Hael’s P.O.V.‘You, Hael Ashford, owe me a very large coffee.’ Cole’s voice came across the mind-link, exhausted and raspy from lack of sleep.I ignored him, leaping over a fallen tree and landing with all four feet on the ground. Without stopping, I continued running, my will blending with Magnus’s as we darted through thick clusters of brush and through dew sodden grass that dampened our fur. There was a slight fog that wrapped itself around every tree trunk and bit of foliage. It made the air taste fresh, the forest and soil not yet warmed by the sun’s heat.Sleep was becoming harder and harder to achieve, especially as of late. It was her fault, of course. The girl. Her scent was everywhere, clinging to every fucking thing in the estate. Some nights I’d fall asleep, only to wake up in a haze, momentarily forgetting who I was and who she was. Twice now I found myself out in the halls, seconds away from breaking into her room just to be near her. All that existed was the infuriating
Hael’s P.O.V.Not waiting for his response, I opened the door and stepped out, shutting it behind me. From a distance, I could hear Cole shout something about me not knowing his order, but I didn’t care enough to listen. From what I knew about Cole, he probably got the sweetest, most sugary drink the place had to offer.Sure enough, his voice slid across the mind-link and answered my unspoken suspicion.‘Get me a large, iced caramel macchiato with four pumps of vanilla—not the sugar free shit they have, and extra caramel drizzle. If Katie’s at the register, tell her I want coconut cold foam on top. She’ll know what to do. Oh, and have them make the three shots ristretto. It’s just too bitter if they aren’t, completely ruins the flavor of the drink.’I pinched the bridge of my nose, fighting off the headache that was already forming.‘Cole, that’s more sugar than it is caffeine.’There was much more I could say, but there was no use arguing with Cole. He, like myself, let absolutely no
Violet’s P.O.V.Oh my goddess…My feet slapped against the pavement, the sound echoing in my head. Or maybe that was my heartbeat, I didn’t know. It was going so fast, pounding away like a drum subjected to the rage of its owner.‘Violet, calm down!’ Lacey shouted, her voice too far away to reach me.What did I just do? What the hell did I just do!Colors whirred by, but I barely noticed them. In my head everything was a washed-out shade of grey, the color leached away by horror and utter shock. I was still there—in the café, listening to him scream and scream, staring at myself as I stood frozen, the empty cup still clutched in my hand.‘It wasn’t your fault. Ugh, listen to me!’Wasn’t my fault. Wasn’t my fault? I did that. I hurt him; I burned him!Tears stung my eyes, but no matter how many times I wiped them away, they just kept coming back. The seconds leading up to that moment played on repeat, the colors just a tad too bright and every second slowed, almost like a filter had be
Violet’s P.O.V.Holden ended up taking us back to his car, which smelled so much like him that I wanted to burrow into the seats and never come out. It held every sultry note of his masculine scent, along with the faint undertone of salt and sea spray. For a second, I felt sad that he hadn’t been my intended mate, but I forced the thought to the very back of my head.I didn’t ask where we were going because I simply didn’t care. I sank into the seat and let the husky sound of Holden’s voice wipe away the night and morning I’d had. Halfway into the drive, he pulled out his phone and gave Olive a call. How he had her number, I wasn’t sure, but I figured it wasn’t too hard to get the information in a town like this.I could hear her shrill voice on the other end, demanding to know where I was and if I were alright. Sure enough, my friend refused to get off the phone until she heard me say it myself. I knew she’d want details later on, which is why I had Holden promise he’d drop me off at
Violet’s P.O.V.“…you insolent fucking princess.”Princess? What an endearing nickname for someone he supposedly wanted to murder. Alright, there was no supposedly about it. He definitely wanted to murder me, but clearly something was holding him back. I didn’t care what that something was. It bought me time and I’d be damned if I didn’t use every spare second how I wanted. There was this fire burning in my chest, one that ignited the day Hael destroyed my medication. It’s flames were composed of pure defiance, snapping and crackling any time Hael was near. It was what fueled my actions and dulled the voice in my head urging me not to piss him off.I wanted nothing more than to shift and tear into him, to prove I wasn't defenseless, but that was an impossibility. Instead, I beamed at him. I flooded my voice with bubbly warmth, even if I was still trying to catch my breath. The snort I let out was condescending, like I were talking to an animal that couldn’t quite grasp human logic.
Violet’s P.O.V.I’d been taunting him with the idea of Holden and I together, and it was a nice shot of revenge while it lasted, but I couldn’t stand to hear Hael’s opinion of him. He clearly hated Holden and wanted me to see him as another monster in this pack, but he was wrong. Holden had so many chances to take advantage of me, to use the fraction of trust I had for him against me, but he hadn’t. He and Olive were two of the good ones, I was sure of it. Hael laughed, but it wasn’t a sound of humor. It was brittle, dry enough to start a fire, and full of enough hatred that I knew this rivalry spanned far deeper than this battle between us.“Of course he is, you’re just too blind to see it.” He cocked his head, uncaring when the ebony strands of his hair flopped in his face. His fingers ghosted along the waistband of my skirt and he ground his thigh harder as he said, “He wants what’s in between these thick thighs of yours, and once he gets it, it’ll be over.” I shook my head fast
Violet’s P.O.V. It was hard to concentrate on the red beans and rice Norma placed in front of me, even with the smoked Boudin sausage spewing its hearty scent of mouthwatering spices into the air. My heart was throbbing in my chest, and each beat only upset my stomach further. I couldn’t even muster up more than a flimsy smile when Norma pulled out a plate with a mountain of banana’s foster on top. She placed her hand on my shoulder and squeezed, surprising me for a moment. It wasn’t everyday that someone actually touched me. Come to think of it, other than Elijah himself, Hael was the only other person who regularly touched me. The thought made me shudder, which made Norma’s concerned expression deepen. Removing the food-stained apron she wore when baking, we both took a seat on the leather couch in my suite. It squeaked as we settled in, the milky white color obscenely bright. She nudged the throw pillows to the side and clasped her hands, her eyes flickering between myself and
Violet’s P.O.V.“I knew who he was talking about, but you, your mother, and them twins were already long gone.” She concluded; her hands clasped over her lap.My stomach turned and every speck of food I’d eaten threatened to come up. The red beans and rice no longer looked appetizing, neither did the banana’s foster. If anything, their once delectable scent now made me want to hurl. I had this awful, terrible feeling in the pits of my stomach and somehow I knew it was only going to get worse.This was the price of the truth, I realized. Facing the fact that I might not be the person I thought I was.“Did—did he say what happened to him?” I asked, not realizing my voice had diminished to a whisper.Norma shook her head, and I watched in gut-wrenching silence as her face took on a green hue.“No, but when he showed back up, he was covered in wounds.” She shuddered, her wide shoulders quaking. “The amount of blood on that boy. By the Goddess, I was sure he had to have been tortured. As f