Well, this is my first Nightshade fanfic, and for the record, I'm Team Ren all the way. So, this is what I came up after reading the whole trilogy, not liking the way Bloodrose ended, hating the idea of Shay as Calla's alpha mate (c'mon, Andrea, why'd you have to make Calla choose him?) and wanting to rectify that situation. This has a scene from Bloodrose, but everything else is of my own creation. Of course, there are references to Nightshade and Wolfsbane as well (how can there not be?). I tried to keep them as in character as possible, but Calla may be a little OOC. And have I mentioned this is in Ren's POV?


IF LOOKS COULD KILL

Caught you in the act—can't put up with that
Messin' where you shouldn't be
I wanna hear you say you're sorry
'Cause nobody takes advantage of me

I stiffened when I caught the scent of thunder and leaves filled with rain coming from Calla's room. Just what was Shay doing in there with my mate? Okay, Calla had decided not to choose one of us until this whole Witches' War was over, but I still thought of her as mine. I'd always loved her, even while I was dating half the girls in Vail, and she would have been united to me on Samhain, back in October. But then she had to go run off with Shay . . .

Anyway, I nudged open the door—and immediately wished I hadn't. A low growl burst from my chest, and without thinking, I shifted forms, now a charcoal gray wolf. Still growling, I stalked toward where Calla and Shay were on her bed. Interloper. Back off! She is mine. Thank God neither of them was in wolf form, so they couldn't hear my thoughts. Calla would probably try to whip both of us, anyway—or maybe not.

I couldn't help curling my lips in a silent wolf laugh as both of them froze and eyed the dark gray wolf before them (aka me), Calla's golden eyes widening in mortification. Not that I paid any attention to that: my focus was on Shay, the Scion, the Chosen One. (Note sarcastic tone here.)I still couldn't believe Calla had turned him, made him a Guardian, one of us.

"Ren . . ." Calla's voice trailed away, cut off by my snarl. Baring my teeth, I lunged at Shay, knocking him from the bed. There was a shimmer, and in his place was a golden brown wolf with green-gray eyes. He snarled, hackles raised, but I had more experience fighting in wolf form than he did. Besides, I didn't want to kill him—yet. All I wanted to do was drive him from the room, which, to be honest, was fairly easy. Once he was out in the hall, I shifted back, shut the door, and snagging his clothes, tossed them out into the hallway after the brown wolf, shutting the door once more and locking it. Breathing heavily, canines still sharp, I glared at Calla and folded my arms over my chest. Leaning back against the door, I said, "I want to hear you apologize, Lily."

"Why?" she growled, showing me her own fangs. "What did he ever do to you?"

"For one," I snapped, "no one takes advantage of me. Two, he stole you from me. I know you said you wouldn't choose until this war is over, but I still think of you as mine. You should know that by now, Calla, but I won't force you to be with me. Besides, he's the Scion. Did you really think he could be the mate of a Guardian alpha?"

She glanced down at the floor, then back at me, pulling the covers up to her shoulders. "I'm sorry, okay? I'm sorry for everything. Are you satisfied?"

You're missing the mark—shootin' in the dark
I'm pulling the wool from my eyes
Baby, don't push me further
It's gonna hurt you if it happens twice

I thought about it, gave a half-smile. "Maybe. Just stay away from him—unless, of course, you want us to handle it."

She snorted. "Yeah, right. Having one of you dead is so not what we need right now if we're going to win the war."

"I would win," I said petulantly. It was such a guy thing to say, but hey, maybe it would work.

"I don't doubt that," Calla murmured, so softly I almost didn't hear it. I shoved off the door and walked over to her, sitting down on the edge of the bed. "Cal, be careful. He's testing my patience when it comes to you, and if either of you push me any further, someone will get hurt."

"Ren—," she began, but I reached out and began playing with a few strands of her cropped hair. Some of it had fallen in her eyes, so I brushed it away—and couldn't help kissing her forehead. Unsure of what she wanted, I pulled back, searching her golden eyes. "I mean it, Lily," I said softly.

She snarled softly and tried to punch me in the stomach—which didn't do any good. I couldn't help smiling: my nickname for her almost always got that reaction or one similar to it.

"Just shut up," Calla growled, but I could detect a small smile twitching at her lips. I inhaled deeply, savoring her scent, and caught a whiff of Shay's scent right outside her closed door. Geez, did that kid have a death wish? He was like a dead man walking! Could I help it if my head swung toward said door and I growled from deep in my chest?

A moment later, I heard the soft thread of footsteps receding. It wasn't until they were heading downstairs to join the Searchers that I relaxed.

If looks could kill
You'd be lying on the floor
You'd be begging me please please
Baby don't hurt me no more
If looks could kill
You'd be reeling from the pain
And you'd never lie again
If looks could kill

"I thought he'd gone already," I muttered, running my tongue along the canines that were sharpening in my mouth.

"Likewise," my lily agreed. Not that it helped curb my rising irritation. If looks could kill, Cal would be lying on the floor, writhing in pain—but I would never hurt her. Even when we were under Efron's club in Vail, I hadn't wanted to hurt her. Now Shay, on the other paw, was a different story. I wouldn't mind hurting him. Nothing too permanent, mind you, just enough so that he knew his place in the pack.

There was silence for a while, both of us trying to think of something to say. I broke the silence, at last, with, "Cal, why him?"

"I . . . I . . ." She shook her head. "I don't know, Ren." A soft growl accompanied her words. "I love you, but I have feelings for Shay, too. Maybe I shouldn't have saved him from that bear, but I couldn't let him die. And would you have been able to kill him during our union?"

"I've told you before: no, I wouldn't have." Right now, though . . . "Hang on. What bear?"

"Nothing. Forget I said anything."

You're living on the edge—hanging by a thread
I'm watching every move you make
You don't want to see my anger
So don't you make another mistake

"Sorry, can't do that." A half-cocked smile played on my face as I studied her, eyes narrowed. "Lily, I'll be watching you. Don't make another mistake with Shay if you don't want to see what I'm like when I'm really mad." I rolled off her bed and stalked toward the door before she could say anything.

Love is on the line—I ain't about to be kind
That's a promise and a threat
If I was you I'd really cool it
Or risk a night you'll never forget

"Ren, wait." The hard note in her voice made me stop and turn back. I couldn't hold back the hint of a snarl as I snapped, "What?"

Calla winced, something I would normally have never seen her do. Her hands played with the sheets, and I noticed in a detached kind of way that her claws were shredding said fabrics. Then her golden eyes hardened. "I didn't sleep with Shay to get back at you, but if you're going to act like—"

I snarled, cutting her off, and flashed fangs. "Listen, Lily, I was right before. Love is on the line right now, and I'm not about to be kind here. I'd cool it around Shay if I was you. Otherwise . . ."

She swallowed, fangs glinting as she asked, "What?"

"You'll risk a night you'll never forget," I answered, my voice a low growl. "That's a promise—and a threat."

Calla growled and shifted into wolf form. Still growling, she lunged at me, but I opened the door, stepped out in the hall, and slammed it shut quickly. Releasing the breath I hadn't known I'd been holding, I closed my eyes and slid down the door until I was sitting on the floor. This love triangle was going to be the death of me, and I hadn't enjoyed doing that to Calla.

A door opened, and Connor and Adne stuck their heads out of Adne's room—which, really, wasn't a sight I needed to see. God knew what they'd been doing in there, and I was not at all keen on finding out.

"What just happened?" Connor asked, no trace of his usual humor in his eyes.

I wanted to bare fangs at him, but at the moment, I was too drained. "I'm not sure myself. What time is it?"

My half sister glanced at the wristwatch she always wore, no matter what time of day or night it was. "Half past midnight. You wanna tell us what happened between you, Calla, and Shay?"

I thought about it, shook my head. "No, I'm good. Now I'd like to get some sleep, if you don't mind." I rose to my feet and started to head for my room. "And please, keep it down. I don't want to hear what the two of you are up to."

Connor grinned wolfishly—well, not really, since he isn't a Guardian—and Adne's cheeks flushed crimson. I just chuckled as I headed into my room, only to freeze again as I caught Shay's scent.

Ugh. Not this kid again. I whirled around, folding my arms across my chest as I glared at the other alpha. "You better make this fast, Shay. If I don't have enough sleep, I wake up in a bad mood. No one wants to see me in a bad mood."

If looks could kill
You'd be lying on the floor
You'd be begging me please please
Darlin' don't hurt me no more
If looks could kill
You'd be reeling from the pain
And you'd never lie again
If looks could kill

"Yes, O great alpha," he said sarcastically, a corner of his mouth hitching up in a smile. God, this kid was annoying. I gave him a smile filled with knives. "Start talking."

The Scion ran a hand through golden brown hair, his green-gray eyes meeting my obsidian ones. "Look, we all know I'm probably not going to survive this battle with Bosque, so I'm backing off. Calla's yours. I won't bother her." He swallowed, the vein in his neck throbbing. "Or you."

Something about his scent seemed off. "You're lying," I said softly.

He blinked. "What?"

"A person's scent changes when they lie, Shay, didn't you know that? Or did Calla not tell you when she taught you our ways? Good night, nice talking to you." Not. Never was. "I'm going to bed." And if looks could kill, he'd be reeling from the pain, never able to lie again, lying on the floor and begging for me not to lock my jaws around his throat. He'd had no right to steal Calla from me; we'd known we were going to be together since we were five years old, for Christ's sake!

Once I'd landed on the bed in my room, I had to fight the urge to shift into wolf form and tear it apart. Besides, I liked my bed, and since I hadn't brought anything with me from Vail . . . Oh, shut up, Ren, and go to sleep.

Well, there's no arguing with the sometimes-very-persuasive voice in your head, now, is there?

I was a fool to believe in you
A sucker for every line
I'm a little less blind
Than I was before
I can see right through your design

Days later, I walked into the kitchen where the rest of our pack and the Haldis team were after taking a visit to the baths. Mason and Nev were already placing bets on something—they were always doing that—Bryn and Ansel were making puppy-love faces at each other while eating oranges, and Sabine was sitting quietly next to Ethan, while Connor and my half sister were lounging against one of the walls, the good-humored Searcher chewing on an apple.

Shay and Calla also had already arrived. I started to sit next to Calla when I caught a now-familiar scent. My nose wrinkled. I stared at her, then at Shay, who was watching me from across the table, arms folded across his chest.

A growl rumbled out of my throat. "What the hell . . ."

Calla stood up. "Ren, don't. Not now."

"Why is your scent all over her?" I ignored her, glaring at Shay. "You two were together? What were you doing? I thought we had an agreement."

"So did I," Shay said. "But someone convinced me that it was stupid, and I was very, very wrong."

I leaned on the table, snarling. "It's time for me to teach you a lesson that's long overdue."

Shay didn't move, but he smiled. "You're welcome to try."

"Stop!" Calla shoved me as hard as she could, sending me several steps back from the table.

"Stay out of this, Lily!" I only glanced at her for a second before returning my outraged stare to Shay. I couldn't believe I'd fallen for her in the first place. I was a fool to believe both Calla and Shay, a sucker for every line they'd given me. It was clear now that although Calla loved me, it wasn't the same love she felt for this interloper

If looks could kill
You'd be lying on the floor
You'd be beggin me please, please
Baby don't hurt me no more
If looks could kill
You'd be reeling from the pain
And you'd never lie again
If looks could kill

"The hell I will!" Calla's voice brought me back to the present as she put herself between me and my rival alpha, forcing me to look at her. "Is this the kind of love you want from me? Love that's chosen for me instead of being my own?"

I stopped growling. "Calla . . ."

"I know that's all you've ever been taught to do," she said. "But that is not how I want to live. Do you understand?"

"So . . . it's him, then." I dropped my gaze.

"Stop talking about him," she said. "This is about me. My life. My choice. And if you really stopped to think about it, you wouldn't want me any other way. If you have a problem with that, I'll kick your ass. Right here. Right now."

I looked at her then. "You're something else, Lily." I'd never known she could be so selfish.

"Don't forget it," she said.

Connor coughed. "So, uh . . . about the end of the world."

I laughed, heading for the table. When I passed Calla, I bent my head, voice low. "This isn't over." The look I gave both her and Shay . . . they'd never lie again, would never hurt me again, or any of my packmates. I was tired of being strung along by Calla, when it was obvious to everyone else that she would choose Shay Doran. I'd lost her the moment she saved him from that bear back in the clearing near Haldis Cavern. And me being an alpha, I didn't want to submit. I was never going to submit.

Looking back, I gave the two of them one last death glare before disappearing from sight.

You'd be lying on the floor
You'd be begging me please, please
Baby don't hurt me no more
If looks could kill
You'd be reeling from the pain
And you'd never lie again
If looks could kill
If looks could kill


Song: "If Looks Could Kill" by Heart

Well, thoughts, anyone? I'd love to hear what you think.