My mate opens her hollow eyes and she looks petrified. The heart machine is beeping like crazy, which only serves to freak her out more.
She starts looking around frantically, probably trying to comprehend where she is. Once her eyes meet mine they relax in the slightest but then go clear; hiding any of her emotions.
I walk towards my mate, which seems to scare her as she shrinks back into the bed, and a whimper slips out of her plump lips. I abruptly stop in my tracks and stare at her confused. A frown finds its way onto my face.
A pang of hurt floods my chest as I concluded, that she is scared of me. Granted, I probably didn’t look the friendliest, however, I was her mate, I wasn’t going to hurt her. I’m not sure what aspect of me scared her. Maybe it was my towering height of six-foot-four-inches, or maybe the mini scar that is on my right check from sparing, or my sleeve tattoo that covers up onto my left peck and my shoulder blade.
I raise my hands slowly as to not startle her, and cautiously I make my way to the chair, then lift it and put it down a few feet back from her bed, to give her space. I will respect my mate, no matter what.
“How are you feeling?” It is the only thing I can think of to say. She lowers her head in respect which only fuels my confusion. I soften my voice as to not startle her. “Lift your head, you don’t have to submit to me, mate.”
She lifts her head with a quick flash and her eyes bore into mine. Breathlessly she says, “Mate,” but it sounded more like a question. She seems to know what I mean, but she’s human. How can she know what we are?
“Excuse me, Alpha,” Tom intervenes. He mindlinks me asking if he can assess my mate. I give him a subtle nod and turn back to my mate. I can see the clogs turning in her head.
“Hello, my name is Tom, I’m the pack doctor of this pack - Midnight Rose Pack. Do you know what your name is?” She turns her head slightly towards him but keeps her wary eyes on me. I give her an encouraging small smile and only then does she look at Tom. She nodded at him - answering his question.
“Would you mind telling us?” He asks.
She whispers, “Hayley." My smile widens hearing her voice. It suits her.
I notice her voice is scratchy and I stand to go grab some water for her, but she whimpers at my sudden movements. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you,” I said. I never apologize, but it came so naturally. The mate bond works quicker than I thought.
She gives no response so I walk towards the water machine and get a plastic cup to fill it in. I carefully walk back towards her and gently hand her the cup. She just stares at me confused. She looks down into the cup and then back and me. And then repeats it. “It’s okay. You can drink it,” I say, trying to encourage her.
She shakily brings the cup to her lips seeming scared. Does she think I poisoned it? She takes a small mouthful and winces. Once she finds there are no side effects, she looks at me bewildered. She quickly turns back to the small plastic cup and guzzles the rest down. The water dampens her lips which extenuates how dry they are.
Once she finishes she places the cup in her lap and looks back up to me. I could see she wanted to say something. I know that look - pack members give it to me all the time, but she stays silent.
“Do you remember what happened?” Tom says, reminding me that he is still in the room. Hastily, Hayley shakes her head, which causes her to go a bit dizzy, so she rests her head against the bed backboard.
Once she feels better, she sits back up, looking towards me. She feels a draw towards me, but she was resisting the impulse. Most mates are marked within the first week, but I will gladly wait for her, if it means, in the end, she is happy with me. I’ve waited for six years, I can wait a bit more.
“This is normal not to remember. As for your injuries on your head, it may have hit a nerve which causes you to have short term memory, but don’t worry, they will return eventually but don’t strain too hard in trying to remember them, as it may cause more damage. My suggestion is to get you to a place where you are more comfortable and feel more at ease as nobody likes being in a hospital. Is there a place Hayley can stay, Alpha?” Tom asks me.
I reply with, “Of course. I know where she can stay.” His response is a knowing smile and a nod.
Tom continues to Hayley by saying, "I can come to see you daily for check-ups, and try to help you build your strength back again." Tom pauses and looks towards my direction. "Alpha, can I talk to you for a second, outside?" Reluctantly, I nod.
I turn my attention towards my mate who seems to be digesting all the information. I interrupt her train of thought saying, “I’ll be back in a minute. I won’t be long." She doesn’t give me a response, just looks at me.
I follow Tom outside and quietly pull the door to. She wouldn’t be able to hear us anyway as she is human.
“Alpha, it is obvious that she has had a rough past. She is traumatized. I highly recommend she seeks counseling. If you discuss it with her, and she agrees, I can set weekly sessions up for her. I noticed that she was flinching with sudden movements, so try to be graceful and at ease with your movements. She may be jittery with physical contact but I think the mate bond will help calm her down a bit. She is like a vulnerable deer; just treat her with caution. As for her physical state, we need to try to get some food and drinks into her system. She is too underweight, and anymore she will start withering away. I will go get her a prescription which will give her a strong dose of essential nutrients for her bones and muscles, which she badly needs. With what she can eat, it should be dry, plain foods, as I don’t think she has had much food these last couple of years. The way she was looking at the water shows people have contaminated her food and drink in the past, so I recommend tasting it yourself, in front of her, to reassure her that you aren’t poising it, and trying to harm her. They should be in small amounts; too much can irritate her body as it is different from the usual amount, and can cause her to be sick and be in a tremendous amount of pain. Stick to water or peppermint teas, as they are good for digestion. I will carefully evaluate her and tell you when her diet can change - whether to increase or decrease the amount of food,” he says, seriously.
Once Tom is finished talking, I let gratitude feel my pores so he can tell I am being sincere. “Thank you for helping my mate, Tom,” I say.
Tom shakes it off, but had a smile on his scrawny face, as he has pleased his Alpha. He says, “Alpha, it’s my job. And my main focus is to help people, but especially you and your family. She’s my Luna. I will care for her with my life."
Pride feels my chest. He has only just met his Luna, yet he will protect her with his life. This was what I wanted my pack to look like, members caring for each other.
“Right, I will go get her prescription whilst you go comfort, and prepare your mate to move her to your room - I suppose,” Tom says with a cheeky smile.
I don’t respond to his comment and just say, “Thank you."
As Tom walks away I turn back around and reach for the door handle, already missing the sight of my mate, and just wanting to be by her side to comfort her...