When she's ready

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XLIII

“Morning, sweetheart.”

Elianne jolts awake. Where’s she? It takes her a while to remember where she is. She smiles and looks down at Leo’s face. His face looks just the same as it did when she fell asleep. Then she realises someone talked to her and she looks up. A pair of twinkling eyes look back at her. “Good- err, is it still morning?” She frowns confused.

“Yes, it is still morning.” Damon smiles. “Are you comfortable there? Is your own bed not good enough?”

Elianne blushes. She gets off Leo’s bed and brushes off the wrinkles from her clothes. It’s been a long time since she’s slept so well. Then she remembers the events from last night and she instantly walks over to Damon and hugs him. She takes his head between her hands and she looks thoroughly at Damon’s face. They’ve put a gauze over the length of his wound and taped it to his face.

Damon smirks, noticing the worried look on her face. “I’m fine, Elly, really.”

“You had me worried, you know.”

“Well, I haven’t seen you since you sent me here, so you didn’t worry that much.”

“I did, I just had more important things to do, like following that nasty Jones. Only to lose his trail when it started to rain, I almost had him.”

Damon looks surprised. “Wow, well done I should say then. Does Alpha Christopher know already?”

Elianne nods. “He does.”

“How are you doing?” Damon asks seriously. “You slept here; did you miss him?”

“I couldn’t sleep in my room and when I got here, the nurse told me that hugging him and holding him would benefit him, so I decided to cuddle him. That’s when I finally felt tired enough, so I fell asleep.”

“You’ve been awake for the whole night; I can imagine you were tired.” He glances at Leo for a second. “Is he doing well? Did they tell you how he is doing?”

“He is not- not okay, but he is recovering very, very slowly. He may even need some more transfusions. The healing may take a very long time. They are keeping him sedated so his body can process the Alpha-blood. His body needs time, if they had woken him up, he’d immediately be back on his feet doing who knows what.” Elianne smiles at the thought.

Damon smiles as well and places his hand on hers. “I’m happy he is doing okay. If there’s anything you need, just call me or link me. You’re like my little sister, I’ll do anything for you. Oh, and maybe I can give him one or two transfusions instead of Christopher. He looked very weak last night. We’ll take turns or something.”

She gives him a hug and holds him tightly. Her head pressed against his chest. “I’m going to get more of these,” she says, her voice muffled by his shirt.

He places a kiss on her hair. “Anytime, Elly.”

“Though Danny needs a transfusion as well, so maybe you can give him one first.”

Damon lets her go to look at her. “You are such a strong and beautiful woman, Elly, inside and out.” He smiles. “You’ve grown so much in such a short little time. I’ll offer Danny my blood first. He’s in not such a bad state as Leo was anyway. Maybe he’ll be good with one. By the time I’m recovered from the transfusion to Danny, Leo may be ready for another transfusion”

Elianne smiles. “We’ll see about that when it comes. Just do Danny first.”

Damon slowly walks to the door but seems to remember something and turns back to Elianne. “Before I forget. Mike is asking for you. He is a few rooms down the hall.”

“What?” Elianne gasps. A hand covers her mouth in surprise. “He- he is still alive? How is that possible? I- I saw him draw his last breath!”

Damon looks at her wide eyes. “You didn’t know? I’m sorry Elianne, you really thought that he died?” He walks back into the room, closes the door behind him and wraps her in his arms again. “You actually saved him; you know. By pressing onto his wound.” He kisses her hair. “For the rest, Christopher gave him a bit of blood, as did I. So he’ll recover faster. The amount of blood that he’s still lacking will be produced fast enough by his body because of the Alpha blood he has received from us.”

A single tear escapes Elianne’s eye. “I thought-” she shakes her head in shock.

“He’s not.” Damon smiles. “You go see for yourself.”

After seeing Mike was asleep when she visited him, Elianne decides to do a little work out to get her mind off things. She missed warrior training that morning because she slept with Leo, but she feels that she needs to keep her body in shape.

An hour of training with headphones later, she feels a hand on her shoulder. She grabs the hand, squeezes it tightly and then turns in a reflex, still holding on to the hand. When she follows the arm that is attached to the hand upwards and meets the surprised face that also belongs to that hand, she lets go quickly. “Sorry, I didn’t hear you coming.” She says with cheeks turning pink, while she takes her headphones from her head.

“It’s alright.” Nick smiles.

She looks at him intently. Leo really looks like Nicholas. They have similar eye colours and the same dark brown, almost black hair. The only difference is that Leo looks younger and his hair is much longer.

“I just wanted to check on you. It must be hard to see your strong and fit mate laying in a hospital bed like that.” He has a compassionate look on his face.

“Well,” Elianne fumbles with her fingers. “He’s doing okay concerning the circumstances, so I’m not complaining.”

“Still. I know if he were my mate, I wouldn’t move an inch from his side.”

“Yeah, I can’t sit still though, I’d rather do something useful.” Elianne picks up her towel and wipes off the sweat from her forehead. “The best thing I can do now is make sure that he doesn’t have to worry, and that we catch the bastard that has put him into this situation in the first place.”

Nick walks with her over to the packhouse. “Are you really doing okay? You know you’re practically family. If there’s anything you can always come to one of us.” He smiles.

Elianne smiles back at him. “Thank you. I’ll keep that in mind.”

Before she turns to walk to her room, he takes hold of her hand. “Leo is our little brother, and he keeps telling us that you’re his mate. I really hope you are. because he will need you when he comes out of this. If you turn out not to be his mate, his heart will be broken. Right now, he is so weak, he could die from it.”

Elianne looks into his dark, serious eyes. “I have always been honest with Leo. I have always been fair about my feelings for him. I know I’m his mate. Even now that he is asleep, I can feel our bond growing, I can feel it’s getting stronger. That wouldn’t be possible if we aren’t true mates.”

Nicholas nods and wipes away a stray hair from her face. “I’m just asking you to be careful. You have his future in your hands. You’ll be the one to make or break him.

I really hope you are his mate. I like you. You’re feisty, you’re fierce, you’re strong. You’ll be quite the challenge for him.” Nicholas smirks with a mischievous glint in his eyes. “I’d like to see you challenge him, let him struggle for a while, it’ll push him to be even better than he already was.”

Elianne smiles a little, but only just a little bit. He really didn’t have to tell her what will happen if she doesn’t feel or answer to the mating bond. But she does feel it already, why does she feel like she has to justify her actions to him?

Nick seems to notice her frown. “Sorry, did I say something wrong?”

“I just, you don’t need to rub it in what happens when I don’t answer Leo’s mating call. I am aware of the consequences, but I have changed. I am more mature, I’m not saying I’m an adult, but I have definitely grown. I know you’re just trying to protect your brother, especially because he is now out of the game, but I don’t feel comfortable with you interfering with our relationship.”

Nick looks sorry. “I’m sorry if I hurt you, I didn’t mean to offend you in any way.”

Elianne sighs, “I know, I just- I’ve been a brat, and have given my parents a hard time during my puberty. I know it’s hard to trust me right now. I’ll have to prove to you that I really have changed and grown up, but I promise you, I’ll do anything for Leo. He truly is my mate.”

Nick nods. “I understand. I won’t doubt you again. I truly hope you’ll join our family when you’re ready.” He looks from her toes to her face and sniffles. “Now go take that shower, you need it.” He turns around and smiles over his shoulder.

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