CHAPTER 13- TAMED
“Torryn,” his name rolled out like warm butter from her lips.
As she stretched her legs feeling the warm fur brush against her skin, Snow forced her eyes open. Despite the dim room she squinted at the sight of warm light. The salt lamps lining Torryn’s bed casted a shadow of her body as she sat. Just as her hips bore the weight, she flinched and grabbed her belly.
A sharp pain pierced the muscles lining her abdomen. Her lungs heaved. Her heart raced as cold sweat emerged on her forehead. She coughed and tears began to well in the inner corners of her eyes when the pain cascaded up her neck and radiated right at her temples.
“God,” she pleaded.
She clasped her head in between her palms. She felt her eyes blur, as the colors of the lamps reduced to gray. She slid down back to her bed curling in a ball where she could feel her body pulsate with pain.
As she lay still, the pain on her abdomen eased. Her breath moved a smooth pace.
She felt her shoulders ache. Snow’s fingers brushed the red impressions above her clavicles feeling it burn to her touch. Her eyes shot open as she remembered the Reaping.
Snow’s last memory was meeting Sophia in the woods and try she did but she failed to remember anything after that.
Did she win? Are her sisters okay? Her body tossed and turned under the covers as pain made her wince.
As she took careful breaths keeping the pain on her stomach to a minimum, her nostrils inhaled the scent of Torryn.
Until now, she could not describe his scent. It made her warm and weightless. As she clung to the thick blanket, she felt the light blue satin of her night gown brush against her hips. It was only then that she realized that she had something on.
The bed made a sudden shift as she felt Torryn’s weight bear down the soft surface. She gulped and let her lungs breathe in the scent of pine and morning rain.
“Do you feel better, little bird?”
Snow tried to shift her weight to her hips as she sat. She wanted to take a good look at him. As she pushed her shoulders up, his hands steadied her shoulders.
Green and hazel eyes met.
And for a brief moment, Snow caught the flickering light from a silver earing dangling on Torryn’s earlobe.
“Since when did you have that?”
Her fingers found the cold skin of his ears as she rubbed the silver metal. The skin of his ears flushed as cleared his throat.
“Since, I became alpha.” He grinned and Snow saw the dimples on his chin. Torryn pulled her thighs so she sat closer facing him.
“Since, when did you become so touchy, little bird?”
His breath blew warm air against her skin. She bit her lip as she watched Torryn laugh before her. Snow’s silence behind flushed cheeks and her embarrassed smile pleased him.
“I had this when I turned alpha. Do I look silly?” He showed her the glistening metal turning his neck so she could see.
Snow shook her head, hiding her smirk beneath her fingers, “Who won the reaping?”
“How’s your stomach?” He teased.
“It’s fine,” She adjusted her hip as pain shot up her ribs, “It’s - ugh - terrible.”
Snow cushioned the small porcelain cup lined with maroon embellishments as she sipped the dark liquid. It was thick smooth and nutty. It warmed her throat. Slowly the pain on her belly reduced to a lull ache. The muscles of her belly felt numb and heavy.
“The elders thought it might benefit the baby-
Before he could finish, she blew against the thick liquid and splatters of the fluid stained the sheets down to her night gown.
Torryn’s head extended to his back as he began to crack up waves of laughter. He looked like a kid and Snow couldn’t even manage to balance the fragile porcelain in her hands. They were trembling mad.
“I’m with child?! Since when?! Oh my word, I haven’t gotten my impurity. By the Gods -
Torryn slapped the thick garment that clung to his thighs as another wave of laughter echoed through stone walls.
“Torryn?” Snow faced him with angry eyes still carefully holding the warm fluid. He shook his head and his voice trembled as he spoke.
“It’s a numbing brew. It will help with the pain.”
Snow placed the drink on a small stone table beside a salt lamp and crossed her arms suppressing the irritation building up in her chest.
“Who won the reaping?” She probed.
Torryn was wearing a white cotton shirt. The collar hung down revealing his sternum. The cotton fabric clung to the muscles of his arms, down to his chest, a bruise framed his elbow. Snow’s heart ached a bit.
Torryn looked like a kid with that smile. He could be years younger. His hand grabbed Snow’s arm, gently tugging her to her feet.
“First, a bath,” Torryn licked his lips as he stared at her body. His eyes searching.
“What’s the matter?”
“Can I see it?” His gaze was on her belly.
Snow knew what lay beneath the blue silk. She nodded as his fingers lifted the fabric. His breathed hard seeing the bruise. It was a map of black and blue right above Snow’s navel. She looked away as he surveyed her.
“Who won the Reaping, Torryn?” Snow asked.
“Do you have more of these?” His voice stern and cold.
“Who were the victors?”
“You have cuts on your knees.” Snow’s face burned red as his hands separated her legs.
“We need to wash you off.” Torryn let the silk fall. The edge of the small fabric landing bellow her knees. Snow glared at him not moving a muscle. Her eyes pierced him hard letting the heat burn her cheeks.
Torryn bit his lip as he pulled her close, “Everett is hosting a dinner for the victors.”
“And?” She raised a brow.
He smirked, “You’re late.”
His shirt landed on the cold marble beside his feet. His trousers followed as he walked to the steaming water. The dark water reflected him. His body studded with patches of violet and blue.
It was only a few weeks since he cut his hair short. Now the dark locks began to lengthen. He brushed the thick strands with his water drenched hands. The warm water dripped to his scalp as he walked into the water.
The salt lamps above them casted warm light. Her pale skin looked sun-kissed as the curls of her hair touched the liquid’s surface. The curve of her back casted a shadow forming a line down her hips. There were red lines on her back. They were remnants of leather straps.
His jaw stiffened as he took a closer look at the bruise above her scapula.
“What in heaven’s name are doing?” She heard him splash behind her.
“Can’t I bathe my wife?” His grim expression was replaced by a smile as he pulled her close.
“Can you not bathe after I finish?”
“But, I’m late as well.” He chuckled.
Snow submerged her body lower in the dark water until her chin touched the surface. His hands found her hips beneath the water as she flinched. She held her arm tugging her to one corner of the pool.
“What are you doing?” She fought.
“Be still, woman,” Torryn giggled, “You need soap.”
Thick liquid run down her back as he began to lather it on her skin. The scent of lavender and wild berriers emerged from the white foam. She resisted his touch, pulling away just before he could touch her elsewhere.
“Let me do it. I’m not a child.”
Torryn smiled and released her, “You’re so red.”
The warm water only made her skin flush even more as she began to lather the soap on her chest. She brushed a stiff mound and shivered.
“It’s the water,” she lied.
Torryn poured soap in his hands from the glass flask and began to scrub his shoulders. He hissed as he passed an open wound right above his shoulders. It was too far for him to see. Snow giggled as she walked towards him.
He obeyed as he felt her soft palms gently rub the skin of his back. She carefully avoided where the soap stung. Her hands cupped the spring water as warm liquid rinsed off the lather.
Torryn was about to face her when her fingers slowly molded in between his hair. He felt her hands working the soap in between the dark strands. He closed his eyes as he surrendered to her touch.
Warm air rushed into his nose as his chest raised to fill his lungs with it. He savored her hands as he exhaled. A growing need for her began to take over.
He dropped to the water rinsing the soap from his head. Torryn emerged from the surface. He flicked his head shoving away lose strands of hair from his face. His eyes did not need to open for his hands to find the skin of her back.
“Beautiful,” He said.
“Lies. You’re eyes aren’t even open yet,” Torryn knew she’d recoil from his touch but only to be surprised as she leaned her chest against his skin. Her fingers wiped the drops from his lashes. He opened his eyes and found her smiling.
“I wouldn’t lie to you,”
“Okay,” She bit her lip, “Then what were you doing with Sophia the morning before the Reaping?”
The force of his embrace tugged her near the edge as her back pushed against the marble wall. With soap in his hands he began to lather through the curls of her hair.
Torryn cleared his throat, “We came from the mines near Everett base.”
As he finished, he leaned her against the water with his hands on her lower back. She flinched to his touch.
“We took down three Rogues,”
“Took down?” She asked.
“Why where you clinging to her?” Torryn heard the hurt in her words as his fingers wiped the bubbles from her forehead.
“Have you taken your first kill?” She shook her head.
“When a wolf takes the life of another and devours him. All memories good and bad are passed on to the predator. I was shaking off the memory of the Rogue I killed. I’m not sure it’s something you can understand. So, I didn’t want to scare you.”
Torryn swallowed hard feeling his body stiffen. His hands dropped to his sides splashing against the water. Her hair now wet and clean.
“I understand,” Snow’s face became blank. She swallowed and continued.
“When, I was a young girl I remember vaguely a small farm beyond the woods from home. There was a village of rogue wolves. I remembered screaming, scared eyes staring at me. I remembered the fear in their eyes as they watched me. I didn’t know what I did. I just blacked out. The next memory I had was I was back home with my sisters.”
“You said you wouldn’t lie to me.” Snow added, “Did I hurt someone at the reaping?”
He looked at her trying to hide the guilt from his eyes. Torryn could not bear to tell her. He shook is head as wry smile painted across his lips.
“Did the void come?” Green eyes glistened as her soft pink lips began to tremble.
Her mouth gasped in air as her lips parted. Tears began to run down her cheeks. Torryn could not protect her from the truth. His chest became heavy as he tried to pull her close. Snow stepped back brushing her tears with her trembling fingers.
Torryn’s hands found the edges of her jaw. One hand ran down her neck, as he pulled her towards him.
Then, his lips met hers.
He tipped her chin and savored the soft pulsating need of her mouth. Snow threw herself into his embrace as her hands dug to his back. And, in that moment both wolves allowed each other to feel safe.
He was the mediator to her demons and she became the master of his.
“Was I a monster?” Her voice was brittle and soft.
“No, little bird. You were beautiful.”