side story - Mason
I’m hurting her.
I’m hurting the one person that truly cares for me. I can feel it. That small sliver of aching pain in my heart travels through my body like it’s my own and it only grows stronger the farther my feet take me away, a couple paces away I lean against the base of a tree, my vision blurring and my emotions clogging my throat.
“I hate you!”
Her voice echoes and bounces off the walls in my head, my heart dropping to the pit of my stomach. I did that. I made her hate me. An intense emotion boils over, causing my hands to shake and for the beast in me to rampage in my skull; growling and snarling. I grit my teeth together my body heating up, soon enough, I take off deeper into the woods farther away from where she resided before the beast bursts from beneath my skin in a ball of burning fire. My bones pop and rearrange and my muscles stretch to accommodate the change, my legs reverting into hinds and my body dropping to the ground, not long after I’m weaving through the trees on four legs.
I tear at shrubs, claw at the roots of trees and everything in my path, this was anger toward myself, my decision and how I’m acting. I don’t deserve her as she said, she’s been waiting two years for me to stop wallowing in my disbelief and heartache and finally take that next step. I’m pathetic. We run until day gives into night, blanketing the woods black, without realizing it the beast takes me on a familiar route, giving me the reins of control as we trot to the back of a familiar house.
I barely made it when the sound of the front door slamming shut is heard. The lights from the living room illuminate shadows and colors from the open curtains.
“Samantha, honey?” a woman calls out, my ears twitch to catch every word.
Feet stump against the floorboard, soon, her short frame passing the window without a glance my way, not that I expected her to.
“Not now, Mom,” I hear her whisper with a hoarse voice.
I can tell she’s been crying from the tone of her voice, all the screaming she’s done. I hear her bound up the steps, wisps of her hair flowing behind her from the open curtains, the sound of her footfalls disappearing down the hall and into her bedroom where the sound of the lock is heard: echoing in the hollow space of my mind. Samantha’s mother pauses at the bottom of the steps, knowing she heard the sound of the door locking, halting any of her advances.
“Gabriel,” she sighs when her mate comes up from behind her, “It’s really tearing her apart.”
“I know,” Samantha’s father sighs, placing his hands on his mate’s shoulder, rubbing away the tension, “I know.”
“He’s really hurting her,” the Mom whispers, still staring up at the stairs. “I wish I could do something. . .”
The father shakes his head, “This is between the both of them. They’ll solve it and hopefully, he’ll come to his senses.”
Just then he turns his head to look out the window, his gaze immediately seeking me out, as he stares me down. The brown in his eyes darken with the presence of his wolf to protect its pup from any danger it deems to classify as, even the heartache of his pup’s own mate. I flinch away from his gaze, frowning down at myself as I take a step back, my hind foot sinking into the snow.
His eyes spoke what his mouth couldn’t and if it was up to him, I wouldn’t be in the picture and his daughter wouldn’t be in such pain that I’m causing her, but he has no choice but to step back and let his pup handle things on her own knowing there’s nothing he can do. We stare at one another for a while longer before I move back, into the shadows the trees shaped.
I cast one last lingering glance at Samantha’s window, the lights shut off but the very sound of her crying letting me know that she was much awake. I turn around, my back to the house and dart into the woods on all fours.
The next day couldn’t have come any slower as I step out from the shower next to my room. It was early in the morning and the packhouse was barely awake with the knowledge of a few bodies moving about. I leave the bathroom and dry myself before putting on my clothes.
The travel down the stairs consisted of me stuck in my thoughts and briefing over the things that happened in the span of twenty-four hours and basically the last two years. I review the ways I’ve acted, treated, and ignored people because I was living in my past; I suppress a groan with the image of Samantha’s crying face.
“And the dead has risen.”
I jump, startled, and blink as the surroundings start coming to me and see that I walked myself into the kitchen, and there standing at the counter was my sister. She was leaning over a bowl of fruit and container of Nutella.
“Morning,” she greets, waving the chocolate covered knife.
I breathe out at the sight of her, “Good morning,” I say, moving further into the kitchen.
Abigail leans up from the counter, licking the surface of the knife as her eyes bore into mine.
“I didn’t expect you to be up so early.”
I shrugged. “I wasn’t able to sleep well enough. . .”
Abigail says nothing more as I pass behind her, just the faint smell of Samantha’s scent on her person made my wolf yank at my reins of control, everything coming two times as hard from the all the emotions that I’ve ignored. I force myself to keep my balance, not knowing that just a whiff of her scent will have me reacting this way, it took everything in my power just not to run out of this building and have her in my arms and do more than just hold her.
“You know Sam wants to pursue to be a doctor, right?” Abigail starts, the sound of her closing the lid to the fruit heard clearly.
I release a quiet sigh, pulling open the fridge, but not really looking.
“Did you know it was because of you?”
My heart skips a beat, my mind blanking for a moment before I take the chance to glance over my shoulder. Abigail was leaning her back against the counter, her full attention towards me, arms crossed and expression hard and locked.
“Injuries come with being a warrior for a pack and she had decided that if she was a doctor she can take care of you further,” she explains, “she thought about you way all while you were ‘taking time off’.”
Food was forgotten as I shut the refrigerator door and move to the side of it to lean my weight against the counter’s edge.
“That girl has held off for you for so long, put her feelings aside just to give you time so you can cope and heal with being tricked,” my sister shakes her head at me, “two years, Mason, and you haven’t once thought of her and what she has gone through.”
I look away from her burning gaze and down at the designs of the marble tops, tracing each granite with my eyes and doing anything not to meet the disappointed gaze of my sister.
“I didn’t accept you for leaving me just for you to do the same to someone else.”
I’m quieter than ever at her statement, I can do nothing but lean my head back and breathe deeply through my nostrils before I speak.
“What would you do if you were in my position and the person you were beginning to fall for wasn’t really who you were supposed to be with and is now being ripped away?” I inquire, opening my eyes and continue to stare at the ceiling.
“Imagine if Xavier wasn’t meant for you?”
She purses her lips together, deep sadness coating her eyes as her hand instantly cupped her belly.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to handle it,” she says honestly, “your situation is different, you aren’t putting in any effort and that’s the key factor of any relationship.”
I keep my eyes on the ceiling.
“Look at me, Mason.”
I do and I’m met with empathic eyes, “I know you want her— I see the way you look at her when you don’t think anyone is looking— but the more you push her away, the sooner you lose her.”
“She’s already deciding to move away to focus more on what she wants now. The time is ticking for you, Mason, what are you going to do?”
As I look my sister in the eyes, the same as mine but much for wiser and older than the last time I looked so deep into them, I can’t help but notice that she’s right. The options were right there, live in the past and see what time I lost or let her go.