Chapter 9: One Last Breath
I looked at him in shock. “Is this true Leah?” Marisa said sending a sly smile my way. I froze for a moment, trying to figure out what I was going to say.
“Uh, yeah. I’m with him.” I said lying to her. Just because we’re mates doesn’t mean in a million years that I will ever fall in love with this bastard. Ever!
Marisa let out a squeal with excitement before hugging me. “I’m so happy for you chica! Now, we’ve got to go to class, tell your piece of eye candy to beat it.” That was the last thing Marisa said before walking off in the direction of 4th period.
I turned and looked at all three of them. “What?” I said confused.
“Nothing Alayah. We’ve got to take you home back to the pack.” Kaden said. I threw my hands back into the air.
“Ugh! Why do I have to go back there? I have to attend school, it’s illegal for me to miss more than 10 days. I’ve already missed 10, if I miss the rest of this day then I’m done.” I explained.
Kayleigh butted in. “But what if something happens here, who will protect you?”
I rolled my eyes. “Kayleigh, I can kick anyone’s ass who comes my way. I don’t need protection. Especially from you.” I said the last part directly towards Kaden. “Good-bye.” I walked away from them. I could tell they were not happy with me, especially Kaden, but I didn’t care. They just have to deal with me. I then walked off to go to class.
It was now around 3 pm. I haven’t seen any of them since they called me into the main office earlier. I was glad they hadn’t shown up. I didn’t want them to. I needed a personal life outside of that. They already took me away from the only family I’ve really ever known and I didn’t need them to take anything else normal away.
I slung my arm around Marisa. “Can this day not ever end?” I complained. She looked back at me.
“Says the girl who came to school at 11:30. Who disappeared over the weekend and no one had talked to her since Thursday. Yeah, I can see why you want the day to end.”
“Woah, chill chica,” I said back to her. “No one asked where I was.” I simply put it.
Marisa rolled her eyes. “I did. I called you like 500 billion times! Did you even check your phone at all this weekend? I was tempted to call the police and file a missing person report. You’re lucky Max was there to calm me down.” She let out a huff.
I stopped. She was with Max? As in Max Johnson Max? “You were with Max?” I asked her a little confused.
“Yeah, so what.” She commented and continued to walk to Chemistry 105. I laughed which caused her to turn around.
“Why on earth were you with Max?” I asked her. “He is the most mysterious guy in school.”
“He isn’t the most mysterious guy, Kaden is!” Cassie shouted. I ignored her. We’ll have a conversation later.
Marisa sighed and walked back over to me. “Because, when I needed someone to talk to, he was there for me unlike you. You were too busy getting down and dirty with Mr. Dreamboat.”
It took me a minute to figure out who she was talking to. When I finally figured it out we were in chemistry. “Miss. Kennedy.” Our teacher, Mr. Beck, called out to me.
“Yes?” I asked curiously as to what he wants.
“They need you at the main office, something happened.” He said I saw the emotion of sadness and pity. What happened?
“O-Okay,” I said and turned right around before heading to the main office, fast. I had to know what happened. What I expected to see was just a normal looking office, not an office full of police.
I opened the doors slowly. “Miss. Kennedy?” one of the cops said to me.
“Yes?” I asked confused. The man was about to speak when I was pulled into a hug. A familiar scent of pine hit me. “Kaden, what’s going on?” I asked worried, I was shaking trying to collect my thoughts.
He pulled back from me. A hint of sadness shown in his eyes. “It’s about your Aunt Charlotte.” He spoke.
I began to panic. What happened to her? Is she okay?
“Miss. Kennedy.” the same cop who called me earlier said. I turned, still in Kaden’s arms, and faced the cop.
“Yes,” I said once more.
“We are here to ask you a few questions.” He explained.
I looked at him, and the others, in shock. “Why? It’s not like I could have hurt her! I was at this damn school. So why do you have to ask me questions, huh?” I snapped at them. I saw a few of them take a tiny step back away from me.
“It’s precautionary. We want to know if you aunt had anyone out to get her? Anyone she talked about at home, someone she feared.” He said. I looked at him confused.
I looked up a Kaden, he was looking right back at me. “Where is my aunt?” I asked him, ignoring the cops as they asked more and more questions.
“In the hospital, they aren’t sure what her condition will turn out to be.” He said softly. A single tear fell down my face.
I looked back at the cops. “I’ll answer your questions,” I said to them. “but after I see my aunt.”
“Okay, we’ll go see your aunt, and then you’ll speak with us.” the cop said again. “Shall we escort you?”
Kaden let out a growl from behind me. “No, I’ve got a ride,” I said to him. I didn’t trust cops, I never have and never will. To me, they are just there to cause more damage than good.
I took Kaden’s hand and walked out of the office and towards the parking lot. “Alayah, are you okay?” He asked. I froze. Am I okay?
“Sure,” I muttered under my breath. “Where are you parked?” I asked him. He dropped the question for now, but I know he will ask me later.
He leads me to his car, more like a motorcycle. “No way, I am not getting on that death trap,” I said to him, backing away from it, but I couldn’t go back far because he was still holding my hand.
“Nothing is going to happen to you Alayah, I wouldn’t take you on it if something was to happen.” He explained. “I would never want something bad to happen to you.”
“No, I’m not getting on it!” I shouted a little more. Kaden let out a sigh.
“Fine, looks like we’re walking.” He said. “It’s two and a half hours away if we walk, maybe 30 minutes if we took other ways of transportation.”
By other ways, he means to run in wolf form. “No way in hell am I going through that pain again! I’d rather take my chances on the bike.” I said taking my ground. Kaden then walked over to the bike and took a helmet out.
He walked back over to me and handed it to me. “What about yours?” I asked a little curious.
“I don’t need one, but considering how scared you are right now I think it’ll give you some reassurance. Come on let’s go.” He said taking my hand and took me over to the bike.
He hoped on first and I followed after. He turned it on and had to yell because of how loud it was. “Hold on tight sweetheart, it’s going to be a long ride.” I didn’t believe him at first, but when he started driving the motorcycle I gripped on tightly.
“I told you so.” I heard his voice. I heard him clear as day. In fact, it sounded like he talked to me in my head where it was quieter. No that’s not possible. I thought to myself. Well, at least I thought I thought that to myself.
“Yes, it’s possible.” He said once more in my brain. I started to feel a little dizzy after all of this. “Don’t faint on my now or you’ll miss the ride.”
I decided I’ll ignore it for now. What’s more important, Kaden suddenly speaking in my head, or Aunt Charlotte in a hospital room where she could be dying. Aunt Charlotte.
We finally reached the hospital that Aunt Charlotte was at. I rushed through the hospital doors. Once I was up to reception desk, the lady looked at me confused and kind of scared. “How may I help you?” She asked, quivering a little.
“I need to see Charlotte Kennedy. Now please.” I asked her as kindly as possible. The receptionist held up one finger saying one moment. She typed on her computer to find what room number Aunt Charlotte was in.
“Room 302. Third floor, second room on your right, you can’t miss it.” She said.
“Thanks,” I said and began to head towards the elevator. As I was walking I started to feel dizzy and I move towards the wall to lean on it for support.
“Alayah, what’s wrong?” Kaden’s voice rang in my ears. I turn around to look at him before responding.
“Nothing, just a little dizzy that’s all, I’m fine,” I said before turning back around and heading for the elevator, hoping the dizziness will go away soon.
When Kaden entered the elevator I hit the floor three button. My head was pounding and the dizziness wasn’t getting any better as time went on. “You need to sit down Leah, something is wrong,” Cassie said. I shook my head, which just made things worse.
“No, I won’t sit down,” I said aloud not caring who heard, even though it was only me and Kaden in the elevator.
“What?” Kaden questioned. I waved him off.
“Nothing,” I said to him. When the elevator dinged and the door opened I began to practically run to my aunt’s room. I pushed opened the door and saw her laying down. She looked all broken. A few tears slipped out onto my cheeks.
I slowly walked over to her. “Alayah, don’t run off without me.” I heard Kaden say as he walked into the hospital room. I didn’t respond, I just kept looking at my aunt.
Her light brown eyes fluttered open and landed on me. “Leah,” Aunt Charlotte said. I went over to her and hugged her as if my life depended on it.
“You’re okay,” I whispered over and over again. I pulled back from her. I took in everything. How broken she looked, but there was a smile on her face. How can she be smiling at a time like this?
I sat down in the chair that was beside her bed. “What happened?” I asked.
“Alayah, there is a time in a person’s life when they know it’s their time.” Aunt Charlotte began. “I was attacked by a vampire. I knew what they did to me, I wouldn’t ever return to see you again.”
Tears spilled like a river down my face and I started to shake. She looked at me as serious as possible. “A vampire bit on a werewolf is fatal, only an hour or so until the werewolf dies. I knew when it happened that I wouldn’t be on this earth much longer.”
“No, no no, this can’t be happening!” I cried out. “Why did they come after you?” I sobbed. I had forgotten Kaden was even in the room until I felt his arms wrap around me from behind.
“They are after you, Leah.” This got Kaden’s attention.
“What? Why are they after her?” Kaden growled out.
Aunt Charlotte ignored him for a moment and continued talking to me. “I did what I did to protect you. If I had cooperated then they would have let me go.” I didn’t think any more tears could flow, but they kept on coming.
“I don’t know why they are after her Alpha Bates. All I heard was that they wanted Leah.” Charlotte said answering Kaden’s question. “I was found on the sidewalk when a man passed by and noticed me and quickly took me to the hospital, I don’t have much time left sweetie.”
I broke free from Kaden and leaned down beside her hospital bed, taking her hand. “You’re not going to die, Aunt Charlotte, you’re not!” I pleaded and shouted.
“Shh, sweetie, I know it’s my time.” Aunt Charlotte whispered.
“No, no, no!” I cried out. I stood up and walked towards the open space of the room and began to walk back and forth. “You’re not going to give up on me, Aunt Charlotte. I won’t let you die!” I shouted. I began to shake once more and the dizziness got worse.
“Alayah, you need to stop and calm down or you will shift right here in this hospital room.” Kaden’s voice said.
I turned and looked at him. “I don’t care! I’d rather be in the pain Aunt Charlotte was in. I’d rather take her place then let her die.” I whipped the tears off my face. “She is the only family I’ve ever know, I can’t lose her Kaden. I just can’t.”
Kaden walked over to me and embraced me. “I know baby, I know. She doesn’t have much time left Alayah. Speak to her while you can.” Kaden whispered to me. I turned to look at him. He’d let his mask down and stared at me with worry, concern, sadness, and another emotion I couldn’t pinpoint.
I nodded my head and walked over to Aunt Charlotte. “How much time?” I asked.
“Only 5 more minutes,”
I engulfed Aunt Charlotte in a big bear hug. “I’m going to miss you!” I cried.
“I’m going to miss you too, Alayah Grace Kennedy. Remember I’m always with you no matter what.” She smiled. “I’m glad you’ve finally shifted into your wolf, you’re going to need her. I love you baby girl.”
“I love you too!” I said and we hugged one last time before Aunt Charlotte’s breath got shallower and shallower until she was gone. I kissed her on her forehead before the nurses and doctors crammed into the room. I walked over to Kaden and once more I was engulfed into another one of his hugs.
A doctor turned to us. “Alpha Bates, we’ll take it from here. Take her home” He said referring to me.
“No,” I spoke up. “I want to have a proper funeral for her. At her house. I don’t want her just to be buried without any family around her. Please!” I begged the doctor. The doctor looks at Kaden.
“Are you okay with this?” He asked Kaden.
“She needs this, of course, I’ll allow it,” Kaden said. “Come on Alayah, I’ve got to get you back to the pack house. You’re exhausted.” He said.
I slowly nodded my head and walked out of the hospital room. The dizziness hadn’t lightened up one bit, but as I took slow and small steps it seemed to get worse. “Alayah, sit down now!” Cassie spoke up.
I didn’t, I kept on pushing, but I knew I had pushed too much. My vision got blurrier and black dots soon started to cloud my vision. My head was still pounding, only that seemed to get worse as well. Kaden shouted one word before I completely blacked out.