THERON II

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TWO.

LINA

I feel as if a rug has been pulled out from under me and I don’t know what to do at this point.

I want to cry.

I want to run to him.

I want to touch him. Kiss him... be reminded of the sparks and tingles and heat that consumed me everytime his skin was against mine.

But I won’t.

Theon is of werewolf blood and not only regular werewolf blood but the product of two Ancients. His senses are naturally more keen than even ours, better yet the average wolf, so he knows what his connection to Theron is. He would not accept a newcomer so easily if he didn’t think they belonged in the pack and that was the purpose of introducing them. Marius (who is currently giving me the I told you so smirk) suggested that if Theron was really Theron then his son would confirm it. Wolves know their kin after all... and now the scales have tipped and I have to decide exactly how much I trust my child’s judgement. While I will admit it lessens my suspicions somewhat, it does not fully convince me that this isnt Mavina’s doing somehow. My guard is still up but I think that’s only natural given I have a little one to protect.

So no, I will not give into my urges just yet. I have to be a thousand percent sure because if I am wrong, if Mavina has fooled everyone including Theon, I may lose him forever. Not only that, but it would also confirm that Real Theron is dead...

Essentially, I would lose them both.

I watch Theron as he studies Theon, continuously lifting his eyes away and glancing at each and every one of my male friends. I assume he is comparing them to my son in an attempt to determine which one is the father.

If he only knew...

“Um,” Theron scrunches his face in puzzlement, and I hold my breath just waiting. I hope he figures it out on his own because I definitely do not want to have that conversation. I cannot lay that on him right now... at least not until I am beyond this shadow of doubt that eclipses me. But to my surprise, he skips right over Theon’s vehement insistence of their relation as if it hadn’t happened at all, “did he just bark at me?”

“Because you’re a dog, obviously,” Rhys huffs. There is an ounce of truth in that statement, though I don’t believe Rhys did it on purpose... His real implication was Theon thinks you’re ugly. But Theron is far from ugly. Even more so now with the shorter hair and the smooth shaven face. He looks every bit the way he should... the way I remember. Minus the increase in body mass and the eyes, which I refuse to accept.

Theron sucks on his teeth, the glare he sends Rhys reminds me of better times and I pray they will return quickly. I give Theron a reassuring smile. The tension in his body visibly dissolves and now he is looking at our son as if he has no idea what to do next. But he will not have to ponder long because I hear Bug’s footsteps clamor down the stairs.

Her eyes are half closed as she stumbles into the kitchen. “Ugh, the sun ain’t up. Why am I wake when the sun ain’t fucking up?” But the sun is up... not high, but the light clearly streams through the window.

Theron sighs, “You’re up because of bacon. But I swear to all that is holy if you do not watch your damn mouth you won’t get a single fucking piece.” I stifle the laugh I yearn to let loose and wonder just how much he would have allowed me to get away with if he had been present in my life during that age. Of course, had he been around then, things between us would be quite different. I doubt he would have bedded a woman who he witnessed age from six years old.

Bug ignores him, her eyes falling on Theon. She squeals, “Oh my Gawd!” Theon’s eyes widen and he stares at her kinky curls in wonderment, slowly reaching a hand up to grab a chunk of it. “This is Theon,” Theron smiles at her, “Lina’s son.”

She claps her hands in pure elation, something I think comes easily to her,“Ah! You’re so cute! Look at those big, brown eyes--” Bug’s grin turns upside down almost immediately and I already know what she’s thinking--what Theron should be thinking. She looks from Theon to Theron and back again, her lips pursed in preposterous inconceivability, “What did you say his name was again?”

“Theon,” I answered. And she looks at me, really looks at me, and I see the wheels turning. “So, his name is like Theron’s, just without the ‘R’?”

I can’t deny that. That is exactly what it is, exactly what his name is meant to be, “Yes.”

Theron snaps his head to me, my answer seems to startle him as if the thought had not yet crossed his mind and after our conversation prior to everyone entering the kitchen, I cannot blame him.

He thinks I hate him... maybe that I always have but armed with the knowledge that my child is named after him? Well, that changes everything.

For him and for me.

I hate that he thought I despised him.

I hate that he assumed he was nothing to me--less than nothing to me.

Looking back now, I can see how it would appear that way but my attitude towards him is not because I don’t like him. The truth of the matter is, I’m terrified.

Terrified of Mavina’s plans.

Terrified of losing my son.

Terrified to believe that Theron is not dead.

So I don’t hate Theron.

I could never hate Theron.

I hate myself.

The room is suddenly stifling and smothering and I cannot fucking tolerate it. It’s too much. “I have to get ready for work,” I announce and with no further explanation as to why I am excusing myself I have bolted from the kitchen and made a mad dash into my room.

Slamming the door behind me, I fall against it. It is the only thing holding me up right now. Muffling an aguished whimper with my hand, I try desperately to control my panicked breathing. It’s a double edged sword splitting me down the center. My heart says one thing, my brain another and now I am more confused than ever.

Theon thinks it’s really Theron.

Marius, Kai and DeLoren all think it’s really Theron.

Even Anthony believes it’s true...

So why can’t I?

Theron’s scent is overpowering in here and I inhale quickly, deeply, letting it squash my fears and calm my aching heart. My eyes fall on the ruffled bed covers and I know he did not sleep “okay” in any way, shape or form.

The bed pulls me, like a magnet, whispering sweet lies of comfort to my soul and while that is tempting, the very last thing I want to do right now is fall into that trap. Once I am there, I know there is no returning.

I passed by it quickly without a second glance, headed to the bathroom. I need to think of something else. Anything else that does not involve Theron. For once in my life I just need a break, a breather... some time. But when I turn on the light, I know relief will not find me. I know the storm is brewing and it is about to let loose. I know this... and yet I still force myself to look.

Force myself to acknowledge the scene before me.

Force myself to just feel for the first time in a long time.

The vanity mirror is broken. What is still attached is only splintered fragments, sharp and triangular. The reflection looking back at me is warped and distorted just like my heart... just like my soul.

I smell the blood before I see it. Crimson smudges are smeared on the few remaining pieces of glass and I can make a pretty educated guess as to what happened here. Gently touching what’s left of it, I can almost envision an angry Theron smashing his large fist into the center, broken pieces slicing his knuckles... wounds that will heal just as swiftly, erasing the evidence that it was ever there in the first place.

My breathing increases in short spurts, my lungs hopelessly trying to fuel my pathetic beating heart.

I did this.

I made him feel this way.

The questions this morning, the restless sleep last night, the broken mirror--the anger, the frustration, the distress he’s feeling--That’s. All. Me. All because I cannot accept his resurrection.

I feel the heat burst forth upon my cheeks. It flares up the back of my neck and I swallow the vomit that threatens to expel itself from the confines of my stomach. A silent scream promises the inevitable as I back out of the bathroom...

And right onto the bed.

Our bed.

Forest and spice engulfs me, the sheets soaking up his scent and permeating it throughout the room.

And I am helpless to break the hold it has on me.

I am not even consciously aware of what I’m doing as I crawl to the one side of the bed that holds the only pillow with a fresh indentation.

My shaky hand graces it, as if it can actually feel the head that once laid upon it--lightly, doubtfully, because there is still a voice inside me that questions whether I want to open this door... Do I really want to go down this path? If I could object, I would but my entire body refuses to deny our grief any longer.

So it kicks that fucking door down.

I bury my face in the pillow, anything and everything Theron explodes around me.

I cannot do this anymore.

I cannot pretend to be strong.

I cannot keep the emotions bottled up.

I can no longer force the pain to stay at bay in hopes that it will one day disappear completely because it has been too long--too long without a reprieve and now I realize it will never come.

The memories are relentless. They hit me from every angle, each one more excruciating than the last and I can’t control my body. I can’t put an end to the sobs that rock me, the quaking of the bed and the hurting of my heart. I hug the pillow tight, my fingers aching with the pressure of my grasp as his death replays through my head, over and over and

The declaration of a love I always wanted but never got the chance to fully experience; The last time his lips touched mine, and the last goodbye he ever gave me; The way his body jerked against me, going limp and leaving me to assist him to the ground... Even the blood that spilled from his mouth could not make me comprehend what was happening... what was going to happen and how my life would take such a drastic turn.

But what really gets me, what I try my damndest to never remember is the light that left his eyes. The way it slowly faded as he looked at me, the way his vision glazed over and disappeared entirely, silently promising that I would now live in a world where they would never look upon me again.

I see that fucking blue light everytime I close my eyes--the light that consumed his body, assuring that the very last memory I have of him would be those fucking dead eyes. The same blue light that stole him from me, taking my heart right along with it.

Lastly, the endless nights I pleaded, begged, bawled, wailed and cursed the sky long after he was gone bargaining with my own life--bring him back to me and take my body instead and yet silence was the only answer I ever got.

How do I erase all that?

How do I just accept it as past tense and move on with the Orange.

How do I forget the Apple?

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