Broken Bonds

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Stubborn mule.

The warning from the previous chapter applies to this one as well.

The sunlight coming inside the room after Rey roughly pulled the blinds open, hurt even her own eyes. It had to have an even bigger impact on Elaine, but it served her right.

Apart from the king-sized bed, there wasn’t much furniture inside it, only a simple table with a mirror put on top of it and a chair to sit down in. Rey guessed they had to use some other room to store their clothes in.

It wasn’t just a room, she could see more clearly now. It was also Elaine, and the woman didn’t hesitate to shout at her: Haven’t you heard me for the first time? Get the hell out!”

Yeah, right. No one was going to make Rey move out of the room this time. Not even a natural disaster.

“Dream on!” She yelled back at her. “You are the one who is going to get up.” Her hands grabbed one of the blankets, Elaine hid in and dragged them off her. One by one.

Elaine did little to nothing to move, but the murderous stare she pierced Rey with spoke for itself: “Last chance. Get out or I am going to make you get out!”

“Yeah, well, I would like to see you try. Considering you can’t even get out of the bed, my chances of survival are damn high.”

Her speech was way more confident than it should be. Even if the tip of the scale was slightly tilted to her side, Elaine was probably still capable of tossing her out the window. But she didn’t seem like she wanted to do so. She sighed and covered herself with one of the blankets, Rey didn’t drag as far as she should: “I beg you, Rey. Leave me alone.”

“The way you left your child alone?” Cruel or not, Rey was telling the truth.

Her words sprung Elaine into action. She jumped out of the bed or more like crawled out of it and breathed down Rey’s neck: “What do you know about that? Nothing!”

Seeing her up close made Rey feel even more nauseous. Her skin got really pale, dark circles lined her eyes, lips all dry and chopped, and she looked like she lost half her original weight. Well, duh, she did just give birth. But this wasn’t the normal post-birth deflating, this was the I am knocking on heaven’s door one. The fac she was a werewolf who should be capable of healing itself, made the revelation even more disturbing.

Rey felt bad for her, but not bad enough to back down: “I know enough!”

“No. You don’t,” Elaine shook her head. “You really don’t.”

“Then help me understand because all I see is a woman that is on the road to abandon her own child.”

With her hands thrown in the air, Elaine blurted out: “She is better off without me!”

Rey didn’t know what she expected the outcome of this conversation would be, but it certainly wasn’t something as stupid as this: “Are you crazy? No, but seriously. Are you? How can she be better off without you? You are her mother. Right now, you are the most important person in her life.”

“No, I am not,” Elaine shook her head again and her lips slightly wobbled before she said another confession: “I am useless.”

“No, you are not ...”

Rey started to disagree with her, but Elaine outran her: “I can’t breastfeed her anymore. I stopped producing milk hours after she was born, Rey. So, do tell me, how am I the most important person in my daughter’s life if I can’t even give her the one thing she needs? Had it not been for some of the pack members that recently gave birth, we would be burying her now.”

Rey flinched as she fully took in what Elaine was telling her. Brynn’s words made a whole lot more of a sense because this really was a mess. She could understand Elaine’s reasons a bit more now. Had something like this happened to her, she would definitely have a hard time, but still. What Elaine was doing wasn’t fair to the child.

“I am sorry that happened to you, but Elaine, this is not a solution. We can find someone to give your baby the nutrient’s she needs, but no one can replace the love only you can give to her. Being a mother consists of a lot more than just pulling your boobs out.”

Elaine contemplated her words for a bit, but Rey knew it wasn’t going to be that easy to break down the walls she built, and she was right. “I can’t. I just can’t,” Elaine said and before Rey could do anything to stop her, she plopped back on her bed.

“Stubborn mule!” Rey cursed to herself and marched out of the room. She almost knocked down Brynn lurking behind the door.

She had to look at her in a funny way because Brynn said: “What? Surprised I didn’t try to stop you? I spent enough time with you to know it wouldn’t work anyway.”

“Good,” Rey nodded, “then keep at it and tell me where the child is.”

“Rey, no,” Brynn quickly shook her head, “It is not a good idea. Elaine ....”

“Elaine this, Elaine that, I get it. She feels like a failure. I would too. But what you are doing, letting her mope around in that dark room, that is not helping anything. She needs to see on her own that the girl still needs her more than anyone else. Keeping them separated, won’t solve this mess. It will only give Elaine more time to build her walls higher and we can’t allow that, Brynn. It is going to be too late to change it once she does that.”

“We also can’t force her to do things, she doesn’t want to do.”

“I am not saying to toss her and the baby inside the room and lose a key. But we need to do something. I won’t allow her to abandon it.”

“I still don’t think it is a good idea.”

“Well, let’s agree to disagree then. But I am doing this. With or without your help.”

Brynn sighed and mumbled something that sounded way too close to a “stubborn mule,” before she said: “Fine, but let’s make one thing clear. If things go south, you will back off. Deal?”

Things were going to go south, but Rey couldn’t afford to disagree. Her plan would fail before it even started: “Deal.”

“Go, then. The girl is downstairs. The first door on the left.”

Rey stared at the little bundle of joy, a smile playing on her lips. She found her exactly where Brynn told her. The little girl was sleeping in her arms peacefully, not a care in the world. She didn’t even as much as stir when Rey picked her up from her cradle, but the nurse did share with Rey that she cried herself to sleep.

One more reason for her to do what she was about to do.

There were only two possible outcomes: it would end up in a semi-good way or a total catastrophe. Rey’s money was on the latter, but if they thought she was going to walk on eggshells around Elaine, they thought wrong.

Rey took a deep breath before she once again opened the dreaded door. The presence of light pleasantly surprised her, but there was always a possibility Elaine was too lazy to get up and fix it.

“You have serious brain damage, don’t you? I told you to leave me alone.” Elaine said right after the door started opening, but her words missed the usual fight in them. She sounded more resigned than anything.

“And I told you, I will never do that,” Rey whispered. She didn’t want to wake the girl up just yet.

Elaine, curious as to why Rey’s voice suddenly got so quiet, peaked up from her lair and her blood boiled again: “Get her out of here, Rey. I told you I do not wish to see her!”

“No. You told me you think she is better off without you. And I think it is only fair to let her be the judge of it. So we are not going anywhere. If you want to get rid of us, you are going to have to be the one to leave.”

It was a risky move and Rey half-expected Elaine to do just that, but she stayed.

Maybe it wasn’t all lost just yet. Rey thought to herself as she smiled and sat down in the chair, turning it to face Elaine’s bed.

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