Beth smiled sadly and squeezed Aaralyn in a hug which was returned.
“I’m going to talk to Caelan now. Are you okay?” she asked softly.
Aari nodded with a grateful smile. “Yeah, I’ll be alright. Thank you for listening to me. And thank you for helping my son.”
“It’s fine, don’t worry.”
After another squeeze, Beth walked through the kitchen, ignoring Onyx as she breezed through the living room. She glanced down the corridor, locating the door into the lab.
She punched in the six zeroes and entered, the thick metal door swinging open soundlessly.
In the centre of the room, Caelan and Zeke were locked in a tight embrace. Beth coughed a little and the two of them sprang apart.
“No, don’t worry, I never meant to... I just need to talk to you,” she said to the two of them.
Caelan’s worried – or possibly even frightened – expression disappeared quickly. Zeke just looked exhausted, physically and mentally. Caelan smiled at him slightly and took his hand in his.
“What did you want to talk about?” Caelan asked, suddenly relaxed.
“Well... Uh...” What was she supposed to say? “Aaralyn told me about...” She let her sentence trail.
“Yeah, I thought she might,” Caelan said awkwardly.
“When are you going to tell Onyx?” she asked him.
“Oh, okay. Caleb asked me to—”
“What did Caleb ask?” Zeke asked, his eyes sharp and attentive all of a sudden.
Beth looked into those bright blue eyes of his—surely they hadn’t been that vivid a few moments before.
“He said that Onyx would try and kill you.”
Zeke scoffed. “Of course he would. He hates me.”
“No he doesn’t, he—” Caelan started.
Zeke cut him off. “Yes, he does, Cae, don’t lie about a truth I already know.” He turned back to Beth. “What did my irritating little brother want?”
“He wants me to talk to Onyx. To stop him when he goes for you,” Beth told him.
“This isn’t your fight, Beth.”
“This is a family that I want to be a part of, one that I care about. This is may not be my fight, but I’m a part of it.”
Respect flashed through his intense eyes, which she met head-on.
“Are you sure about this? He’s a powerful vampire,” Zeke pointed out, like she didn’t already know that.
“And I’m not exactly human,” she replied.
She paused, thinking of what the Brothers had said in the gym earlier.
She remembered Liam’s words, which had called everything she knew into question:
“You weren’t going easy on her, not when she took you down. You were taking advantage of your speed. And so was she.”
“I don’t know,” she said to Zeke.