The only thing I felt as my eyes refused to open was the electricity of Axton’s touch as I could feel him hold my hand. I wanted to smile and squeeze his hand back, but my body refused to cooperate.
After trying to wiggle my fingers for what I think was twenty minutes, I started to focus on the sounds I could here in the room. The beeping of what I assume to be my heart monitor was constant in the background as I could hear mummers of noise coming from outside the room.
I was in the hospital, but I can’t remember why. I wanted to scrunch my face in annoyance as I tried to remember what happened to land me on a hospital bed.
I felt Axton play with my hair as he leaned over me. I could smell his perfect scent of honey and woods coming off him, “Please wake up, El. Please,” his voice cracked, “I need you to open your eyes, baby.”
I just wanted to tell him that I was trying. I was trying everything to get my body to respond but it wasn’t working. I was yelling at my body to squeeze his hand back, anything to show him I was fine.
I heard a creek, which I assume was the door opening.
“Is she awake yet?” Sawyer asked. I’m assuming Axton shook his head no as Sawyer continued, “She’ll wake up, Axton. Don’t worry, she’s strong.”
“Thank you, Sawyer.”
“Anytime,” she said, “Zea has been trying to see her for almost an hour, you know.”
“I know. I didn’t want to let her see El covered in blood after her last surgery. You can let her in.”
I heard a light patter of my little girl as she came rushing into the room, “Is mommy awake?”
“Not yet, sweetheart,” Axton answers her.
“Will she wake up soon?”
“I don’t know,” he says, “That’s up to her.”
“Can I help her?”
I can feel Axton’s hesitation, but I know he gave in as I could feel Zea’s hand rest on my arm. I felt warmth for a few seconds before she stopped, “Did it work?” Axton asked.
“It worked,” I answered him before even realizes my mouth actually opened. I peeled my eyes open slightly as I stared at both of their bright blue eyes as I gave them both a small smile.
“Mommy, you’re awake!” Zea screamed as she jumped onto the bed and gave me a hug. I winced as I squeezed her back as hard as I could. My entire body was still sore, “I thought you were gone.”
“Never,” I tell her as Axton moves to hold both of us. I melt into his embrace as I focus on his heartbeat.
When he pulled back, Zea moved to sit at my side on the bed instead of on top of me as Axton held onto my hand, “Thank you for waking up.”
“How long was I asleep for?” I asked, noticing the dark circles under his eyes.
“Two days,” he tells me.
I squeeze his hand as he tells me that. I have been out for two days, “What happened, Axton?”
His eyebrows moved closer together as he gave me a confused look, “Do you not remember what happened?”
I shake my head as I tell him what I know, “I remember being taken by Cortez and I remember him and Rolfe tor-” I stop mid-word as I notice Zea is listening intensely, “I remember both of them. Then something happened.”
Axton nodded his head slightly, “I found you Ellie. The pack and I took the bunker and I found you in one of the rooms. We got you back.”
“You found me?”
“I just got you back. Do you think I would honestly let you go that easily?” Axton asked as he leaned forward and kissed me.
“Daddy defeated the bad guys,” Zea stated confidently.
I smiled at her, “Because that’s what mates do.”
After Jade examined me, I was finally released from the hospital. Axton practically carried me all the way home. I watched Zea run into the house, screaming about getting her snow stuff together as more flurries fall.
“You know, Jade said that I was fine,” I told him as we walked into the house and he placed me on the couch, “I could have walked.”
He just shook his head at me, “I am not taking any chances.”
“I’m going to make you some tea or coffee or something. Just stay there,” he says as he starts to leave, but I grab his wrist before he could get too far.
“Axton, I am fine,” I tell him.
He lets out a deep breath before bending down in front of me, “I almost lost you, Ellie. I could feel every ounce of pain when you were gone. Just the idea that you were hurt is driving me and Knox crazy. So, can you please just indulge me and let me take care of you?”
The look he gave me was so cute and pleading, I just nodded my head. His smile lit up his face as he ran into the kitchen before coming out five minutes later with a cup of hot chocolate. He handed me the mug before joining me on the couch, pulling my legs over his.
He rubbed his hand up and down my leg in deep thought before finally asking what I knew was on his mind, “Ellie, you said that you remembered Rolfe. Did he tell you why he would do this? Why he betrayed his own family.”
I gave him a sad look as I reached one of my hands to hold his, “He did it because he had lost his mate,” I tell him before retelling the story that Rolfe told me, “Everything he did, he did out of heartbreak.”
“I trusted him. I told him everything growing up,” Axton says.
“I know,” I tell him. We sat in silence for a few minutes before I asked him how he found me.
“Well, it turns out that your brother’s mate and Michael are siblings.”
“Wait, what?” I almost scream, “Aurora never told me she had a brother. Wait, why was Aurora here?”
“She and Michael did a spell to track Cortez. Since she was the one who cursed him, they were able to track the curse, so I could find you,” he tells me as he pulls me closer to him, “But there was a cost.”
“What do you mean?” I ask him.
“In order for the spell to work, apparently Michael had to give up his magic.”
“He gave up being a warlock?”
“I talked to him after we got back. He knew what he was doing and what the cost would be. He wanted to fix the mistakes he made,” Axton tells me as he leaned closer to me, “And he wanted to make things right with Jade. He needed to earn her trust back.”
“And did he?” I ask him, fully aware of his closeness.
“I think everything will work out with them,” he says.
“So, what about us?” I ask him, unsure of what happens now. I have been running and hiding from Cortez for so long, I don’t know what comes next.
“Now,” he leans forward, “As Zea would tell me, we live happily ever after.”
“Oh, is that what she would say,” I laugh.
He laughs with me before pulling me in for an electric kiss.
“Mom! Dad!” Zea yells as she comes running down the hall as we separate and into the living room. She had every single piece of winter clothing imaginable on. From pink mittens and snow pants to the three scarves she wrapped around her neck, “I found my winter clothes!”
I couldn’t help but laugh, “Are you sure you’re going to be warm enough?”
Axton laughed next to me.
I got up from the couch, placing the empty mug onto the table. Walking over to Zea, crouched down in front of her.
“Mommy, can we please go play in the snow?”
I bit my lip as I pretended to think about it, “I don’t know. If we go outside and play in the snow, what will your dad do?”
She tilted her head to the side before her face lit up, “He could come play in the snow too!”
We both turn to Axton as he plays along and puts a thinking look on his face, but I can see the smile beneath it, “I don’t know.”
Zea was practically bouncing, “Please daddy! Come outside with us,” she said before putting on her award-winning pout face.
We both started laughing as she did that.
“Let’s go,” I tell her.
Before I can even put my boots on my feet, she is out the door as she jumps into the first pile of snow she meets. She laughs as she starts rolling in the snow. I laugh along with her as I walk out onto the porch.
Axton comes up behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist, “This is what I want every day,” I give him a smile before he continues, “My daughter happier than ever and my perfect mate in my arms.”
My smile grows even more as it matches his as I turn in his arms to face him, “I love you Axton.”
“I love you too, Ellie,” he says before he pulls me closer for another kiss.