7 - "Church Bells"
There is sensitive subject matter in this chapter. It mentions Mental, Sexual, and Physical Abuse
I could not believe what Titus and I had walked into. My apartment was a mess, as though someone was angry and threw whatever they could their hands on; breaking anything that could be broken. The picture of my parents laid on the floor shattered. The flowers I bought yesterday morning just to have something nice on the table were turned over, causing the wood to swell and ruin. I had no clue as to what happened, but I found it odd that the balcony’s glass sliding door had been left opened. The owl had flown away by the time that we entered the apartment. I could smell something along with the scent that belonged to Selena, but I could not name it. It was herby and earth like, I could not begin to explain it.
Selena’s door was closed, however her rose and ivy scent still lingered outside her door. When she did not answer her door after my first knock, I grew concerned and opened it. Her bed was flipped over and some of her clothes were thrown all over the room. I heard her moan, I found her lying on the carpeted floor, naked, bruised, and bleeding from cuts on her face. I ran to her and lifted her head off the floor and placed it on my lap.
“Titus, we need to call the police.” I ordered him in a panic, but he kept staring at Selena on the ground as though he was trying to connect two pieces to a puzzle. “Titus?”
He pulled his phone out of his pocket and began to dial a number and stepped out of the room. I grabbed a pillow, carefully placed it under her head and walked out of the room to get her a glass of water. I returned to her and found her looking out the window from where she laid. I kneeled to her again, offering her the water.
“Titus is calling the police.” I told her as she sat up from her position. “Selena what happened?” I asked once she was done taking a sip of water.
“I need a shirt and shorts.” Selena gruffly said to me.
“You need to stay where you are.” I said pulling the blanket off the bed and handing to her. “Selena, what happened?” I said as calm as I could, but the panic and anxiety of the situation made it difficult.
“You’re fine? The apartment is wrecked. You have a black eye, bloody lip, bruises on your ribs and arms. Selena you are not fine. Was it Davis? Did he do this to you?” Her boyfriend was a large man who played sports for fun, not being good enough for our college team. I had seen him lose his temper at parties and bars and had watched him be arrested for assault. I had often feared for Selena and her relationship with him, but she had only argued that he would never hurt her.
Selena’s eyes welled up and her lips began to quiver, as she nodded. I took her head in my arms, bringing her to my shoulder letting her cry. I looked around the wrecked room and thought about the mess in the living room. We were no longer safe here. I do not know what happened, but I knew that we could not stay here.
“Did he… rape you? I was hesitant, afraid for the answer.
“No.” She said with a shake of her head. The breath that I had not known I was holding, escaped my mouth in relief. Still my heart was broken for my best friend who had been there for me when I needed her the most.
I could hear Titus on the phone with the dispatcher, giving our address and explanation of what we had walked into and confirmed that an ambulance was needed. When he returned into the room. I felt Selena stiffen at the sight of him.
“The police and ambulance are on their way. How are you?” Titus stated in a guarded tone.
“Ellie? This is Titus?” Selena asked in a similar tone.
“Yes. He won’t hurt you. I promise.” I comforted her.
“That’s not what she’s referring to, Ellie.” Titus explained. “She’s wonderin’ if you’re aware that I’m a werewolf.” I gasped, but before I could say anything Selena spoke.
“You know?” She turned to face me.
“You know too?” I was shocked by her question. “Of course, I know. How do you?”
“Because she’s a witch. One that shifts too.” Titus answered before Selena could.
“That’s not possible. How?” I asked her, although her eyes never left Titus.
“Ellie. How do you know Titus?” Selena finally faced me.
“I’m half werewolf and half human. I grew up in his pack. He’s our Alpha.” I explained to her, upset that she had yet to answer my questions.
“And her mate.” Titus finished clarifying our relationship to Selena.
“You need to give me some answers Selena…” I began but was interrupted by the sound of sirens outside.
“Now is not the time. I called Joseph and Hendrick. They’re on their way.” Titus stated and left the room to meet the police.
“He’s right. Let’s find you some clothes.” I helped her up off the floor.
“Who are the men that he mentioned?” She asked as I helped her into a shirt.
“My cousin Joseph, he’s the beta, and our gamma Hendrick.” I answered as I searched the room for a pair of leggings or shorts.
“Great. More shifters.”
“What did Titus mean by ‘one that shifts’?” My eyes had located a pair of running shorts and helped her put them on.
“I’ll explain later.”
“Fine. But I’m telling you now that you are comin’ back to the pack with me.” I ordered her, she began to argue, and I placed my forefinger over my mouth and ‘shh’ at her. I could hear Titus’ voice along with other voices as footsteps followed behind him.
A female police officer walked into the room in order to discuss the events of the night before with Selena. She allowed me to hold her hand while she retold the story to us. Selena and Davis had gone to a bar for a friend’s birthday party. Davis took the drinking too far and started acting like an asshole to other friends that accompanied them. Selena drove them home, but Davis was not having it. They had started arguing about his obnoxious behavior and openly flirted with other women. Selena had enough when he accused her of being a slut and claiming that she too was flirting with random men. She had ended their relationship, leaving him standing outside. Davis forced the door open and chased Selena around the apartment, destroying everything in his path. Selena had just made it to her room, with no chance at closing the door, before he finally had her cornered. The tears escaped my eyes along with hers while I sat there listening to Selena. I could not handle the pain, but I had to be there for her. The officer took her statement and noted details about Davis, including his address. The officer then took pictures of Selena’s injuries and then the damage done to the room.
After the paramedics assessed Selena wounds and bruises, they prepared to load her on a gurney, but she refused, opting to have me drive her instead. The police needed to complete their report and wanted Selena to go to the hospital to have x-rays done and have a doctor finish assessing the damage Davis had done to her body. Joseph and Hendrick arrived just when Selena and I headed out the door. So I could drive her to the emergency room the police had told us to go to. As we walked past them, I noticed Joseph stiffened, taking a deep breath and his eyes turned black. I could sense his struggle as I registered what had just happened.
Selena was Joseph’s mate.
“Church Bells” by Carrie Underwood
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A.K.A Tex-Mex Ink Slinger