This time it was Brody who shivered. “Because I dream about you. Every night, I dream of you…and me. Yet at school we act like strangers. But I know things about you I couldn’t possibly know. I know you hate the color red, hate being the center of attention. Love journaling, love Asian dumplings. I’m right, aren’t I?”

“I don’t know.” She avoided looking at him. Afraid he’d see the truth in her eyes.

He reached out to touch her shoulders. “How could I know that your kisses taste like honey? And I would give anything for another one, but yet…I don’t think we’ve ever kissed.”

The tears came, and Mina thanked God that it was raining to at least hide them. “I don’t kn—”

“Stop. Don’t say that again. I don’t think I can hear those words again. Not from you.” Brody’s grip became tighter and he pulled her closer.

“I’m sorry. I don’t have the answers you want,” she answered softly, refusing to meet his gaze.

“No, I think you do.” The water trailed off of Brody’s cheek and dripped onto Mina’s face with a small stream. She flinched from the splash and her movement brought Brody back to the present. He looked around and only now seemed to notice he was holding her captive in the middle of her driveway in the pouring rain. He stepped back, appearing upset with himself, and ran his hands through his hair.

Mina wanted to wrap her arms around him and tell him everything would be okay. But she couldn’t. She didn’t dare. She was a bona fide chicken when it came to him. “I’m sorry, Brody,” she whispered. She looked over her shoulder at him before she walked away. “For everything.”

Without warning, he grabbed her arm and pulled her into his embrace. His lips locked onto hers, and he kissed her. She was momentarily a prisoner of his desire, and she didn’t respond right away. His hand lowered to her back refusing to let her pull away. He wasn’t going to let her escape.

She didn’t try. She leaned in and met his kiss. The ember of desire that she’d been squelching for so long started to burn hotter. Maybe it was because Jared was gone that she felt lost…alone. She’d closed herself off from so many other emotions that she forgot what it was like to feel. And right then, with his kiss, she felt more alive than she had in weeks. Her hand reached up to cradle his neck, encouraging him. Never before had their kisses been like this. It may have started off soft, unsure, and confused, but then it was as if something awoke in them.

Their lips remembered. Then the sparks that have been pushed down for so long resurfaced.


He pulled away and Mina gasped for breath, his mouth still inches from hers. His eyes locked onto her lips as if he couldn’t believe what they had just shared. Their breaths were ragged, and he squeezed her closer to him.

“See, we’re a natural fit. We’ve must have done this before,” he buried his head into her shoulder, hugging her close, the rain a forgotten thing.

Mina sighed in happiness. This—this was what she could have if she had a normal life. Brody leaned back and brushed away a wet tendril of hair that had wrapped around her cheek. “If it’s okay with you, I’d like to try that again, just to make sure I won’t forget this kiss.”

Mina smiled. “I’m not going anywhere.”

Brody’s face lit up and he lifted her chin slowly. Her heart raced with anticipation as he leaned in to seal their kiss and their new relationship. She felt the warmth of his breath whisper across her lips before an animal-like snarl ripped through the night, searing fear into her heart.

Brody spun, and Mina stared over his shoulder to see an impossibly large black wolf only feet away. The wolf’s mouth was opened wide, teeth glaring as he lunged for Brody’s throat.

Chapter 6

Mina screamed in terror as Brody was knocked to the ground with the full force of the large wolf. Brody lifted his arm to protect his throat, but the wolf locked his teeth around his forearm and continued the attack on Brody’s arms and stomach with his powerful front legs.

Brody twisted, brought his feet up, and successfully launched the wolf off him. He rolled to his side and looked toward Mina, his face filled with fear as he struggled to his knees. The wolf recovered from the throw quickly and prepared to attack again.

“Brody!” Mina cried out. She rushed forward, putting herself between the wolf and Brody. Her arms flailed wide as she made herself a human shield. Tears fell from her eyes as she challenged the wolf. “Come on! I dare you!”

It wasn’t fair. Just when she thought she could recover and have a normal life, normal boyfriend, something terrible happened. She was sick to death of it.

“Mina, no!” Brody warned, as he slowly got to his feet.

The wolf rebounded quickly and began to pace in a half-circle, searching for a way to get to his target. His dark fur bristled, and he growled in warning. He turned his canine eyes on her, and she gasped at the intense blue that stared at her.

The rain began to pour down faster, and—as the wolf continued pacing—Mina found it difficult to focus on where he was. One minute he was in front of her, the next five feet to the left.

Her instinct to protect those she cared about caused her to do something she’d been trying to avoid. Her skin began to prickle with electricity. As the air charged with power, Mina closed her eyes and exhaled. She focused on the pounding of her impossibly fast heart.

The screen door slammed, and she opened her eyes. Nix rushed out of the house screaming with the fire poker in his hand. He jumped off the porch and landed among the rocks, skittering the smaller pebbles along the ground.

The wolf turned, zeroing in on the new threat. Nix held the poker out in front of him, then swung the metal rod toward the animal, trying to make the wolf back up.

The wolf dodged to the side and ran away into the trees.

Nix watched him retreat into the darkness before he turned around to ask, “Is everyone all right?”

Brody nodded and moved to stand near Mina.

The black form darted toward Nix from a different direction, releasing no warning growl.

“Nooo!” Mina screamed, releasing the power she’d gathered to herself. A flash of lightning came out of the night and struck the ground inches from Nix. The startled wolf flew off of the Nixie, landing on his back. A second bolt of lightning struck the wolf, burning off a patch of fur and searing the skin, filling the air with the smell of burnt flesh. The wolf yelped in pain and disappeared into the night. This time he did not return.

Nix blinked his eyes and looked at the scorched earth inches from his prone body. “Well, I’ll be. I thought lightning never struck the same place twice.”

“It doesn’t usually.” Brody answered, coming to survey the damage. His right arm had some nasty cuts, and the teeth marks had gone deep.

“Well, thankfully, mother nature was on our side tonight.” Mina shivered as she struggled to release the energy zinging through her fingertips back into the atmosphere. She had saved them—she knew it. Mina wasn’t sure how, but there was no denying that she was the one who called down the lightning. It had struck exactly where she’d wanted it to.

Nix stood up and eyed Mina suspiciously. “Yeah, when you see her next, tell her thanks from me.”

Mina ignored him and went over to Brody, who was staring off into the night where the wolf had disappeared.

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