Every muscle in my body was aching and I heard a pulse echoing in my ears. Ahhhh I was in so much physical pain. I was used to pain but this, this felt internal. Like my outside skin was patched up but everything inside my body was hacked to pieces. My organs were bursting and my blood was boiling as it flowed throughout my body.
“She’s going to be alright.” A husky voice said.
I wanted to open my eyes so bad but they were extremely heavy. The tortuous pounding drumming against my temples was making it difficult to process my surroundings.
“How can you be sure?” I heard my mother question. She was worried; I could tell by the shaky tone in her voice.
“The bite isn’t lethal. It’s internal.”
Cal? I had memorized his beautiful angel voice by heart. I was desperate to open my eyes and see him.
“So you’re saying he could have infected her with something?” Gabe’s voice was distant. It echoed so I assumed he was in the back of the room. Ok, where am I?
“Possibly but we won’t know anything till she wakes up.”
Awww dang it. Why couldn’t I open my eyes? Were they glued shut or something? I don’t recall getting black eyes so they couldn’t be swollen shut.
“Thank you.” Pierce spoke up. “You saved her and us. Thank you.”
The room fell to an eerie silence. I guess there wasn’t much to say. I wouldn’t exactly be in a talkative mood either. Everyone we cared about was getting hurt. I felt like all we could do now was heal. Laying down flat in a bed, I heard random beeping in my ear. I figured we were in a hospital. I probably had monitors hooked up to every vein in my body.
Come on eyes, open, open, open. Five minutes later my fight was victorious and my eyes finally did as I commanded. I was surrounded by my family and like I predicted in the hospital.
My mother hovered over me lovingly concerned for my well-being. She pressed back my hair, resting her hand against my clammy forehead.
“Mom...” My voice cracked. Wow, did I happen to swallow ash?
“Shhh baby. Don’t talk.”
I scanned my family’s faces and my tear ducts began to moisten. They were okay. Oh thank God we were all okay. Man I was such a crybaby as of lately.
I was robbed of my sentimental moment when I was hit with another terrible sleep wave. My eyes automatically shut despite my willingness to stay awake.
When my body finally had the strength from recuperation to function properly I found Pierce sitting next to me aimlessly scanning through an old book. I wanted to laugh. Pierce didn’t read. He really must be bored out of his mind. My insides jolted when I noticed Cal napping on an armchair. He made the chair look like it was manufactured for babies yet he still managed to dream peacefully.
Ahhhh, my sore body. Wait my ribs. That was why my side was killing me. Cal really packed a punch.
“Laken?” Pierce cried in happiness.
My lips curved into a weak smile. “Water,” I whispered my request. He placed the straw between my lips and I savored the refreshing liquid. Much better. “How’s dad?”
“They’re sending him home tomorrow.”
My brows went up. “That quick?” It was great news.
“Laken...” My brother hesitated. “You’ve been in the hospital for a week.”
“What?” That wasn’t possible. Was I asleep the whole time?
He placed his hand over mine to grab my attention back. “You’ve been in and out of a coma. You were poisoned and sick but everything is fine now.”
A whole week? I couldn’t even remember how we got out of that building. “What happened?”
“The angel, Cal’s brother, came and stopped him. I’m not even sure what he did or said but he told us to take you to a hospital. They let us leave. The demons didn’t even try to stop us.” Pierce seemed baffled. “And we haven’t seen them since.”
I dug into my pillow and exhaled. “They’ll be back.” No one gives up that easily.
“We’ll just have to look out for each other.”
“I’m glad everyone is ok though.” Did I just jinx myself? “Right, everyone’s alive?” Nothing bad happened while I was sleeping.
“No,” Pierce comforted. “Everyone’s fine and Miriam and the baby are doing great.”
Awww the baby. How could I forget I was an aunt?
“We’re going to be okay Laken. All you need to focus on is healing and getting better.”
I turned to gaze at Cal’s restless face. He was sound asleep despite our voices distributing the atmosphere. What was he still doing here?
“He’s barely left since you got here.” He answered my whispered question.
“Can you give me a minute with him?”
Pierce nodded; perhaps he was finally accepting him. As he exited the room he patted Cal on the back. Cal stirred a bit before his blue eyes landed on mine.
“Laken...” He got up and occupied the chair near my bed.
I couldn’t describe the overwhelming, undeniable warmth I was experiencing just by looking at him. My hand sought his and I laced our fingers together.
“I really thought you’d kill me.”
“Laken,” he scooted closer and cupped my face. “I don’t blame you. I haven’t exactly been the most trustworthy person.” I tried sitting up but he quickly panicked. “Laken don’t move. You need rest.”
I ignored him and the pain shooting up my back. It didn’t compare to the pain I would have felt if I lost him. Cal was engraved in my soul now. I pulled his face down and rested my forehead against his. I inhaled his wonderful musk, soap smell and it intoxicated me enough to forget my burdens.
“You protected me.” I could still hardly believe he kept his word.
“I promise I’m going to die before anything happens to you.”
I tried desperately to even my breathing because my heart was going out of control. There were butterflies in my stomach but the good kind.
His warm breath exhaled then he kissed my cheek. The spot his lips left an imprint was burning tremendously.
“You give me purpose. You put meaning in my life.” He spoke smoothly like there was no doubt in his heart for his recent declaration.
I closed my eyes. The pressure compressing against my chest was finally being released. To be someone’s purpose...what did that even really meaning? Was that my purpose, to be his purpose?
“Do you love me?” Honestly I don’t know what possessed me to ask. Would he really tell me the truth?
I felt the bed dip as Cal got closer to me. He kissed my forehead with such gentleness that it practically answered my question. Then he pulled my head to his chest as he forced me to lay down with him. It was nice and warm in his arms.
“Let’s not talk about that now.”
Despair wasn’t something I let myself feel often. It weighs us down but the slight rejection did make my stomach quench.
Cal massaged my back adding to the comfortable haven he had created for me. “Just the hope for a better tomorrow.”
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