Chapter 5 - Awakening
It’s dark. The smell of disinfectant surrounds me, wafting up my nose every time I inhale. Gathering some strength, my eyes flutter open to meet a white ceiling, flickering down to see white walls, white chairs, white...everything. I look down to see a color, navy blue greets me in the form of a soft blanket that is tucked around my body. My hands are resting by my side and I move them, wincing at the stiffness.
A door opens and shuts, indicating that someone has stepped in. I look up to see Vulcan standing by the door with his arms crossed, muscles bulging and eyes narrowed. We stare at each other for what feels like the longest time but is only a minute in reality.
I break the stare by moving to sit up, my left arm giving way when I put pressure on it making me cry out softly. Before I can blink, Vulcan has his arms around me and is helping me up, settling the pillow behind my back as he does so. I look into his calm green eyes that are swirling with something dark, what that is I don’t want to find out.
“How long have I...?” I croak, drinking the glass of water greedily when it meets my lips, before sighing in content.
“A day.” He answers, taking a seat in the chair he has pulled closer to the edge of the bed. “Your body needed to heal.”
I nod and we remain silent. Dressed in a baby blue hospital gown with short sleeves, my arms are bare. Bandages are wrapped around my left wrist and I grimace thinking of what my sprained limb will look like once it comes off. The cuts and scrapes that are visible to me are in the process of healing, leaving no scar in their wake.
I look up to see Vulcan lost in thought, drinking in my form. My eyes slide over every feature of the room, taking in the glucose bag that is attached to my arm with a drip. There is a window beside the room, medium sized and in a square shape that allows me to look outside into a hallway. I see doctors, nurses and a few people passing by, their steps hurried and sometimes slow.
Home. I need to go home. There is no reason to stay here and certainly not after what has happened to me. Even though it was only three days, I still feel fear creep up my spine at the thought of those men finding me somehow and hurting me all over again. I know that I will have nightmares about this for a while.
I turn to look at him to find him already staring. As if he knows what I’m going to ask, yet I cannot judge what his answer will be. “I need to get back...can I leave?”
My voice is timid, my fingers playing with themselves, a habit I have when I’m nervous. Sometimes my eyes will dart around the room, other times I will play with my hair, it’s always different depending on the situation.
There is a long silence and when I look up, I find his dark eyes burning with refusal. He shakes his head, a firm scowl set on his lips as he runs a hand through his wet brown hair. I bite my lip in panic, eliciting a low husky growl from him making my head snap to his in shock. How can he make that sound, so inhumane? He needs to get that checked out for sure, I think to myself, nodding subconsciously.
“Why not?” I whisper, refusing to meet his gaze and instead focusing my stare on a plain looking painting.
I hear a sigh escape him, watching him cross his arms yet again out of the corner of my eye. “You’re hurt.”
One shoulder lifts up in a half-hearted shrug. “I’ll be fine. I don’t want to stay here where...”
My throat tightens causing me to trail off, my fingers clutching the large blanket desperately. If he doesn’t let me leave what if they come back, what if they find me alone and hurt me to an increased extent from what they did before? I can’t control the tears welling up in my eyes, just wanting to go home. Clenching my eyes shut, a traitorous tear escapes and slides down my cheek. But before it can fall off my chin, a warm hand brushes it away, tingles erupting on my skin at the contact.
I open my eyes in surprise to see him leaning close to me, our lips just a breath away. He sits on the bed, his other arm curling around my form, not touching me but resting on the bed beside my hip. His hand stays, cupping my cheek and causing me to involuntarily lean towards it. His lips quirk at the action and I think I see him smile softly but it’s fleeting, perhaps I imagined it.
“They won’t hurt you again, mea lux.” He shakes his head, leaning up to press a gentle kiss to my forehead. (My light.)
I shake my head vehemently, too caught up in what could happen to register the sweet action. He sighs and grips the back of my neck, pressing our foreheads together. I gaze into his eyes, my teary ones meeting his in a plea to let me go. As if he realizes what I’m asking for, his lips thin and he shakes his head. My shoulders drop at the action, knowing there is no way I can make him change his mind.
My conscious seems to press me to say what has been on my mind for a few minutes now. Looking up at him nervously, I fiddle with my fingers in my lap before deciding to just ask him straight out.
“Why were you there? Do you live here?” I ask quietly, watching him stiffen visibly before a hard look overtakes his features.
A long period of silence passes before he finally speaks...only to ignore my question completely. “You need to rest.”
“Those m-men called me a...a rogue before the took me. They said I was on their territory and that an Alpha would decide whether I get to leave the cell or not.” I frown in confusion as I notice him freeze, forest green eyes darkening with unimaginable fury, his gaze so cold and harsh it has me flinching in fear.
Noticing my actions, he calms himself down, shooting me an apologetic expression. “Don’t worry about that, they were just talking gibberish.”
I stare at him doubtfully, in a skeptical fashion as if I have been told to believe that Santa is actually real and lives at the North Pole with tiny elves. Sensing that he isn’t too keen on elaborating on the topic or answering my questions, I sigh heavily and nod, just wanting to go home and crawl into bed for a day or two...forever could work too.
“Don’t leave me by myself if I can’t leave.” I whisper, almost begging as I shut my eyes tight. “Promise me, Vulcan.”
His hand cups the curve of my neck, his index finger resting behind my ear with his thumb pressed against my throat. I inhale sharply when his lips meet the corner of my mouth in a teasing fashion. I can almost feel the smile on his lips as if he knows the reaction he has caused; a pleasurable tingle shooting up my spine and my body shivering at the contact.
Holy hell is he trying to kill me? I think, my hand grasping his grey shirt and curling the material in my fist.
“Never.” He murmurs, the hand that cups my neck now sliding down to grasp mine and pick it up. I stare at him as he looks into my eyes, a fierce determination, paired with something else I can’t quite decipher, blazing in those orbs of his as he lowers his head and lets his lips kiss my knuckles in a feather-like brush that is soft and like a whisper. “I promise you.”
I’m discharged from what I learn is the infirmary just before dusk.
The doctor grins widely when she notices me slipping my hand into Vulcan’s, grasping it tightly before he guides me outside and into the hallway. I avoid the curious glances, keeping my eyes on my shoes as we walk to the exit. Everyone either seems as if they are about to burst with excitement and delight as they watch Vulcan and I walk out of the clinic like area or they are very confused.
As soon as he opens the door and we step out onto a stone path, a gust of cold wind blows making me shiver from the temperature outside. Without looking down, he wraps his arm around my shoulders and tucks me into his side. I almost sigh in content at the warmth his body provides, wondering why his temperature is always constant.
We walk on in silence whilst I take in my surroundings. A vast forest circles the territory and it seems like this is a small village built right in the center. There are a couple of houses here and there, a local diner and tall buildings looming above with a warehouse slightly to the back of it.
Immediately I know this isn’t near the town I have moved to because nobody had told me about a forest nor had I seen one until my car broke down by it. I tug on the hem of Vulcan’s shirt, catching his attention.
“Is this a small town or something? How many people live in that building, it’s so...big.”
I’m unaware of him stiffening, his eyes darting from me to the buildings in panic before he composes himself with a cough and answers. “Sort of. About a hundred each live in those, there’s more like them on the territory.”
I turn to look up at him with wide eyes. More than a hundred?! I think to myself in surprise. And of course there are more of those buildings scattered throughout the territory, meaning more people. How many people live on this land? I wonder to myself, staring at the building again.
Before I can ask any more questions, we round the building and he guides me towards a path made in the center of the forest, tall trees on either side. I look around with unease, my mind bringing forth images of the night I had been thrown over a shoulder and carried through this very forest.
A quiet gasp of shock and awe escapes my lips when I look up, only to double-take at the beautiful mansion before me. The first thing I notice is that there are a lot of windows, arched and some accompanied by intricately designed balconies. It’s definitely a three story house with a walkway, built with steps that guide you inside. Thin columns line the first floor right before the entrance and beautiful plants and flowers bloom around it like a perfect garden. The third and final floor has three balconies, a larger room in the center. All in all, it’s a dream home.
“It was recently built for...anyways do you like it?” Vulcan asks, almost nervously, his green eyes trained on me.
“It’s so beautiful.” I breathe in amazement, oblivious to his little slip up as my eyes drink in the sight greedily. “Everything is just perfect.”
I look back at him to see his posture relax making me wonder why he was so nervous. He shakes his head and smirks at my questioning gaze, leading me up to the house and in through the double doors. If it was possible for my jaw to hit the floor, then it just did.
The interior of the house is white, just as extravagant as the exterior. It’s spacious and modern with a grand staircase in the foyer, a large rug in the center with a lone table adorned with a vase of white roses. The area surrounding the staircase is open with doors and hallways leading into the depths of the house.
I follow him towards a sitting area near a fireplace, from where I can see a black couch nearby and the same one on the other side of the room. Everything is luxurious and grand, from the pillows to the carpet, to the marble floor, to the decorations. A huge crystal chandelier swings from the high ceiling in the foyer, prisms reflecting on the walls whenever the light hits it.
There are huge windows right behind the chandelier, allowing you to look into the second floor. The windows reach the ceiling but it isn’t intimidating, rather it blends with the huge house quite perfectly.
“Holy mother of sweet baby unicorns.” I mutter to myself as I look around.
I don’t realize when Vulcan has let go of my hand and is now standing back to watch me look around his house. Turning, I smile shyly as I feel my cheeks flame when I find him staring with that boyish smirk of his. Putting on a neutral expression, I nod whilst my fingers grazes a cushion placed on the couch.
To my surprise, he tips his head back and laughs. I watch in shock before I smile too, albeit sheepishly. He gestures for me to sit down and I do, hesitantly. After telling me he is going to get me something to eat, he disappears into the hallway, leaving me in the quiet room.
I look around before my eyes focus on a cordless phone beside a stack of books on a small table. I need to call Damon and his parents, maybe they will demand for me to come back and see them or something, Vulcan won’t be able to stop me then. A grin spreads across my lips before I wince at the cut stretching, I forgot about that.
Before I can do anything, he comes back with a plate of sandwiches and a glass of water, making my mouth water. My stomach rumbles in hunger, wanting to be fed and based on that smirk I know he had heard. Blushing, I take the plate from his hand and mumble my thanks, biting into the bread.
As I take a sip of water, I look up and try not to choke on it when obsidian eyes meet mine. Holy crap, I think to myself, wondering if I have done something to cause that reaction. Maybe he can’t control it? Yeah let’s go with that, I nod subconsciously, taking another bite of food.
My leg bounces as I train my gaze on the coffee table, thinking of whether I should ask him to use the phone or not, what to say to my guardians if he says yes and what to say to him if he says no. I’m oblivious to him staring at me while he leans back in the armchair.
After I finish the food, I place the plate on the table and clasp my hands on my lap. I’m making a total fool out of myself by glancing at him only to look away in a haste, his eyes on me the whole time with an amused smile.
Taking a deep breath, I rush the words out. “Can I call home?”
He frowns immediately, as if that is something he didn’t expect me to say. I can see that he is thinking, a calculating look in his eyes which are now back to a bright green. Finally, he nods but holds a hand up when I stand.
“I would prefer if you rest up here before returning home.” He states firmly, daring me to argue with his eyes.
I gulp, nodding before taking my phone from his hand and dialing the familiar number, trying to ignore the rush of heat and sparks that tingle on my skin from the contact. It rings a few times but goes straight to voice mail and I sigh, tapping on Damon’s name in my contacts list. He finally picks up.
“Hey.” I start, watching Vulcan as he stands and walks over to an arched window.
“Aurora! Where the hell are you, you’ve been absent from school for four days now. Are you at the apartment because I came over and you didn’t answer the door.” He bombards me with questions making me bite my lip in panic.
“Um, I’m sick. Yeah, that’s why I didn’t go to school. And I’ve been sleeping a lot so, you must have come around when I was in bed.” I reply, crossing my fingers in hope.
“Oh...okay. Want me to take you to the doctor, I can come over right now -”
“No!” I almost shout, Vulcan turning around to face me with a raised brow. “No, that’s okay. I-I went yesterday and he just said to get lots of bed rest.”
“Well how about I still come visit you anyways?” He suggests, making me rattle my mind for another excuse.
“I um...I feel tired so I’m just going to go to bed. I’ll be in school tomorrow so I’ll just drop by yeah?”
“Okay, Mom wants you to stay for dinner though.”
“I’ll be there, can’t wait!” I reply, ending the call when we said our goodbyes.
I let out a breath of relief and lean back against the couch, throwing my phone on the cushions. I close my eyes, thanking the heavens that my excuses worked and were believable enough. Before I can think of anything else, Vulcan cages me in. Crying out in shock, my hands grip his shoulders.
He stares at me with anger in his eyes, although they remain green instead of darkening to black. “I didn’t mean you should absolutely return tomorrow.”
“I have to go to school though, I’ve already missed out on a lot.”
He sighs, running a hand through his hair in frustration before taking my hand and guiding me out to the foyer. I remain silent, not wanting to anger him more than he already is. We climb up another staircase but this one is less extravagant than the other one, simple yet beautifully designed.
He walks on and soon stops outside two double black doors, intricate gold designs on the wood. I breathe in awe, the patterns are so beautiful and regal looking. His hand pushes open the door to reveal a spacious bedroom. Glancing at the view outside, I can tell he has brought me to the larger room in the center on the third floor.
The room is painted in warm shades, an earthly tone greeting you once you step in. I find it quite nice and cozy. There is a king size bed in the center of the room, a single door to the right with a set of double doors beside it. Two armchairs with a coffee table are set in a corner to the left beside the balcony doors. A television is placed on top of a wall beside the door. It’s perfect.
Whilst I’m admiring his room, he steps forward and places me on the bed, my hands resting on fine white silk. I barely acknowledge him taking off my shoes and setting them to the side. It’s only when he pushes me to lie down do I snap out of it, looking up at him in confusion. My head meets a soft, fluffy pillow and he covers me with the sheets.
“Sleep. I’ll wake you up early tomorrow.” He murmurs gently, hesitating before leaning forward and pressing a firm kiss to my forehead, his lips lingering.
I nod, my eyelids drooping of their own accord as I snuggle into the bed further. The last thing I remember is mumbling out a “goodnight” and watching him turn off the lights before closing the door.