couldn’t control, some sort of loose cannon that could go off at any moment. I hoped my father wasn’t making a mistake not chaining me to the bed.
Well, if it makes you feel any better, it took me a hell of a lot longer to control my own wolf. It was a bastard of a fight and still can be. Given the circumstances, I guess I can say you did a better job than I would’ve in your position. Hell, I wanted to rip Hank’s head off.
I chuckled, feeling slightly relieved.
Thanks, little brother.
It was more than time to get the hell out of here.
“Man, Jess,” Nick said as we took off in his Honda. “The smell coming off of you back there was toxic. It was like pure adrenaline mixed with rage. I’ve never smelled anything so strange in my life.” He shook his head and glanced at me from behind the wheel. “I honestly didn’t think we were going to make it out of there in one piece. Did you see the look on Hank’s face?”
“I know.” I laid my head back against the headrest and shut my eyes. “Honestly, if it’d come to blows, Hank would’ve torn my head off and asked questions later. I have no idea what I was thinking. For a moment there my wolf thought she’d win, but he’s hundreds of years my senior. I didn’t have a chance of winning, even though my wolf was absolutely positive we would.” I rubbed my hands over my face. “Ugh, how is he not going to think I’m a wolf now? Apparently I stink like one—or at least stink like something awful—and we both know no human can rile up a wolf like that on their own. I’m so screwed.”
“It’s true,you smell, but you don’t exactly smell like a wolf. That works in your favor. Hank won’t know for sure based on smell alone. And, on a positive note, at least you’re not going to be some loser werewolf,” Nick mused. “Going head-to-head with Hank Lauder takes some serious gonads. If he faced me like that, I’d likely just piss myself and run away.”
“We can pick you up some Depends on the way home.” I chuckled, turning to check the backseat. Someone had placed a small tent, a sleeping bag, and a backpack, along with a back-country pass, on the seat. I turned to Nick. “Do you think whoever’s in charge of my apartment investigation will buy the whole last-minute camping story?”
“It depends on who’s assigned to the case.”
I was not a fan favorite on the police force by any means. “God, I hope it’s not Ray.” I ran my hands down my legs. I was fidgeting with a nervous energy, coming down from my adrenaline high. The twitchiness was bugging me, but I couldn’t help it. “That would be the single worst thing that could happen. We don’t need to pile any more stress on top of this already stressful situation.” I was starved again and felt like I could sleep for a week. My stomach let out an embarrassing howl.
Time to focus on something else.
I fished my phone out of my pajama waistband, where I’d stashed it back at the meeting. Then I stopped, glancing down at my lap, phone in hand.
And I started to laugh.
Beforethis very second I hadn’t realized I’d just had a show-down with an extremely dominant wolf in faded pink plaid pajama pants. “
,” I sputtered between breaths, my laughs sounding like manic hiccups. I clutched my stomach, bending forward. I’d just gone up against a powerful werewolf in grungy pajama pants and an old ripped T-shirt. “Oh … my gods … oh … my …” I hacked between gasps.
“You going to let me in on the joke?” Nick glanced at me from the driver’s seat. “It looks awfully funny.”
“There’s … no …
,” I managed. “I promise. The insanity of the whole situation finally … just got to me.” I laughed again. “
, I feel better now. I had to release it somehow, or it was going to eat me alive.” I wheezed. “And speaking of eating, can we please pull over and grab some takeout? I’m freaking
.” More giggles.