“What do you do for Christmas?” she asked, changing the subject almost desperately and he wanted to understand what had been going on in that head of hers but he thought it prudent to let it go.
The mood, he sensed, was still light. He wanted that for himself but, getting the impression he’d given her a good day, mostly he wanted it for Sonia.
“You share the morning with your mate and your children, if you have them. You open your presents, you have breakfast.” He grinned wolfishly. “You make love while the children are playing.” She bit her lip and he went on, “Then the direct family gets together in the afternoons and we stay together into the evening, feasting, drinking, playing games. Nothing formal, everything relaxed. We have fireworks and a glass of warm, mulled wine at midnight then, if you aren’t already home, you go home.”
Her expression shifted back to gentle and he knew it was sincere as her body had molded to his.
“That sounds very fun,” she said softly before she made a comical disgusted face, “except mulled wine.”
“We’ll get you champagne,” he murmured, thinking of next Christmas and Sonia standing in his arms but amongst his brethren, wrapped tight in the furs he’d give her, drinking champagne with her face tipped to the stars and the multi-colored bursts of fireworks lighting her skin and hair.
Definitely something to look forward to.
“I’d prefer champagne,” she murmured back, gazing at him curiously but matching his tone as if attentive to his mood.
His eyes slid to the clock and he noted the time.
His arm brought her ever closer as his hand slid into her hair, tenderly fisting and twisting, he brought her lips to his.
There he muttered, “Merry Christmas, baby doll.”
And he gave her a kiss that communicated the promise that her lonely Christmases past were a memory and that her every Christmas of the future would start just… like… this.
Her eyes were dazed when his mouth broke from hers, her breathing unsteady and she glanced adorably unfocused toward the clock, taking in a deep breath.
When her eyes refocused, she sighed and looked back at him.
He waited, uncharacteristically patiently, as her green eyes searched his face then looked deep into his, again like she was trying to read him and she doubted what she saw.
Finally, she whispered, “Merry Christmas, Callum.”
He was disappointed she didn’t call him “wolf” or any other sweet nothing she could dream up.
Even so, his disappointment didn’t last long since it was time for bed and the next new tradition Callum was going to introduce.
It was one Sonia liked a great deal.
And, at the end of that, she not only called him “my wolf”.
She screamed it.
* * * * *
Callum woke when he felt Sonia move out of his arms.
His eyes opened as his ears heard her tortured whimper.
His body froze when he saw her.
“Jesus, honey, what the fuck?” he clipped, his hand reaching out to her body which was still under the covers but up on all fours, her head bent low, her breathing erratic.
She reared violently away from him the instant the tips of his fingers glanced her skin but even so he felt the tremendous heat. It felt like she was roasting.
“Sonia,” his voice was sharper with his concern, “what the fuck?”
She didn’t lift her head when she panted her extreme understatement, “Cal, something’s wrong.”
She moved then emitted an almost animal whine and froze.
He slid as close to her as he dared and her breaths became gasps. She sounded like she was fighting for air.
“I’m calling an ambulance,” he announced.
“No!” she cried then gasped, “The syringe, did you fill the syringe?”
“Full, Cal. Did you use it all?”
“Of course I fucking did.”
Her head twisted slowly and she looked at him, her eyes hazy but her voice was terrified when she whispered, “This is what it felt like when I didn’t take the injection. This is the burn. This is me boiling out of my skin,” she gasped then whimpered, terror stark in her tone like she didn’t know whether to scream or wail. “Cal, this has never happened while I’ve been taking the medication. Something’s wrong.”
Dread settled in his gut with the weight of an anvil and he declared again, “I’m calling an ambulance.”
“They won’t know how to treat me!” she cried. “The ER people won’t have even heard of this,” she moaned. “I’ve always been scared this would happen.” Then she released that animalistic whine again and Callum felt it score through his system.
“Your doctor,” he said suddenly.