Chapter 76: Alone Again
She felt cold. And she felt numb.
Her fingers twitched, feeling something on her index finger. Then sound became to wash over her. Something beeped in a consistent rhythm, muffles from beyond walls, and the quiet shifting of her legs under itchy sheets. Erela cracked her eyes open slowly, her kids feeling heavy as light broke through and hurt her for a moment. She blinked a few times until her vision cleared and weakly looked around the room.
It first fell on a bag of blood with a long tube that ended in her arm. Out of confusion, she looked past the window of the door and noticed people walking by casually. The room smelled like sanitizer and plastic gloves. Erela turned her head toward the window when she heard airy snoring beside her. Her eyes fell on a figure sitting in a chair beside her bed, his head leaned back with uncomfortable support from the wall, his mouth gaping open, and his arms crossed over just like his legs.
Erela blinked at the sight of the freckled man, trying to make the hallucination go away but he never disappeared from her sight. He was really there. The beeping from the monitor that watched her heart rate accelerated, waking up the werewolf from his slumber.
Landon let out a sigh as he stirred awake. He grunted and sat up. With a yawn he pushed himself up to sit in the chair properly and looked over to the woman in the hospital bed.
"Oh, so you aren't dead then."
Well that hurt.
Erela pursed her lips, the stupid heart monitoring taking in that big stab and went on with her slightly faster heart rate. "Nope, apparently I just won't die . . ." she answered and tried to readjust her position, her body feeling heavier little by little.
The werewolf sighed again and pushed his fingers through his ragged hair, "Could have fooled me. Showing up at my flat like that. People would think I killed someone with all that blood you left on my carpet."
She twiddled her thumbs, her eyes on her fingers in her lap. "Yeah . . . it was the only safe place I could think of . . ." Erela answered. With the situation she had put herself into, she couldn't stay in the British Isles. For the time being she'd have to lay low until news came out on Gregory Fincher and what the word was on her disappearance. And in that time, stay away from Wisenburg . . .
"How fucking twisted," Landon scoffed and rolled his eyes. "Well, I've got a feeling you aren't going to tell me why you ended up mostly dead, so I'm going home."
"Oh, how you know me so well," she rolled her eyes, though her voice was weak and hurt at her predictability. "Thought you'd never ask." And there she could just hear his reaction on the truth and what she had to do for her to come to his place bleeding and holding onto life by her fingernails. But, Erela sighed and ran her free hand through her newly evened and shorter hair and answered: "I found the guy . . ."
Landon stared at her when the words came out of her mouth. His expression, she couldn't read. Was he shocked? Mad? Ecstatic? Erela couldn't tell. He sighed and buried his face in his hands, "F—fuck . . . Erela . . ."
"You asked . . ." she mumbled. "I provided an answer . . ." His reaction was the opposite of what she thought and she wasn't sure how to feel about that.
"I mean what the actual fuck? I mean, what do you want me to say: 'Congratulations, you did what I ruined my life for in a few months'? That you were stupid and fucking reckless and clearly almost got your dumbass killed? Or maybe you'd like me to ask you why the fuck you didn't come to me? I fucking deserved to find that bastard that killed MY best friend as much as you did."
Erela kept her eyes away from him. Couldn't even meet his eyes. Biting down at her jaw, she exhaled a breath through her nose and looked out the window. She couldn't answer or explain her reasons for going off doing it alone. He DID deserve to find the guy that killed his friend more than she did. Stacee was his closest friend, after all. In Erela's mind, she felt that SHE had to be the one to take the guy down because SHE was suppose to be the one to die that day. The weight of Stacee's corpse—his DEATH was always on her shoulders.
Yet her shoulders didn't feel any lighter . . .
"It just happened . . ." was all Erela could say. "I didn't have the time to message you on the news . . ."
The werewolf pursed his lips and pushed his fingers roughly through his hair, blinking to keep the tears from rushing out of his eyes. "Right, because I'm just fucking useless, right? Only good enough to sleep on my couch and the whole time you just pretended that I was actually helping you find this guy? And now you show up at my flat practically dead and claim you didn't have anywhere to go. Now that you've gotten all you've wanted are you going to whisk me off to Azkaban?"
"Oh my god," she rolled her eyes and looked toward him once more. "I'm sick of this fight, Landon. Not once have I said I'd send you there. I even TOLD YOU I didn't plan on sending you to Azkaban," she snarled at him, fighting her tears and fighting the reminder of having destroyed someone's mentality for something they both wanted. "I have NO WHERE to go and I don't intend to—" but she stopped her sentence before her voice cracked more than she could control. Erela exhaled a breath and looked away from him, her heart monitor going mad with fast beeps that sounded loud in her ears.
"Wow . . . unbelievable. Thank you for only hearing what you wanted to hear and just freaking rolling with it. But you know what, heaven forbid I upset you. I mean, I am just so out of line," Landon practically growled at her as he pushed up from the seat next to her, "The fucking doctors will check you out when they feel you're well enough, better touch up on your goddamned German."
Erela exhaled a breath as she blinked away the tears that threatened to fall, her lips pursed and shook her head before her eyes fell on him again. "Oh right, my bad," she scoffed, but paused to swallow the lump swelling in her throat. "You weren't useless . . ." Erela began with a sigh and looked away from the werewolf. "You were right . . . Your theory on the guy being close enough to keep an eye on one of us to watch our moves and avoid getting caught. You were right . . . And you were right that he was using Polyjuice . . ."
She took in his words before that widened the possibilities of what ifs and it brought her to that. Erela didn't quite get it, but his theories influenced the thoughts to collect and come at her in that dream. And as much as she disliked saying she was sorry, she had to. In her own way.
Landon needed to be praised . . .
But that wasn't what he wanted . . .
Landon sighed and pursed his lips in a tight line, "I didn't want to be right . . . I'm sorry . . . I'm sorry it had to be you, it should have never been you." He finished what he said and started out of the room.
Erela leaned back in her bed and closed her eyes, taking in a deep breath as she listened to him move closer to the door. "Thanks for taking me to the hospital . . ." she called, but her volume sounded too small to her. "Sorry about your carpet . . ."
The werewolf barely slowed to a stop, peeking a look over his shoulder to her before he started off again at his usual pace and out the door. Erela let out a quiet sigh and pressed the heel of her palm to the middle of her brows. With her eyes shut, she let out a sigh and dropped her hand to her side and listened to her heart monitor slow down to its normal rhythm one second at a time.
Alone again . . .