Lillian was unconscious when the doctors brought her in. Strangely her body could register her pain, her aches and her immobile limbs. There was noise. Lots of it and then nothing.
The utter darkness and useless limbs were not as terrifying as the pain in her chin. It was hot, biting and electric. She felt it move, travel from her chin all the way to her navel. Out of the blue, all her pain dipped under her skin. The frequency of it was so hard and fast, she could have swore she was electrocuted.
Amelia and Ben were pacing in the waiting area dreadfully. Belle, Dave and Marie were also there. The former Luna was pale with worry. Ben persuaded her to keep calm and not call Ezra since they didn’t know about her condition yet.
“Alpha.” A doctor came up to Ben, putting off his gloves and cap.
Seeing the doctor, Amelia shouldered past Ben. “How is she, doctor?”
The doctor adjusted his coat nervously and threw a brief glance at Ben. “I’m sorry. The baby couldn’t make it but the mother is out of danger.”
Ben held Amelia and squeezed her shoulders.
“The trauma might have been too much for her.”
A gloomy dark cloud surrounded them. When they were finally allowed to see her, everyone was cautious.
How do they tell her?
Should they even tell her or no?
Marie stayed behind. She didn’t want to remind her of what had happened. In a way she blamed herself for Sam’s death.
Anxiously, Amelia went in first and then the rest followed. Lily was propped up on her bed. Her skin had lost it’s vibrance and her eyes as she was staring at the far wall, they scared them.
There was nothing in there. No anger, no sorrow, no confusion, no dread or questions.
Amelia sat on the stool by her bed, putting on a fake warm smile for her sake.
“Honey, are you feeling alright? Do you need anything? Water perhaps?”
Getting a stone to reply would have been easier. Lily was not in her own body. Dave excused himself because he couldn’t bear seeing her like this and he most definitely didn’t want to tell her she lost her baby.
Belle stood at the foot of the bed, guaging her reaction but there none. When Lily flickered her gaze to her, she knew there was nothing to tell her. Lily already knew her womb was empty.
How could she possibly not feel it? Her insides had turned into void. She felt like an empty cup. Even her organs were as good as gone. She had felt her emotions, feelings and her human side slip into a deep abyss in her womb.
This was the last strike.
This was the finishing line of her patience and tolerance.
“Lily...” Amelia shook her slowly when she didn’t answer the first two times. “The doctors said you’re good to go. Come home with me, hun.”
Defiant, Lily stared at her former Luna. Perhaps she was searching for a clue, a hint of how to act. She had lost her ultimate chance at life. She was supposed to feel some kind of way, wasn’t she?
Amelia was on the brink of a break down so she silently exited the room. Ben sighed subtly and palmed his face before going after Amelia. That woman was an emotional mess.
Belle appeared by Lily’s side with a glass of water. She took a single sip then resumed her stoic coping.
“Call him,” Amelia sniffled.
Ben dished out his phone in the waiting area and punched in a number. It was received after the first ring.
Amelia couldn’t catch on to the voice on the other side but she figured it was one of the council member.
“No, everything is good at the pack. Unfortunately a tragedy had befallen in the family. I would appreciate if you pass on my message to my son.”
“Thank you. Tell him...the baby is no more.”
The words poked them like thorns.
“Alright, take care.”
They waited outside long enough to see the sun hide behind the horizon. Amelia didn’t know what to say in consolidation. There was nothing in the entire that could have lessened Lily’s pain.
“Let’s go home.” Ben told her.
The doctors said Lily was out of danger which meant they could go home. Belle helped Lily put on her dress and reach the front of the building. Amelia and Ben climbed into their own car while Belle, Dave and Lily to another.
“Where do you want to go?” Dave squeezed out those words. This face of his friend was scary.
Belle spoke up when Lily didn’t. “The Luna’s house of course, where else?”
Dave wanted Lily to speak up so he ignored Belle’s remark.
“Kandra.” She spoke up at last even though it was barely above a whisper.
Dave mindlinked Amelia telling her where Lily wanted to go and they obliged.
When the car stopped, Lily slid out of her seat. Everyone was walking on eggshells around her. She dragged her feet behind her, looking defeated, exhausted and neutral at the same time.
Amelia insisted she spend more time around Lily because losing a child was not easy.
Lily was lost in her own head. Her search for anything humanly inside her was in vain. Belle gestured to Kandra when she took a step forward.
Amelia, Dave and Belle sat in the living area with Kandra as Lily escaped to her rented room. Ben had to take care of the pack so he left to help Luke.
Devasted, everyone was waiting for Lily to calm down, to cry or let her rage out but nothing happened.
“I’ll go check up on her.” Belle informed them, venturing up the stairs.
When she poked her head inside, Lily was leaning against the headboard of her single bed looking distantly outside the adjacent window.
She realized Lily was holding tiny baby shoes against her chest as she sat on the edge of the bed.
“I know you’re hurting...” Belle started slowly, her tone considerate. “I don’t know what to say to make it easy but trust me, this is not the end.”
The reaction she expected was not delivered. It was as if Lily was not aware of her presence in the first place.
“I wish I could help you but this is your battle. We can only support you and be here for you. You are the real fighter her—”
“Have you ever lost a baby?”
Belle stopped abruptly. The voice was too frail and groggy to be Lily’s.
They plunged into another pond of silence. Lily never took her eyes off the window whilst her thumb played with the little woolen shoe.
To eliminate the silence, Belle spoke up again.
“It was written in the fates. You can’t change destiny.”
Lily dropped gaze to the tiny boots in her hands. “What if the fates say everyone you love is in hazard because of you?”
“That would never happen.”
A barely there frown adored Lily’s lips. “Pretend it is possible, you’re cursed and the people you care about are bearing the consequences of your love. What would you do?”
Belle seemed taken aback for a split second before she composed herself.
“I’d probably leave.”
“And if there was no escape?”
Belle stole her gaze away and picked at her nails. “I’ll make sure every kind of threat is executed. Take Cole for instance. If there was ever a chance of his life being in danger because of me, I’ll end all those chances. I want to see him happy. With or without me.”
Lily pondered over her answer, knowingly distracting herself from the stirring deep in her heart. Her body and soul were numb.
Minutes passed with Belle sitting at her feet when she asked, “When God hates you, where do you go?”
That made her head tilt up a bit, her void gaze flickering up to Belle.
“Sorry, lame joke.”
Lily spent the next three days cooped up in her room. She barely ate anything. Her stomach was acting up and on top of that, she was still feeling empty.
Amelia was making coffee when she heard the roar of her son’s car. Ben was in the home office but he too heard the noise and came out.
Ezra was out of it. His hair in a mess, eyes red like roses and clothes wrinkled. It was the third time Amelia saw her son so immensely broken. She couldn’t move from her spot.
Ben, forgetting all about his son’s behavior, walked up to him. Ezra allowed his father to see all of his pain in his eyes. Ben had been through the fear of losing him as a child. He knew how hard it could get so he opened his arms and yanked him to the shelter of his embrace.
Ezra buried his mouth in his shoulder, his eyes wetting his fathers shirt and his silent sobs rocking his body.
He was yet to taste the nectar of fatherhood. He wasn’t even fully prepared yet and the universe took his bud.
“It’s going to be okay,” Amelia cooed against his back as she hugged him too. “Everything will be fine. Patience.”
When he calmed down enough to form a coherent sentence, he asked about Lily.
“She’s at Kandra’s. Still coping. She didn’t even cry. I’m afraid she had bottled up her pain as usual.”
“I need to go see her,” urged Ezra.
Amelia grabbed his shoulder and stopped him. There was a lump near his shoulder blade. When she touched it, it was hard and solid.
“What is this?”
Ezra looked down at it, noticing it just now. “I was shot. I think the bullet healed inside my skin.”
“Get that checked.”
“After I meet Lillian.”
The space in his car was confined. It suffocated him for some reason so he ran to her house. The images of baby skin covered in powder and a blanket haunted him all the way to Kendra’s door.
She ushered him in and pointed up to Lily’s room. Ezra thanked her and went up to the corridor. He had no reason to be nervous but he was.
He wasn’t there when she needed him most. What if she resented him now?
Drawing in a deep breath and wiping the stingy tears from his eyes, he knocked at the door.
“Lillian...?” He called out softly. “I–It’s me.”