Beauty in the Beast

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Chapter 36

Nick explained everything to me, the fight, the arrow, the wolfsbane. I tried my hardest to remember but the last thing I could remember was waking up with him in bed that morning and him taking a phone call from Daniel. Dr. Morris cleared me from the hospital the following day, she couldn’t find any remnants of wolfsbane in my system, but she still had me come back for weekly checks. My dad and my friends were crazy clingy, that’s the funny thing about coming back from the dead, I guess. Nick refused to leave my side for the first week after we left the hospital. He sent Daniel to collect my belongings from my house and I haven’t left Nick’s since.

Today, I had an appointment to see Dr. Morris. She was checking my blood again and making sure I didn’t have any crazy side effects. Nick was letting me go alone today, for the first time in forever. He was taking baby-steps to give me my freedom back, but honestly, I couldn’t blame him. I couldn’t imagine what it was like for him for those six weeks. If it were him in the bed instead of me, I don’t know if I would have lasted.

Nick dropped me off at the clinic and I told him I would call him when I was finished. Sometimes these appointments lasted hours, it just depended on what Dr. Morris felt like checking for. I knew my way around the hospital like I knew my way around the woods, it had become second nature at this point. I signed myself in and took a seat in the empty waiting room.

“Emma, you’re early.” Dr. Morris smiled at me.

“I was just so excited to get started I couldn’t wait any longer.” The sarcasm coated my every word.

“Go ahead and take a seat in Exam Room One and I’ll be right in.”

“Yes ma’am.” I went straight to the room and jumped up on the bed. I stared at the boring posters about STIs and waited for Dr. Morris. She only took a few minutes, but she brought a nurse with her. “More blood?” I asked as I motioned to the caddy the nurse was carrying.
“More blood.” She confirmed. “How are your eating habits?” She asked as the nurse got to work on my arm.

“Back to normal.” Nick wouldn’t dare let me skip a meal.

“And you’re sleeping well?”

“Like a baby.” That part was a lie. Nick had to wake me from night terrors almost every night since.

“That’s good to hear.” She marked some things on her chart.

“One nineteen over seventy-two.” The nurse chimed in before she began wrapping a tourniquet around my arm.

“Your blood pressure is within normal limits.” Dr. Morris began speaking again as she scribbled in my chart. “Have you shifted yet?” She looked up at me when I didn’t answer her. “Emma?”

“I haven’t tried yet.” Nick had been asking me to go on runs with him, but I felt disconnected with my wolf.

“Why not?”

“Waiting for a special occasion.”

“Emma, this is serious.” She apparently didn’t like my response. “I want you to go home and try, okay?”

“Got it.”

“I mean it, Emma. Don’t make me get Nick involved.”

“I got it.” I repeated. She nodded and went back to her chart. The nurse unwrapped her band and placed the three vials of my blood in her caddy.

“Take those straight to the lab, no pit stops.” Dr. Morris instructed the nurse before she left. “Okay, Emma, shirt off.” She stood up and went to the sink to wash her hands as I lifted my shirt over my head and set it on the table next to me. Dr. Morris put on a pair of gloves and began examining my chest. The wound healed a few days after I left the hospital, but I was left with a cross-shaped scar over my heart. “Looks good. Looks really good.”

“Great.”

“How does it feel? Has the itchiness improved?”

“Yeah, I barely notice it.” Another lie. I stare at it and constantly try to trigger a memory with it, but I’m always left with nothing.

“I’m happy with this visit.” She snapped her gloves off and threw them in the trash. “Are you exercising regularly?” She went back to jotting notes on her clipboard.

“I train with the pack at the center. Nick doesn’t let me interact with the Omegas anymore though.” Nick said they would be too hard on me, I needed to ease into it.

“That’s good. You shouldn’t be overexerting yourself.” She looked up from her notes. “Is there anything you want to discuss with me? Anything maybe outside the box from our usual exam?” I narrowed my eyes at her. What would I need to discuss with her? She sat on the chair in the room and kept her eyes on me. “Maybe you’d like to discuss some birth control options?” I could feel my cheeks begin to heat up.

“Um…”

“Do you use protection, Emma?” This was not the exam I was prepared for today.

“What—What does that matter?”

“Well, Emma, your body has been through a lot in the past few months. I don’t need to tell you that you died. You literally died in my hospital.”

“Yeah, I know.” I’m constantly reminded of it by how Nick treats me like a fragile porcelain doll.

“If you were to become pregnant, I’m not sure your body would be able to support a baby to full term.”

“Noted.” I jumped down from the table and pulled my shirt back on. “Are we done?” I didn’t care if we were or not, I was ending our meeting.

“Emma,” Dr. Morris stood in front of me. “Same time next week.”

“Yeah, sure.” I sidestepped her and opened the door, trying to rush the hell out of there. I wasn’t looking where I was going as I tried to call Nick to come back to get me. I collided with a body and I jumped back. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t look—” My eyes locked with Emmett’s and for a moment, I lost my breath. “Sorry.” I said again.

“It’s alright, Emma.” He smiled at me, but he avoided my eye contact.

“Are you hurt?” I asked him. “Not from me, I mean—you know—this.” I didn’t know why I was having such a hard time with this. “Why are you here?” The clinic was just off the main hospital, so emergencies and surgeries were separate, but an Omega visiting the clinic usually meant a follow up appointment after an injury in the view.

“No, I’m fine.” He rubbed the back on his neck while he looked at the floor. “I’m actually looking for you.” What would Emmett want with me? “You want to grab a coffee?” He asked as his thumb motioned outside the clinic doors. I looked down at my phone and thought of Nick. He wouldn’t be expecting me to be done at the clinic so soon, I could call him when I finished with Emmett.

“Yeah, okay.” I agreed and followed him out the door.

We walked in silence down the street. There was a little coffee shop just a few blocks from the clinic, the hospital staff probably kept them in business more than anyone else. Emmett ordered some kind of frozen caramel coffee with whipped topping that looked more like a dessert than a drink. I ordered a simple hot tea with milk and we found a seat by the window. I waited for him to begin the conversation, but he seemed fixated on his drink.
“How did you know to look for me at the clinic?” I finally broke the silence between us.

“Nick’s at the training center, kicking all of our asses.” He chuckled. “He never leaves you alone, so I took a guess you were somewhere he trusted.”

“So, what’s this about?” I asked. Any romantic feelings I had for Emmett went out the window the night we spent together, so if this was his way of trying to ignite a fire between us; I would have to blow it out.

“I wanted to apologize.” He finally spoke, but his words had me more confused than before.

“What would you have to apologize for?” He stirred his coffee with his straw, making it melt inside the cup.

“They said you didn’t remember much.” He finally looked up at me. “About that day in the mountains.” Nick told me what happened out there, but he never mentioned anything off about Emmett’s involvement.

“Rogues attacked.” I recited what I was told about the events. “Jimmy got hurt fighting them and I was shot when we were trying to get him in the van.” Emmett nodded, like everything I said was true.
“We took a rogue down together.” He began. “Alex was pinned down by one, Alan and Jimmy were fighting another. You instructed me to help Jimmy and Alan and I ignored your direct order so I could help Alex.” He had a look of shame on his face, but I didn’t quite understand. Why was his apology directed at me?

“Disobeying my order to help Alex didn’t get Jimmy killed.” I reached across the table and took his hand in mine. “You shouldn’t feel guilty about his death, if it wasn’t Jimmy it could have been Alex.” Emmett pulled his hand from mine and shook his head.

“I’m not done.” I sat back in the chair, still bewildered by our conversation. “You killed the rogue attacking Jimmy, Alex and I killed the other. I was arguing with you when you saw something in the woods.” My eyes glazed over as I saw a flashback of the form in the woods.
“I told you to shut up.” I whispered as my memory of that day fogged my mind.

“And I didn’t. I distracted you and that’s why you were shot. I got you shot.” I reached my hand up to my chest, brushing my fingers over the fabric that covered my scar. Suddenly, the pain of the memory came back to me. The arrow piercing my chest, my body falling back into Emmett, Alex removing the arrow. “Emma, I’m the reason you got shot and died, and I’m so sorry.” I tried to push the emotions the memories brought down.

“You’re not the reason I died, Emmett.” I searched for his eyes. “Whoever shot me is the reason I died. And I came back. I’m fine now. I sit in an exam room and listen to Dr. Morris tell me every week that I’m fine.” He wouldn’t look at me. “Emmett.” I tried to get his attention, but he still avoided my eyes. I grabbed his hand once more and squeezed it tightly. “I don’t blame you for any of this. I forgive you, okay?”

“I don’t deserve your forgiveness.”
“Then you need to forgive yourself.”

“I don’t know how to do that.”
“Move on.” I stated simply. “You made a mistake, but you have to move on. You’re a damn good Omega and the pack needs you.”

“Thank you, Emma.” He squeezed my hand back and I finally got him to crack a smile.

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