“You are Mae’s love? Styx?” she asked in that same weird accent.
Glancing at my woman, I smirked. Her love? Shit. I nodded my head. Mae blushed and smiled.
“Did you kill anyone else out here?” Maddie asked, her tiny voice shaking, but her stern green eyes were anything but.
She took a deep breath. “Where is he?”
I stilled. A bitch like her shouldn’t be seeing what Flame had done. It weren’t pretty.
“Please! I need to see him!” she shouted, surprising me with her anger.
I pointed my finger to the forest. She turned ’round and jogged across the clearing and into the trees.
I stepped up to Mae and signed, You’re gonna need to get your girl, babe. She ain’t gonna cope seeing that shit.
Mae closed her eyes and rubbed them. She was tired. I needed to get her f**k home.
Maddie chose that second to re-enter the clearing. Her face was blank and she’d stopped shaking. In fact, color had returned to her face. Mae rushed over, but Maddie thrust out her hand. Mae stopped in response.
“Sister?” Mae questioned, but Maddie ignored her, heading instead to the brothers.
“Who killed him?” she asked tightly, her green eyes running down the line.
On the end of the line, Flame began to twitch his head, his hands balling into fists. Fuck. It had to be Flame, didn’t it? This weren’t gonna end well if she started shooting off her mouth.
Maddie fixed her gaze on Flame. “Was it you?” she asked frankly.
Flame nodded once and his mouth tightened. “Yeah, I killed the f**ker.” His tattooed orange flames danced on his tense neck as his crazy black eyes fixed on Maddie. A f**kin’ murderous glare.
Maddie stood right in front of him—brass balls, I thought—as Flame’s chest jerked erratically. Then, suddenly, she released a choked sob and threw her arms around Flame’s waist.
Flame froze and his black eyes widened to the size of plates. His hands shot up in the air clenching into fists. Fuck! The brother couldn’t be touched. He was about to go nuclear.
“Thank you,” Maddie whispered and pressed her cheek flat to his cut. “Thank you so very much…”
Flame’s eyebrows pulled down in confusion and his black eyes glared down at her wrapped ’round his waist. Then we all froze as his hands lowered and flattened awkwardly on her back. His nostrils flared as Maddie released another sob and cried, “You freed me. You freed me from him.”
Flames eyes squeezed shut and his teeth clenched. But he didn’t push her off, didn’t scream, jerk, or hit out. The f**ked-up brother just let it happen.
Ky turned to me, shock clear on his expression. I shrugged. I could never get a read on the brother. Never knew what the f**k he was thinking.
Maddie pulled back with a small smile and Flame’s eyes bored into hers. She began walking back to Mae, but not before glancing over her shoulder. “What is your name?” she asked Flame nervously.
Flame’s lips parted and he released a hiss of a breath before muttering, “Flame.”
Maddie smiled a wide, stunning smile. “You have my eternal gratitude, Flame. I am forever in your debt.”
Flame stared and stared at Maddie, a f**kin’ hungry expression on his face. I cleared my throat to break the tension and Mae tore her worried eyes off the brother to focus back on me.
Where’s Rider? I signed.
Mae’s eyes widened and the pulse in her throat started racing.
“Gone,” she whispered and stared at the ground.
I clicked my fingers to get her attention. My jaw tensed as she looked up and I signed, Gone the f**k where?
Mae began fidgeting with her hands. She weren’t telling me something.
“He got away…” Her eyes filled with tears. “He saved my life, Styx. He killed Brother Jacob.”
All the brothers tensed.
Explain, I signed, my fingers stiff.
“He was running away. He tried to get me to go with him.” I knew my face looked like that of Hades himself. “I said no, of course.” She assured me quickly. “But then Jacob came at us with a gun.” Her bottom lip began to tremble. “Cain, that is, Rider, killed him… He snapped Jacob’s neck, right in front of me. He killed, Styx… for me. You must understand, for him, due to his faith, this was a mortal sin; he killed one of his own, a chosen one, an elder… He damned his soul for me. I was right to give him his freedom.”
I threw my head back and squeezed my eyes shut. Rider, Cain, whatever the f**k his name was. The bastard was always getting in my f**kin’ way. Why couldn’t the cunt just f**k off, out of our lives for good?
A small, gentle hand gripped mine. I opened my eyes to see Mae staring up at me, her wolf eyes huge and apologetic. “He left once and for all because I chose you, Styx. I told him I loved you, only you. That I would only ever be with you,” she whispered for my ears only.
My anger faded a little, and gripping Mae’s nape, I crushed her to my chest, my mouth at her ear. “H-Home. I n-need to have you h-home. And away f-from this f**kin’ p-place.”
Her chin lifted and she smiled in relief. “And my sisters?”
“They come too.” I snapped my head to the left, to Ky, who had answered Mae’s question. Ky, who was still staring at Lilah. And Flame who was boring f**kin’ holes into Maddie, his black eyes bordering on possessed.
Jesus. H. Christ. This weren’t gonna be easy. These cock-twitchin’ bitches were sure as shit gonna stir things up at the club.