She pulled me inside. “Where’s your other flip-flop?”
My left foot was cut up and bloody from running. Somewhere along the way, I’d lost one. “I don’t know.”
“Okay. Wait right here. I’ll get the first aid kit.”
I dropped the flip-flop by the door and went into the kitchen. I grabbed milk out of the fridge and the Oreos from on top of the freezer. I’d just burned some major calories and couldn’t let my wolf get antsy from hunger while I was with Mom. I shoved two Oreos in my mouth and chewed quickly.
God. How had the day gone so wrong? I wasn’t a violent person. I didn’t attack people.
I hoped they weren’t kidding when they said we healed fast, but since I was kind of a werewolf—I wasn’t sure if she’d be okay. I didn’t like Imogene, but I hadn’t meant to hurt her.
Mom dug through drawers upstairs, and then water turned on, drowning out all the other sounds. She was a clean freak, probably washing her hands. I hopped up onto the kitchen counter to wait.
She came back carrying the first aid bin and a clean shirt of mine. We sat quietly as she cleaned my foot. I winced as she pulled out some gravel and poured peroxide over it. It bubbled white as it killed germs. I pulled on the fresh shirt as she worked.
She ripped open a bandage and then put it down. “Umm. The cuts have all healed.”
I grabbed my foot. She was right. Once the bits of gravel were gone, my feet healed completely. Not even a scar marred them. “Thanks, Mom.”
She moved away from me to throw away the dirty cotton balls. “You want to talk about what happened?”
“I hurt someone.” Tears streaked down my face. “I’m completely lost, Mom. I don’t know what to do.”
“Dastien…he…I can’t…And I can’t control my feelings. One minute, I’m fine. The next I’m nearly ripping some girl’s head off.” I covered my face with my hands.
“I’m not joking. I could have killed Imogene. I’m a monster.”
“Teresa Elizabeth McCaide.” She squeezed my knee. “I don’t care what happened. You’re no monster.”
I wanted to believe her. I wiped my hands down my face. “You don’t know that. Not anymore.”
“I do too. I’m the one who carried you for nine months. Who has taken care of you for the past seventeen—almost eighteen—years. I know my daughter. I don’t care what happened—you’re no monster. It makes me so mad that you’d think that. After all you’ve been through. You’re still the same girl.”
She was muttering under her breath about having a chat with Mr. Dawson when the doorbell rang.
I jolted down off the counter. “Who’s that?”
She held up her hands. “I’m sorry, baby. I had to call them.”
“You didn’t.” My own mother turned me in? That was so messed up.
I peeked around the corner to the front door. Through the window I could see Mr. Dawson and Dastien.
I flew out the back door, slamming it shut behind me.
I jumped off the back porch. Before I made it to the first tree, a hand grabbed my arm. I almost fell as I skidded to a stop. Dastien’s scent enveloped me.
Why wouldn’t he let me go?
I yanked my arm, trying to break free.
“Stop it,” he said.
I stayed very still and slowed my breathing. He let go of my arm, and I took off. I didn’t know why I was running, but if I stayed still, I would have to face him. Face what I had done. And what I was. Face our relationship or lack of it.
Screw that. Even if it made me a coward.
I hadn’t taken more than a couple of steps before his hand gripped my arm again. He spun me around until my back slammed against a tree.
“Stop running from me. Please,” he said.
“Let me go.” My voice rumbled with the demand.
“I’m not going back.”
His eyes turned the color of melted gold. “Why not?”
“Is Imogene okay?”
He took a deep breath and his eyes faded back to their normal amber. “She’ll be fine. Because you’re a Were, the wound will heal slowly. Not as slow as if she were human. But slow enough that she’ll hate you.”
“Not like we were destined to be bosom buddies anyway.”
“I guess not.” He set his knuckle under my chin, guiding my gaze. “What happened back there?”