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The Littlest Red Hood Chapter 5
By
Molly

The Littlest Red Hood Chapter 5

Series: The Littlest Red Hood

One small battle changes everything.

They made their way up the hill and through the woods to the back of Helen’s house. The smell of food hit Cordelia’s nose as she stepped on the porch, and she realized that she was starving. Her stomach growled loudly. Micah grinned and opened the door. She grinned back at him as she walked inside.

When Cordelia looked up, Helen was standing there staring at them. The look on her face was clear, she knew.

“Aunt Helen, it smells delicious,” Micah said, giving her a kiss on the cheek and ignoring the look on her face.

She stared at Cordelia for a moment longer, then smiled. “Come in Cordelia and eat. I always worry about you; you never eat enough.”

‘Maybe I imagined it, maybe Helen doesn’t know,’ she thought. She sat down at the table and Micah reached over and squeezed her hand, letting go before Helen turned around. 

Lunch went a lot smoother than she thought it would. Helen was her normal blunt and funny self, which of course helped Cordelia relax.

She helped clear the table and do the dishes. As she was drying the last plate, there was a knock on the door. Helen answered it and Cordelia heard Cade ask if Helen had seen her. Helen opened the door further and Cade saw her standing by the sink with Micah.

Cade’s calm polite face tensed and an unpleasant look came into his eyes. It was only there a moment, but they had all seen it. His voice was stiff when he spoke again, “Cordelia, I found something I think you need to see.”

“What is it?” she asked, handing the towel to Micah and walking towards the door.

“I’d rather not say here.” He looked from Helen to Micah.

“Alright, just give me a moment to get my things.”

“Cade, while Cordie gets her stuff, will you come out here and help me bring some wood to the porch?” Without waiting for an answer, she put her arm around his and led him outside, shutting the door behind her.

“She knows,” Micah said, coming up behind Cordelia and sliding his arms around her waist, pressing himself against her bottom. Shock waves ran through her and with a deep breath, leaned back against him.

“I told you she would. She doesn’t miss a thing.” Cordelia’s breath was quickening. “Stop that, I have to go.”

He stopped and turned her to face him. “Goodbye, Cordelia. Can I come see you later tonight?”

Her stomach flipped at the thought of him coming to her cabin. “Yes, after patrols. I should be done a little past midnight.” She put her hands on his face and pulled him in for a kiss. They were still kissing when they heard a loud thump on the porch and then Helen said, “Oops. I hope I didn’t get your toes.”

Cordelia opened the door to step outside. “Goodbye, Micah. Thank you, Helen.”

“Hot in there?” Cade asked, falling in beside her.

“No, why do you ask?”

“Your face is flushed,” he said softly.

Cordelia was starting to feel guilty again. She knew Cade loved her and she loved him too, but their timing was never right. He told her that himself so many years ago.

‘I love him and I’ve just had sex with someone that I barely know.’ She didn’t want to hurt him and she didn’t want to feel guilty.

She stopped walking and they faced each other. Tears came into her eyes, but she had no clue what to say. When she was with Micah all she wanted to do was touch him. It felt right, but standing there in front of Cade she wasn’t sure how she felt.

Cade took a deep breath. “I know you’re struggling with something, but you don’t have to share it now. Just don’t forget I’m always here.”

“Thank you.”  Then Cade did what he always did, and saved her. 

He started walking again and changed the subject. “Mary was out hanging up her laundry and found something. I thought you’d want to see it.”

“What is it?” she asked.

“Rabbits, several dead rabbits, they are not just dead, they’ve been mauled.”

Cordelia quickened her pace, all of her senses coming alive. Mauled rabbits meant there was an animal in their village. They finally got to Mary’s and she was sitting outside waiting for them. “Hello, Mary. Where are they?”

“They’re over by the clothesline. I was hanging laundry when the wind blew and I smelled something foul. I went looking for it and found them by the big tree. I couldn’t tell how many there were because they were so destroyed.”

They walked over by the tree and could smell the rabbits before they actually saw them. There were bits of rabbit fur everywhere. Cordelia picked up a stick and poked around some of the carcasses.

“Was it a wolf?” Mary asked. She was wringing her hands over and over again in her apron.

“I’m not sure. It could have been a wild dog or a fox. I did hear that Kim saw a fox a few days ago.”

“Maybe,” she giggled nervously. “I guess we are all just a little shook up about the Weres chasing you the other night. I feel a little silly now jumping to conclusions like that.”

Cade smiled at her and patted her arm. “Don’t feel silly Mary. Checking things out like this is our job. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?”

Cade’s reassurance made her feel better. He was good at that, and that’s why Cade was the one to tell families about their losses.

Cordelia looked up at him and her heart tightened a little. He really was a beautiful person, inside and out. ‘Stop it, Cordelia, you cannot start this now, one problem at a time. A possible werewolf in the village is too important not to focus.’

Once they were out of hearing range, Cade asked, “It’s what I thought it was, right?”

“I’m afraid it might be. A newly changed perhaps. It is possible that it was an actual wolf or a dog, but I doubt it. It would be too much of a coincidence. Go gather the team, and meet me by the well. I’m going to go tell the Bishop. Make sure you tell everyone not to say anything to their families.”

Cordelia walked into the church and stopped. She was surprised to see just how sickly John looked. His small frame looked even smaller today than it had yesterday. The ever-present dark circles under his eyes were darker. They might have been made to look darker because his skin was so pale.

She touched him and said, “John, you look horrible. Are you sure you should be out of bed, you’re burning up? Has the Bishop seen you?”

He jumped like someone had pinched him and he jerked away from her. “Oh C-c-c-cordelia it’s y-y-y-you. I’m al-alright, very tired, b-b-b-but I’m al-alright. And n-no the Bishop h-h-has b-been in his st-st-st-study all morning. I-I-I-I haven’t seen him since I got here,” his voice was so weak and his stuttering seemed worse.

“John, I need to speak to the Bishop. I am going to go up to his study. You stay here though. I’ll knock I promise.” She was already walking up the steps to keep him from getting up, but he never moved.

“What is it, John?” Bishop Lucius called when she knocked on the door.

“Bishop Lucius, it’s me, Cordelia. May I come in?”

“Oh, yes, yes Cordelia, come in.”

“Bishop Lucius, is John okay, he looks horrible? He looks like he should be in bed not downstairs doing paperwork.”

Bishop Lucius looked up at her, folded his hands together, and placed them on his desk. “What is wrong with Deacon John? Does he have a fever or something?”

“I think he does. He was so hot I could feel the heat coming through his shirt when I touched his arm and he is very pale, smaller than normal.”

“Well, I will see to him when we are done here. Is there something you needed or did you just come to question me about John?”

“Yes sir. I have come to let you know that Mary Scott found mauled rabbits in her yard. Cade and I inspected it. We told Mary that it might be the fox that was spotted in the village and she believed us. But Sir, there was no way that was the result of a fox. I have asked Cade to gather everyone so we can do a full sweep of the village.”

“Make sure it is done without calling alarm to what you are doing. We do not need a panic on our hands.”

She bowed to him. “Of course Sir, I will let you know if we find anything.”

She was almost out the door when she heard him say, “Cordelia, it’s good to see your head back where it should be. You’re a good girl. Keep your head focused and you won’t fall to the devil.”

*

Cade had already explained everything to the team and they all agreed that on tonight’s patrol they would split into the same pairs with Esther taking the first shift by herself. The only thing that changed was Cordelia took the second shift instead of the third.

“As for our search now, I want half of you to go towards the north entrance and the other half goes towards the south entrance. We will search each house, barn, and shop. So if there is a wolf, we flush him or her towards the center of town. Do not tell anyone what we are actually looking for. Tell them we are looking for traces of the fox. Tell them that it has signs of brain sickness and we are making sure it is not still in the village.”

Everyone agreed, and Cade stepped forward. “If you should find someone that is unfamiliar, detain them and send for the other team. The only visitor in town that I am aware of is Helen’s nephew. Some of you may have met him already. He is very tall with black hair, his name is Micah. Do any of you know of anyone else that may have visitors?”

No one knew of anyone, so they split up to begin their search. Cordelia took the people that lived on the northern side of town and went to the southern side. Part of it was that she didn’t want anyone to search their own homes, but the biggest reason was she didn’t want to see Micah so soon. She needed space from him because she couldn’t think straight when he was near.

The first couple of houses they searched the people asked them what they were looking for, but after word spread, everyone was waiting for them. They searched everywhere, inside baskets and potato holes. Barns, haystacks, under porches, they even searched through woodpiles. 

They found nothing just as she suspected. Cade’s group found a couple of rabbits and a few squirrels mauled near Deacon John’s woodpile, but nothing else.

Cade said he would meet Esther at the well an hour after dark for her to start her patrol. Cordelia went to tell the Bishop what the results of the search were. Before she left he told her she was right about John, and he had sent him home. After that Cordelia went home to sleep.

*

Cordelia and Anthony walked the village, but they heard and saw nothing. It was a little after midnight when she got home. She made a bath and washed away the day that clung to her skin.

She wrapped the towel around herself just as there was a knock at her back door.

‘Micah, oh Lord I forgot he had asked to come over tonight,’ she thought in a panic. She stood there not knowing if she should open the door or not.

He knocked again and said, “Cordelia, I can hear you breathing. Let me in.”

She held the towel tighter and opened the door. “Micah, I’m sorry I forgot you were coming over and I’m not dressed for company. Besides, it’s been a long day and I’m tired.”

Micah took in her partially naked state, but he hadn’t stepped inside yet.

He leaned down to her neck and whispered, “Let me come in, please.”

A shiver ran through her and all the reasons why he shouldn’t come in left her mind. Cordelia stood back and let him walk through the door. Micah sat at her table and she stood leaning on the counter. Feeling a cool breeze blow through the window reminded her that she was still in her towel and her face flushed.

“Please give me a moment to get dressed.”

“No that’s okay; I won’t be here but a minute. I just needed to let you know that I will be leaving in a little bit. Aunt Helen and I had a disagreement, so I will be going home earlier than I planned.”

Cordelia felt like someone had just hit her in the stomach. “What? You’re leaving? Did you two argue because of me?” her voice was soft.

“No, not because of you. We fought because of the one that is always following you around. What is his name? Cade, is that it?” 

She nodded, not knowing what to say.

“He came into Helen’s home and started questioning me about where I was from and what my plans were. I answered the questions he asked because I have nothing to hide. Then he crossed the line, and words were exchanged. Aunt Helen seems to think I egged it on. I disagree.” Micah was angry.

His eyes grew greener, and they appeared to glow in the soft light of the one candle she had lit. “What did he say, Micah?”

He stood up with a speed that startled her, “He is your second and he did not tell you?” his voice sounded skeptical.

Cordelia shook my head. “No Micah, he didn’t mention it to me. What did he say?”

“He walked past me and stopped, sniffing the air, and got right into my face.” 

“What happened?”

“Cade whispered, ‘Stay away from Cordelia. She is not available.’ He was quite angry.”

“What did you say?”

He stepped closer and placed his hands on either side of her pinning her to the counter. “I said that’s right you do smell Cordelia on me, and she was fine with me being close to her earlier. He shoved me and I shoved him back. Of course, Aunt Helen only saw me push him and that’s what started the fight.”

“You said that to him?” Cordelia’s voice cracked with the panic feeling that was starting to overwhelm her. Cade had acted as if nothing happened.

She turned her back to Micah and put her head down trying to catch her breath. “Micah, you had no right taunting him. What we did earlier was a mistake and I need you to leave now. I cannot think straight when you’re around. Maybe it’s best if you do leave now.”

She felt his warm hands slide down her naked arms, and felt the electricity just from that touch. “I will go tonight Cordelia; all I am asking for is a kiss goodbye.” He turned her to face him and breathed on her cheek, “One kiss Cordelia. Please?”

Cordelia nodded her head and he kissed her. His kiss was hard and urgent. He pulled her into his body and her nipples ached from the pressure of his body pressed on them. Her arms were around his neck holding him closer to her.

She was kissing him hard and urgent too. She couldn’t explain the need to have his hands touching her body, but with each touch, it felt like her skin was on fire. He broke away from her lips to kiss down her neck. When his body leaned back her towel fell and she was standing in front of him completely naked.

His breath hitched and when he reached for her again she felt the burning heat of his hands all over. He was exploring her with an urgency of a dying man finding water 

Before her mind could clear, Micah turned her towards the counter and pressed himself fully against her. 

They were fully connected, lost in the moment together, but unlike earlier, this was not sweet or gentle. This was needed. Micha bit her on the curve of her neck making her cry out in pain and with a deep low groan, he collapsed against her.

He lightly kissed her neck where he had bitten her. His tongue licked over it and she started to feel how much it hurt.

“Sorry, I bit you so hard. I couldn’t control myself,” he said kissing it again.

Cordelia laughed and pushed herself up. “It’s okay; I didn’t fully feel it at the time.” She turned towards him, placing her head on his chest listening to his heartbeat. He was so warm and it was beating so fast.

“Do you have to go?” she whispered.

Micah kissed the top of her head and pulled away. “Yes, Cordelia I have to go now. I will miss this,” he said and kiss her deeply. Her eyes were still closed when he pulled away chuckling. 

He was getting his shirt on by the time he spoke again. “You know Cordelia; it’s kind of funny how things work out. Under different circumstances, we might have made a great couple.”

His green eyes held so many things; it was hard to know what he was thinking. He walked into her room and came back with a nightdress. “Put this on,” he said, tossing it to her.

“Okay.” Cordelia felt that something was wrong like she was missing something. He walked back into her room and came out with her red cloak.

“What are you doing with that?”

Without saying a word he walked to the back door and opened it. Three dark-haired men walked in.

“Who are you? Micah, what is going on?”

She didn’t take her eyes off the men and backed against the counter looking for her knives.

“Looking for these?”

Micah had her sword in his hand and the rest of the knives were on the table between her and them.

The men all had the same tan coloring. There was something similar yet different about the three men, they were definitely brothers. They were all around six feet tall with shaggy hair. The youngest looking one had a pleasant face, and under different conditions, she might have said he was handsome. The oldest looking one had a scar from the top right side of his forehead running diagonally ending almost at his left jaw.

The one that appeared to be the middle one also had a scar. It looked like an animal had clawed his face. There were four pink scars down the entire right side of his face. He stepped towards her.

“This is her?” his tone said he wasn’t impressed.

Micah nodded as he cut a square piece off her cloak. The youngest one stared her up and down.

“You are the deadly Little Red Riding Hood?”

There was so much anger in his voice he practically spit it at her.

“How do you know who I am?” she snapped back.

“Everyone has heard of the little red monster Cordelia,” Micah said, his voice was a little huskier.

The other men laughed, but it sounded odd. When she looked back at them she saw why. Their faces were distorting, growing longer and their teeth were getting longer and sharper. She watched as their hands elongated and turned into claws.

Werewolves. She turned back to Micah.

“What have you done?”

He calmly handed her cloak to one of the men, and then with three quick strides, he had her by her hair, pulling her head back so she could look up at him. There was so much hatred in his face that she tried to recoil.

“I’ll tell you what I’ve done. I’ve found the monster that killed my family,” he snarled in her face.

Still holding her hair, he shoved her across the room to the three men.

“Hold her. If she screams, knock her out.”

Cordelia was not going to stand here and let them take her. She had to start fighting, so she punched the oldest one in the face, and then kicked the middle one. She was trying to get to the table; if she could just get to a knife, she would have a chance.

The youngest one grabbed her from behind and the oldest one came at her. She used her feet to kick him in the chest pushing back so she and the youngest one would fall. He let go as they fell backward. She scrambled to her feet and jumped for the table, but the middle one jumped in front of her, catching her inches away from a knife.

She punched him in the mouth and almost reached the table again when someone hit her from behind. He hit her hard enough to knock her to the floor. Everything was getting foggy and dark around the edges. She saw Micah pick one of her knives up and walk to her front door. He held the torn-off square of her red cloak to the door and stabbed it with one of her knives. Then everything went black.

 

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