Read Stray Wolf; pt 1 here.
This part deserves a Content Warning. References to kids being unsafe and scared and blood. It is a fear based imagination, but proceed at your own limits.
Previously in Stray Wolf:
His chest was within six inches of mine. He consumed all of the space around me. One strong hand gripped the edge of the counter on each side of me. Without touch, he wrapped me up. He breathed in long and deeply through his nose–his eyes fluttered closed. The right side of his lip twitched. His tongue was pink as it wet his mouth and he let out a sound like he could taste me and liked it.
I had to restrain myself from clinging to him. My skin pulled towards his. My hands wanted his warmth. It was as if a pain I didn’t know I was suffering from was relieved just slightly and I wanted the cure.
When his eyes opened the animal within stared back. “I’ll keep you safe.”
Nico’s sharp gaze jerked towards the back window, where just a moment before my yard had been empty. I only caught the faintest glance of a large man lunging over my fence before Nico’s broad shoulders blocked him from view. I tried to run, I didn’t know where. To the front door? To my bedroom? Just away. But Nico’s arm swung behind him. His hand gripped my thigh and pressed me firmly to his back.
“You can’t hide her from me,” the other man’s taunting voice was muffled by the glass window but he must have stood right outside of it. “I remember her scent. And now, I know what her kids smell like.”
My stomach fell out. I shoved at Nico’s back, thrashing to go. I had a direction then. I needed to get to my kids. The memory of Nico’s torn body on the forest floor threaded over the worst images from my nightmares. My daughter’s long pigtails soaked in blood. My son’s horrified and painful screams–calling out for me.
Nico held me tighter.
“Are they at school?” the man asked, his voice smooth and poisonous.
I pounded against Nico’s back, but his grip didn’t loosen.
“He won’t touch ’em,” he whispered.
I stilled, except for my heaving chest. And the blare of my heart in my ears.
“Why would you think that?”
“You aren’t actually a senseless animal. You don’t want to hurt kids. You don’t even want to hurt Carly.”
“But I will,” the sad resignation in his voice might have been more frightening than the poison. “And anyone in my way. Even the kids.”
“No!” I pushed at the solid expanse of Nico.
“Yes. Nico knows what he has to do. There’s only one way.”
“I won’t do it,” he growled.
“You have to,” I pleaded. I didn’t know what I was insisting to, but I would commit any sin to protect my kids.
The other man’s gasp mocked us. “She doesn’t care about your morals. Because we are all senseless animals, hers to protect her offspring. Yours and mine just takes a shape. Stop caging yourself.”
“I wouldn’t be like this if you had found a cage.” Nico’s back flexed.
“This normal little life would be all yours, then? You’d have this little house. They’d be your little children. She’d be your wife.”
Each word drilled into my chest. They meant to hurt and they did.
The silence stretched and the man must have heard the truth in it, because he said, “You really think that. You are one lost little puppy. Her life went on without you. She never went looking for you.”
More of that silence. More painful truth.
“Come with me and be done with this pathetic dream.”
I blinked at the average name wrapped around the biggest destruction of my life.
“The full moon is coming. I’ll find her anywhere,” he reasoned.
I didn’t see or hear him leave, but I felt it in the slack of Nico’s posture.
Come back for more on Oct. 21st!
I usually write contemporary romance and you can download You and Me in Quarantine while you wait for the next installment.