I called Edward's answering service and left a message. I couldn't stay where I was. I couldn't stay here staring at the wrecked bedroom and remembering Richard's wounded eyes. I had to get out. I had to call Dominic and tell him I wasn't coming. The triad of power didn't work without at least two of us on the spot. Jean-Claude was in his coffin and Richard was out of the picture. I wasn't sure what would happen with our little triumvirate now. I didn't see Richard standing around watching me grope Jean-Claude, if I wasn't groping him, too. I couldn't blame him on that.
Strangely, the thought of him sleeping with Raina still made me see green. I had no right to be jealous of him now, but I was. Go figure.
I dressed in black jeans, a black, short-sleeved blouse, and a black blazer. I had to work tonight, and Bert would kick a fit about me wearing black. He thought it gave the wrong image. Screw him. Tonight, black fit my mood.
The Browning in its shoulder holster, Firestar in the Uncle Mike's sidekick holster, a knife on each arm, and a knife down my spine. I was ready for work.
I was going to give Edward ten more minutes, and then I was out of there. If there was still an assassin lurking around, I'd almost have welcomed him or her.
There was a knock on the door. I sighed. "Who is it?"
She opened the door, caught one sight of the wrecked bed, and grinned. "I've heard of rough sex, but this is ridiculous." She was wearing a long, white dress that fell nearly to her ankles. White hose and white canvas flats completed the outfit. She looked light and summery with her long hair trailing down her back.
I shook my head. "Richard did it."
The smile left her face. "He found out you slept with Jean-Claude?"
"Does everyone know?" I asked.
"Not everyone." She walked into the room, shutting the door behind her. She shook her head. "Did he hurt you?"
"He didn't hit me, if that's what you mean, but I feel pretty shitty."
Cassandra walked to the bed, staring up at it. She grabbed the edge of the frame. She pulled with one hand and steadied with the other. She pulled several hundred pounds of wood and metal around like it was nothing. She settled the bed gently to the carpet.
I raised an eyebrow. "That was impressive."
She smiled, almost shyly. "One of the fringe benefits of being a lycanthrope is that you can pretty much lift anything you want."
"I see the appeal of that."
"I knew you would," she said. She started picking up the pillows and ripped sheets. I joined her. "We should probably put the mattress back first," she said.
"Okay. You need help?"
She laughed. "I can lift it, but it's awkward."
"Sure." I grabbed the other side of the mattress.
Cassandra came up beside me, lifting the mattress with her left hand. A look passed over her face. "I am sorry."
"I meant what I said about you and Richard earlier. I want him to be happy," I said.
"That's very flattering. I like you, Anita. I like you a lot. I wish I didn't."
I had time to frown at her, then her delicate fist came out of nowhere, a blur of speed that smashed into my face. I felt myself fall backwards. I smashed into the floor and couldn't save my head from that extra smack against the carpet. It didn't hurt. I didn't feel a damn thing when blackness closed over me.