"Phoenix!" I jolt awake, screaming his name.
Sloane and Alex jump up, trying to hold me back from ripping an iv line from my arm.
"Where is he? Why did you leave him there? I saw you, you betrayed him, you walked away and let them take him!"
My voice is a rough, broken sob, each word burns as it tears through my throat.
Sloane sobs and covers her mouth with her hand, pinching her eyes closed.
"We didn't betray him, Noelle," Alex's voice is sad but calm, still laced with authority, "this was the plan all along. If it came down to it, we were to save you, to get you to safety. He let himself be taken to allow us time to get you out of there. This is what he wanted."
"No!" I scream and my body shakes violently. I lunge for a small pink bowl on the tray table by my bed, emptying my stomach in heaves.
I feel Alex and Sloane at my side, trying to move my hair.
"Get out!" I scream, "get the fuck out!"
They leave quietly while I sob in the fetal position on my hospital bed.
I'm not sure how much time passes. It could be mere minutes or days, I don't know. I lay in my misery.
I try again and again to feel the bond, to feel any sign of him, but I can't. I reach as deep as I can, searching for something, anything.
My whole body aches, a throbbing gnawing burn that weighs me down in the bed. I can barely life my head, I lay motionless, weeping. My wolf has receded into the depths of me, half dead.
I hear the door click open, people coming to check on me, I greet them all the same way, "leave!"
"Noelle," it's my aunt and uncle.
I whimper but don't move. I don't want to see them, I don't want to see anyone.
"Elle," my uncle sits in the chair by the bed, "can you feel him?"
"No..." I whisper.
We sit in silence as tears burn a path down my face.
"Let's go avenge him then, Elle. If it's not a rescue mission, lets go fucking kill them," my uncles voice is raw, shaking.
I feel a small spark, not much, but the closest thing to life I've felt since I woke up here.
I pull myself up to sit, "can you find Celine for me?"
"She's right outside," my aunt whispers as she squeezes my hand and leaves the room.
My uncle stands and looks down at me, "don't let this kill you, Elle. We need you, there is a lot left to fight for."
Celine comes into the room, her swollen eyes are filled with sorrow.
"Did you know?" I ask her hoarsely.
"No," tears slip down her cheeks and she shakes her head sadly.
I pull myself up and she rushes toward me, pulling me into her arms. We hold each other and cry.
"I want him back," I cry into her shoulder.
"I know," she whispers, her voice as cracked and broken as my own.
"What do I do? How do I do this? My body feels physically broken, it's like my heart has been ripped out. I can't survive this."
She rubs her hand over my back, I can feel her chest shaking as she cries. We sit like this, holding each other, desperate for anything to catch us while we free fall into the abyss.
The door opens and I keep my eyes pinched closed.
"Noelle," Sloanes voice cuts into the quiet.
I don't move. I don't acknowledge her at all. I can feel that Alex is with her.
I hate them, both of them. If I had the strength to attack them I would. How could they leave him there? How could they turn their backs and walk away as he was overtaken by enemies? Why did they agree to this plan?
"Noelle," Alex speaks, using his Alpha voice.
I let out an angry, cackling laugh.
"My wolf is dead, there isn't anything for you to command Alpha King." My voice drips with the fury I feel.
He sighs, "I know that you don't understand this... I know you're mad that we agreed to his plan but...there is more to it than you know."
I hear the rustling of paper. When I still don't move he places it on the bed beside me.
"We'll be back soon, read that."
I sit motionless for a moment, afraid of whatever he's just given me.
I inch my hand toward it slowly. My vision blurs when I see the hand writing, it's from Helene.
If you're reading this, I'm gone. I am so proud of the man you've become. As a parent, you try to raise your children well, to teach them what is right and wrong, and to stand up for good. It is a beautiful thing to see them be the kind of person you are.
I leave knowing I leave you in the hands of your most beloved. Cherish her and protect her.
Remember the story I used to tell you as a child? How I used to tell you about the dreams I had before you were born? You exceeded every dream.
You have been the greatest gift of my life. Thank you for making me a mother and for bringing ceaseless bliss and laughter to each day.
I am at peace knowing that you are in the world, that you will survive me. Be happy and live each day with the knowledge that your continued living brings me indescribable joy.
I sniffle and close my eyes. I see that he has written something on the bottom of the letter but I can't bring myself to read it.
I hold the paper to my chest, trying to find the strength to continue. After several minutes Celine takes my hand in hers, squeezing it lightly. I take a deep breath and look at the page.
If you're reading this then things haven't gone as we had hoped. Alex, Sloane and Miles have promised me that they would keep you safe.
The only way I could explain it to you is to have you read my mothers letter. The last portion perfectly describes how I feel. I am at peace knowing that you are alive and being looked after by people that love you.
If we're apart now it's because things became too dangerous. Please forgive our friends, they agreed to this begrudgingly. I needed to know you would be safe.
You are my whole world, my most beloved. I'll love you eternally, in this life and beyond.
Truly yours, forever
An inhuman sound rips from my chest. Everything around me fades away, I can't feel or hear or see.
Before the world goes black I see his face, his eyes sparkling with his perfect smile.