Unblinking Eyes

Chapter Thirteen

Evelyn's POV

The forest was bright and a city of gold, shining just like the sun, the light breeze caressing every leaf and shrub, the sky a clear, hot blue. It was peaceful in the meadow, the sounds of a bubbling stream nearby. It felt as if I was waiting for something- perhaps someone- but I didn't mind. Time could continue it's gentle pace and I would be patient, listening to the bees hum around me, the crickets far away in the long grass. I was warm in the sunlight, my eyes heavy from sleepiness. The world of the forest lulled me softly to sleep and ever so gently all the noises ceased.

I tried to open my eyes, but they were so heavy. I felt instantly lost, the sweet forest gone and I began to panic. I breathed out softly, opening my tightly shut eyes with all my might.

For a moment, all I saw was white.

Then, gradually, shapes became more defined and it was silent- so silent. There was a brown bear next to me, looking very soft, with a red bow around it's neck. I could see white flanks of cards on a stool next to me, the sounds of my breathing becoming more distinct with each passing second.

The sounds of footsteps gently came closer to me and a face I did not know appeared bleary before me.

"Hello. How are you feeling?" Asked the man.

I licked my lips, an acidic taste in my mouth. I blinked, feeling very slow. "Tired." I whispered mostly to myself.

"Could you tell me your name, please?" The stranger questioned.

I began to answer- it was right on the tip of my tongue- but then I realised I didn't know my name. I shook my head. "No... I don't know..."

"Do you remember what happened?"

I smiled and closed my eyes, the memories of the forest making their way to me, clouding this strange reality. I could hear sounds go off but I was pulled under, my world appearing to me once more. It was beautiful. People were there- people I did not know- and they danced under the sun, holding their palms out to me, begging me to join in.

Some looked familiar. There was a woman with a light yellow dress, the hem damp for some reason, her blonde hair falling around her in waves as she laughed, holding her hand out to me as they circled around and around.

I wanted to join in but there was something keeping me rooted to the spot. I couldn't move my legs and my eyes widened, looking to the woman as she smiled gently and began twirling again. I glanced around, seeing the forest morph into something darker. Shadows flickered their way over the grass to me, and I saw beasts of the night pad their way over.

I wanted to scream, but the beasts stopped, regarding me gently. I swallowed, finding I could walk, and began to step towards them, no fear in me now. They let me pass and followed me, guarding me as we disappeared into the dark forest.

Seth's POV

Wednesday 15th March 2006

7:30pm

The noises that were coming from the room stung in my ears and I pressed myself against the wall, desperate to know what was going on. Nurses were rushing in, the door swinging and I tried to look over them, to see the room, to see her.

"What's going on?!" Logan came running down the hall with a polystyrene cup of coffee, his eyes wide with dark shadows underneath them.

"I don't know." I whispered, feeling utterly useless as the door shut and the alarms went off. Logan came to stand by me. We were both alert, taut and ready for action, my muscles straining as I tried to hear what the doctor was saying through the wall. I was so confused and there were too many voices- too many sounds- that my new powers couldn't identify. I closed my eyes in remorse, slumping into the chair by the door.

"Will she die?" I asked quietly as Logan came to sit next to me. He was silent for a few moments.

"No. I know my sister. She won't die before her time." I glanced to him as he said it, and his eyes were far off, glazed over, his fingers shaking around the coffee mug.

Eve's grandparents were talking to the head of medicine, and had been so for the past fifteen minutes. Though they wanted me to stay, only immediate family could enter the room where Evelyn was. That made me pretty angry when the nurse shooed me away. I could feel the fire build up in my bones, but I pushed it away.

"Logan," I turned to him and his eyes flickered to me. I noticed then that his were a slightly darker colour than his sisters, almost like a storm over the sea. It fit him very well. "Does she hate me?"

He laughed and sighed sadly. "She could never hate you man. When I see her with you, all I can see in her eyes is absolute happiness. She's different around you. Whole. As if you two live in your own reality..." He sipped the coffee, glancing to his pocket and swiping out his cell. It was vibrating. "Hi Jean," he greeted into it. I could hear a high pitched woman's voice on the other line. "Yeah, looks like I can't come in today... I'm not sure about tomorrow, yeah, it's pretty bad. We're still not allowed in... thanks... yeah, see you soon. Bye." He hung up quickly and gulped some coffee down. "I'd tell you to go home, but I know you won't." He said, giving me a sad smile. "I'll go find us some dinner, okay?"

"Okay." I said quietly, sitting back and closing my eyes.

Some time later two nurses came out of the room with the doctor. I jumped up, instantly awake. The doctor- a sharp man with dark hair and glasses- turned to me after conversing to the nurses.

"Seth, is it?" He asked, pulling out his clipboard and checking things off.

"Yeah, is she alright? What happened?"

He sighed deeply, clipping his pen to the board and looking at me. "She woke up and I've diagnosed her as having short-term memory loss."

"What?" I breathed.

"The people being able to see her will be controlled. You might as well go home, or at least call your folks."

"I have to stay here." I said solemnly. "I'm not leaving her."

He sighed. "Alright. I'll get a nurse to get you a pillow." He began to walk away.

"Doctor?" I called.

He turned around. "Yes?"

"When will I be able to see her?"

He wrapped his arms around his clipboard. "You can go in when she's asleep. She cannot be awake to see you."

My eyes stung and I nodded, sitting back down and letting it sink in. He began to walk away again and I couldn't help but feel some resentment towards him. I knew he was just doing his job, so maybe it was the wolf in me. A nurse came by to give me two pillows and a blanket and after that Logan returned.

"My grandpa has gone home to get some stuff. Grandma is getting some food." He handed me a package and sat next to me. "So, we're sharing a blanket?"

I laughed as I opened up my dinner. "Nah, you can have it."

"At least we're not sharing a pillow." He yawned, slumping in his seat. I began eating my burger- with slimy cheese and onions- and told him about what had happened and what the doctor had said. His grandma came along with red eyes, quietly eating a sandwich. Logan hugged her after we finished and I stared down the corridor as they talked to each other. It was insanely quiet on this floor. I could hear Eve breathing and it consoled me until the time the doctor came back- talking to Logan's grandfather who was carrying a thick blanket and gym bag.

"One at a time, okay? Even when the body is asleep, the mind still wanders. Take it easy." Said the doctor and Mrs Hund hurried into the room, tears dripping from her eyes.

"We'll take her in for another CAT scan in the morning," said the doctor as we began talking. "Check for any bleeding and swelling- which there was earlier. She has a thick cut on the side of her forehead," he pointed to his own, "but luckily we didn't have to shave any hair off to get to the wound. She has broken the Trapezium bone in her wrist and has many bruises."

Eve's grandpa sighed, smoothing his forehead with his hand. "How long will she be in here?"

"There's no real telling yet, Mr Hund. It's a play and waiting game. Our main priority is to get her awake and keep her awake long enough to see her brain function properly."

His words gradually became muffled as I shifted my gaze from him to the ground below me. What if she would never wake up? I had just lost my father- the greatest role model I've ever had. I couldn't afford to lose Eve too. I was in this new world of supernatural abilities and though it was frightening, it was also sort of beautiful. Running as fast as you can, the ground hungering under your feet, your ears wide as they listened to every sound, the connection between the pack and the mental images they gave you. It fascinated me and I loved it, whereas my sister hated it. I knew she was on patrol right now, her mind linked with Sam's, her hatred boiling for him.

I wanted Evelyn to know about me. I didn't like there being secrets between us.

But... I knew Sam wouldn't allow it. Not only was Eve not part of the tribe, but she was a pale face. There was no way. Though they understood my relationship with her, it was difficult.

After a long, long time, it finally came to my turn to see Evelyn. I was apprehensive, my fingers shaking as I gripped the door handle. I breathed out and pushed forward, closing the door tightly behind me.

She lay upon the bed like Sleeping Beauty. Had I ever told her she was beautiful? Even with the large bandage on her forehead, the breathing tubes by her nose, the bruises and bandages on her arms. I stood rooted to the spot, remembering her afraid eyes looking to me yesterday, the words uttered from her. She was afraid. Afraid of me.

Rushing to her side, I gently took her good hand, her skin cold underneath mine. My eyes burned with tears but I held them in.

"Things are pretty serious, huh." I said in a barely audible voice. I sighed, gently pushing a lock of blonde hair behind her ear. "Evelyn, Eve, wherever you are, listen to me. You might... you might not know who I am, but do you remember the forest? The kingdom? The running and the playing and the laughing? Oh God, Eve, I'm so sorry for everything that's happened. Sam was the one who found you. Jake... Jake brought you back. Can you hear me? We all love you, Eve. We're all... human, really." I winced, knowing I was something between human and beast. "Eve, Ilove you, okay? I love your ridiculous furry hats and I love your fuzzy, wild hair. Just.. come back to me. Please."

Evelyn's POV

Thursday 16th March 2006

Though it was dark, it was peaceful.

I understood them, and they protected me. I hid behind their giant furry masses when the people kept trying to take me away. They growled at them, baring their sharp white teeth, their throats rumbling. They were quiet, really, and I enjoyed their company as we braced the sombre forest.

It was night all the time now. No golden trees or humming bees. The world would creak around me as we walked, the beasts showing their playful sides as they nuzzled my back, pushing me forward.

Sometimes there were flickers of that white room but I didn't like it. The faces there scared me, reminding me of the trapped, dancing people. Things were changing. I couldn't tell between reality and dream any more, and though I stayed with the beasts, it was like they were keeping me from that room, keeping me from the hurt, the pain.

But then the beasts disappeared and I had to open my eyes, the forest crumbling, my city destroyed, the sky a dark red, smoke piling up from the tree trunks and the dancing people twirling faster and faster and faster.

White.

It hurt my eyes and I blinked, my heart beginning to beat faster. Where were the beasts? Why had they left me? Who were these people pressing buttons on machines and smiling at me?

"Good afternoon." Said a man who walked around to me. I was pushed up, white blankets around me, soft and plump pillows behind me. "How do you feel today?" He asked, checking something on the clip board in front of him.

"What's going on?" I horsely whispered. His blue eyes softened and he sighed.

"Don't worry about that. It will make sense soon. You're completely safe here." He scratched the back of his head, regarding me. "Can you tell me your name please?"

This question again. It pained my mind to think about it. I looked around me, to the cards with bright colours on them, to the teddy bear that was now on the stool. I felt so tired, so done with this, but there was something telling me to keep trying.

A flash of a memory suddenly presented itself to me.

"Lynnie." I whispered, a warm feeling in my hands shooting up my arms, making my skin prickle with goosebumps. "Lynnie... that's my name."

The man looked concerned. "Great, well, how do you feel, Lynnie?"

I blinked slowly, letting the colours sink into my vision. "Confused... what's going on?"

"Do you want something to eat?"

I shook my head. "No. Tell me what's going on!"

"Calm down," he came over, his eyes gentle, "everything is fine. Do you know of anyone you would want to see?"

My throat tightened and tears burst in my eyes. "N-no... they're all dead... I'm alone."

He arched a brow, sitting in the armchair by the bed. "What do you mean?"

"My family all died a long time ago. I've been lost since then." I looked to my left hand which was in a thick cast. I lifted it up but it was heavy so I let it drop.

"Where do you live?"

"I don't know. Anywhere." I replied. The tears slowly made their way down my cheeks.

"I'm sorry I'm making you upset, but we must know these things." He said. "Do you remember what happened?"

I shakily brushed the tears away with my good hand, my heart beating faster. "Erm... it... it was so dark, but I was safe. The beasts kept me safe." Would it make sense to him? Was I actually crazy? I didn't like this place. It was too clean. Too white. It smelt strange and not of the woods that I was used to. "Please, I'm scared. Tell me what's going on." I pleaded to him, wincing at the pain suddenly entering my mind.

He stared at me for a moment and then got up to talk to one of the women. She nodded and left immediately. The man looked down to his clipboard, writing things down quickly. My heart jumped and began to gallop.

The door opened to a tall man wearing a dark blue shirt and black jumper, jeans and sneakers. His hair was grey, almost white, and his skin was slightly tanned and scarred on his large hands. The other man smiled at me.

"Do you know who this man is?"

I swallowed, wanting to close my eyes and find the beasts again, but it felt like that world was gone now. I breathed gingerly in, biting my lip, tears forming in my eyes again.

"C-can I hold your hand?" I asked. It was a strange thing- as if the face gave me no uniqueness, but touch brought me into reality. The beasts- their fur ranged from soft to wiry, and I could tell between each one in the dark. Though it was bright in here, it still felt as if I was in the darkness.

The man came forward, sitting on the edge of my bed and gave me his weathered hand.

I gently took it, letting my fingers wander over the old scars, closing my eyes and breathing in. Then, memories of baking, of tall oak trees, of fishing, of laughter.

But, wasn't he dead?

My eyes opened and I hugged my grandfather tightly, ignoring the pain in my wrist and the tubes falling off me. He hugged me back carefully and I sniffed.

"I thought you died." I whispered.

"Just nightmares, darling." He told me and I opened my eyes, seeing he was watching me with the solid eyes I always remembered. "You always had night terrors as a young girl. Do you remember that?"

"S-so grandma, a-and Logan and mom and dad?" I whispered hopefully. His eyes saddened, wrapping his arms around me again.

"Grandma and Logan are safe. But your parents died, Evelyn. They died three years ago."

I gazed longingly out the window, the trees with splattering of blossoms and buds swaying in the breeze far away. The mountains were in the distance, looking foreboding and grey. Everythingwas grey, so desolate, so different from the forests of my alternate reality. I was alone again, my family not allowed to see me. I was in a quiet mourning, memories fluttering their way to me like butterflies. Memories of crying, of heads in hands, of flowers upon graves.

So much death. So much sadness. Was there anything worth living for any more? I no longer lived a life of dreams, which seemed to span for centuries. I felt old and tired, as ancient as the mountains outside the window.

I didn't want to sleep. My dream scape would be empty now, the beasts gone, guarding someone else. It was if I was waiting for something, or someone, and the words stopped on the tip of my tongue. I anticipated something, hungered for it in my belly, wished and hoped. Everyone left me alone to rest now, even the nurses. I was not to be disturbed. I didn't like this reality. It scared me. I was too vulnerable, too weak.

When night came, I curled on my side as I used to, pulling the teddy to my chest and stroking it's soft fur. It just made me feel more lonely, more disconnected.

I vaguely heard the door open yet I didn't do anything. I let the tears build up inside of me. I wanted my mom. I wanted her to pull me close and tell me she wasn't dead.

I sniffed, a sob rising in my throat and I hugged the bear closer, my tears making his fur messy.

"Eve?"

I glanced up at the voice, it startling reminding me of something, and I saw the tall man child gazing at me with large brown eyes. Oh, how he was beautiful. His dark hair was short, messy, his eyes tired though he looked wide awake now.

He came closer, and the smell of him washed over me as he sat down on the edge of my bed, careful to not sit on me. He smelt like the forest. The golden forest of my dreams. I looked at him, my blue eyes meeting his. Eve. He called me Eve.

"Nobody's called me Eve before."

"Do you not like it?"

"No, I like it."

Gingerly, I took his large hand, marvelling at his warmth as I reminded myself of the contours of his palm. How could I forget him? He was the most important being in my entire life.

Tears dripped from my eyes and I let out a sad laugh, looking to him. "You came back for me."

He smiled, the same smile he always gave me, soft and sweet. "I'll always come back for you, Evelyn."

We hugged each other and I melted into his warmth, huddling into him. My Seth. He was here all along.

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