Joel will activate the cameras at the four corners and set them to 24/7 surveillance. We’ll rotate watching to see if anyone else comes or goes.
We wouldn’t stop a car from driving in, and chances are that Amelia’s ex won’t have any reason to poke around, but we’re always vigilant when an outsider has a beef with someone in the pack. Our village roads are carefully laid out with dead ends and only one route in or out means very few outsiders come in, and when they do it doesn’t take long for them to realize they’re in the wrong place.
Nobody likes code yellow and having to guard ourselves, but that’s reality and we’ll deal.
I catch sight of myself in the mirror in the foyer. My left eye has one broken vessel in it. I shift to wolf, then shift back. My eye looks normal again. I need Amelia. I need to touch her. Comfort her. Know she knows that I’m here for her. I grab a paper towel, wet it, and wipe my face.
I find her upstairs on her belly on the bed, phone to her ear, feet up in the air, crossed at the ankles.
“He had a calling plan that had more data than mine, and for less, so I switched to it, and now he’s used that to track my location. I only got the phone turned on this morning and it’s a nearly three-hour drive. Was he just ready to pounce?”
Her eyes cut to me as I put my knee to the end of the bed.
“Gotta go, Mom,” she says. “Okay, yeah. Thanks. I’ll see you in a few hours. Okay. Yes please, a case would be good, too, unless it’s the same model then I can just swap. Okay, bye.”
She stabs angrily at the screen with her index finger, then tosses the phone on the bed.
“Ugh!” she grunts, sifting her fingers through her hair at the sides of her head. “I can’t believe he showed up here.”
“You’ll see your mother in a few hours?” I inquire.
“Yeah. She’s about to go to Whatshisface’s since it’ll take him a few hours to get back there. She’s gonna grab as much of my stuff as she can, not to mention all the wedding stuff.”
“The wedding stuff?”
“It’s all in the basement there. My dress. Centerpieces. Wedding favors. Stuff like that. I have a storage locker with all my furniture from before I sold my condo and moved in with him. She’ll stash my stuff while I figure things out.”
“Why will you see her in a couple hours?”
“She’s bringing me a new phone. My phone is on his plan, so I don’t want him having control over it or seeing my location. I sent her my location from the map.”
“Ah. So you’ve only got clothes there?”
“Clothes, makeup, and wedding stuff I no longer need. I only moved in there a few months ago. The rest of my stuff is in storage from when I sold my condo. Good thing I didn’t sell all my furniture.”
She wraps her arms around herself and stares out the window.
“No, no I’m not sure I am. What about you?” she asks, “Your eye okay?”
“Fine. A shift cured it. Didn’t hurt.”
She tilts her head.
“Rage induced. Happens sometimes. Don’t worry, it’s nothing. If it gets bad enough that I can’t cure it with a shift, I’ve got eye drops. It’s fine, though. Was just the one eye. Talk to me,” I invite, crawling up to the head of the bed and sitting beside her.
“I don’t feel like talking,” she says.
I get comfortable, grabbing her hand, weaving our fingers together. I kiss the back of her hand and then our eyes meet.
“I feel like a horrible person,” she says softly.
“I’m canceling the wedding eight days before. I might not want to go through with it, I know it’s not right for me, but I can’t help but feel guilty. A lot of people sent gifts. Booked travel. Bought bridesmaids dresses…”
“He definitely had sex that night, baby. I know what I smelled. He had sex earlier today, too, with the same person as the other night.”
“Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
“My feisty little wildberry, don’t you see?” I put my mouth to her forehead. “You didn’t cheat on him. You were just biding time, learning what you didn’t want. I think whether you met me or not, you wouldn’t be going through with it.”
She sinks into me.
“You wouldn’t have married him, Amie. You know you deserve more.”
She goes tense.
I purr for her for a minute, feeling her melt into me.
I lay back on the bed, taking her with me so she’s tucked close, her face on my chest.
Her eyes bounce up to meet mine.
“You n’ me are the perfect fit. Not only are you perfect for me, I’m gonna bust my back to give you everything you want, and to be everything you need. No settling necessary.”