Day after the attack...
My body ached with pain as pulsations of sharp stings electrified my entire back. The sheets I laid on were soaked with blood, but at least it felt a little drier than the night before.
The desire to get up out of my bed was bar to none, I needed to sleep, but the more I slept the higher the risk of not waking up. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing… My life was but a constant battle with a shrinking cast, and I had a feeling my last family member Troy was gone.
My eyelids were being weighed down, like there were stones laying on top of them. I wanted to speak, but only my pursed lips sputtered empty words. My fingers twitched and flickered, although the movements were subtle, they sparked the attention of someone.
I felt his warmth radiating by my side and I curiously wondered how he even found me. How much time has passed since that terrible night with the Aussie Alpha, and why wasn’t Troy beside me instead?
“Hunter?” I heard his deep voice, all I wanted to do was reach out and embrace his warmth, but I was paralyzed from exhaustion.
“Andr-” I wanted to call out his name, but I found I was failing at even the most minuscule tasks.
“I’m here Hunter, don’t worry you’re safe. Just rest.” His voice sounded like we were in a concert hall, all emanating through my head.
This was too good to be true, was I actually safe?
That’s when the thought struck through my mind.
Was I dead?
…several hours later
“Hunter you there?” Her voice drummed in my ears.
My dry crusted lips once again pursed and flickered as I tried to speak, “Who-?” Another failed attempt to talk, but I’m sure the stranger knew what I was asking.
“I’m Dr. Rosali.” She spoke.
I was enticed, I wasn’t sure who this woman was, but I felt a warming relief in her presence. The cotton fabrics she covered me in were comfy, like climbing into a warm bed after spending the whole day in the wet snow. My back wasn’t in as much pain as before, the stinging only subtle from slight movements.
“I’m taking care of you while Andrew speaks with his Alpha. He will be back soon, just rest.” Even her voice was as soothing as her bandages wrapping around my body. Her warm soft hand touched my wrist, adjusting the IV that I was only aware of until now.
The curiosity of my brother’s whereabouts was consuming my mind, I thought he would be the next voice to enter my head.
I needed to muster all my strength I had to speak one final word.
…The next day
“Hunter? You there Hunter?” Coach’s voice came from beside me prompting me to flicker my eyes open, thankfully I was feeling well enough now to awaken from my slumber. I felt like I slept for an eternity, my arms and legs all aching to move around under the sheets.
“Coach?” I muttered.
“Hunter!” His booming voice gave me an instant adrenaline boost causing me to bolt upright. Shock waves of stings pulsed through my wounds, my body punishing me for making such intense movements. I immediately slouched over, clutching my side as I hissed in pain.
“Oh shit sorry Hunter!” Coach stood up from where he was, unsure what he should do, and probably too scared to touch me like I was a fragile newborn baby.
I glanced up at him, analyzing his ghostly appearance, “You look like shit.” I muttered.
“I know.” He sighed.
Bags were under his eyes and his usual dark complexion was now pale, like he was a completely different shade of colour. He sat back down in a chair next to my bedside, which now looked like an impromptu hospital. IV cords and medical supplies were scattered throughout my room, and now I was suspiciously wondering how much this was going to cost.
I grunted as I sat myself up, keeping my arms by my side to avoid moving my ribs
“Who treated me? And what how much is this going to cost?” I reached behind my back to feel my large gash Mr. Aussie left behind, but all I felt was soft gauze fabric.
“Dr. Rosali. She left a while ago, and NO this won’t cost you anything. She is the pack doctor on call, usually for messy situations, but let’s be honest…. this was more then messy.” He looked me up and down and shook his head in disbelief. “What the hell happened? Why didn’t you call me?”
“Just a run in with some bad people… It wasn’t the best time to make a phone call.” I lied, but it was apparently obvious. Thankfully, Coach didn’t push me further on the subject.
“I know this has something to do with your brother. It always has something to do with him.”
“Funny you mention Troy, the bastard didn’t bother to be by my side while I was in a coma. Speaking of which, where is he? Sleeping on the couch probably...” I scoffed, trying to brush off like nothing happened, but let’s be honest, Troy seriously crossed the line this time.
“Hunter, I don’t know how to tell you this.” Coach placed his hand on my forearm, and I knew instantly he was preparing to tell me bad news.
“I don’t know where Troy is.”
And there it was, more bad news, just my luck.
I sunk back into my bed, my eyes cloudy and full of dismay. Was this just a bad dream?
“He reached out to me after the attack and then he left… He’s gone, I’m so sorry.”
I felt myself starting to choke up into tears and Coach’s grip on my arm tightened, like he was feeling the same pain I felt.
“Hunter, it’s ok I’m here. I spoke to your work and explained your condition-well without telling them the whole truth. Your boss has connections with my Alpha and has allowed your sick leave for a couple weeks. You need it.” He patted me on my arm with his hand like I would be instantly cured of my depression, but it only brought anger and frustration.
“I DON’T NEED FUCKING HELP. Troy needs help but doesn’t want it, and now I’m just like him. A helpless street rat!” I yelled out, not caring if the whole apartment building would hear. All my emotions were beginning to surface and the realization that I was alone was suddenly sinking in.
“NO, don’t be like that! You have me. You will recover and you will come out of this stronger than ever. YOU WILL, and don’t ever doubt that. Don’t let the demons of the city destroy you Hunter.” Coach Andrew was clearly upset at my outburst, and raised his voice to match mine.
“Tell me your Alpha can take care of him then. I know you know who the attacker is Andrew, you can’t hide that from me, I see it in your face.”
Coach paused for a moment, his facial expression turned blank and his eyes dropped to the floor, I think I caught him off guard. He didn’t know that I was aware of him leaving to see his Alpha while Dr. Rosali took care of me.
I was curious to see if his beloved Alpha was strong enough to take action.
“Hunter…” He paused. “I told him.”
“And?” I anxiously said.
“He can’t-” I cut him off as soon as I hear the words, ‘can’t.’
“That’s what I thought. Thanks for the help but I can take it from here. I’m sorry I’m too HUMAN for you werewolves. Please I need to shower.” I said as I struggled to get out of bed.
Coach Andrew bolted up to assist me but I immediately pushed his arms out of the way.
“NO, I can do it myself. Please leave. I appreciate all that you have done, but now I need time BY MYSELF.” I wobbled towards my bathroom not looking back.
I knew Coach Andrew wanted to help me, but the politics of his stupid werewolf pack got in the way of doing the right thing and I was so done with it. I couldn’t rely on anyone to help me but myself. That’s how it has been my entire life, and there is no way it will ever change.
“Hunter, please. I’ll be there for you when you need it.” His words faded as I slammed the door behind me.
I was ashamed of pushing him away, but I needed to heal mentally and physically on my own. I sighed heavily as I leaned myself against the wooden door.
“No one is ever there for me when I “needed” it.” I whispered.
I knew he could hear me through the thin wood. He was a werewolf after all.
“Be well Hunter.”
I finally heard the door click shut, and his footsteps shortly faded away.
I was finally alone.
I could feel the warm splashes of tears falling on my bare feet, pouring down like a rain storm. It hurt me to push him away, but this wouldn’t be the last time I would speak to Coach.
I wiped my face clean of the watery discharge and glanced into the mirror hanging over the sink. I hunched over grasping the sides of the porcelain, leaning in, mustering up the courage to keep my gaze on my reflection.
I did not recognize myself anymore. The more I stared into my hazy reflection the more tempting it became to change it. I noticed Dr. Rosali left some medical scissors sitting inside the sink and picked them up, at first analyzing the sharp silver blades. It was only meant to cut medical dressing, but for my intended use it will work fine.
The closer I brought the scissors to my hair, the more I heard him.
“Keep it this length.”
His deep Australian voice grew louder as my hands inched towards my hair. The anger in me growing the more I thought about what happened.
“Keep it this length.”
His voice was becoming ear deafening. I shut my eyes to make it stop, but his chants continued.
“Keep it this length.”
I couldn’t take it anymore; I wanted his voice to stop. I held my breath as I squeezed my eyes tighter, finally pushing my fingers inward, slicing the metal tool in between the strands of hair.
I paused; my eyes were still shut. I was too scared to open them. I felt the piece of hair drop onto my foot, but it surprisingly felt uplifting.
As I slowly peeked my eyes open, I saw myself, but not in a bad light. A huge chunk of my hair was missing, and I knew I had to keep cutting.
I had to finish what I started.
As I continued the strokes of scissor cuts along my hair, the more determined I became.
My mind was more focused and driven then ever before, and it was only up until today I felt the strength to stand up to my oppressors.
All of them will pay, with revenge.