Ember Rains (Book 1)

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Chapter 11: Wounds

That night I thought a lot about what he had said and with his words ringing in my ears I knocked on the door across the hall from mine. As I waited for her to answer I fought with myself. I didn’t want to do this, offer her a place in town farther away from me. I wanted her right here where I could protect them both.

“Yes.” Myra asked as she pushed the door partially open.

“Can we talk for a minute?” I asked, smiling politely.

She pursed her lips and glanced over her shoulder. Then with a sigh she stepped out sliding the door shut behind her.

“How’s he doing?” I asked, wishing I had the right to ask to check on him.

“Tired but good.” She said quietly then hesitated before adding, “Thank you, I don’t think he has ever had such an enjoyable night.” She frowned at my feet looking defeated.

“No need to thank me, we just want to help.” I fought the urge to tuck a stray strand of wet strawberry blonde hair behind her ear.

She was so beautiful and I couldn’t help but grin. Water rolled down her collarbone and I forced my eyes away from the white spaghetti strap tank top and black mini shorts she wore. Then something caught my eye. Blemishes in her perfect skin, scars. Knife wounds, bites marks, and even a bullet wound to her upper left arm.

Brooke snarled menacingly and I fought to not return the sediment out loud. Heat bubbled up in my chest as the evidence of what horrible pain she had endured and the hands of evil men.

“What?” She stared at me nervously, and I realized I had been just staring for several long minutes.

“I’m sorry.” I choked, forcing my anger into the back of my mind. “I just wanted to let you know your options if you choose to stay.”

‘She has to stay!’ Brooke argued.

’If we give her the option she’ll choose correctly, if we take them away she will fight us.” I retorted.

“Options?” She asked nervously massaging her own arm.

“Yes. There is a vacant apartment in town and a job opening as a waitress at a cafe. They are yours if you want, or you are more than welcome to stay at the house and either work or just relax for a while.” I explained calmly.

She hesitated and I noticed something I hadn’t before. There was a dark shadow on her white shirt under her left arm she was trying to hide from me.

“What’s that? Are you still bleeding?” I asked, suddenly concerned.

She should have been mostly healed by now, only final scarring left. Certainly should not have any open wounds left.

“I’m fine. It’s healing, just slowly.” She said awkwardly as she tried to cover the dark patch.

There were two reasons something would be taking this long to heal. Either there was some form of poison in the wound, or her wolf was simply too weak to put the effort into it.

I frowned, “Follow me.”

She glanced back at the door behind her panic crossing her soft brown eyes. “I can’t.”

I nodded slowly, “Okay wait here.”

I got back a minute later with cleaning spray, antibiotic cream, and bandages.

“What are you doing?” She frowned, not trusting me.

“Keeping it clean and covered will help your human body heal it fast when your wolf isn’t able to do it.” I explained

Myra flinched and rolled her eyes.

“Sorry if I offended you Ember, I didn’t mean to imply you were incapable, just hurt and overly exhausted.” I chuckled.

Myra chuckled then sighed, staring past me.

“What did she say?” I asked Brooke’s question willingly.

I couldn’t wait for the day that I wouldn’t have to ask. One day I would be able to hear and feel everything, unless she was purposefully blocking me.

“She likes it when you say her name…” Myra blushed, frowning at the ground.

I couldn’t help but smile widely as Brooke purred in the back of my head. I had never heard him make that sound before. There was a desperate longing to it as well as an overwhelming happiness.

“Okay,” Myra said after a second, “You can help me but I would rather not lift my shirt out here…”

She glanced down the empty hall.

‘No too many people could see her, she’s not for their eyes. Ever.’ Brooke agreed eagerly.

“Okay we could step into my room for a second and then we would have light and privacy.” I offered calmly.

She shuddered at the word privacy, but didn’t object immediately. She stared at me for a long minute. Her expression shifted as she conversed with Ember.

“Okay, but just for a second.” She finally responded.

I smiled kindly and led her into my room. I turned on the light before laying my hand on the door. I watched her panic grow as I inched the door shut so I decided to leave it open a crack.

“Sit.” I requested gently.

She slid up onto the bed and watched my every move as I inched closer to her.

“May I?” I asked, gesturing to her side and she nodded before flinching as she lifted her arm.

I reached out, carefully rolling up the shirt that was damp with blood.

Four thick lacerations stretched across her ribs just under her bra.

I did my best not to reveal more skin or touch her anymore then necessary as I sprayed the cleaning medication on them. Gingerly I smoothed the antibiotic ointment over them.

She flinched only twice though I knew it had to hurt a lot worse then she was letting on.

“I’m sorry.” I whispered as she flinched again.

“It’s fine.” She gasped softly.

I carefully spread the bandage across the area and tightly secured it into place with medical tape.

“Here.” I said stepping back and pulling a baggy gray t-shirt out of my dresser.

I handed it to her then turned away waiting.

“Okay. Thank you.” She said after a minute.

When I looked back at her she had the cutest, most confused expression I had ever seen.

I grinned at her before asking, “What?”

“I’m just…” She hesitated, “Grateful, thank you.”

“Of course.” I smiled, thrilled at the turn of events.

She glanced at the door behind me then back at me. “I need to check on Tyler.”

“Of course.” I opened the door then followed her into the hallway. “Can you come back out and talk to me when you are done?”

She hesitated then nodded slowly before walking into the room.

I waited nervously for a couple minutes before she stepped back out.

“I think I’ll take the job and apartment.” She said, awkwardly rubbing her left arm with her right hand.

Brooke growled, but I suppressed the frustration and smiled pleasantly at her. “Of course, I can help you pick up some stuff and set it up this week.”

“You don’t have to.” She spoke softly and crossed her arms over her chest.

“I know, but I’m going too.” I responded nonchalantly. “How old is Tyler, would you like to enroll him into the pack school?”

She looked shocked for a second before frowning thoughtfully.

I swallowed back a groan, we wanted so bad to know what she was thinking.

“I’ll think about it. He’s almost six.” She finally replied thoughtfully.

Fear flashed across her face, her breathing quickened and I could hear her heart racing. Before I could ask though she spoke.

“Is the town… I mean the apartment… school…” she sighed frustrated before taking a deep breath. “Is it in New Moon territory?”

“Yes, you would be completely safe there, both of you.” I didn’t mention one of my men would be guarding them as often as possible.

“Okay.” She sighed relieved before looking up at me with that same confused expression I was already learning to love.

‘She doesn’t know why she is inclined to trust us.’ Brooke chuckled.

‘That doesn’t mean that she really does trust us yet though.’ I replied suppressing a grin.

‘Ember does, you can see them arguing.’ Brooke purred.

I frowned, not liking the fact I was causing friction between Myra and her wolf. I wondered if there was anything I could do to relieve the stress.

“What are your plans with Ty while you are at work?” I asked curiously.

She frowned, biting her bottom lip.

“I hadn’t thought of that. We haven’t ever stayed in one place long enough for that to be an issue…” She confessed nervously.

“How did you guys get money if you haven’t been working?” I frowned, trying to make sense of it.

“We mostly eat as wolves. I have taken a shirt and or underwear from clothes lines, but we mainly just stay wolves. It’s actually weird to be on two feet again.” She blushed, ducking her chin.

“I’m so sorry you guys have been going through that.” I sighed sadly. “You won’t have to again. I’m sure one of the girls would watch him whenever you need, and I can help whenever I’m not working.”

“Maybe.” She said after a minute.

“Will you let me take you to lunch tomorrow?” I asked suddenly, surprising us both.

“No.” She shook her head taking a small step back towards her door.

‘Ouch.’ Brooke said half heartedly.

I forced a chuckle, “That’s fine. Rowan wanted to take you shopping anyway, both of you. I’ll have Zane help me work on moving you into the apartment.”

“I don’t have anything to move.” She crossed her arms and frowned suspiciously at me.

I laughed under my breath then winked at her saying, “Don’t worry, you will.”

Before she could argue I turned and walked back into my room.

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