Sharon’s note: I’ve been playing with this character for a long time, and am thrilled that I finally found a place for her. This story may or may not share a universe with another story on the blog. Okay, I won’t be coy. It totally does. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which one, though. Welcome to part 1 of 8. Warning: Author does love a Mad character.
Paloma and Brian were arguing softly in the front seat, and I was staying very, very quiet. If I didn’t draw attention to myself, maybe no one would notice that I couldn’t remember why I was there. Our instruments weren’t in the van, so we weren’t going to a gig. Why had Alex let me play with his phone? The stupid vampire knew I got distracted.
He was sitting on an ice chest next to me, not looking like himself at all. Normally, Alex was the life of the party, flamboyant in dress and mannerism. Tonight, he was dressed for bad business. Dark, practical clothes made for doing real work. His face was more serious than I had ever seen it. I could practically taste the tension coming off of him.
Oh! Good friend opportunity and a chance to jog my memory over what the heck was going on. I nudged his leg with mine. “Hey, you okay?”
He smiled, lips pressed tightly together. It wasn’t a happy expression. “Oh, I’m fine. It’s just been a while since I misplaced some aggression. I am mentally preparing.”
Well, that was unhelpful. No, wait, I could work with this. “So, uh, what does this remind you of? You know, it probably has to be pretty similar to the current situation for you to be able to project your problems on it.”
A ghost of Alex’s normal smile invaded his current one. “Subtle as always, Roxy. So, do you want to admit that you can’t remember what’s going on now, or pretend for a little bit longer?”
I huffed and my chin dropped to my chest. “You know me way too well. Would it have hurt you to play along for a little while? For my vanity?”
“Well, I’m sorry for the damage to your vanity.” He tweaked my nose. “Will filling you in again be enough of an apology?”
“Please.” I nodded and leaned against him, shoulder to shoulder. A bit more of the harshness melted from his posture and his calm was soothing.
“Brian got a message from his sister that she was in trouble. It seems she’s finally figured out that the pack she joined is no good, and she wants out.” Alex plucked his phone out of my hands and put it in his pocket.
“Oh! I remember this. It was one of those ‘traditional’ packs, right? The ones that tout the line about getting closer to their wolf roots but still go by the whole toxic alpha thing?” I shook my head. “Jeez. That BS was disproved years ago. I don’t get why they insist on preaching it as the ‘natural way’.”
Alex chuckled. “What you seemed to have forgotten is that werewolves are a combination of human and animal. Toxic alphaism isn’t a wolf thing, but it is very much a human thing. Blaming it on wolves so they don’t have to own it is also a human thing.”
I sighed and wrinkled my nose. “Yeah, humans are the worst.”
“Aren’t you glad we aren’t human anymore?” Alex’s smile had a teasing edge, and I frowned at him.
“I am human.” When he cocked a knowing eyebrow at me, I crossed my arms. “I am mostly human.” He started laughing, and my lip pulled out in a pout. Stupid vampire, mocking my denial. “Trying to be human.”
He patted my leg. “Sweetheart, it’s fine. You don’t have to be human to be a good person.”
“We’re here.” Brian hopped out of the van, barely taking the time to put it in park.
Maudlin Girl Pt 1 Pt 2 Pt 3 Pt 4 Pt 5 Pt 6 Pt 7 Pt 8