Fever Claim

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Forty

Rose

After the first five months of arriving in the pack, I felt out of my element. I didn’t know a single person and that is intimidating. My social anxiety kicked in and honestly, I avoided talking to anyone in general besides my teachers.

Nonetheless, the teachers were impressed with how quickly I am picking up their medical strategies and methods that they have pushed me into the clinic settings. Usually, we don’t enter the clinic or hospital setting until we hit our second year.

Judah did as he promised. He visited me every single weekend, never missed one. We video chat every night before bed and every morning before we got up to do our daily activities.

After seven months, I started getting more comfortable being around the new pack members. They are nice and friendly. The Alpha is a kind man who has provided a cozy housing within the packhouse for me. He made sure to keep his male pack members away from me as ordered by my yours truly Judah. Quite honestly, the Alpha is a complete suck up and Judah is still being a little domineering even when he is miles away from me. However, I am thankful for his interference. I did not need drama while I am here. I want to focus on my studies only.

I didn’t start getting sad or feeling alone until I was a year into my studies. Judah had stopped contacting me. He only left me a quick voicemail that he was on a mission and didn’t know when he will return. He stopped visiting me on weekends. I barely get a text message from him. The only way I knew he was alive was he sent me a text that he loves me and misses me terribly.

Yet...that wasn’t enough to satisfy the pang in my heart. I missed him so much I couldn’t breathe.

The pack annual bonfire event was in full blown and I didn’t even feel like celebrating. I sat on a fallen tree underneath some old tree away from the laughter and jokes. I didn’t want to join in and I couldn’t bring myself to laugh.

I didn’t want to admit it but I was depressed. My mind is constantly thinking about Judah and what he was doing. I wanted him to call me but I knew he is busy doing his job. I can’t expect him to wait for me all the time. I can’t expect him to be available every weekend.

Unable to handle the bonfire event with everyone else and not wanting to dampen the mood, I stood up from hiding within the shadows and made a b-line for the packhouse. I made sure to stay within the shadows so that no one will find me. I kept as quiet as possible even though the tears are threatening to escape.

I feel like my heart is breaking into a million tiny pieces. Every time Judah’s face appears in my mind, I want to cry and run home. I want comfort. I want his arms around me. I am desperate to be near him that I would do anything just to see him.

I can see the packhouse in front of me and I had to bite my lips to stop the whimper of pain.

“Rose.”

My heart reacted in so many ways that it gave me emotional whiplashes. My head snapped up and landed on my mate standing in front of me. He has been gone for literally three months. I could count on one hand the number of times he texted me.

He stood before me dressed in his usual black attire with his silver dog tag necklace that he had engraved my name into before I left to come here. His burnt umber hair falling over his forehead impishly. The warm glow of his olive eyes lit up at the sight of me.

The tears I’ve been fighting back came rushing forward. They slipped down my cheeks and I couldn’t stop the quivering in my lips. He’s standing before me and I’m not losing my mind. He came back.

I ran to him and threw my whole body onto him. I didn’t care if he caught me or we both fell to the ground. I needed his embrace. Anticipating my attack, he caught me, lifting me up and holding me tightly in his arms. I wrapped my legs around him and buried my face in the crook of his neck.

“You’re here,” I cried.

“I am. Sorry, it took me so long. It was a long mission and Hunter needed me. I couldn’t break away-”

“How? When? Where?” I began blabbering.

“Luna Katya was kidnapped by her old rogue pack. Their Alpha rogue wanted Katya for himself. Hunter needed my help in bringing back our Luna and Ace couldn’t leave the pack unattended. I had no choice.”

“Luna Katya was kidnapped?” I mumbled through my tears. I ran my lips up the side of his neck. He shuddered underneath my lips, his arms tightening around me.

“She was for three months she remained in captivity.”

“What about Liam?” I asked about Katya’s brother.

“He remained back in the pack with Ace. The Alpha rogue only wanted Katya,” Judah explained.

“I’m guessing your return means she’s safe?” I pulled back enough to look at him. His eyes scanned my face and I can see how much it pains him to see me cry.

He nodded. “The second that we got home, I came here.”

Judah attempted to let me back down to the ground but I wrapped my arms and legs tighter around him. He arched an eyebrow at me.

“You left me for three months. You stopped visiting me and video calling me. I’m desperate for your comfort. How long are you staying for?”

“Hunter gave me a week off,” Judah replied.

I harrumphed like a spoiled brat. He chuckled before carrying me inside. I buried my face in the crook of his neck to not see other pack members. I didn’t want them looking but I also refuse to get off Judah.

Once we were inside, Judah made sure to apologize in every way he knew. We did it fast and quick. Hard and fast. Slow and sweet. Basically, in every way, until my legs shook and I couldn’t walk. It reminded me so much of our first night together at home.

He made sure to shower me with flowery words of love and murmured how much he loves and misses me. He touched every single part of my body. He kissed me until our lips were chapped from all the kissing. Yet...it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t get enough. Maybe it was the distance. Maybe I have finally gone insane, but I needed more.

Seriously.

I called into the clinic and hospital and asked for a week off. During that week, Judah and I barely stepped foot outside of the bedroom. The only time that we did step out was to replenish our stamina with food.

The pack members knew who Judah was. When they saw us come out of the bedroom, the would murmur among themselves with knowing looks. The men were snickering because they knew what we were doing. The females were sighing with jealousy and desire. They wanted what we have and some are familiar with what we have because they have their own mates.

When it came to him leaving, I was heartbroken once again. One week felt like one day. I wasn’t ready for him to leave.

He leaned against his truck with his arms around me. I wrapped my arms around him tightly, refusing to let him go.

“I’m sorry, my little Rose. I have to go back. Hunter needs me to return,” he murmured into my hair.

“Can’t you ask for another week off?” I grumbled, knowing I am being unreasonable. He has a job and I am pleading for him to stay.

“I can’t. No one is handling the training schedules and sessions. I am damn sure that they are glad they have one week off but I have to return and do my duty as Gamma,” he replied.

“But I miss you.” I felt the familiar sting to my eyes again.

“I miss you too,” he replied, “with every breath I take.”

My heart is breaking all over again. He’s leaving me again and I don’t want him to. I’ll be alone again. I don’t think I can wait another week to see him again. I needed him desperately, yet I let him go.

He kissed me passionately and I hugged him tightly in my arms, but he had to go. I watched his truck disappear down the driveway. A sudden heaviness fell over my chest and I found it hard to breathe. I felt cold and alone. I felt empty like there was nothing inside of me.

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I walked back to my bedroom. In there, I cried myself to sleep. I dreamt about going back home and seeing my mom again. I dreamt about him and living happily next to him.

Long-distance relationships are hard especially when you are mated. The bond only grows stronger by the day and the desire to be near my mate would only heighten. There is no way to stop it.

When I awoke, I still felt the same. Except for this time, I am extremely depressed. So depressed that I didn’t even bother priming myself up nicely for the clinic and hospital. I wore my usual light blue scrubs and went to work.

When I arrived at the clinic, my teacher was the first to find me. He stopped short when he saw how badly I looked. My eyes were swollen and red and my cheeks were still stained with my tears.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I replied.

He walked over to me and stood before me.

“I heard your mate came to visit. I’m assuming he is the cause to-” He gestured to my face and body.

“I know, I look horrible.”

“You look scary. You’ll scare the patients away.” He didn’t even bother to sugarcoat it.

“Thanks,” I grumbled.

He smirked. “I’m guessing you miss him.”

I sniffled. “I do. So much.”

“Do you want to return?”

I nodded but then shook my head.

“You realize you have another seven years to go,” he added.

Seven years left. It feels like an unreachable goal. My heart broke all over again for the hundredth time since Judah’s departure. Tears streamed down my cheeks. He sighed and moved to wrap a comforting arm around me.

“It’s ok. Let it all out,” he mumbled awkwardly.

“I can’t do this. I need to return home.” I shook my head immediately. These words were the first true words I have spoken in one year. It is the weight that has been weighing down my heart.

I looked up at my teacher, half expecting him to look at me with disappointment. I feel like a complete failure. Someone who couldn’t complete something that I wanted desperately but I have no one to blame. I can’t blame the bond or Judah. I could only blame my complete lack of will to continue my dreams of studying under famous pack doctors.

But he didn’t say anything judgmental or blamed me for being weak. Instead, he asked me what I really wanted to do. When I told him I don’t know, he told me I did know. I just needed to come to terms with it.

It was a truth that I found hard to face but it is what I needed to not lose myself completely.

I decided to go home. It took me another week away from Judah because I needed to tie some loose ends here, but I filled my exit application and asked for a transfer back to my pack. My teacher signed off on the exit application. Aside from the feeling of being a failure, I couldn’t help feeling the bubbling excitement inside of me.

After a year and I am returning home. I didn’t tell anyone about my return. I wanted it to be a surprise. The only person who knew about my return is Alpha Hunter because he had received my transfer letter and call.

Seeing the familiar landscape and rolling in a small rental car to my mate’s house, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and my chest. I’ve never felt more relieved than right at that moment. Closing the door, I walked up to his front door. His truck was gone and so I knew he was still at the school teaching.

I knew he will be home in a few hours. I stood on my tiptoes and felt the top of the door trim until my fingers touched the spare key that he keeps hidden above the door. He told me where it was hidden a few days after my father’s death. It was long ago and I was afraid he might have placed the key somewhere else but I am relieved to find that he kept it in the same place.

I slipped the key and unlocked the door. I placed the key back where I found it before entering the familiar home again. My heart is feeling many emotions as I looked at my surroundings. Everything is the same.

I walked to the bedroom and found that Judah’s scent is strongest in this room. It wrapped around me, welcoming me back. It provided me extreme comfort that I haven’t had in a year. I walked to his closet and changed into his clothes before crawling into his bed and wrapping myself in his blanket like some kind of creep.

The drive back here took a full day, so imagine how quickly I fell asleep wrapped up in all this coziness. I fell asleep and slept better than I have ever slept.

When I awoke, it was to the sinking motion of the bed. My eyes opened to see Judah looking down at me.

“I thought I was imagining things. You’re really here,” he spoke first.

I sat up on my knees before throwing my arms around him. He hugged me tighter and buried his nose into the crook of my neck.

“I came back,” I told him.

He pulled us apart to look at me with a frown on his face.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

Even though I am the happiest I can be, I felt embarrassed. I tried following my dreams and now I am telling my mate, I couldn’t do it. I’m a failure and a disappointment.

“At first, it wasn’t that bad but I started missing home. I missed my mom. I missed you. It was hard to concentrate and I couldn’t stop crying. I know, I am a disappointment. I really thought I could do this but I guess this mate thing is a lot harder than I thought.” I couldn’t look at him and so I looked at my hands but I saw his hands reach for my chin.

Gently, he forced me to look at him.

“You want the honest truth?” he asked.

I nodded, a little confused about what he was going to say.

“I miss you so damn much, Hunter and Ace found me unbearable to be around. The students at school call me a monster because I would train them endlessly from morning to night. It was the only thing that kept me from thinking about you or running back to your side.” One corner of his lip lifted. “But I held on because I didn’t want to stop you from dreaming.”

My heart thumped against my chest in happiness but at the same time, I felt like my resilience fell short compared to Judah.

“If you didn’t come back home to me in a month. I can guarantee you, I would have come to you,” he said at the end.

“I’m a failure,” I mumbled in disappointment.

“For what?” he questioned, his eyebrows furrowing.

“For giving up my dreams so easily,” I grumbled.

“Rose, those doctors over there will not make you any more brilliant than you are now. You are a brilliant woman with enormous potential. It doesn’t matter where you study or who teaches you. Your decisions and your work ethic are what makes you a brilliant person and possibly a brilliant pack doctor in the future,” Judah argued.

It took me a while but I realized he’s right. I don’t need to give up my dreams. It doesn’t matter where I do it. It matters how I use the materials I have learned and make something out of it. These doctors don’t define who I am. I define who I am.

He must have seen my thoughts or something because he smiled and leaned in to kiss me passionately on the lips.

“I missed you, my little Rose,” he whispered against my lips.

“I missed you too,” I whispered back.

“So, you’re staying?” He wanted to make sure.

“I’m staying,” I replied and he pulled back abruptly causing me to frown once again. What? Did he not want me to stay?

“So, then it is safe for me to tell you that you’re carrying something that belongs to the both of us?” he asked.

What?

He looks down at my stomach. My eyes followed his line of vision and stared at my stomach oddly. That explains my spurts of mood swings, hunger, and a strong urge to be closer to my mate in the past week. I must have conceived when he visited me during the bonfire event.

“I smelt a different scent on you when I walked into the bedroom. I didn’t understand at first but now that I am closer to you, I am positive you are carrying our pup.”

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