Just A Scratch
I woke up with a dull throbbing in my head and my arm. It took me a few seconds of looking at my arm to realise what had happened. I had discovered Clayton was alive. No, I had discovered Clayton could be alive. There was a very big difference and I needed to remember that.
Realistically I knew if he was alive, he would have come for me already. I truly believed that. He was so... so… obsessive was the wrong word, but it was also kind of right. So that could only mean one thing; Clayton Denver was dead.
I tugged at the bandage on my arm and unwrapped it. I smiled, when I remembered how gentle Shawn was with me. He somehow soothed a lot of my fears yesterday. I don’t know or understand how, but he did. I suppose I already see him as my saviour, so I don’t need to fear he would hurt me. The letters carved into my skin are still there, it was stupid, I know scratching at them won’t remove them, but sometimes… sometimes I feel like there’s living things, alive under my skin, eating at my flesh and I just have to get them out.
The thing with scars though is that they are permanent, I’ll always have them. Always there as a reminder. Clayton once more gets what he wanted.
I get out of bed and turn on the shower, extra hot. Thinking of him always makes me feel dirty, like he has somehow touched me, been close to me. I can almost still smell his scent. I finish my shower and wrap a towel around me stepping out carefully. My ankle actually feels a lot better, still not well enough to go running but maybe in a week or two it will be back to normal.
My head whips to the clock in my room as I hear a sound coming from below me. My parents aren’t due back till tonight, they wouldn’t be back early as I know they had an appointment to make this afternoon. I stand still as I listen again, maybe it was my imagination, or the wind outside.
Again movement, footsteps and light banging. Someone obviously trying to not be heard. Panic fills me, and my resolve from before my shower completely leaving me, only one thought on my mind.
He is alive and he has come back for me.
I tip toe as quietly as I can to my bed side table and open the top drawer, under some papers I find what I need. I placed it there not long after we were found. I hadn’t taken it out in a while. Last night was the closest I had come to retrieving it. But somewhere in my mind I thought if I took it out then that meant it was real. He really was back for me.
But now, I know he has returned and it is very real once more. I take the knife by the handle and freeze for a second time when I hear footsteps on the stairs. Tears fill my eyes and I feel them drop down my face as I clamp my lips together to hold in my cries. If I can surprise him when he enters my room, that will be my chance. That was always my and Alex’s plan to get out. Take them by surprise.
I flatten my body as close to the wall as I can, as soon as he opens the door, I will strike and run. I silently curse my ankle, I won’t be able to run as fast as I would like but if I can at least make it to the neighbours, surely, he won’t take me from right in front of people. I try my hardest to stop my body from shaking but I can’t help it, fear and nerves are racking through my body as I grip my towel tighter around my body, wishing I was wearing actual clothes.
As the door handle slowly turns, I grip the knife with all my might and pray to whoever will listen for help. I shut my eyes; I don’t think I can manage to look at him. As soon as I hear the door open, I open my eyes too and a scream leaves my lips as I lift the knife and bring it down on my tormentor.
My eyes go wide as I realise what I have done and I release the knife, it however remains lodged in his shoulder. My hand covers my mouth as I try to form words, try to breathe, try to do anything.
“Damn it Amber, what the hell was that for?” Shawn’s angry voice booms out as I fall back into the hallway as I watch him reach for the knife and slowly pull it out. Blood quickly fills the area, and it awakens me from my trance. I run forward to him and put both my hands over the cut trying to stop the blood from pouring from the wound.
“I’m sorry Shawn, I thought, I thought it was him. I’m sorry… I’m sorry… what can I do? Tell me what to do.” He looks me up and down, shakes his head and storms to the bathroom away from me, but I follow quickly behind him.
“I didn’t know, I swear I didn’t know. I thought he had come back.. I’m sorry I’m…” he strips his t-shirt and drops it to the floor and looks at the cut in the mirror. I grab the hand towel from beside the sink and step over to him, pushing it onto his shoulder, my hand shaking uncontrollably, water from my hair dripping on to his skin, mixing with his blood.
“I’m sorr…” my words stop when he places his hand over mine and my eyes connect with his. I can still see some anger there.
“Shawn, I didn’t know it was you, I thou…”
“I know what you thought Amber, its fine. It’s not that deep. You should have gone deeper. Put more force behind it.” Confusion fills me, and he talks as if he is reprimanding one of the younger wolves.
“What… I…” I look back to his shoulder and watch his large hand covering mine. His is so steady compared to mine, shaking like a leaf.
“You wouldn’t have stopped him.” He takes my hand in his and raises it above my head. He positions my arm like I’m a mannequin, not taking his eyes from my face.
“Bring your arm up higher and bring it down quick.” He pulls my arm down with his words.
“Don’t scream, it alerted me. It let me know where you were quicker. I wouldn’t have expected you to be there, it was a good idea. Clothes might have been a better idea though. It would have momentarily distracted him but then would have driven him more, to do what he came to do.” My spare hand grips the towel, holding it secure at the top.
“I… I just got out the shower. I heard a noise and didn’t have time to get dressed. Does it hurt?” I pull my hand from his and reach up to his shoulder, blood is still pooling there but he doesn’t seem in the slightest bit fazed.
“I need to stop the bleeding.” I say my thoughts out loud and retrieve the towel from the floor that had dropped when he had lifted my arm. I press it once more to his wound and he just watches my movements without saying anything.
I feel the tears that I was holding back moments before, and my breathing becomes uneven. I try to hold them in and once more failing miserably.
“He wouldn’t have got you. You won’t ever go back there Amber.” He takes the towel from me and holds my hand instead. My eyes rise to meet his, I can see the seriousness of his face even through my blurry tears.
“He won’t take you away again. I promise. He will never touch you again.” At his words my knees give way and I fall on to the man stood in front of me. His arms surround me as I cry, stopping me falling to the floor.
“I though he was back, I didn’t think it could be you or someone else. I stabbed you… I … stabbed you. I didn’t think, I just went for the knife. He can’t…”
“Amber calm down, it’s alright. I told you. He won’t come for you, if he hasn’t already, then he won’t now. It wouldn’t make any sense… where the hell did you get the knife from?” he starts to chuckle and I pull away from him, suddenly remembering that he has no top on and I’m only wearing a towel, checking its secure again. I try to keep my eyes from straying to his physique, even in my state I can't help but admire the beauty of him.
“I hid it here, just in case… well… you know.” He nods his head and glances his wound again.
“You did good. You need practice, but you did good. I’ll teach you.” He runs the tap and leans down to wash his shoulder. Scooping up water, to rinse the blood from his skin.
“What do you mean I did good? I stabbed you, I could’ve killed you, and teach me what exactly.” He looks at my refection in the mirror over the sink in front of him and laughs a little again.
“You wouldn’t have killed me, and I mean you did good as in, you tried to defend yourself. It was quick thinking, grabbing the knife, hiding by the door. But you wouldn’t have killed me. I’ll teach you to…”
“To what? Kill you?” Shock and horror fill my voice and I wrap my arms around myself, while Shawn just laughs at me once more.
“No, not to kill me, but to protect yourself. Not that you will need to, but just for your own peace of mind, of knowing that if anyone was to ever try anything again, you would be able to do something about it.” He continues washing his shoulder and then dries it with a fresh towel. He picks up some bandages from the counter and lays it on top of the cut. I walk closer to him again and pick up the bandage tape to secure it in place.
“Does it hurt?” I question quietly.
“No, it’s just a scratch. I’ve had much worse. Don’t worry about it, honestly Amber. I’m okay, don’t worry.”
“Do you really think Clayton won’t come back?” I don’t want to ask but I want to know what he thinks.
“I don’t think he will. From the little things you and Alex have said about him, I don’t think he is the sort of rogue to have left you alone for the last six months. You would’ve known he was close by anyway; he would have made himself known. We also would know if a rogue had been on our territory.” He leans back against the sink and folds his arms over his chest.
“You didn’t know Scott was here.” I say it without even thinking and he looks concerned for a second but quickly relaxes his face again.
“Amber, stop worrying. He won’t be back, I’m confident of that. Go and get dressed and I’ll make us some breakfast. I’ll clean up in here after.” He walks past me, but I’ve yet to move from my spot near the doorway.
“How can you be so sure? That he won’t come back?”
“Because he wouldn’t have been able to stay away from you for six months. If he was near you, you’ve would’ve known.” He stands close to me again and I have to tilt my head back to look at him.
“How would I know? Why?” It's barely audible but he hears me just fine.
“Because Amber, I think Clayton Denver was your mate.”