“I love you” were the last words I heard him whisper before I completely passed out in his arms. Last night felt natural, and I never wanted it to end. I was shocked that I marked him, and when I woke up, I was expecting to have instant regret, but I didn’t. I knew what I wanted now. I was surprised that it was both of them, but I knew in my heart it was who I was destined to be with.
It was my fate to be with both Xanos and Marcus.
I was sleeping on an uncomfortable couch, but it was the best sleep I’ve ever had. I wasn’t entirely sure how I was supposed to feel after marking someone, but I felt rejuvenated. My spirits were lifted considering the pressure that I faced today.
“Sleep well?” Derek’s voice entered the room.
My eyes were closed, and I was mentally preparing myself. Last night was quite the experience. I passed out in Xanos’s arms, and when I woke up, he was gone. Once I realized he left, I couldn’t help to feel empty inside.
Did I really want him to leave?
I wondered if Derek knew what I did.
I opened my eyes. He was standing over me with a tray. For a man that probably just woke up, he looked good. No matter what he wore, he could pull it off. He had the body to fit in anything and it was distracting to be around him. He was wearing black sweatpants and a long white sleeve cotton shirt. His hair looked as it did yesterday, but with a slight messy tousle.
“Oh hey.” I got up and yawned loudly. I stretched my arms as Derek placed the tray on the coffee table. “How did you sleep?” I tried to keep my eyes off of him, but it was hard not to.
“My sleep was fine, but the question is, how was yours?” He took a seat on the chair across from me. I was having flashbacks of Xanos sitting the very chair he was sitting in. My core was starting to warm up just thinking about it.
I cleared my throat and looked away, “Sleep was good.” I had to play dumb. Hopefully he wouldn’t give me too much hell about Xanos showing up last night, but I’m sure he was going to press the issue.
“When did he leave? ” His eyes narrowed in on me. He definitely knew more then he was letting on.
Should I even justify myself for doing what I did?
“Soon after he came.” I lied and quickly changed the subject. “What is this?” I looked over the tray he placed on the coffee table in front of me.
He paused then looked down to it. “Hmm, well, I wish I could say that I made it personally, but I’m shit at cooking, so I ordered out from a breakfast place nearby. It’s the basics but has the essential nutrients you need for today.”
I looked over at the tray. It was a massive amount of food, but hell, I felt like I was about to inhale the entire meal. There was fruit, 3 pieces of toast, sunny side up eggs, and several pieces of thick bacon. I kept my eyes on the bacon. I was having flash backs again.
I picked it up and looked closely to it.
It reminded me of Marcus. I was still pissed at him for what he did, but I missed him. I missed the little things he did for me; I missed the talks we had; I missed the time we spent together. I remember the bacon he cooked for me at his place the first time I stayed over night. It all seemed like an eternity ago.
I looked back up to Derek and sighed, “Look, I’m sorry about last night, its just…”
His face dropped, “Just what? He could have taken you, and he could have easily killed me.”
“He wouldn’t have killed you.”
Derek’s eyes lit up and his body tensed over the chair, “You don’t know that!”
“Just trust me. He wouldn’t have.”
Was I being a naïve ignorant person to Derek? Yes, but I couldn’t help it. I had this inner feeling of knowing who Xanos was. I couldn’t explain it to him or anyone else.
He rolled his eyes as he looked away, “I hope you got it out of your system.”
“Excuse me?” I crossed my arms and furrowed my eyebrows. I wasn’t going to get lectured on who I slept with, especially by him.
“Did he see your mark by James?”
“No, I don’t think so….”
“Well, I hope he was worth it...” Derek muttered under his breath.
My body tensed up in response to his comment. Who does he think he is? Troy?
“Mind repeating that again, I failed to realize that I had to answer to you.” I snapped back.
He paused, then looked to the floor. “Look, just forget it alright, besides, one of Hiro’s men dropped this off last night.” He threw a plastic packet full of leaves to the table.
I picked it up and looked closely to it. The leaves were dried and had a deep green colour. “What is this?”
“It’s tea. I already brewed you some in the mug on the tray.”
I looked to the white coffee cup that was steaming from the hot water. The liquid was dark. I grabbed the mug and inhaled the scent. It smelt like green tea. I blew on it lightly and brought the cup to my mouth, slowly allowing the hot liquid to touch my lips.
It was smooth, and it tasted bland, but it was warming like I was swallowing black licorice. I felt the same after taking a couple of sips, but I’m sure the real test would be when I was near them. I wasn’t sure if this would work, but I had to try.
“Taste good?” Derek smirked.
“It could taste like dog shit for all I care.” I took another large gulp and started eating the bacon.
He chuckled in response as he continued watching devour the breakfast on the couch. There was something about the way he looked at me that kept me on my toes. I probably looked like a wreck, and I was stuffing my face like a pig, but he still look to me in the same way he always did. I tried my best to look away, but we always ended up locking eyes.
Derek’s phone started to ring from his pant pocket. He stood up and pulled out his phone, “Hold on one second.”
“Sure thing,” I refocused my attention on the food and started to dig in more. I was starved.
It was a quick phone call, and by the time I was a couple bites in, he was already sitting back down.
“Hm.” Derek placed the phone back in his pocket. I didn’t hear him speak to anyone; it was like someone was talking on one end then hung up.
I didn’t think much of it until Derek’s face deepened with confusion.
“What?” I stuffed my mouth full of eggs and toast. I was too hungry to stop now. It tasted heavenly.
“Must be a wrong number.”
“Who was it?”
“Someone put me down as their emergency contact. They probably got the wrong number.”
“Who is the person? How could they get that wrong?”
For some reason, something wasn’t sitting right in the pit of my stomach.
Derek leaned back in the chair and crossed his arms, “Do you know a Dr. Rosalie?”
He fucking knew where I was this entire time. He also knew I was with Derek.
Did he also know that Xanos showed up last night?
I couldn’t trust anything I was doing now. I was paranoid, and I kept looking over my shoulder the entire way to the hospital, expecting for someone to attack me, but there was nothing.
“How long has she been out for?” I spoke to a nurse putting in a fresh IV to Dr. Rosalie's forearm.
“She was dropped off by a man. I’m not sure, there was no explanation.” The nurse continued tinkering with the IV drip and wires that hung from her body.
Her eyes were black and blue, and her lips were crusty with light spots of dried blood. This scene was all too familiar. It was ironic how she was the one that nursed me back to health, and now, she was in the very position I was in not too long ago. The doctors found a massive amount of Volt in her blood stream, which was probably why she was still unconscious.
“Her blood tests came back normal besides the volt. She will be fine; she just needs rest.” The younger doctor wearing a white lab coat looked over her chart from a clip board.
He sighed heavily as he handed it back to the nurse still adjusting Rosalie’s bed. “She is a dear friend of mine. I can’t believe this happened.”
I looked to her and focused on her crippled body. She was barely breathing through the oxygen tube that was pushed through her nostrils.
“This was James.” I growled. “I’m going to fucking kill him once and for all.” I balled my hands into fists as I walked towards the window overlooking the city. The only thing that was good about today was that the sun was shining.
“How do you know that?” Derek stepped towards me and spoke over my shoulder.
I turned around to see his confused face. I couldn’t help to feel frustrated at his arrogance. “Think Derek! She shows up to the hospital, and you, someone she’s never met before was listed as an emergency contact. I sent Coach to the warehouse to get my brother. Andrew is most likely dead, and Dr. Rosalie is a message. I fucking know James. This is all a game to him. They probably have guys watching this very room right now and here we are debating if it was him. Look around.” I leaned in closer, “Their fucking everywhere. All of these god damn werewolves. Hunting us like prey.”
Words couldn’t describe how I was feeling now. Coach knew the risks when he agreed, but it didn’t make me feel better about any of it. I sent him to his death, and now, I was worried something happened to Troy.
“Oh, Hunter, is it?” The doctor pulled something from his pocket. “This is her phone, I thought I would give it to you.” He held the black phone in his hand, and I reached out and grabbed it.
“Thanks.” I refocused my attention on the phone in my hand.
I tried turning it off, but it was frozen on a still picture. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking at. I tried tapping the side buttons to reset it, but there was nothing.
“What the hell is this?” I whispered to myself. I kept pressing my fingers to the screen but there was no response. “Did they tamper with this?”
“Here, let me see.” Derek reached out and I handed him the phone.
His eyes widened as he peered towards it, looking at something I obviously missed.
“What is it?” I tried to look over his shoulder, but he backed away.
“Oh…” He switched the screen back off and kept the phone near his body. “Nothing, just a glitch.”
My jaw clenched with rage. He was a bad liar.
“Don’t fucking do this now! Tell me!” I stepped forward and lightly pushed my hands to his body.
“No, you can’t see this…” He stepped back again and held the phone close to his chest.
I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. My teeth were aching, and my fists were clenched so tight that I started to tear the skin on the palm of my hand.
“GIVE ME…” I slammed my hand hard into the wall, crumbling the nearby artwork and shattering the drywall to pieces. “THE GOD DAMN PHONE.” I gritted between my teeth.
Derek looked at me for a moment as he tightly grasped onto the phone. “I can’t…”
“GIVE IT TO ME.” I stepped forward and looked up to him. He didn’t back away, but his eyes sunk to the floor.
“Ok.” He sighed heavily and handed me the phone. “Here.”
I grabbed it quickly and turned around to study the screen.
“Is everything alright in here? I heard a commotion.” A nurse stumbled in a saw the destruction I caused.
“Yes, everything is fine, just cleaning up now, don’t worry, we’ll handle this.” Derek’s voice faded out to the hallway, but I kept my eyes on the phone. There was a play button on the center of the screen. My finger hovered over it. I was scared, but I had to see it.
I held my breath and pressed play.
There was nothing at first. There was no sound. It was all black, but then, a warehouse door opened. There was someone sitting on a chair, but their back was facing the camera. I couldn’t see the person’s face, but I saw several orange capped syringes sitting on a nearby table.
It must be Troy. It had to be. I could see several of his personal items scattered on the table nearby. His plaid shirt he wore the night of the meeting, and the baseball cap. It was most definitely him.
My heart was beating fast, and my hands began to shake. I was praying this was just a live feed, but it couldn’t be, it was daytime now, and this video was taken at night or early morning.
I could see James standing next to the table where the Volt was, waiting for something, or someone. That’s when two large men approached.
I gasped when I caught sight of them.
It was Xanos and Marcus.
How could they know? What was going on? Did they know about Troy this entire time?
After a few minutes, Marcus held a knife to him. Tears started to fall down my cheeks, and I held my hand over my mouth to hold back my shock. The video wasn’t over yet, but I was scared of what was going to play out.
What were they saying to him? What was James telling Marcus and Xanos? This whole situation was confusing, but I was only concerned for Troy who was sitting on the chair, nearly unconscious by the looks of it.
What could push Marcus to hold a knife to my brother?
Marcus suddenly dropped the knife to the floor and began walking away. I sighed in relief, but then Xanos stepped forward.
He picked up the knife.
“NO!” I screamed out as I watch Xanos push the knife into Troy’s chest.
He fucking killed Troy.
“NOOO!” I fell to my knees and dropped the phone. My hands were on the floor, my eyes were closed, and my throat was tightening up. Everything around me was dark. I wasn’t in reality anymore. I was in a deep place in my mind.
Xanos killed Troy after Marcus couldn’t do it. How could they betray me like this?
I screamed and slammed my fists the floor, “HE’S DEAD!!”
“HUNTER!” Derek fell to the floor and wrapped his arms around me.
Troy was dead. I fucking marked Xanos, then he killed my brother the same night. How could I be so foolish!
“It’s ok, I’m here.” Derek wrapped himself tightly around me as I let myself go. I couldn’t take this loss. I couldn’t take this anymore. I was no one. I was nothing without my family.
How could I let him down? How could I trust my instinct on a whim?!
Derek was right about all of them. They fucking betrayed me like this and still expect to have me. They all deserved to DIE.
I kept myself wrapped into a ball on the floor as I wept. Derek kept his arms snug around me. He was a warm blanket to my sorrows. He didn’t ask, he didn’t say anything, he was just here.
I never cried like this before.
My throat was closing up fast.
I couldn’t breathe.
My voice couldn’t make itself heard.
I couldn’t feel anything other then pain.
I kept replaying the last time I saw him. He was on a path of being someone. He was finally doing something good for himself, and it was all taken away in a blink of an eye.
The pain was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, like someone was stabbing my heart with a knife. My limbs tingled like they wanted to give out. The mounting pressure of grief was too much for my body.
I saw visions of Troy and I in my mind.
Was I the one dying?
People say your whole life flashed before your eyes when you died, but today, I was the one who was having a flash back.
I was remembering our life growing up together.
When we were younger, Troy always shared his food when I was hungry.
He always protected me from our abusive foster father. He always shielded me when he beat us in a drunken rage.
If he could take all the abuse to save me, he would have done it.
He killed our foster father for me. He avenged me after I ended up in the hospital, and never told me about it. He carried the burden of his murder for years, by himself, so that I couldn’t feel the same pain.
I remember our birthdays. He always used his savings to buy me something even if I had nothing to give. Maybe it wasn’t worth much, but it was worth the world in my eyes.
He always put me first even though I was 10 minutes older than him. He was my brother, my guardian, my savior, and now…. He was gone. Gone along with my parents that I would never be able to meet.
It was all taken away from me, but just as the grief came in, it slowly withered away, making space for something else.
A new power to help me.
My breathing became rampant, and I soon began hyperventilating as I kept my head tucked between my legs.
“I’m here for you Hunter. Just take deep breaths.” Derek’s calming voice wasn’t enough to make an impact on what was surging through me now. I was becoming a darkness that I was always running from my entire life.
Since I was a child, I knew there was a darkness in me. Troy was oblivious to it, and I was in denial. But there was no point of hiding it anymore. I was going to let myself go.
I was going to unleash myself on all of them.
They were all going to fucking pay for this. They would all pay with blood.
I opened my eyes as I let the darkness in. I felt a power that I never thought I had. It ripped open through me like a baby taking in its first breath of air.
I took hold of Derek’s arm and gently pushed it off me. I locked eyes with him. He looked to me the same way Marcus did the first time we met. His blue oceanic eyes pierced through me, trying to grab hold of my drowning soul before I was completely swallowed by the darkness.
But it was too late. I was already gone.
I got to my feet and breathed in heavily. I wiped my face dry from my tears and focused on Dr. Rosalie. There was no time for crying now.
All that I required was anger. It was giving me new life.
“Are you ok? What’s wrong?” Derek could tell that I was changing. It was eerie because I changed in an instant.
My vision was starting to blur as I stared at Dr. Rosalie in the bed.
I saw myself in her place. In the very bed that was in my old apartment.
I slept on the floor days after that night with James, too ashamed to sleep in my own bed that I was assaulted in. It took some time to get the courage to face the bed, but I did it. I got over it. I moved on, and I tried to forget about it, but one thing I knew about trauma is that it never goes away. You will never forget it, but you will try to convince yourself it never happened, dumb it down, or try to pretend it was your own fault, but just like Troy using drugs to deal with his demons, he eventually got sober. He managed to find the light in his dark tunnel. Derek showed him the way.
I looked over to Derek who had the same look in his eyes. It was a shame that I couldn’t have met him before all of this, but it was too late for us. I was too deep in this mess.
I blankly stared to Dr. Rosalie. I had a different plan now. I was running it over and over in my head.
“What do you want to do now?”
“Let’s get ready, this doesn’t change a damn thing.” My body felt like it was about to burst out of my clothes, my head pounded, and my limbs ached like they had no where to grow. I had to keep allowing the anger to surge through me.
It was the only thing that was going to get me through tonight.