The reality of her life weighed Lily down. She was suffocating in a sea of pain. Her feet stumbled over each other in pursuit of escape. All the energy she could muster, she used it in supressing her soundless sobs. She just had to reach her room and she'll let it hurt. Not now, not here.
"Lily, wait!" Sam ran after her, breathless. The moment he realized the meaning behind what happened back the alley, his first concern was Lily. He made it in time to see her tiny frame rushing down the side of the road. His heart bled for her.
"Lily." He wrapped his arm around shoulder to support her gait. She was walking like a toddler. "I'm sorry. So fucking sorry I didn't realize it earlier. We–"
"S-Sam..." her frail trembling plead murdered the words in his throat. "Don't talk. Please, don't."
The sight of his friend gutted him. Her eyes were leaking her pain, limbs almost lifeless and her face had completely lost it's color. Her jaw was strained, struggling with seizing the sounds that would prove how broken she was. Even at her lowest, she was trying to stay strong.
Or at least trying to appear like she was. Fake it till you make, yes?
Sam felt disgusted with Ezra. Anger boiled inside his veins. That piece of dung just lost the most valuable person in his life. Lillian. She never believed in second chances. Right now, Sam was depending on that opinion. He'd never let him hurt her again. Alpha or not, he didn't have the right to play with her emotions.
They both froze for a split second. Ezra was picking up his pace when he saw Sam holding most of her weight. Lily pressed her palm to her mouth and fed the distance between them while Sam turned around and swung at his jaw. Ezra was caught off guard and tumbled down to the ground.
"Leave her the fuck alone. What else do you want?" Sam took a threatening stance.
Ezra kicked his feet, grabbed his arm before he hit the ground and rolled them over. His eyes glinted dangerously. There was a deadly intent in the way he pressed on Sam's throat and pressed him against the ground.
He wasn't stupid. If he hurt Sam, Lily will have his nuts.
"Don't come between us." He growled at Sam who wheezed. "You won't last a second."
"I'll take my chances." Sam spat.
Ezra had hard time controlling his temper, especially when his wolf was fighting for control. He let go of Sam and jumped to his feet. When he whirled around, Lily was nowhere to be seen.
Sam coughed and picked himself up. "Give her a fucking break, Alpha. Not everyone wants to lick your boots. She's not in the right state of mind to talk. I won't let you either.
Ezra curled his fists, fuming. He knew, damn it. He knew her enough to predict she won't. He also knew she's going through hell. That's why he wanted to reach her. He had to explain. But what? What do I fucking say?
"Sam." His voice was calm and deadly. "We both know who's going to win. Stay down."
Sam laughed bitterly. "At least she'll believe it when I tell her you assaulted me. Want to rub salt on her wounds?"
Ezra threw him a warning glare and left him behind. He let his wolf take over to locate Lily. Her scent was faint in the evening crisp air but it was enough to map out where she's headed. Sam took the opportunity and ran back to the alley. He spoted his car, jumped in and swivelled out of the lot.
He drove past Ezra and turned a block to reach Lily. Her unbalanced steps pained him. He didn't waste time when he noticed Ezra round the corner in his rear view mirror. Lily must have noticed too because she frantically shut the door after her and hissed, "Drive!"
"Lillian, wait! Please, listen to me! Just once, hear me out—"
Ezra ran as fast as he could to catch up to their car. His hand landed on the bonnet but Sam sped off leaving him behind in the lonely neighborhood. He dropped to his knees and screamed in frustration. "Damn it!"
Lily pressed her throbbing forehead against the cool glass of the window and closed her eyes. Her raw organs stopped roaring in pain. Her heart, her head, her soul went numb. At this point, she couldn't even feel her fingertips. Her chest rose and fell yet there was no sign breathing.
Sam took her limp hand in his and squeezed it reassuringly. "He's going to follow you to the packhouse. If you need space, come with me. Okay?"
Her approval was her silence. Sam told his parents her room was getting painted so she needed to stay somewhere else. They welcomed her with open arms. A spare room was set up for her. Sam didn't bring up or ask about how she was feeling but he let her know he was always there.
Lily closed the door behind her and pressed her back against it. She was too exhausted to check if she's still alive. Slowly she slid down the door and dropped her head to her knees.
She felt like a cheap object. Used and tossed aside.
It's been a decade since she last felt like she belonged somewhere, with someone. The pain of losing her parents, her sister, her family never went away. She dug a hole in her heart and shoved all her misery in it to hide it. Her only hope of living like a normal person was her mate.
Who'd give her a home. They'd live together, love each other. She'd thought he would be her savior. He'd give her beautiful babies and together they'll be a wonderful family. But she lost that too.
The dream that kept her going every single day, promising an end to her pain and a solution for the void in spirit crashed at her feet.
How do you live when you have no dreams?
Money was never in her plans. No business, no career, no possessions, she didn't even was a mansion or a big house. She just wanted a home.
Her tired body and abused hopes kept her staring at nothing until her mind shut down and she slept on the floor by the door.
Ezra was rubbing his chest instinctively again and again without realizing it. Every step he took, every breath he drew stung his chest. As if his heart refused to beat. He ran all the way to the temple only to be met with her absence then to the packhouse where he climbed up the stairs two at a time. He searched the entire four story building and she was scarce.
Dejected, he dragged himself to her room. Her scent welcomed him like a blanket. Of course he took the keys from Rosie, he was trespassing her privacy but fuck if it wasn't yanking his heart out of his chest through his throat.
He sank into her bed and kicked his shoes off. He had no idea where she was. His wolf was growling and whinning in his head, his anguish was nothing compared to what Lily must have been feeling.
On the verge of a breakdown, Ezra wrapped her sheets around himself, dug his head in her pillows disconnected himself from the ugly truth of their end. He tried picturing her gray wolf, long black her, soft brown eyes and her beautiful smile. Restlessly, he tossed and turned, used her scent as a remedy and lied awake in her bed the entire night waiting for her to show up.
Lily was not naive. He made that initial judgement and boy was he wrong. She could put two and two together faster than any girl he's ever met. Even if his friends never brought it up, the dynamic of his intentions wasn't lost on her.
Why does it even matter this much to me? Why am I even scared of her eyes all of a sudden?
Son. His father came through his mind-link. Where are you? We need to talk about the rogue situation. Azazel says we might have found a lead on the–
Dad. Ezra stopped him weakly. He had a million questions swarming his head. Azazel and her lead had to wait. At least until the next day.
You sound off, Ezra. Where are you? You're not in the office.
I was sleeping. He lied. Can we talk about this in the morning?