She paused only long enough to take a deep breath. She braced herself for the coming storm. Before she could let nervousness take hold, she knocked on the door. After the space of a few seconds, Alex opened it and gaped at her.
“Lena! What in the hell are you doing here?”
Pretending her heart wasn’t hammering a million miles a minute, Lena raised her eyebrows. “Nice to see you too, Mom. Can I come in or do you want to yell at me in the hall?”
Alex was so mad that her face turned an appalling shade of deep red. In the space of one second, she looked brutally sunburned. Lena actually had a terrible moment when she thought her mother might have a stroke. Then Alex stormed to the middle of the room, keeping her back to Lena. Her fists clenched at her sides.
Lena stepped into the room. Her father appeared out of nowhere to loom over her. Colwyn looked every bit as pissed as his wife, and his voice shook with rage. “You were supposed to stay home,” he growled through gritted teeth.
Alex’s temper was one thing. Seeing her father furious and being the object of his wrath made Lena’s knees wobble. Such intense anger, rarely displayed, even backed her mother down when Colwyn gave vent to it.
Lena quickly stowed her smart alecky attitude. She was not about to provoke her father when he seethed like this. Bowing her head, she told him, “I know you wanted me to stay in Miami. I tried to, I really did, but I couldn’t shake the feeling I needed to be here.”
Alex spun around to face her. “And do what? Get our people killed?” Spittle flew as she spoke.
Lena swallowed. “I studied the rites on my flight over. I went over protocols. I’m ready to help.”
“You’re not doing shit, Lena. You can turn your ass around and go the fuck back home.”
While not as quick to fire as Alex, Lena’s temper could be just as intense. She struggled to keep it under control. “I’m staying. I’m not a child, and I have as much to lose as everyone else if Lilith wins.”
Alex shoved past Colwyn to get in Lena’s face. Her voice sounded low and deadly. “I will not allow you to put my people in jeopardy. You turned your back on the Segreto years ago, and I don’t want you in it now. You do not belong with us.”
Her words were like a knife twisting in Lena’s gut, bleeding out the simmering anger in an instant. Tears welled in the young woman’s eyes. “Mom—”
“Not another word!” Alex’s scream made Lena take a step back. Her mother wasn’t just angry, she was boiling. “Go home, put on your makeup and designer dresses, call your friends for lunch, and play princess like you’ve always done. Leave the work to those of us who aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty.”
With that, Alex stormed out of the suite. The door slammed behind her so hard, Lena thought the frame might crack.