Written in Red Page 90

“Be patient,” Winter scolded mildly. “This is our Meg.”

Thunder tossed his head as if agreeing. Then the horse poked his nose in the window at the same moment Sam clambered into Meg’s lap. The two breathed in each other’s scent and seemed satisfied.

“More snow is coming,” Winter said once Thunder pulled his head back. “You should go home.”

“I have the library books you requested.” Nudging Sam back into the passenger’s seat, she started to twist around to find the carry bag.

“Leave it with Jester,” Winter said. “We’ll fetch it on the way back.” She studied the BOW, then exchanged a look with Air. “And we can give you a little help getting home.”

“You don’t have to do that.” Meg wasn’t sure what they were offering, but she didn’t want to face Thunder and Lightning anytime soon if they ended up hitched to the front of the BOW to pull her back to the Green Complex.

“No, we don’t. But it will be amusing,” Winter replied.

“Do you think the storm will hold off long enough for Simon to get home?” Meg asked. It was more thinking out loud than an actual question.

Another look between Winter and Air. “The Wolfgard will be able to get home tonight. Follow us.”

Turning, they cantered down the road.

Rolling up her window, Meg put the BOW in gear and followed.

Snow blew off the road in front of her, leaving the pavement clear so the BOW could keep up with the horses, and filling back in moments after Meg drove past. It was like driving through a snow-shaped tunnel that was lit up by flickers of lightning and trembled with the thunder that followed. It should have been frightening, but she felt oddly safe in the cocoon of weather the Elementals were shaping around her. A few flakes drifted down and were cleared by the wipers, but she could see the road and the horses up ahead, and that’s all she really needed.

As they neared the Pony Barn, she spotted another rider heading out on a brown horse—and noticed the funnel of snow that followed Tornado.

They stopped at the Pony Barn long enough for Jester to run out and fetch the bag of library books. After that, Winter and Air escorted Meg and Sam all the way back to the Green Complex’s garage.

“Thank you,” Meg said, grabbing her own carry bag and Sam’s towel as the pup jumped out of the BOW.

With a nod of their heads, Winter and Air turned the horses and rode off.

Meg paused long enough to check that she’d shut off the lights. She couldn’t remember what the power gauge read, but she shook her head and closed the garage door. There should be enough power for her to get to the office, and she could charge the BOW in the garage there. Besides, the snow was coming down harder now, and it was lung-biting cold outside.

Sam didn’t have any trouble running in snow, but after Meg skidded a couple of times and almost landed on her butt, he slowed down to accommodate human legs. Pausing at the bottom of her stairs to catch her breath, she noticed the black sedan idling at the side of the road.

“What does he want?” she muttered uneasily as she looked around. No lights on in Henry’s apartment. Most likely he was still working in his studio. She paused a moment longer, then climbed the stairs to her apartment.

“Come on, Sam. You can stay up here with me until Simon gets home.” She’d spent so much time in Simon’s apartment these past few days, she hadn’t had a chance to settle into her own place.

“Meg!”

Meg opened her door, tossed the towel on the floor near the boot mat, and told Sam to stay on the towel. Then she greeted Tess as the other woman bounded up the stairs.

“Here,” Tess said, holding out a bakery tin. “Chocolate chip cookies, still warm from the oven. I booted everyone out and closed A Little Bite early, but after I got home, I felt restless and decided to bake.”

Meg took the tin. “Thanks, Tess. Do you want to come in?”

“No. I’ve got a casserole in the oven now. You’re shivering. You should get inside.”

Tess wasn’t shivering—yet—but she wasn’t dressed for being outside for long.

Meg stepped inside.

Tess’s hair began to streak with green. She shook her head, but the hair continued to change to green and started to curl. “It’s this storm,” she explained. “Everyone will be edgy if the Wolfgard gets stranded tonight.”

“Winter said the storm will hold off and Simon will be able to get home,” Meg said.

Tess gave her an odd look. “Did she? Well, she would know.”

Bounding down the stairs, Tess ran back to her own apartment. Meg closed her door and set down the tin with the rest of her things as she took off her boots and hung up her coat.

Sam immediately began sniffing at the bakery tin. When he couldn’t nose it open, he sat and grabbed it between his front paws, trying to hook his claws under the lid to pull it open.

“No,” Meg said, taking it from him. Going into the kitchen with him bouncing beside her, she set the tin in the middle of her table, opened it, and recalled everything she could about cookies and animals.

The chocolate chip cookies smelled delicious, and she wanted to bite into one. But she looked at Sam, balanced on his hind legs with his front paws resting on the table’s edge, and closed the tin.

“I’m sorry, Sam, but I don’t know if Wolves can eat these cookies. I remember that chocolate is bad for dogs—” She held up a hand to stop him when he began vocalizing. “Yes, I know you’re not a dog, and maybe since you can change shape you’d be fine eating chocolate even when you’re furry, but I can’t take the chance of you getting sick, especially tonight, when it would be hard to get help. So no people cookies. And I won’t have any either.” At least, not until you go home.

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