How about a scene from TRINITY?
de La Vega Cats: TRINITY by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2009, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing
Something roared and Galen realized it was her. It was Renee shoving them both back, jumping over them to get out of the closet. Her eyes were no longer unfocused, though his were still blurry through tears.
Her chest heaved. She held her hands out to ward them off.
“Leave me alone, please. Please. I didn’t mean to…that was my head, those are my memories. Mine.” Bitterness, like ashes, bloomed through the link between the three.
“Your memories must have thought differently.” Jack closed his eyes a moment and Galen knew how he felt. He wanted to storm out, to hunt Susan down and beat her until she wept like Renee had.
“I understand. I understand now why you need to leave when we fight.” Galen didn’t get up, not wanting to spook her. “I would never, ever reject you for being who you are. I love you. I love your magic. I love the way you are a total bitch until you’ve had coffee in the morning. I love the way you think I don’t know you put protein powder in my smoothies.”
“I know that.” She exhaled hard. “I know that!”
“Why didn’t you ever tell me?”
“Because I didn’t want to see pity in your eyes. Like what I see now. I’m fine. She didn’t know how to deal with my being different. She did the best she could. I wasn’t easy to raise you know.”
Jack growled. “She’s a bully, Renee. That’s not about you, that’s about her.”
“I don’t want to talk about it anymore. I feel sick.”
Galen didn’t know what to do other than to keep pushing, so he did. She had to understand they were with her for the long run, he had to get past the shit her stepmother poisoned her with. “Because you haven’t eaten in hours. Because you’ve been upset for most of the day. Babe, come with us. Let us get you settled on the couch. Snuggle with Jack while I make some dinner.”
“Please, please leave me alone.”
She looked so lost, so terribly small standing there, her arms wrapped around herself, shaking. He felt as if something had been ripped from him. His cat paced, agitated, angry, needing to comfort and defend.
Jack fell to his knees before her, hanging his head. “I started this mess with my stupidity and selfishness. I didn’t tell you and you got caught off guard and then when you asked for more info, I didn’t really answer what you asked. I’m sorry. If I could take it back I would. But I can’t. I can’t and the damage has been done. You don’t know how much I regret that.”
She rubbed her face before sliding her fingers through Jack’s hair. “You two are so much better off without me. You have each other now.” Her voice was barely more than a whisper.
Galen stood. “Enough. This is total bullshit. Better off without you? So the last four years mean nothing to you? You think I’ve just been hanging out with you until a nice piece of ass came along to replace you? Is that how little you think of me?”
“No.” She shook her head, taking her hand back from Jack’s head. Jack spun, baring his teeth at Galen. Galen bared his right back.
“There’s something wrong with me. Can’t you see that? Your family can see it, Galen, why can’t you?”
“So Beth doesn’t like you. She doesn’t like anyone. My parents love you. My brothers love you. I love you. Doesn’t that count for anything?”
“I’m holding you back. I can’t give you purebred children. I can’t help you be the next leader of the jamboree. I’ll never make the kind of money you do.”
He grabbed her by the upper arms. This had to stop. She was spiraling out of control, this vomiting of her memories had taken her into a dark place and she couldn’t seem to get out. He worked very hard not to panic, but she was seriously scaring him. This wasn’t her. She was not the kind of person who gave in to self pity or bad thoughts, not like this.
“I’ve never seen you this way, babe. Come on now. Come back to me.” He rubbed his face along her jawline, willing her to open back up to him.
“What’s that?” Jack stood up. “Do you hear that? Someone is pounding on the door downstairs.”
Without waiting for permission, Galen gathered her into his arms and carried her out of her office and into the living room. “Sit here. Jack and I will be back. Don’t let anyone in unless it’s us.”
She’d slipped away again, her eyes focused on something he couldn’t see.
“I hope it’s that bitch Susan or the asshole scaring her. I could use a really bloody fight right about now,” Jack grumbled as they headed down to the outer door.
When they opened it, an older woman with striking features stood, her mouth in a hard line. Beside her stood a younger woman, perhaps two years older than Renee. She looked a lot like… Holy shit.
“Where is she?” the older woman asked.
“Who?” Galen demanded.
“Where is Renee? I know she lives here. I know there’s something wrong with her. Someone is trying to harm her. Where is she?”
“Who the fuck are you and how do you know my wife?” Galen and Jack stood shoulder to shoulder.
“I’m her aunt, Rosemary. And this is Kendra, Renee’s older sister. We’re here to help. Please.”
Renee’s what? What the hell was up with the world all the sudden?.
“How do you know she lives here? Where have you been her whole life?” Jack wasn’t budging.
“I’ve been looking for her since my sister brought Kendra to me when she was just a baby. I found my sister’s grave and I want to see my niece. Someone is trying to harm her right now. Are you just going to stand there and let him burn her mind out?”
“I will rip out your throat without hesitation if you make one move to hurt her.” Galen stood back to let them both enter. Jack stood aside, ready to move if or when he needed to.
Rosemary rushed up the stairs, Galen in the lead with the keys.
When he opened the door, it was to find Renee standing, her palms against the window panes, staring out into the night.
“Get her away from that window.” Rosemary turned away and with Kendra, began to clear a space, pushing the couches back. Jack moved to help.
“Renee, honey? Visitors are here. For you. You’re going to be so surprised.” Galen edged closer, scenting the copper of her blood. Her palms bled, smearing the red against the glass.
“Get out of me,” she whispered. “You can’t have me. You can’t have them!” she screamed and fell but he was fast enough to catch her.
“Can’t have you?” Galen was very close to changing, his cat sliced him up to get out, wanting to defend her from any threat. But his cat couldn’t help whatever the fuck was wrong with her.
“She means the mage who’s wormed into her head. Put her here.”
Renee looked, her eyes glassy, to the woman who’d just spoken. “Momma? Is that you? Have you come for me?”
Watching the scene continue to unfold filled Jack with so much bile and fear, so much adrenaline he shook with it. He was losing her, he felt it deep inside and helpless rage rode him, turned his vision red with the need to fix his mate.
Renee was covered in blood as Galen attempted to get her back to the rest of the group. His living room was a mess, the contents upended and shoved against the walls to make space for a ritual of some sort.
Jack wasn’t even sure what to do, where to stand much less what the hell was going on. He was entirely out of his element and it drove him to the depths of despair. He could rip a throat out, investigate someone, protect her from a physical threat but this? How could anyone stop this evil?
“Your guilt will not help her. Or you. Let it go.” Rosemary, the oldest woman, the powerful witch who’d started drawing symbols with colored sand on their hardwoods, spoke to him without looking up. “Use your link to her. Bring her back. Don’t let him win. He’ll ruin her, ravage her and leave her a shell.”
Be Sure to Visit today’s other Snippeters!
Megan Hart:Read in bed!
Mandy M Roth
Comments from today will go into the drawing for the first grand prize drawing!