I snuggled in bed, listening to Max’s even breathing, guilt assailed me. Reminding myself that everything would work out for the best this way I forced myself to go over the information I’d learned in my searches, instead of feeling guilty. I hoped some of the information I found was correct. If I was wrong about any of it I would be screwed. I turned the knowledge over in my head several times and pictured some of the scenarios that might happen. I wanted to be prepared for just about anything and everything when I went out tonight. I crawled out of bed and turned on the shower. It was still early, but I needed to start mentally preparing myself for our company now.
I let the hot water pour over me for what seemed like an eternity. Refreshed from the shower, I quickly got dressed and applied some makeup before heading downstairs for coffee and a smoke. Killer and I stood outside, enjoying the morning sun, when Max joined us with an annoyed look on his face.
“You shouldn’t be out here alone. I thought we went over that,” he grumbled.
I smiled without answering. I was tired of not having the freedom to wander as I pleased, of having to be protected every second of the day.
Max stepped up to me and cupped my chin. “I love it when you smile,” he kissed my forehead, eyes, cheeks, and chin, before kissing me softly on the lips. Watching for my reaction he drew me closer, deepening the kiss. I intertwined my fingers through his hair, pulled him closer, and kissed him back with every ounce of passion I had. I suddenly needed him to know how I felt about him, without saying the words. This might be the last time we would be this close.
“We hate to interrupt.” I vaguely heard Alexis say. The gang climbed up the steps onto the deck. “But we need to get out of dodge soon. The next storm is supposed to come in later tonight.”
Killer’s tail thumped against the back of my legs with excitement at seeing Chase and the girls. I dropped my arms down to my sides and grudgingly stepped out of Max’s embrace, sidestepping Killer at the same time. It was probably better this way anyhow, my blood sizzled like red hot lava from the kiss. I would have melted onto the deck in another minute or so.
Chase, Alexis, and Trina grinned wide. I wanted them to disappear for a few more minutes. Max picked up on my animosity and quickly ushered the girls inside, leaving Chase and I alone.
“Does this mean it’s worn off?” Chase asked.
“No!” I barked as an all consuming hate filled me. I massaged my temples, attempting to shake off the emotion and the fire that was still raging through my veins. I contemplated my surroundings. The hate filled emotion didn’t come from me. Was the creature back? I didn’t get the chance to probe for him. Chase yanked me toward the back door, through it, and up the stairs to my bedroom.
“Come on Montana. We’re going to work this out. Do you know what Max’s plans are? Or if he’s gotten any more information on the situation?”
“No, and no, but we need to make ourselves present downstairs.” Not. “I wouldn’t want the girls to think I’m playing both you and Max.” I replied sarcastically.
Chase laughed, “I explained to the girls that we kind of adopted each other as a family, they believe me.”
We sat on the bed for a few minutes while I collected myself. When I was ready we wandered downstairs to join the others. I gazed at Max as he started a fire, plastered a smile on my face, and tried to forget about him. My emotions seemed to be in a constant tug of war when it came to him. The anger I felt outside was finally dissipating, helping me to gain control over my scattered energy.
As soon as this was over I was planning on leaving. I wasn’t sure where to yet, but it was definitely going to be someplace warm and far away.
“I’m going to go try my hand at the espresso machine again. Want some?” Chase asked.
Both Max and I nodded our heads. As Chase left the room Max tugged me to him, burying his face in my hair. I held onto him for a long heartbeat. Finally, I backed out of his arms before I passed out from heat overdose.
“Latte is served, and Alexis and Trina are going to attempt to make Huevos Rancheros. They‘ve become addicted to green chili.”