Tea or coffee
I grasp her back, realising what she thought.
“I’m sorry mom. I’m sorry, I’m alright. I’ll take my phone next time.” She lets me go and looks me up and down again and then back down to my foot.
“I’ll make you an appointment, we should get that checked out.” She reaches for her phone from the counter, but I pull her back gently.
“No mom, really. I don’t need it checked out. It feels loads better already. I don’t want to waste their time, and that’s all I’d be doing.” She looks again at Shawn, as if she had forgotten he was there.
“I have a friend who is a doctor. If it gets any worse, I could ask her to check Amber over. If that makes you feel any better?” He stands closer to me after stepping away to give me and my mother space.
“It would, thank you… Shawn, was it? So, do you know Amber from school?” He looks to me, not knowing what to say.
“Yes mom, he’s someone from school. You should get going to work, and I … we… have to get to school so…” I try to point her in the direction of the door. I have no intention of going to school now, my ankle actually really hurts and I’m not sure I could even walk around campus if I wanted to.
“Okay, I’ll see you later. Will you be home for dinner?” She asks me softly.
“I should be, but I will let know if anything changes. Go, I’ll be fine. I love you.” She kisses me on the cheek and gives me another hug.
“Love you too sweetie, see you later. Shawn, thank you for bringing my daughter home safe.” She nods to Shawn and blinks away tears that I know are sure to fall again if she stays any longer, she knows it too and leaves quickly to her car.
“You don’t have to stay; I’m not going to school.” He laughs and takes the kettle over to the sink to fill with water.
“Tea or coffee?” he simply asks, continuing to let the kettle fill.
“Sorry, what?” I hop as best I can over to the sink, not very gracefully.
“Do you want tea or coffee? I’m thirsty, it would be rude to ask you to make me a drink in your condition.” He moves through the kitchen, looking for mugs.
“My condition is just fine, thank you. Don’t you have tea or coffee at your place?” I point to the correct cupboard for the tea and coffee.
“I do indeed. However, I just promised your mom that I would keep an eye on your ankle, so it looks like I’m wherever you are for the next few hours. Tea or coffee?” He holds a box of tea bags in one hand and a jar of instant coffee in the other. I can’t stand the stuff, but my dad loves it.
“Tea please, milk, no sugar. I’m not going anywhere; I’m just going to take a shower and then binge watch something on Netflix.” I take a seat back at the table and watch this giant of a man make cups of tea in my kitchen. It’s almost surreal, I don’t think I ever thought this scenario would ever be happening.
“Thank you.” He places my mug in front of me and takes a seat himself. The kitchen looks smaller with his large frame in it.
“How’s the ankle? Truthfully.”
“Truthfully, it hurts but it does feel a little better. Although I think that’s just because it’s starting to go numb so I pretty much can’t feel anything.” I take a sip of my tea looking anywhere but at the man in front of me.
“Are you kidding me right now? Numb? Amber we need to get it checked out.” He says sternly.
“We don’t need to do anything. It’s fine, I’m fine… I’ll take a shower then rest it up. All good by morning.” I take another sip, turning my head away from his stare.
“Amber don’t be stubborn; it needs looking at. It’s starting to swell, lets….”
“Are you implying that I have fat ankles?” I interrupt him. In my head I know I’m being irrational and like he said… stubborn, but I can’t help it. I feel like I’m losing my sense of control.
“Fat ankles? Are you being serious? Amber, your ankle could be broken. Let me help you.” He stands up and moves to take the cup from my hands but as he does so, I push him off and the cup flies to the floor with a smash.
“I don’t need your help Shawn. I don’t need you to save me constantly. Thank you for bringing me home, but please just go now.” I manage to stand, leaning against the table for support.
“I said go.” I shout it a little louder than I intended to, but I have been known to be over dramatic when emotional. With one last glance at my foot and a clench to his jaw he leaves through the front door without saying anything more, slamming the door behind him.
I attempt to stand on my foot, blinking back the tears that form when pain slices through it.
“I’ll shower, then put ice on it. It will be fine. I can do this. By myself, I don’t need any help.” I say quietly to myself. Using the chair as a crutch I make my way over to the bottom of the stairs and practically climb up the stairs on my hands and knees. I manage to hop to my bathroom and strip down, getting in to shower to gain my balance before turning it on.
I replay the morning in my head. I’m upset with how I reacted to Shawn, I’m not even sure why I acted the way I did. All he was trying to do was help me. For so long, after myself and Alex got back, everyone treated me like I couldn’t cope, like I couldn’t do the easiest thing by myself. I think I had just started feeling like I was back there again. The problem however is that I’m now in actual pain with my ankle and I’ve successfully pushed everyone away who would help me.
Turning off the shower I attempt again to put my foot down as I reach for a towel and I completely misjudge the distance and once again a hot bullet shoots through my foot and I cry out in pain as I crash to the floor like my mug did earlier.
This time I can’t stop the tears that flow as I rest my head on the cold tiled floor and I scream out, not just out of the hurt I feel in my foot but out of sheer frustration, that what everyone thinks is true. I can’t even shower by myself and I cry out once more.
The bathroom door bursts open, and I scream at the intrusion.
“Amber it’s just me… It’s Shawn.”
“Get out, get the hell out…” he backs out the door and pulls it’s to, but doesn’t close it fully.
“Damn it Amber, I’m coming in, in thirty seconds to take you to doc so get a towel if you want. Either way I’m coming in.” I don’t know why he sounds so angry, but it makes me angry too.
“I can’t reach the towel, idiot. Do you think I like it down here on the floor? I’m not an animal.”
“I’m coming in…”
“No, don’t, I’m…” he didn’t give me chance to fully respond, I quickly felt the warm towel over my cooling body, and he scooped me up and carried me from the room.
“Put me down, I can walk.” I tried to protest, pointless as it was and gathered the towel around me making sure nothing was on display.
“Er, actually you can’t. That’s the problem. Why do you insist on being so… so…? I’m just trying to help you.” I don’t say anything, he’s right. I know he is.
“Where’s your clothes?” he places me on the bed and walks over to my chest of draws.
“Excuse me?” I question him quickly.
“Your clothes Amber. Jeans, shirt, panties…” He looks to me trying to hide a smile, cocking an eyebrow.
“Why do you need to know where my clothes are?” I question him again.
“So you can get dressed, so I can either take you to the hospital or to the doc. Do I need to rummage through everything or are you just going to tell me?” He stands impatiently, arms folded over his chest. After being mildly distracted by the sight in front of me, I decide he won’t give in and I probably do need to get checked out.
“T-shirts hanging in the closet, I’ll take a hoodie too. Jeans on the second shelf.” He follows my instructions and brings me what I need.
“And the rest?”
“Rest?” I know what he means but I don’t want him looking through my underwear.
“Unless you would rather not wear bra and panties? Amber, its just underwear, I have seen them before.” He sighs like I’m the one being awkward.
“You haven’t seen mine.” I mumble to myself, not really expecting him to hear. I momentarily forgot he was a wolf, so would be able to hear anything. He just chuckles to himself, finding some trainers in the bottom of my closet.
“May not have seen your panties but I just saw you naked so…”
“urgh, fine, top draw, just grab the first ones to can. Don’t look.” He opens the draw and efficiently picks out what I need.
“I didn’t look, it’s just coincidence they match. Can you get dressed or do you…”
“Yes I’m good to get dressed. Thank you.” I try to hide my undies, which is pointless he’s just seen them… and my ass.
“Give me a shout when you’re done. I’ll come get you.” He leaves, once again like with the bathroom door he doesn’t close it fully, but I hear him make his way downstairs.
I get dressed without too much difficulty and towel dry my hair a little, then I just sit still on my bed for a while, trying to process the thoughts in my head. After a minute or two I hear Shawn coming back up the stairs, followed by a knock on the door.
“You do know how to knock then?” I say with a small smile, he takes that as my permission to enter.
“When there’s time, yes. You ready to go?”
“Yep, all set. Could you just get some flip flops though? I can’t get my one trainer on.” I indicate down to my feet.
“Your feet will be cold.” He states and walks over to my chest of draws instead of my closet where my shoes are.
“What are you doing? I attempt to stand and walk but fall back on the bed, while he starts looking through my underwear draws again.
“I’m getting some socks. What do you think I’m doing?” he turns around to me and gives me a grin.
“Don’t worry, I’m not looking at your panties, I promise.”