Home > The Rebel Guardian (Outlaw #2)(8)

The Rebel Guardian (Outlaw #2)(8)
Author: Lexi Blake

I shook my head because this whole situation was fucked up. “He’s working with Lucifer. With the literal devil himself, and you think I’m not let down?”

Trent’s eyes went steely. “I didn’t have a fucking say in that, Kelsey. Gray does what he thinks is right, and most of the time he doesn’t ask for my input. Do you think I wasn’t upset? He didn’t consult me or I would have told him we would find another way. But quite frankly, at the time I was dealing with traumatized children and the fact that I had no idea if my mate was alive or dead, and I was holding on by a fucking thread.”

I was handling this all wrong. I was losing my shit when Trent needed me to totally keep track of it. I took a long breath. “That is not a being I want in our lives. Lucifer Morningstar is as bad as it gets. I didn’t want Gray working for his father, much less for Lucifer. How much damage is already done? Fen won’t call him Papa.”

Trent stood, and I knew he was upset with me because he started to look for his clothes. “Fen sees the world in black and white. He doesn’t understand that Gray was trying to protect us all.”

I had to point out some truths to my mate. “There are bounties on the kids’ heads, so he didn’t do a good job of it.”

“He made certain Myrddin didn’t send demons chasing us across the planes. As long as we were off plane, we were safe.”

I stared at him because I didn’t need to say a thing. Why the fuck hadn’t they stayed off plane, then?

He shoved his legs into jeans, every movement a testament to how much I was annoying him. “You try to deal with a Green Man, a wolf king, a latent vampire, and Zoey Donovan-Quinn’s daughter and see how long you can keep them from coming back to fight for their home and their people. I had to raise those kids. Me and Sasha. We’re not sit-on-the-sidelines types. We had to teach them how to fight, and we always knew we would have to come back. Do you understand what’s been going on here? What he’s done to the other supernatural creatures? How many of us he’s killed? He wiped out packs who wouldn’t submit to him. Both here and across the globe. You know that pack in Italy you used to run with? It’s gone. He wiped them out with a snap of his hand once he had some real power. You would have me cower and hide while my people—your people—are dying? While the great packs that my son should be leading are suffering? Well, my mate, I guess you don’t know me as well as you should, and this reunion doesn’t mean what I thought it did.”

I was fucking up and hard. I’d been so careful around Fen, but I wasn’t giving Trent any of the same consideration. He was my safe space and I let him have my every unfiltered opinion, and maybe that worked when I was there with him all the time. But there were years and years between us, years where he’d changed and I hadn’t.

Years for him to idealize me.

I could prove him wrong about that in a few seconds.

Insecurity came down like the gates of a cage snapping into place. He’d waited for me, and I suddenly wasn’t sure I was worth it.

“I’m sorry. I’m not handling this well.” I didn’t want to be so angry. He didn’t deserve my anger. Honestly, until I talked to Gray and got his perspective, he didn’t deserve my anger either.

“I should have known.” He reached for his shirt, pulling it over his head. “I should have known you would come back and find flaws with every single thing I’ve done. I should have known this would go the way everything seems to fucking go lately.”

Something was wrong. This wasn’t Trent. Trent was the guy who calmed me down.

Of course, that had been Trent before I left him.

He stopped and closed his eyes as though trying to reset himself. When he opened them, he was calmer than before, but the disappointment was right there. “I’ll call Eddie.”

“We can stay for a while.”

He was reaching for his cell. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. I think we should get to the point of your visit.”

Guilt twisted through me. “It’s not a visit, Trent. I’m home. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. I’m sorry I’m not adjusting as quickly as I should and that I’m being a bitch. I was with you four days ago and you would have rolled your eyes at me and handed me a beer and told me to deal with it.”

“Yeah, well, it’s been longer for me, and having my mate tell me what a shitty father I’ve been hurts.”

“That’s not what I said.” I moved toward him.

He shook his head. “It’s what I heard. My ears changed. I could have handled that criticism twelve years ago, Kelsey, and hopefully I’ll be able to handle it again someday when we’re on stable ground, but for now it hurts.”

I hadn’t meant to hurt him. Not at all. I’d missed him. Even the short time we’d been apart from my perspective had been far too much. “I’m sorry. I’m pushing you when I should give you space. I love you. I love you so much and I hate that I made you feel like you’ve done a bad job. Babe, I’ve been here five minutes and I shouldn’t have an opinion. If you were Gray, I would have treated you with kid gloves. I’m not used to this. Please forgive me.”

He sighed and moved into my space, his arms going around me and pulling me close to him. “Forgive me. I’m being touchy because I saw Gray yesterday. Being near him…it’s unsettling when he’s been in Lucifer’s presence. It’s getting worse, and I don’t know what to do.”

“Because he was an angel.” I hugged Trent close. “Lucifer was an angel. Being in his presence must rub off on Gray and affect those around him. What happened to your talisman?”

He stepped back, his shoulders dropping in an expression I recognized as frustration from him. “Damn it. I didn’t think of that. I lost that talisman years ago when we were off plane. I haven’t thought about it in a long time. I’ve got the demonic one, but I’ll be honest, I don’t wear it unless I’m out in the field.”

We’d dealt with angels years before. When they were unbalanced, they could infect those around them with their instability. I couldn’t think of anyone more unbalanced than Lucifer Morningstar. Despite the fact that he ruled over the Hell plane, he was still angelic in nature. But we’d found ways to deal with it. The main one being a tattoo to counter the influence.

Unfortunately—unlike me—my man actually changed his whole form. I was a weird hybrid wolf and the only actual change I could make was my arm. And even that didn’t turn to a wolf claw. Instead I got a handy demon arm due to having some royal demonic blood in my system the first time it changed. I found it helpful and way tougher than a wolf claw. Let’s face some facts. Wolf claws are more useful when the person who has one is running around on four legs. The demon arm is way easier to use on two feet.

But I digress. The point is, any tat on Trent would disappear once he changed. He could sit on that chair for hours and the next full moon his skin would be pure as a baby’s butt.

“We need to get you another one before you meet with Gray again.” I let my hand slip under his shirt, connecting us skin to skin.

I felt him relax.

I had to remember to treat him like a wolf who’d been separated from his pack for a long time. Sometimes they could be touchy, unsure of their place no matter how many words were said. Especially if they had fucking Lucifer influencing them.

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