❝Look deep into my eyes and realize that I will never back down.❞
I woke the next morning to the sunlight in my eyes from a slit in the curtains, squinting, I raise my arms above my head as I stretch, the muscles in my thighs sore and the junction between my legs along with the rest of my body. I freeze mid-movement, the feel of arms tightening around my bare waist before loosening up.
I glance behind me to see a mop of dark hair that belonged none other to Xavier as he slept, keeping his hold on me, face relaxed and peaceful. A flood of images came rushing back, all containing the events from the night before. A flush begins to warm my face as I turn to lie on my back.
With slow and deliberated movements, I unwrap Xavier’s arms from around me before slipping out of the bed without waking him, the room was chilly but didn’t seem to bother me as I tiptoed across the room bare as the day I was born, slipping inside the bathroom. Once I softly shut the door while twisting the lock, I release a breath that eases some of the tension from my body as I pad over towards the double marble sinks. I place my hands on the edge of the counter, hanging my head as I shiver, images still lingering in my mind, flashing like cars on the road some shown longer than others.
I sigh, striding over towards the glass door of the shower and quietly step inside. I stand under the stream of water, the temperature slowly going from icy cold to lukewarm, steam quickly fogging the glass. My thoughts wander, walking a slow path down memory lane and recalling everything from the night before, every sensation, touch, whispered words, promise and more that makes me forget what I had wished to be forgotten.
I cover my face, my cheeks immensely warm without the work of the shower. Heaving a sigh, I remove my hands from my face and behind to wash off, the evidence of our conjoinment washing down the drain but forever etched in my mind. An hour or so later, I step out of the shower feeling refreshed and new while wrapping a towel around me that was hanging from the silver bar on the wall.
I step out from the bathroom, steam following me out and floating into the air as my eyes flicker to the bed, where Xavier still laid fast sleep. I could feel him the back of my mind like a silver thread that outshines the others that wove and cross over each other, I feel his exhaustion, something I caused from him worrying about me more than his self.
My brows crease as I move towards his drawers and pick out my undergarments I had taken from the house, moving my case to the mirror to watch Xavier through it as I slipped on my clothes. He had his back towards me, the sheets pooling around his waist but leaving the upper half exposed for me to see, with a smile gracing my lips.
After putting the rest of my clothes on, I ease out the room as silently as I could, softly shutting the door behind me. I walk down the hall to the nursery, the hall quiet with everyone still fast asleep and enjoying their dreams, the door is within my sight, my fingers grasping the handle and easing the door open before peeking inside. From here I could see London was already awake, staring wide-eyed at the ceiling while squirming about in his cot, his eyes shifting to the sound of the door opening.
I smile, pushing the door farther open and striding towards the crib, peeking over the edge, my gaze immediately connecting with his. That spark was back, glittering in his eyes as I reach down and pick him up from beneath his arms, cradling him to my chest, holding him close all while I move to the door.
He grabs onto strands of my hair with his small fingers, trying to place them in his mouth, his eyes watching me as he does this. He was the joy that I needed besides what Xavier already gave me, and also the urge to go forward to make a better life for him than what I am experiencing. I’ll give him a better life, I promise.
My lips gently descend upon London’s forehead, sealing my promise. I make it down the stairs as I pull away, the smell of breakfast making its way to my nostrils and to my stomach, the grumble in my stomach no surprise to me.
“Good morning,” I greet, as I pass the archway and turn my direction to the island seats.
The cooks and maids greet me back with smiles and a few words, moving about the kitchen and readying everything for the household that slowly wakes to start a new day, the undertone of darkness still etching in themselves to others.
“Here you go,” a maid softly speaks, placing London’s bottle near me along with his bib.
“Thank you,” I say with a smile and start to clip the material around his neck while uncapping the bottle and propping his mouth with the nipple.
His mouth instantly opens, cheeks puffing as he takes large gulps, wide eyes staring at the bottom that held his food, I grin down at him as I hold him with one arm and use the other to wipe away the breast milk that slides down the side of his mouth.
It was a short time before I felt the presence of another, besides the maids and cooks, walk through the archway.
I look over my shoulder and see Stella making her way through the archway, already dressed for the day like I was, her eyes settling on me. A smile spreads across her face at the sights of me and spreads wider to show both rows of teeth when she sees the bundle in my arms.
“Good morning, Abigail!” she moves over towards me, and side hugs me before bending down to kiss London’s cheek.
“Hey, little guy,” she coos, rubbing her finger down his arm. His eyes move over towards her, his little throat working to swallow the mouthfuls he was taking, the bottle halfway empty.
“I can take him from you so you can eat, your food is going to get cold soon.” she offers, staring down at me with her hazel eyes.
“Thank you,” I mutter, handing him over as she sits down at the stool beside me and continues to feed him as I take bites from the plate in front of me.
We fell in an comfortable silence with me finishing my breakfast and greeting the people that passed through the kitchen while Stella played with London, burping him when he finished his bottle. The packhouse was slowly coming to life as it soon was going to be like traffic with bustling bodies that head to different directions.
The cooks and maids left mid-noon to do what they were assigned to do, taking London with them to watch him along with the other children of the pack, not too long someone entered the kitchen. Samantha shuffled her way across the floor, her pace slow and eyes still holding sleepiness as she slumped in the chair on the other side of me, putting her head down on her arms.
“Look who’s rose from the dead,” Stella jokes, leaning to look at Samantha.
She grunts, her hair becoming curtains for her, strands of it sticking out into places. The corner of my lips tilt, rubbing my hand down her back in the process of shaking her body.
“What’s the matter?” I question, removing my hand when she sits up to lean against her palm.
“I couldn’t sleep last night for two reasons,” she finally speaks, turning to glare at me, “One being that Abigail couldn’t keep quiet while Xavier destroyed her last night.”
My mouth popped open without a thought, eyes widening as fire slowly rises to my cheeks and spreads across my face. Stella bursts out into laughter, my mouth opening and closing with my mind trying to come up with a response.
“I. . . I thought I was q-quiet enough,” I whisper, looking down at the counter.
“You thought wrong,” Samantha mutters, getting up and walking towards the stove where leftovers were.
I turn towards Stella, “You heard me, last night?” I ask.
She nods, laughing again when I drop my face into my hands, groaning out loud.
“Oh my God.”
“It’s okay,” she tries to reassure me, “Justin and I were the same way when we first met and marked each other. It’s natural.”
I sigh, removing my face from my hands, feeling Samantha settle back in her seat with a plate full of food.
“That reminds me,” I turn my attention to Stella, “Did you guys us a condom?”
My mouth opens to tell her ‘yes’ but freezes when my mind refers back to the last night, to remember that Xavier didn’t put one on. I could feel my face pale as my gaze connects with Stella’s, my answer shining through.
“I figured,” she mumbles to herself, getting up, “I’ll be right back.”
I began to feel sick. It’s not that I didn’t want to have kids, it’s just that I wasn’t ready and right now wasn’t a good time to be having kids or thinking about getting pregnant with everything going on. Xavier and I haven’t had the conversation yet of wanting kids but I knew that one was coming sooner the older we got.
“It’ll be all right,” Sam tells me.
I only hope so.
It wasn’t long before Stella came back, something clutched in her hand while the older held a glass of water. She comes to my side and drops whatever was in her hand— two pills connecting with the counter as she set the glass down.
“Morning After pills,” she answers, moving the pills closer towards me, “I was the same way when Justin and I first started having sëx, you’re usually supposed to take one, but us being wolves and any medicine we take burns in an instant we take two or three.”
I stare down at the pills, my fingers hesitant to take them in my palms.
“Look,” Stella picks them up for me, grabs my wrist and places them in my hand, “It’s going to be all right, we know you’re not ready, not after everything that is happening. But we’re here for you.”
I look into her eyes, the sincere truth shining through them as I look down into my hand and release a deep breath as I pop them into my mouth.