I pulled up the driveway. Axel stepped out onto the porch. “You’re home!” I said as I ran toward him.
“What’s goin’ on?” He hugged me tightly and my feet lifted off the ground for a second. “I heard something went down today and wanted to check on you. Why haven’t you called me?”
“It’s been a little intense.” I paused. “You shouldn’t be here. It’s not safe.”
He glanced past me as everyone got out of the car. “Then maybe you shouldn’t have brought home so many wolves with you.”
“Not them, you moron. Something just went down at school. Everything is beyond messed up.”
A girl and a boy about my age stepped onto the porch. They looked enough alike—straight black hair, dark eyes, long straight noses, and full lips—to know they were related.
“Dude. This is not the time for a party,” I said. “You and Mom and Dad need to get the hell out of town. Like yesterday.”
“We know what’s going on, Teresa,” the guy said. His black hair just brushed the tops of his shoulders. He wore relaxed jeans that were ripped at the knee and his light blue guayabera made his skin look a richer brown. “We’re here to help.”
Chris nudged me. “Dude. Your name’s Teresa?”
Typical. My full name is what he pays attention to. I shoved him back. “Shut it.”
Axel put his arm around my shoulders, guiding me to the front door. “Come on. We need to talk.”
I shrugged his arm off. “We don’t really have time for that. I came by to get you guys out of here, and so that we,” I motioned to my group, “could regroup.”
“You have until sunset,” the girl said. She smoothed down the skirt of her hot pink sundress. Her long hair was pulled back into a high pony tail. “Wasting time arguing now won’t save your mate.”
Adrian stepped up next to me and sniffed the air. “¿Brujos?”
“Claro,” the guy said. “Venga. Tenemos un poco de información que puede ayudarte.”
Adrian stepped to follow the siblings into my house, but I stopped him. “Can we trust whatever information they have?”
“We don’t have any reason not to trust them,” Adrian said.
Meredith cleared her throat.
“Unless you’re fighting one.” Adrian had the grace to blush a little. “And then all bets are off. But normally, witches and Weres get along fine.”
I thought it over for a second. If they had any information that could help me save Dastien, I couldn’t ignore it.
When I stepped through the door, Mom hugged me tightly. “You can’t call this time, Mom. No one can know where we are. Even if it might be the first place someone would look.”
“Sure.” She kissed my forehead and I saw her worries. Namely me biting my brother. “Can I get anyone anything to eat?” She didn’t wait for a response as she dug through cupboards, piling snacks on the dining room table.
We so didn’t have time for any kind of snacks. God only knew what was happening to Dastien. My skin rippled and I took ten long, deep breaths. Wolfing out in front of my family was not an option.
Food was probably a good call. I grabbed a couple of Oreos. “Thanks, Mom.”
“Why doesn’t everyone have a seat?” Dad said. “And then we can get back to what your cousins came here for.”
I spun to look at them closer. If they really were related to me, I didn’t remember them at all.
We settled in around the large table. Dad stood behind me, and Mom stayed near the door. I sat across from my “cousins,” with Meredith and Chris on either side of me. Shannon and Adrian took the heads of the table, and Axel sat next to the guy “cousin.”
Dad squeezed my shoulders. “Claudia, please.”
The name was familiar, but the last time I’d seen any of my mother’s family was over a decade ago.
Claudia nodded. “It’s really good to meet you. Again. Your parents told us that you didn’t know about us or what your place was supposed to be here.”
What the what? I glanced at Mom.
“I only did it to protect you. Living with La Alquelarre can be a bit much, and with what you could do and so young…it was better to give you choices. But when that wasn’t working out for you, I thought maybe they could help.”
The guy leaned closer. “I’m Raphael, Claudia’s twin. Our mothers are sisters.”
“We’re brujos. Witches,” Claudia said. “You were supposed join La Alquelarre—our coven—this year.”