Upside down

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III

She walks into the kitchen of what seems to be a small cabin. Her saviour stands behind an old furnace. He looks up when she walks in.

“Feel better?” He asks.

She shrugs and shakes her head. She takes a seat at the small kitchen table in the middle.

The man frowns. “Did you take those painkillers?”

She shakes her head again but remains silent.

“Why not?” The man places some eggs with bacon on a plate and hands them to her. He turns around and starts making a second portion.

“I don’t like painkillers,” she says quietly, “they make me feel numb.”

He glances at her for a second and nods, then turns back to his cooking.

“You should eat.”

Sasha nods and starts eating.

When she is halfway, he places his own plate in front of him and sits down at the table to eat.

“What is your name?” Sasha asks. He freezes in the middle of his movements, with his fork halfway in the air.

She sees him hesitate. “It’s just so I can put a name to the man that saved me yesterday.”

“Roy.”

Sasha smiles. “I’m Sasha.”

He looks her in the eyes for a second and nods. “Nice to meet you, Sasha.”

When they both are done eating, he gets up and places the dishes in the sink. “Coffee?” He asks and she nods.

When he has turned the coffee machine on, he turns back to her. “You know, I’m really not a bad guy.” He sighs, a glimpse of remorse shows on his face, before it gets back to it’s previous expression. “My- err, my friend has pulled me into this. The only thing I want is peace. A quiet place to live, and to find my mate.”

“There’s no way out?” Sasha asks with a frown.

“Oh, I can leave anytime I want.” He places two mugs on the counter and opens a drawer to take two teaspoons out.

“What is keeping you here then?”

“The other men my fa- err, my friend has under his thumb. I’m looking for a way to get them out of this too. They had no idea what they’d gotten themselves into when they decided to do business with my- friend. When they found out what was going on, he already had full power, there was nothing they could do anymore.” He shakes his head. His eyes reveal nothing but sorrow and regret. “Milk, sugar?”

“And there’s no one else who can help you?” Sasha asks with a frown. “Just sugar. You were on the turf of a highly respected Alpha, known for his humane approach to things. If you reach out to him, maybe he’ll be able to help you?”

Roy shakes his head and places a container with sugar on the table. “I’m a rogue. Who would ever believe a me?”

“I do.”

He gives her a long, intense look. A storm evidently in his eyes, a battle is going on in his head. He blinks and looks away eventually and he turns to take the coffee pot and pour the coffee in the jars.

“How come you have not gone wild?” Sasha asks when he gives her her mug.

“What do you mean?” He takes a sip from his coffee, but immediately flinches. “Ow! That’s hot.”

“Normally when a wolf goes rogue, they go crazy, right? How do you still seem to be pretty much civilized?”

Roy sighs. “Oh, the madness is there,” he smiles a little, showing her a glimpse of his madness in his gaze for a second. “I fight it everyday.”

“Must be hard to stay sane. How do you keep it under control?”

“I keep my goal in mind. I won’t find my mate if I stay like this. I need to find a way to get out of this situation. That’s what keeps me sane, and normal, I guess.” He runs a hand through his hair. “And a drop of wolfsbane in my coffee every morning. To keep my wolf reigned in.”

Sasha gasps, “wolfsbane? Are you crazy? You could get yourself killed if you take too much!”

He shakes his head. “It’s the only way. The only reason my fa- friend has more power over those men than me, is because I take wolfsbane. I am just as much an Alpha and just as strong as him, the only difference is that I am weakened by the wolfsbane.”

After a moment of silence, he speaks again.

“Is there somewhere I can drop you off? Your house is ruined, but is there somewhere you can stay?”

“I was travelling around until a few weeks ago. I rented that house from the saved money I had until I had found a job. I don’t really have anyone.”

Roy frowns. “So you need a place to stay and a job?”

Sasha hums and nods.

He walks out of the kitchen while taking his shirt off. “I may know someone who can help you. I’m going to freshen up and change, when I’m done, we’ll leave.” She gasps when she sees his back. It’s full of deep scars.

“Roy.”

He turns and looks at her. “Yes?”

“What-” His front also has a few deep gashes.

He frowns, “what is it?”

“Your scars.” She points at them, “what happened.”

He follows her finger and looks down. “Oh, it’s nothing.” He turns around to walk away again.

“That’s not nothing.” Sasha says sternly, “tell me.”

He freezes and sighs. “My-” he runs a hand through his hair and looks at her. “My- friend. He- he punished me for something I did wrong.” Roy quickly spins and walks out.

A few minutes later, he is back with a different t-shirt on. “Take a coat from the rack by the front door. We’re off.” He walks out of the kitchen, grabbing his keys on the way.

Sasha hurries after him and slams the front door shut. Roy is already waiting by his truck. He opens her door and raises her up onto the running board.. Then he walks around and climbs in himself.

“Where are we going?” Sasha asks as she slams the door of his truck shut.

Roy puts his keys into the ignition, but halts and looks at her for a moment. “Somewhere you’re safe. The man that has saved my life once, when I was-” he shakes his head, seeming to have trouble with his thoughts. “When I was-” his voice breaks, he shakes his head again and looks away.

Sasha places her hand on his knee. “You don’t have to talk about it.” Sasha gives him a comforting smile.

Now he turns to her fully. “Somehow I feel I can talk to you. You have this- I don’t know, this aura of comfort and solace. I can’t explain it. It’s the same feeling you have when you confide in the Luna of your pack, you know what I mean?” He looks at her with wide eyes when realisation hits him.”You’re- you’re a Luna?”

Sasha shakes her head. “Not as far as I know. I haven’t found my mate yet.”

He looks at her with confidence, “look out for an Alpha, you’re meant to be a Luna.” He turns his keys and starts the car’s engine.

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