Chapter 36 - His Touch
Seth had implored me to stay, me and Patricia to stay. At least until Nate was up to being able to return to the pack, to travel – to use a portal. So I waited by his bed, crouched uncomfortably in a chair, listening to the sound of his breathing, listening to the pumping of his heart.
The mountain of pillows that was made up of his limbs and the smooth, handmade bed sheets, began to shift and his shoulders rolled as he turned, twisting in the bed. I must have looked quite the site to him at this point, my body bruised and battered, my hair most likely matted and oily. And I admitted, I needed nothing more than a shower, a hot, steamy shower to wash it all away.
But I couldn’t bring myself to tear my eyes from him, I couldn’t bring myself to leave him unprotected and vulnerable. I couldn’t lose him again.
His skin was still scared, burned and bruised, and I wondered if they would ever truly heal – would the affection of me, his mate, be enough to heal the marks of silver and wolfsbane? Or would he carry the mistakes I had made with him for the rest of his life.
Eventually, his eyes snapped open and the soulless black swirled in his eyes as he looked at me sharply, his eyes wandering over me as he took me in, as I brooded in the armchair situated in the corner of the room.
“Why do you smell different?” he nearly spat, the irritation and anger rolling off him like death. I swallowed, I’d spend countless hours wanting to see him again, what nothing more than his presence, nothing more than him – but now that I had him again, I didn’t know what to say.
“Did he touch you? Did he hurt you?” He hissed, as he pushed himself up out of the bed, and began to saunter towards me. For the first time in my life, I realised I was meeting the reputable Alpha Black – the murder, the vengeful, the dominating, the Alpha of the Moon Pack.
I could only shake my head, as I knew words would not form in my throat nor in my head, and he collapsed at my feet as he reached out a hand towards me. The calluses on his fingers sent waves of fire through my skin as he brushed my hair lightly, the concern laced with anger and the desire for blood.
“What price did you pay for my life?” he said – his words halfway between a snarl and a sob. “And why do you smell so different?”
“I thought I was going to lose you,” I sobbed, hot tears bursting, steaming down my face as I leaned into his hand, pressing it against my face.
“Do not tell me you sold your body for me,” he choaked.
My breaths became jagged as I understood, as I realised, he thought I had been raped. Again. He thought that the payment for his life, was my body, that Seth had taken me to his bed, violated me, abused me, beat me, fucked me. “He didn’t,” I sobbed.
“Do not lie to me Alice,” he growled, “Why do you smell different?”
I opened my eyes and looked into his – still black, still full of rage and fury, still powered by fear. “For the same reason I came and recused you, for the same reason I needed you.”
I didn’t realise my body had begun to shake until I took his hand in my own and placed it onto my stomach. Onto the unseen, “because we need you,” I said, and my words made something in his eyes shift, something clicked within his mind.
The darkness slowly seeped away, the vibrant green I had come to know and love returning as his eyes darted between my face and the fluttering heartbeat he could feel under my skin. I was at least five weeks along now, and in the darkest moments of the night, the reason I had been unable to sleep these last days – was the beat that rung in my ears.
Two strong pulses. Two lives. Two pieces of Nate growing within me.
His lips moved, but no words came out, he choaked on his tongue – lost for words, “you’re?” he breathed.
I could do nothing but nod now, the tears still brimming. The anger had transformed to fear, to confusion and now, to joy. His skin was coarse, scarred and inflamed, but he didn’t seem to care, as he wrapped his arms around me, sobbing. As I slid from the chair, I wrapped my legs around him, letting him pull me hard against his chest, letting my arms wrap around his bare chest.
I couldn’t help but flinch as I ran my fingers across his back, across the indents in his muscles, the divots in his skin, the scars that now marked his skin, “I’m so sorry,” I sobbed as he held me firmly, breathing in my scent, “I’m so sorry I didn’t come and get you earlier.”
He shook his head, the dry skin on his lips scratching my neck, his mark, “no, you kept me alive, you kept yourself safe,” he said, and he pulled his head out of the crook of my neck, resting our foreheads together “I love you,” he whispered.
“I love you, so, so, so much more,” I sobbed, and a small smile fluttered onto his face.
“There is more of you to love though – or at least there will be.”
Now when I say I use writing to deal with my poor mental health. I was afraid to write after chapter 32, but I had an anxiety attack before dinner and then submitted four chapters. So, here we are. Four chapters to go until the end of the book and the series!!