She stood outside her mothers room, with her back pressed against the cool wooden door and her eyes squeezed shut.
Hot tears scorched her cheeks as they pooled down her sensitive skin and she could feel her knees wobble continuously yet she forced herself upright.
All of her emotions were mingling and her beast felt utterly restless in the back of her mind and was willing her to shift - needing to release her despair.
Her mother passed out minutes after revealing the truth to Clarice leaving absolutely no room for questions but giving Clarice the chance to leave the suffocating room.
Her mind was swirling with abrupt thoughts that made her stomach churn.
If Nathaniel was not her father, then was her mother her mother?
Why would they hide this from her?
How did she resemble them both so well?
Her chest felt tight the more she thought about it and she could feel as her fast heartbeat beat roughly under the thick layers of her skin.
Her bottom lip was quivering and she sensed the judgmental looks of the nurses on her yet she paid them no mind, nor did she look at them - she just kept her eyes squeezed shut.
Her mind went back to Cerberus, the one person she needed most now, the one person her heart sought out but also the one person who wanted absolutely nothing to do with her.
She could feel herself begin to slide down the door but she quickly composed herself, swallowing back the painful sobs that tickled the back of her clogged throat.
She opened her eyes slowly before aggressively wiping her cheeks and swallowing roughly, she struggled to breathe and it hurt.
Her eyes trailed to the nurses that were trying to subtly watch her as she had a breakdown and the second their gazes caught they instantly looked away with flushed cheeks.
She inhaled shakily before pushing herself off of the door, it was hard for her to remain standing but with the will of her beast, her calves tightened and she felt herself feel all the more stable.
“Make sure the healer checks up on her. I will be back.” Clarice stated, her voice brittle and her words directed towards the nosy nurses.
They both nodded with their noses slightly hidden behind their clipboards.
Clarice inhaled shakily before exiting the hospital with her heart in her stomach.
Her eyelids were drooping and she could feel how utterly exhausted she was - of everything.
The cool night breeze did not extinguish the flames that were engulfing her heart, nor did they stop the fire from starting in her lungs whenever she inhaled deeply.
She walked aimlessly into the woods that surrounded the makeshift hospital, no longer bothering with following the one clear path.
Long vines and branches instantly nipped at her cheeks but she failed to even acknowledge them.
She was stuck in a void trance where her mind was clouded with thoughts and all she could see was the world spinning around her.
She felt small.
So freaking small.
And she despised it.
All her life she has felt worthless and small.
All her life she felt like she was shielded unnecessarily from the world and all by the man she once called her father.
All her life she had to abide by his wishes, comply to his demands, live under his wing and protection - hidden from the world, hidden from reality.
How could she fail to notice his damn obsession on keeping her home. On keeping her close to him.
She shivered at that, frozen in her spot.
Her head was pounding and her beast was looking for a way to relieve its growing frustration.
She gripped her temples, her fingers getting caught in her hair and she grimaced at the sound of her mothers voice in the hospital, Cerberus’ voice and her own.
All mingling in. Yelling at her.
“He is not your father”
“Rid the mark”
“I need you gone”
“Rid yourself of me”
“Do not go out there alone”
“Rid yourself of me”
“I do not understand”
She let out a bloodcurdling scream that made her knees wobble and the trees around her shake wildly - wild crows fled from their places on the branches squawking as loud as they possibly could in response to her.
She groaned loudly in pain, her throat burned yet she wanted to scream again.
Again and again and again until she was satisfied but instead she bursted into more tears and heart breaking sobs that made her feel so heavy.
She hugged herself and cried as much as she could.
She hated how much she cried.
She cried in response to everything.
And she cried more over the fact that she was crying.
Over the fact that the man she called her father had turned her into this...
This pathetic and weak pup.
She inhaled shakily through her tears, flinching when she heard a twig snap behind her.
Her heartbeat sped up and she could hear it pound in her ears - her beast felt more alert than ever and forced her to turn her head and inspect where the sound had come from.
But the second she had turned, she felt a prick in her neck and she quickly succumbed to the darkness, losing all control over her body.
Ten minutes before...
“I believe you have made the biggest mistake of your life, my son.” Demetre stated in the darkness, pushing his glasses properly in place.
Cerberus inhaled deeply, watching as the healer opened the door to the hospital for him.
“It is not a mistake. I know what I am doing.” Cerberus stated while following the healer to his office, not bothering to acknowledge the nurses that bowed their heads to him, nor the scent that lingered in the hall.
“With all due respect my son, you do not know what you are doing. For there are better ways to address what is happening.”
Demetre opened the door to his office, not expecting Cerberus to growl loudly at him - his eyes darker than coal.
Cerberus bared his teeth, “what better ways? I can barely control the beast from ripping you to shreds. How do you expect me not to...”
They entered the office and Demetre instantly shut the door behind them.
“She is your mate. Your beast could never hurt her.” Demetre stated gently, eyeing Cerberus with caring eyes.
Cerberus chuckled dryly, “no? I have known she was my mate from the start, and yet, how many times has she been here? How many times have you mended her wounds?” Cerberus gritted out, the veins on his neck bulging as his anger grew.
The healer shook his head, “it is all because you refuse to fight it. You my King refuse to gain back all your humanity!”
Cerberus slammed his fist onto the healers desk making a loud thud resonate throughout the office yet the healer just stood there, patiently watching the enraged King.
“I do not refuse anything! You do not understand my situation! Nobody can ever understand! I absolutely despise where I am, who I am! Yet I can not change it! I can not rip myself from this skin!”
The healer stood silently, listening to what Cerberus had to say because it was clear he had a lot on his mind.
Cerberus just wanted to kill someone.
He needed to feel warm blood on his hands to feel sane again.
“She can help you change, she-”
Cerberus angrily pointed a finger at the healer with wide feral eyes, “she can not do anything! For she will be sent home the second her mothers eyes are open!”
Demetres eyes widened in shock, “why? Why are you pushing her away from you?! You need her!”
Cerberus growled loudly, “I do not need anyone! Especially not now! Not when this is happening, not when he is close to taking over! I can not control him! I can not stop him if he decides to... To....”
Cerberus stopped to clear his throat and scratch his chin, “that is why she shall be sent away.”
“How long will you be sending her away then Cerberus?” Demetre asked with his lips curled up in distaste.
Cerberus inhaled deeply, “indefinitely...”
The healer scoffed, “you can always chain yourself with the silver in the cells if you wished to. There are other ways-”
“Silver does not work on Lycans! You know this better than I do!”
“Well, what do I know when you wish to push away the one good thing that has-”
Before the healer could finish a feminine scream echoed in their ears and their eyes instantly widened.
Cerberus’ blood ran cold when he made out the voice of the scream and he found his feet moving absentmindedly at meteoric speed.
He flew past the hospital door and ran into the woods, looking for where the scream had come from.
He was welcomed by her scent and his chest burned.
He ran throughout the woods but could not find her.
However he knew she had been in these woods, he knew it was her who had screamed, and he knew Nathaniel had still been out there.
He clenched his fists tightly and growled loudly before instantly running back to the hospital.
He found himself in Kims room in a second and was not surprised to see her awake and in a state of shock.
“M-my King!” She quickly bowed in respect, Cerberus growled in distaste.
“You will tell me everything I need to know about Clarice everything! Now!”
Kim gasped, “C-Clarice?! Why?”
Cerberus stalked closer towards her with a predatory look on his face, “I am sure you heard her scream. I am sure you know why. And you will explain why your mates scent is currently unrecognizable.”
Kims eyes welled up in fear and she could not help but gulp loudly.
Cerberus growled again,” now!” He ordered, his loud order booming across the walls of the room.
Kim flinched in response but nodded and opened her mouth to quickly explain everything.
Cerberus listened to her intensely and thought of the ways he will enjoy ending the persons life who decided to snatch the Kings mate from his very own grounds.
His fists clenched tightly.