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Truth Hurts

Song - Truth Hurts By Lizzo
I just have to make it through the next fifteen hours. It's almost spring break and I'll be home in Montana with my family. Every cell in my body is longing for home, for my parents, my packlands, my pack.

Every day feels fifty hours long.

I struggle through each moment in a strange emotional mixture of heart broken, pissed off indifference.

On one hand, I'm still hurt and my wolf doesn't understand why our mate is treating us this way.

On the other hand, I'm listening to Lizzo on repeat while I finish my last painting for the semester and screaming, "You coulda had a bad bitch!"

I feel a tap against my shoulder and turn to see Charlie. I smile and drop my headphones. The tiny speakers are still blaring, "Why are men great 'til they gotta be great?"

I blush slightly and turn down the song.

"Man troubles?" Charlie laughs.

"Something like that," I groan, you have no idea.

"So, I wanted to ask if you would want to come out with me tonight," he wiggles his brows at me.

My face scrunches up in confusion, "how does Felix feel about that?"

He throws his head back and laughs, "I got two tickets to that Ancient Pottery exhibit and he got called into work. It's a limited time exhibit, double extra credit with Warner!"

"Oh! I'm definitely in!"

"Meet there at six?"

"You're amazing, thank you!"

Professor Warner gives extra credit for every exhibition we go to, double if it's limited time. His finals are known to be impossible to ace, I took it this morning and feel nervous about it. Ten extra credit points will go a long way.

I finish cleaning up my supplies and rush back to the packhouse. This exhibit is in a luxury hotel downtown. My paint splattered yoga pants are definitely not dress code appropriate.

My suitcase is spread across my bed half packed. Of course, the half that's packed is make up and my hair styling tools, looks like I'm unpacking.

I dig through my closet for something elegant and classy. I don't have much. I find a strapless, black, tea length dress that I wore to my parents twenty fifth anniversary party. It's tight and made of soft velvet.

I lay it across my bed and go back to the closet, searching for another option. After ten minutes it's obvious that the black dress is my only option. I make a mental note to go shopping with mom when I get home.

I shower quickly, making sure to get all the smudges of paint off my arms and hands.

I wish my mom was here to do my hair, she always makes it look perfect. I opt for sleek and pin straight which takes forever due to the length. I have to leave in twenty minutes so it looks like make up is going to be minimal and natural.

I run, like a wobbly baby deer, to my car in my heeled sandals.

"Wow! Where are you off to?"

Ugh, Andrew.

"A gallery," I keep my answer short, maybe he'll get the hint that I'm in a hurry.

"Do you have a date?"

"I'm going with a friend," I give him a small smile.

"How about I take you out tomorrow night?"

"I'm leaving for home at four a.m," I'm awkwardly standing halfway in my car.

"I forgot about that. When are you coming back?"

"Few weeks. Look, I have to go. I'm about to be late." I try to say it nicely but he can see I'm on my way out...

"Oh, alright, well, we'll have to link up when you get back!"

"Sure," I nod while sliding all the way into my car and slamming the door.

I park with barely a minute until six. Shit, now I'm going to have to run again.
My dress is too tight around my legs to move but I do it anyway.

Charlie lets out a loud laugh when he sees me.
"Wow! You're so graceful!"

"Shut up!" I huff as he pulls my arm around his.

"Let's go hot stuff," he leads me into the gallery arm in arm.

The pieces are spread through an outdoor courtyard and an indoor exhibit. We choose the outdoor courtyard first because they have champagne.

I take a glass and we walk through the rows of displayed pottery. Most of it is chipped or broken but the designs are amazing.

Charlie keeps rubbing his hand over my dress, "I really need more velvet in my life," he runs his hand over my back.

"Stop," I giggle, "don't make me tell Felix!"

Maybe I've had enough champagne. I walk toward an urn with intricately painted patterns on it. I'm still giggling as I bend down to look at the details.

The laughter dies in my throat as soon as his scent hits my nose.

He's here. Why is he here?

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