The late autumn full moon shone silver rays in the night darkness, creating a patchwork of night black and lit areas around the house. A Black SUV stopped near the house. The inner light of the SUV came on as Carlson got out of the vehicle.
“I’ll have a quick look around, no reason both of us getting cold,” said Carlson as he started to circle the house. He stopped at the steps leading to the front door of the house as if he saw something and then moved towards the dark patch near the front door of the house.
“Wake-up, you cannot sleep here!” growled Carlson, as he shook the arm of the person leaning against the White’s front door. This person smells of soot and Carlson inhaled through his nose, fresh blood?
“Ouch! What the hell! Be careful!” shouts the bundle of rags at Carlson’s feet.
Carlson recognised the voice of Annie White, the owner of the house.
“Come on Annie, wake-up!” Carlson shook her again, careful not to touch her same arm. “You cannot sleep here!”
“This is my house and I can sleep here if I want,” she grumbled at him and she promptly went back to sleep.
“Annie”, Carlson shook her again, “you are bleeding, wake-up!”.
Jarrod, Carlson’s life mate, got out of the black SUV, wondering what is taking Carlson so long. He, Carlson only wanted to see if the fire of this morning has been extinguished. Jarrod saw Carlson was standing on the steps leading to the front door of the house.
“Duck” Jo-Anne shouted at Jarrod as he moved towards the first step, just as the wind blew sharp pieces of glass and metal of a wind chime, hanging from the lamp post at the bottom of the steps, towards Jarrod.
Luckily Jarrod has fast reflexes and quickly jumped out of the way of the swaying ornamental pieces of the wind chime. Fixed to the end of the chimes were very sharp pieces of coloured glass and metal that made the musical noise. If Jarrod’s reactions were any slower, he would have received a nasty cut from the chimes.
Jarrod coloured the air blue with his swear words. “Typical nonsense woman thinks is pretty,” He shouted at Jo-anne.
Jo-anne shrugged her arm out of Carlson’s grip and struggles to stand up. “How dare you insult me like that,” she shouted back. “This piece of art,” and she pointed derogatorily towards the chimes, “is Peter’s idea, and I was prevented from taking it down, regardless of how dangerous the stupid thing is.” Jo-anne started to sway on her feet and she quickly sat down before she fell down.
Carlson looked down at Jarrod “Are you OK?” He asked with concern.
“Yes” shouted Jarrod as he walked purposefully towards the chimes and broke it off the lamp post and threw the offensive piece of metal and glass in the nearby dumpster with a clang.
“Jarrod, please bring me the first aid kit, Annie is bleeding.”
When Jarrod reached them, he pointed the torchlight towards Annie’s face, as she sat hunched over on the top step. He gave her a bottle of water and also passed a blanket to Annie. She gratefully took both, wrapping the blanket around her legs. She gratefully gulped the water down as the loss of blood made her thirsty.
What they saw shocked them. In front of them sat a bedraggled woman covered in black soot. All they can see of her face is her red bloodshot eyes and the long tear down her left arm, which glistened wetly with blood.
“What are you doing here?” she asked Carlson when she put the empty bottle down on the step next to her.
“I heard you set a bed on fire and wanted to make sure the fire is out.” He said in his best head enforcer voice, “and wanted to ensure everything is alright, with Charles being away”.
“This is not Charles’ house, it is mine! He does not have any rights here anymore!” Jo-anne spat at him.
Jarrod raised his eyebrows to Carlson, Annie is usually reticent and when she spoke it was respectful and kind, they have never heard her being so aggressive.
Jarrod stepped forward lifting the first aid kit, “Let me have a look so I can stop the bleeding.”
“Alright,” she gave in “providing you keep your insults to yourself. I will take your insults as read, they are already burnt into my soul.”
Jarrod ignored the jibe and gently cut away her shirt sleeve and wiped away the blood. They saw a long cut on the bicep of her left arm. The cut was about twenty centimetres in length and looked deep in places. Most of the bleeding has stopped but, blood still oozed from areas along of the cut.
While Jarrod cleaned and bandaged the wound, Carlson sat down on the step next to her and asked her how she got hurt. She explained that the chimes attacked her as she walked toward the front door to make sure it was locked. Carlson also tried to find out if she was injured anywhere else, but she assured him, only her arm hurts.
Jo-anne looked at Jarrod while he was working on her arm, amazed she said “ For a guy that hates women, you are very gentle”.
“I do not hate women,” Jarrod said looking at her in surprise.
“Humph, of course, you do why else would you criticise and insult us when you see a woman. Look it’s okay, at least you stayed the same, you hated women before mating with Carlson, not all of a sudden after you were mated to a man.”
“She will need stitches,” Jarrod said to Carlson, as they helped her down the steps. Jo-anne pulled out of their grasps and stumbled to her car.
“We will take you to Frank, he can stitch you up,” Carlson said thinking that will calm her down.
“No way,” she said rearing up. “I am not going near that nasty man”.
Carlson looked questioningly at Jarrod. Silently communicating with each other over the strangeness of this evening.
“Frankie does not have a nasty bone in his body.” Carlson laughed at her, thinking of the small, wiry man, with the normally big smile on his face.
Annie looked at him with disdain and said, “You are not female, so how would you know and being mated to a woman hater,” she said as she stumbled away.
Carlson approached her slowly as he would approach a wounded animal. Knowing that injured animals can be dangerous.
“Okay, we will take you to the hospital,” said Carlson holding out his hand to her.
“I need the car” she insisted while Carlson gently turned her towards his SUV. He and Jarrod helped her into the vehicle and assured her that they will bring her back to the house to collect the car. Jarrod sat in the back of the vehicle to keep an eye on her.
The heat inside the SUV and the smell of leather are making her drowsy and they knew the last thing she must do is to fall asleep, as delayed shock can be dangerous.
Jarrod looked at her questioningly, asking her if she and Frankie had a fight. She then told them that Frankie said that women are only useful for cleaning and having babies and when she tried to argue the case for women’s rights, Declan turned on her saying she must leave and as pack Alpha instructed, she left the gathering. Carlson wanted to know if that was the reason she did not attend any of their pack events the last three months, but before she could answer, Carlson turned into hospital parking area, stopping her from answering.
They helped her into the emergency waiting area and where was a doctor already waiting to for them.
Jo-anne looked up and groaned, “Doctor Perfect, just what I need!” and promptly fainted.