Chapter Twenty Six
I went looking for a quiet place to try and get control of the emotions running riot in me.
I ended up in the auditorium. I need time to think, to adjust to the new sensation of something stretching under my skin. Going to class like this is out of the question
When Janna told me she was responsible for the hoe-hag, I snapped. It amounted to waving a red flag in front of bull. The wolf broke free of her prison and our minds melded until I couldn’t find my own voice separate from hers. In that moment, all I knew was this trespasser challenged me, dared to confront me…STOP IT!
My hands shake. I know I have to stop, to gain control, but all I can feel is the urge to sink my teeth into her and shake…NO. For cripes sake, Alex, get a grip.
Morgan hovers at the edge of my consciousness, but he’s smart enough to leave me alone right now. He’s there if I need him and that’s all that matters.
How had I missed the signs? I’d seen the change in Jason when his wolf started waking up. I should have realized all the rage I’ve been feeling lately was more than simple anger. I seemed to stay angry anymore same as Jason had. I’d dismissed it. Stupid move that. I’d almost lost it right there in the hallway. If it hadn’t been for Devon…
A weary sigh escapes. Going back to the nut house was sounding more and more like a possibility. It was safe and I’d never have to worry about hurting anyone again. They’d keep me locked up in the padded cell and heavily medicated. No more worries about the wolf getting out or of my hurting someone.
How did my life manage to get so screwed up that the place I’d worked to escape was sounding more and more like a salvation? All I wanted was to fit in, to make some friends, and to maybe learn how to have some fun. What did I end up with? Shifters and freaky magic. I want to scream at the unfairness of it all. It’s just plain wrong.
All I really want is to be normal, but is that what I got? No. Instead, I’m sitting here trying to deal with a creature stretching her limbs under my skin. How is that even remotely fair?
I never heard the door open, but I am aware of him the moment he steps into the auditorium. He sinks down into a seat in the row behind me.
“Leave me alone, Devon.”
“I cannot, Cara.”
Why, oh why must he call me that? My heart does a little flip-flop of pain.
“You almost shifted in a hallway full of children, Alexandria. I had to push a lot of power into you to stop the shift. I need to make sure you are well.”
“I know,” I whispered. Like I could forget something like that?
“I really don’t want to talk it about it.”
“Are you alright?” he asked.
“What do you care?”
“I’m fine, Devon,” I sigh. “I’m always fine. Please, just go and leave me alone.”
He sighs. “Cara, I cannot leave you like this. Please tell me what happened. I need to understand.”
He’s as bad as Saidie when he starts worrying a bone. “It was Janna.”
“She told me she put Felicia up to making you go out with her and I just…I don’t know…I snapped.”
“Alexandria, no one can make me do what I don’t want to.”
I know that. It’s why it hurts so much.
“Why?” I ask, staring at my clenched hands. “Why her and not me?”
He curses. “Alexandria…”
“No, I want to know, Devon.” I turn around and stare into his beautiful emerald eyes. “Why?”
It takes me only seconds to realize he isn’t going to answer. I face forward again, unable to bear to look at the stone mask of his face. Even his eyes have gone expressionless.
“I did not mean to hurt you, bellisima…”
“Don’t call me that,” I bite out. “Just go away.”
“No, I will not just go away,” he sighs. “You are angry and hurt. I care about you…”
“You care?” I snap.
“Yes, of course I care,” he snaps back, beginning to get angry himself.
“Go away!” my voice cracks and tears threaten. Why won’t he go away and just leave me alone? Stupid, stupid boy.
“No, I will not, Alexandria,” his voice softens. “You do not understand what you mean to me, do you? You are my…friend and I haven’t had a friend in centuries. When you look at me, you don’t see the monster. You see me. That is more precious to me than anything in this world.”
Stupid, stupid boy, please go away.
“Do you remember that day in the car when you asked me if I knew what I wanted? I thought about it for a long time and decided that I would for once do what was best for someone besides myself. What I want is you, but that means I might lose you, that I might not be able to keep you safe. You are in pain and I’m sorry, but getting you killed is not an option. I know you don’t understand my choices, but don’t doubt that I care about you.” He leans forward and his voice whispers softly against my ear, sending shivers down my spine. “Never doubt for a moment that I care, my Cara.”
With that he leaves. I smash my hand into the back of the seat in front of me needing to hit something. It splinters.
My head falls into my hands and I cry until the tears will no longer fall.
Stupid, stupid boy.