I didn’t get very far.
Thomas lays on the ground behind me and Ethan stands, with his arms crossed over his chest, in front of me. His face drawn in an unimpressed scowl.
I try to step around him, but he is quick to block my way. It’s like he can sense every thought that crosses my mind and react just as I think of it.
Why won’t he let me leave?
I hate that I can’t talk to him without shifting! If I could, he would definitely be hearing a few choice words.
I am about two seconds from just running over him when he speaks.
“You’re not really deserving of him,” he says, disappointment dripping off of every syllable.
My wolf eyes snap to his. A growl moving from my chest up my throat.
What does he mean by that?!
Neither I nor my wolf, appreciate that comment. Ethan doesn’t even know the reasoning behind what I did! Doesn’t know that I’m protecting him! That I love him!
His hands fly up in front of him in mock surrender, but I see the smug smirk sitting on his lips. He knows that he hit a nerve but he doesn’t care.
His eyes flit away from mine to Thomas and I use that distraction to my advantage. I charge around him, not wanting to deal with him right now because I will try to kill him.
Ethan’s’ hand shoots out and grabs my fur causing me to crash to the ground with a hard thump.
I growl in frustration and anger but it turns to a whimper when I feel the needle poke through the skin in my neck.
I collapse to the ground, drowsiness already kicking in.
“Thomas asked that I dose you with wolfsbane to keep you safe,” his eyes move from where I’ve collapsed to a still unconscious Thomas, “guess you got to him first.”
My eyelids are heavy and each blink is longer than the last. A blanket is tossed over me and I can feel my wolf fading away as the wolfsbane works through my system.
The grass is cool against my skin as I try to stare at Ethan. At least I think it’s Ethan, everything is getting blurry.
“You two are too much alike, not that you’ve noticed,” he mutters before I hear the tell-tale signs of a shift.
I don’t know when I lost consciousness. I just remember laying naked in the grass, with a blanket over me as Ethan’s brown wolf got smaller and smaller.
I stir slightly, my senses slowly, but surely, coming back to me. I stiffen quickly noticing a couple different things immediately.
First - I’m no longer on the grass but in a bed. A bed that’s not mine, I might add.
Second - I’m no longer naked, I can feel a cotton like fabric clinging to my body.
I open my eyes slightly only to have my breath catch at the sight in front of me.
Thomas sits in a chair across the room staring at me. One of his legs resting over the other, his hand resting under his chin. His eyes on me but I can tell even in my still hazy mind, that he isn't looking at me. He is deep in thought and by the look on his face, he isn't happy.
Not that I had really been expecting him to when he woke up from what I had done to him.
Noticing me awake, he shifts forward and rests his elbows on his knees, clasping his hands together. His piercing gaze never wavering from mine.
My heart thuds painfully at the look of anger and betrayal that is written all over his face and body.
I force myself to look away and take a deep breath. Slowly, I sit up and rest my back against the headboard. I try to think of anything to say, but nothing seems right. How can it be with millions of words, I can’t think of any that will work right now?
“I don’t even know what to say right now, Hailey.” Well, that makes two of us.
I don’t respond. Instead, I risk a glance at Thomas but he is staring intently at his hands. His shoulders are tense and I can practically feel the emotions rolling off of him.
So much anger and confusion, it hurts to even think about. Every cell in my body is pulling me towards him, screaming at me to comfort him. But I don’t move.
“Thomas, I’m -”
“What were you even thinking?!” He exploded cutting me off. His eyes were dark, but I knew he still had control.
“You told Ethan to do the same to me.” I say calmly. If I react to defensively he will think I'm looking for a fight and that's not the case.
I did what I did to protect Thomas, and I just need the chance to explain that.
“Of course I did! That psychopath was probably looking for you. You thought I was gonna let you walk right in there and be like “hey son-of-a-bitch who kidnaps people. You want me, here I am on a silver platter 'cuz my mate did nothing!” He flew out of the chair, running a hand through his hair in frustration, but his eyes stayed locked on mine.
His stare was intense. I could almost feel it looking right through my skin, peering straight at my soul.
“I had to protect you.” My voice is small as guilt fills my body. I never thought about it like that.
“Protect me?” He laughs humorlessly before continuing, “You’re kidding me, right?!”
“I don’t expect you to understand.” I say.
It’s the only thing that I knew to be true. He wouldn’t understand my choice - no, my need - to protect him. To make sure that he is home, safe, where no harm can come his way. I would put my life on the line for him.
“After Cade, I -” I start only to be caught off.
“Cade. Of Course. I should have guessed!” His head drops as he paces a little in front of the bed, hands on his hips as he mutters incoherently.
We lapse into a silence. Each of us lost in our own thoughts. I give him a few minutes to cool off and collect his thoughts. I know that Cade has been a big source of my apprehension, but I want to move past that now. I’m hoping Thomas will see that I am serious, but that won’t happen if he is angry.
Finally, Thomas looks at me. His face a mask as he tries to read my expression.
I wonder what he finds?
“I can’t keep doing this, Hailey. One minute I think everything is great and the next minute, a Cade size hole is ripped between us. I love you.” He says the last part in a broken whisper and I can’t help feeling like shit, knowing I caused him to feel this way.
I crawl to the edge of the bed, opening my mouth to respond but he holds his hand up, silencing my words as he just stares at me.
I follow his line of sight and notice for the first time that I am wearing nothing but a large black t-shirt. I look back up and notice his Adam’s apple bob slightly before he looks away.
He stares at the floor like it is so interesting, clearing his throat a moment before he speaks.
“I, Thomas Haynes, reject -”
“NO! DON’T!” I leap towards him, covering his mouth with my hands.
In any other situation, I would enjoy the tingles the flow between us and the feel of his lips on the palm of my hand. But right now I feel like a terrified little girl about to lose the thing she loves most.
Thomas wouldn't even meet my eyes as I cling to him, not allowing my hand to move from his mouth. I won't give him the chance to finish that sentence, but it hurts that he won't look at me now.
“I meant every word I said before I gave you the wolfsbane.” My voice is shaking and I can feel myself trembling.
I’ll admit it, I’m scared. Terrified even as I press myself closer, hoping that at any second he will relax his muscles and embrace me.
But he doesn't.