Beauty in the Beast

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Chapter 32

**Nick’s POV**



I’ve been sitting in this waiting room for hours with no update on Emma. The only thing holding my sanity in place was the thought that if the surgery was taking a long time, then she was okay. I couldn’t sit anymore. I haven’t heard from Daniel since he left the hospital, and I clearly wasn’t getting any updates from the staff here. I didn’t know what to do. I needed Emma. I began pacing back and forth again, my breathing was getting worse and worse. What was this? A panic attack? I don’t get panic attacks. I don’t panic.

“Nick?” I snapped my head around to Dr. Morris. She looked like shit.

“Where’s Emma?” I asked her. She pulled the surgical cap from her head and looked at the ground. “Julie, where is Emma?” I walked up to her with shaky knees, my legs were numb. “Julie. Please.”

“I’m so sorry, Nick.” I shook my head. There was no way Emma was gone. She couldn’t leave me. “I had to put her in a medically induced coma.”
“But she’s alive?”

“She’s alive.” A wave of relief washed over me. “The arrow was very close to her heart, which made it easy for the wolfsbane to spread.” I was going to throw up. I needed air, I needed Emma. “We removed as much of the poison as we could and ended up giving her a blood transfusion to flush the rest of it out.”

“Where is she?”

“She’s in the ICU.” She put her hand on my shoulder. “Nick, now would be a good time to call her father.”

“You don’t think she’ll make it?” I could almost feel tears in my eyes, but I held them back. Emma was a fighter; she would be fine.

“I wouldn’t recommend waking her up before her body has time to heal. Which will be a long time with the amount of wolfsbane that we removed from her system. When we do try to wake her, the odds of her waking up and recovering aren’t good.”

“I need to see her.”

“Of course.” Dr. Morris showed me the way to the ICU where she led me to a glass door. “Take your time.” She squeezed my shoulder and left me alone. I opened the door and rushed to her side. She was hooked up to more machines than I had ever seen used on someone. I took her hand but was careful with it, so I didn’t disrupt the IV.

“Little wolf, come back to me.” I kissed for forehead in hopes that she knew I was with her. “I’m not going anywhere. I’ll wait forever for you.”

**Two Weeks Later**

Daniel entered the small ICU room with a fresh bouquet of flowers.

“Here.” He handed them to me, and I threw out the old ones on the table by the window and put the fresh ones in the vase. Daniel came to visit every day, mostly to tell me to go home, but I haven’t left the hospital since I came with Emma. She was still hooked up to all the machines, nurses still had to come in and change her bandages three times a day. She wasn’t healing. Her father came to see her every other day. He was nice, and I gave him his privacy when he came. I took that time to go to the cafeteria and get food for myself, but I always came back. Daniel couldn’t find Derek. I sent teams of Omegas looking for him, but it was as if he vanished. He was either hiding really well, or he was in another pack’s territory. Emmett and Alex didn’t find much in terms of evidence from the land. They couldn’t even pick up a scent from the location of the shooter. We’ve hit a dead end and I had no idea what to do. “Any news from Doc?” Daniel asked me.

“Her stats are the same.” I brushed her hair with my fingers.
“That’s good.” Daniel smiled. “They’re not getting worse.” He walked over to me and put his hand on my shoulder. “I brought you clothes. Some stuff for a shower too.” He put the bag on the table by the vase.

“Thank you, Daniel.” I meant it in so many ways. Daniel has been keeping the pack together for the last two weeks. I’ve been the most useless Alpha.

“Nick?” I turned to him. “Can I get you anything?”

“No, I’m okay.” I turned back to Emma. The nurse would be there soon to change her bandages.

“Chloe called me.” Daniel paused for my response, but I didn’t say anything. I’ve been ignoring Chloe’s calls for a week. I had no idea what to say to her. “She wants to bring Emma’s friends by to visit.”
“Okay.” Maybe Emma would like her friends to visit. They might give her the strength to heal.

“Take care of yourself, Nick, I’ll be back tomorrow.” I took my seat beside Emma and waited patiently for the nurse to come in and check on her bandages, but instead Dr. Morris came in.

“How are you, Nick?” She snapped gloves on her freshly washed hands as she spoke to me.
“I’ll be better with some good news.” Dr. Morris nodded and went to Emma’s side. She slowly peeled the bandage back and threw it in the bin marked ‘biohazard’. I looked over her shoulder and examined the wound. A small cross-shaped opening in her skin was still seeping black. “How’s it look?” I didn’t have to ask. I knew it wasn’t good.

“She still has wolfsbane in her system and it’s preventing her from healing.”

“Okay, so we can just take her back into surgery and get the rest of it out, then she can heal.”

“It’s not that simple, Nick.” She took an antibiotic from the nurse behind her and applied it to the wound. “She’s not healing, so her body isn’t strong enough for surgery.” She took more supplies from the nurse and reapplied a fresh bandage to Emma’s chest.

“So, what do we do then? What’s the plan?”

“We wait.” Dr. Morris didn’t have a plan. No one knew whether Emma was going to come out of this or not. And that unknown killed me.

**Two Weeks Later**

Emma’s friends came to see her, I stood in the background annoyed by them. They cried and hugged each other, telling her how much they loved her like it was her funeral. Chloe, Kyle, Lucas and Natalie all took turns with her, leaving her gifts on her bed. I was glad when they all left. I didn’t get my alone time with Emma because her dad came by shortly after.

“David, it’s nice to see you again.”

“Likewise. How’s our girl?” He smiled at me and walked over to Emma.

“She hasn’t been healing. The—um—the infection is spreading again.” I rubbed the back of my neck, Moon Goddess, how I wished I could deliver better news. “Doc says she wouldn’t be able to withstand the surgery she needs to clear it up.” Dr. Morris has been telling me the same thing for four weeks now. Prepare for the worse. But I couldn’t let go of hope. I couldn’t give up on Emma.

I gave David some privacy with Emma and went to the cafeteria. My life was beginning to become nothing but a loop. The same thing every day, all day. I didn’t know how much longer I was going to last without Emma. My wolf cried for her every night. The full moon came and went, the poison in her body prevented her from turning and it broke my heart. I was somehow holding out hope that the full moon would force her body to heal, but it didn’t. I finished my meal and headed back to Emma’s room. Strangely enough Dr. Morris was there with David and his eyes were puffy with fresh tears. I stepped in the room and looked at them, puzzled.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“Nick, we have to let her go.” David said between sobs.

“Let her go?”

“Mr. Clark would like to wake Emma from the coma.” Dr. Morris explained.

“You said her body wouldn’t be able to recover yet if we wake her now.” Dr. Morris nodded and I realized what they were up to. “No.”

“Nick, this decision isn’t up to you.” David wiped his eyes.
“The hell it isn’t. She’s my mate! I’m not letting you kill her!” I pushed him aside and went to Emma.

“Nick, please,” Dr. Morris held her hands up to me. “We want what is best for Emma.”

“You want to kill her. She can’t wake up yet!”

“Let me help.” The three of us all turned to the voice in Emma’s doorway. I growled at Derek where he stood. “Please, I have something for her.” He held a little jar in his hand. “It will help her heal, please.” He took a single step into her room, but my growl stopped him from coming any farther.

“What is it?” Dr. Morris asked him.

“Mostly herbs. I got them from the East pack, they’ve been working on something to heal wolfsbane and this is the closest thing they could give me.”

“Why should we trust you?” I asked.

“Please, Nick, I’m just trying to help Emma.”

“Special herbs don’t help cure poisons. Medicines do and we don’t have a medicine to cure wolfsbane.” Dr. Morris was trusting her science, but I wasn’t sure who to trust. I would do anything to help Emma, but Derek rubbed me the wrong way ever since I met him. I couldn’t let the jealousy I felt towards Derek possibly hinder Emma’s recovery.

“I’ll try anything.” David spoke up before I could decide. Derek looked eyes with me, waiting on my blessing. I nodded and he entered the room. I put on a pair of gloves and removed Emma’s bandage. I watched his every move, ready to rip his hand from his body if he tried to hurt her. He stuck his fingers in the jar, the consistency of his herbs looked more like blackberry jelly, but the smell was horrid. He smeared it on her wound and suddenly her chest lifted. I took her hand and gave it a small squeeze.

“Emma?” I looked into her face, trying to find any type of change.

“Her stats haven’t changed.” Dr. Morris noted.

“It doesn’t work instantly.” Derek replaced her bandage and put the jar back into his pocket.

“How long until we know?” David asked.

“This isn’t a cure.” Derek shook his head. “I’m hoping it will help though.”

“You’re not even sure it works?” I hissed.

“It’s better than unplugging her and letting her die.” He shot back.

“Okay, you guys should leave.” Dr. Morris broke us up. “If this will work, she needs some time and the arguing isn’t going to help her.”

“I’m not going anywhere.” I sat down in my usual seat and held Emma’s hand. Please, Moon Goddess, let this work.

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