Thin fingertips traced the phone gently, eyeing the tiny light that flashed, that whispered in a hateful voice that she hadn’t been home, hadn’t been back, hadn’t checked the messages.
Relax, he tried to tell himself, wanting to be able to come up with any number of reasons why she hadn’t been back. Not since eight that morning. Not at all.
And now it was one am, and he was standing there, heart in his throat, gut full of ice, hands hot and shaking, too-blue eyes narrowed as his reptile mind thrashed and bared its teeth. Hungry and hateful.
He wanted to be able to soothe himself, but the part of him that knew how to put a bullet through a sinus so that a head would collapse with a minimal amount of mess, the part of him that knew where to press to cut off breath and drop a victim in seconds, the part of him that knew where to push to apply less than seven pounds of force to pry off a kneecap, the part of him that knew how and where to chew off his own ankle, if it ever became necessary — that part, the animal, the fire, the rabid, snarling, shrieking part that laughed at him for involving her, for drawing her in, for doing precisely what he’d always told others never to do — that part… it spoke up without urgency. It spoke up without force, knowing that he would strain to hear, because it spoke the purest Truth. The truth of savagery.
She was gone, and it was Not Right.
“Where are you?” he whispered. “What’s happened?”