Pacing back and forth I knew something wasn’t right. Even though the monitor to Ryder’s room was in my hand I had this irrational fear that something was blocking the signal or sneaking past it. If he suddenly stopped breathing there would be no noise to hear.
Death was close, and not the kind of death Roman was, real death and it was coming for someone that I loved. Whatever was in this protection amulet that Mena gave me let me feel it, I was just scared who Death was going to claim.
What do you do when your heart pulls you in four different directions? You carry on with big pieces of your missing. I loved Roman and Warren, but I couldn’t be happy with either one of them without making the other miserable. Warren seemed mollified since he had Ryder. He understood better than anyone why I had to try to go out on my own. He didn’t bitch too much as long as Rafe was near by, I guess there is something to be said for having the power but not the drive to use it.
Rafe was as powerful as any alpha I had ever met. His strength and malleability let him stay in situations that would have crushed anyone other person, human, were or vamp. He could easily have taken over his home pack, or mine but he didn’t want that. He was just a little too laid back, he would fight if he needed to, but he hadn’t found anything worth fighting for, at least not yet.
Me, I had too much to fight for and felt that I was battling myself. Ryder was my focus, he was my soul. There was no way that I could look into those sleepy green eyes of his and not want what was best for him. He loved Roman, and Roman loved him, but a centuries year old vampire, no matter how modern he became still had peculiar visions of what a woman could and should be. I could be Roman’s arm candy, I could be his right hand at a fight, but he took the vampire ideal of “what’s mine is mine and what’s yours as my bonded is mine too”. Yeah, I fought too hard for what I had accomplished, I had done things that, well let’s just say I don’t regret them, they lead me to this place but I don’t want my son to have to live though them.
And then there is Levy. He is the only time I wish I was other than wolf. A tiger or human, something that could be what he needed and what he deserved. He NEVER made me feel less than I am, but I know I am less than he deserved. I guess my own insecurities drove me away from him. When the second attempt was made on his life and I realized that it could be because of me, well, I know why King Solomon decided to cut the baby in half, I would rather live alone and in misery knowing that my Kitty is out there and safe than face a world without him in it.
That is how I ended up back here in Shreveport. I figured that it was the last place that Roman would look for me, it was still big enough that I could hide from my ghost and I already had a network of people that I could trust and a compound that we could secure. As far as I knew the men in my life, other than Ryder were states away. Warren had managed to weather the storm of Isaac well and was making sure the member of the pack there were safe, Roman was somewhere in New York, or Atlanta or wherever the hell he decided to let his newest toy talk him in to traveling and Levy…Levy was in Las Vegas, the place that I left a piece of my heart and where Ryder did too. Even now, he is sleeping with a stuffed tiger and sometimes cries out in the middle of the night for his Ash…
What have I done?