Once the Alpha and Tom leaves the room, I take in my surroundings. There isn't a reason for me to escape, as they don't know my secret. As long as it stays that way, I'll be fine, at the thought of this, I relax in the slightest.
I replay what the pack doctor said to me, that I have short-term memory. I don't, but if they keep believing I do, then I won't have to explain everything.
My thoughts drift to my "mate". As I have lost my wolf, I can't tell if we are true mates or not, but I feel this pull towards him; I feel like I can trust him, no matter what. Although I'm human, the mate bond still effects me, but I need to keep my distance from him as I don't want to get hurt again.
The way he looked at me - with such sadness and yet, what I think was adoration. I noticed the hurt on his face when I flinched away, and for some reason, it hurt me to see him that way.
Before I was locked away, I read all the time. As I wasn't allowed to go to school, because of my father, I taught myself. My speech and reading skills aren't the greatest anymore, but I can understand what people are saying. I'm positive I can't read anything anymore, as it's been so long since I've seen words on a page.
I learned all about mates from books. That topic is meant to be taught to you by your parents, but I had to read about it, as my father isn't the caring type, especially when it comes to mates. Mates are the one person you can trust in this whole world, they would never hurt you, so maybe I could trust him...
My thoughts are interrupted when the Alpha walks in. I bow my head in submission, not wanting him to think that I am challenging his wolf. "Hayley, you don't have to bow to me. I've told you this," he says, gruffly and... softly?
"I'm sorry," I say, as I stare into those deep, brown eyes. I feel like if I stared long enough, I would be able to see the whole world in them.
"Don't apologize, it's okay," he replies. This confuses me and a frown sets deep on my face letting him know. I've grown up only thinking that Alphas are ruthless and cruel, and yet here he was, telling me not to apologize.
"My name is Jax. I'm the Alpha of Midnight Rose Pack," he pauses, "Do you remember how old you are, Hayley?" The way he says my name makes me want to trust him even more and causes my heart to skip a beat. The heart monitor increases loudly, although he would be able to hear it without the machine. A small smile graces his lips.
Trying to calm down, my simple reply is, "I'm nineteen."
"I see. I'm twenty-four," he responds.
The age gap doesn't bother me, and it doesn't seem to bother him either, which is a... relief? "I'm going to help move you to a place where you are more comfortable," he says. I give him a single nod.
He doesn't move. Just stares at me. Once he builds up enough courage, he says, "Can I come close to you?" After a few seconds, I give him a nod.
He graciously walks over to me and pulls the duvet back. I only notice now that I'm still in the same shirt I've had for the past twelve years.
Jax's scent floods my nostrils as he is so near. It's a strong, woodsy, manly smell - mouth-watering. He slowly brings one of his hands to under my knees and the other one to behind my back, wrapping it around my waist.
He lifts me easily. He turns around and starts walking towards the door. My hands settle in my lap, not knowing what to do with them. As we are leaving, the pack doctor stops us and says, "Here you go, Alpha," as he hands over a small white box. Jax responds with a thank you. The pack doctors turns his attention to me and says, "I'll come over tomorrow to check on your vitals, and see if anything needs to change." I give him a nod and a small thank you.
The pack doctor nods at Jax and he starts walking out of the pack hospital. Jax warns me that the sun might be a bit bright at first.
Although he warns me, the sunbeams straight into my eyes, so I turn and nuzzle my head into Jax's chest, to shield me from the light. A low purr comes from Jax. Embarrassed, I pull away.
As Jax carries me, I look at my surroundings. It is beautiful. All the colorful flowers and the little pups running around with each other, having fun. I notice that some of the pack members are staring at me. Feeling self-conscious, I turn away from them. I look up at Jax and see that he is walking with his head held high, seeming proud to be with me.
Jax leads me into what seems the packhouse. Alphas stay in the packhouse until his Luna is pregnant with their first pup, and can move into a private home, to nurture he or she.
He takes me up a flight of stairs and down a long corridor until we stand in front of double doors. Maneuvering the hand which was under my legs, he opens one of the doors and leads us in, placing his hand back where it was. He shuts the door quietly using his heel.
I scan the bedroom to make sure there is no danger but am greeted with nothing of the sort. A double bed lays in the middle of the left wall, neatly made, with bedside tables hugging either side. A red carpet takes up most of the floor, and a few pictures are scattered around the room. I stare in awe at this room. At how big it is. At how different it is to my cell. I conclude that this was Jax's bedroom, as he seems more comfortable and at ease in here.
He walks over to the bed and gently places me on the end, sitting me up. He takes a step back, giving me space, although I'm not sure if he wanted to or not. "Do you want a bath to clean off?" He asks me. Not sure if it was a trap, I just kept my mouth shut, looking at him.
When I was locked up, their idea of a bath was to hose you every three months with ice-cold water and then to shove the hose down your throat, choking you.
"You can watch everything I do and I will be just outside, if you need any help," he says, trying to calm my racing thoughts. I haven't had a proper bath since I was seven. I had to do it all myself as no one would help me, I give him a shy nod. He gives a small smile in return and helps me stand. I follow him into a door attached to his bedroom.
Behind the door is an en suite bathroom, that is crystal white. A massive tub is on the left side whilst a shower is in the right corner. A toilet is behind the bathtub and a sink is a few feet next to the shower with an open window, overlooking the pack fields and forest.
I stand near the entrance whilst Jax walks over to the tub. He stands to the side whilst turning the knobs to power the water, so I can see what he is doing. Watching with cautious eyes, I slowly walk over to him. He straightens up and towers over me, yet I don't feel as scared as I thought I would be. I have dreamed about seeing other people for years now, and I finally have what I wanted. It feels... weird. Unnatural.
He turns back to the tub and checks the temperature. Once he readjusts the taps and the bath is filled, he says he is going to grab me some towels and a change of clothes for me. I gave him a nod and he walks out of the bathroom, and into the bedroom.
I just stand there waiting pathetically, not knowing what to do with myself. I don't move, until he comes back with all the stuff he said he was going to get. He drops them on the counter, next to the sink, and walks over to.
"I will be just outside, okay?" He asks me. I nod my head at him.
"Just shout if you need me at all," he says.
I give him another nod, and he leaves the room. I strip instantly, wanting to get rid of Luke's t-shirt as quickly as possible and climb into the bath.
I haven't felt this feeling in years. Warmth. All my thoughts and feelings melt away, and I let myself relax. I lay down and let the water be a blanket. A sigh escapes my lips as I stare outside the window, watching birds fly over the trees.
After thirty minutes, I remember why I am having this bath in the first place. I reach for a random bottle and pray that I am using it correctly. I squirt a little bit into my hands, and massage it into my scalp. I lean back into the once clean water, and rinse whatever the product is, out. I repeat this process with another random bottle.
After my hair is sorted, I grab the remaining random bottle and pour some into my hands, rubbing away any remaining dirt clinging onto my skin.
Once I rinse the soap off, I stand up carefully, so I don't lose my balance and slip. I step out and wrap the towel that Jax got me, around my body. I walk over to the mirror, hearing my wet footsteps patter across the tiles. Once I am in front of it, all I can do is stare at myself. I haven't seen what I look like for the past twelve years. I look so different - bones sticking out everywhere, pale, sunken skin, hollow cheeks, long, dead, thick hair, and lifeless eyes staring back at me. The only thing that has stayed the same all these years, is the clutter of freckles on my nose, which then spreads to my cheeks.
After I am done observing myself, I drop the towel onto the floor and reach for my change of clothes on the counter. I first grab the t-shirt and gently shimmy it onto my body. Then, I reach for the shorts and put them on.
Jax must have heard that I was finished, as he knocks on the door and says, "Can I come in?"
My reply is a small, "Yes."
He enters and immediately stops in his tracks. We both stare at each other, completely in a trance. Eventually, a blush spreads across my face, and then covers my entire body, causing me to look away.
Jax senses the change in atmosphere and shuffles on the spot. To shift the awkwardness, Jax asks, "Can I brush your hair?" I nod once. He pulls out the draw next to him and grabs a brush and a small bottle. "This is oil," he says, waving the bottle side to side. "It will help soften your hair and make it less painful when I brush it." I nod in understanding.
Softly, Jax says, "Follow me." And I do just that. He leads me back into his massive bedroom and sits me on the edge of his bed. He goes and sits behind me, so I am in between his legs.
I hear a bottle cap pop and him pouring a small amount onto his skilled, yet battered hands. He gently runs his fingers through my hair, smearing the oil over every strand. He then reaches for the brush and starts at the ends of my extremely long hair, and works his way up.
It takes him about twenty minutes to completely detangle my whole set of hair. At first I was extremely tense, flinching every time I heard a knot being pulled, and scared that he will hurt me, but as time went on, he was nothing but caring. My eyes close on their own accord, and I welcome the relaxation. It is then that I realize, that I trust my mate who I have just met...