Chapter 14: A Treacherous Kiss
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Ylfa grasped Silver's hand, her fingers intertwining with his as she led us into her home. The hovel was just as depressing on the inside as it appeared from the outside. A weak fire flickered in the fireplace, casting eerie shadows on the rough-hewn walls. The air was thick with the scent of damp and decay, making me wrinkle my nose in distaste.

"It's not much, but at least it keeps us warm," Ylfa said, releasing Silver's hand and gesturing around the cramped space. I could sense her embarrassment, but she tried to hide it with a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes.

"Thanks for having us," I muttered, trying not to let my jealousy over her touching Silver get the better of me. He remained silent, clearly taking in the meager surroundings – a rickety table, a couple of worn chairs, and two narrow beds pushed against the far wall.

As we moved further into the room, I noticed an older woman huddled near the fireplace. Her face was gaunt, and her skin had a sickly pallor that made me think of the countless corpses I'd seen on my hunts. Her gray hair hung limply around her face, and she coughed weakly, a rasping sound that sent chills down my spine.

"Mom, these are our guests," Ylfa said, her voice surprisingly tender. "This is Silver, and... What was your name again?"

"Red," I forced myself to say, swallowing my annoyance at her forgetting my name.

"Hello, Red," the woman said, her voice weak and raspy from the constant coughing. "And hello, Silver. My name's Olga. Thank you both for coming."

Silver nodded and placed the boar on the floor near the fireplace. "It's our pleasure, Olga."

Ylfa beamed at her mother, pointing at the boar. "Look, we brought you dinner, Mom!"

"Thank you, sweetheart." Olga's eyes sparkled despite her obvious pain, and she reached out to hug Ylfa. The warmth between them was undeniable, and I felt an unexpected twinge of longing in my chest. I wished my own mother would embrace me like that, without the weight of expectations and judgment.

As I watched Ylfa and Olga, I tried to quash the bitterness that threatened to rise within me. My relationship with my mother was strained at best, her love always feeling conditional and reserved. But standing here in this hovel, witnessing the unconditional love between Ylfa and her ill mother, I realized just how much I craved that connection.

"Your mother seems lovely," I told Ylfa, trying to sound casual as I shifted my gaze back to the fire.

"Thank you," Ylfa replied, her smile genuine as she looked at Olga. "She's been through a lot, but she's always been there for me." Her voice held a note of pride and admiration that stirred up more envy in me.

"Must be nice," I murmured, almost to myself, as I stared into the flickering flames.

"Are you sure everything is alright with you?" Silver whispered into my ear, his concern evident as he studied my face.

"Fine," I snapped, perhaps a bit too sharply. "I'm just tired."

"Alright," Silver said, clearly not wanting to push the issue. I couldn't help but wonder what was going through his mind as he watched Ylfa and Olga, and whether he felt that same longing for connection that I did.

Outside, the three of us worked together to skin and prepare the boar while Olga watched us and lit a fire. Silver took charge, his strong hands deftly removing the hide and carving the meat into generous portions. As he cooked the boar over the fire, the aroma of roasted meat filled the air, making my mouth water in anticipation.

When it was finally time to eat, I tentatively bit into a piece of the succulent boar. The flavors burst on my tongue – a perfect blend of smoky, savory, and just a hint of sweetness from the caramelized fat. It was, without a doubt, one of the best meals I'd ever tasted. I wanted to congratulate Silver on his culinary prowess, but Ylfa beat me to it.

"Silver, this is amazing!" she gushed, her eyes shining with admiration as she looked at him.

"Thank you," Silver replied modestly, but I could see the pride in his yellow eyes, and it stung that he seemed to care about Ylfa's praise.

As we ate, Olga started telling Silver about his parents. "Your mother was pregnant with you when they were exiled from the Nightshade Clan, along with your father, myself, and my husband," she said, her weak voice barely audible over the crackling fire. "Your father was strong and loyal, maybe a bit too proud... And your mother, oh, she was fun! Always had a dirty joke to tell, that one. They both were so happy about expecting you."

I watched Silver's face closely as Olga spoke, the flickering flames casting dancing shadows over his handsome features. His expression was a mixture of sadness, confusion, and mistrust, as if he couldn't quite bring himself to believe what he was hearing. He shifted uncomfortably in his seat, his broad shoulders tensing beneath his shirt.

Before Olga could continue, she was suddenly wracked by a violent coughing fit, her frail body convulsing with the effort. Ylfa quickly rushed to her side, helping her mother sip some water to calm the spasms.

As I watched them, my heart twisted with a mix of envy and sympathy. Would my own mother ever look at me with the same love and tenderness that shone in Olga's eyes as she gazed at Ylfa? And what secrets lay hidden in Silver's past, making him so guarded and reluctant to trust?

"Mom, you should go to bed," Ylfa said gently, watching the old woman struggle to catch her breath after another bout of coughing.

Silver nodded. "We'll be here in the morning, and we can talk more then. Please rest."

"Thank you, dear," Olga replied with a weak smile. "I would love that." Silver tilted his head in agreement, concern furrowing his brow. Ylfa helped her mother up and led her into the cabin, leaving Silver and me alone by the fire.

"Silver, what's wrong?" I asked, studying his tense posture as he stared into the flames.

"What do you mean?" he retorted defensively, not meeting my eyes.

"You look like something is troubling you," I pressed, trying to understand the emotions playing across his face.

He opened his mouth to respond but hesitated, looking away from me. "It's nothing," he finally muttered, his voice tight with frustration.

Disappointment welled up inside me. Why wouldn't he open up to me?

Before I could say anything else, Ylfa returned from the cabin and plopped down beside Silver, their shoulders brushing together. My jealousy flared as she flashed him a brilliant smile, touching his arm lightly. "Mom will tell you more when she feels better in the morning," she informed him.

Silver smiled back at her and nodded, making my blood boil. I couldn't take it anymore. Rising abruptly from my seat, I announced, "It's late. I'm going to bed too." Then, giving Silver a pointed look, I added, "Unless... you want me to stay."

Silver simply shrugged, his expression unreadable. "You should go to bed if you're tired, Red."

"Fine, then!" I replied, my voice tight with jealousy and anger. Without another word, I stormed into the cabin, leaving Ylfa and Silver alone by the fire. The moment I stepped inside, I noticed Olga sleeping on the bed. Her breathing was ragged and uneven, her chest rising and falling with great effort as she fought through her illness.

I tried to be as quiet as possible, not wanting to disturb the sick woman. Grabbing a bundle of clothes and my bag, I fashioned a makeshift bed for myself on the floor. Thoughts of Ylfa and Silver swirled in my head, fueling my jealousy and desire for him. However, exhausted from the day's events, I fell asleep sooner than I expected.

It wasn't long before I was jolted awake by the sound of Olga's violent coughs. Concern washed over me as I realized how much she was struggling, even in her sleep. Despite her being a werewolf, I couldn't help but worry about her wellbeing. I hurried to her side, helping her sit up on the bed so she could drink some water. As she coughed, I saw blood on her handkerchief, causing a pang of compassion and dread to strike through me. Maybe she didn't have much time left...

"Here," I whispered, rummaging through my bag for the painkillers I had stashed away. "It's not much... But it's all I have." Olga looked at me with gratitude in her tired eyes, taking one of the pills before settling back down onto the bed. She eventually drifted off to sleep once more, her breathing slightly less labored now.

As I lay down on my makeshift bed once again, I couldn't fall back asleep. My mind was filled with thoughts of my own mother and how she had become depressive and controlling after my dad's death. I thought about my grandma Beatrice, the only sane person left in my family, who was now gone because I hadn't reached the cabin in time. I would never see her or hear her voice again. She had been so good to me, and I couldn't help but feel a deep sadness at her loss.

I wondered what that important thing was that she wanted to discuss with me, something so crucial she couldn't write it down in her letter. It gnawed at me, making sleep impossible.

Sighing, I made the decision to step outside for some fresh air. Quietly, I tiptoed out of the cabin, careful not to disturb Olga's fitful rest. To my surprise, I noticed Ylfa and Silver still talking by the fire. What were they doing up so late? A surge of jealousy coursed through me as I watched them, their faces illuminated by the warm glow of the flames.

"Damn it," I whispered under my breath. I decided to sneak up closer to eavesdrop without being seen. As I inched forward, I caught snippets of their conversation. Silver was telling Ylfa about his parents. "I don't really remember them... I mean, your mother painted a nice picture of them, but that's not how I imagined them. They abandoned me after I was born."

My heart clenched at the sadness in his voice. He continued, "Skol raised me. He accepted me into the Ironfang Clan, even though I'm a silver werewolf." His words were heavy with emotion, and I couldn't help but feel a deep empathy for him.

I poked my head around the corner of the cabin, trying to get a better view of Silver and Ylfa without being noticed. As I watched them, I couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy at how close they were sitting. Ylfa's hand gently caressed Silver's shoulders, while her other hand rested possessively on his toned thigh.

"Silver, I'm so sorry," Ylfa murmured, her voice soft and seductive. "I had no idea. But maybe your parents didn't abandon you on purpose. Maybe they had a reason..."

Silver looked away, muttering something under his breath that I couldn't quite catch. My heart raced as I saw Ylfa reach up, grabbing his chin in her hands and forcing him to look at her. She was undeniably sexy – her long, dark hair framed her beautiful face, and her pretty eyes sparkled with determination. I could see the curves of her body beneath her clothes, and at that moment, I wanted nothing more than to be the one touching Silver like that.

"Silver," she said, her voice sultry and confident. "Mate with me."

"What?" Silver stammered, clearly taken aback by her sudden declaration.

"Please," Ylfa continued, seemingly undeterred by his reaction. "You're the only male silver werewolf, and I've been wanting to meet you for so long... ever since my mother mentioned you. I hoped that you were alive, and now here you are – kind, handsome, strong... everything I've ever wanted."

Silver mumbled something incoherent, still looking stunned. "Wait, what are you talking about?"

"Think about it," Ylfa pressed, her voice low and sensuous. "Our cubs would be so strong and beautiful... and I can promise you, I'd be a great mate. I'd make you happy, keep you... satisfied." As she spoke, she leaned in closer to him, closing the distance between their lips until they were locked in a passionate kiss.

My heart shattered into a thousand pieces, the pain stabbing me like a hundred knives. How could he? Silver had chosen to open up to Ylfa instead of me, and now he was letting her kiss him like that... My vision blurred with tears as I watched their lips meet, an icy dagger of betrayal twisting in my gut.

I couldn't take it anymore. Fury and jealousy surged through me like a wildfire, consuming all rational thought. With every ounce of strength I could muster, I stepped out from the shadows and stormed toward them, my footsteps resolute and determined.

Silver's eyes widened as they met mine, his expression shifting from shock to guilt in an instant. He pushed Ylfa away, breaking their kiss abruptly. "Red..." he called after me, his voice strained and apprehensive.

But there was no mercy in my heart for him.