I think I’m doing quite well (aside from this week) I’ve been steadily making progress in getting towards the end of A Wolf’s Obsession. If you take a look at the side bar you’ll see that I’m approaching the end. I’ve been slack and I need to pick up the slack. I hope you enjoy this chapter.
The silence was deafening and in the confined space of the car it was maddening too. Kassandra wasn’t talking to him and that bugged Wyatt though not as much as the secrets she was keeping. His eyes moved from the road ahead to the exposed skin of her legs and not for the first time his grip on the wheel tightened. Scars crisscrossed over her calves and he suspected there were more on the soles of her feet. Thoughts about where she’d gotten the scars were driving him mad but she was being tight lipped about the whole thing. The steering wheel bent beneath his hands, the metal unable to withstand his rage.
“What are you doing?” Kass hissed, trying to pry his hands away from the wheel and failing. His grip was unmovable. “Are you trying to make us crash?”
Her words did what her actions hadn’t and his iron grip relented. If he crashed she couldn’t just walk away like him. “I’m thinking about your scars,” he said through gritted teeth.
“Because I want to know where you got them from.” And if a person gave them to you I want to hunt the bastard down and kill him…slowly. His wolf purred in agreement.
“It’s not important.”
The muscles in his jaw tensed and Kass knew instinctively that she’d said the wrong thing.
“It’s important to me.”
She reached out cautiously, touching the scars on his arms. “You tell me about yours and I’ll tell you about mine.”
He tensed even more and growled at himself. She was asking for the impossible. He couldn’t tell her he’d gotten the scars being restrained by wolves trying to stop him escaping the clans when he’d been half mad with wanting his mate. He’d been young, vulnerable to scarring, and crazed with grief for the mate he’d thought lost to him. Emily. Just thinking about her still made him ache and Kass’ scent was doing nothing to help matters.
“Open the glove box,” he barked, sweat beading on his brow. “Pass me some of the candy floss in there.”
Swallowing hard he tried to keep his eyes on the road. Cars surrounded him on all sides preventing him from pulling over and satisfying the craving himself and he almost howled in anger. “Yes, candy floss,” he barked, his grip on his temper fading. “Hurry up and pass it here.”
Confused by the strange request, Kass still did as he asked. He didn’t look well. If he thought candy floss was the cure who was she to argue? There were far worse things to be addicted to. Shrugging her shoulders, she plonked the bag into his lap and watched from the corner of her eye as he began to eat the sugary treat. His skin became healthy right in front of her eyes. “What the hell? Candy floss is not medicine, ask any dentist and he’ll tell you that. What the hell is going on?”
“I don’t take medicine but candy floss helps with the memories. It reminds me of her,” he explained breaking off another morsel and popping it into his mouth. “She smelt like sugar, like candy floss.” He turned to look at her, his golden gaze intense. “You smell like it too. That’s why…” I’m attracted to you even though it’s wrong. “I don’t want to talk about her…unless you plan on telling me where she is now?”
His tone was hopeful which made it that much worse when she had to say no.
Silence filled the air again.
After a few minutes of mind numbing silence, Kass decided she couldn’t take anymore. “Do you have any family?” she asked hoping to break the silence.
The corners of his lips twitched in the beginnings of a smile. “Yeah I have a family. A big one.”
Relaxing into her chair she smiled encouragingly. “Tell me about them.”
“I have two sisters. Erica raised me and Dylan. Dylan’s my twin.” His smile widened. “She worries about me too much even when I tell her not to. I was meant to call her the night I met you.” His smile faded. “She’s going to be really worried now. As soon as I have Emily I’ll call her. She’ll be so relieved.”
Not going to happen, Kass thought sadly. He sounded so honest that more doubt niggled at her conscience. He was too crazy, too sweet, to work for Ethan but his story made no sense. He couldn’t know Emily but the fact he knew of her, was trying to chase her down, made him dangerous.
“It used to be just the three of us but Erica mated Sebastian and now there are so many of us. Uncles, aunts, cousins…I have three nephews and two nieces.”
“Wow, you’re right, that is massive. What’s that like?”
“You don’t have a big family?”
“No. It’s just me and Charlie.”
He couldn’t miss the sadness in her voice and his hand reached out instinctively to comfort her. Touching her thigh, he squeezed gently, trying desperately to rein in his strength. He’d hurt her enough; he didn’t want to give her any more pain. She deserved better. Electricity crackled along his skin, settling quickly in his shaft, the flesh hardening against his will. Groaning, he pulled back resolving to keep his hands to himself from now on.
“Is that the man you were speaking to yesterday?”
She glared at him but nodded her agreement. “Eavesdropping is rude.”
Laughter spilled from his lips, the sound almost making Kass moan in pleasure. He had a beautiful laugh one that she’d pay to hear again.
“I haven’t needed manners for a very long time.”
“And I’m sure your sister Erica is very proud,” she retorted, each word dripping with sarcasm.
Ignoring the blatant dig, Wyatt pushed the conversation back to where he wanted. They’d be arriving at King Street soon and he was determined to find out something about the mysterious waitress before they had to go their separate ways. “Tell me about Charlie…please.”
Words flowed unbidden from her lips as soon as he added please to his request. She couldn’t help herself. Something within her couldn’t deny him. He might not have used manners for a long time but clearly he wasn’t hopeless. “Charlie raised me.”
“What about your mum? What happened to her?”
She was tempted to lie, to tell him what she’d told everyone else who asked but the words wouldn’t come. Despite their circumstances she wanted to tell him the truth. “I’m adopted. Charlie isn’t my biological father. I don’t know who my birth parents are. Charlie is the only family I’ve ever known.”
“No husband? No boyfriend waiting for you at home?”
She blushed furiously and said nothing. It was none of his business.
“Well?” he pushed. They were almost at her home and he needed to hear the answer, it was important.
“No, just me and Charlie.” Sighing, she turned to look out the window and watched the familiar streets whizz past.
“No, he made sure that I was never lonely. You can stop, we’re here.”
Glancing out of the window, Wyatt’s frown deepened. The neighbourhood, if it could be called that, looked anything but neighbourly. The streets were dirty, covered in bloodstains; vomit and what looked suspiciously like bullet casings. Men loitered on the corners, objects passing hands suspiciously while their knives glittered dangerously in the sunlight.
His hands fisted on the wheel as outrage filled his body. “You can’t live here. Tell me where you live Kass.”
“I’ve just told you. I live in that apartment there.” She pointed to a set of windows on the ground floor and smiled fondly. She’d lived in the little flat for over a year and had never had any problems. It might be small and the location certainly wasn’t something to write home about but it was hers and it was easy to defend and escape from if Ethan should find her. Bad neighbourhoods might keep others away but she’d chosen to come here. Neighbours never asked any questions and they would never tell anyone who came knocking about those that lived nearby. Ethan’s men looked too much like the law for any of them to willingly speak for fear of retribution.
“No,” Wyatt growled, his eyes glowing. “You can’t live here, it isn’t safe.” He took a deep breath and cursed. “Fuck, why the hell aren’t you lying about this Kass? You can’t expect me to leave you here.”
“Why not?” Her hand was already on the door handle ready to step out.
His hand whipped out, clasping her small hand tightly within his own. “Don’t.” He sighed heavily, his eyes scanning the area again. The frown marring his brow deepened the longer he looked around. This was not a safe place to live especially not for someone as delicate and fragile as Kass. “We’re not stopping here.”
“Why? This is my home Wyatt. You said you’d take me home, are you lying to me now?”
The thought turned his stomach but given the choices he would rather lie to her than leave her in this hellhole. “I didn’t know you lived in a place like this. If you’d told me you lived here then I never would have agreed to bring you here.”
His words were confusing her even more than his actions. “Why?”
“Because you deserve better. You deserve more than this. I’ll make sure you have better Kass. I’ll take care of you.”
The doubts she’d had about him disappeared. There was no way he could work for Ethan and sound so honest about protecting her. Emotion welled within her throat and despite the fact she knew she was going to regret it she reached for the well of power that rested within her. “Wyatt,” she began, her voice light and airy. “You don’t work for Ethan do you?”
Her voice was like a song, floating gently through his thoughts on its search for truth. In the face of such beauty there was no way he could lie. “I have no idea who Ethan is.”
Relief wafted from her skin in waves and even though he couldn’t understand why she felt that way he smiled. Her scent was so much sweeter when she was relaxed. I can give her peace. The thought made him relax, his hands falling away from the steering wheel, his muscles losing the tension that had filled them since he’d gotten into the car.
“If you don’t know Ethan then how do you know about Emily?”
The seductive lilt to her voice was back, compelling him to answer truthfully. Her scent was changing; sweat beading on her brow as though she was working hard and it made his hackles rise in alarm. There was something going on and Wyatt couldn’t shake the feeling that Kass was putting herself at risk. “Emily is my mate,” he answered honestly. Shaking off the stupor her voice had lulled him into he turned to her, his eyes fierce and his voice hard. “Tell me what you’re doing. You’re doing something dangerous and I don’t like it. You don’t put yourself at risk. Ever. Especially not when you’re with me.”
The smooth voice turned Kass’ blood to ice. She knew that voice, had heard it while she lay strapped down and bleeding. Ethan. Slowly she turned her head to look out of the window and her heart plummeted into her stomach. How had they managed to surround them so quickly without either of them noticing? Closing her eyes, Kass shook her head. She knew exactly how Ethan and his men had managed to get the drop on them. Her voice. She’d been concentrating and had robbed Wyatt of the ability to think in the process.
With his grey hair cut short and his skin smooth he didn’t look like the monster she knew him to be but that was what made it worse. To anyone else he looked like an average older man and he constantly used that fact in his favour and against her. “Emily.”
His voice came again and her goose bumps appeared on her skin.
“Emily, why are you ignoring me? Aah, I know. It’s Kassandra now. Kassandra, I’ve come to get you. Get out of the car.” His lips tightened with impatience before the second gun in as many days was pointed in her face. “Now.” His lips had thinned, the little warmth in his green eyes had evaporated and his eye was twitching with impatience.
“Kass, what the hell is he talking about?”
For the first time in an age, she turned away from Ethan when he issued a demand. Despite his madness, she wanted to reassure Wyatt that everything would be all right even if that was a complete lie. He’d been telling the truth, he didn’t work for Ethan and he deserved the truth.
“Why does he keep calling you Emily?”
She sighed heavily, torn between the two men. “Because…I am Emily.”
Looking over Kass’ slender form, Wyatt shook his head immediately. No matter what her scent and his wolf were saying she wasn’t his mate. She looked nothing like her and there was no way that the differences could be explained by plastic surgery. She wasn’t Emily. She couldn’t be.
“You don’t believe me do you?” He didn’t need to say a word; it was obvious from the look on his face.
Impatient, Ethan tapped the gun against the glass of the window trying to get her attention. “Kassandra, we don’t have all day.”
He’s not going to risk shooing me…but Wyatt…he’d kill him without even blinking. Ignoring Ethan completely, she tilted her head back and removed the contact lenses that had been bothering her since she’d woken up. They might have been designed for overnight use but going two days without changing them was asking for trouble. Her disguise gone, she cast her intense gaze on Wyatt and watched the colour drain from his face.
“Your eyes,” he gasped, reaching out to touch her cheek. “You have stars in your eyes.” There was only one person he’d ever met that had eyes like the night sky. His mate.
I told you, his wolf snapped. She’s our mate.
“Emily,” he whispered reverently.
Leaning into his touch, she felt the beginnings of tears in her eyes. She didn’t want him to look at her and see Emily; she wanted him to see her for who she was. “Nope, I’m still plain old Kass but once upon a time, a long time ago I was Emily.”
“You’re my mate? How?”
“It’s a long story.”
It should be impossible, he scoffed
But it’s not. Kass is our mate, be grateful that you found her and that she doesn’t hate the sight of you after all that you’ve done to her.
It can’t be that simple.
Mating is only difficult if you make it that way. She’s our mate. Claim her.
“Kassandra!” Ethan bellowed, slamming his fist against the glass. “I’m not going to tell you again. Get the hell out of the fucking car or I will blow his head off and make sure you wished I’d done the same to you.”
A wobbly smile came to her lips as she reached for the door handle. “I’m sorry that I got you into this Wyatt.”
A low growl filled the car, dark and dangerous. “Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Wyatt snarled, his eyes feral as his wolf raced to the surface.
“I have to go.”
“With him?” Wyatt laughed, the normally warm sound completely devoid of humour. “You’re not going any where with him.”
Her fingers tightened on the handle. Why was he making this so difficult? “I don’t have a choice. He’s going to shoot you if I don’t go with him.”
“I’m more likely to let him shoot me at point blank range than I am to let you go anywhere with him.” Rubbing her cheek gently, his eyes wandered to the bruising around her throat. She’d been through enough already at his hands. If he was going to convince her that she was his mate he needed to prove to her that he was capable of protecting her not hurting her. “Stay here. I’ll take care of this.”
“You can’t. He’ll kill you.”
Stepping out of the car, Wyatt winked trying to get Kass to relax. The terror pouring from her skin and the worry on her face set his teeth on edge. “I’d like to see him try.” Slamming the door hard, he glared hard at Ethan. “If you want her then you’re going to have to go through me first.”
Ethan’s cold gaze raked over Wyatt, a cruel smile forming on his face. He’d killed before and he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again especially not when the prize was so rewarding. “Fair enough.” A simple gesture from him had his men raise their weapons and set their sights on the man standing between him and victory. “Are you sure you don’t just want to leave? The odds are not in your favour.”
The air crackled with tension but Wyatt smiled. His teeth were sharp, ready for battle and he ran his tongue over his lips practically drooling with blood lust. Cracking his neck he took a last look at Kass’ terrified face and deadly claws sprung from his nails. “I’m keeping Kass and from where I’m standing the odds are definitely stacked against you.”
They were the last intelligible words he said as the wolf rushed forward and he gave into his instincts. Bullets filled the air and Wyatt’s smile widened. Guns wouldn’t work. His claws moved with brutal efficiency, felling enemies in seconds. Terror filled the air as men screamed, unprepared for his speed, strength and lust for blood. Death in his eyes, Wyatt spun through the men like a deadly hurricane creating a swath of destruction. The sound of gunfire died down as his victims lay immobile on the ground, sobbing over their wounds. Unconcerned by the damaged he’d caused, Wyatt strode towards where Ethan lay cradling his arm against his chest. The pungent smell of blood made Wyatt’s blood race, his step quicken and his smile widen.
“You don’t threaten Kass and expect to get away with it. She’s mine now and I protect what’s mine. If you want to get to her you go through me to do it and let’s face it,” he scoffed, turning to look at the bodies he’d left in his wake and making sure Ethan knew exactly what he was talking about. “That didn’t work out for you did it?” His claws retracted slowly as he turned away from the man Kass had been so afraid of. His wolf was howling frantically, clawing to get out and rip Ethan’s throat out with his teeth but dead bodies were never a wise idea. If he tries anything like this again we’ll be with the clan and I’ll kill him…slowly.
Forcing his feet to move away from Ethan, Wyatt strode back to the car. Soft moaning filled his ears the closer he got and when he saw the broken glass his heart stopped. His feet grew wings as he raced to Kass’ side.
“Fuck,” he cursed. She’d been shot. He’d failed her…again. “Kass.” He reached for her bloody arm, reason giving way to instinct as the sight and smell of her blood filled his senses. “Hospital,” he muttered. “Hospital. Got to get her to a hospital.” She’d never looked so fragile, so breakable. Her normally tan skin was as pale as snow, her heart beat was sluggish, the irregular beat making him want to find the man who had shot her and see to it that his heart never beat again. Tears fell freely from her eyes as she bit her lip trying to distract herself from the pain. It wasn’t working.
“Wyatt,” she moaned. “Hurts.”
“I know. I know.” He threw himself into the car and turned the key to start the engine. “Hospital. I’ll get you to hospital. Doctors will make it better or I’ll rip their heads off. Promise, you’ll be better. I promise.”
Her eyes widened and drawing on her last remaining reserves of strength she grabbed his arm hard. “No hospitals. I can’t go to a hospital.”
Confused Wyatt shook his head unable to process what she was saying with his wolf so close to the surface. “Don’t be scared. Hospital will make you better. Promise.”
Her grip on consciousness was slipping and the tears that had begun to slow returned in full force. She didn’t have enough time to explain. “Please, I can’t go to a hospital. Please Wyatt, just take me home. You can take care of me. Please do this for me.” Her words were slurring as darkness began to swallow her sight. “Don’t take me to hospital. Promise me Wyatt. You can’t take me there. You have to promise me you won’t. Please.”
Slipping into unconsciousness, Kass wanted to cry. He hadn’t answered her, he hadn’t promised that he wouldn’t take her to the one place she couldn’t afford to go. She’d begged him and she could only hope she’d done it with enough conviction that he’d throw reason away and avoid the very place that common sense would be telling him to take her because if he didn’t, it would be a death sentence.