“Kyle, stop wallowing,” I snapped.
Glen and Kendra stared at me. I sounded harsh as hell, and they probably thought I was being a complete asshole. I didn’t disagree, but it was the only thing that Kyle might actually hear.
“You saved my fucking life.” I leaned across the island and tried to look Kyle in the eye. The tension returned to his body. Anger, this time.
Knock this off, I said, choosing this time to speak through the mate bond so I wouldn’t piss off Kendra and Glen. I know it’s hard. You hate what you had to do. That’s good. It means you don’t do it lightly. But you had to. This wasn’t a time you could have made a different choice. No matter what you did, someone would have died in that room.
Fuck you, he said.
Later. It’ll get some of your aggression out.
He looked up, startled, and barked out something that might have been a laugh. Kendra did a double take. Glen again didn’t react other than to say, “Laughing isn’t a bad thing.”
“Private joke.” Kyle sat up a little straighter and finished his water. “Kendra, can I have more, please?”
“Sure.” Looking confused, she took the glass to the fridge’s water dispenser.
“I can’t promise I won’t wallow again,” Kyle said.
“I know.” I rested my hand on the island, and he took it. “We’ll get through it. But remember why you did this. Not why the wolf did. Why Kyle Slidell, the human side, took someone’s life to save his own. And mine.”
He nodded. “I had no choice.”
“That’s right.” I squeezed his hand. “I love you, Kyle. I would say I forgive you, but you didn’t do anything you need forgiveness for. Do you understand?”
“I love you too.” He let out a long breath. “I should lie down. I didn’t think I’d be able to, but now I feel like I’m going to fall over. I don’t want to be all the way upstairs, though.”
“We’ll set you up in one of the guest rooms down here if you want.” I glanced at Kendra, who nodded.
“Yeah, that would be good.” Kyle broke off a piece of the muffin and swallowed it without chewing. “I need to stay down here. This isn’t over. You think it is. You think you’ve taken care of him and come up with a plausible story for what happened. It’ll work for the human world. Not for ours. There are consequences.”
He spoke the way he did whenever random information came to him. As if he were reciting something he’d known forever while having no idea where it came from.
I hated hearing him speak that way, because it meant he was right. Somehow, someone would know what he’d done to Andrew, and they wouldn’t let it rest. And it made perfect sense. Whoever had been controlling Andrew would have felt the bond break. And whatever that wolf knew, the Anax knew.
“Go rest for now,” I said. “We’ll worry about what happens next when it happens. I won’t leave you if I can help it. I won’t let them hurt you.”
He gave me a faint smile. “You’re always saving my ass. The same way you did when I took off after Mikey that time. I don’t think you can get me out of this one, Tobias. Zane didn’t want to punish me for shifting in front of humans, so it didn’t take much for him to decide to let me live. The A—this guy wants us both dead, and he’s going to take the opportunity.”
“Shut up and go rest.” I spoke more roughly than I intended this time. I refused to accept the possibility of my mate dying for what he’d done. If he’d killed Andrew in cold blood, I would have taken Kyle’s life myself, but he hadn’t.
The Anax wouldn’t see it that way. He would find some reason to believe, and make others believe, Kyle had killed for the sake of killing. Kyle was right. The Anax wanted me dead, and the easiest way to do that would be to murder Kyle.