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I stare at myself in the mirror, wincing.

How the fuck could I let this happen?

Instead of spending last night enjoying my peace, I spent it tossing and turning in my bed, thinking of Carran...

The last person I want to be thinking of at any point in time.

The problem is, Carran's admission has done more than just stun me. It has complicated things. I don't actually think he likes me, at least how he thinks. He just wants something over Sire, a way to aggravate him.

And if Sire finds out, he won't stop to think why Carran kissed me. My own Alpha will be dead in no time.

Gritting my teeth, I tug my hair from its bun, my dark hair falling over my neck.

I didn't realise how hard Carran kissed me last night. It wasn't passionate by any means, but in the moment I didn't feel how hard his hands gripped my face.

And now, under my jaw, on my neck, and six total fingerprints, with three on each side of my neck. They are faint, but it's obvious they are there.

And why...

I pace back and forth, the wood floor creaking beneath my steps. Sire will be here any minute now to take me back to his manor, and he is hauntingly attentive.

Maybe I should go to Mary's. She may have something I can use to cover it up. Problem is, I won't be able to get there in time, even if I drive.

A hand grabs my arm from behind me. "Woah, what's with the pacing?"

I yelp, stumbling back a few steps. Whirling around, I stare back at a concerned looking Sire, his gaze roving over me.

Instinctively I pull my hair further around my neck, concealing most of my skin. I've never been grateful to have such thick, curly hair.

"Nothing, sorry," I mutter, resting my palm on my forehead. "I didn't hear you arrive."

He tracks me with his hard stare as I wander into the kitchen, filling a glass of water. "I only just got here. Why were you pacing?"

"I've just been thinking about the curse, about how it could get me or Mary at any moment," I blurt out before draining the whole glass of water.

It's not entirely a lie, but it's not why I'm stressed right now.

Gah, since when did I start sweating so much?

Sire takes a step toward me, his presence washing over me. He grabs my chin, forcing me to look into his eyes when I so desperately want to avert them.

I'm not the best liar, and Sire is good at reading my emotions.

"The curse isn't your fault. Stop bearing this burden," he murmurs.

I swallow thickly. Oh. He believes me.

"I'm just worried about it hurting people. Please, we need to start doing more to find a way to end it," I exclaim. This is an easy excuse to run with because I genuinely want more to be done about the curse.

I could wake up tomorrow being dreadfully sick. Sire knows that.

He lets my chin go. "We will get this done. I promise it is my focus."

It's true, it is his focus. But it won't be if he knows what Carran did last night. He will go back to wanting revenge, just when we have been making such good progress.

"Okay. Good."

He slips his hand into mine. "Let's get you back home. This Pack is going to ruins and I don't want you in it for much longer."

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