Chapter 3 - Levi
Seeing his mate securely on the bed, all her wounds tended to, helped the tight feeling in Levi’s chest.
Worry still gripped his mind, but seeing her taken care of was enough for the moment to be able to leave her momentarily and see his brother.
He needed to know what was going on.
Levi pressed a gentle kiss to his mate’s forehead, his hand combing between the thick, mesmerizing strands of her hair.
He reluctantly turned and exited the room before he lost his motivation to speak to his brother, promising himself he would only be away for a couple minutes and nobody else had access to her.
Laurence was resting in the lobby, his body slumped in a small chair, his large form filling up the wooden frame. His head was leaned back, resting against the wall above the chair and his hands were poised in his lap.
Upon hearing Levi enter, he rose his head and stared at his brother.
Levi could tell that Laurence was gauging how willing his brother was to let him speak. He remembered how he barely maintained control earlier and roughed up his brother over trying to help his injured mate.
Logically, he knew his brother was no threat to his mate.
He may be a tool, but their mother raised them to be strictly respectful. From the day they were born, they were trained and taught how to treat others, especially their future mates, and help them feel comfortable.
During their teenage years, they all questioned what they were taught and rebelled a little. When they were knocked back into place, they discovered how right their parents were.
“So what happened?” Levi asked his brother, sparing a glance over his shoulder at the door, wanting more than anything to turn around and march back in there and hold his mate in his arms until she was completely healed.
Laurence explained his run-in with his mate, making sure to dance around his words to not anger his brother again.
“I felt like I needed to protect her. I couldn’t understand until I saw you just now in the clinic.”
Levi understood the connection. When another family member meets their relative’s mate, they feel strongly for them. Not in a romantic way, but in a protective manner.
Just the fact that Levi actually had a mate was baffling to him. He had accepted that he simply wasn’t meant for romance, but once again he was wrong.
“What is her name?” Levi questioned, thinking of the smooth hair and plump lips of his mate.
“I don’t know,” Laurence shrugged, standing up from the chair and moving his neck from side-to-side to loosen up. “She didn’t say much before she passed out. Levi, you’ve got to be careful with her, she was seriously freaking out when I was there.”
Levi nodded slowly, giving that he understood what his brother was trying to explain.
He knew he needed to remember every little thing his mother had tried to teach him about what his future mate would like and not like.
“I guess this means she’s not coming back to my pack then, ha?” Laurence smiled wide, chuckling to his own joke.
His movements froze when he saw the murderous look in his brother’s eye and the deep rumble in his chest. “Too soon?”
Levi clenched his fists, wanting so badly to break his brother’s nose into pieces. Even the thought of someone taking his battered mate from him had his wolf roaring.
If the man in front of him weren’t his brother, he would have been pulled limb by limb for making such a joke.
Nobody was taking his mate anywhere. And nobody is going to touch her without his permission.
“I’m gonna head home, brother.” Laurence skipped the subject, not wanting to witness Levi loose control more than he already has today. “I’ll swing by later this week and check on her.”
Levi nodded stiffly, leading his brother to the door so he could get back in his car and drive home.
Laurence had another business trip in the city this weekend and he was sure he was probably beyond tired from his vacation then protecting his mate tonight.
He didn’t dare think about what would have happened if it wasn’t his brother there tonight.
He turned quickly, chomping at the bit to return to his mate.
All his life, Levi has had a rampant temper, so he has spent a lot of time with his wolf. They had a true understanding and he could control him very well because of all the mistakes he has made in his life.
However, in the last hour, he has almost lost control at least four times and it was all because of the beautiful woman resting behind that door.
His brother’s words echoed in his mind, reminding him that he needed to be cautious. He knew that he needed to be able to control his temper and his wolf better or he was going to scare off his mate.
Doctor Ackerman stepped back into the lobby, all freshened up and clean of his mate’s blood and scent.
“She’s going to need lots of rest to recover. When she wakes, I need to do a complete exam. She has a lot of scarring and I need to make sure she doesn’t have any previous injuries that can lead to problems.”
Levi nodded stiffly again, itching to return to his mate’s side. He trusted the doctor tremendously, but at the moment he needed to know that he would be the only man that was going to touch his mate.
“You can take her home with you,” the doctor continued. “I’m sure she would be more comfortable in your home than in the clinic. And that will save me from having to stay here overnight as well.”
Levi didn’t realize the doctor thought it was an option she was staying here. She would be going to his home and not leaving for months, if he had his way. He wanted to be tied to her at all times.
There was no way he would be leaving her to stay here with the old man.
Levi quickly excused the doctor, promising to close up before he left. He noticed it was well past one in the morning and knew the doctor wanted to get back to his own family at this late time.
After closing the door behind Doctor Ackerman, he nearly sprinted back to the room housing his mate.
He felt his stomach drop at the sight of empty sheets.
His heart started pounding erratically and he rushed around the room, trying to catch sight of her beautiful face.
Panic started fogging his mind and he kept refocusing his body to keep the terrifying thoughts from taking over.
He finally heard a small sound and spun to the noise. The bathroom door was closed and dark, but he knew the sound was coming from there.
He pressed the door open to find his mate hunched over the toilet, her body retching what little contents were in her belly.
Levi quickened his steps to come up behind her and gently gripped her blonde hair in his large hand. The soft strands rested lightly in his fingers, almost feather-light and silky in texture.
As soon as his fingers wrapped around her strands, he felt them be pulled from his fingers.
His mate spun on him, loosing her placing in front of the toilet. She had huge brown eyes, the color blending into the pupil and looked like melted chocolate.
His awe in her gorgeous eyes was stilled by the panic written on her face.
Her gorgeous eyes were rimmed with unshed tears and there were small trails down her cheeks of where previous tears had fallen. She was resting back on her hands, propping her body up against her palms.
Levi frowned seeing her wrapped arm have to hold up her weight.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you, I just saw...” Levi’s words wandered as he studied her face intently. The initial fear of being startled didn’t fade and it made him frown.
He didn’t want his mate afraid of him.
“Are you feeling alright? The Doctor said you were incredibly underweight and we need to get some food in you when we can.”
Levi’s mate stared up at him, unmoving. It was as though she was frozen in time. The fear didn’t fade from her face and her mouth remained shut.
Levi stepped closer, testing to see if she would let him near. When he stepped closer to the toilet, he noticed the contents swimming around in the bowl.
White balls of fluff were lightly stained brown, but their undeniable shape and texture notified Levi as to what they were.
She had eaten some cotton balls.
He felt his jaw clench and his fists curl at his sides. His wolf growled lowly. She was so hungry she was willing to eat freaking cotton.
He heard a whimper and snapped his head to his mate, who had backed herself up even more from him.
“I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,” she begged, her voice so soft he could have missed it if he didn’t have advanced hearing. “Please, I’m sorry.”
Her begging had his heart clenching.
He instantly willed his fists to loosen and his wolf to settle down. Just the thought of losing control long enough for his mate to become even more afraid of him had him hanging his head in shame.
“No, that’s okay. If you’re hungry, you can just tell me. Let’s get you home and I can make you a nice meal before bed, okay?”
His mate whimpered softly and started breathing deeply, squeezing her eyes shut.
He cocked his head to the side and watched her curiously. Everything in him was begging for him to wrap her in his arms and hold her until her fear subsided.
Thinking that he had to be much more careful than he initially thought, Levi fought back his wolf again before he launched at her and curled her into him.
Levi noticed his mate’s breathing slow, but she didn’t open her eyes.
He noticed her body had slumped to the ground and only then noticed that she had passed out again. His steps were nearly-silent as he approached her, just in case she woke up again and he startled her.
He slowly lifted her weightless body into his arms again and carefully walked back to the front of the building to get to his own vehicle.