosing Valentine over her.

Aziel hums, looking terribly bored as he stabs at the food on his plate. Shay doesn’t seem to get the hint as she continues complaining, and I have her use her extra high squeal to annoy him even more. His frustration grows as she talks non-stop for a good ten minutes, and I bite back a smile at the sight.

I tighten my hold on Charlie and make sure her mouth’s covered as I have a dream version of her barrel into the room. She looks annoyed as she stomps over to the table and plops down at the head between Aziel and Shay. I give her the same attitude she had when I made her come down for breakfast this morning, knowing Aziel found it endearing.

Charlie says nothing as she scoops up some food and starts shoveling it in her mouth. Shay scoffs, eyeing her with contempt. Aziel sits up straighter.

She works her way through half a plate before finally giving Aziel the time of day. Her lips purse as she looks him up and down, appearing entirely unimpressed.

“How was your day?” Charlie mumbles, shoving another bite in her mouth.

Aziel blinks, taken aback as Charlie takes the initiative to speak to him. Shay glares at them both, her irritation visibly growing when Aziel doesn’t scold or insult Charlie as he does to her.

“It was fine.” He slowly responds. “Yours?”

Shay slams her fork down. “Oh, fuck off, Charlie.” She snaps.

Aziel stiffens, his pupils dilating as he glares down at Shay. My heart thumps painfully in my chest as I wait to see his response. I don’t know how he’s going to react, but hope he doesn’t disappoint.

Despite how he may be acting, I know Aziel would never truly let my female be harmed.

“This is her home more than it is yours.” He spits at Shay, his fists clenching underneath the table. “She has every right to sit here and eat.”

Aziel jumps out of his seat as Shay turns and lunges for Charlie. Charlie screams, falling out of her chair as Aziel places himself between the two females and takes a painful strike of claws to the chest. It does little to him, but would have killed Charlie instantly.

The real Charlie in my arms stiffens as Aziel grabs Shay’s neck and snaps it, her breaths coming out in pants as Aziel spins toward the fake one I’ve created. I know this is a lot to see, but I think it’ll be good for her to know Aziel isn’t going to let any harm come to her.

He may be acting like a dick, but that doesn’t mean Charlie’s life is in danger.

Shay falls to the floor with a loud thud, and I have her body disappear as Aziel approaches Charlie. She screams and crawls backward as he steps toward her, her face upturned in raw fear.

“Fuck.” He groans, rushing toward her when, in her frenzy, she accidentally impales her hand on the knife that clattered to the floor earlier.

He’s in front of her in a heartbeat, his knees bent as he crouches and puts himself at eye level with her. Charlie flinches, crying as he grabs her hand and forces her to hold it out between them.

He sighs as he inspects the wound, turning her hand over to make sure it didn’t go through her palm.

“Don’t touch me.” She snaps, pushing at his chest with her uninjured hand.

Aziel grumbles, but doesn’t release her as he shouts out my name. I’m not going to come.

“Calm down.” He orders when she tries again to get out of his grasp. “I’m not going to hurt you.” His free hand falls to her exposed thigh as he tries to settle her, the action pushing up the summery dress I had her wear.

Charlie kicks at his leg, and Aziel shoves both her feet underneath his thigh to keep her from hurting herself further. He holds the bloody palm up to his face before laughing and clearing it up, the man aware enough that this is a dream and he can change her as he pleases.

My body stiffens around Charlie’s as I wait to see how far his awareness goes, and relax when he lifts his thigh to release her feet. He doesn’t know this is a dream of my creation.

Charlie giggles, the action his doing, and wraps her now free legs around his waist.

I blink, for the first time in my life unsure what to do in a sexual situation. I intended to keep this dream clean and simple, wanting only to give Charlie insight into who Aziel will choose in a fight between her and Shay.

Charlie freezes in my arms as Aziel trails his hand up the fake one’s leg. I remove my power over her and let her act entirely on free will as I gently tug the real Charlie backward. I’ll just take her out of his mind before she can see where this leads.

Aziel can fuck his dream Charlie all he wants, but he sure as shit doesn’t need to do it in front of the real one.

“Are you already wet for me?” Aziel mutters.

I freeze in my footsteps, turning to look at him with a fat grin. That’s not a comment a man who’s encountering a dream woman for the first time says. The Charlie on the floor hums and lifts her hips to give him better access to her sex.

Aziel isn’t surprised as she exposes herself to him, and only smiles excitedly. I suck in my cheeks, angry that I need to leave.

Has he been dreaming about her so frequently that when she shows up and throws herself at him he’s not one bit suspicious? I’d give anything to stick around and see what he does to her when he thinks nobody is looking.

The Charlie in my arms wiggles and gasps as Aziel slips his hand between the fake one’s thighs, and plants her feet firmly into the ground as I try to pull her away.

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