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The Littlest Red Hood Chapter 2

The Littlest Red Hood Chapter 2

Series: The Littlest Red Hood

One small battle changes everything.

She spent most of the next day getting supplies that she needed for her house. She knew that she had at least two weeks at home because word of new Weres never came until after the full moon.

Werewolves were able to change whenever they wanted, but during a full moon they had to and that is usually what allowed them to be seen by their neighbors or friends. Sometimes, however, it was a stranger unlucky enough to come across one.

That evening, there was a celebration in honor of the fallen men. The whole village was there. There was food, music and the wine was flowing. Cordelia never liked coming to these celebrations, so she had several glasses of wine and was finally starting to relax.

She hated losing men and women under her command because their deaths played over and over in her head. Always wondering if there was something she could have done differently. For her though, what was even worse than losing someone, was looking into the face of their family members. She hated that part and would never come to the celebrations, but Cade said it made her look harder than she was. He said it would look disrespectful if she didn’t come, so she came.

Cordelia was deep in thought, arguing with herself about going home, and had finally made her mind up to leave when someone behind her yelled, “Cordie!”

It startled her enough that she dropped her drink and drew her sword even before she’d finished turning around. The tip of her sword stopped against Helen’s neck.

Helen pushed the sword away, grumbling, “Now don’t you point that thing at me. I had to get your attention somehow. I had been calling your name and you weren’t listening.”

“Sorry Helen, habit,” Cordelia said, smiling at the older woman.

“Yes, of course, habit,” Helen shook her head and mumbled something else about scaring an old woman. “Well, I didn’t just come here to get a sword pulled on me. You remember me telling you about my sister Sara?”

It took her a minute to focus on what Helen was saying. Apparently, she had drunk more than she realized.

“Yes, the one that passed away two years ago,” Cordelia said, sitting down.

“Yes, that’s the one. Well, I would like you to meet her son. Cordelia, this is my nephew Micah.” Helen’s face was beaming with pride.

She looked up to meet the man that had just stepped into her line of sight. She could have sworn she felt her heart stop for a moment. The smiling man in front of her was beautiful. Normally men were not described as beautiful, but she was at a loss for a better word.

He was tall, almost as tall as Cade, with black hair and big green eyes surrounded by thick long lashes. High cheekbones made his face have more of a feminine edge to it, but you could never mistake him for a female. Making her way down his face she saw that his lips were full and looked soft. They were also moving. He had been speaking to her and she had been boldly checking him out..

Smiling at her, he repeated himself, “Hello Cordelia, it’s nice to meet you.” His voice was smooth with just enough bass.

“Hello. I’m sorry your name was what again? It’s a little loud.”

He leaned into her. “It's Micah.”

He was close enough to her that she felt his breath warm on her neck. Her own breath caught and a shudder ran through her. He must have seen it because he grinned as he turned his head away.

“I’m going to get another glass,” Helen said. “You two get to know each other.”

“May I?” Micah asked, gesturing towards the woodpile Cordelia was sitting on.

“Sure,” she said and slid over to give him enough room.

“I never knew Aunt Helen drank. Is this new?” Micah asked.

Cordelia giggled. “No, not at all. Don’t get me wrong, she is not the village drunk. She just enjoys celebrating like the rest of them,” she said, motioning towards the crowd.

There must have been a look on her face because he asked, “You don’t like to celebrate?”

“If I have something to celebrate, then yes. I just don’t believe in celebrating the loss of life, especially if that life was lost under my lead.”

“Oh.” His eyebrows raised and he seemed to assess her a little closer. “You’re with the Red Hoods? I should have guessed by how quickly you pulled your sword.”

Helen came back before Cordelia could answer, and she had brought Cordelia another mug. She took it and took a big swallow to calm the nerves this man had stirred up.

The band started playing a tune that she loved and she began to hum. Cordelia had loved to dance when she was a little girl. It was one of the non-training things the Bishop had taught her. Her feet were tapping to the beat when Cade walked up to them.

“Would you like to dance?” he asked, extending his hand to Cordelia.

She took his hand and allowed him to lead her towards the other dancers. He placed his hand on her waist, and away they went. For the first time that night, Cordelia enjoyed herself. Cade knew her better than anyone because they had been with each other almost every day since they were two years old.

Cade’s mother felt bad for Cordelia and had offered to raise her, but the Bishop had said no. Instead, Cade’s mother had come to the church to help with her. As she and Cade got older, his mother was their teacher. She had always told him, ‘Cordelia needs extra prayers and she needs someone to watch over her. You do that for her Cade, you watch over her. She needs a friend and family, you try very hard to be both.’ Cade had done his best to be both.

Cordelia’s position had made her harder and lately, she had grown distant. There was nothing she felt passionate about, and she never showed emotion while on a hunt. She could kill a werewolf child just as easily as a grown male. That was why the werewolves were afraid of her. Cordelia was their monster, and deep down she liked it that way.

When the song was over, she bowed to him and he took her back to Helen.

“I’m glad you still know how to dance. It’s been a while,” Helen said. “Oh Cade, let me introduce you to my nephew, Micah. Micah, this is Cade. Micah is visiting me for a week. He had business to tend to in a village close by.”

The men shook hands and it looked like they were sizing each other up. There was suddenly tension in their little group.

“Cade, how is Lisa doing?” Cordelia asked. Lisa was Will’s wife and Thomas’s sister. So she had lost two family members at once and had just given birth a month ago.

“Lisa is okay. Well, as okay as she can be. I’m sure she would like it if you came and saw her,” Cade said with more than a hint to his tone.

Cordelia was instantly mad. It was not that she didn’t like Lisa, she did; she just didn’t want to go see her. Deep down Cordelia didn’t feel anything for the four men she had lost and wasn’t sure if she could fake the emotion enough to fool anyone.

“You know why I won’t go see her.”

“I know Cordelia, but you should.”

“I know Cade.” The tone of her voice let him know to drop it. She didn’t want to sit here with him anymore. “I think I want to dance again.”

Cade stood up and offered his hand again. This time she didn’t take it, instead, she turned towards Micah. “Would you like to dance?”

He looked between her and Cade. Still looking at Cade, Micah stood and took her offered hand. “Of course, I would love to dance with you.”

She led him out onto the dance floor. There was an electric spark that went through her when Micah placed his hand on her hip. Their eyes met and she knew he felt it too. His hand holding hers was warm and strong, it tightened just a little in response to her. 

Micah was an amazing dancer. They glided around and moved easily through the crowd of other dancers.

When the song was over Micah kissed her hand and thanked her for the dance. As they walked back, Cordelia could tell that Cade was upset because he was glaring at Micah. She decided that she was not staying there to deal with whatever issue Cade was having.

They reached the woodpile and Cordelia said, “I’m going home now. Have a good night, Cade. Micah, it was a pleasure meeting you, and thank you for the dance. Good night, Helen.”

“Cord!” Cade called out, but she didn’t stop walking. She had a lot to drink and her head was too fuzzy to listen to his nonsense.

She heard Helen call out this time and she stopped but didn’t turn around.

“Child, wait a minute I’m heading home too, we can walk together.” Helen hooked her arm around Cordelia’s arm and Micah fell in silently beside her. 

Cordelia glanced back once and saw Cade throw his arms up in frustration, lower his head, and walked back towards the darkness of the trees. 

She knew Helen had intervened to keep the peace; she was good at butting in. 

Helen rambled on about different things the whole way home and Cordelia laughed at her. She loved Helen and loved listening to her ramble after she’s had too much wine. She was even funnier to Cordelia tonight because she had too much wine as well.

“Here you go Helen, your home. Micah, again, it was nice meeting you and I hope to see you again before you leave.” Whispering to him, she asked, “Are you going to be alright getting her in the bed?”

Micah watched Helen stumbling to her house, “Maybe,” he said with a grin.

Cordelia was just saying goodnight again when Helen tripped and fell.

“Oh no, Helen are you alright?” Micah and Cordelia yelled and ran to help her. They were shocked to find the older woman giggling.

“I’m fine. My knee hurts, but I’m fine,” she said in between giggles and hiccuped, setting off a fresh set of giggles.

Micah shook his head, lifted Helen, and carried her to her house.

“Could you get the door?” he yelled back.

“Sure.” Cordelia opened the door and lit a candle as Micah carried Helen into her room and put her on the bed.

“Her knees are scraped, could you bring some water and a rag?”

She filled a bowl with water, grabbed a rag, and then some bandages. Micah was removing Helen’s shoes and Helen was singing softly. She sat on the edge of the bed and cleaned the older woman’s knees.

Helen placed her hand on Cordelia’s face. “You’re a good girl, Cordie. You get out of the Red Hoods and settle down before you get hurt. It’s making you hard, and I don’t like it,” her voice was soft and slurred by the time she finished.

Cordelia didn’t bother responding because she could hear the soft snores where Helen had passed out.

She could feel Micah looking at her, but she didn’t turn around to look at him. She finished cleaning and bandaging Helen’s knees, and then took the bowl and rag to the sink. Micah followed her into the kitchen and leaned on the wall, and continued to watch her. She finally turned to face him. The energy between them had changed, it was tense, and Cordelia needed some air. She motioned for them to go outside so they wouldn’t wake Helen.

“She loves you,” Micah said the moment the door closed.

She smiled at him. “I love her too. Your aunt is a great woman. When is the last time you saw her?”

“Hmm, it’s been about five or six years now. It was on one of her visits to my mother’s. My mother and she were very close. Well, they were the last time I talked to my mother before she passed away.”

“Were you and your mother close?”

He gave her a sad smile. “We were when I was younger, but we had a fight about four years before she passed, and we hadn’t talked since.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. Did you at least get to tell her goodbye?”

He shook his head, “No. My mother had been gone for six months before I even found out she was dead. How about your family? Does your family live in this village too?”

It was her turn to give him a sad smile. “No, I don’t have any family. My family died when I was very little. I don’t even really remember them.”

She stood up and started pacing around the porch. Things had gotten too serious for her. He tracked her every movement; watched her every step. She stopped and leaned back against the railing of the porch and Micah moved to stand in front of her.

“That man I met tonight, Cade, is he your boyfriend?” Micah’s voice was soft.

“No, we grew up together and are just friends.” She figured there was no reason to get into all the details about her and Cade’s complicated life.

He took a step closer and smiled. “Good.”

They stood staring at each other. Micah’s eyes started to roam over her face and to her body. When he brought his eyes slowly back to her face, Cordelia blushed because of the heat in his eyes. It was obvious that he liked what he saw.

Feeling brave because of the wine, Cordelia figured if he could look then so could she. She looked at his beautiful face and then slowly looked over his broad, muscular chest. Her breath caught when she realized he was happy to have her looking at him too.

Micah was in front of her before she realized he had moved. His arms were around her waist and he lifted her onto the railing so they were suddenly eye level. Their hearts were beating so loudly Cordelia didn’t know whose was whose.

“I want to kiss you,” he growled.

She couldn’t think of a reason not to, so she put her arms around his neck and pulled him down to her. Cordelia had never been so bold before, especially not with a stranger. And Micah was a stranger she had only met a few hours ago.

The kiss was amazing. She had been kissed before, but it never felt like that. Every nerve in her body seemed to come alive. Micah wrapped his arms tighter around her, pulling her closer against him. She felt her bottom slip off the railing and automatically wrapped her legs around his waist. He pressed himself harder into her and she felt him hard and eager for more.

A sound escaped her lips and that sound snapped her back to herself. ‘Oh my God what am I doing?’ she asked herself.

She pulled away from him and panted, “Micah stop. I’m sorry, we can’t do this. I can’t do this. I don’t know what happened.”

He didn’t answer her, and he didn’t move his body, but his eyes shut and he breathed deep. Without opening his eyes he nodded his head and stepped back to let her go.

Cordelia hopped down and walked to the steps. ‘You will not run,’ she ordered herself. Once she was down the steps she turned back to look at him. Micah’s head was down and, his hands were gripping the railing.

“I’m sorry,” she said softly and walked away.

She wasn’t sure why she kept saying it. What was she sorry for? Sorry for the fact that she wasn’t going to have sex with a strange man on Helen’s porch? That was never going to happen. Was she sorry that she had led him on? Had she led him on? He started it.

‘I should be angry not feeling guilty,’ she huffed.

Cordelia brooded about this the whole way home. She was so lost in her own thoughts that she didn’t notice the man on her porch until he spoke.

“Can we talk?”

She jumped and squealed.

“Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you make that noise before.”

“Shut up, Cade. What are you doing here?” she snapped.

Cordelia was angry with herself for allowing that kiss to happen with Micah, and now looking at Cade she felt embarrassed. She had never been embarrassed by her actions before. She never allowed herself to do anything to be embarrassed over.

“Sorry,” he said, putting his hands up. “I wanted to talk to you and find out if you’re okay. I’ve been sitting here for a while now. I was getting ready to go looking for you. Where were you?” His tone was trying for casual, but it didn’t quite make it.

“I was helping Micah with Helen. She had too much to drink tonight and fell down on the way home. She scraped her knees pretty bad, so I was cleaning and bandaging them. She finally passed out, but she will probably be in pain in the morning. She’s not as young as she used to be.” She was rambling and forced herself to stop. She felt guilty about what happened with Micah, even though there was no reason to feel guilty.

Of course Cade noticed. “Are you alright? I’m worried about you, I have been for a while now.”

“I’m fine, Cade. I’m very tired and I’ve had too much to drink, but I’m fine.”

He patted the porch beside him. “Talk to me for a minute, just a minute.”

She sat down beside him and turned her body to face him. He was nervous about something, and she should have seen it coming. There wasn’t any reason for her to have missed the signs, but she did.

Cade leaned in and kissed her. He kissed her softly at first, and when she didn’t move away, he kissed her a little harder. She was in such shock, but when she felt his tongue part her lips she pulled back and pushed him away.

“Cade, what are you doing?” Her voice was a little higher than normal.

“I’m sorry,” he said. Then Cade stood up and ran for home.

Cordelia touched her lips.

‘What is going on?’ she thought. ‘I have not been kissed in three years and now I’ve been kissed twice in less than an hour. I need to go to bed and end this insane day.’

She got ready for bed and said her nightly prayers, but when she crawled in the bed her mind started racing. She tossed and turned and couldn’t stop thinking about Cade and Micah and the two very different kisses.

She knew sleep wasn’t coming, so she finally gave up. Cordelia slipped her clothes on and pulled her long hair up on top of her head. She did the only thing she thought would help; she went for a run.


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