T W E N T Y 8
“Aramis. Listen I’m sorry for what happened to Sylvie,” I said as he walked into my room and shut the door.
“I don’t need your apology. Your apology is not going to bring her back. This was all your fault, you were supposed to be there with us but instead, you decided to stay and baby your mate. If you were there they wouldn’t have targeted Sylvie because all the attention wouldn’t be on me. You do not deserve your title as a leader.”
I just stared at him, not giving him the reaction he wanted. “Then why are you here? If you’re here to blame me for her death then you can leave, you already did that.”
“You’re going to pay for this,” he growled and walked to stand in front of me. I quickly took one of the stupid crutches I had and used it to steady myself as I stood up to face him.
“Pay for what huh? Did I kill her? Did I rip her apart?” I almost yelled and watched his face turn red with anger as his fingers curled into his palms, “You know my rules about warrior mates, you know not to show affection in front of your enemies. So tell me how is it my fault? Was I the one fucking nuzzling her?” I yelled and shoved him back to the wall.
One of my most important rules that I keep repeating to the warriors was to not show affection to your mate if she was a warrior too. I always told them to not even make it obvious that they were mates but Aramis did the exact opposite of that and blamed me for Sylvie’s death.
“If you weren’t a fucking coward. This wouldn’t have happened. Sylvie wouldn’t be dead. It was supposed to be Valerie.” He said with so much hatred in his voice. My eyes went wide as my heart pounded against my chest and anger boiled deep in my system.
“What the fuck did you say?” I yelled and took a few steps closer to him, feeling my canines threaten to come out as Kai growled. He could say what he wanted about me but bringing Valerie into it was too far for him. Fires of fury and hatred were smoldering in his eyes like he didn’t care about what he was saying.
“Your useless mate-” He began to say and I didn’t let him continue before I threw a punch at him and trying not to show that I was in pain. Lifting my arm up and swinging it at him sent waves of pain throughout my body. “Shut the fuck up. Shut up before I kill you. You’re hurt, you don’t mean it.”
“I MEANT EVERY DAMNED WORD. FUCK YOU AND YOUR MATE. FUCK VALERIE.”
“Get her name out of your mouth. You have no idea, no idea what Valerie went through. I know what Sylvie went through doesn’t come close to it but you weren’t there to see what happened. You didn’t see and you didn’t hear. Stay the fuck away from me, stay away from her. I don’t want to see you. I would have never. NEVER. Wished something bad to happen to your mate if it happened to Valerie,” I growled to which he responded to with a punch right on my jaw.
“Fuck you, Adrien. Fuck you,” he said as he continued busting up my face and I tried to block his punches. “I hope you feel the same exact pain I felt.” He yelled and I understood exactly what he was saying. He wanted Valerie to die so that I could feel the same pain.
“I said stop talking about her!” I yelled and punched his stomach, his face, his jaw. I just punched wherever my hands landed and watched as he bled and my knuckles turned bloody. The pain in my hip long forgotten and my mind fixed on him.
He grabbed my crutch and I lost my balance falling down to the floor as he continued punching my hip exactly where I was shot. I tried to move away as I began coughing up blood but he just kept going and I couldn’t even get up.
He sent one last, hard blow to my hip, exactly where I was shot and I could feel myself get dizzy as I gasped for air. If I was not wounded he wouldn’t stand a chance against me but being the coward he is, he fought me when I was weak. He kept punching and I took it all. I wasn’t going to beg him to stop and look weak in front of a man like him.
I couldn’t keep myself up anymore which caused my head to fall back against the leg of the bed. He stopped punching and stared down at me as he heaved and shook his hands.
“STOP! ARAMIS STOP IT!” I heard Valerie’s voice as she swung the door open and ran to us. She tried to pull him away but he didn’t budge until more nurses and doctors came and pulled him away.
“Adrien! You- Why?” She said with so much disappointment in her voice and I just looked away from her and at a raging Aramis being pulled out. My vision was blurry and my ears were ringing but I still knew exactly what was happening. She pulled me back up and let my back rest against the bed as she looked over my whole body. “He’s bleeding… EVERYWHERE!” She almost screamed as she panicked and tried to clean up my face when she was pulled away from me.
“Miss, stay back,” the doctor told her which made her growl and shrug him away. Scaring nurses and doctors seemed to be something we had in common.
“You stay back!” She yelled and ran back to my side.
“Precious I’m fine,” I managed to say as two doctors helped me up and on the bed. I was not close to fine. My whole body ached and I was trying to ignore the ringing in my ear and the whole room spinning.
“You’re coughing up blood what do you mean you’re fine!” She was frantic and I just watched knowing I could never do anything to calm this girl.
“Val please, we need space.” I heard Phoenix’s voice. I had no idea when she even came but if there was one person that could convince Valerie to calm down it would be her.
I apparently fell asleep for an entire day after that. Which pissed me off because I was finally getting better so that I could get shit done but Aramis decided to knock me out. It was embarrassing really that I was taken down by an angry mate.
I woke up, squinting my eyes as I felt my whole body ache like never before. I could feel a bandage over my eyebrows and tried to wiggle my arm to see if I could move them and I was more than thankful that I could. It didn’t help that I was healing extremely slowly because of the damned silver bullet I was shot with. If I was healing fast I would have been almost fully healed already.
Valerie was sitting beside me just staring out the window not knowing I was awake. I took that time to memorize her features. She was beautiful. Her outer beauty reflected the beauty inside her. She was just so pure and innocent with a fiery touch and I loved that about her.
I just looked at her face as the sun kissed her delicate skin. If anyone saw her they would not know of all the troubles in her life. The mess she went through but she still put up a facade that I saw through. Her pain was evident in the crease of her lovely brow and the down-curve of her full lips, but no one would notice that but me.
“Valerie,” I whispered and she slowly turned her face to look at me. I looked into her eyes that were every green hue of the forest in the summertime and waited for her to say something.
“You could have died, again,” she said and looked away from me. “Why did you punch him first?” She whispered as she looked out the window again.
“It’s not about who did it first. The main reason he came was to inflict pain and I was not going to stand there listening to him say things about you. The man is damaged.”
“Look at me,” I said and moved my arm to her knees.
“I told you about how damaged my father was when my mother died. This is no different except he has no one. And to make himself feel better he blames me.”
Valerie and I knew almost everything about each other. We always talked especially at night before she fell asleep. So she knew how my father was. Not just about how emotionally damaged he was, but about everything else. His outbursts and the things he used to say to me, a mere child.
She said nothing and her eyes glossed over as her cheeks turned red. “Valerie, what’s wrong?” I asked and my heart sunk.
“It feels so dark in here,” she whispered and held her hand against her chest. “So much has happened in such a short amount of time and I have no idea what to feel. All the deaths, blood, and pain,” she said and slumped her shoulders.
“I saw how many died. Not just here but back at the base too.” She looked at me with so many emotions swirling in her eyes that I was not used to, it unnerved me. I couldn’t even remember the last time I saw her happy and genuinely smiling.
“Come,” I said and she didn’t even hesitate before burying her head under my chin. I was startled, I expected her to try and refuse because she’s scared of hurting me but she just pressed her head closer to me which showed how much of a wreck she was.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry you feel that way because you don’t deserve any of this. I’m so sorry I caused this,” I said and she just stayed put without saying a word.
“I’m going to have to arrange the ceremony for the fallen warriors alone,” she whispered and traced her fingers on the pillow. “So many passed away. They were all over the ground and some died in the hospital.”
“Kade will help you. I really do wish I could get up and be there for you but I can’t. I should be fine in less than a week.” Or I hoped I would. I was usually the one putting together any event or ceremony that had to do with the warriors but I was useless on a fucking hospital bed.
“After that, I need a break from this.”
“We can get away for a bit,” I said and she lifted her head up to look at me. “I know a place, just us.”
It was my parent’s getaway cabin that I never went back to but I knew she needed a break more than anyone. I never took a break, I was always working or training. I was used to that life. Seeing blood and people dying, but it was all new to her despite being the Alpha’s daughter. He kept her away from the dangerous parts of being an Alpha and then she met me and she was introduced to a whole new world that made her stronger. But it was still too much for someone like her.
“You’d take a break for me?” She asked with a glint in her eyes.
“I’d do anything for you."
She was special, so special to me. And I couldn’t lie about how ever since I met her I became nicer to people. The word itself still made me cringe though.
A smile crept up her face and she reached her hand out to place it on my cheek, “didn’t know Mr. Grey could ever take a break from work.”
“Goddess… Now is not the time to be calling me that,” I mumbled and her face turned red as she held back a giggle. I was awkwardly laying in a hospital bed where any movement hurt and a hard-on in my pants.
A week had passed since everything happened. It was a tragedy really. Everyone was gloomy and everything felt dull like the entire pack was sucked into a hole. The strongest pack was fooled by rogues. We might have had victory but they still attacked us when we were't even ready. They tricked us into sending our warriors to the base and then attacked the pack when there were only about half of us left on pack lands.
Rogues were unheard of and for all we knew, their leader’s dead body was laying on the ground after the attack. Aramis on the other hand was put in therapy despite all his protests. I didn’t see him though and I didn’t want to, not after he wished my mate dead.
Valerie and Kade managed to put together the whole memorial service and organized everything with the Alpha and Luna while I was healing. The Luna also made sure to pay a visit to every family that lost someone because that was one of her Luna duties.
“Okay, so everything is done. Everyone will have about ten minutes to give their eulogy,” Valerie said as she sat opposite me on the other side of my office desk along with Kade. I couldn’t help but admire her, she was amazing in every way possible and she had maybe a little too much kindness in her heart.
“Isn’t that too long? There are so many people,” Kade said and Valerie glared at him and yanked the paper with a list of the people that passed away.
“It’s not too long, they deserve it, and they can have more time if they want,” she mumbled with a cute pout and I held back from laughing at the shocked face Kade had. I knew just how sensitive the topic was to her so I just stayed quiet and watched Kade sit back.
“It’s all set then. I’ll send this to Alpha and Luna and she will finalize everything,” I said and they all nodded. If all went well then the service would be on the next day.
“Okay then. I’ll see you tomorrow,” Kade said with a sad smile and got up from his seat to leave us alone.
“I’m proud of you. You’re handling it so well,” I said and stretched my arm out to her. She stood up and walked around my desk to come sit on my lap very cautiously since she didn’t fully believe that I wasn’t in pain anymore. I healed a bit faster since the silver was already out of my blood in a couple of days but it’s Valerie we’re talking about. She does what she thinks is best.
“I want it to be as special as it could. Especially Aramis... I know you don’t like him but if this is the closure he needs then I’m more than happy to do it.”
“That is if he shows up,” I whispered and pulled her head to my chest and she sighed. Being a warrior he was required to show up but he was all over the place so we weren’t expecting anything from him.
“My mom didn’t have any of this. Dad never had closure.”
“We can visit her today,” she said and pulled away to look at me. “If you want to.”
I looked at her for a moment and couldn’t believe she was real. “I’d love to,” I said and ran my fingers through her hair before smashing my lips on hers. She kissed me back at first but then stopped and pulled away which instantly made both me and Kai alerted.
“Sorry,” she whispered and put her head back on my chest.
“Hey-hey, no what’s wrong?” I asked, forcing her to look at me. She never rejected a kiss before.
“Nothing. I just- I feel bad that we still get to have this and other people don’t,” she whispered. I gave her a soft smile and cupped her face in both my hands.
“That doesn’t mean you don’t get to be happy. Our time in this life is not forever which is why you need to live up to it.”
She just nodded and I wondered how long it would take her to move along from all of this. I thought it was bad after she lost her wolf and gifts but this time was worse. I knew that killing Scarlett affected her the most because she never even went back to the house without me while I was in the hospital. She either stayed with me or with her parents but never at home alone.
I hated seeing her like the emotional mess she was but there was nothing I could do besides talking to her.
Valerie hadn’t slept all night and I knew it even though she acted like she was asleep. We visited my mom and as soon as we were back home I noticed her being very fidgety and quiet but I did not question her.
After a very quiet breakfast, she left to go to the bathroom and I didn’t think anything of it. I thought she just went to get ready but she spent over an hour in there and I began worrying. I thought she was just nervous because we were about to attend a memorial service.
“Valerie?” I said as I knocked on the door. I heard her jump before she responded with a hum and I swear I could hear her heart beating and I was all the way outside.
“You’ve been in there for an hour. I’m coming,” I said and didn’t wait for her response. I just unlocked the door and walked in.
“No-no! Get out!” She panicked as her eyes met mine and she fumbled with something on this sink that ended up falling to the floor and I'm pretty sure I stopped breathing.
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