A SCENE IN SYKES’ POV
I settled in front of the TV with a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, propped my feet up on the table and started to chow when she pinged me. Lil. It was hard to describe how I felt about her. Was this love or a crush? Even the communication beam from her sent my pulse racing.
“Hey, Red. Want something to eat?” I got up and offered her my food when all I wanted to do was ask her what was wrong. She had that look in her eyes, like someone had switched off a light inside her. Lil had never been good at hiding her feelings. One could say she was easy to read, but that would be a lie. I was just sensitive to her moods. “It’s hot and spicy.”
“No, thanks. Where’s Remy?”
“He just left with Llyr.” Pretending like I cared, I asked, “So what’s up with him?”
She stiffened. “Uh, what do you mean?”
So Bran was responsible for her pain. What did he do? I watched her as she walked around the couch, wishing he were here so I could punch him for hurting her. “He was more anal than usual tonight. I asked him a simple question and he nearly bit off my head.”
I tried to make her smile by poking fun at Bran but it didn’t work, so I chose the direct method while acting like the answer wasn’t important. I twirled my fork and coiled strands of spaghetti. “Did you two have a fight?”
“N-no. Why would you think that?”
“The sparkle in your eyes is gone. Want me to beat him up for ya?”
She laughed it off. “So when are we leaving?”
I didn’t care about leaving for our next mission or fighting demons, and said so. She was important right now. No, she was always important. I knew I couldn’t have her, but being around her and making her smile made up for it. I ate, aware of her eyes on me. Sometimes, I wondered what went inside her head when she did that. I’d caught her eyes on me once or twice, a thoughtful expression on her face. Did she ever wish she and I had met first? That she had fallen for me instead of Bran?
Not liking that my thoughts were wandering into a dangerous zone, I teased, “Don’t get any ideas, Red.”
“You’re lusting after me, but you can’t have me,” I glanced her way, “until you ditch Neanderthal Llyr. Usually I don’t care what my girls do when they’re not with me. But you,” I winked, “I wouldn’t share you with another guy, especially him.”
She blushed, looking even prettier, if that were possible. She mumbled something about my clothes and got up. “I’m heading home. Ping me when everyone is here.”
“Whoa…whoa, don’t go.” I sat up. She’d go home and mope, and I wasn’t having that. “Come here.”
She eyed me suspiciously, a confused expression on her face. “Why?”
“I want you to take a look at my hair. Remy said I have split ends.” I lifted a lock and pretended to study it. I didn’t care about my hair, but I had to do something to stop her from leaving. “Split ends, my ass. Because of him, I tried to trim it, but did a crappy job. How about you level it for me?” I shook my head.
She took the bait, walked to where I sat and touched my hair. “It’s not bad.”
Our gazes locked. It took all my will power not to wrap my arms around her waist, pull her down onto my lap, hold her and make her pain go away. Would she let me?
The others arrived, including Bran, and the moment was gone.