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Chapter 24

I was meant to have gotten up twenty minutes ago but I can't bring myself to look away from the red inked letter on my skin. They no longer wriggle and move like they did, now they seem to just stare back at me just as intensely as I stare at them.
"Mae, are you up? We need to leave in half an hour."

"I'll be down in a second." I reply, yawning. Why did I decide to go to school again?For some reason I can't remember why.
I slowly peel my covers away and grab the crutches the hospital had given me. My body doesn't hurt that much anymore, not after the five different painkillers I've taken.
My head feels a little woozy as I slowly make my way to the shower. I lean against the cold wall of the shower as I let cool water cascade down the curves and ridges of my body.
Maybe I should tell someone about the man, the man in the white suit. Maybe they could help. I shake my head as I remember Lycurgus's threat, 'if you ever mention to anyone that I was here, I will not hesitate to kill you and the people you love.'
A brittle shiver courses through my spine, I don't think that Lycurgus is the type of man to give threats lightly.
"Mae, come on, we gotta go. You'll be late!" I breathe in and out deeply. I need to focus on getting ready for school. Dressing as quickly as possible, I leave the bathroom and head downstairs for breakfast.
"You feeling okay?" My mum asks as she places a glass of orange juice and a plate of golden pancakes on the table. Their buttery scent wafts up my nostrils, teasing my tastebuds.
"You've got five minutes to eat." My mum says.
I eye the pancakes with delight, "Five minutes should suffice," I say, digging into the delicious golden circles.

My mum drops me off at the school gates. It seems like ages since I last saw them. I walk slowly into the school, my crutches clicking against the pavement. It is not long before I am in my form room, sitting in my usual seat, at the back, in the corner. I rest my head on the cool surface of the table and take a deep breath. I miss the time where everything was...normal. When I hadn't met Rolan or Vrey or Jake or Ethan or Colton and when crazy men weren't sneaking in my room threatening to kill me. Multiple tears leak from my eyes. I miss just being that normal girl in the corner, reading books and writing embarrassingly cringey short story romances.
The door bursts open and I look up with a gasp of shock. Kaiko, Carma and Becka stand in the doorway, breathless.

"Mae, so glad your back." Kaiko says.

"Uh, yeah, welcome back. There's something you need to see." Carma says.

"Well she doesn't need to see." Becka chimes in. I give them all a look which says what-the-fuck-is-going-on.

"Just follow us." Both Carma and Kaiko run down the corridor.

"Again with the running!" Becka shouts down the corridor, "She can't even run!" They don't hear her as they speed down the corridor. As quickly as I possibly can I follow Becka towards the canteen.
The canteen is the usual spot where hungry teenagers reside in the morning buying themselves their second breakfasts for the day, myself sometimes included. Everything looks normal, the beige circular tables, the plastic green chairs, the half-broken vending machine. The only difference is that there is a guy standing on top of one of the tables with black skinny jeans, a tight white t-shirt that exposes his tattooed covered arms and black combat boots on his feet.
Rolan's eye catches mine and a look of longing passes through his gaze. "What's going on." I ask no one in particular.
"He was asking for you and then he stood on the table saying he had an announcement to make." Kaiko answers.

"Excuse me, everyone!" Rolan shouts, "I would like to say something and its something I'd like everyone to hear!" Quiet settles throughout the canteen. "You've all seen the videos on the internet. You've all know how much of an asshole I was to a particular lady who attends this school." Everyone's heads turn towards me, making me look to the ground nervously. "This is all stuff you already know. What you may not know is that I also hurt someone else as well. A guy who after my wrong doing was looking after this special girl. I saw him looking after her and that made me jealous, extremely jealous and my jealousy led me to make a very poor decision. I beat this guy up, badly and for that I am sorry, extremely sorry." Rolan stops speaking and turns towards a table, a table in which Levi sits. I watch as Rolan seems to take a deep breath before- with gritted teeth-he says, "I'm sorry, Levi."
Levi, although he sits looking awkward with his arm tucked up in a cast, gives Rolan a nod to acknowledge his apology.
Rolan doesn't say anything else after that instead he leaves the canteen with an eruption of whispers following him. People begin to point and stare at me, making my heartbeat quicken with embarrassment. I leave as quickly as possible, wanting to avoid the whispers of my curious classmates.

The rest of school seems to pass by in a blur, I couldn't concentrate on anything for too long before becoming too bored to function. The only thing my brain could focus on for a prolonged amount of time was Rolan. I couldn't help but notice the five o'clock shadow on his jaw. It made him look... mature. I bite my lip, he had looked so different and yet so the same. Still sexy though. Ugh! I groan, my brain has gone haywire. I just wasn't ready to see him again. I shake my head, stop thinking about him, stop thinking about him, concentrate on where you're walking, I scold myself.

I finally come back to reality, blinking a couple times as I realise where I am, walking on the pavement going home. As I keep walking I notice a person leaning on the wall of a house, their tattooed arms folded, their hair falling over their eyes. My eyes bulge and I lose my footing, falling onto the ground in a flurry of arms and legs. My heart hammers in my chest. I didn't expect to see him again today, I didn't expect him to be standing there just watching me, devouring my being with his eyes. I'm not ready to talk to him face to face. I can hear his feet pounding against the concrete as he runs towards me.
"Mae, oh my goddess!" He pulls me up to a sitting position on the ground, kneeling beside me, checking my head which is pounding like a drum. I touch my forehead, feeling a warm liquid on my skin; blood.
"Look at me for a sec, my flower." He says, holding my head still with his hands as he stares into my eyes. Those familiar tingles ricochet throughout the surface of my skin and I can't help but lean in to his touch and sigh.
"I'm fine." I say, shaking my head to release myself from the daze of being so close to him again. "Leave me alone, Rolan, I'm ok." Rolan ignores me and instead scoops me and my crutches off the floor and carries me down the streets. My muscles tense and I gulp as he holds me. I try not to look up at him, wanting to avoid his intense gaze.
We arrive at a small house which seems odd to me because it looks so normal for someone like Rolan. He's a multi-billionaire's son as well as an alpha and he's living here. I mean, I'm not hating, I'm just shocked. Rolan takes out a set of keys with one hand and holds me with the other. He then kicks open the door and walks up the stairs into a bathroom. He sets me down in his bath tub and then turns to a white cabinet, taking out a green pouch with the words 'First Aid' printed out on the front in white capital letters.
Silence clings to the air as he turns back around and sets the green pouch down. He begins to unbutton his shirt, ruined by my blood, and sets it down to the side as well. I lick my lips as I run my gaze down his very toned chest. A small growl escapes Rolan's lips and I can't help but feel slightly aroused.
"I can smell your want for me." Rolan says, eyes flickering from auburn to brown.

"Sorry," I say, looking down to the side, embarrassed. It takes Rolan a few minutes of deep breathing before he can continue with his task.

"Why did you bring me here?" I ask after a few moments of silence as Rolan sits on the edge of the bath tub.

"You're injured." He says, bringing an antiseptic wipe to my forehead. I wince, my cut stings as it comes in contact with the wet tissue.
Rolan methodically wipes my forehead, going from the middle of the cut to the edges. It is only now that I have gotten to see the tattoos on his arms up close. They are beautiful inked designs that span along the whole of both arms, spilling onto his chest into a heart made up of two colours, one side blue and the other red.
My eyes widen as I look closer. Reddish scars also run along his arms too, masterfully hidden between inked lines. They look to be a mixture between burn marks and knife cuts. I run my hands along his arms lightly, feeling each disturbance in the smooth texture of his skin.
I don't realise when Rolan stops his movements and begins to stare at my hands tracing his skin softly.
"What happened?" I ask quietly.
"I an accident when I was a kid." He says. I can see the haunted look in his eyes. Rolan clears his throat.
"What happened?" I ask.
"Uh, some men, um, rogues."
"Rogues?" I ask with furrowed eyebrows.
"They're wolves without a pack. Not all are bad but these ones.." Rolan trails off and I see his adam's apple bob.
"These ones were." I say. He nods.
"They uh, they set my home on fire." Rolan closes his eyes tightly.
"It's fine you don't have to say anything." I say, "It's painful, I get it. Am I done?"
"Uh,yeah, all done." He says, putting away all the bloodied tissue to the side. He also helps me out of the bathtub and sets me on my feet with my crutches.
"Thanks, I guess." I reply, shifting my weight from one foot to the other.
"It's the least I can do, after..." Rolan starts but doesn't finish. We stand there awkwardly, both not knowing what to say.
"Wow, I've never not known what to say before as arrogant as that sounds." Rolan says.
I smile slightly before saying, "I should get going. My mum's probably worrying."
"Right, yeah, you need to go." Rolan says. We both walk down the stairs to the front door. Rolan opens the door and I walk through, out into the cold. "You should shave." I say. Rolan smiles, "I'll keep that in mind," he says.
"Yes." I say.
"Please don't blame Vrey or anyone for not telling you I ordered them not to, I told them I would stop. They were pissed when the found out I lied. It's not there fault, it's mine." I nod.
"See you...whenever." I say as I look at my feet again avoiding his intense gaze.

"Mae." I lift my head up. "I'm really sorry."

"Yeah, Rolan. I know."
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