Beyond the Foggy Path

Chapter 77: Awkward Tension

The hospital had a few bilingual doctors so Erela wouldn't have to nod like an idiot while the professional explained the progress of her recovery. They told her to take it easy, let the wounds recover in their own time, and to eat more. Her blood work showed that she needed more protein and her stress level had been causing her to eat too little and not get enough sleep before she came into the hospital.

She could do two of those things, healing the wounds on its own was something magic could solve with a blink of an eye. Silly Muggles.

The doctor let her go after a week of testing and replenishing her body with blood and food. The moment she got back in casual clothes that the werewolf left behind for her to replace the tattered and bloody clothes, she told herself to take a shower. A long one and scrub all the sweat and scum from her scalp.

After clumsily requesting the shuttle driver to Landon's address, she was taken there within the hour. With no wand, she couldn't Apparate and had no means of transportation except foot or taxi. With no money she couldn't take the taxi, bless shuttle drivers for the poor and those without cars.

Erela looked out the window, watching streetlamps go by her like fast balls of fire. Since her stay in the hospital, the only thing she could do was think of her actions. Because she stayed in a Muggle hospital, she had no way of knowing what had been happening in the wizarding world, if they suspected her of murder, if they ever found the real Vuk that Gregory had been posing as. She wasn't sure if she was a wanted criminal. Even IF they never stamped her as one, she knew she was a killer.

A life for a life.

But killing a killer still made you a killer. Even if it was for the sake of avenging a friend, she made herself go down that path and take a life.

In a lot of ways . . . she never avoided the life she was afraid of. For thirteen years of being afraid of becoming a Dark Lord or a wanted criminal because of what her wand said about her, after years of learning to predict her future in order to avoid a possible dark future, it just happened naturally.

It was inevitable for her . . .

Halfway up the neighborhood, Erela recognized where she was. Her leg began to shake and the butterflies in her belly felt violent. She exhaled a breath when the shuttle stopped and the doors swung open. Erela stumbled out of the large thing and looked toward the house in flat in front of him. Her eyes then fell on the moon, just a day shy of being full. Erela lost track of the lunar cycle she didn't even notice if Wisenburg appeared ill when she last saw him.

But that wasn't important.

Erela ran a hand through her hair and went up the steps, knocked on the door, and waited.

She heard movement behind the door, slow and cautious. Erela shoved her hands in her pockets as she looked to other doors down the neighborhood while muffled noise went on behind the werewolf's door. "Oh fuck, it's just you . . ." the man scoffed and opened the door for Erela.

Her eyes narrowed into a grim look. "Great to see you too," she answered just as grimly and let herself in. "I'm just here for my wand and the rest of my stuff," she informed him as she crossed her arms over her chest and scanned the room with just her eyes. Nothing. Nothing. Where did he put it? Unless she had it and the Muggles thought she was carrying around a decorative stick and threw it away. Erela looked back at the man when her eyes fell on his hand grasped around his wand. "Expecting someone else?" she asked as she nodded at his wand.

"I didn't mean it like that . . ." he huffed and ran a hand through his unkept hair, "Nobody I know knocks I—was worried I guess . . ." Landon shrugged and shuffled back to the couch falling into the cushions. "It should all be on the counter . . ."

Erela looked toward where he indicated, seeing her things there, safe and sound. "Yeaaaah, I spooked Laila doing that too a few weeks ago," she decided to share and went toward her things. She pursed her lips, the guilt bubbling back up again as well as a mix of the truly heinous rejection from a month ago. Stupid emotions. Should have spread the stone expression to her emotions too. "She made Stephanie go hide somewhere, just in case," Erela finished and shoved her wand in her back pocket.

Landon smiled weakly, "Man, I'm glad to hear Laila is taking care of herself and the kid . . ."

Erela pursed her lips and ran her hand through her hair, letting out a sigh. "Yeah . . ." From the tone of his voice, he must have known about the pregnancy far before Erela found out about it. And from that, it must hurt to even think of them doing well without the crucial member of the family. "She's a trooper." She gathered the rest of her things, making way back into the living room and avoiding the sight of the werewolf. "What's the—what would be the best hotel to stay in around here?" she asked and looked out the window.

"Jus—" Landon yawned and turned into the back of the couch, "Just stay here . . . I won't be here much for the next couple days anyways."

Yeah, full moon time.

Erela pursed her lips and walked back into the living room, falling into the armchair with her eyes closed. "Thanks . . ." she answered as awkwardly as she felt. The atmosphere still felt tense to her, though it might be just her being around the werewolf. Erela shrugged her jacket off her shoulders, and opened her mouth: "Forget what I said before running off . . ."

It was stupid of her to say anything . . .

Landon sighed and pursed his lips, not that she could see, "Because you take it back?"

Emily paused for a bit, thinking carefully of what she would say to him. The lie outweighed his possible reaction to the truth. After silence for what felt like forever, she answered: "Yes . . ."

"I don't blame you," the werewolf muttered, burying his face further into the couch cushions.

Erela looked back at the man, his back still to her, so he couldn't see the hurt on her face. "It was stupid . . ." She went on, her tone quiet and pushed herself off the chair to the downstairs bathroom. "You're positive you want me around here?" Erela just felt weird that he said she could stay, especially when they had argued in the hospital and breaking the already damaged bridge they were barely holding onto.

Landon turned over on the couch and nodded faking a smile, "Yeah it's fine . . . I extended a place to stay I'm not going to take it back."

Erela stared at the fake smile plastered on his face before he pushed himself off the couch into the kitchen. Dammit, even comparing it to the wide goofy smile from years ago came crashing down like a ton of bricks. She let out a sigh and slid deeper down into the couch as she kicked her shoes off. She pressed her fingers to her temples, taking in deep breaths, feeling suffocated by everything that had been happening for the past two months.

Like the stupid universe was unhappy with her and threw karma in her face.

"Any news in the wizarding world?" she asked, more so on whether or not Gregory's body had been found and if there was an investigation.

Landon yawned and pressed his forehead against the door of the freezer, "I haven't heard anything . . . But I'm a little removed soooo . . ."

"Right, yeah . . ."

So nothing yet. She could always go through someone's newspaper and see. Not like Germany was after her.

"You're not going to ask questions?"

"It's not my place." The werewolf sighed while he pulled open the fridge. He was mostly wanting a beer but the cool air felt so nice on his feverish body that he stayed longer than necessary.

Erela pursed her lips and pulled her jacket from underneath her and covered herself in it. Suppose she could just sleep there for the time being. But one thing kept boggling in her mind. With her eyes closed, she asked: "Where do you go on full moons . . .?" she asked all too quietly, knowing the volume was still loud enough for the werewolf's keen sense of hearing.

Landon grabbed a beer from the door. He made his way back to the living room and pressed the cold drink to his forehead, "Home . . . No, it's this clearing like fifty or so miles from where my parent's house is . . ."

Oh. So he was sort of home from time to time. Erela cracked her eyes open to look at him, seeing the sickly color upon his skin as result from the upcoming full moon. He looked absolutely miserable. "Okay . . ." She nodded and looked away from him and closed her eyes again.

And they just left it at that. Erela didn't keep on pushing him and Landon didn't ask questions. They merely left it in a quiet and awkward note. The werewolf went back to bed upstairs while Erela stayed downstairs and slept on the couch. Telling him she took back what she said about still being in love him sat in her brain and ate at her insides like a carnivorous virus.

What the hell was she doing hoping for him to say the words that etched in her mind . . .?

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