❝The Future has a way of arriving unannounced.❞
I cry until I can’t cry anymore, when the tears dry up I stay pressed against Dad’s chest too weak to move. My muscles feel sore and tight as if I was running a marathon for hours upon hours, there was sniffling beside my own and even that didn’t make me turn away from staring at how Dad’s chest rose and fell with every breath he took in.
“Cole,” someone spoke. “I need to put the bandages on.”
A moment of silence passes a sigh heaves from Dad’s chest and he moves his hands to my arms where he gently pulls me back from his chest, and I stare up into his eyes that lower somewhat in intensity nothing but caution shines in them as if he were to handle me roughly I would break down crying once more.
He then tilted my head to the side exposing the sensitive wound and at the same moment a deep growl rumbles through the room and Dad’s eyes instantly shoot over by the door where Xavier was standing by.
My own confusion shows when he reaches for my injured wrist and turns it over. Mom’s face appears in my vision and her expression shows her concern and the fear she’s trying to suppress for me.
“Don’t worry baby, the doctor just needs to patch up your wounds.” she says, “It won’t take long, okay?”
I stare into her eyes before nodding mutely, I feel someone step up close from the way my senses heighten, still in Dad’s lap I twist around and see an unfamiliar lady in jeans wearing a white coat, she looked no older than twenty-one with pitch black hair framing her face in a short bob.
She leans down to my level with two square bandages in her hand, and her green eyes flicker around my face before producing a gentle reassuring smile as she begins to attend to my wounds being as gentle as she could be.
I blank out, my vision focusing in and out as I stare at no particular direction, my thoughts go back to the dream that plays in the back of my mind. Two to three times I have seen the same pale man named Elijah in my dreams, and funny thing is that each time Dad and Mason were there and have seen this man. Movement from my side breaks me away from my thoughts and back to reality.
From the door in pops Noah’s head full of brown hair, his eyes scan around the room before they land on me and instantly his eyes cloud with heavy guilt and sadness, they stray away from my form for a bit as he glances at Xavier for a second, almost as if asking could he come inside the room; an unnoticeable nod was passed, and Noah slowly crept inside taking small tentative steps toward me.
Dad pulls me off his lap and sets me down on the edge of the bed —as I finally realized we were in my room — but didn’t sit far, the Doctor worked on my neck now. Noah kneels beside me, his eyes trained on the bandage of my wrist and trail up to my neck where the female doctor finishes up, brushing her fingers against the edges of the bandage to seal it, I feel her step back and a deep exhale rises from her chest.
“All finished up,” she says, her voice soft but seeming loud in the quiet room. “If you need any further help or to retouch up the bandages, I’ll be at the packhouse.” all while she was speaking, she was collecting her things and placing them into a small carryon bag.
“I’ll walk you out,” Dad says from beside me, as he pushes himself up, the bed dipping then going back into place.
He leans down, planting a gentle kiss on my forehead. Mom moves around the bed and grabs my hands, bringing them to her mouth as she breathes on them while looking into my eyes.
“We’ll be downstairs if you need anything, alright?” she states.
I nod, “Okay.” my voice below a whisper.
She backs away from me and releases my hands making them fall into my lap, and I watch as the three of them exit the room and I don’t miss the look Dad passes over at Xavier before the door shuts behind them. Silence encases Noah, Xavier and I, I move my gaze from the door and stare at Noah as he still kneels beside my legs his expression dark while staring at my wrist.
I move my hand to cover the bandage and away from his burning gaze— though, my neck is still showing to the other set of eyes — that causes him to meet my gaze and his eyes begin to brim with unshed tears, breaking my heart.
“I’m sorry,” he chokes out, clenching his hands together. “This happened because of me.”
I was already shaking my head when he finished his statement, “It’s no one’s fault, neither one of us knew this was going to happen.” I reply, trying to dim down the guilt clearly seen in his eyes.
A deep rumble sounds throughout the room. I ignore it.
Noah’s eyes flit over to the door. “But I could have prevented it, If I didn’t go inside the house like the coward I am and instead helped you like I wanted to. . .” he trails off, biting his lip before hanging his head.
I could see his fingers trembling and shoulders shaking, without thinking I reach for his hands and place them in my lap as I held them, his head snaps up, his bloodshot eyes colliding with mine as I smile gently at him.
“It’s not your fault,” I say once more. “Don’t take the blame for something that even I couldn’t stop,” I end with a wince.
A strike of determination crosses over Noah’s features when he stares into my eyes, he opens his mouth and speaks with strong confidence. “I promise, next time, I won’t let anything happen to you. I won’t let any harm come to you, Abigail.”
A feeling runs through my chest and it’s something I cannot simply shake off, the sincerity in his tone and with every word echoes in my head and I can’t help but nod.
“That’s enough.” Xavier’s voice cuts through, I turn away and glance to see him stepping away from the door and toward the bed.
“There won’t be a next time, nothing like this will ever happen again. I won’t be leaving Abigail’s side,” he states, a crease between his brows.
Noah gulps and looks back down at the carpeted floor while I continue to stare at Xavier, he moves with grace and confident steps I now notice, he keeps his back straight, and head held high as he walks. He makes it to my side in no time and looks down at Noah.
“If you don’t mind, I’ll like to spend the rest of the night with my mate,” Xavier says, and I narrow my eyes at his tone.
“Of course!” Noah shoots up to his feet so fast my hands are ripped from his, he glances at me then to Xavier then back to me again. “I’ll see you around.”
Then he’s walking across the room and out the door, it shut with a soft click. I twiddle my fingers for a bit, looking down into my lap, and slowly I raise my head connecting gazes with Xavier’s potent stare and gradually his shoulders start to sag, and then he drops to his knees his stare softening.
He pulls me into his arms, hugging me tightly to his bare chest, arms tightening as the seconds go by. He buries his face in my hair, inhaling deeply, his chest rising with the action and exhales. One of his hands come up and sweeps my hair to the side, the softness of his lips pressing against the vein in my neck. I gasp, shuddering with slight pleasure.
“You don’t know, how glad I am that you’re okay,” he sighs in relief, “The state I seen you in earlier almost made me. . fuck, Abigail. . .”
He breathes harshly against my neck, taking the flesh of my vein into his mouth, pushing me back into the bed and climbs over me, holding his weight with his arms. His tongue strokes the part of my neck in his mouth, sending shivers down my spine and to my core, my hands fly to his side; my nails digging into his skin.
“Xavier!” I gasp out, shutting my eyes.
"Are you sure?” I hear Dad’s muffled voice through the door.
I force myself to take in calm breaths as I press my ear harder against the door surface, straining to hear the words following afterward.
". . it’s. . the best.” I faintly hear the all too familiar voice of Elijah, respond back.
There was a slight pause and shuffling of fabric, I place my palm on the base of the door while shifting my head around, trying to find a spot where I could hear clearly. A sigh sounds from inside.
"You know this is going to be hard on her again,” Dad says, “She just celebrated her eleventh birthday, and not once did she ask about her brother because you were here with her."
I could almost see Elijah running his hand through his hair from the way the atmosphere changed. He usually does that.
"Don’t worry about that, I have this under control,” he says.
Another exhale of breath was heard, and without my permission, my heart begins to beat haywire and I curse in different ways just like I hear Dad say sometimes. I know it won’t be long before Elijah realizes I’m here.
"How are you going to tell her?"
A moment of silence and all I could hear was my short breathing. “I think the little spitfire already knows."
That was my cue to leave. I back away from the door when I hear footsteps walk towards it and run down the hall to my room where I immediately slip inside just as the door to the office creaks open. I race to my bed and flop face down on my pillows, moving to rest my head on my arms as my hair falls in a curtain around my face.
It didn’t take long before the door to my room was gently pushed inward, and the hairs on my arms and neck stood up tall. I kept my face hidden behind my hair, his footsteps were silent and he moved with calculated motives, just like a predator would. The end of my bed dipped under his weight, and I released a deep snore though my eyes were wide open beneath the strands of hair. Elijah’s cool hand grabbed my barefoot and shook it.
"I know you’re not asleep, your heart is beating too fast,” he says.
′Danggit′ I think to myself.
Still, I don’t turn to face him, I shut my eyes breathing in deeply. He sits in silence, the pad of his thumb drawing circles on the heel of my foot. His slow breathing was that was heard before he spoke.
"So, I’m guessing you heard all of it."
I quickly sit up, forgetting the sleep façade and whip around to face him, sitting on my feet. “Are you really leaving?!” I say, pursing my lips together.
His green eyes burn into mine, his tone soft and calm. ”Yes."
I scowl, “But why?” I whine, trying not to cry.
“Because I have to,” was his short reply.
My teeth gnaw at my bottom lip as I cross my arms, sitting completely on my bottom. “It’s because you’re a vampire, isn’t it?” I question.
He shook his head, “No,” he whispers.
My gaze shifts down to his mouth where the white edges of his fangs showed, I scoot slower toward him and reach out my index finger and poke at it. His eyes watch me before he parts his mouth a little wider for me and I stroke the length of the fang. I lift my eyes to him, pulling my hand away.
“Will you visit like you always do?"
The shake of his head makes my eyes well up with water and my nose begins to burns trying to keep the tears at bay, and I launch myself into his arms, wrapping my arms around his neck as he catches me effortlessly.
“Don’t go,” I cry.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbles into my hair, hugging me tight to his body.
“How will I be able to know you’re around?” I ask, pulling back.
“You won’t,” there was real pain in his voice, “You won’t even remember me."
I don’t register what he says until he has his index finger on the center of my forehead and his thumb on my temple; a shock zaps from where his fingers were making me jolt in place and gradually I began to grow tired, slumping limply in his hold. Elijah cradles my body to his chest, staring down at me, his hair falling into his eyes.
"What you’d. . . do?” I say slowly, struggling to keep my eyes open.
“Shh,” he shushes me, adjusting me in his arms like a babe.
“Elijah. .” I mumble, my lids half open.
I wasn’t ready to sleep, this will be the last time I’ll see him Elijah, my friend, my protector. . . my hero and I want to spend it memorizing his face and how he looked.
“What if I need you when I’m in serious danger, what do I do?” I tell him with the last strength I have of keeping myself awake.
He was quiet for a minute, and I began to slowly drift off into a dreamless sleep, the back of my head tingling like pins and needles. With my eyes closed, I blindly reach for Elijah’s hand and manage to grip his long, slender finger.
"Just call my name,” he answers softly, caressing my cheek. “I’ll always be close by, just shout my name and I’ll come running."
My mind sways and I’m pulled deep into the dark void, Elijah’s name flashing in my mind’s eyes along with his face.