Chapter Thirty Three
Opening my eyes was a struggle, my face felt stiff and my body felt crushed. Wincing as I move my hand so I can turn over, my eyes slowly cracking open. As I glance around I take in Caleb’s room.
My head was pounding, the pain rushing to my forehead was enough to make me feel nauseous.
I felt completely dead inside, how had it come to this?
Sitting up in Caleb’s bed, pressing my back to the headboard. Caleb was nowhere to be seen. Sighing as I attempt to push myself off the bed and stand, although my legs could barely take my weight.
I took a fucking battering and for what? For nothing because I still showed how much of a wimp I am, how I can’t even win in a fight.
Limping over to the glass mirror on the wall, my heart stops when I look at my face. My eyes are purple, my lip bust and my nose bloody.
The sound of the door opening comes from behind me but I was too scared to even turn around. How could I face anyone after the stupid stunt I pulled?
“You’re awake,” Caleb’s voice is loud, he doesn’t sound impressed.
I swallow harshly before turning around to face him. My eyes settle on his as I watch as he crosses his arms over his chest and stares back at me.
“Yeah,” I croak out. My voice sounded like I hadn’t drunk any water for the past week.
“Why the fuck did you do that Evan?” Caleb’s voice asks me.
Staring back at him, my eyes feeling weak to look at his disappointed face. “Because I’m sick to death of them talking about me,” I mumble as I look down to the floor.
“So instead of just talking to me about it you decide to get beaten to pulp?!” Caleb exclaims as he steps closer to me.
“Because I’m tired of hiding away!” I yell at him.
His jaw clenches at the increase of my voice. “Do you even understand how close your wolf is to being paralysed?” His words comes out desperate.
Chewing my lip, I look to the wall as I try to ignore how much my heart was plummeting into my stomach.
“You have had so much physical pain Evan that your wolf is on its last legs, if you even took a few more punches—” Caleb pauses to raise his fist to his mouth. His eyes glisten and I can’t tell if he’s upset or it’s the reflection from the light but either way my heart crumbles. “Do you even understand what that would do to us? To our bond?”
He was definitely crying, his eyes laced with tears. “Because once your wolf is paralysed there is no going back, it will slowly destroy you day by day. It will destroy us. Evan you need to be looking after yourself, after your wolf. He’s physically weak, he doesn’t heal. The next time this happens he might not come back. You might not come back.” Caleb moves closer to me, his feet parallel to mine.
I blink and tears are down my cheeks.
Caleb’s eyes turn soft. “Why did you fight him? What were you trying to prove?”
The lump in my throat hardens. “Everyone is talking, everyone is commenting about how weak I am compared to you. How could you bring up a pack with me as your mate?” My eyes burn as I stare up to him.
“And because they said that it made you want to fight him?” Caleb says, his tone sounding confused.
“I just wanted to prove that I can fight, I’m not weak, I do stand up for myself,” I say as I wipe away my angry tears.
Caleb’s eyes watch me closely. “Why do you care what they have to say?”
“Because it’s true, I’m an embarrassment to you!” I scream. “How could you want me? Have you seen what I look like?”
His face falls to hurt, his eyebrows dipping. “Why is what I say to you never enough?” He says quietly but he struggles his words.
My heart pounds against my heaving chest.
“Why do you want other people’s approval of what they think about you?” His eyes narrow slightly as his words become even quieter.
“I tell you constantly what I think of you, what I know you are deep down. How proud I am that you’re my mate, how happy I am that you’re my mate. But that’s never good enough for you.” Caleb looks away like it’s too hard to look at me and it hurts. “Surely one of the only opinions that really matters on bringing up my pack with you beside me and you thinking you’re ‘weak’ compared to me, is my opinion? You know what I think about you Evan, you know I want you by my side every fucking day. But you don’t care about what I think, you need everyone else’s validation and why?”
“No Caleb tha—”
He doesn’t let me finish. “So instead of talking to me or remembering how I feel about you, you just decide to get beaten to prove a point to some stupid fucking idiots?”
I couldn’t breathe.
“Because that’s fucked up Evan, that’s not okay.” He says harshly.
My hands crawl at my hair as I cry pathetically into my forearms.
“I don’t even know what I can say to you anymore Evan, I try so hard to make you feel loved. To try and understand what you’re going through but by doing this you’re just pushing me away!” Caleb’s voice raises again.
Fuck, fuck, fuck. I hated myself, I fucking hated myself.
Choking on my sobs as anger and frustration erupts inside my body, turning towards the mirror my fist raises up and I pound on the glass over and over.
“Stupid, stupid, stupid,” I mumble, my tears slipping over my lips. My hands push a bunch of papers and a box of pens onto the floor with force, a distressed scream leaves my mouth.
All I can feel is panic. My head was chaos.
Continuing to push off whatever I could find on his desk, Caleb’s arms wrap around my torso to restrain me. His front presses firmly into my back. Violently shaking against him as I sob uncontrollably. “Shhh,” Caleb tries to calm me. “Baby stop.”
A pathetic whine escapes my lips, my heart was breaking in my chest. I couldn’t take this, I couldn’t catch my breath.
“Stop,” Caleb says again as he rests his lips against my ear. “It’s okay, its okay I’ve got you.”
His touch was enough to stop the hyperventilation before it begun, the pain inside me made me want to hide away for the rest of my life.
Caleb presses a kiss to my temple. “Pups it’s okay, I’m not going anywhere.” He whispers into my skin.
After a few moments I relax into him, his arms not loosening once. My eyes dry up but my head was still racing with stupid thoughts.
Caleb’s arms begin to relax but keeps me close, his hands gripping onto my shoulders to turn me around to face him. My eyes couldn’t even meet his, they remain on the floor because I feel like an idiot.
His hands find my face, his thumbs laying over the top of my cheek bones. He raises my head but I still focus on looking down. “Pups look at me,” he begs.
With once glance up I already want to cry all over again.
“Please if it’s the only thing you answer truthfully today,” he starts, his eyes flicking between mine quickly. “Have you been taking your meds?”
I sniffle and swallow to stop myself from crying. Instead of talking the only thing I can do is shake my head.
Caleb’s chest lets out a deep sigh, his hands somehow holding me tighter. “Why?” He asks desperately trying to understand.
Shrugging half heartedly. “I felt stupid for taking them,” I croak out.
“You are not stupid for taking them, they’re temporary medication. You won’t need them forever pups,” he presses a kiss to my forehead. “If you needed antibiotics for an infection, you wouldn’t just not take them because they made you feel stupid for not being able to fight it off yourself. No one thinks you’re stupid for taking them because they’re to make you feel better.”
My chest lets out a painful sigh. “Mental illness is just as important as physical illness, just because it isn’t visible doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. It does, and you shouldn’t be ashamed. You should be so proud of how far you’ve come.” His eyes are staring back at me with admiration and support and all I can think is how did I deserve him?
Not being able to find any words that seemed worthy enough to say, I sink my head back to the floor feeling such a let down.
Caleb’s lips lean down to press against my skin. “Baby, baby, baby,” he whispers against me. “Talk to me.”
Glancing up at him, Caleb’s hand moves to wipe the curls that hang over my eyes. “I’m sorry,” is all I can say.
His eyebrows furrow at me instantly. “Don’t say you’re sorry pups,”
The room goes silent and I don’t even know what to say. My brain was a bundle of mush.
“Maybe you should take a shower,” Caleb suggests. “It might make you feel a little better?”
I nod once at him. “And then maybe we can talk or if not we can just eat and watch movies?” He asks.
He was trying, he was trying so hard and every time I realise how much he loves me it makes me want to scream in frustration at myself. If he’s trying this hard for me the least I can do it try for him, for us.
Pulling away from Caleb’s hold I walk towards his drawers and take out a pair of boxers. My feet take slow steps towards the en-suite, I push the door behind me but it doesn’t fully shut.
Turning on the hot water, I begin to strip my clothes. Not giving myself a once over in the mirror because I knew I couldn’t stomach looking at what I had done to myself.
Caleb’s shower was unbelievably nice, even in the state that I’m in the water pressure felt comforting. As the water hits my body, the bruises and cuts begin to heat up causing me to wince in pain.
Taking my time because I had no energy to rush through this and I was enjoying the water. Convincing myself not to think of anything, so I don’t. Focusing on the sound of the water so my mind doesn’t run wild and for once I actually listen to myself.
I don’t know how long I spent in the shower but after a while I step out and dry down my body. Slipping on the black pair of boxers and towel drying my hair so it wasn’t dripping in my face.
My eyes look up to the mirror in front of me and I felt stuck. Gazing over every little mark, every little bruise. My body was battered and I’m not surprised Caleb is angry because Luke could have killed me.
The bathroom door squeaks open but I don’t bother to turn and look. Caleb sighs from behind me before appearing in the mirror. He wraps his arms around my tiny body and holds me close to him. My eyes never leave my own in the mirror.
“What you doing?” He mumbles into my neck.
I don’t reply.
“Admiring this gorgeous face I hope,” he raises his lips to graze my ear. Caleb’s eyes snap up to look at me in the mirror. “Hmmm?”
He kisses my temple over and over. “Those gorgeous blue eyes,” he says as he looks towards me. “Those perfectly little lips.”
I close my eyes and focus on listening to his words. The words of self love, the words of admiration, the words that I should believe.
My shoulders relax a little as he kisses the edge of my jaw. “This beautiful body, this beautiful mind.”
His arms hold me closer and my skin burns with pleasure, a small shudder runs down my spine. A sudden rush of butterflies run through my stomach and I love knowing Caleb can make me feel like this.
If he loves me this much, why can’t I just love myself?
Caleb’s hands drop to grip mine and I open my eyes to look at him. “Let’s practice some self affirmations,” he says and I tilt my head at him instantly.
“Repeat after me,” he smiles as he holds our hands out to the side. My eyes watch him feeling completely mesmerised by how much he was trying to help keep me positive. “I am beautiful.”
Our eyes meet and he raises his eyebrows to prompt me to talk. “I—” my throat croaks. “I am beautiful.”
“Look at yourself,” he says before squeezing my hands. My eyes hesitantly move from his to my own, my black eyes staring back at me like an imprint of my stupidity. “Now say it again.”
I swallow and nod. “I am beautiful.”
Caleb’s lips twitch up into a smile. “I am strong.”
My eyes look at him and he knows exactly what I’m thinking. “Your strong mind, your strong heart,” Caleb says to me. “Say it.”
Letting out a deep huff of breath as I settle back on my own eyes. “I am strong.”
“I am brave,” Caleb states strongly, his facial expressions seeming amusing to me. His hands that are holding mine shoot up into the air, my arms being pulled in the process.
The smallest smile breaks out onto my lips. “I am brave.” I repeat.
Caleb’s hands drop mine and they wrap around me again, his head next to mine. He stares me dead in the eye as he says, “I am worthy.”
My chest rumbles before I look at myself. Zeroing on my own eyes, taking a big deep breath. “I am worthy.”
Caleb grins at me before dipping his head down to my shoulder and peppers kisses along my skin. My eyes stay firmly on my face as I look back at the reflection.
My stomach almost leaps out of my throat as I closely watch my right eye. The black bruise was—dissolving.
Slowly the bruising was recovering and I cannot stop the small gasp that leaves my lips. Caleb’s head snaps up to me. “What?” He asks suddenly.
I turn around to him sharply as I beam up at him. “Look,” I say as I press my finger underneath my eye. “Look it’s healing.”
Caleb’s eyes narrow slightly as he watches for himself. “Holy shit,” he says before shaking his head in shock.
“Has it gone?” I say as I whip my head back around to the mirror and lean forward. My right eye was completely bruise free, the feeling inside my stomach was making my blood race.
“Pups it’s gone,” he smiles behind me. “It’s completely gone.”
My lips break out into a grin. “Why am I healing?” I ask Caleb like he’d know the answer. “What’s happening?”
He turns me back around to him by gripping my face with his hands. “Your body is healing itself,”
I shake my head in disbelief at his words. “How?”
“Self-acceptance,” he says, his eyes full of happiness.
“You think that’s it?” I say as my eyes begin to water.
Caleb nods vigorously, he was certain. “It makes sense doesn’t it?”
I nod back to him and lean forward to press my lips to his. Caleb kisses me back deeply and I can’t help but smile against him. “Thank you,” I say between kisses.
“For what?” Caleb pants sounding confused.
“For showing me how to love myself.”