“It’s not our way,” Caleb announced dismissively.
“Maybe not, but it’s our way,” Callum stated forcefully, making his point by drawing Sonia nearer and beginning to lose his patience as Sonia’s body didn’t lose its rigidity. “My mate is human. This is their symbol. It means something to Sonia therefore it means something to me.”
“But, what happens when –” Caleb started but Callum cut his brother off, knowing what he was going to say. Their males didn’t ever wear rings because they’d lose them if they needed to transform or the rings might do harm during the change to wolf.
“Caleb, let it go,” Callum ordered.
“But –” Caleb began again.
“Let it go,” Callum bit out.
Caleb snapped his mouth shut.
“You don’t have to wear it,” Sonia said quietly and Callum’s head twisted to look at her.
“Did you buy it to sit in a box?” Callum asked.
“Well…” she started hesitantly. “No.”
“You bought it because you wanted me to wear it,” he stated and she pulled in breath then nodded. “So I’m going to fucking wear it.” His gaze sliced through his brothers and he warned, “Not another word.”
Caleb and Calder both looked away.
Regan and Ryon both stared at Callum and Sonia and they were grinning broadly.
Gregor’s lips were twitching.
Yuri looked like he’d just drunk a mouthful of sour milk.
It was Yuri’s look that dissipated Callum’s temper and once he relaxed, Sonia relaxed against him.
“What’s going to be funny is,” Regan began, still smiling but now at Caleb and Calder, “when you two find your lifemates and you two find out what’s important and what’s not. Then we get to give you a hard time by reminding you of your behavior right about now.”
“Regan,” Callum cautioned, “the subject is closed.”
“I just want to declare the right to say ‘I told you so’ at a later date,” Regan shot back and Sonia emitted a soft, stifled laugh.
Callum decided that since the festive mood had been put on hold for a while, he might as well go with it and get what he had to do over with.
He looked at Ryon and informed him, “Sonia had a turn last night.”
Sonia got stiff in his arms again and murmured, “Callum.”
But Ryon was no longer smiling as he queried, “A turn?”
He said these two words at the same time Gregor said them and Yuri’s body grew visibly tight.
“That’s what her doctor called it,” Callum told them. “A turn.”
“Really, it isn’t necessary to alarm them. It wasn’t that bad,” Sonia put in and, at that, Callum’s head twisted to look at her again.
“It wasn’t that bad?” Callum asked in a dangerous voice.
“Well…” she drew out the word as her eyes grew wider upon looking at his face.
Then, astutely, she shut her mouth.
“What happened?” Gregor queried on a barely there snap.
“Her blood heated and she was in extreme pain. She couldn’t even endure touch,” Callum informed the vampire and Gregor’s eyes went to Sonia.
In an openly paternal voice denoting barely controlled patience, he said, “As I’ve explained time and again, my dear, you must not miss an injection.”
“I didn’t,” Sonia replied, Gregor’s eyes narrowed and Callum watched him closely.
“That’s impossible,” Gregor noted. “The doctor assured me that, as long as you take the injection, you’ll feel no physical manifestation of the disease.”
“It’s not impossible because it happened last night,” Callum put in and Gregor’s mouth got hard.
“I’ll be having a word with Dr. Mortenson then. This won’t do,” Gregor snapped. Definitely snapped, his patience was strained beyond his capacity to control it and his anger was palpable.
Both of which, coming from Gregor, were surprising responses.
He either cared about Sonia, Callum thought, and cared a great deal or he was angry that whatever he was injecting her with wasn’t working or side effects had developed that would make Sonia, and Callum, question the treatment.
“The doctor has ordered blood work which Sonia and I are going to the hospital to see to shortly,” Callum announced and then he turned to Ryon. “From this point on, anyone who’s assigned to Sonia will have advanced medical training. We won’t tell them why but they’ll need to be able to administer an injection.” His eyes moved around the table and he went on, “And everyone at this table will learn how to do it.” He looked at Sonia. “And you’ll carry your medication with you at all times and, if you need it, you’ll tell whoever is with you where to find it and that they should give it to you.” She opened her mouth to speak but Callum looked to Ryon and finished, “And I want a supply available everywhere we might possibly go.”