Winter Rain, part 51

Brennan wheels the car back out into the road and floors it until we’re a little over the speed limit. I turn to Keely and growl, “Your family doesn’t seem to have been very careful around humans. Apparently, half the village is convinced you all are werewolves!

She holds my gaze at first, but drops it at “werewolves”. I don’t care.

“Do you have any idea how dangerous that game is? For all of us?”

She studies her lap, while I wait. Finally, without looking up, she says, “Please don’t blame my whole family. It’s my fault—no one else’s.”

“Your fault,“ I repeat.

She looks up. “And no one else’s.”


She watches me, but doesn’t answer.

“Brennan,” I say, without turning, “pull over.

“Outside the pub, you were nervous and I asked you if something was wrong. You said, ‘no’. Inside, I asked you if you knew that guy who called you an ‘abomination’, and, again, you said, ‘no’. Then I find out half the village knows more about you than they should, and you tell me it is all your fault.”

Feeling no change in our momentum, and I turn to find Brennan still driving down the road.

Is everybody deaf, today? Why THE FUCK AM I HAVING TO REPEAT MYSELF?

“Brennan! Pull, the, fuck, over!”

He glances at me with a flicker of anger, but finally moves to comply.

I return to Keely. “You’ve lied to me twice already, and I’ve only known you for an hour! Why the fuck should I believe a single word that comes out of your mouth?”

She quails under my assault, and grabs for the door handle as we grind to a halt on the soft shoulder. Without even thinking, I smack the center console control to lock the back doors, and activate the child safety for good measure.

“Girl,” I hear myself growl, through my teeth, “you are trying my patience.”

“I fucked up, okay!” she cries. “I was angry at Mrs. Flynn—the lady who owns the petrol station—and I tried to scare her. I didn’t think she’d know it was me, but her son saw me when I changed.”

“You changed in front of her to scare her?” I demand, incredulous.

“Of course not! I’m not that stupid! I just ran a line around her house a few times, and howled a bit. Scared the crap out of her, too.

“I changed later—thought I’d go back and ring her doorbell a few times—rattle her some more. I didn’t realize her son was across the road. He was drunk—but he saw me.”

Her eyes drop and her voice follows. “Father grounded me for three months, when he found out. I just . . . .” She looks up again. There are tears in her eyes. “When Father asked me to take you to Torrin’s . . . I just thought I could start again. I lied because . . . because I didn’t want you guys to think less of me.

“I’m sorry. I really am. I won’t fuck up again. I promise.

“Please don’t send me home.”


What am I supposed to say to that?

“Touching,” Brennan growls, “really touching. But have you noticed the two cars back there?

“They pulled over when we did.”