Chapter 7: Deliverance – part 10
Ashlynn’s ear-piercing shriek startled Shane awake. His heart pounded as he glanced at the clock on Addison’s nightstand. Its glowing green letters read 6:14. “I don’t wanna have oatmeal!” the pint-sized banshee wailed. Her soprano sliced through the walls and closed door between Shane and the kitchen. “I want pancakes!”
Addison’s alto, although muffled, carried as well. “Young lady, you are going to sit down, shut your gob, and eat your breakfast. I’ve–”
Shane muttered a blue streak as the spoiled brat’s tantrum continued. There was no way he’d get back to sleep now. Worse, he felt Jacob’s discontent. His son was awake and getting more upset by the minute. This had happened a week ago, the last time Svetlana had the day off. Shane wasn’t going to stand by and let the same ludicrous drama play out.
After pulling on a pair of sweatpants, Shane marched to the kitchen to the tune of Ashlynn’s crying. The brat quieted in her seat at the table for a split second when Shane entered, then went right back at it. Addison stood at the stove stirring a small pot of oatmeal. Jacob nestled in the sling draped around her. Addison gave Shane a vexed look, then turned back to what Ashlynn didn’t want for breakfast.
Shane sniffed. After everything he’d done for her, after all of the crap he’d put up with for the past three weeks, Addison couldn’t afford him a hello. Her souring mood affected Jake, who added his cries to the cacophony.
Addison rounded on him with one hand on her hip. “You’re not helping, you know. Take Jacob, or get out.”
Shane’s temper flared, but he wrestled it under control. “I’m not helping? You’re not doing anything!” He waved at the still-tantruming Ashlynn. “Would you shut her up?”
Addison rolled her eyes. At this point, ignoring the unwanted behavior is the best course.
“Yeah,” Shane spat. “Clearly.” Ignoring the unwanted behavior was giving him a headache.
Since Addison wasn’t about to deal with her spoiled daughter, Shane decided it was his turn. He hurled all of his frustration at the girl. Stunned, the brat shut up. Ashlynn stared at him wide-eyed as he prepared–
Shane skidded backwards, colliding with the wall. Pain exploded when the back of his head connected with sheetrock. Stars swam across his vision, and an invisible force had him pinned.
“Ashlynn,” Addison’s ice-cold voice said. “Go to your room.”
“Yes, Mummy.” Shane’s sight returned in time to see the girl dart away.
Addison, her face flushed with anger, strode up to him while Jacob fussed in the sling. “You will never again lay a finger, mentally or physically, on my daughter.” A psychic jab accompanied each word. “Do you understand?”
Shane tried to break free. “Bitch,” he ground out.
Addison smirked. “I’ll wait while you think it over.” Then the bitch turned back to the damned oatmeal on the stove, cooing at his son.
Shane saw red, but still couldn’t move. After a few moments he calmed enough to grab for his alien side. On the third try emotionless calm washed away Shane’s turmoil.
Addison’s concentration wavered. Shane took advantage and broke free. He strode up to the insufferable woman, whose expression resembled her daughter’s not long ago. “I have no intention of hurting your daughter,” he explained. “Her behavior is unacceptable. It’s upsetting Jake. Fix it.”
After shoring up his mental shields, Shane turned his back on Addison. Her indignation and fury lashed at him as he returned to the bedroom, but didn’t penetrate the void. Cool and calm, Shane donned the clothes he’d worn the day before and left for his quarters. Thanks to Ashlynn’s wake-up call, he had plenty of time to get ready for work.