Asher sat there and gaped at me.
So before he said anything I quickly went on “My parents died when I was really young. And for years I was kept in an orphanage.
“I thought it was horrible there and one day a man and his daughter came by and decided they were going to adopt me. They seemed really nice and I was so grateful that they saved me from that awful place. But I was wrong.
“Only a month after I was adopted Jason started beating me. At first it wasn’t so bad, a punch here and there, but one day his daughter Madison came home from school and she was mad because a boy was talking to me and not her. So she told her dad and he started beating me more and more. Every time it got worse.”
As I spoke I noticed Asher start to shake, and his eyes darkened until they were completely black. All his muscles were visibly tight and tense and his hands were balled into tight fists at his sides.
It scared me to see him that way, but for some reason I knew he wouldn’t hurt me.
Before Asher had the chance to say anything a pretty lady, probably in her late thirties, walked in. She had the same black hair as Asher but her eyes were brown instead of blue. I could only assume she was his mother.
I gave her a weak smile as she got closer and she returned it with a warm one on her own. Something about her was so warm and comforting, and I liked her immediately.
“Hey honey, who’s this beautiful young lady?” She asked as she took a seat on the couch beside the one we were on, completely ignoring Asher’s weird behaviour.
“This is Liza.” He said, his tone calmer than I expected, and when I glanced over at him his eyes were back to normal.
“Hello sweetie. I’m Carol, Ash’s mom.”
I greeted her back shyly and then turned to the boy beside me. He was staring at me intently.
“Are you in pain?” He asked, taking his mom and I both by surprise.
I didn’t want to lie anymore so I told him the truth “Yeah. I think I have some broken ribs so it kinda hurts to breath.”
His mom gasped, only now realizing that I was covered in bruises.
“We should take her to the hospital!” She exclaimed.
“You don’t have to. I’ve had tons on broken ribs, they heal on their own.” I assured her, shrugging like it was no big deal.
They were both speechless and it took me a minute to realize that normal people didn’t say that kind of stuff.
I blushed in embarrassment and looked down at my lap. They probably thought I was a freak.
“If you’re not comfortable going to the hospital we can call a doctor to come here.” Asher suggested.
I sent him a grateful smile, “I’d really prefer that. Thank you.”
Apparently I had to stay in bed for a week. The doctor said I was malnourished, had 4 broken ribs, and a mild concussion. So the only time I was allowed out of bed was to use the bathroom.
During the whole examination Asher never left my side and I was so relieved that he still cared even after I told him everything.
Right now he was sitting in bed with me, holding my hand. His mom set up a guest bedroom for me and that was where I was now.
Ash looked down at me and smiled, and I weekly smiled back, then frowned when a troubling thought dawned on me.
I had to go home. Jason wouldn’t let me stay here, and I was sure the Mitchells didn’t want me around much longer. I’d be nothing but a burden to them.
But I didn’t want to go home. I felt safe with Asher and his house already felt like home to me.
Ash saw me frown and a concerned look crossed his face.
“I have to go home.” I told him.
“You’re not going back there.” He said sternly, his eyes darkening.
I looked away from him so he didn’t see my fear.
“B-but Jason will get mad.”
“I’ll deal with him.” He told me, his tone deathly serious.
“But I have nowhere to stay.” I argued, fidgeting with the blanket on me to distract myself from the sadness I felt.
“You can stay here.” He said softly.
I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to cry again.
He had no idea how much those words meant to me. No one other than my parents had ever been so nice and caring towards me.
But this wouldn’t last. I’d heal and then they wouldn’t want me here anymore. Maybe I was just their charity case.
“Why are you being so nice to me?” I asked.
His brows furrowed together like he couldn’t understand why I asked that.
“Because I care about you.” He told me, his voice dripping with sincerity.
This time it was my turn to furrow my brows. It just didn’t make any sense. How could he care about me? I was just a broken girl.
“Get some rest.” He ordered softly.
I easily obliged, and just as I closed my eyes Becca burst through the door.
I heard a growl from Asher but I chose to ignore it for now. I should've been concerned about the fact that his eyes changed colour and he sometimes growled like a dog, but that was the least of my worries right now.
I was so happy to see Becca and she seemed happy to see me too which surprised me. Maybe people really could care about me?
“What the hell happened to you? I’ve been worried sick!” She exclaimed.
I laughed despite my pain. She was the best friend I could possibly have, even if I’d only known her for a few days.
“I’m injured.” I joked.
“I can tell.” She replied, looking me up and down, examining my bruises.
“Becca you can come back later, Liza needs to rest.” Asher sternly told her.
She glared at him but left without a fight.
I closed my eyes once the door closed behind her, but then I felt the bed shift and weight was lifted from it.
My eyes snapped open when I realized what was happening and I desperately grabbed Asher's hand.
“Don’t leave me.”
“I would never leave you.” He told me, climbing back into bed beside me.
He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close so my back was against his chest.
I smiled as the feeling of comfort and safety washed over me like a blanket, and gladly welcomed sleep.
When Liza told me her adoptive dad abused her it took everything in me to stay on the couch with her and not go rip his head off.
Then my mom walked in. Perfect timing. I got a chance to compose myself while they introduced themselves.
As much as I wanted to kill that bastard, my mate came first and she needed me right now.
“Are you in pain?” I asked. I knew she would be, but I had to hear it from her so I could do something about it.
She told me she had broken ribs and that didn’t surprise me, but hearing her say it broke my heart.
I didn’t protect my mate.
I failed her.
And the fact that she said she had broken ribs before, like it was something normal, made me sick. How much did that son of a bitch hurt her? What had she been through?
We were in the spare room beside my room. Liza was bed bound for a week due to her injuries and I felt so bad for my little mate. She didn’t deserve this.
I could tell she was exhausted, so I told her to go to sleep, but then fucking Becca burst into the room and starts screaming.
I could tell Liza didn’t want to talk about it so I shooed Becca away and as soon as she was gone my little mate’s eyes fluttered shut.
She was so beautiful, even with all those bruises.
When I thought she was asleep I got up to give her some privacy, and she surprised me by grabbing my hand and telling me not to leave her.
I'd never leave her again. It was my job to protect her and give her the best life possible.
The last thing I did before I fell asleep was softly whisper “I love you.” Even though I knew she couldn’t hear me.