When she's ready

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XLVI

Elianne opens the door of room seventeen quietly. When she peeks through the gap, she sees Mike is awake. “Hey tough man.” She greets him and lays her coat on the chair next to his bed. Then she walks over to him and kisses his forehead.

“Hey Elly.” Mike says gruffly. “I’ve missed you.”

“God Mike, I thought you were a goner!” She takes his hand hesitantly. “I”d like to give you a hug but I’m afraid I’ll do something stupid and hurt you.” She gives him a weak smile, a lone tear escapes from her eye. “I really thought I lost you.” More tears run down her cheeks and she lays her head on his arm, she’s not able to hold them back any longer.

“Hey, it’s alright.” Mike slowly moves his hand to rub her hair. “I’m still here. I heard you are the one who kept me alive, so I should thank you. Elly,” he tries to lift her head up to look at her. “Look at me, help me out here, I can’t move my neck.”

Elianne looks up with teary eyes.

“You’re not going to get rid of me that easily, you know. I still need to see how you’re going to mess up your relationship with that stud of yours.”

Elianne frowns. “Huh?”

“Rumour has it that your boy has had a blood transfusion and that he is finally awake. There’s even a rumour going that he has a secret lover with whom he gets intimate late at night.” Mike winks teasingly.

Elianne looks shocked. “What?”

“Do you actually think you can sneak in here and not get noticed?” Mike laughs, “that you can have sex without anyone hearing? You’re living in a pack of wolves hon; everyone here has heard.”

Elianne blushes. “Oh my God. We didn’t have sex though.”

“Don’t lie to me,” Mike points his finger at her.

“I am not! Go ask him yourself!” Elianne sounds indignant. “We got intimate, but nothing really happened. He wants to wait until I am of age. He’s afraid of his family-in-law.” Elianne laughs.

“Well, I would be too if I were him. If your brothers and your dad are anything but a bit like you or Damon, I would fear my family-in-law too. I would tread carefully,” Mike smiles. “You look happy.”

“Well, I think I am happy.” Elianne sighs with a smile.

Mike scrunches up his nose. “You are going to be a couple that is glued to each other. You’re going to be one of those happy sappy couples. You’re going to rub it in everyone’s face how in love you are together.”

“No! I hate that. Warn me if we ever do that!”

Mike laughs loudly. “You’re already doing that! But it’s subtle, you don’t over-exaggerate. Yet.”

Elianne smiles. “Well, I’m glad you’re doing well.”

“Hey big man!” Thymen greets Leo cheerfully.

“Hey, good morning!” Leo beams.

“Someone’s in a good mood this morning.” Thymen winks at Leo, “does my sister happen to have something to do with that good mood?”

“How do you know?” Leo raises his eyebrow.

“Word goes around fast in this little town. And gossip goes even faster.”

“Oh God.” Leo rubs his face with one hand and sighs. “Your dad is going to kill me.”

Thymen laughs, “it’s not my dad you should be worried about. You should be more worried about Danny. Danny is the most protective over her.”

“How is he doing anyway?”

“He’s better. Almost healed. Damon gave him a dose of his blood.”

“What?” Leo leans back with a furious look on his face. “Are you kidding me?”

“No.” Thymen shakes his head in surprise, “why?”

“Have they lost their mind? Chris is still out because of his transfusion to me, and now Damon is out too? All the people that are strong enough to be able to protect us against Jones are out! How are they going to defend themselves if Jones comes back?”

“Damon didn’t give much blood. Damon is still good. Danny is not as sick as you are, so he didn’t need as much blood as you did.” Thymen shrugs and gets up from his chair. “Come in man. I’ve arranged a walk outside for you. There’s nothing you can do about it anyway. Let’s get some fresh air.”

“Err,” Leo looks at him with wide eyes. “Have you forgotten that I can’t walk? My legs-”

“I know,” Thymen smiles and points behind him. “I’ve brought a wheelchair for you.”

Thymen moves next to Leo, throws away his covers and places one arm behind Leo’s back and one underneath his knees. “What are you doing?” Leo frowns and he braces himself.

“Wrap your arms around my neck. I’m going to lift you in your wheelchair.”

“You can’t lift me, I’m too heavy. Thymen, no, stop!” Leo panics. Is this slender guy really going to lift him, a heavy muscled, bulky man, who weighs twice his weight?

“Trust me Leo, I won’t drop you. I’ve done this before on my training. I know how to do this.”

“You better not drop me,” Leo grumbles and he wraps his hands around Thymen’s neck.

Once he’s safely in his wheelchair, he breathes a sigh of relief. Thymen didn’t drop him, surprisingly.

“Does Elly know you’re helping me?” He asks when Thymen starts to push his wheelchair out of his room.

“No, I haven’t told her. Only the doctor knows.” Thymen says from behind him.

“Hmm,” Leo frowns thoughtfully.

“What are you thinking?”

“Maybe we shouldn’t tell her.”

“Why not? She’ll be happy to know you’re working on getting better.”

“We’ll make it a surprise.” Leo starts to get excited. “I’m going to surprise her when I can walk by myself.”

“She’ll be over the moon.”

Leo smiles widely when the front doors of the clinic open for him, “She will.”

He blinks with his eyes. This is the first time since he was admitted in the clinic, that he breathes in the fresh forest air. “Thank you, Thymen, for this. I didn’t realise how much I missed being outside until now.”

“You’re welcome bud,” Thymen pats his shoulder, “that’s what friends are for.”

Thymen stops at a bench nearby, the sun has found a way to get through the roof of leaves and shines on Leo’s face. He closes his eyes, enjoying the warmth.

“Do you still smoke?” Leo asks.

Thymen looks surprised, “err, yeah, I do.”

“Can I have one?”

“What? No!”

Leo opens his eyes again, now he’s the one who looks surprised and frowns. “Why not?”

“It’s been so long since you quit smoking. Why would you start again now? It’s a waste, Leo. It’s not you.”

“It’s been a while, that’s right. But I’m not going to start again, It’s just the perfect moment for this. Please.”

“You’re acting like your mate right now.” Thymen grins while giving Leo his pack with cigarettes and his lighter. “She always asks or steals my cigarettes.”

“Maybe that’s why we’re mates.” Leo grins, “we are more alike than we know.”

Thymen smiles too.

“Hmm,” Leo closes his eyes as he inhales deeply from his cigarette. “Thank you so much for this, Thymen. I really appreciate this.”

Thymen nods and pats Leo’s shoulder, “Anytime, brother.”

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