Running a fingertip along her damp shoulder, I smiled at her flinch. Did you do as I asked and wash your filth away?
Later that night, while they were lying in bed, Jacob told Lydia about his lunch with Chris. He’d been torn about it but didn’t feel right keeping the information from her. That made him feel as if he had done something wrong and he didn’t really believe he had. His wife went still in his arms when he relayed the part about her rubbing his leg twice with her foot. You’re angry, aren’t you? he asked, knowing the answer. She nudged him onto his back so that she could turn and look down at him. She caught him by surprise when she asked, Do I have the right to be jealous here, Jake?
He reached over and turned on the bedside lamp, wanting to see her face. What are you asking me? Why wouldn’t you? We’re married, aren’t we? Shit, was he actually encouraging jealousy? That was a new one. She sat up against the headboard and all of his male instincts were screaming that the talk was imminent. I still don’t really know what we’re doing here, she admitted. I mean, I know we’re married and we live together. We obviously have sex—a lot of it. But—ugh! I’m just going to say it, and if you freak out and run, then so be it. She squared her shoulders and looked directly into his eyes. I’m in love with you Jake. I know we got married for all of the wrong reasons and we haven’t been together that long, but that’s how I feel. He felt panic rising at her words. Love? He’d considered the possibility that he was falling for her a few times, especially after some of the intimate moments, but what was he supposed to do? Say it back to her now? She was looking at him warily, but dammit, there was hope there too; he could see it. I . . . When his phone suddenly blared, he dove for it like a lifeline. He didn’t bother to look at the ID as he answered the call. When he heard Chris’s hysterical voice on the other end, he jumped out of bed. Fuck! Which hospital? I’m on my way. He was already throwing his clothes on before he finished speaking.
Lydia had sprung from the bed as well and was scrambling to his side. What’s happened? Casey fell down the stairs. Chris said the fall knocked her out, but she did wake back up a few minutes later. She thinks her arm might be broken, something about the angle looking wrong. He was already on his way out of the bedroom while Lydia struggled to dress. I’ve got to go, I’ll call you. Not thinking of anything except getting to his daughter as fast as he possibly could, he didn’t notice the look of hurt on Lydia’s face as he hurried away.
Lydia dropped back to sit on the edge of the bed, attempting to process what had just happened. She wanted to go to the hospital—but did he want her there? He certainly hadn’t asked her to accompany him. I’m being silly, she scolded herself. I love Casey and I need to see that she’s okay. If I want Jake to treat me like his wife, then I need to act like one. Getting back to her feet, she quickly dressed then realized she didn’t know which hospital they’d taken the little girl to. She did quick calculations in her head and determined that Grand Stand Memorial was the closest to Chris’s house.
Within moments, she was backing her car out into the night and driving across town. Fifteen minutes later, she parked in the emergency entrance and rushed through the sliding doors to the information desk. She was relieved when the receptionist told her that Casey was indeed there. When Lydia explained that she was her stepmother, she was given the clearance to go to the family waiting room.Whatever I was about to yell died before it reached my lips. Molly’s face was as shocked as I felt. Witches are the only Old World species who are allowed to talk a little bit about what they are. Friends of the Witches are human families who have helped the witch community at some point and earned a sort of protected status. They’re like an endangered species in a game park.
I didn’t know, Molly wailed. She never wore an anti-vampire charm!Maybe she didn’t think she had to, Dashiell said coldly. And now, if I don’t come down hard on Molly, Kirsten will be irate, as she should be. That family was supposed to have protection. He rounded on me, his hand never leaving Molly’s arm. And you are never supposed to take the bargest out of LA County. Do you have any idea how much trouble you’d be in if the Luparii found out what you’ve done tonight?
Before I could answer, Molly swung her body around to face him. Please, she begged, tears running down her cheeks. Please, let me say goodbye. I’ll go without a fight. Just let me give her a hug. Her voice broke, and something about her actually made Dashiell pause for a moment. He wasn’t used to human emotions, which meant he wasn’t entirely immune to a crying young girl.Molly saw his hesitation and took advantage, taking one careful step to close the gap between us. Dashiell let her slip her arm out of his grasp, but hovered a foot away.