Never Ago (Book 1)

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Sonder

Lily slid against the wall of her bathroom and cried for everything that broke in her. She wasn't one to shed tears quickly. The fact that she couldn't hold the sobs said a lot about the fight she lost.

But she learned from it. It was a painful lesson necessary for her growth.

Ezra murdered the urge to bring down that obnoxious wooden barrier between them and haul his ass inside. Her tiny repressed sobs reached his soul. His Alpha senses picked up her distress, her pain, her sorrow, her broken noises.

It drained life from him. Walking away physically hurt him so camped beside her door. His arms rested on his bent knee, his weightless head supported by the wall behind him. The only solace in those slow torturing moments of his own personal punishment was her scent. It blanketed him with nostalgia.

Lily had no sense of time when her throat and heart turned raw. Her red swollen eyes had used all the liquid her body could offer. It never stopped hurting though.

She found out crying with tears is when it starts hurting. But dry crying without moving a muscle in your body is when your stiches are riffed off your flesh. It doesn't hurt. It's beyond pain. Something no force on earth could explain.

Cold angry water slpashed her face. In a daze, she crawled into bed and stared at nothing until the sun peeked into her room. She knew he was outside. His presence was like a thorn in her foot. His scent still did things to her she was embarrassed to admit.

Love was magically painful.

Or at least, what she felt was.

She zombie-walked around the room, changed into a decent peach sweater and knee length black skirt. Books in hand, she slowly emerged from her room. Her eyes instantly fell on the sleeping figure of the man who still had the power over her heart to bring her to her knees.

He was curled up on the cold carpet in the hallway. The sight was gut wrenching yet so... satisfying. He deserved it. She just couldn't bear it.

After quietly retrieving her blanket and soundlessly cover his body with it, Lily slipped out of the hotel. She reminded herself repeatedly that she would have done the same thing if it was someone else.

"How was your paper?" Sam asked her when they got out of the classroom.

Lily gave him a tight lipped smile. "It was white."

Sam mock laughed. "And the ink was black."

"It was blue actually."

Sam stuck his tongue out and crooked his elbow around hers as he steered them towards their lockers.

"Marie has been texting me non-stop. I swear the girl is contributing absolutely nothing to the mating event because she texts me every second of every minute." Sam huffed and stuffed his notes into his locker.

Lily smiled knowingly. "I'm glad I don't have a phone."

"It's kinda weird though. Why don't you?"

Lily shrugged. "Social media toxicity. I don't want to know what the girl I don't know and will probably never meet is doing."

Sam scratched the bridge of his nose. "You don't have to use social media if you don't want to. It's not a necessity. You can have it to contact your friends, you know?"

"The people I care about and that cares about me will reach out to me in other ways if I'm important to them. Phone is an excuse for texting hi. Not exactly making an effort because you think that emotionless digital greeting is enough. For me, it's not."

"Bruh." Sam shook his head. "You're so set on your ways... absolutely nothing is negotiable with you."

Lily flicked his bicep in mirth and walked out of the building with him. "What's Marie nagging you about?"

"Revenge plan."

"Oh boy. It's not good if it's coming from her."

Sam chuckled. "True that. She says when she comes back, she'll give a complete makeover. You're going to transform into a smoking hot chick and show the pack what you're really made of."

Lily glanced over at the amusement in his eyes. "What do you think about her plan?"

"Give it a try...? Sounds reasonable to me. He thought you can't turn heads. Show him you can turn not just the head but the entire blood flow if you want to." Sam jut his bottom lip out, his shoulders squared.

Lily slipped into the passenger seat of his car and waited for him to climb in. She was silent with a small smile on her face when they pulled out of the parking lot. The peaceful hum of the engine contradicted the storm inside her.

Sam caught her expression in the corner of his eyes. "You game?"

Lily sighed and sank deeper into the seat as she gazed out to the passing buildings outside. Her smile grew. "Nope."

"I suspected as much."

Lily traced doodles on the window and said, "Even if he mattered to me, I still wouldn't have done it. What I am is the real me. I'm making things easy for people. If they don't like what the see, they have the option of walking away. It spares the effort we put into something masked and getting disappointed when we find out the unexpected underneath all those layers. Originality is more important to me than admiration. Take it or leave it. There's no in-between."

Sam clicked his tongue. "I absolutely detest how you have a sermon for every topic."

Lily laughed. "Different people have different opinions. Two people can be right at the same time but remember... A cat is not a dog and a dog is not a cat even if they have four legs, a head and a tail."

"What exactly is that suppose to mean, philosopher Lillian Avi?"

Lily pouted at his teasing eyes. "I don't know. When you have time, think about it and then tell me too."

"Bruh, your concepts give me migraines."

"How rude."

"Meh."


Cindy Miller was a teen. When Kandra introduced her to Lily, they instantly hit if off. Cindy was a few inches taller than her. She had pink dyed hair, a lip ring, two tattoos on her back and had a wardrobe that would make Lily blush.

She was a mix of broody and chirpy depending on her mood. Lily was impressed when she found out she was a book worm. They both ordered china cups, mugs, kettles, vintage plates with pink flower drawings and new chairs. Cindy also suggested making a small library in the corner.

"That would be epic for creating a cozy environment. Think about it! Nice warm cup of coffee, hot steamy muffins and reading romance books."

Lily added a tree book shelf to cart with a bright smile on her lips. "That's very thoughtful, Cindy. Impressive."

Cindy bowed dramatically and sipped from her cup. "Thank you. I'm a straight A's student, ma'am. Tryna get a scholarship for college."

"Believing in yourself is the key."

Cindy winked at her from over her shoulder. She was leaning over the chair Lily was seated on in the cafe. "My mom says it's 'hardwork'."

Lily clicked on a few more items on Cindy's laptop and then pulled the lid down. "In my opinion, the hardwork exhausts you more than it helps you when there's a doubt in your mind that you can't make it."

"No hardwork needed then."

Lily clasped her hands on the table and glanced up at Cindy who stood with one hand on her hip. "You need it, Cindy. Life is fruitless without ambition. But when you put your efforts into something, make sure you do it with every ounce in your body set on believing that you can."

Kandra came out of the kitchen, wiping her hands on a towel. "Are you two almost done?"

Cindy smiled at Lily and said, "Yeah. The delivery is in two weeks."

"Great. The paint will be done by then. Have you found a crew for the job, Lily?"

Lily grabbed her handbag and stood up. "Actually, my friend said he'll find one by tonight and inform me. I'm going to see him at the gym and make arrangements. We have to close the place for at least a week though. Is that okay?"

"Sure, dear."

Cindy dropped Lily off at the gym and wished to see her more. Lily was distracted that day when she was running her usual laps. Sam had given her a cards of two of the best temp agencies in the pack. By the time she left the gym, her muscles ached and her body was sweaty.

The chilly wind that blew her hair had her shivering. The change of temperature was delightful. Heavy footsteps followed her when she reached the ice cream vendors.

"Mind a treat?" Cole asked as he matched her pace.

Lily rubbed her forearms distractedly and shook her head. "I'm fine, thank you. Why are you following me?"

Cole burrowed her eyebrows at the accusatory undertone. "Your judgment is harsh."

"Tell me, you can blame me for it."

Cole faltered. "Ahm..."

"You knew."

His hand hid behind his neck. The flicker of hesitation in his eyes was a first. "I'm sorry but it was not my place to tell you."

Lily rolled her eyes. "Sure. Anything else?"

Cole squinted his green intimidating eyes at her clipped response. "I wasn't following you. I took an early leave and happened to be on the same path as you."

"Um-hm." She hummed and kept her pace lazy.

Cole had to walk slowly to keep up with her tiny strides. "Sam told the guys you need a crew for interior painting."

Lily gazed at him quizzically. "And...?"

"I can help."

"Why would you?"

"Consider it an apology on my part. Besides, most of the guys at the gym works at a part-time temp agency. It would benefit both of us. I can arrange an effective and affordable crew for you."

Lily thought about it. "You don't need to apologise for anything. It wasn't your fault." She sighed and rubbed her forehead. "I'm just tired."

Cole nodded. "Glad you understand. Give me the address and time. I'll make arrangements with the crew."

Lily stopped in her tracks. Uncertainty colored her red when she asked, "Tell me honestly. Why are you helping me? I don't need your pity or sympathy."

Cole crossed his arms defensively over his hard chest. "Lily... believe it or not, I see what Ezra couldn't. I know you can stick up for yourself. I don't pity you. You're my student, I have observed you enough to predict your strength... I admit part of this is for my own peace. Regardless of my intentions though, this is a job I can do and don't forget you're paying for it. It's a win-win situation. What's the problem?"

After a long stressful pause, Lily gave in. She jotted down the address on a paper and handed it over to him.

"Surprise me." She said.

Cole quirked his lips. "You don't like surprises but I will."






If you could get into one of the scenes in the book, which one would it be and what would you do?









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