Timeline: March 1st, 2008
Early morning not long after Rey returned from her Baltimore trip there was a knock on her door. To her surprise Ironclaw was standing there when she answered.
“Hi.” She stepped back from the doorway. “Come on in.”
Ironclaw strode inside and then stopped, looking at Rey. “Thanks. I won’t be long,” he said.
“Is something wrong?” She closed the door.
“Yeah,” he said. “I wouldn’t normally step in on something personal like this, but this is too important for me to stand by and not saying anything because you’re heading down a road with Grey that’s going to get you killed.”
“I mean this as a friend, someone who cares, so try not to think of this as anything but the sound advice I intend it to be,” he said with a look of dead seriousness. “Don’t encourage Grey to shift on you during sex. Don’t encourage any Uratha to engage in sex with you while shifted. He’ll tear you to pieces — just like his last mate.”
“What happened?” Rey asked. She remembered how excited Grey had seemed when she’d mention his Dalu form, but he always changed the subject.
He looked at her and a small crease appeared between his brows. “What part of torn to pieces do you not get?”
“No, I know what being torn to pieces means. What I meant was who was she? Did it happen right after his First Change?”
“You don’t need to know her name,” he stated, “just that it can and does happen with Uratha. Every day is a battle for us, a battle to keep our instincts at bay and every stress eats away at our control. For us, the shift is a release and sometimes, when passion is high, our control slips.”
He shook his head. “This is a matter for the Lupa, and she should handle this, but she doesn’t know Grey’s history. I’m here to make sure it doesn’t repeat.” He looked meaningfully at Rey.
“Okay.” Rey nodded. “I get the message.”
“Good,” he said. “If you have questions about this talk to Rose. Or better yet, talk to Lyla.” Reached out and gave Rey’s shoulder a light squeeze to show that while he’d been stern, he wasn’t angry with her. Then he turned to go.
“Rose, Lyla and I talked about it back at the beginning of December,” Rey said. “And they explained what I was getting myself into if I pursued Grey.” She felt her cheeks warm a touch at admitting what she’d planned to Ironclaw. She figured he probably knew, but actually saying the words, well, that was different. “Thanks for your concern, though.” Rey smiled, grateful for the concern. Getting reinforcement of the fact he cared made dealing with the aftermath of her Baltimore trip easier.