✔️| The Gift of a Curse {1}

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CHAPTER TWENTY ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY ONE

Voices fill the room, but I cannot distinguish who they belong to. My subconscious is no longer in Nick’s childhood home; I have been locked in the dark ever since I saw my sister die for a second time. I keep pushing that memory to the back of my head, but somehow it always resurfaces.
The agony it causes makes me try to force myself to wake up; to escape this darkness and the mental torment that comes along with it. However, I do not know if I can handle what is waiting for me in the real world. Based on what Nick told me, the Open Wound pack is in utter chaos right now. Also, I a m almost certain that the pack is questioning Alec’s position.
If I were in their shoes, I would definitely retaliate to the doctor’s murder, no matter the circumstances. Nonetheless, the idea of Alec being neglected and disrespected by his people sends an unsettling feeling down my stomach. Somehow, I know that Alec is a good man, I just feel it.
I can still feel the warm hand tightly holding mine. As a matter of fact, I do not know if its owner ever left whatever room I am in. still, I am grateful for the warmth and the company their hand has been providing me despite its unfamiliarity. Thus, I know for sure it is neither Nick nor Clay. However, it makes me wonder how long I have been unconscious. For all I know, it could be an hour, a week, or even a month. The fact that I have no sense of time does not help.
As I think about little senseless things, silence consumes the air; the voices quiet down. Perhaps I just drowned even deeper into the darkness, but that thought vanishes when I hear a door open and close. I hear two sets of footsteps; one stays away while the other walks towards me until I feel a hand holding my free one. It is familiar, it is home, and it gives me peace. Clay. Clay just held my hand. My suspicion is confirmed when I feel warm lips kissing my forehead. After all, Clay has kissed my forehead countless of times so I know how his lips feels against it.
Then, I feel his body’s warmth against mine which makes me realize that not only can I feel the warmth of the mysterious other hand, but the warmth of an entire body. I am sandwiched between two large bodies, which surprisingly feel safe and secure. The reason behind that is because Clay is one of the people who are lying down next to me, and if he does not push the other person away from me then that person is to be trusted.

Some time later, I feel a tender finger against my face, and I feel my eyes twitching at the feeling. Even though I know that I am waking up, I do not rush my body; I let it flee from the darkness on its own pace. After all, nothing good comes from rushing things.
At first, my hands start moving, and then my toes. I try to not move too much because I do not want to disturb the ones who lay next to me. A few minutes later when my eyes finally open, I am met with hazel eyes that only recently I have become extremely familiar with.
“And the sleeping beauty is finally awake.” Joshua whispers with a smile. He grabs my shoulders and slowly helps me to slowly sit up. However, my body is too weak so I lean my back on the bed’s headboard. I try to rub my face with my hands but both of them are restricted. I look down at my left hand to find Clay holding it as he sleeps next to me. I take a few moments to look over his face to guarantee that he is alright. He holds my hand close to his face that I can feel him breathing against my skin.
I feel my other hand getting released from a tight grip and a strong arm wraps itself around my waist. In addition to that, a face places itself in my lap. I look down to find that the owner of the warm unfamiliar hand is Alec. I want to run my fingers through his hair but I do not have the energy to do so.
“Yeah these two have been glued to you for the last two weeks.” Nick emerges from the bathroom and hands me a glass of water. I try to reach out to grab it, but I fail.
“Here, I will help you.” Nick helps me drink all of the glass.
“How are you feeling?” Joshua sits at the edge of the bed by Clay’s feet as Nick goes back to the bathroom.
“Like… Like I almost died.” With every word, I feel like I am being choked to death, but I manage to answer. Nick chuckles as he walks back to me and offers me a second glass of water which I decline.
“To be fair, you almost did. We spent the last two weeks waiting for you to wake up.” Joshua gives me a sympathetic smile. My eyes travel to his cheek and the enormous scar that is now on it.
“I am sorry, I am totally staring and it is impolite.” I mutter and look down at Alec’s relaxed face.
“Yeah, Nick informed me that he filled you in on all the crazy stuff that has been going on around here. Also, you do not have to apologize.” There is no hint of sadness on his face. Although given how good his brother is at hiding his emotions, I do not trust the expression on his face.
“And please do not apologize for it.” The witch gestures at his cheek.
“Because it is not your fault.” He finishes.
“Oh please, I would never do that. That is lame.” I half laugh then I immediately regret it as I suddenly cannot breathe at all.
“Hey, calm down and take slow and deep breaths.” Nick instructs me with a worried voice.
“Your lungs still have not fully recovered.”
“Well, that is… typically…” I mutter but cannot finish my sentence because I start coughing from the lack of oxygen.
“I said take it easy.” Nick hisses.
“I think you should sleep for a little bit. It is clear that your body is still tired.” Joshua interrupts. I want to object, there is so much I want to tell the both of them. However, my body does not listen to me. I nod as I lay back down.
“Sleep well sister.” Nick gives me a smile before I close my eyes and fall in deep sleep; one that is filled with darkness, quiet, and agony.

“We never got the chance to talk properly before even though both of us have been in this room for God knows how long. So, I want to exploit this chance and say thank you. Thank you for helping saving my pack. I know you did it for Shadow and Nick, but I still am really grateful.” I hear Alec’s voice when I wake up. This time, both of my hands are free and I cannot feel anyone lying next to me. They must have woken up a while ago, and moved away from my sleeping figure to allow me to sleep a little freely.
I can feel both him and Clay sitting on the bed. Therefore, I keep my eyes closed and make sure that I breathe evenly, and I suddenly feel glad that I learned that trick back when I was a child to fool my family.
The sound that I hear after indicates that the two men shake hands.
“So I want to get to know you. I mean, you are friends with my best friend, and your best friend is my mate. Also, I feel like I should get to know the man who helped protect my pack.” I hear the sound of a pencil moving against paper, and I come to the conclusion that Alec must have given Clay a pencil and a paper so they can communicate. I want to smile at that, but I cannot risk them knowing I am awake; I really want to know how much Clay likes the alpha.
“Yeah, Nick told me that you are highly respected in the Red Eclipse pack.” A few seconds pass before Alec speaks again.
“I do not know when she will wake up, but honestly I am fine as long as her heart beats. I will wait years for her to wake up.” His sentence tells me that the witch brothers did not inform anyone that I woke up earlier. It also makes me change my mind and open my eyes especially since my heart skips a beat at his words.
Shadow? Clay’s voice echoes in my head.
“Clay.” is all my weak lungs allow me to say as my best friend helps me sit up and suffocates me in a bear hug. We hug for a few minutes, and while Clay rocks us back and forth my eyes catch Alec’s. I give him a nod and a smile which he returns. However, I could still see the sadness that is as lucid as the sun in his crystal blue eyes, and I make a note to talk to him as soon as my health and strength allow it.

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