“It was scary,” she said in exasperation.
“Hey, you don’t have any room to talk, Kota.” I looked over to see Connelly looking at me. “Who’s the one that kept using my hand to cover their eyes?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said, holding my head up high. He just laughed and put an arm around my shoulders, bringing my head closer to him and giving me a nuggie. They all laughed when he stopped and my hair was all messed up.
“So, you have any idea where you want to eat?” Ivan asked as we began walking along the sidewalks. There were a variety of shops and restaurants around the theater, and it was all on a harbor that looked out over Wolf Lake.
We decided to go to the Mexican food restaurant Ivan had taken Sue to on their first date, and had a pretty good time. The food really was amazing. After holding hands in the movie, we seemed to have a weird energy between us. What was going on here? Were we on a date now, or was that just to calm me down? I was really getting tired of not knowing what was going on between us. Ugh, I thought, I need something to hurry up and happen!
After dinner, we walked around some more, but it felt weird. Ivan and Sue were holding hands and were almost absorbed in their own little world together, while Connelly and I followed with a small space between each other. “Well guys,” Connelly suddenly said, and cute couple turned around. “I think we’re gonna get going. You two have fun.”
“Okay, you too, it was fun!” Sue called over her shoulder as they kept walking.
“We’ll be heading that way in a little while.” Ivan called over his shoulder.
“Thanks,” I said when we turned around.
“No problem,” he nodded, “I knew if I was feeling it you were too.”
“The awkwardness? Yeah,” I said and we laughed a little. After a minute, I finally had to ask, “So, can I ask you a question?”
“Ask away,” he smiled.
“Well, this morning when Sue told me about the double date idea, she said Ivan had already asked you and you said yes. Well, I was just wondering if you meant the double date, or that we were just friends hanging out with them on their date.” I furrowed my brow and ran through my words, making sure they made sense.
I looked at him and he sighed. “Well, to be totally honest, I wasn’t really sure what you would think if I said yes or no, so I just said yes to see what you would think. Does that sound bad?”
“It sounds like me, but I still don’t understand. Did you want it to be a date or not?”
“I wanted you to choose. I knew sooner or later we were going to have this conversation tonight and I would find out what you really wanted.” We had stopped walking now and stood facing each other.
I shook my head. “You can’t just leave it all up to me, because then it sounds like you wouldn’t really care if we were together or not. And that sounds bad.”
“No, no, it’s not like that.” He shook his head hurriedly, “No, I know we didn’t start out on the best of terms, and if you wanted to stay friends a little while longer, I could wait. Then, if you wanted to go ahead and try being together, I would want to do that too. The only reason I’m leaving it up to you is because I don’t want to push you into something you’re not ready for, which obviously, you’re not.”
“Oh,” I glanced down at my hands, embarrassed now at being found out.
He lifted my chin up to look at him and he smiled. “Would you like to stay friends a little while longer?”
“Just a little,” I managed shyly.
He laughed and nodded, “Okay, let’s get you home.” He put an arm around my shoulders and we walked back to the car.
On the drive home, we didn’t talk much, mostly because I was still embarrassed to death. Instead, we listened to music until he turned it down as we pulled in my driveway. “Goodnight, Kota.” He smiled as I stepped out.
“Goodnight,” I said, smiling back as I watched his car back out onto the road and disappear. “Wow,” I breathed. “Today has been weird.”
As soon as Connelly got home, he was through the door and calling, “Mother, where are you?” His cool and calm demeanor were gone and were replaced with stress and an edge in his voice.
“I’m in here, darling,” Amelia’s voice came from the kitchen and from the way she sounded, she wasn’t happy.
Walking through the doorway, he found a pale Alister sitting in a chair bare-chested and bleeding. A large bloodstained bandage lay on the table where Amelia had removed it from his back. Vincent, Mira and Aubrey were all there too, watching Amelia tend to the worst wounds that covered his lower neck, entire right shoulder and upper arm. The scratches across his chest were no longer bleeding.
“Connelly, I’m so glad you’re alright,” Aubrey hurried to him and hugged him.
“Why would I not be?” he glanced at her and then to Alister. “It was you, in the forest today? You attacked her?”
“It’s not our fault,” Mira cut in sadly, leaning against the counter and looking at the floor. Her upper left arm had a bandage wrapped around it. “We were hunting.”
“And you didn’t think to check –”
“Amelia?” Mathias’ voice came from the foyer and then the sound of a door being shut hard.
“We’re in here,” she called.
“What happened?” he said as soon as his eyes fell on Alister, his face showing anger and worry.
“Kota,” Alister managed through a gasp of pain as Amelia peeled the rest of his bandages off.
“What?!” he sounded outraged and almost scared. “Someone tell me what happened right now.”
“They were out hunting, him and Mira,” Connelly started and Mathias glanced dangerously at her, “and so were Kota and her friends. Kota shot Mira when she dove in front of the deer Kota was aiming for, and Alister didn’t get attacked by Kota at all. He was about to attack her before he got attacked by another wolf.”
“– That came out of nowhere!” Alister added vehemently.
“You two went hunting and didn’t check to see if there was anyone else in the vicinity?” He looked from him to Mira, his eyes ablaze. “Do you know what could have happened if they had truly seen you or if you hadn’t run away? What were you thinking!” Everyone jumped at his raised voice, especially Mira.
“We were there first!” she said, her eyes beginning to shine, “The wind was blowing and was in their favor.”
“That is no excuse!” he boomed and she jumped again. “Both of you were careless and look what happened!” He looked between both of them and then zeroed in on Alister. “And you,” he growled, putting one hand on the table as he leaned toward him. “You were attacking her?”
Alister had paled even further and winced as he leaned away from Mathias. “N-no, sir,” he stammered, “I was just scaring her, that’s it. She shot at me! She looked at me and told me she would kill me!”
“She thought you were a regular animal!” he yelled, “So is that when you attacked?”
“No, I ran into the bushes, and then I followed her. All I wanted to do was scare her, but –”
“– but you got too close and was overcome. Weren’t you,” he finished and nodded. After a second, Alister sighed and nodded too, making everyone in the room sigh as well. “And then what?”
“And then that wolf jumped out and attacked me, but I swear sir, it wasn’t a normal wolf. It was the biggest thing I’d ever seen and it was too white, like it was glowing! Look what it did! This is not normal!” he pointed at his shoulder and neck with his uninjured hand. “I swear, she did it. She called it, or something.”