Broken:Hidden Book Two(3)By: Colleen Vanderlinden
Of course I did. I still had the nightmares when I did manage to doze off. “And have you stopped feeling guilty yet?”
“And you didn’t even manage to kill me,” I said, meeting his eyes, then turning back to the punching bag.
“Molly, I think, maybe you should talk to somebody,” Brennan said.
I scoffed. “Yeah? Who am I going to talk to, Bren? Who is going to give me the magic words to make all of this okay?”
He bristled. He hated the tone I used at times like this. I knew it. I just didn’t especially care.
“You could talk to Father Balester,” he said. I rolled my eyes.
“Yeah, a priest who turns into a tree is going to be a great help in this situation,” I said.
He was quiet for a while. Frustrated. “You could talk to me.” I didn’t answer. A few seconds later, he continued. “You could let me help.”
“Yeah. Are you going to charge in on your horse and save me, Bren? Are you going to make it all better?” I laughed, and I knew how I sounded.
He was angry now. “I’d try, Molly. I know I can’t do much–”
“No, You can’t. You need to take your white knight complex, and your desire to fix me, and go back in the fucking house.”
“This is not you,” he said, shaking his head.
“This is me. And you are not him. You are not even close.”
He stared at me. “I know I’m not. And I have no desire to be him, in any way.”
I buried my face in my hands, wishing he would just go away. “That was bitchy. I’m sorry.”
He waved it off, shook his head. Worked at putting a wall up between us again. “Okay. Well. You have another full day of meetings tomorrow. I had to start making appointments, because too many were showing up here hoping to see you. Is that okay?”
“As long as Ada is around to maintain the wards, it’s fine with me.” I was relieved at the change in subject. Tired of going over the same shit over and over again.
Brennan nodded. “She’ll be here. Also: that Shanti girl showed up here again today. She said she really needs to talk to you. I’m pretty sure she’s manifested some type of powers.”
“Can we fit her in tomorrow?”
“If you can stand one more meeting after listening to warlocks and shifters bitch all day long, sure.”
“Tell her she can come. Final meeting of the day so I don’t have to rush her out. It’ll probably be late.”
“Won’t matter to her. She’ll be relieved.”
He stood there a while longer, watching me hit the bag. “Try to rest, Molly. I know you think you don’t need to. But you don’t sleep, and you haven’t fed since–”
“I will not feed from another,” I said, stopping and meeting his eyes, making it dead clear.
“You’re not eating food, either. Saltines and coffee do not count.”
“I. Am. Fine.” I said, well aware of the threatening growl in my voice.
“Obviously,” Brennan said, heading back toward the door. “You can’t do this forever, you know.”
“Don’t shifters mate for life?” I asked. He stopped and turned toward me. Nodded.
“And if a shifter’s mate dies, they feel empty. Like part of them is missing. Yes?”
He nodded again.
“Okay. When demons bond, it is for life, and death. Imagine, for just a second, being bound to someone, and then losing them and feeling like your soul’s been ripped to shreds. And then imagine that you can still feel that person inside you, their blood running through your veins. And they’re with you, every second, but also not. He’s so close, and yet, he’s gone. Try to imagine how much that would screw with your head before telling me how I’m supposed to handle this.”
“Molly,” he said, and he held his hands up in a gesture of helplessness, regret.
“I won’t have this discussion again. I’m doing things the only way I know how.”
He nodded, opened his mouth to say something, then turned and headed for the door.
“Just, remember that you have people who care about you, who want to be here for you, okay?” Then he turned and went back into the loft. I was alone again. And I settled onto the glider, and stared into the nothingness, waited for the sun to rise again. One more night without him by my side.