Clarice barged into the familiar hospital with a flushed face completely coated in tears.
Her eyes glued on the nurses who were taking amongst themselves behind their desk.
She growled, instantly catching their attention.
“Where is my mother?!” Clarice cried out, her voice soft but the despair was there.
The nurses nodded in understanding, “she is currently with the healer in the room you were once held in, however she is not ready for vi-”
Clarice did not bother to listen for more information, instead she ran past the nurses and followed the path to the room her mother was held in.
The familiar hospital scent made her stomach churn and she could not hold back the sobs that wracked her body.
She braced herself for the moment where she would see her poor mother attached to machines with needles in her soft skin, but the moment that her hand flew out to the knob she was pulled back by large hands.
She growled loudly, the growl mixing in with a sob and coming out almost painfully.
She thrashed in the warm hold that held her tightly while shaking her head frantically and tugging at her arms.
“Let me go Cerberus!” She cried out while panting, she was thrashing against his broad chest but the way his large arms were hugging her from behind with a vice grip told her that he did not plan to let her go anytime soon.
She cried hysterically in his tight hold, continuously trying her hardest to pull away from him but to no avail.
She could feel him pull her closer and she shook her head angrily, frustrated tears burning her cheeks as they trailed mercilessly down them.
He pulled her flush against him and nuzzled his face into her neck - uncaring about the bystanders that were watching them in shock.
He shushed her softly while keeping his hold tight no matter how harshly she thrashed against him.
“Cerberus. Let me see her.” She cried loudly, her stomach churning as her lungs tightened in her chest - she was struggling to breathe and he knew it.
He shushed her again, his nose nuzzling the soft skin on her delicate neck - trying to coax her to calm down with his touch.
He could feel her turmoil and despair as if it was his own.
“Cerberus, she is hurt. She needs me, please!”
“I understand that. I understand that she is hurt, but she is with the healer right now, it is not the best time to see her.” He stated gently, his voice sounded foreign to her ears - it was softer than ever.
“Cerberus. She is my mother. I can not leave her alone in there.”
She went back to crying hysterically and thrashing in his hold and it made his brows furrow in frustration that he was so badly trying to hold back.
“Clarice.” The way her name left his lips made her freeze while the wave of tears that had been brimming her waterline carelessly pooled down her cheeks.
She could not help but feel shocked.
If somebody would have told her that the first time she would hear her own name from her mate would be in a situation like this she would have laughed.
But Goddess was it true.
“You must calm down. You have undergone enough stress tonight. Please, calm down. Your mother is healing right now, it is best for you to not intrude for the time being. She needs to be alone with Demetre.” Cerberus stated gently, his voice cool and collected as he spoke by her ear - his minty breath fanning her earlobe making the slightest of goosebumps appear on the length of her forearms.
She inhaled shakily, her body trembling silently with every tear that trailed down her cheek.
She was sniffling loudly and she could not deny the hiccups that were beginning to bubble in the back of her throat before she reluctantly nodded her head.
She allowed her back to press onto his front and leaned back all of her weight that was suddenly too much for her to carry.
Her eyes were hooded yet she kept them open and glued on the door that was closed - preventing her from seeing her own mother.
She felt as her mate slowly turned her around, his large hands holding her as though she was made of glass and her wide bloodshot eyes caught his.
His hand found her cheek and he gently rubbed it - soothing her with his mere touch.
“I need you to calm down.” He whispered softly, neither of them caring about the eyes that belonged to the nurses by the front desk that were shamelessly glued on them.
Clarice frowned sadly, her body was absentmindedly shaking as she held back all of the sobs that were bubbling in her chest - instead, the hiccups taking place.
“How can I calm down?” She cried out, her voice breathless.
“It is all my fault.” She sobbed, her knees wobbling.
Her confession made Cerberus’ brows furrow and his anger was immediately sensed right after.
“You love to blame yourself and make assumptions do you not?” He asked her with a curled lip.
She was far too busy crying to respond to her mate who was glaring intensely at her.
“None of this is your fault. Do you hear me?! None of this!” He told her strongly, his wide eyes boring into her soul as he tightly held her chin making sure her eyes were on his the entire time.
He could tell that his words did not change her mindset.
It was obvious by the way she looked at him - it was a look so void of emotion that it sent a chill down his spine.
“You can not tell me it is not my fault when you know that it is!” Clarice cut him off before he could even begin his sentence.
Cerberus could not deny the way her disrespect riled up his beast but he willed himself to understand that she was currently not in the right place of mind.
She abruptly pulled herself away from his touch and that made him growl lowly to himself - he did not want her away from him, ever.
“If only I left with them at the ball. None of this-”
Cerberus felt his eyes instantly widen and he bared his canines aggressively at her making her stumble back warily, “you better not even dare to finish that sentence.”
He watched as she gulped but he knew she held no care over what he was telling her and that made his chest tighten.
“But you know that it is true Cerberus. My father has never been like this, he would never lay a finger on my mother, he-”
“But he has!” Cerberus yelled out while pointing a finger at her, his voice booming throughout the small hospital making Clarice slightly lower her head in embarrassment.
She had just realized that the by-standing eyes were still on them.
“Only because I betrayed him. Only because I stayed here.”
Cerberus raised his nose in disgust, “so you mean to tell me you regret marking me.”
Clarice snapped her wide eyes up and he heard as her heart began to hammer in her chest, his knees nearly wobbled.
“No. I could never.”
Her words were feeble but he could hear her perfectly and that made him swallow roughly.
“I could never regret marking you even if I wanted to. I only regret not being honest and not seeing this change earlier... In fact, I regret not taking action earlier because he definitely did show some signs of aggression that I picked up on, but I shrugged them away, thinking nothing of them and for that I utterly despise myself.”
Cerberus inhaled deeply. He understood well why she felt the way she did, even he had noticed the slightest of changes in her fathers behavior tonight yet neither of them could have assumed that this would have taken place soon after.
“It is not your fault for not noticing, you had your mind full of thoughts and other things to worry about-”
“He ran away my King!” The abrupt voice of Marcello cut Cerberus off making him growl lowly in distaste.
Clarices wide eyes were instantly glued on Marcello who looked utterly disheveled and had a couple of new wounds on his face that were slowly healing.
Clarice had her shaky palm over her lips and Cerberus slowly turned to look at his crazed man.
“The man that we had in our cells has run away. Clarices father, and I am unsure of what his plan is. He seemed to be having a manic episode....”