Hey, I'm going to try to explain Becca's little attitude problem in the last chapter which some of you said seemed kind of out of character for the Becca we had previously seen. Now what I wanted to tell you is that Becca is normally a kind, level headed person, but in 24 hours her entire life got thrown upside down and what I was trying to show is that everyone has a breaking point, people can only take so much before all of the stress gets to them and they explode and take it out on whoever's closest. Mostly I did that because I have read too many stories where the girl gets all googly eyed over a guy that she doesn't know. I wanted to illustrate that Becca has the ability to think for herself and is not about to be pushed around. She feels the pull towards Silas but she has responsibilities and can't just go running off with strange men whenever the mood strikes her. I really hope this makes sense. I'm going to stop now.
I had just put down the expenses report to rest my eyes when I heard the scream. Becca was hurt. I ripped open my door and ran the few feet down the hall to her room. I threw open her door and frantically glanced around. Her bags were still by the bed. The bed had been torn up. The pillows and blankets were scattered on the floor and the sheets were missing. I looked around the room but didn't see them. I couldn't detect any scent but Becca's in the room, but I was sure I had heard her scream. Someone or something must have hurt her.
I frantically searched the room, checking under the bed and in the closet without finding her. Finally, the rustling of the curtain caught my eye. 'Oh no, she jumped!' I ran to the window and looked out. My heart stuttered a bit upon seeing my mate's twisted body lying on the ground below me.
I crouched on the window sill and jumped down, landing, knees bent, about three feet away from Becca's still form and she still didn't move.
I kneeled down beside her and examined her body. Her right leg was twisted under her at an awkward angle, probably broken, and she had an anguished expression on her face. Other than that I could see no injuries. I gently picked her up, not wanting to jostle her leg any more than necessary, and turned to walk back in the house.
As I turned I noticed something white draped over the bushes beside the house. It was a bed sheet. I looked towards her window and shook my head at the bed sheet hanging from her window, floating so innocently in the breeze.
I knew a mate would be more trouble than they were worth.
I sighed and shook my head, I had to get her fixed up first, then I'd figure out a way to keep her from getting hurt. As I carried her around the front of the house to my jeep images of a padded room were forming in my head. Of course I knew I would never do that to her, but it was nice to dream.
It took me a second to figure out how I was going to open the passenger side door without jostling her too much. I ended up twisting myself into some kind of disfigured ballet positions before I was finally able to get a grip on the door handle.
I placed her in the passenger seat and winced at the way her face twisted into a grimace of pain. I buckled her in, ran around to the other side, jumped in, and drove as carefully as I could back to Samuel's house, where Doc and his examination room would be waiting to fix up my mate.
It took me twice as long to drive back, but eventually we pulled into the driveway. Conner and Theo were sitting on the front porch, apparently arguing, until they saw me and ran into the house. Seconds later, they came back followed by Samuel, Annette, Sylvia, Ben, and the twins.
Samuel got to me first and upon seeing my mate, once again passed out, he turned and told Sylvie to take the twins back into the house, which she did, throwing me a look of concern over her shoulder.
Annette came up behind Samuel, saw Becca, and sent Ben to fetch Doc.
Connor and Theo arrived after that. Connor of course decided to open his big mouth. "Dude, you only just found your mate yesterday. How many times has she passed out? Are you that bad at taking care of your mate or is she just really weak?" That was probably the absolute worst thing he could have said at the moment, you don't accuse a werewolf of being unable to take care of their mate. I knew that Connor didn't mean it, just like I knew that breaking his nose wasn't a good idea. But I did it anyway.
"Shit! Fuck! Man what the hell? I was just joking!" Connor's voice was muffled by his hands holding onto his bleeding nose with his accusing eyes fixed on me. But I couldn't find it in myself to feel sorry punching him. Connor was one of my best friends, but he should've known better than to insult me or my mate.
Samuel rubbed his forehead in annoyance, and wasn't able to hold back his relieved expression when Doc arrived.
"What's happened?" Doc was Samuel's brother; they shared the same dark green eyes but not much else. Samuel had sandy blonde hair that he kept pulled into a ponytail whereas Doc's was more reddish blonde when he grew it out. He usually kept it shaved all the way down, which showed off the black tribal tattoos he had, that stretched from the back of his neck to his forehead. Doc's real name was Brady but no one had called him that for as long as I could remember.
"She, uh, climbed out the window and fell. I think her leg is broken." Doc simply nodded and opened her door. When he picked her up and began to walk away I started to protest. Samuel's hand on my shoulder quickly shut me up.
I turned, apprehensively, to look at my Alpha. I already knew this didn't look good. Hours after I'd chased down my mate half-shifted she turns up with a broken leg. I was screwed.
"Why don't we go inside for a nice chat while Doc patches up your mate?" I nodded, already knowing that it was an order, not a request. As I followed Samuel and Annette back into their house, I looked back over my shoulder at the building that served as Doc's home and office, the building that my mate was being taken to.
Once inside, I followed Samuel and Annette to the kitchen where Annette quickly busied herself making tea. Samuel sat down at the large table and gestured for me to take a seat. The table in Samuel's kitchen could easily fit a dozen people. That was how it was in most werewolf homes. We didn't like to eat alone. Those that had mates could sit with just their family and eat without problems. Those that weren't mated usually found themselves at someone else's house to eat. I usually ate here or Silvia and I would head down to my parent's house.
This table held many happy memories for me. Something told me this wouldn't be one of them. "So, do you mind telling me what happened?" Samuel had slipped into a deceptively calm voice, but I had been his Beta for over 40 years and it wasn't fooling me for a second.
"She tried to climb out the window using sheets and I guess she didn't tie them together well enough and she fell." I said this as 'to-the-point' as I could, trying to act as if it wasn't a big deal.
He simply raised an eyebrow and continued his questioning in the same tone of voice. "And why, Silas, would your mate feel the need to escape from you in a way that caused her to be physically harmed?" The gleam in his eye was reminiscent of a predator about to pounce on his prey and I knew I was screwed.
I tried to keep my composure throughout it all but Samuel's hard stare never let up. "I don't know, alright. I thought we were fine. When we left here she seemed to be ok with everything and then we got back to her house so she could pack some stuff and I found her crying in her bedroom. I tried to comfort her but then she snapped and started yelling at me about how I ruined her life. I didn't know what to do and I told her I had to keep her safe so we went back to my house and I showed her to her room. She said she was just going to go to sleep and the next thing I knew I heard a thump and she was laying outside with her leg broke."
Annette sat down beside me and handed me and Samuel cups of coffee while she sipped on her tea. "Silas, you're a good boy and I love you like you were my own, you know that right?" I nodded. "Then please understand I'm saying this with love. You, dear, are a dumbass." I stared at her in shock while Samuel looked as if he was trying to keep himself from laughing.
"She had a life before you showed up, Silas, and now you're taking her away from that life. You are changing things that she may not have wanted changed. Maybe, the best course of action for you, right now, would be to give her some space. Tell her that the only thing that you're changing is her address and that you don't expect anything from her." I opened my mouth to protest, but Annette held up a hand. "I know that you would like to be…romantically involved…but realistically you just met yesterday and you need to take it slow with her even if she is living in your house."
I nodded and continued took a drink from my coffee. She was right, if I ever expected to get anywhere with Becca, I would need to take it slow. I just hoped that Becca would actually give me a chance and hopefully her daring escape attempts might stop.
"So can I go see her?" I knew what they were going to say before they said it, but still, I had to ask.
"Actually, I think it would be better if you waited here for Doc to finish patching her up. The last thing he needs is you breathing down his neck."
Annoyed as I was, I knew that Samuel was right. It would be better for me to just wait here. But that didn't mean I had to be happy about it. I settled myself further into the chair and took a sip out of my coffee. I knew that I was pouting like a pup, but I just couldn't will myself to stop. I turned my head to look at the clock, it was 7:30 pm. I sighed once again, took another drink of coffee, and avoided looking at the amused faces of my Alpha's. This had been a very very long day.
It wasn't too much later that the kitchen started filling up. First Sylvia and the twins, then Connor and Theo, Connor had apparently gotten over me breaking his nose, then finally Ben, who had been helping Doc.
"Hey, Doc says that her leg is broken but it's not too bad. Luckily she didn't fall too far. She's still passed out and Doc gave her a IV of pain meds. He told me to let you know that whenever she wakes up, if she's feeling up to it, he'll bring her over here."
That was some of the best news I had heard all day. I spent the rest of the time sitting anxiously on the edge of my seat, ignoring everyone, waiting for my mate to arrive.
I woke up in a sterilized room with a heavy cast on my right ankle. It stretched from right under my toes to my knee. I was a little upset by this turn of events. I had never broken a bone before but I was pretty sure that it wasn't going to be much fun. I wiggled my toes a little and was happy I didn't feel any pain.
Before I could continue taking inventory of my leg, a door to my left swung open and a bald man with a tattooed head walked in.
"Hey, I'm Doc, how are you feeling?" He seemed pretty nice, but I found it hard to believe that he was a doctor. I'd never seen a doctor with tattoos before. But I figured it was one of those "don't judge a book by its cover" things.
"Uh, ok, I guess. I just woke up." He nodded and wrote a few things down on his clipboard.
"That's good; let me know if you feel any pain. Now I have a few questions I need to ask you, are you up for that." I nodded. "Good. First things first, follow my finger; try not to move your head." He moved his hand slowly back and forth in front of my face with his finger pointing up. "Alright," He took his hand down and made another note on the clipboard. "You don't appear to have a concussion, but if you start to feel nauseous or dizzy let someone know immediately. Now, do you have any allergies?"
"None that I know of." He nodded and marked a few things down on his clipboard.
"Have you had to stay in a hospital overnight for anything within the past 6 months?" I shook my head. "Before this, had you ever broken a bone?" I shook my head again. He made a few more notes on the clipboard before placing it in his lap and focusing all of his attention on me. "Alright, now, can you tell me what happened?"
"Uh, I was, um, trying to climb out the window using bed sheets and they came untied." My face flooded with blood. I was sure that had to be the most idiotic way anyone had ever broken a bone. He just nodded.
"Why did you feel the need to climb out the window? Was Silas abusive to you in anyway?" I suddenly felt like I was under a microscope with the intense way he was staring at me.
"Well no, not really I guess, he did chase me down a hallway, but he didn't hurt me. I was mad at him, I guess. He tells me that I have to live with him for my safety and then drags me off like a caveman. In hindsight, climbing out the window was probably not the best way to deal with it."
He nodded again and marked a few more things on his paper. "Well, they say hindsight is twenty-twenty." He hesitated for a minute. "Look, this really isn't my place, but I've known Silas for a long time. He's a good guy. Apparently he's crap when it comes to dealing with women but still, a good guy. You have to understand something about our culture. Werewolves do not 'date'. We're not like humans who will court a bunch of different people in their lifetime. We wait for Fate to show us our mate. We know instinctively that no one else will complete us in a way that our mate will, and just the thought of being with anyone else is enough to make our stomach turn. So we wait. Silas has never had the opportunity to perfect his technique with the fairer sex the way most human males have. Does that make any sense?" He looked a little bit like he was willing me to understand what he was saying.
"A little, I guess. I'm still not happy about it." I kind of felt like a pouting little kid, but I was tired of other people taking over my life. First, my parents pressure me to become a doctor, then my brother decides that I'm going to raise his daughter, and now this. I talked my parents into letting me do what I wanted, and I loved Lorelei like she was my own. But I had just gotten my life under control after the accident. I didn't need this right now.
I sighed and looked down at my hands. Doc was still looking at me as if I was going to yell at him or more likely jump out of the bed and hobble over to the window to try and escape again.
When I was younger my parents were still putting themselves through school. They both had crappy jobs and most months we were struggling to pay the bills for our little two bedroom apartment. My brother slept in the living room and kept his clothes and toys in my room. I could still remember when I was around four looking at my mom. She had bags under her eyes and was staring into an empty fridge as if she was willing food to appear. That had been a common thing back then. We had quickly become very inventive with what food we had.
My dad had told me that if you work through the bad things, good things will happen. You just had to keep your chin up and trudge onward. When I got older my brother adopted something kind of like that. Shit happens. Your car gets a flat on the way to an important interview. Eh, shit happens. Find something better next time.
I knew this wasn't what he had in mind when he said that, but it brought the words to mind.
"So there's no way out of this?"
"Well, there are ways out of everything, I guess." Doc was now the one looking at his hands.
"Is it bad?"
He took a deep breath and looked at me. "You could deny him, but there's no guarantee that he would leave you alone. Very few of us have the self-control to do that. The ones that do usually go crazy after a while. The only sure fire way to get out of this would be to….well….kill him." He whispered the last words but they still seemed to echo in the quiet room.
"That can't be the only way. I mean, he's a jackass but I don't want him dead. Couldn't I run or something?"
Doc shook his head. "You said he chased you earlier?" I nodded. "Well, that's what happens when you run from your mate. To him that was just like you denying him, and he can't let that happen. You have to understand, that to werewolves our mates are our lives and to lose them is like death. But suicide is not in our nature. A werewolf will pursue a mate until they are killed or their mate accepts them. I don't mean to scare you, you have to know that Silas would never ever do anything to hurt you. But now that he knows you if you were to deny him…well I've heard it feels like an ice cold blade slowly cutting through your heart."
"I don't want to hurt anybody." I whispered. I looked down at my hands and suppressed the urge to cry. "Alright, I'll stay, at least for a while. Get to know him, I guess. Uh, doc?" I looked up.
"I don't have to sleep with him, do I?" Doc laughed. "I mean it's not that he's not attractive but, well, I just met him!"
"No, you don't. Right now you are in the courting stage. Once you sleep together you will be officially mates. It is not unheard of for human mates to wait a while before taking that step. You see, there is no divorce with werewolves. My brother's mate, Annette, waited three years before mating with him. Of course it drove him crazy, not literally, but what I'm trying to say is it's the female's choice."
I breathed a sigh of relief and nodded.
Doc explained to me that I had a crack in my tibia, but it was a stable fracture and he didn't expect any complications. He told me the cast would come off in a few months and then I would be put in a leg brace that would offer a little more movement. He told me to try not to get the cast wet and not to put any weight on my right leg. He repeated that last bit a couple dozen times as if to assure himself that it was permanently etched into my brain. He warned that putting any pressure on my leg could cause the break to worsen.
I spent the next few hours with him discussing my pain medication, how to use crutches and anything else he could think of it seemed. After he finished explaining everything he handed me a card that had his number on it and offered to escort me to the house in order to test out my new crutches.
I stood and balanced myself on my left leg with the crutches positioned under my arms. I had a feeling that I was going to come to hate these crutches. The cold air in the room hit my right knee only serving to remind me that he had cut the lower leg off of my jeans, and that it was likely that I would have to make this wonderful change to a few more pairs of pants, since it wasn't likely that it would warm up anytime soon. I sighed and told myself I would get through this, anyway these jeans were already covered in blood, I probably wouldn't have been able to get that out.
I slowly moved the crutches forward about six inches and, balancing all my weight on the crutches, hopped forward with my right leg in the air like some incredibly awkward version of hopscotch.
I almost lost my footing and was about to put my right foot down to balance myself when Doc grabbed my arms to steady me.
"Do NOT put any weight on that leg." I sighed in exasperation, but nodded. I once again moved the crutches about six inches forward and supported my weight on them in order to hop forward. My foot landed solidly on the ground. I looked at Doc and he gestured towards the door with his head. I nodded, clenched my jaw and took another six inch step.
It was with those six inch steps that we slowly made our way to the front door with only one more near stumble. We stood on the front porch and standing there with the cold wind hitting my face, I had never been more proud of myself. That was cut short when I saw the four steps leading down to the ground. I had just gotten the hang of crutches on flat land, there was no way I could go down steps. Fear gripped me as I imagined myself, slipping and tumbling down those steps only to bust my head open and bleed to death on the walkway below.
Doc tapped me on the shoulder and I turned to him. "I don't think you're ready for steps yet. I thought we could take the wheelchair ramp." He said pointing to my left. I smiled and made my way towards the beautiful ramp. "Now, we haven't practiced going downhill yet, so be careful and if you feel like you need to stop, go ahead and stop." I nodded and carefully put my crutches down on the slope. The ramp wasn't at all steep, but I still managed to stumble one more time before I was once again on flat land. I breathed a sigh of relief and turned towards Doc.
"So, how was that?" I asked with a smile.
"You're doing great. You'll be a pro with those things in no time." I grinned at him and he smiled back. "Well do you want to take a break before we head for the house?" I looked up at the house. It was about thirty feet away, on the other side of a circular driveway which went around what was probably a flower garden in the spring but now just held a small stone water fountain.
"We should probably take a break. I'm pretty sure I could make it, but with my luck I'd get tired about halfway there." He laughed and we took a seat on a bench, beside the wheelchair ramp.
"So is that your house?" I asked in an attempt to break the silence.
"No, that's my brother's house. He's the alpha of the pack. He lives there with his mate, Annette, and their three boys, Benjamin, Elijah, and Shane. Sylvia, Silas' sister stays there too. She's Eli and Shane's babysitter, or at least she's supposed to be. Mostly she's just their playmate. I live above the hospital with my mate, Lisa."
I nodded and thought about something. "Don't Eli and Shane have any friends in the…in the pack?"
"Well, no. You see there are only 136 in our pack, and the birth cycle is a bit different than with humans. You see, when we have pups the females are unable to get pregnant again until the pups reach maturity. It just happened that when Eli and Shane were born all of the other females in the pack had pups. So all of the other pups in the pack are either much older or much younger."
"Um, alright," That was complicated
We sat in a comfortable silence for a little while, just watching gold and red leaves blow in the wind, before he spoke again. "I was told that you were the one who stitched up Silas, is that right?"
"Yeah, three years of medical school."
"It was really good. You would have made a great doctor. Silas said you quit to run your bakery and take care of your niece, is that right?" I nodded. "Well if you ever decide you want to go back into medicine you are more than welcome to come work here."
"Thanks but no thanks. Cooking makes me happy."
"Well if you ever change your mind just let me know." He sighed and stretched his arms out. "So, are you ready to tackle the driveway?"
I stood up, balancing myself on my crutches again. "Let's do this."
He stood up beside me. "Just take it at a pace you're comfortable with. There's no need to hurry. We need to get you where you are completely confident on those crutches."
We set off across the driveway at the same slow pace I had set before with no problem. We finally got to the halfway point and I saw that the fountain I had noticed earlier had two wolves facing each other and howling, the water came out of their mouths. By this time the slow pace was getting on my nerves and my armpits were really starting to hurt, So, I lengthened my stride, and of course almost fell.
Doc grabbed my arm to steady me. "Be careful." He didn't say anything about taking smaller steps so I braced myself and went for the longer stride, this time with no problems.
It still took us awhile longer than it would have if we had been walking but we finally made it to the house. The uphill steps were pretty simple and in no time we were standing in front of the door. As Doc went to open the door it occurred to me that I would have to face Silas again and the urge to run flooded me. Only the pain under my arms and reminding myself that before that big cat broke into my house things had been going pretty good, kept me in place. I took a deep, steadying breath and followed Doc through the door and down a small hallway to a kitchen.
Doc stopped in front of the kitchen door and cleared his throat. "May I present to you, the newly banged up, but still mobile, Becca Prescott!" He started to clap and moved out of the way so I could enter the kitchen before him. I took a wobbly step forward on my crutches and turned beet red when everyone in the kitchen started clapping too.
I stood there for a second before the woman who had given me Tylenol earlier stopped clapping. "Well, don't just stand there dear, come sit down." I was happy to note that the chair she pulled out was between her and the same little boy I had seen earlier. Or maybe not the same one, I thought as I noticed an identical little boy sitting on the lap of a man with dark auburn hair.
I slowly made my way over to the chair, keeping my feet on the floor to make sure I didn't put my crutches down on anyone's toes. "Thank you." As I took a seat at the large table I realized that I was now sitting directly opposite Silas.
My luck had never been this bad. The cosmos was plotting against me.
He was sitting next to the girl who had been reading the story when I had woken up earlier. Looking at them next to each other it finally hit me just how much they looked alike. I took a deep breath and prepared to say something, anything, to Silas.
And then I chickened out.
Luckily I was saved by the little boy sitting next to me. "Miss. Lady, are you feeling better now?" Alright so it was the same boy.
"Yes I am, thank you." He looked over at his twin and smiled, which caused the other boy to jump out of the man's lap and run over to us.
"I'm Eli!" The bot sitting beside me said.
"And I'm Shane." The other twin stuck his hand out and I shook it.
"Daddy said you sell cupcakes." Eli said with a bright smile on his face.
"We like cupcakes!" Shane said with the same bright smile.
"So do I. Would you two like to come by the shop and try out some cupcakes? You could be official cupcake tasters."
The boys high fived each other. "That would be great Miss Lady! We'll go ask daddy!" The boys ran off and both clambered into the auburn headed man's lap. After some quick words the boys turned to me and gave me two thumbs up.
I laughed. It was nice to see kids acting like kids. "Sure, you come by any time and you can both have a cupcake."
They cheered and ran off, apparently to tell their father the good news. I smiled after them. I turned back to the table and that was when I realized Silas was looking at me.
"Maybe we should talk." Crap
Ok people that is it for now. Sorry this one took so long I had some computer issues and I ended up having to re-write the whole thing. I'm going to try to address the length issues with the next chapter. Curiously though, when the chapters were only half as long I didn't get any complaints. But I'm not grouchy about it. Let me know what you think. I know it's going a little slow right now but it's going to pick up.
The power of the written word