Beep. Beep. Beep.
“How is she?”
He asked, his voice a distant echo in the darkness pooling around me. For some reason, I couldn’t open my eyes. No matter how much I tried, they wouldn’t open. I heard shuffling around me, whispers so low they were a mumbled train passing through my ears. After what felt like years, I caught some words that caught my interest.
“Did she know?” A beat of silence ticked by and my mind went crazy, desperate to know the topic of the situation.
“No, she didn’t,”
“But you did?”
I recognised the other man’s voice: Cena. What was going on? Why couldn’t I open my eyes? My limbs were weak, paralysed on top of something soft. A bed. Slowly, my consciousness receded into the shadows of my mind and I sunk further and further away into a pit of nothingness.
I didn’t know how much time passed but Basil’s voice was at the centre of my thoughts. The hairs on my skin prickled and stood to attention as my chest pounded frantically at out close proximity. She could feel him – my wolf – and she moved but her presence wasn’t enough to break the barriers of darkness.
He spoke in his language, his words caressing me and immediately my body blazed with so much heat that it couldn’t compare to fire itself. I sensed his sadness, his pain and I could do nothing by lay motionless, not understand what was happening around me.
“Please, forgive me,” His lips skimmed the tips of my brows, pressing lightly with a soft kiss. “Please, don’t hate me,”
With his thumb stroking down the length of my nose, he kissed the corner of my lips and instinctively, my heart fluttered. He heard this and the cold air drifting around me told me he moved. No, please don’t move. I heard him shouting but I couldn’t figure out the words as I faded away. Questions swarmed through my brain. What was he apologising for? Was he guilty that I was hurt? I didn’t want him to take that burden because it wasn’t his fault. Before I could appease my curious mind, darkness took over and once again, I sunk into nothingness.
“Hey, baby girl,”
Something beneath me dipped and I felt his big, rough hands on mine. They were familiar, warm, and safe from this inner turmoil I couldn’t escape. Something was different about him, though. I didn’t sense his confidence or his cool demeanour and for a second, knowing he was unsure sparked a sense of fear I couldn’t control.
“Basil said he heard your heartbeat,” He whispered, petting my hair so tenderly the worry in my magnified. “Please, wake up. Your sister is up and well. Your mama just woke today… thank the Moon,”
He breathed the last words with so much relief, the air around us lifted. I heard the emotions bleeding from his lips, so raw and so powerful that it was impossible to ignore. At my lack of response, he continued.
“Hunter, he’s… he’s hanging on,” Despair, that was all I felt. Hanging on what? Dad touched my cheek, kissing my forehead one last time and his warmth dissipated, leaving me in the cold darkness.
When I swallowed, my throat was so dry it was hard to swallow. The sensation was uncomfortable that it forced my eyes open. Wincing as I was met with a bright light, I blinked slowly, clearing my vision to face the white walls surrounding me. Seeing the IV strapped to my wrist and my white gown, it didn’t take long to realise I was at the hospital.
Images of my last memory flooded my thoughts. The hunters, the corpses of wolves… Basil! Gasping, I shot upright, clutching the bed sheet so tightly until my knuckles turned white. Too caught up in my emotions, I didn’t see Hailey or her hand covering mine. Jerking around, I faced her and didn’t miss her despondent look. I struggled to sit upright, causing her to help me. My bones we weak, sluggish and I felt completely drained like I hadn’t slept years, even when I’d been in bed for whatever amount of days. She handed me a glass of water and I gulped it greedily. Already, I knew something was wrong. The air was dead. I didn’t sense the relief of my pack mates nor could I see it in Hailey’s eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, alarmed by her morbid mood. “Is it mom? Phoenix? Hunter?”
She flinched at my brother’s name, her green eyes bright with unshed tears and my heart pounded a thousand times over as dread ignited my fears. Were they dead? The wait, the silence, was torturous. Her bottom lip wobbled when she uttered.
“No, they’re fine. Hunter is fine but…” Her eyes locked with mine and she said the next few words that shattered my world. “You were pregnant.”
Breathing deeply, I whispered. “Were?”
“The baby… it didn’t make it,” She corrected as if she was emotionally detaching herself from the reality of the news. “You were too early for us to sniff it out,”
What…? I frowned, shaking my head. No, no, no… no! It couldn’t be! There must’ve been some mistake. What did she mean that I was pregnant? That couldn’t be possible. The wolfsbane made sure of that. I felt its poison rip my insides out to prevent this… this emotion, this fear. Panting heavily, I shook my head.
“I… I wasn’t pregnant,”
She mirrored my frown, her eyes dropping to the scar on my neck. “But you’ve consummated your bond?”
“I made sure to prevent any pregnancies,”
Eyes narrowing, she twisted her lips. “But the doctor said… maybe we should talk,”
“I’m not an idiot, Hailey, I know what happens when two wolves mate,” I gritted, ripping the sheets from my body to stand. I wobbled on my feet and grabbed the back of Hailey’s chair to steady myself. She jumped to hold my waist, trying to urge me to sit down.
I repeated this time in a low voice. “I wasn’t pregnant.”
She didn’t believe me. Why didn’t she believe me? My gut churned, nausea of the possible truth rushing through me. The door swung open and the devil himself walked through, his white eyes pinned on me. His hard face relaxed a fraction and he eyes lifted up as if thanking some unknown force. Sensing the tension between us, Hailey excused herself and left the room, the door closing shut showing there was no escape from this conversation, highlighting the elephant I was afraid to expose.
A part of me was in denial but then the other part wanted to know the truth.
He didn’t utter a single word. I stared at him pleadingly, breathing slowly to control my increasing anxiety. He knew what I knew but didn’t have the guts to tear my fucking heart open.
“Is it true?” I whispered and he flinched, clenching his jaw. He avoided my gaze when he answered.
Finally, he looked at me, deeply, not batting an eyelash when he murmured. “You didn’t drink Wolfsbane. I knew you’d try so I had the pharmacist give something else.”
Disbelief ran through me and I scoffed my smile blinding as I bared my teeth threateningly. “You’re joking, right?”
Again, I was met with silence. As the truth sunk in, my heart blackened with vile hatred as I continued to stare at the man I called my mate, a rogue, a brute and a fucking Neanderthal!
When he didn’t say anything, my blood boiled. Blind rage took over, my humanity lost within the beast rising to the surface. Suddenly, I lunged at him and he shot forward, restraining me as I thrashed around and screamed the roof down. Hot tears burned down my cheeks. There was only one instinct and that was to kill the threat.
To kill him.
Out of nowhere, dad charged into the room and restrained me, giving Basil a chance to escape. He wrapped one arm around my waist to hold me back. I screamed so loudly he cringed away. I screamed again and again until I wailed helplessly against his chest. My throat was sore, dry and my voice was hoarse as inexplicable grief crippled me.
First, it was my pack and then my child. I child I never wanted. I shouldn’t be feeling this way but it didn’t change the fact that he went against my wishes. I loved pups, even when I wasn’t ready for a child, I still loved them. That was the source of my pain.
Not only was I violated but the loss of a pup left me empty, void.
“You wolf!” I gritted through clenched teeth, my chest tightening with each painful breath. “You are nothing like your flesh. You are nothing more but a rogue. You. Are. No. Alpha. Of. Mine!”
Dad tensed. “Izabella-”
“Get the fuck out of here!”
He didn’t say anything else. He didn’t reprimand me or try to console me. He left, leaving me to battle the demons tearing my soul.