Chapter Twenty - Tristan Almost Loses Control

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Nia moaned in the seat next to me as I sped the car back home. I was fuming, my insides raging with anger. Seeing Jake's hand on Hannah's knee almost threw me over the edge. But the thought of hurting my best friend had my body filling with more anger. This mate thing would send me crazy if I couldn't tell Hannah the truth. It was already pushing me over board. I was angry with Jake but I was angry at myself too and everyone else. Why couldn't I tell my friend the truth? Jake never would go after Hannah if he knew she was my mate.

And I knew Jake liked Hannah. I could see it in his eyes and the way he was around her. He always had a soft spot for humans, and blondes. A new wave of anger surged through my body and I swerved the car round a bend. Nia moaned as her body moved from side to side.

"Slow down, you're going too fast," she complained, her eyes shut, her head back.

I rolled my eyes but at the same time I was thankful that Nia was here with me. When I saw Hannah next to Jake, Nia was the only thing stopping me from transforming into my wolf there and then. Now Nia was the reason I wasn't chasing down Jake in my wolf form. I had to get her home, although I was dreading Mam seeing her in this state.

Glancing over at Nia I felt her pain, and slowed the car down. Guilt began to eat away at me. I felt bad about snapping at Hannah and for not offering to take her home. My actions were to keep our bond a secret but what was the point if I ended up pushing her away instead. I either had to tell Hannah what I really was or I had to trust Jake with my secret until I felt Hannah was ready for the werewolf reveal.

I also felt guilty about Nia. I should have gotten to the party sooner, been there to look out for her. Nia had never drunk like this before and I knew it was to do with Dad. Maybe it was also to do with my recent behaviour, accusing Uncle Morgan and separating myself from the pack. Nia was, or used to be, a sweet girl, and she got on well with Uncle Morgan. She thought he wasn't that bad, he was nice to her, but she never saw the way he was around Dad. She never saw his jealously, but I did, and I knew the truth. But it was that truth that had upset Nia so much. She wasn't ready to hear that her family was so messed up. I hadn't thought about her when I accused Morgan and now Nia was suffering.

I sighed as I stopped the car outside the little cottage. Against Nia's mumbled protests, I carried her inside and led her down on the sofa. As soon as I sat her down Mam came running down the stairs.

"What happened?" she asked, rushing over to Nia's side.

"She's had a lot to drink. I think she threw up the worst of it back at the party."

Nia grumbled something but she relaxed on the sofa, her eyes closed.

"But you were out on your date?" Mam said.

"Jake called me," I muttered, not wanting to talk about my night. My time with Hannah had been going perfectly until I ruined it.

My hands balled at my sides and they began to shake as I relieved the scene at the party.

"What happened?" Mam asked me this time, tucking a blanket over Nia.

"I messed up!" I shouted.

"Shh..." Mam grabbed my arm and dragged me a few steps away from Nia

"The date was going perfectly then I had to pick Nia up. I left Hannah in the car but by the time I'd found Nia Hannah had made her way into the party. And Jake was all over her!" I shouted again, unfairly exaggerating Jake's actions.

"What are you talking about?" Nia mumbled.

Mam went over to her. She stroked her tangled hair.

"Shh... go to sleep and we'll talk in the morning."

"I'm thirsty. My throat hurts," Nia complained.

"I'll get you some water," Mam replied, and pulled me into the kitchen with her.

"You need to calm down, go for a run, get this out of your system. You risked a lot taking Hannah to that party even if you asked her to stay in the car."

"I know but I couldn't leave Nia in this state!"

Mam shook her head and took a glass from the cupboard.

"You need to find a way to get close to Hannah without pushing her away. Getting angry with Jake will only scare her off. You can't afford to lose control."

"Urgh! I know! Stop telling me things I already know!"

I stormed to the door and flung it open. The cold night air hit me and cooled my burning skin. I slammed the door behind me as I took off running into the woods. Clothes flew from my back as I couldn't stop to take them off. The change was too close, the anger and frustration bubbled under my skin. I kept running until I was running on four legs instead of two.

Trees, branches, and leaves hurtled by as I ran faster and faster. I pushed my body to its limits. As my heart pumped and my lungs ached, the rage began to subside.

When I started to slow down I found myself at the edge of Hannah's land. Gwydyr Manor loomed against a starry sky. I paced up and down, my tail flicking, thinking about her alone in that big old house. In the end I found a spot at the edge of the forest. I led down amongst the dead leaves and curling ferns and watched her window. The lights were off and I guessed she was sleeping but I kept watching, looking out for her even if she didn't know it. Once again I had to find another way to apologise to Hannah and explain my behaviour without telling her the real truth.

All I wanted was to tell her everything but it was too soon.

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