Ezra was half expecting Lillian drowning in tears, a breakdown or hysteria even but he gutted when he found her stoic, immobile woman of a shell clutching tiny baby shoes.
“Lillian...” He breathed and stalked closer. She tilted her head a little to the side in response, her eyes never leaving the rising moon outside.
The world had light either way. The sun otherwise the moon but she felt as if her only light had died out.
Ezra wiped at his moist eyes, kicked his shoes off and climbed next to her. In his arms, when he scooped her in his lap, she fit perfectly. He sniffed her scent to calm the eruption in his heart.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, “I’m sorry I wasn’t here when you needed me. I’m sorry I keep failing you and I’m so, so–sorry I wasn’t here for my bud.”
If her chest didn’t move, Ezra would’ve sworn she was a statue, perhaps a figment of his desperate imagination.
“Lillian...” She could almost touch the pain he was in. His plead was so crestfallen and broken it made her drop her head on his shoulder and close her eyes.
He took the hint and shared his body heat and pain with her by tightening his embrace. He knew her pain was much more and different but they both lost a part of them. It never crossed his mind that something could hurt him to this extent. Half of his soul ached for the other half and more.
“We lost thirty seven men,” he mumbled into her hair, “My people needed me otherwise I would have been here sooner. You know I love you.”
Lillian wanted–no, needed to feel something, anything. So she tipped her chin and kissed him. He responded before his mind could comprehend. Her hands yanked his face down, deeper her tongue went. Her hands were desperate, breaths bathed and need ablaze. She burned and she burned him too.
“Mhmmm,” Ezra reluctantly moaned, gripping her waist. He sensed her vulnerability even if she didn’t. “Lill–mm...”
“Kiss me,” she rasped, barely sounding like herself. “Claim me, own me, just do something!”
Taken aback, he stared.
Then he swooped, tearing her dress apart Ezra mourned for their bud and soared with her love. In his mind, this was not the solution for his pain but they both needed this... this madness and hunger for each other.
“Ahhh,” Lily gasped as Ezra cupped her plump breasts in haste and squeezed whilst devouring her moans.
With each passing moment, Lily’s efforts turned more urgent, eager and demanding while her crazed lover became more and more aggressive with his desire. She loved it... But...
But she couldn’t feel it. Her insides were numb. She didn’t give up though. She sucked in a huge breathe when Ezra latched onto her throat and ruined her bra with the flick of his extended claw. Her dress pooled around her on the bed.
His thirst didn’t stop there. Reaching between them, he discarded of the last barrier, her pink panties. The light innocent color spiraled up a storm in his dark eyes.
“Lillian,” his breaths tickled her neck. “Stop me now or–”
The buttons of his shirt rained in her room. Her tiny hands slid his shirt down his strained arms, his veins stark. She was wild with her flickering eyes and electric touch. Every cell in his body screamed their love for her divine beauty. She was plump, small and unique and his.
“Fuck...” He managed a groan when her hand slipped through the front of his pants and briefs.
“I want you inside me,” her teeth trapped his earlobe and suck on it. “Now, please.”
Her wish was his command. The belt thudded against the cardboard and the rest of the gament followed. Ezra bucked his hips to slide his pants off.
His impatient love didn’t waste second, impaling herself on his stiff rod, she cried out, “Uhhh!”
The look of agony and satisfaction on her face spurred him on. For a split second, her mind dozed off but Ezra jerked his hips which pulled her back to reality. He, on the other hand, was surprised. His shy Lillian was literally shouting her pleasure.
“Faster, harder,” she grunted and allowed him to set the pace. “Oh my g–ahh!”
Ezra flipped them over, thrust roughly and drove his claim over her inside her again and again. They rod their high together when her convulsing orgasm tipped them over the edge.
Slouching down over her, Ezra peered down at her with all the love he had in him. The affection ripped her apart on the inside. A lone tear trickled down her cheek.
Deliberately slow, Ezra kissed her tear away. They breathing hard and fast. “Everything is going to be okay, my love.”
He then flipped over beside her and winced. Lily jerked up in bed and turned on the lamp in a flash.
“What’s wrong?” She fretted.
“Nothing. Relax. Deep breaths.”
Lily had none of it. She hastily checked his toned muscles and felt the lump in his shoulder under her warm tender fingers. His skin was hot and clamy and red around the lump.
“What is this?” The sorrow in her voice was too subtle.
“Nothing,” Ezra tucked her hair away from her face. “Just a bullet.”
She glared up at him. “Just a bullet? What do you mean by ‘just a bullet’?”
“It was a normal bullet. Healed inside my flesh, that’s all.”
Enraged, Lily wrapped the covers around her body and slid off the bed. Her hair was a wild mess but her eyes, they scared him.
“That’s all?! Why didn’t you get it out of there? What’s wrong with you?!”
Ezra shamelessly stood toe-to-toe with her and gripped her shoulders. “Lillian... Relax.”
“Please, calm down.”
“You have a bullet inside you and you want me to relax?”
“I’ve had many bullets inside me, no big deal. I’ll get it treated soon.”
“Get–” she poked his chest “–it–” poke “–treated–” poke “–now.”
“Okay, right away. I swear.”
Her skeptic gaze churned his stomach. He forced her body down on the bed so that she was sitting on the edge and poured her a glass of water then squatted in front of her.
Lily ignored his dangling weapon.
“You’ve turned red. I’m alright and the doctor is on his way. Just... Breathe.”
To spare her dry throat, Lily sipped from the glass and hung her head after putting the glass away. Vines of guilt crawled up her skin and choked her.
All the obstacles in their path were fate’s way of keeping them apart because they didn’t belong together and look what she have done. Her selfish nature was sparkling in front of her eyes.
First her parents, then her best friend and her baby. Every one of their lives...ruined. Because of her. She couldn’t do this to him. She loved him. She was finally in love with him.
But she couldn’t be with him.
The small space suddenly suffocated her. Throwing the covers away, Lily dashed past Ezra and locked the bathroom door behind her.
She heard the knock but ignored it.
“Give me a minute, Ezra. Please.”
He didn’t move from the door.
A bitter taste rose in her throat. She tasted the bile in her mouth. Looking at her reflection in the mirror, she realized she was responsible for all the pain she had caused to the ones she loved.
I’ll finish the source of their pain.
Pacing dreadfully in the confined bathroom, Lily drowned in her remorseful realization and acidic thoughts.
I have to keep him safe. She gazed at the door. Not him. Never him. Anyone but him.
She stalled in the bathroom until someone called his name out.
“Lillian, the doctor is here. I’m not leaving unless you come out.”
Desperately inhaling a breath of courage, Lily walked out of the door and found him half naked, wearing only his pants. She found a peach dress and slid it on quickly.
Ezra entwined their fingers and kissed the back of her hand. “I love you.”
Her chest constricted. “I love you.”
He could sense the hesitancy in her steps but brushed it off as worry. They called the doctor in who suggested knocking him out.
“The process if painful. Since you’re an Alpha, only anaesthetics won’t work. We’ll have to mix wolfsbane in it.”
“Is it dangerous?” Lily interjected, pale in color.
“No but he will be unconscious for hours.”
“Do it,” Ezra nodded.
Lily excused herself and stood outside in the hallway. An image of his bloody shoulder crossed her mind, it made her sick to her stomach. The doctor came out after almost half an hour with a tray covered in blood and the bullet inside his shoulder.
Lily quickly sneaked inside and sat down beside his sleepy form. There was a band of white bandage around his chest. Her mourning mind conjured up images she couldn’t handle.
“Am..ha.. dreaming....” Ezra slurred in his half unconscious state.
Lily supported her body weight via her bent arm as she slouched over him. “Yes...” She combed his hair back. “You’re dreaming.”
“I–ye...likes ban-yananas,” he murmured.
She teared up despite her smile. “I like bananas too.”
“You pretty...I wanto...ssteal you.”
Her tender fingers stroked his scalp soothingly. Her tongue barely allowed the words out, “Would you follow me if I left?”
His cheeks twitched in an attempt to smile. “Yes.”
“Please...live your life. Be happy. You don’t deserve the pain you’re in because of me.” She knew he would barely understand but she felt the need to tell him,“stop ruining your life. Don’t follow me.”
“No,” she cupped his cheek, her thumb on his bruised lips. Her kisses bruised them. “No, you’re going to live for me, for us.”
He mumbled further but she couldn’t quite catch him this time so she let him slip into oblivion in peace and in her arms while her heart slowly chipped into pieces.
There was no alternative left no matter how much she convinced herself. Her presence was his ultimate inevitable downfall and she couldn’t bear the thought of it.
I choose you over me.
So she mourned and memorized his face in her heart by tracing it with her fingers. At last, when the night aged, she slipped out of the house unnoticed by the sleeping guests and grabbed a can of fuel on her way past a gas station. Not a single soul was up at that hour to stop her.
Lily, with fuel in her arms and her veins, jogged to the temple in vengeance. The feelings she couldn’t sense came flooding when she climbed up the temple. All the pain, loss and betrayal she felt in that moment had her paralized. Her melody of agony echoed in the forest. The sky thundered for her.
Her cries woke the birds nestling near the temple. She had been here begging and praying for a chance to live and that is what the moon goddess took from her.
“I will never forgive you!” Lily screamed and yanked the string lights off the pilars, “I hate you!” She kicked and scatter all the candles then threw the can at the statue. “You’re a murderer. You killed me baby!”
Soon, her wails turned into sobs and she collapsed on the damp floor, covered in the pungent smell of fuel.
A distant voice pierced through his dark consciousness. A jerk, a shout and then a splash of cold liquid woke him up.
Ezra jerked up in bed and grunted when the bright rays of sun nearly blinded him. Two strong arms shook him violently.
“Ezra! For fucks’ sake!”
“What?!” He managed to snap back and blink a couple times to see who it was. His vision was blurred and his head spinning.
“—been an explosion at the temple.”
“There was an explosion at the temple. The fire department and guards are already there.”
It took him a good five minutes to comprehend what he heard. The words drained life from his legs and color from him face. He shot up straight and stiff as a rod and hastily searched the bed like a madman.
“Where’s Lillian?!” He screamed and zoomed to the bathroom only to find it empty like his chest. He couldn’t feel his heart or anything at all. Too much fear.
“I don’t know.”
A punch landed straight on Cole’s jaw.
“What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? You’re supposed to know where she is!”
Cole shook his head out and wiped his bleeding nose. “I’ve been looking everywhere, she isn’t here–”
Ezra didn’t let him finish and ran out of the house. His mind and body was on autopilot and there was only one instruction.
He heard the siren of the paramedic van and fire brigades from afar. His surroundings went by in a blur. He was tackled down when he attempted to jump right into the roaring fire.
Luke held him back, “Snap out of it!”
“Where is she?!”
“We don’t know. There are only ashes and debris—”
“Let me go!”
Cole joined them and together with three more men, they managed to stomp him down on the ground. He was screaming profanities and shaking.
“She’s not in there!” Cole yelled. “Listen, damn it.”
That cooled him down one snowflake in hell. He stopped trying to kill them off and shoved them away. A paramedic was treating an injured Belle in the van.
Cole shielded himself from Ezra and said, “Belle was looking for her and came after her to the temple at the time of the blast. She...saw her in there but we can’t find her body—”
“Body?!” Ezra lost it, “Fucking hell if I’ll let you talk about her like that. She’s safe!”
“Ez...they found an inch of her burnt clothes and—”
“No,” Ezra tried to bulldoze right into the fire again but Cole wrapped himself around him, rooting him to the ground.b
“Listen, listen,” he pleaded, “Mind-link her.”
That did it. Ezra stilled like a rock. When he speedily tried to mind-link her, his blood turned into ice. The string of her link was missing. He couldn’t find her link in his mind.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no—” he didn’t know he was chanting and backtracking. Cole and Gabe rushed to his aid and tried to calm him down but their friend was drowning in the quicksand of denial.
“No!” He screamed. “Noooo!”