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Chapter Eighteen.

Back at the Crest pack

Everybody was tense.

There was turmoil all over the land, but mainly, in the Mont household.

Nathaniel and Kim had been arguing every night, they spent the length of the past two weeks without their precious daughter crying and searching for her.

They knew she was alive. The link they had with her had not severed. Thankfully.

However, she was nowhere to be found.

Their newly appointed alpha, Mattel, had called their two neighboring packs to ask if they had spotted a small auburn haired girl with - at the time - a broken nose.

But both packs said no, and that they will keep a lookout. Sadly, they never called again.

“Nathaniel, what if we never find her?” Kim asked, her lips in a frown as she gazed desperately at her husband.

They both looked the same.

Their hair was disheveled, their eyes had black bags below them and redness on their scleras, and their cheeks were stained with fresh tears.

“We will.” Nathaniel croaked out, his eyes gazing deeply into Kims - he wanted to seem strong, for her, when inside; he was dying.

He blamed himself, and he had all the reason to, had he not started that argument with Clarice that night, none of that nights events would have taken place and they would not be sending warriors out searching for her.

“If only...” Kin trailed off with a sigh, using a shaky hand to wipe her cheek before deciding to take a tissue off of the kitchen table.

They have been staying at home all day today, in hopes of getting a phone call or of Clarice magically appearing on the doorstep.

“If only what?” Nathaniel asked with a raised brow, leaning onto his forearm in front of Kim.

She inhaled shakily before clearing her throat, “if only you had not said what you did that night, she-”

“She what? She would have not ran off? She would still be with us? Don’t you think I already know that? Dammit!” He growled out before slamming his palm onto the table, Kim had not even flinched - she had gotten used to his sudden outbursts this past week, they were continuous.

“I blame myself enough for the both of us Kim. You do not have to blame me as well, and you definitely do not have to keep bringing it up, because I am tired of hearing it, over and over again!”

Kim shook her head angrily, her eyes narrowing.

“And you can imagine how tired Clarice was of you belittling her and babying her every second!” She retorted, allowing all of her pent up emotions to burst.

Nathaniel recoiled while shaking his head, “you act like you did not do the same. In fact, it was the both of us that babied her, and we had reason to!”

Kim scoffed, “I protected her as a young woman, but I knew my limits, unlike-”

“I love my daughter! And I’ll be damned if I’ll stand here and listen to you question my parenting skills, when all I ever wanted was to keep her safe and alive, you know what is out there, you know her wolf is too weak to handle things and that she has to start off-”

Kim cut him off abruptly while raising her hand in a swatting motion, “yeah, yeah. The worlds unsafe, I got that part. But telling her that she should have gotten up after getting brutally punched in the face by a boy twice her size? Now that, that was horrible. Only to proceed to tell her that she should stop doing what she had to practically plead for you to allow her to do.”

“You are a hypocrite Kimberly. A freaking hypocrite.” Nathaniel stated, his voice slightly cracking as he shook his head in surprise - he was slightly offended, but he did not want his mate to see that.

So, he turned around and took off, slamming the front door shut behind him and leaving Kim all alone.

For once, she did not mind the silence that came with being lonely.

Clarice Mont

Machines beeped softly in the distance.

Marcello was seated in the waiting room, outside of Clarices room with a frown on his face.

He had been here for half of the day and he was annoyed, however he could not have said no to an enraged Rettacus who had ordered him to guard Clarices door and call him if anything was to happen.

His stomach growled and he had just now realized how hungry he was.

This place was not like a regular hospital, seeing as the castle was not filled with pack mates like a normal pack - just people affiliated with the Royals; better yet, the King.

The King decided to create a place for his healer to heal any Royal guard with a gruesome injury, or any fallen Kingman.

And so, the healers hospital, basically consisted of one room, a small hallway, a front desk, a bathroom and he had two more healers; whom he addressed as nurses.

And unfortunately for Marcello, there was no cafeteria.

Marcello stood up in annoyance before huffing out and dusting off his navy blue shirt - it had wrinkled up due to how long he had been sitting for.

He went to walk towards the front desk and make small talk with the two healers there but was stopped when he heard a soft groan.

His ears perked up and his eyes narrowed intensely as he tried to make out what he was hearing.

Another groaned echoed in his ears and he turned around - the muffled sounds were coming from Clarices room.

He gulped, looking nervously at the front desk then frowning when he realized the healers were too busy to notice him before he shrugged.

With one small twist he pushed open the door slowly.

In walked Marcello with his brows intensely furrowed and his gaze inspecting every corner of the room - almost as if he expected someone to pop out and attack him.

Clarice was stirring on the hospital bed and groaning in pain. Her back was aching, as was the rest of her body.

Her eyes blinked open slowly and Marcello watched awkwardly with his back pressed against the closed door as she used her hand - that did not have needles in it - to rub her eyes.

She grunted when she moved her other hand only to look down with raised brows and notice she had needles in them - her eyes widened fearfully.

They trailed to the machines she was hooked onto, then to the bed she had just realized she was laying on and then throughout the room, only to lastly land on Marcello who was still pressing his back onto the door.

Her heartbeat began to quicken and it was evident - the heart monitor began beeping crazily.

She tried to scoot up and distance herself from Marcello in fear - even though she was already pretty far - but she could not go anywhere due to the iv’s and she realized that.

Her eyes welled up.

“Do not worry. I will not hurt you.” Marcello said after awkwardly standing there for the past minute - he placed a palm over his chest sincerely as he gazed at her intensely.

And he was serious. He would not lay a hand on her.

Clarice grimaced, her heartbeat was still beating rapidly, but not as crazily as before - for some reason, she believed the man she had yet to put a name to.

“Are you in pain?” Marcello asked, trying to lower his voice and make it softer than usual - he did not want to scare her anymore than she already was.

He also kept his distance, he wanted her to warm up to him before he neared her.

Clarice licked her dry lips before sniffling, tears silently trailed down her cheeks before she shook her head.

What could she tell him? That she wanted to go home? That her heart was hurting so bad. That she was scared and alone. That she regretted every choice she had made thus far.

She stayed silent.

Marcello sighed, “you are crying little one. You can tell me.”

Clarice scrunched up her face in distaste making the tears in her eyes burn - she hated the terminology they continuously used to address her; pup and little one. It made her feel weak and small.

“You know what, I will go get the healer to check up on you, okay?” Marcello asked softy, his gaze roaming all over her pale face - she looked a lot different from when she was in the car with him last time.

Clarice did not respond, she just looked up at the ceiling while the monitors beeped softly in the background and her tears blurred her vision.

She could not help the crying, it was instinctual, she could not hold them back.

The door shut and she did not even bother to look, she knew they would come back - they were punctual like that.

She remained alone for a second before the door opened once again and she was brought back from her thoughts - thoughts that mainly consisted of her parents.

She looked down and noticed an elder man walking in, he had round glasses and short gray hair - he might be old, but he looked very strong and healthy.

She was nervous. She did not know how he was but judging by the encounters she had with the other men, she did not have high expectations, or good expectations to say the least.

Marcello walked in behind him and shut the door - for some reason, that calmed Clarice down slightly; she trusted him... for the most part.

For now.

“Well, it is nice to finally see you awake dear.” The healer stated as he neared her, she gulped nervously before slightly scooting back warily.

Both of the men noticed that, and Marcello caught the worried gaze Clarice sent him and nodded her way softly - as if to tell her, she will be fine, he will not hurt her.

She inhaled shakily before looking back at the healer who was smiling softly at her.

“Any updates you can give me?” Marcello asked the healer and he inhaled deeply.

“Hold on.” The healer stated before putting his stethoscope on properly and pressing the round metal bit onto Clarices chest.

She flinched at the cold but instantly calmed down when she realized he was just doing a check up.

He listened carefully before nodding his head and pulling away, he then pulled out a small white stick before giving Clarice a small look.

“Open wide.”

And she did, he pressed the stick on her tongue and inspected her throat before pulling away with a frown.

He threw the stick into the nearest garbage bin and turned around to looked worriedly at Marcello who was already standing there with a concerned look of his own.

Clarice was not looking at either of them. Just at the ceiling quietly.

“I can tell something is wrong, tell me.” Marcello stated sternly, this caught Clarices attention and she snapped her wide teary eyes towards the healer.

Her heartbeat had picked up and both of the men heard it.

The healer cleared his throat, “you go and tell Rettacus, what I had told him was correct. Due to the swelling upon the allergic reaction, there was a tear in her vocal cords - her voice is gone, for now.”

Clarice furrowed her brows, she had not even noticed she could not speak, especially when she had groaned in pain.

She brought her hand to her neck and massaged her throat softly with tears running down her cheeks.

“And?” Marcello urged.

“And she might struggle to fully heal with just her wolf. Which means, she could end up being mute for good...”

The monitors went haywire after that...

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