Chapter 11: Missing
Unravel Him Playlist on Spotify.
Song; (Rand Aldo- A single gentle raindrop) & (Rand Aldo- Tell me and I'll forget)
I can move my left and right toe today.
Despite what Mason told me about the skin being replaced and that I wasn’t allowed to walk, at all, I still did it.
“Medicine doesn’t work all that well now does it?” I snide at my legs, still twitching my two toes.
“Ness stop that, you need to eat.” Hailey sets a tray in front of the table they’ve prepared so I could eat in bed.
Jax bounded by her side, the German Shepherd sniffing closely at her ankles.
I didn’t know how he got here, I assume someone dropped him off.
“Hey Dogo,” His ears prick in interest at what I called him. To be fair the drugs were still in my system. "Where have you been?”
Jax shook his big head and sneezed.
“Elios has been taking care of Jax,” Hailey informs me her tone sympathetic. “He’s the one that dropped Jax off the hospital earlier today.”
Not the great news I’ve been expecting after almost two days. “Still no sign of him?”
My best friend avoided eye contact with me. “I’m sorry Ness, I know how much this means to you.”
Jax may be here but his owner isn’t.
That’s how long he's been missing for and no one had a clue where he went.
There’s no trace of him anywhere.
“Did you hear back from Zanthus?” Hailey grabs a bag with prepared food before distributing it over the table.
“He has nothing either.” Crossing my arms over my chest, I leaned back against the bed. “It’s like Thomas just dropped off the face of the earth.”
I know he won’t up and disappear like that, not when it came to my well being.
Which is why this was all so weird.
My best friend shakes her head, understanding my confusion. “Sometimes people just don’t want to be found Ness.”
Jackson said the same words when I asked where Ethan went and there is no way, Thomas Moore is going missing on my watch.
Absolutely, no way.
Thinking of Thomas alone and rampaging by himself is... worrying.
He only has his thoughts and I know exactly what the mind does when left to its own devices.
It’s how I ended up in the hospital in the first place.
Damn it, why’d he have to be such a dramatic asshole?
Hailey raises an eyebrow, amused by the expression on my face. “If you want to kick ass let’s make sure you’re healed first.”
She opens up a canister, revealing hot soup as it steamed from the container. “Eat up.”
Being prescribed a liquid diet and being bedridden is two of the most terrible things on planet earth right now.
I hated it.
Begrudgingly, I took the spoon from her hand and sipped the soup, scowling.
Jax moved around my bed and sniffed the covers before jumping up the bed and nestling by my right thigh.
He made sure to balance his weight so he didn’t disturb the bandages there.
I reach over and scratched his ears absentmindedly.
“Oh before I forget,” She holds up her phone for me having switched it on. “Mason is wondering if you’d be well enough to sit for Finals,”
“How long do I have?” I squeaked.
She checks his message, frowning slightly. “Two weeks.”
“Shit.” Even though a lot of things happened this year, that didn’t mean I hadn’t stuck to my studies.
It was a pain but a necessary pain if I wanted to go to college.
Hailey glances at me in worry but was distracted by another message coming through. “He says if you can’t he’ll have the school reschedule it for you.”
With Mason’s power over the school he can most likely do that for me.
But what would that mean?
All the other students would sit for their exams while I sit for mine at a later date?
How was that fair?
The doctor’s told me I still had a couple of weeks left for the wounds to heal and there was no way I could make that time frame.
In the end, my morals won out.
“Tell him it’s okay. I’m sure the school board will let me have the exams here, there’s no way they’ll say no.”
“You’re probably right.” Hailey typed in a text and shut off her phone. “I’ll head home after this and get your books since you’re going to need them.”
“Took the words right out of my mouth.” Finishing the soup, I placed the spoon neatly in the container before handing it over to her.
“I’m gonna go wash up,” Hailey strode over to the restroom and momentarily paused to look back at me. “Don’t move, please?”
Rolling my eyes, I waved her off so she could give me a break. She eventually left and the sound of running water echoes the private room.
The dog move his head to rest on my thigh.
“You don’t hate me do you?”
He licked the covers in response.
That’s a no.
“Can you do me a favor and tell me where Thomas went?”
Those doe eyes held my gaze for a long time as though unable to understand what I meant.
“I need to talk to him.”
Right, I forgot the dog couldn’t speak.
“Hey Hales?” I shout from where I sit, twisting my torso slightly as my legs refused to cooperate. “When are the boys coming over?”
“Around lunchtime?” Her voice is muffled through the restroom.
I needed to talk to them.
Sitting here, being unable to move made me feel completely and utterly useless.
I hated hospitals.
Partially because going there reminded me of my father as they wheeled his body in the morgue.
The memory makes me shiver in discomfort and I threw the covers of my legs so I can view their paralyzed state.
The sooner I can walk, the sooner I can find a certain someone.
Part one of my rehabilitation begins today, I decided.
The water cuts off and I hear Hailey wringing her wet hands as she walks out the restroom. “Ready for what?”
Reaching for the IV, I ripped the needles out and paused, stunned.
Hailey’s mouth drop open.
Mine did too.
“I think I’m ready to faint.”
“Vanessa Vail!” She yells for the doctor after that.
They dialed down the drugs.
It wasn’t a lot but it was quite a major change in terms of pain.
My wounds were healing at a snail’s pace thanks to my immune system going to shit when I was brought in.
The doctors, baffled as they were, could do nothing but wait for the medicine to fix it.
I didn’t tell him it was probably because I hadn’t been taking care of my body’s physical needs.
Eating, sleeping, the necessities.
So on top of studying, healing, learning how to walk again, I also had to recover my body shape to prevent any unnecessary problems.
I was using most of my willpower to withstand it but even that was difficult.
Who knew a concussion, a stab wound and a couple of burns make you feel like dying?
“Don’t touch me, I’m doing this on my own.” I speak determinedly as my fingers shuffle down the metal bars, legs practically useless beneath me.
“You can be so stubborn you know that?” Hailey glares, hands on her hips. “You’re not going to be able to magically walk on the first day of rehabilitation.”
“I’m not saying your friend’s right-” Evan cuts himself off when he notices my glare. He raises both hands and retreated backwards to the safety of the chair. “Alright, do what you want.”
This was apparently a new routine.
Everyday, one of the boys would take turns watching me.
Monday’s are Mason’s.
Tuesday’s are Elios’s.
Wednesday’s are Jared’s.
Thursday’s are Matthew.
Friday’s are Evan’s.
Saturday’s are Victor’s.
Sunday’s are all of them.
As annoying as it was, they put their foot down when I told them I was fine on my own.
No one wanted to leave me by myself and I don’t know why.
Taking one more step before me, my right leg wobbled and I froze, attempting to readjust myself.
“You need help?” Evan raises both eyebrows, posture ready to catch me if necessary.
I shake my head.
They stopped giving me whatever it was that paralyzed my legs last night but that didn’t mean the side effects were still there.
I should take advantage of how numb they feel as once it wears off, the pain will come later.
“Give me your hand,” Hailey takes my wrist but I pulled it back.
“I can do this.”
“No you can’t.”
“I can do this!” I repeated much more forcefully.
My best friend rolls her eyes in response and backs away. “How are you going to find Thomas, if you’re not healed properly? You’ll be more of a liability then an asset.”
I shot her a nasty look, sulking silently as how she managed to figure it out.
“Okay, you can’t stop me this time, she’s right.”
Evan was really getting on my nerves.
Shooting a hand out to my pillow, I threw it at his face.
“Hey, one step at a time.” He fluffs up the pillow I threw and folded it behind his head on the lounge chair. “Even if you did heal today there’s no way you’re going to be able to find Thomas.”
“I’m guessing you don’t know just how determined I am then.” I speak mockingly.
Evan shoots Hailey a look to which my best friend exasperatedly. “Once she gets her mind on something, there is no going back.”
“We’ve been trying for weeks, Vanessa. We know him like the back of our hand and yet somehow, he still managed to stay under the radar.” The younger twin scratches the back of his neck in frustration.
I bit my lip and remained calm despite how hard my heart was beating. “He’s not going to disappear. I’m not going to let him do that.”
“Neither will we.” Evan shakes his head before a strange expression crosses his face. “If I’m being completely honest here, no one can find Thomas unless he wants them too and right now, he doesn’t want us too.”
“Joke’s on him then.”
It pisses me off that he just left.
He was the one that helped me when I fainted in his arms.
He had helped me without hesitation or reluctance.
He stayed with me, that much I remembered, when I was hospitalized.
Yet I wake up and he’s not here.
“The joke is on us, Vanessa.” Evan elaborated, gesturing with his hands. “Zanthus has been trying to hack into anything we think Thomas may be using but it’s impossible. He doesn’t want to be found.”
“I’ll find him then!” Halting my steps, I twisted my torso and placed my hands on my hips. “Thomas is out there, doing god knows what and we’re here, stuck with no options!”
Jax who has been quiet at the foot of my bed releases a quiet whine that echoes the now silent room.
Looking away, I shut my eyes and pulled back the guilt that’s been keeping me awake for a long time now. “He wouldn’t be missing if I wasn’t dumb enough to just take care of myself.”
Relaxing my tight grip over the bars, I took a step forward, then another and another.
Evan’s usual happy-go-lucky face is nonexistent. “It’s our fault as much as yours. We never should have kept this kind of thing from you.”
“We all have our secrets remember?”
The conversation was cycling back. I know the boys wanted to talk to me about it.
I know they wanted to ask but neither of them do.
They’re leader is missing and until then, no one says a word.
“Um, Ness?” Hailey’s voice makes me glance at her. She points at my legs.
I follow her gaze and stared at my hands and legs
“What the-” Evan gapes.
Turning around, I raised a mocking brow. “What was that about not walking on the first day?”
The days went by and exams rolled around quickly.
I didn’t have much time to dwindle considering everything else.
The boys still take turns watching me and occasionally help whenever the topics I studied gets to difficult.
It took a lot of convincing for the school to agree on holding my exams in the hospital but with Mason’s help it was allowed.
Either way, I was on my last paper and on the last hour when something interesting happened.
When I mean by interesting I mean by coming across my guardian, David, as he enters my room.
The examination lecturer had just collected my papers when he walked in and bowed at David as a greeting before swiftly leaving.
My Guardian struck his umbrella against the ground before regarding the leaving male with a raised eyebrow.
“How did you think you did?”
“Pretty good, all things considering.” No lie, I did try my best.
“Only you, Vanessa.” He rolls his eyes, lips tilted to a smile. “Only you would be able to sit for exams despite suffering from a near life and death situation.”
“It’s one of the things I love about me,” Throwing the covers off myself, I slip out of bed and carefully limped my way towards my sneakers in the corner.
“Young lady, where do you think you’re going and since when can you walk?”
“Since yesterday.” Pulling my sneakers on, I cringed when the burns complained but pushed on regardless.
It took two weeks before I could walk without anyone hovering around me, even so the doctors didn’t want me to leave until the tests of my blood work comes back positive and healthy.
Apparently this Sepsis thing can bite me in the ass again and if it does I’d be dead the next time.
“You’ve been busy.” David furrowed his brow. “Couldn’t wait to get back up again?”
“They couldn’t keep me even if they tried.” Taking my jacket, I put it over my top and zipped it up halfway. “Speaking of busy where have you been?”
He shrugs plaintively. “Dealing with the tides Vanessa. It comes and go’s.”
“I can tell.”
“Alright, shoot me all you want, I don’t enjoy this job all the time.” He pulls his red tie and loosens it so he could breath. “I swear, stupidity is the newest form of smart apparently.”
I had a feeling he was talking about something else so I said nothing to set him off and instead focused on grabbing my water canteen.
“Alright old man, I got to go the gym now. If I don’t go, someone else will take my slot.”
“Gym?” David is beyond appalled. “Don’t be ridiculous.”
“It’s part of my rehabilitation thing” I explain, rolling my eyes heaven forth. “I figured why not.”
“Would you not strain your wounds?” He pointed at the bandage by my side and gestured to my legs.
“All part of healing.” They’ve kept me cooped up in the hospital for weeks now and the only solace I had was limping around the hospital and exploring my surroundings.
If that didn’t work I’d used a wheel chair.
When I could no longer take just sitting around and not doing anything, I came across the hospital gym.
It’s meant for people to use during their rehabilitation process so I asked the doctor about it and they reluctantly agreed.
Everybody treats me like glass and I don’t think it’s just because I’m a patient with Sepsis here.
I think it also has something to do with the heir of BourneFell constantly visiting me whenever he has the time.
It was his hospital after all.
David sighs loudly like one would do whenever they disapproved of something. “Lead the way.”
“You want to watch me train?”
“I would be a terrible guardian if I didn’t at least, make sure you’re okay.”
The both of us descended down the elevator in comfortable silence and once I’ve entered the gym, I wallowed in my new found freedom.
Exams were finally over and holidays would roll around soon.
Not only that, I’m almost healed and should be out of here in no time given the circumstances.
Another few days and I get to go home.
Choosing a private area behind the treadmills, I spot a punching bag and made a beeline for it.
I’ve been doing this for almost a week now, it’s my own private routine and my body gratefully appreciated it.
I’m slowly returning to my usual tan so that was something to look forward too.
Even the bones on my face and collarbone had filled up.
I guess that’s what happens when you stay in a hospital that’s worth at least 5 stars and several males dead set on making sure you eat, sleep and heal properly.
My excitement was limitless and I make quick work warming up.
It didn’t take long for me to lay out all my pent up energy in the punching bag.
Each strike was powerful and I feel myself slowly returning to my formal glory.
After 20 minutes, I had to stop to take a breath due to my side, throbbing.
The stitches were taken out but they still had to be babied.
David who sits by himself on the bench behind me, stares worriedly. “Vanessa?”
“I’m fine,” I waved him off and turned around for my water canteen.
His frown deepens. “Don’t strain yourself too much, please.”
“Are you worried for me?” I can’t help but chuckle.
He doesn’t laugh. “As worried as the rest of them are.”
Sensing his seriousness, I promptly stopped chuckling so I can view his hard gaze. “I take it, you know too?”
David doesn’t break eye contact. When he does, it’s to roll his eyes. “I’ve always known.”
“Why am I not surprised?” He doesn’t regard my smart-ass comment.
“Never in a million years did I thought you’d be caught up in their mess.”
“Actually, it was my mess.” Throwing myself in front of Chuck had been my part so I don’t blame myself for getting stabbed. “Was that what that warning was about? Be careful of the people in the school?”
He doesn’t answer but his expression lets me know more then his words can.
“Look where I am now, I guess.”
“If I had a choice in the matter I would have taken Thomas and Mason as far away from the equation as possible.” He stated, clearly annoyed.
“Easy for you to say, the first time I met you, you were scared about when I’d thrown a punch.”
He huffs at the mention of that and swipes the front of his suit. “We don’t talk about the past.”
Something about that sentence makes me laugh outright. It only takes a few seconds before David joins me, his usual tired face twisting into amusement.
The sense of ease around us is startlingly comfortable, so comfortable that when we stopped laughing the both of us lapse in thoughtful silence.
It wasn’t that we had nothing to say.
There was just... to much to say and no way to speak it out.
“I forgot how easy it was.” Several moments passed, the words tumbling out of me in honest queries.
“After Malorie, my secret being revealed, everything else... I forgot how it feels like to be a normal teenage girl again.”
“If you count doing illegal fights, normal.” David says sarcastically to which I shoot him an exasperated expression.
“Alright you win on that one,” Putting the water canteen down, I straightened my fists and continued training against the bag.
Left, right, jab, ow-
“I’m sorry for not being able to stop it.” David’s tone is alarming.
So alarming that I stopped punching to face his unreadable expression. One might even see it as soft.
He looks down. “The day Ms Bailey revealed your secret.”
The corner of my lips turned up into a small smile. He had known about it as I suspected but I didn’t feel offended.
“It was a bad idea hiding it in the first place.”
“Still,” He sits up and braces the umbrella against the floor. “You never should have gone through that. Not while I was around.”
“But you weren’t.” Shaking my head at his blaming attitude, I refocused on the punching bag. “What’s done is done. I’m trying to move on from that.”
“And Thomas? Will you tell him?”
His name brings me to a halt. The punching bag swings awkwardly.
“He knows my Dad is dead, there’s nothing else to say.”
“He doesn’t know Graymoore had a hand in it. Neither of them do.”
“My Dad was suffering from Cancer. He wasn’t going to live long either way that’s why he jumped.” I twisted around and folded my arms across my chest. “Took the easy way out.”
“Vanessa, what your father did was terrible, but Thomas deserves to know.”
Throwing my hands up, I’m aghast. “What would that accomplish?” This has always been the problem.
Me not being able to understand how to fix it.
“For starters, he’ll be able to understand everything you’ve done that led up to this moment. The boy deserves answers.”
“All this talk about telling him, well, where is he David? Where the hell is Thomas Moore?”
“I’m working on that.”
The tiny silver of hope I had left for David being able to help us, crumbled.
“Well then this is bullshit,” I can’t help but curse. “He's not here but I can find him. I know I can, you just have to help me.”
“Absolutely not.” He gets up and the stern warning in his gaze reminds me he is not someone to be messed with. “The boys will find Thomas, I, will find Thomas. Until then, you are not to go anywhere.”
Heal first, leave later.
Where have I heard that?
Oh, from everyone I’ve met.
“I’m going to go crazy in here!”
“Nessa?” Hailey peeks her head into the training room, her blond hair flowed against her shoulder and those green eyes widened with curiosity at our interaction.
“It’s nothing Hales,” Shooting David a nasty look, I scowled. “David and I just had a little disagreement.”
“Which I won, by the way.” He added.
“You old goat, can’t you look the other way for once-”
“Who are you calling a goat-”
“Vanessa,” Hailey’s demand for my attention becomes undeniably clearer. “There’s someone here to see you.”
Immediately, I’m filled with a mixture of confusion and relief.
Maybe it was Thomas and he had come back.
“Who is it?” Stepping away from the punching bag, I followed Hailey out the glass door. “Did something-”
I cut myself off, my gaze landing on a figure, standing awkwardly against the far glass, one foot prop over the other and head bowed down.
Long red hair curtains the edges of her collar bone, flaunting out a clean cut image that’s been lost for almost a decade.
It looked like a dream. I thought it was.
I haven’t seen her this clean since...
I know I’m not dreaming anymore.
It really was her.
A/N So, I noticed that some of you have not been receiving notifications on when my book is updated so just to be clear, I post out new chapters every Sunday.