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Chapter 30: Diabolical

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"Okay," I sigh as I return to my mother and sister who are sitting in the living room off of the study. They are as silent and as still as I left them. "Would you like to see where you'll be staying? I just have to grab Maude and we can—"

"We're leaving?" Mom questions, hardly turning her head to look at me.

"Well, you'll be staying where our guests—"

"Not here?"

Lily stares at the small square pillow next to her, seemingly in deep thought. I restrain myself from shifting and pouncing on our mom for her sake.

"No, not here," I confirm, rigid.

"Thank the Goddess," Mom mutters and springs from her living chair. "Come, Lily. Let's follow your sister."

"I'll be right back," I tell them and head for the kitchen where Maude is likely eavesdropping. I find her standing at the counter with her arms crossed—not a book or mug of tea in sight.

"It got really quiet for a moment there," she says and then asks, "Is everything alright?"

"Theo's putting them in the guest houses, so I need you to come and show us which houses they are."

Her brow lifts. "Come? With your mother there?"

"She won't do anything to you; she only targets people who don't do what she says," I explain, trying to make my mother appear less irrational than I know she can be. "We'll just show them the houses, bring the food with us, and as soon as they step foot in the guest houses, you can go, okay?"

Maude runs her tongue across her teeth, thinking with crossed arms. "Did the Alpha tell me to show you where they are?"

I nod.

"Alright, let's grab the food and go." Maude opens the fridge and begins repacking the goods we recently stored away.

"Hey, what happened to me being your Luna? I have authority too."

"How about helping? I'm afraid to keep that woman waiting."

"Yeah, you're right," I mumble and grab the milk jug from the fridge door. "It's probably best if we tread lightly and avoid any conflict. I don't want her shouting at me in front of packed members."

"Is the all-important Luna scared of getting scolded by her Mom?" Maude jeers.

"I could be Luna of the entire world and she still wouldn't listen to me."

We scoop our gatherings from the gardens, butcher, and other places into our arms and meet Lily and Mom in the foyer. Lily tries to smile.

"This is Maude, she'll be walking with us," I tell them.

"What's all this?" Mom asks and gestures at our full arms.

"Fresh produce, meat, and other things for the kitchens."

She eyes the baskets and bags closer. "We'll see if it's enough."

I yearn to say that only Lily was wanted here and all of this was supposed to be for her, but I press my lips together and will my outburst back down my throat. "If anything runs out, we can always get more," I say hospitably.

Mom gives no sign of approval. She beckons Lily to open the door, and Lily promptly obliges, holding it for her as she steps out. Maude and I pass through next with our arms full, and once everyone has cleared, Lily shuts the door. Her mouth opens but she's suddenly distracted by a wolf rounding the corner from behind the house.

"They're just guarding," I attest.

She gives a look that she's relaxed but her body remains stiff. "Oh, okay."

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