Seeking happiness

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XLVII

Jolena steps out of the Packhouse. When she was in her room, she heard a lot of noise, so she decided to go and look. Now that she steps outside, she sees the source of the noise. A lot of men are stepping out of a couple of trucks. Big, heavy, muscled men. They’re unloading the trucks; big crates are stacked beside the Packhouse. “Step aside, please.” One of them appears in front of her and wants to go inside.

Jolena quickly scoots out of the way. “Sorry.” She says quietly.

She sees Chris coming out of the forest. He looks messy. His hair is tousled, he has bags under his eyes, and she sees he is holding his right shoulder. When she takes a better look, she sees a dark red stain on his sweater. She runs over to him and grabs his upper arms with both hands.

“Christopher,” she gasps when she sees how much blood is seeping through his clothes. “What happened? You need someone to look at that. Wait, I’ll get Ava for you.”

When she wants to turn around and walk away, he grabs her arm. “No, don’t. I’ll be fine.”

She looks up at him, the look in his eyes is void, not showing any feelings. It scares her. “Are you sure you are alright?”

Come with me, she says, and she grabs his hand to pull him inside the packhouse. When a tall broad man walks by, she approaches him. “Err, hi, can you get Ava, the nurse, for me and send her to the Alphas room?”

The man nods. “Sure, will do, Luna.”

She takes Chris all the way up the stairs and into the hallway that leads to their rooms. Once in front of his door, she looks back at him questioningly. “This is your room, right?”

He nods. He still looks at her with that empty gaze, but she notices a small glimpse of curiosity.

She opens his door and takes him with her inside. She looks around and sees the doorway that leads to his bedroom. “Come.” She closes the door behind him and gives him a gentle nudge to direct him to his bedroom. “Go sit.”

He drops down on the bed with a sigh. “You don’t have to do this, Jolena, I’ll be fine.”

She starts tugging on the sleeve of his left arm to pull off his sweater. Once done with that, she realises that he won’t be able to pull out his right arm out of the sleeve. She rummages around and finds a scissor in one of his cabinets.

“Sorry, but I need to cut this.” She gives him a short look and sees him nod.

There’s a heavy silence in the room. Nothing is heard beside the scissors cutting through the fabric. She cuts the sweater, but also the shirt underneath from his waist to his neck, so she can pull it off like a jacket. She pulls his sleeve downward, but he hisses. The fabric is sticking at his skin, because of the dried blood. She looks at him. “Are you alright?”

He nods, “it’s fine, just rip it off, all at once.”

“Okay.” She looks at the wound again and grabs the fabric close to the wound, so she can pull it loose. “Do I count?” She asks.

“Just do it already,” he grumbles.

And then she pulls hard and quickly. He growls loudly, pushing her hands away, grabbing the clothes and pulling them from his arm. Jolena backs away, startled by his reaction. He breathes heavily. When the clothes are off and his breathing steadies again, he looks her in the eyes. “Sorry,” he says with a teeny tiny smile, “it hurt, a lot.”

She nods. “Are you alright now? Do you want me to see why it takes Ava so long?”

He shakes his head. “No. She’ll come when she has time, she’s probably busy caring for the other warriors.”

“Do you need anything? Can I do something for you?”

He shakes his head, grabs her hand, and looks her in the eyes. “You don’t have to do this. You don’t have to feel like you have to make up for something.”

“I-” she struggles to talk clearly, she sighs. “I just need to satisfy my urge to take care of you.” She looks down at her feet.

“Look at me.” He grabs her chin and lifts it; tingles erupt where their skint touches. “I am fine, Jolena. Really.”

She has a hard time to look in his eyes and she tries to look away. They hear a knock on the door and when Jolena looks around the door, she sees Ava coming in. She walks over to her friend. “He is in there,” she points at the bedroom. While Ava walks to Chris, Jolena stays discreetly in the other room.

After a while Ava comes back out. Jolena gets up from the armchair she was sitting in. “How is he?” she asks.

“He’ll be fine,” Ava smiles. “I got the bullet out; he’ll heal in no time. He could use some help cleaning all the blood off, thought. I don’t think he can manage that with one arm.”

Jolena nods, “I’ll help him with that.”

“Are you alright?” Ava looks at her friend inquisitively.

Jolena nods again, “Yeah, I’ll be fine.”

“Alright then, I’m heading back to the clinic. It’s a chaos in there.”

When Ava shuts the door, Jolena walks straight through the bedroom to the bathroom. “Where are you going?” Chris asks her. A frown forming between his eyes.

“I’m getting some things to clean off the blood on your chest.” And she walks off to the bathroom. She rummages through some cabinets but doesn’t find what she’s looking for. He appears in the doorway. She turns around to face him. She gets the chance to look at him properly. His muscled chest, his chiselled abs. The tattoo on his chest. And his wound, piercing right through the top of the tattoo. Wow, this man. He looks like a god. A model from those underwear advertisements. She gulps. When he catches her checking him out, he smirks, “do you like what you see?”

Her cheeks flush a beautiful red again. “Do you have a washcloth or something?”

“Under the sink,” She quickly turns around to look for the washcloths. Once found, she makes it wet and she points at the edge of the bathtub. “Sit down,” she says.

He sits down and looks at her with hooded eyes. She sits down next to him, and starts cleaning his chest, his abdomen, his shoulders. He closes his eyes and sighs. When she notices that, she asks, “are you alright?”

“Hmm,” he doesn’t say anything.

“Chris?” she looks at him concerned.

He opens his eyes and turns his head towards her. “Yes?”

“Are you alright?” She asks again.

“Yes I am. Your touch does good. It makes me heal faster.” He smiles and lifts his hand to stroke her cheek. When he touches her, she closes her eyes. Sparks fly where their skin touches. When she opens her eyes to look at him, she sees eyes filled with love, with care, with so much more. The hairs on her skin start to rise, and she involuntarily shivers. She tries to ignore the feelings she has and continues washing the blood off.

When she is done, she leads him back into the bedroom and makes him sit down on his bed again. “Do I need to get you something more comfortable to wear?” she asks.

“In the middle drawer of my dresser are my sweatpants, you could give me one of those. I don’t need a t-shirt,” he says.

She grabs one from the drawer and puts it next to him. “Do you need help putting those on?”

“I think I’ll be able to put those on myself.” He smiles. “I am going to take a nap anyway.”

“Alright, I’ll be next door, if you need anything, just holler for me.”

Before she can turn around and walk away, he grabs her wrist. “Thank you, Jolena. You didn’t have to do this, and you did it anyway.”

She shrugs, gives him a kiss on his cheek and walks out quietly. She doesn’t know what to say.

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