My eyes begin to sting as I flick on my lamp, adjusting to the light that has flooded my room. My neck is slick with sweat and my body is boiling hot.
I’ve been getting them for almost two weeks now. Horrible nightmares that constantly remind me of that day, of the horrible heat and the orange hue of flames.
There’s a knock on my door and then my mum pokes her head through the door-frame.
“You okay?” She asks, coming to sit beside me on the bed. I nod and then wrap my arms around her waist, burying my face into the crook of her neck. She wraps her arms around me too, and we just sit for a few moments in a comfortable quiet.
They said on the news that the fire was an accident, started by a cooker in the food court. I almost lost it when I heard that. People lost their lives in that fire. Five to be exact and Lycurgus isn’t going to be blamed. They won’t get justice!
My mum speaks, breaking the silence in the room, “Do you want me to make you some Cocoa?” She asks.
I nod and remove my arms from around her waist, lying back down in my sheets. She places a kiss on my forehead before leaving.
I wriggle in my duvet uncomfortably, feeling the damp cloth irritate my skin. Sighing, I get up and go to my closet, taking out some clean sheets before changing the bed.
The ringtone of my phone makes me jump slightly but when I see the caller ID I smile. I answer the phone.
Rolan’s voice is a mixture of relief and confusion,“Your up?”
“Yep, I have answered the phone, Rolan.” The sounds of his chuckle crackled over the phone.
“Yeah, Sorry. I didn’t really expect you to be.” He replies.
“Why didn’t you wait until later to call?” I ask, as I stretch to fit the sheet over the corner.
“I wanted to ask you something an-and I couldn’t wait.” He says, nervousness peaking through his voice.
“Well here I am.” I say, flopping down onto my bed.
“I was wondering, well, whether you wanted to go out sometime today, If you’re not too busy, that is.” I smile at how adorable he sounds.
“Yeah, I think I’m free today.” I reply.
“Really?Great!” His sheer excitement makes me smile even more. “I’ll come pick you up at say two o’clock.”
“I’ll be waiting.” I answer.
“Cool, see you then.”
My mum comes in with my hot chocolate, places it on my nightstand and kisses my forehead. “Do you want me to stay for a bit?” She asks, as she rubs my arm comfortingly.
“Nah, it’s fine. You’ve got work, you need your sleep.” I reply.
“Ok, but I’m here if you need me.“She says, placing another kiss on my forehead before going to bed. I, on the other hand, lay awake on my bed nervously twiddling my thumbs. I’m scared to go to bed in case I have another nightmare and I’m scared to stay awake because I know all I’ll be thinking about is seeing Rolan.
I roll over in my bed and chew my lip nervously. I haven’t seen Rolan since I was in the hospital and with everything that has been going on it’s just been a bit overwhelming but I think it will be good for us, for our relationship. It will be good to get to know him. I roll back over in my bed to switch off my lamp light and instead of falling asleep fearing that I might have a bad dream I drift off to the thought that I will be meeting Rolan soon.
It’s about twelve thirty when I wake up. The sun now peaks through the sides of my curtains, allowing my bedroom to warm up with the heat of the rays. I reach up, stretching the knotted muscles in my arms and back, loosening them until they feel relaxed. With sluggish movements I push myself out of bed, walking onto the landing to get to my bathroom.
I’ve been in the shower for almost an hour and somewhere in between that time my mum left for work. Now it’s just me standing here with water cascading down my body. The feeling of warm water beating on my skin releases all the anxious thoughts in my head, letting them mix with the steam, drifting further away from me until they are non-existent.
The seventh alarm I’ve set rings and I know that it’s finally time to get out of the shower, Rolan would be here soon.
I step out of the shower, wrapping my towel around me quickly as the cool air hits my skin, making goosebumps appear on my flesh. Walking into my room I go straight to my closet to take out my clothes. I take out a short red and black plaid mini skirt with chains that loop on either side paired with a long sleeve black t-shirt. I then put on knee high black socks and some black suede boots before tying my red hair extensions back into a low pony tail.
An incoming text grabs my attention.
I’ll be down in a sec :)
I check my appearance in the mirror, putting a couple strokes of lip gloss on my lips as well as spritzing a bit of perfume on before leaving my house. I almost immediately spot Rolan standing a little way down the street. I wave as I walk over to him.
Rolan takes my hand in his and brings my knuckles to his lips in a gentle kiss before pulling me close to press another to my cheek. I smile and pull away slightly so that I am looking at him. His hands go to my waist as he asks, “How have you been?”
“Good. How’s everything? How’s everyone after...”
“Everyone’s great. They’re excited for our Bindium des Soulus.” Rolan replies, he takes my hand as we begin to walk leisurely down the street.
“What happens during that?” I ask, “It’s sounds so... mystical.”
“Well, we each have to write our own promises to each other that we read in front of the whole pack and after my father gives his approval of our joining. He says a speech that has been said at every single joined pairing between previous mated kings and queens whilst our wrists are joined together by white and black ribbons. Our palms are slit in circles so that when we press them together they form an infinity symbol. And then we feast for three days after.”
I bite my lip. “And the whole pack will be there?” I ask
“Yeah, is that, is that ok?”
I nod. “Yeah it’s fine.” I offer him a short smile to cover up the feeling of fear and nervousness. I hate people staring at me, I hate being the centre of attention.
“But it’s not, is it?” He asks, “If there’s something wrong, tell me. Honestly if you’re not ready for this then you can say. I don’t want you to feel pressured into anything...”
I smile up at him, “You’re so cute.” I say.
Rolan frowns, “I’m not cute. I’m a fierce wolf and a blood sucking vampire is what I am.” The pout on his adorable little face almost makes me want to squeal at his cuteness.
“In all seriousness though,Rolan, I’m fine. I just, I don’t like people staring at me or being the centre of attention, that’s all. It’s something I have to work on.” I tell him honestly. He nods and kisses my cheek before wrapping his arm around my shoulders.
“So where are we going?” I ask.
“I thought we could go to Brighton. There’s this really nice chocolate shop there that I think you love and a nice ice cream place too.”
“My two favourite foods in one place? Sounds like heaven.” I say.
The train begins to slow as it pulls into its final destination. The big white letters on the train station platform reading ‘Brighton.’
We step out of the station. A cool breeze blows gently on our faces, the smell of the sea fills my nostrils and the sound of seagulls can be heard mixed with the chatter of people walking down the streets. The sun gives a comforting warmth as we walk down towards Brighton beach.
The first few minutes are spent in comfortable silence, with me stealing a few glances at Rolan every so often. He’s wearing a light blue t-shirt today, longer at the back than at the front, paired with white skinny jeans and some light blue Toms on his feet.
“Are you just going to stare at me?” Rolan asks after a few moments.
“Sorry,” I mumble, “Your outfit just looks very nice.”
Rolan laughs and I immediately feel embarrassed and begin clicking my knuckles nervously. Rolan takes my hands and kisses my knuckles to stop me. “You make everything sound so innocent and harmless.” He says.
“It was meant to be innocent and harmless.” I reply.
“Oh come on, No it wasn’t. You were checking me out, full on checking me out. That is not innocent.”
“I, Well...” Ok, so he does have a bit of a point. He smirks at me and I roll my eyes. “I mean I don’t mind you staring at me.” Another eye roll. “Ok, I’ll stop.”
“That would be very much appreciated.” I say. Rolan laughs, kisses my cheek and then pulls me across as the light goes green. “Come on, Sprinkles Gelato is over here.”
“What do you mean you like DC better. What about Captain America and Black Widow?”
“What about them?” Rolan asks, “DC’s got practically all the classics. Batman, Superman, Superwoman. They’re the best.”
“So!” I yell, “They have Spider-Man! Spider-Man!” The lady at the counter stares at me quizzically and a few others give me glares.
Currently, Rolan and I are sat in Sprinkles Gelato. I got the Kinder Chocolate ice cream and Rolan just got plain mango sorbet. Mango sorbet is great but there are so many other flavours he could have chosen, one’s you can’t buy in your everyday store.
“I honestly don’t think we can be friends, Rolan.” I say, crossing my arms and sitting back in my chair.
“I wouldn’t want to be.” He replies. Then we both burst out laughing, earning a few more stares from various ice cream eaters.
“I think we’re pissing them off.” I whisper to Rolan.
“And?” He whispers back and I begin laughing all over again. We decide to leave after that, feeling sorry for the ice cream eaters who wanted a quiet afternoon.
“So where to next?” I ask as we weave through other people on the street.
“I thought we could go get some chocolate at ChoccyWoccyDoodah and then we could chill on the beach for a bit.”
“Sounds like a plan.” I say.
Rolan guides me down the streets until we get to The Brighton Lanes. A collection of small back streets lined with various shops. Some selling jewellery, others selling clothes and accessories.
“It’s so nice here.” I comment as I hold onto Rolan’s arm as we walk down the small brick streets.
“I’m glad you like it.” He replies, ” So, other than sweet treats, what do you like?”
“Uh, well, I quite like singing but only in my bedroom though. Singing in front of an audience sort makes me feel...light headed.” I laugh nervously.
“But I’m sure you sound beautiful.” He says.
“You haven’t even heard me sing. For all you know I could sound like a troll.” I say.
“That is offensive to trolls.” Rolan says and I burst out laughing. He soon joins in, laughing boisterously as we walk.
“Ok so what else do you like?” Rolan asks after we finally calm down.
“Writing, reading. That’s it really.” I say, “I must sound so boring to you. I feel like you know so many cool, interesting people.”
“Writing and Readings cool.” Rolan says, “I enjoy reading some romance novels sometimes.”
“Romance?” I say a little shocked.
“I know right. The big bad Alpha prince likes romance books.”
“Sorry,” I say, ” I know that I shouldn’t assume but you really don’t seem like the type of person to read romance let alone read at all.” I say. “What else do you like to read?”
“I don’t really have a specific genre I like I just love books with plot twists or books that get my heart racing, whether it be in fear or joy. A book that makes me interact with the story and characters. But don’t get me wrong I love a good clichè too but if it’s done right, you know.”
“That is so true.” I reply.
“Sometimes,” Rolan says, “I like to rewrite clichè scenes into the way I think people would actually react.”
“Really, that’s so cool.” My hearts swells. I appreciate this, Rolan and I taking the time to get to know each other.
“Yeah. Like for example. The typical Nerd and Jock clichè who normally meet by bumping into each other in the corridor probably because the Jock wasn’t looking where he was going.” I nod and listen intently. ” I mean wouldn’t you be pissed if you had all your papers in order and then some guy bumped into you and they all fell on the floor.”
“Right and then the girl completely forgets about her sheets and is like, ‘His bright blue eyes just took my breath away.’ even though they’ve probably been going to the same school for two years. It’s like haven’t you seen each other before. If his eyes were that brilliant you would have noticed them already.”
“Exactly.” Rolan exclaims. We continue to chat as we walk to down the streets.
We finally reach ChoccyWoccyDoodah and as soon as we step into the store I am immediately bombarded with the smell of rich chocolate. It’s a mouth watering scent that has me wanting to buy everything in the store.
“It smells amazing in here.” I comment and Rolan chuckles, “I’m going to look over there.” I say, drifting towards a shelf that held many different types of chocolate eggs.
I spot a Peanut Chocolate egg full of Pantheon Truffles. I grin and pick up the egg to buy but as soon as I see the price I try to back away inconspicuously. Twenty five pounds! I suddenly realise how broke I really am. I instead go for a large chocolate gold coin. I pay at the counter and then go to Rolan. “All done.” I say.
“Cool,” He says, “Just wait outside for a second . I think I dropped my wallet inside.”
“Oh, ok.” I stare quzically at the spot he was standing in. His wallet is in his back pocket, I can see it. He comes out a few minutes later holding onto the chocolate egg I had been looking at.
“Rolan what is that?” I ask, shocked.
“The chocolate egg you wanted.” He replies.
“Bu-but I didn’t ask for it.” I walked away from that egg so unnoticeably. How could he have known I’d wanted it?
“You didn’t have to. Here you go.” He hands me the bag with a smile.
“Uh, Thank. You.” I respond like a robot to his generosity.
“I just didn’t expect you to notice, that’s all.” I explain.
“How could I not notice everything you do? You’re absolutely beautiful.” I bite my lip nervously at his comment.
“Come on let’s go to the beach for a bit before we have to leave.” He says, extending his hand out for me to take. I place my hand into his willingly and we walk to the beach.
A comfortable silence has fallen between us as we lay on the beach. Our heads rest against each other as we lay still in the quiet. I stare at Rolan’s body, his sculptured face, lean figure and strong arms that are covered in tattoos, so beautiful.
“So Mr Alpha,” I ask, “Why all the tattoos?”
A small sigh escapes his lips and I suddenly feel as though I’ve overstepped by asking something too intimate. “You don’t have to say.” He interrupts, giving me an easy smile.
“No, I wanna tell you.” I smile and place a light kiss on his cheek. “I wanted to cover up my scars, every time people saw them they pitied me. I didn’t want pity, I wanted to be normal and I was sick of having to pretend to be the ‘perfect alpha’, I just wanted to do something rebellious so I got these done.” He says, flexing, shamelessly showing his muscles. I laugh at his antics.
“Well they do look very sexy on you,” I say, running my hand through his soft hair. Rolan smiles. “I like them.” I whisper, tracing the ink that lay on his skin.
“And I like you.” Rolan says, placing a light kiss on my lips, before he pulls away to move a strand of red hair away from my face. I pull his head back down to my lips, loving the feel of them.
A small, low whisper slivers into earshot and my heartbeat becomes manic, pounding against my rib cage as it feels like my throat has sunk into my gut.
Mae.” It whispers, the sound so familiar. It seems that everything around me has become muted until all I can hear is that whisper.
“Mae.” It whispers again. I don’t hear Rolan shouting my name, although I can see his lips moving slowly in exaggerated movements, eyes full of concern, hands clasping my face. ” I warned you what would happen if you told them.”
My lips start to tremble and unstoppable tears spill down my cheeks. I don’t want him to hurt anyone I care about.
“Will you be ready for what I have in store?” The whisper cuts off and the sound of chatter, and birds and Rolan calling to me smacks against my eardrums unexpectedly.
I’m sucking in air faster than my lungs can cope with. I curl into a ball on the ground, bringing my knees to my chest and wrapping my arms around my legs as I shake. Rolan stoops down and rubs my back comfortingly, whispering words of encouragement into my ears.
“Please, take me home.” I beg through my tears. Rolan gathers me up with firm and gentle hands, holding me closely to his side, shielding me from curious onlookers who had begun taking photos, wondering who the crying girl is with Rolan Clarke.
The journey back is spent in peaceful silence. My small frame is tucked into Rolan’s large one, seeking his comfort. Rolan just holds me, whispering funny things in my ear to make me laugh, clearing any ill thoughts from my head. Soon enough my eyes begin to droop close. Rolan whispers something in my ear, “Goodnight, Mae. I lo-” I don’t hear the end of his sentence as my muscles relax completely and I fall into a deep slumber.