The eyes he once called plain rained fire at the words that left his tongue. Panic struck him harder than whiplash. He wasn't sure what had he just uttered in his haze. It was fucking disrespectful judging by her reaction. He stumbled in the hallway in his panic and clutched her doorway to regain his footing.
"No! Sorry! I didn't mean to say it. I have no idea why I said that. It wasn't supposed to come out. I swear, I don't even know what I said! What did I say?"
She jerked her head back in surprise and frowned. It bothered him. He came all this way fighting his conscience to see her smile. Smile because of him. Smile for him. It was too much to hope for yet everything he wanted in that moment.
"Ahm... Alpha. I think you're intoxicated." She concluded cautiously reading his face.
"Yes." He agreed. "I am. Very much... It hurts."
The frown deepened. "What hurts?"
My heart. "My head. And my limbs too. I don't remember how far have I walked here." He lied.
She licked her bottom lip absentmindedly as she glanced behind her to her room and back at him. She had natural maternal instincts which made her a softhearted angel. Right now, Ezra was relying on that instinct.
He thought he'd have one glimpse and the thirst inside him will quench. Oh, how wrong he was. Seeing her turned him into a man starved for decades. It was not enough. He needed more. More time. More scent. More heat. Just more Lillian.
"Do you need something, Alpha? Something important?"
He wanted to say. If it could his heart would already have jumped out of his chest and purred in her palms.
"No," he pressed his forehead to her doorway and screwed his eyes shut when his wolf fought for control.
Lily shifted her weight from one foot to another as her fist nearly cracked the wood of the door with the intensity of her grip. She had shoved all her pain inside a box to crawl through each day but seeing him at her doorstep had smashed that box.
Her throat strained, her vocal cords shook and her breathing stretched to accommodate the blooming hurt inside her. Why did it have to hurt every time? Making peace with others was a million times easier than making peace with your own self.
"Do you... want to come in?" Lily asked in concern.
Ezra bobbed his head in immediate enthusiasm. "If you don't mind, please. I can't stand."
Lily pulled the door with herself when she stepped back and let him stumble his way to her bed. His wolf whined greedily in his head when he sank into her mattress and inconspicuously inhaled her scent from the sheets.
Lily was light as a feather in comparison to him. The floorboards creaked under his weight whereas when she strode like a ghost to the chair by the desk. The bed was made when he sat. She definitely fell asleep working on the desk.
Her gaze dropped to her hands in her lap. She wasn't feeling shy. Looking at him was torture and pleasure. The bags under his eyes and the obvious restless storm in his eyes satisfied her demons. But it reminded her of her loss too.
"I'm sure I'm the last person you want to see right now." He spoke up tiredly. His tone was heavy and raspy. "After what I did, you probably hate me. I'm sorry for showing up, I just..."
Lily seized moving. It wasn't what she expected from him. The underlying guilt was raw.
"I don't think I hate you." Lily told him without meeting his eyes. She was both mentally and physically exhausted to keep her emotions in check.
"You don't?" Ezra lit up.
Lily tucked her curtaining hair behind her ear. "Umhm. The problem wasn't just you. It was me too. I dived in head first into the whole mate bond and forevers and falling in love because I was miserable. Lonely. Tired. Unfixable. I guess I wanted you to do something that was my own responsibility all along."
Ezra couldn't believe his ears. She didn't hate him. It meant they could be... close. They could talk. They could laugh. They could spend time together like he did his friends. He quickly tumbled over and kneeled by her legs and clasped her hands.
Electric sparks went off on both of their skins. The sparks were very much alive. The desire, the happiness, the pain, it all rekindled with that one touch. Her eyes welled up the reality of her life.
"I'm so sorry, Lillian. I don't think I'll ever stop feeling like a miserable piece of shit for what I did. You riled me up, you called me coward, I was hurt and angry and confused."
She pulled her hands out of his hands slowly and clutched them near her chest. Her glistering eyes peered down into his familiar blue ones.
"I didn't mean to hurt you, you know..." She inhaled a deep breath to fight the strain in her throat. "You're in denial of who you are. I don't know much and I clearly don't need to anymore but the reason why you're so harsh on yourself is your identity, isn't it? You think this isn't what you want yet you don't have a choice."
Ezra fell back on his butt in stunned silence. It's like she knows which capillary is damage inside him. He had always felt this way. He was an Alpha because he was supposed to be. He didn't earn it. He didn't dream of it. He didn't work for it. It was there, his heritage.
"I... you... how did you...?"
His eyes flashed, his heart pumped in his ears. His mind couldn't string two coherent words together to form a sentence. The truth he'd been hiding was thrown in his face.
She sniffed and wet her lips. "Someone had to say it." She squared her shoulders. "I did. I thought it would make you think about it. It would trigger your mind to figure it out."
Ezra combed his hair back swiftly. All the alochol induced haze evaporated. He was sober as fuck and it fucking hurt.
"That's why you kept... And I thought you hated me that's why you said it. I thought you're laughing at me because you think I was coward. I thought my lies made you disrespect me."
Lily worked on her swallow and flicked her eyes away from him. "I lost my trust. It's unfixable. I don't think I'll ever trust you again but I never lost my respect for you. I still respect you as an Alpha."
She silently stood up from her chair and took a few steps back. The vulnerability in his eyes, his scent, his mere proximity was overwhelming. Her heart couldn't take it. She was fighting back tears.
Ezra noticed her withdrawal. Hurt flashed in his eyes. He felt sick to his stomach. He made a fucking gigantic mistake.
"Lillian. You have to believe me when I say I didn't realize what I did until it was too late." He pleaded and stood up to his height.
He wanted to hold her. He wanted feel everything's going to be alright between them. His heart shrunk rapidly.
Lily had a glimpse of the desperation in his blues. "I believe you. I believe you when you say you didn't realize. Because it meant nothing to you. It went right over your head because it didn't matter."
"Of course, it did! You tricked me that day."
Lily straightened her spine and glared up at his towering frame. He was massive but her accusing eyes made him feel small.
"There were other ways of responding to my trick. You would've known if you had care enough to think about it."
He clenched his jaw. "I get it. I lied. I fucked up. I regret it. I'm guilty. But I'm apologizing too. I'll never stop apologizing for what I did. I know you're hurting. Just give me a chance to make things right Lillian, please."
Lily sniffled again. "I can't."
"Why not? You said it was your fault too. I damaged your dream just a little. There's still time to save it. I promise I'll–"
"Just a little damage?" Lily smiled through her tears. The sight floored him.
"There's no less damage or more damage. When a mirror breaks, it breaks. Does it matter if it's a few pieces or a million pieces?"
Ezra stood there, barely able to speak. Dread crawled up her veins and strangled him. He couldn't feel his fingers.
His voice broke when he said, "Lillian. Please."
A stray tear betrayed her eyes and trickled down her cheek. That one tiny drop of salty water ended him. You might as well have stabbed him repeatedly and it wouldn't have hurt as much as watching her cry.
Motherfucker! This is because of you!
"Please, leave." She croaked, her voice barely above a whisper. "I have a paper tomorrow."
"No." He dejected sternly. "I need to clear the air between us tonight. I can't walk around like you don't exist."
A quiet sob snapped all the ropes of patience holding him back. He crossed the distance between them and caught her against his chest like she was his last breath.
"I'm sorry, Lillian. I don't know how to say this in more ways than one or I already would have done that. Please don't cry. I swear to fucking goddess it's breaking me."
They sank to the floor in exhaustion. She sobbed into his chest with so much pain it made him hate the day he was born. Why did he have to be so fucking stupid?!
"Shush, baby. Don't cry. I promise the fucker who did this is paying big time... You're my angel..."
He kept muttering sweet nothings in her ear as he held her tight to his chest until her shoulders stopped shaking. His shirt soaked all her tears. He was trembling himself. It hurt. It physically hurt. The pain of hearing her sobs numbed his limbs.
When Lily got some of her sanity back, she shoved him off like he had burned her. She scrambled to her feet in a surprising speed, followed by him.
Her voice was dead and scratchy when she raised her forefinger in his face. "Get out of my room. What's done is done. End of story. I said I still respect you but if you crossed your boundaries I'll double cross mine."
Ezra looked like she had just slapped him. "Lillia–"
"Get out!" She shoved and pushed untill he tumbled out of her room and slammed the door shut in his face before he could blink.
He banged at her door. "Don't do this, Lillian. Please talk to me. I don't want to lose you."
Her angry trembling voice responded,
"You made that choice. Now live with it!"