Fornever (Book 2)

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Purple Pain

Lily was feeling lonely and not the alone kind of lonely. She felt like a child lost in the dark waiting for someone to take her hand get her out of there.

Amelia made no compromises when it came to her health. She checked up on her frequently. That was not the kind of warmth Lily was craving though. The warmth she wanted was from Ezra.

It was wrong. Her loved ones somehow got dragged into her mess. Guilty, she knew but she couldn’t help it. Her mind was on autopilot and the only thought in there was him.

An escape was needed before she could lose her mind so she dressed up in a white sweater and creame pants.

Her chest tightened up when she saw her best friend lying motionless on the bed. His face was pale and there were tubes attached to his hands.

All because of me.

Lily took a seat beside his bed and held his hands. She didn’t move, didn’t look anywhere else. Hours passed as she sat there hoping and praying her friend will wake up and she’d tell him how much she loves him.

I want you to meet my family, Sam. The dream I used to talk about? It’s cracked but it’s becoming a reality. I’ve barely had a taste of motherhood but I love it. You hear me? I’m going to be a mom. Please wake up. For me.

A thud of the door broke her out of her internal reverie. It was Belle. She had a coffee in her hand, dressed in a long red dress and a black jacket.

“Hi. How are you?” Belle asked.

Lily looked up at her and offered half a smile. “I’m good. What are you doing here? It’s almost–” it was then she noticed the moonlight. “Oh. It’s evening.”

Belle took her coat off and draped it over the couch before leaning against the back of it.

“Yeah. Cole asked me to look after him. I’ll be staying here overnight...if you don’t mind.”

“Why would I?”

“I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. Cole cares about him. Whatever concerns him, concerns me. He trusts me to help Sam. I’m trying my best not to disappoint anyone.”

Lily looked down at her friend. “Is he going to be okay?”

Belle was silent. Her fingers played with the sticker on her coffee cup. “I can’t make any promises although he’s improving. You should be prepared for anything. Good or bad.”

That increased the discomfort eating away at her insides. “What do you mean?”

Belle shrugged. “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.”

“Thanks, Belle.”

That got her a smile. “No worries.”

Lily was slumped in her seat, her eyes tired and body stiff. There was a lot happening at once. She didn’t know how to process everything at the same time.

“You should get some rest,” Belle suggested softly. “You have another life to look after now.”

Subconsciously, Lily’s hand moved to her belly. Every time someone mentioned her pregnancy, it triggered her maternal protective instincts.

“Yeah. I should get going.” Lily stood up and gathered her handbag. “Nice to meet you, Belle. See you around.”

She knew Belle was a witch. Maybe that’s why the thought of hugging her made her feel cautious. It was ridiculous and unfair but her instincts didn’t allow it.

“Nice to meet you too, Lily. Take care.”

Lily made it home on time. Dinner was getting served. Amelia could sense her damp mood so she kept small talk at bay. She let her eat in peace and go up to her room. Lily took a shower which didn’t help at all and her eyes refused to shut down despite her body being super tired.

She was worried about Ezra. He didn’t even ask her before making such an irrational decision. Why did he have to go? Her mind was chipping away. The moonlight in her room allowed her to see the clock when she got tired of tossing around in bed.

It was 2 AM and she was still up. She gave up searching for comfort in her bed and sneaked down the corridor to the room drenched with the scent of her mate. The earthy heavy scent instantly surrounded her like a welcomed guest. Her senses stopped racing and started humming.

Most importantly, the knots in her belly eased. Lily blushed when she found Ezra’s old shirt on the dresser. It smelled of him. There was something oddly comforting about it that pulled at her heart. When her body relaxed in the domain of her mate, she chanted in her head,

I’m doing this for the baby.

She needed the sleep. Her trembling hands slipped into his old shirt which swallowed her up. The shirt fit her like a dress. An embarrassing thought entered her mind when she looked at herself in the mirror.

What if Ezra found out that she’d been sneaking into his room?

Quickly blocking that thought, Lily slipped under his covers and pretended she was sleeping until she really nodded off.

The next morning, Lily changed into her clothes and ate breakfast with Amelia and Ben. If they smelt their son on her, they didn’t comment on it. Lily was glad. It was embarrassing enough already. She was never this desperate.

“Tell the driver to drop you off, hun.” Amelia instructed when Lily grabbed her purse.

Lily smiled and hugged her. “Thanks.”

“Don’t be silly. If you didn’t need the distraction, I would never have allowed you to work in this condition. Be careful, Lily.”

“I will.”

Lily visited Sam early in the morning. Belle was passed out disheveled and uncomfortable on the couch. She kissed Sam on his forehead and felt his beating heart. It was the only way of consoling her heart.

At the cafe, she made a fresh batch of almond cookies. Kandra was happy for her to the point where she teared up. In the midst of chaos, Lily felt normal for a moment.

She was pregnant. Surrounded by people who cared.

Then she saw Luke and Azazel at one of the tables.

“What’s Azazel doing here?”

Sabrina shrugged and placed a plate of donuts on her tray. “Luke said he’s seeing her off after breakfast.”

Lily took her apron off and walked up to their table.

“Good morning,” she greeted them. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything important.”

Azazel beckoned at the empty chair. “No, you’re not and good morning. Have a seat, Luna.”

The word Luna was bittersweet. She didn’t want it. She shouldn’t want it. It’s just that it linked her to Ezra.

“I’m not the Luna. You can call me Lily.”

Luke capped his pen and put it on top of his papers. “Morning. Everything okay?”

Lily shifted in her seat. “Ezra announced his departure out of the blue and then he was talking about a war. I’m worried. Nothing serious. Is he okay?”

“I don’t know. Communications are not allowed at a times like this but if I received any information on them, I’ll let you know.”

“Thanks, Luke. How’s Marie doing?”

“Probably not okay. She wants to meet her ex-mate.”

“Shawn?”

“No. The one she rejected for Shawn.”

A moment of silence passed between them. They both had a feeling her ex-mate wouldn’t accept her back.

Azazel sipped from her cup silently and got comfortable in her seat. “I heard you were attacked by a witch.”

Lily nodded. “She was strong. Fast. And she kept disappearing and reappearing. I narrowly escaped but my friend got shot.”

Azazel had a frown on her face when Lily looked up.

“What?”

Azazel tapped her finger on her cup. “Normal witches can barely get their perfume spells right. She was probably a higher power witch or she was strictly trained.”

“Maybe.”

“Not fighting her back was a smart move.”

“Yup. Werewolves aren’t usually trained to confront powerful witches. They’re cunning. Never trust them.”

Sabrina called Lily over to the kitchen so the conversation cut short. They were out of stock. Kandra asked Lily to check the pantry and make a list for re-stock.

That night, after dinner, Lily didn’t bother going to her room. She went straight to the room at the end of the corridor. Took a bath and wrapped herself up in the scent that had the lure to sooth her misery enough to allow her sleep otherwise her insides were getting gnawed at.

Lily checked up on Sam in the morning. Belle wasn’t there when she got in. The nurse told her she went to fetch breakfast. Sam was paler than usual but the nurse said it’s because of the vitals.

She was a bit cranky that day when she drived up to the cafe. The knots in her abdomen were obnoxious. Two days and there was no news of her stubborn mate.

The cafe was in full swing. She made a cake and a few donuts that day. The new workers were very polite and efficient. She appreciated their work.

When Dave came in through the door, Lily was serving a teenage couple.

“Hi, Dave.” She greeted him, surprised. “Where have you been?”

Picking up an empty cup from a table, she went into the kitchen. Dave followed her. He was breathing heavily, his shoulders stiff and eyes blank.

“Lily,” he hesitated. “I...”

The words couldn’t make it out of his throat. He knew the infact. It was taking all of his willpower standing there. Lily turned around when he left the sentence hanging.

“You look like you just ran a marathon.”

“Maybe I did.”

“What’s up then? Coffee?”

Dave grabbed her forearm to stop her when she moved. “No. No coffee. I– gosh. I don’t know how to tell you this.”

Wrinkles formed on her forehead. His behavior was strange. “Tell me what?”

He rubbed his neck, the veins on his arms stark. His mouth opened, then plopped shut. His hesitation rose a bad taste in her mouth.

“You’re acting weird, Dave.” Lily said.

There was a nervous undertone to her concerned voice.

Dave mind linked Sabrina. She talked to Kandra then went outside waited for them by the car. Taking Lily’s hand, Dave tugged her towards the exit.

“I’ll tell you on the way. Come with me.”

Lily was a hard time figuring out his gibberish but it sure was clawing at her.

“Tell me now. What’s wrong? Sabrina? Where are we going?”

Sabrina climbed in to the backseat and Dave started the car after helping Lily into the passenger seat. He drove out of the lot and took off.

“Dave!” Lily demanded. “I’m talking.”

Dave fidgeted in his seat.

“Look, Lily. We can’t change fate. If we could I would have done anything to change this, trust me.”

Lily stared at him. “Are you serious? What’s going on?”

Again, he was speechless.

“Wait until we get there. I don’t get it myself. I don’t know what’s happening.”

Lily glared daggers at him. “You don’t know and you’re spewing nonsense?” She then looked at Sabrina, “You know?”

Sabrina quickly shook her head. “No.”

“Then what are you doing in the car? Dave!”

He sped up the car, conflicted. “I don’t know, okay? Luke told me to get you. I think I heard wrong.”

“Heard what wrong?” She demanded.

Dave was wiping his lips, rubbing his neck, combing back his hair. His movements were jerky and uncalculated. Lily kept repeating the same questions and Dave kept speeding up the car until he stopped at their destination.

When they got out of the car, Lily recognized the place.

“The cemetery?”

Dave stood in a daze, his eyes glossed over. He was mind linking someone. Sabrina followed behind Lily who was getting numb by the second. There was a thick, long and strong rope curling around her organs, suffocating her. She could see the distant crowd gathered round in the middle of the cemetery.

“Why are we here?” Her tone lost it’s rigidness.

Dave snapped back to his senses. The disbelief and grief in his eyes was a kick to her guts.

“You’re kidding right? This is a prank. I don’t have time for pranks.”

She tried to move past him but he stepped in her way. Her arms were shaking, breaths turning shallow.

“Lily...” He tried.

She slapped his hands off. “No! You know I’m busy.”

“Lily...”

“You should be ashamed of yourself. Lying like that.”

Her sidestepping was again stopped. Her shaking increased. Dave clutched her forearms to help her. She kept pushing him off, her eyes flickering to anywhere but him.

“I–I don’t want to be here. I shouldn’t be here. I don’t know who they are. Sabrina, let’s go. There’s a lot of work at the cafe–”

“Lily.”

“–I think I left something in the oven.”

Sabrina teared up and sniffled. Lily clawed at Dave’s chest in a desperate attempt to escape.

“I left something at home.” She snapped. “Get off me, Dave. I need my things.”

“Lily, listen to me please.”

All his pleas fell on deaf ears. She was trembling and pushing him away. Her tone had lost all emotions. It scared him. Dave didn’t know what to do.

Lily fisted his shirt in her arms and yanked on it as she glared up at him. “I said I left something at home. Maybe at the cafe. Are you stupid?”

Dave couldn’t help the water pooling in his eyes. “Lily,” his voice cracked. “Sam. He’s... He’s no more.”

Her fists loosened, her chants died down slowly and her struggles stopped. Her head dropped. There was no response. She stood there like a statue for minutes.

“I’m sorry.” Dave tightened his grip around her palm. “Luke said his body is decaying fast. The burial is on-hold for you. Be strong, okay? I know you’re strong.”

There was no response. No tears. No sobbing. No nothing. Dave figured it’s her coping mechanism. He gestured to Sabrina who wrapped her arm around Lily and guided her to the cemetery.

Amelia and Ben were already there. Sam’s family was present. Marie, Sam’s friends, some of their classmates, and Sam’s relatives, most of the were there. Waiting. For her. Marie ran up to Lily and hugged her with all her might. She was holding in her sobs. Dave calmed Marie down.

Lily had no clue who was moving her, why, how, where and why. She could only see. And what she saw was a deaf nightmare. She couldn’t hear anything but that was definitely her best friend in the coffin and he was already in the grave.

People started scooping up soil in their palms and pouring it over the coffin placed in the grave. There were chantings, sobs, cries and someone calling her name.

Sam.

She did not remember his face being so purple and dead.

Pain. That was all she saw, heard, felt, tasted and remembered. Pain everywhere. But it was purple.

So much pain that it did not hurt.

Her body and brain slipped into an abyss.

Marie, Dave and Sabrina caught her together when Lily’s eyes rolled over and her body fell.

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