I turn back to the movie, but I’m not watching it. I can’t focus on it as my thoughts won’t allow me. I have this nagging feeling of wanting to believe Jax. When he said all those heartwarming things, I felt like he meant it, that he wouldn’t hurt me. An odd feeling settles in my chest. Safety. I feel safe around him. Maybe I could tell him. He might understand and see my side of it... but what if he didn’t? Could I survive through more years of torture? And coming from my mate? I was having an internal battle with myself.
Once the movie finishes, I continue to stare blankly at the screen, not knowing what to do. Luckily, Jax fills the silence. “Hayley, Tom is on his way here. It will just be a quick check-up, nothing too extreme so no need to worry, and then later today you will have your first counseling session. It will be here, in the packhouse, so you will not have to leave.”
I turn towards him and give him a nod whilst saying “Okay.”
Five minutes later, a knock at the packhouse door radiates throughout the building. “Coming,” Jax’s voice booms with dominance. Jax opens the door and invites Tom in. I’m still folded up on the sofa as Tom makes his way to the chair next to the sofa tentatively. He sits down and puts his briefcase so it is resting against the chair. Jax makes his way back to where he was sitting - resting behind me, with his arm placed on the back of the sofa.
“So, Hayley, how have you been?” he asks me.
Shyly, I say, “Good,” and turn to Jax for support. He puts his hand in mine which almost immediately calms me down. My attention goes back to Tom, as to not seem rude.
Tom looks down at our interlocked hands and smiles slightly. “That’s great. I am just going to do a quick check of your heart and look at your injuries, just to make sure everything is okay. Does that sound alright?” I give him a nod and Tom reaches for his briefcase, where all of his equipment must be.
I squeeze Jax’s hands tightly when Tom gets too close to me, but I relax when Jax rubs his thumb against the side of my hand, distracting me from what Tom is doing. Once he is done, he takes a step back and says, “Everything seems the same. Nothing to worry about unless things start to get worse, but hopefully it won’t come to that. If anything does get worse, Alpha, mind link me immediately and I will check it out. Have you had any food yet or...” he trails off.
Jax explains to Tom what I have eaten and drunk today, whilst I sit there quietly, just listening. Tom senses my discomfort and quickly rushes any more questions he has for Jax. “That’s all I need for today. I’ll be back tomorrow for another check-up,” he says as he starts heading for the door. Jax walks him out and thanks him.
Jax comes back in with multiple filled up shopping bags. “I asked a pack member to get you some clothes as I thought you might want your own. Do you want to come see them?” Jax says.
“Thank you...clothes...mate,” I reply. He smiles brightly at me. I stand, walk over to him and reach to help with the bags, but he pulls away and says, “I’ve got them,” then gently nudges me to go upstairs.
We walk to his bedroom and I shut the door behind him. He leads me into the walk-in wardrobe and places the bag on the floor. He directs me to sit on the stool in the middle of the room, then explains all of the clothes and how to wear them, even my bra and panties, which made my face flush from embarrassment. He gives a small chuckle which causes my belly to have major butterflies.
Jax puts all the clothes away but keeps out a pair of mum jeans, a grey T-shirt, a nude bra, a pair of black panties and some laceless trainers which are in a size five. He leaves the wardrobe whilst I change. I stare at myself in the mirror. Wearing all these clothes is weird. I am used to just a T-shirt, now I’m wearing jeans. It feels uncomfortable but nice at the same time.
I walk out to find Jax sitting at the end of his bed with his elbows resting on his knees. He looks me up and down and smiles charmingly. “You look beautiful, Hayley,” he says, walking towards me. I look down, filled with embarrassment.
He puts one of his fingers under my chin and lifts my head. He looks me directly in the eyes and says, “Don’t look down, mate. You’re beautiful, and you should know it,” he continues by saying, “Even though I love your blush, you shouldn’t be embarrassed.”
Not knowing what to say after all of his sweet words, Jax changes the subject. “Come on, lets brush our teeth.” He takes my hand and guides me into the bathroom. “I also asked for a toothbrush and a loofah for you.”
“Thank you,” I reply whilst looking deeply into his eyes.
He pulls the toothbrush out of its packets and hands it to me. He grabs his one and some toothpaste. Then, he squirts a small pea size onto my brush and repeats it on his. After, he places the toothpaste back into the holder and wets his toothbrush. I copy him and wait to see what to do next.
He shoves the toothbrush into his mouth and starts brushing in circular motions. I follow his lead, but my hand starts to hurt pretty quickly from being lifted so long in the air. Jax spits his out and places his toothbrush back into the holder. He softly takes the toothbrush out of my hand and starts cleaning my teeth. My heart warms whilst gaping at him, causing drool and toothpaste to drip onto my chin. He smiles brightly at me and I feel... whole.
Once he is done cleaning my teeth, he pulls back and I wash it away in the sink. I turn to him and show him my teeth by stretching my mouth wide. He laughs loudly and mutters “Cute.” I stare at him with my head tilted confused.
Our moment is ruined when his eyes glaze over. I remember that it means he is mind linking someone. After a few moments, his eyes return to normal. “The counselor is here.” He grabs my hand and leads me downstairs.
I stay near the bottom of the stairs as Jax opens the door and invites the counselor in. He has dark, short, choppy hair matched with a brown stubble and blue eyes. He is wearing a pale blue shirt with unusual charcoal trousers, matched with brown shoes. He looks rather short standing next to Jax. He says his name is Basil, somewhat fitting.
I start to panic when I realize I have to tell him about my problems. I can’t do that! He will kill me! I come up with a plan to just say nothing about what has happened apart from that I used to be a wolf. I’ll say that I woke up one day and she was gone, she never came back. It wasn’t all lies I guess. That won’t cause any damage. I will say I can’t remember anything else because of my memory loss. Whether he will believe me or not I do not know, but I can’t tell him. I don’t trust him.
“Hayley, are you ready to have our first session?” Basil asks me. I give him a nod and he sets off, walking towards his office. I trail behind him and Jax comes up behind me and interlocks our hands.
Basil unlocks his office and we all enter. The room is spacious. A small sofa against the wall with a chair opposite it. A glass table is placed between the too. There is a bookshelf with loads of files neatly placed in each section, probably for each of his other clients.
“Do you want me to stay?” Jax asks me.
Before I can answer, Basil interrupts and says, “Actually Alpha, I think it would be best if it was just Hayley and me - one to one.” I can see that Jax is holding back a growl, probably because he wants to stay close to me and not have a pack member telling him what to do, but he didn’t want to scare me. This small action warms me.
Jax smiles at me and walks to the door. He gives me one last look before he closes the door quietly. I stand there staring at the door, already missing him and wanting him to come back to me.
Basil pulls me back to reality when he says, “Why don’t you take a seat, Hayley?” I glance at him and carefully place myself on the sofa. He sits directly opposite me on the chair. His hand rests on his chin, stroking his beard whilst his leg rests on top of the other.
“How have you been?” he simply asks me.
“Alpha told me that you have some problems with your speech. That must be very frustrating.” I shrug.
This little chatter carries on for about another five minutes. He told me some things about himself. Like that he has a mate called Claire, and that they have a little pup called Chloe. They have been together for five years now.
Eventually, he gets to the deep stuff. “As you are human, I am curious as to how you know about our species. Did you find us by accident?”
I shake my head and say, “No... was wolf to... when...” and I use hand movements to show the meaning ‘small’. Basil knows what I mean as he nods his head.
“Where did she go?” I freeze for a millisecond and then shrug.
“Woke up... one day... and... gone,” I say shakily. I’m a terrible liar.
“Just gone? Completely?” I nod my head. “That’s very strange. I’ll do some research later today to see what I can find about that.” I feel a bit guilty as he was going to be wasting his time because I am lying.
He continues to ask questions about my past which I just shrug and say, “Can’t remember.” This carries on for just under an hour. I want to scream at him and tell all that I have had to endure over the years, but I can’t. It’s too much.
“We have come to the end of our session. I have booked you in for the same time next week. I hope that is alright.” I give him a nod. I just want to get back to Jax. Feel his scent wrap me in warmth and security. Basil’s eyes glaze over and the next minute there is a knock at the door. Jax comes in without waiting for a response and immediately his eyes go to me.
“All done?” he says. I nod my head and give a tight smile. Jax turns his attention to Basil but doesn’t say anything. It was like they were having a mental conversation. Jax gives a nod to him then turns to me. “Let’s get you to bed. You look tired.” He reaches his hand slowly to my face and strokes my cheek. I lean into his palm and melt into relaxation, my eyes closing on their own accord.
My eyes open when Jax says, “Come on, mate.” He lowers his hand down my arm, all the way to my hand, and interlaces them. He tugs me to follow him and I give Basil a mini thanks on the way out. I don’t hear his reply as I’m already in the corridor following Jax to bed...