Hope Springs

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Chapter 19

I remained at Max’s bedside for three hours and during that time he had not stirred. I was growing increasingly worried but I had to remind myself that he would be okay. Hadley was right, Max was a werewolf and he had Alpha blood running through his veins. He would make it through this. I closed my eyes, leaning against the bed and fighting the urge to fall asleep. It was a battle that I was losing.

Just as I had closed my eyes, I felt Max’s hand twitch and my eyes instantly shot open. I sat up straighter in my chair and watched him intently but he didn’t move and I began to wonder if I had imagined it. Maybe I was just so desperate for him to wake up that I was beginning to see things.

With a sigh, I closed my eyes, Max’s hand twitched in mine again and my eyes snapped open. I surely hadn’t imagined that, he had to have moved.

“Max, are you awake,” I asked hesitantly, feeling his hand move in mine again.

His eyes fluttered, before opening and I smiled in relief. “I’m awake,” he murmured, “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” I answered with a small laugh. I was so relieved that he was awake. “Nothing happened to me. You were the one who got hurt.”

He squeezed my hand, “I don’t remember what happened. I remember that I got hit by an arrow and I sent you away and after that everything is blank.” He looked at me, “Why can’t I remember?”

“You’ll remember,” I said confidently, “I don’t think that the arrows were regular arrows and they hurt more than anyone thought that they would. Just relax. You don’t have to push yourself to try to remember, and maybe it’s better if you didn’t. Who would want to remember all of the pain that the arrows must have caused you?” Max gave me a small smile, but I could tell that he wanted to know exactly what had happened in the forest. “Just focus on helping me train,” I suggested, “I need to learn how to defend myself, right?”

Max nodded, “I guess until I get released from here, I can devise a training schedule for you.” I grinned brightly and Max reached up and cupped my face, running his thumb across my cheek. I blushed and pulled away, causing Max to give a little frown.

“Sorry,” I apologized, “I’m just not used to romantic things like that.”

“But weren’t you really popular at your old school,” Max asked and I nodded.

“Yeah but I never really had a boyfriend, never have done the whole romantic date thing, and I was more focused on sports and athletic, and having friends instead of romantic relationships,” I explained, moving my hands around as I talked. “Sorry,” I apologized again and Max smiled reassuringly at me.

“I should be the one apolo-” Max started and I immediately cut him off, saying, “No Max, you shouldn’t apologize. You didn’t know and since you didn’t know it isn’t your fault. Now start devising the training schedule, I’m going to go get Rhea and Hadley.”

“For what,” he asked suspiciously and I just smiled before practically running out of the infirmary and back to the house.

I wanted to get Rhea’s and Hadley’s advice on dating, and all that romantic stuff. I wanted to plan something for Max and I; a date. Since I hadn’t ever dated before I wanted to ask them what I should do because I wanted it to be perfect. I opened the door to the house and saw Rhea in the living room, chatting animatedly to Maria and my Dad and Hadley and Alex were sitting on the floor. Hadley was leaning against Alex and Alex had his arm over her shoulder.

Rhea looked up from her conversation with my Maria and my Dad and grinned at me. “What are you doing back Trinity? I thought that you would still be with Max.”

I blushed, “I would be with Max but he’s making up my training schedule and I wanted your advice, well Hadley’s advice too. I wanted both of you to help me, actually.”

Hadley perked up, looking at me as I came closer to the couch. “What did you want our help with Trin?”

I felt awkward discussing this with my Dad in the room and with Alex, who was a close friend of Max’s, in the room. I sighed, wiping my hands on the sweatpants.

“I wanted to ask your advice on dating,” I finally said, “I’ve never really dated before and I want you guys to help me plan a date for Max and I.”

“What about all of those hangouts that you guys have gone on,” Hadley asked and I immediately shook my head.

“Those were not-dates. That was just us hanging out as friends and getting closer. I want to plan an actual date,” I explained and large smiles appeared on both of their faces.

Hadley hopped to her feet and ran upstairs. It took her a few minutes to return and when she did her hands were filled with binders. The binders had a lot of paper in them and she looked to be struggling. She set them down with a thud on the counter and I raised my eyebrow.

“What,” she asked defensively, “These are what I call my dating binders. This binder,” she tapped the black one, “Is full of Max’s favorite movies and his favorite foods. This binder,” she tapped the pink one, “Is full of a lot of various dating ideas that can take place in the town and the last binder is full of-”

Rhea interrupted, “I wouldn’t call it full, Hadley.”

Hadley gave her a look, “Fine. The last binder has a few papers of what I know you like, Trin. I made it after I found out that you and Max were mates and in case you ever needed some help or in case Max ever needed some help in organizing a date.” She looked a little embarrassed, “I know it’s a little obsessive and even a little creepy but-”

Again Rhea interrupted her, “But she has no ill-intentions. She has the best intentions, Trinity so don’t find it too creepy, even though it is a little odd. She’s just trying to be helpful.”

I nodded, “Rhea is right, it is a little a creepy but I do appreciate how much you want to help Hadley, but the binders are a little too extreme.”

She frowned, “So we can’t use them?”

“I never said that!” I protested, and Hadley brightened. “I just meant that maybe after this you should get rid of them, even though you put a lot of effort into them. It is a little too creepy for me.”

She sighed, “I guess it is a little creepy now that I think about it but I just wanted Max’s first date with his mate to be absolutely perfect.” Hadley played with the ends of her hair, “I guess it is too creepy though. But we can use it just this once right?”

“Just this once,” I swore, “So what are his favorite movies? I think a movie night would be kind of fun.”

“But you guys always do movie nights,” Rhea protested, “Maybe you guys could eat here, go out and then come back and watch a movie. That’d be different and it would definitely feel more like a date, wouldn’t it?”

Hadley sighed, “That could work but Max might find it a little funny that the date mostly takes place here but you guys go somewhere else. You guys could go to Clara’s and then go mini-golfing. That’s number one on Max’s dream date list. Actually it’s tied, but I feel like a picnic may have to wait.”

Rhea laughed, “Who knew that Max could be so romantic.”

Hadley opened up the pink binder and I looked at the first page. In Hadley’s scrawling script it read: First Date Ideas for Max & His Mate.

Max’s dream dates:

1. Picnic or mini-golf

2. Going out to dinner

3. An amusement park, fair or a festival

4. Museum

5. Skydiving

6. Dancing

7. Bowling

8. Outdoor movie

9. Zoo

10. Sneak into a pool or go on a scavenger hunt

“These are his top ten dates,” Hadley explained, “It’s everything that he would eventually like to do on a date and some of them are things that he’s always wanted to do, like go skydiving.” Hadley smiled at my panicked look, “It would be pair skydiving, Max wouldn’t let anything happen to you.”

“I like going out to dinner and then going mini-golfing,” I finally said, “What are his favorite restaurants?”

“He absolutely loves Clara’s but he also really, really loves Laguna and The Silk Apple. The Silk Apple is this very fancy restaurant, and caters to a lot of couples,” Hadley said, “But it might put a little too much expectation, so I’d recommend Clara’s since you aren’t really fond of seafood.”

“So Clara’s and then mini-golfing,” I confirmed, “Then after we are going to come back here and watch a movie like we always do.”

“That way it ends on a comfortable note,” Rhea said, smiling proudly at me. “So-”

A throat was cleared and the three of us turned around to see Mr. Judge and Mrs. Judge standing there. Mr. Judge was smiling at us while Mrs. Judge seemed to have no real expression on her face. Finally a small smile appeared as Hadley hugged her.

“Max wants you to visit him again,” Mr. Judge said to me, and I felt a smile appear on my face.

I said goodbye to Rhea and Hadley and head back to the infirmary. When I get there, Max is writing hurriedly in a notebook, his brow furrowed in concentration and I smile. I walk over and sit in the chair that is at his bedside.

“Hi,” I murmured and he looked at me, a smile appearing on his face.

“You’re back,” He murmured, eyeing me for a moment. “Where were you?”

“I told you that I was going to talk to Rhea and Hadley,” I explained, “Why did you miss me?”

He growled, and I fell silent. What was wrong with him? His eyes flashed gold before going back to his regular blue color. He sighed and grabbed my hand. He tugged at my arm and when I didn’t move, he reached over and grabbed me by the waist and lifted me so that I was sitting beside him on the hospital bed.

“What was wrong,” I asked, staring at him curiously and feeling worried. My wolf whined, wanting to know what was wrong with our mate.

“I’m still on edge after what happened in the woods,” He murmured, “My wolf didn’t enjoy the teasing tone you had.”

“Okay,” I shrugged, “I still don’t understand why you growled but I appreciate that you attempted to explain it. So, what does my training schedule look like?”

He handed me the notebook and I stared at it, my eyes going wide.

Monday - Two mile jog, combat training - human form, two mile jog, obstacle course, combat training - wolf form

Tuesday - Two mile jog, obstacle course, combat training - wolf form, combat training - human form, two mile jog

Wednesday - Two mile jog, combat training - wolf form

Thursday - Two mile job, obstacle course, weightlifting, combat training - wolf form, combat training - human form, two mile jog

Friday - Three mile jog, combat training - human form, weightlifting, obstacle course, combat training - wolf form, two mile jog

“This is quite a bit,” I sighed, “Are you sure that I can do all of this?”

“Of course you can,” Max said, complete confidence in his voice. “You are a wolf, you can do it. You are stronger than you think.”

I smiled. I could do this. Training couldn’t possibly be that bad.

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