~ 20 ~
After I got out of the bathroom, I looked at Shadow’s figure that lied next to Clay’s. I walked to the bed and sat on the side of the bed; the one Nick was sleeping at.
I watched my beautiful mate as her lungs took shallow weak breaths. I could not stop thinking of how I was going to face her when she woke up. I also found myself wondering whether Nick told her what happened. I hoped he did not; I wanted to be the one to tell her, I wanted to show her that I am a man who takes responsibility for my actions. More importantly, I wanted to thank her for saving my people. I knew she did not do it for me, but still I wanted to show her how grateful I felt for what she did. Although I was extremely mad that she put herself in danger.
I looked at my wrist for the hundredth time since Nick left the room. I felt like I was a teenage boy who landed a date with his crush. In a way, I liked that feeling.
I am in pain, but I am holding on because you asked me to.
Her message warmed my heart, perhaps it was because it was a small sign that she was starting to accept me. At least that is what I hoped.
As selfish as it sounds, I needed her to at least warm up to me when she would wake up, I needed her to not judge me for what I did because I needed her to comfort me and because I needed her to tell me that I am not a monster even though I would not believe her.
I traced the words on my wrist with my fingers as I drowned in my memories. At one point, I fell asleep with my head on my mate’s chest. Yet, I felt cold and uncomfortable. That scared me a little because the last time I had slept next to Shadow, it had been the best sleep I had in my entire life. I felt warm, relaxed, and at peace. At that moment, however, I felt like someone was playing with my mind. It felt like someone was going through my memories as if they were flipping the pages of a book.
When I finally managed to open my eyes, I somehow was reliving one of the darkest days of my life; the day when I made the decision that changed my life forever. I was not only remembering that day, I was also witnessing it, it felt so real; like it was happening all over again.
I was standing at the east border of my territory, and I could hear whimpers and cries from a few miles away. I knew who these whimpers belonged to. Thus, I could not find it in myself to walk towards the noise.
However, when I saw my younger self running outside the border, I could not help but follow him. I did not want to, but my legs were running after my younger self. I fell against the nearest tree as I watched what happened five years ago.
My younger self ran towards Amara who was lying on the floor helplessly. When he came a little closer to her, he examined her body. He immediately mind-linked a doctor and took his shirt off and walked towards her. Immediately she started screaming.
“No! No! Please!” She sobbed.
“Hey, it is okay. It is me, alpha Alexander. I am not going to hurt you.” My younger self’s steps became slower as he tried to show her that he meant her no harm.
“No…” She mumbled. I watched myself as I slowly helped her put on my shirt. I could see how my hands avoided touching her skin; he did not want to accidently hurt her further.
“You are okay.” My twenty year old self assured her.
“Please do not hurt me.” She did not even acknowledge my younger self’s presence. He reached out and touched her face as gently as he could. When she did not freak out, he turned her face to his.
“Look at me…Amara. You name is Amara right?” My younger self was sure about her name, but he just wanted her to talk to him, to show him a sign that she was actually aware of her surroundings.
After all, ever since I was a kid, I made sure to know every one’s name in the Open Wound pack because I knew that one day I would become their alpha.
“Amara, can you hear me?” He tried once again while still holding her chin.
“Please do not hurt me, I did nothing wrong. Please let me go. My alpha will come looking for me. He cares about his pack. Yes, he will come looking for me, he will save me. He will… He will… save me. He has always protected his people. But where is he? Where is he? Did no one notice that I was gone? Did no one notice that I got kidna… Where is he? Maybe he sent the beta, or the gamma… Where are they? Please come and save me, I am scared….” She babbled for a few minutes.
I could see the pain in my younger self’s eyes. He did not know what to do. Also I could tell that he was extremely affected by her words. She believed that he –I-would come and save her. She put her faith in me, and I was too late.
I could see my younger self’s self hatred spark for the very first time. He could not think straight, the only thing he could comprehend was Amara’s words.
“Hey look at me, I am your alpha.” Tears started to emerge in his eyes.
“Alexander, what is wrong?” Chance and Nolan appeared from between the trees. My younger self glared at them when Amara screamed once again.
“What happened to her?” Nolan asked in a calm voice as my younger self tried to calm Amara down. Once she stopped screaming and resumed whimpering, he turned to them.
“One of her eyes is missing, and the entire left side of her body is severely burned. In addition, there are three nails pierced inside her right shoulder. I wanted to remove them but that could lead to critical consequences.” My younger self’s head pointed at his shirt that was gradually drowning in blood.
“Oh my…” Chance looked horrified when he examined her maimed skin.
“We will not be able to move her to the infirmary.”Nolan pointed out.
“Please leave me alone, if you do not, my alpha will come for you. My alpha, my pack, my family, they are coming, they are going to kill you for what you did, and they will kill you… they are coming… they are coming… they are… they are… they will come…” Amara started babbling once again, and Chance started crying at the sight.
“I mind-linked the warriors and the men on patrol and I ordered them to not come here. She is in trauma.” Nolan spoke once again.
“Do you blame her?” My voice broke and my lips quivered.
“What are we going to do?” Chance attempted to dry his tears, but they were replaced with new ones.
“Save me, save me please…” Amara answered him with a whimper.
“Chance, call some of the female warriors to come here, we cannot risk one of us holding her. I do not want to scare her even more.” I ordered before I sat on the ground next to her.
“Hey Amara, look at me. I want you to focus on my face” My younger self hated using his alpha voice, but he knew it was the only hope to bring her back to reality. Thankfully, it did.
“Alpha?” she looked at my younger self with relief, sadness, and disappointment.
“It is me, it is okay, you are safe with me.” My younger self assured her.
“Alpha?” She asked again.
“Where were you? I called for you to save me, but you did not come. You… you always said… you said you would always protect us. But… but you did not answer. I needed my alpha and he was not there. Why were you not there?” My younger self could not tell whether she was still in a trance or not. Nonetheless, he answered with a shameful look on his face.
“You are right; I did not keep my promise, and I will hold the regret with me for the rest of my life. I will not forgive myself for what happened to you Amara, and I am going to help you with anything you need. I was not here when you needed me, but I will be here in the future.”
“They hurt me… They... They… do not let them hurt me again; they… my eye…” She cried like her life depended on it.
“No one will touch you. I am going to make sure of that.”
“I am scared.” She said again.
“You do not have to be.” Chance told her softly just as a group of females approached us.
“I am scared.” The females attempted to touch her but she threw herself at my younger self.
“It is okay Amara, they will take care of you.” My younger self assured her.
“No, please, do not let them take me.” She begged.
“They will not hurt you, I called them here.” My younger self hesitantly touched her shoulder.
“No, I do not trust them. I do not want to go with them.”
“You cannot stay here.” Nolan directed his words at her.
“I want to stay with the alpha.” Amara gave my younger self a pleading look with her good eye. I knew that the only reason she trusted me was because I am her alpha. After all, alphas are practically the guardians of their packs. Hence, a wolf feels safe in their alpha’s presence.
“You want me to take you to the infirmary?”
“No, please do not leave me please… They might come... They might come and hurt me again. Do not let them get me.” She held on to my younger self with all her might.
“Okay, okay. How about this…” My younger self tried to comfort her as best he could.
“I will take you to the infirmary, and I will stay by your side as the doctors check up on you. How does that sound?”
“Will you leave after?” The fear was evident in her bruised face.
“If I do then either Chance or Nolan will be by your side.” Amara looked at my two men for a few seconds before nodding in agreement and hiding her face against my chest.
“Is it okay if I carry you?” She only nodded her head. My younger self reluctantly held her bridle style. He flinched when she screamed from pain.
“Are you okay?” Chance asked her.
“I am sorry.” Again, she only nodded.
I could feel the blood dripping from her burns as I walked slowly; afraid to harm her even more.
As we walked to the infirmary, she fell unconscious, and as I stared at her beaten and bruised face, I swore I would seek justice for her. It was the least I could do after not saving her from the torment she went through.
I watched as my younger self, Amara, Chance, Nolan, and the warriors walked away. As I stared at their retrieving figures, I did not cry, I did not scream. I had no desire to do neither of these things.
I knew that what I did five years ago would not erase what happened, I knew that it would not heal Amara’s wounds, but I found comfort in knowing that at least they knew the pain she felt, or at least a tiny taste of it.
After everything that has happened since that day to the second I slept on my mate’s chest, one thing remains the same; the self hatred and the guilt.
I somehow knew that this feeling will never go away even with Shadow being in my life. My mate can heal any wound except for the ones I have from that day. For some reason, it is okay, because I do not want to forget what happened, I do not want to stop visiting Amara, and I do not want to regret what I did for her.
Suddenly, I was back in the real world; I was sleeping next to my mate, I was breathing against her clothes. I did not know how I could feel the change, but I could tell that I was back to sleeping in my house. Perhaps I never left; perhaps my mind was turning against me because of what I did to Doctor Lewis. All I knew was that there was a gentle hand holding mine. It was warm and comforting, but it felt a little unfamiliar. Nonetheless, it gave me the comfort I needed at that moment.