Chapter 10: Confrontation
It’s always disorientating when you wake up somewhere you didn’t fall asleep, and that was what happened when I woke up. I’d fallen asleep beside Matt on the sofa and now I was lying on my bed, staring up at my pristine white ceiling. I briefly remembered Matt carrying to my room; remembered Lianne and Matt murmuring softly to each other, but about what bewildered me. It obviously hadn’t bothered me as I’d had no trouble falling asleep afterwards.
Groaning I pulled myself out of bed and shuffled into the kitchen, holding my arms tightly around me. A cool draft was wafting through the open space and I soon found the source. The window was wide open, no wonder it was cold in here. Slamming it shut, I made my way back to the kitchen and clicked on the kettle.
Grabbing my favourite Winnie the Pooh mug and a jar of coffee, I started to make the heavenly drink. Coffee was what kept me awake most the time, having to change into a wolf one night a week meant I got a whole night less sleep than every other person. Yawning, I stirred the coffee and boiled water. I lumbered over to the fridge and opened it with a hefty tug. My hopes dropped.
I was going to be having some strong coffee this morning. Mumbling curses at no one in particular, I stumbled over to the table and sat down with my coffee. Bringing the hot beverage to my lips, something caught my eye. A note from Lianne was stuck to the table.
Lei, I’m at work from ten till seven, pop by the restaurant later if you’re feeling up to it. Hope you’re feeling alright. Lianne x x
I glanced at the clock, three O’clock in the afternoon. Sighing, I dropped my half-empty cup of coffee into the dish with a clatter and began to get ready. Today was already beginning to look like a lazy day.
Twenty minutes later, I was locking up the doors to the apartment and strolling down towards the bus stop. The restaurant wasn’t my destination for once, I could see the red flickering sign up the road, the old dingy place I’d clung to for years. My destination was the hospital, I needed to talk to Mark, the vampire doctor. I hadn’t taken his warning seriously, but I was beginning to think maybe I should.
If Xavier was still in the city and they knew they would be more likely to come searching, probably stumbling across the werewolf they supposedly killed last week. I sighed at the thought of Xavier, I knew he only wanted to help as odd as that seemed for Xavier’s character. When I’d first met Xavier five years ago, the first word that had popped into my head was arrogant. He had that air about him, the one that screamed I love myself, he’d proved that by making snide comments to me and later punching me in the face. Fabulous introduction I’d always thought, it’s a good way to get someone to never forget your face that’s for sure.
I felt the first spots of heavy rain and looked up at the sky, sure enough it was an endless plain of dark looming clouds. Oh joy. I didn’t have my umbrella or even a coat. Wrapping my arms around me tightly, I walked slightly faster towards the open-roofed bus shelter. I was going to get wet, that was inevitable. I could see the bus stop now, it stood lonely away from the other buildings and sadly lacking people. I still had at least a third of a mile before I reached it.
The heavens had opened and the rain was coming down in buckets, I was thoroughly drenched after mere minutes. Mark was going to kill me, I was supposed to be in bed resting, but here I was trekking through the concrete jungle in the pouring rain. Just what I wanted to be doing on a Tuesday afternoon.
I couldn’t hear anything because of the rain and the wind, the mixture of thundering rain and blustering winds had placed a blanket around the area, muffling out any noise. Suddenly the rain stopped, at least I thought it was the rain. I peered in front of me, it was still raining but I was no longer getting wet.
“Does this help?”
I spun around so fast that I fell and I felt hands grab me before I hit the ground. I really had to stop getting myself into these situations. My heart thudded loudly, my stomach dropped. I closed my eyes, not wanting to look at my helper’s face. I knew that smell, even masked by the rain and wind, I could never forget that smell.
“What do you want?” I asked him, my tone bordering defeat as I bowed my head. His hand gripped my chin, lifting it so I was forced to look at him.
Wolf eyes stared back at me.
I stared hard at him, and mumbled,” Why?”
Xavier pulled a face, before sighing,” Can’t we just talk?”
I froze, gazing at the ground.
Did I really want to face my past? I’d been hiding from it for so long, that it felt that if I just simply ignored it that it would go away and leave me alone... but I guess I was living a fairytale, living a lie. I knew it wasn’t the truth, I knew I’d have to face it one day, but I didn’t want to. I was scared, I was a coward.
Xavier was looking at me softly, even caringly.
“Why did you leave?” he asked gently, tucking a stray strand of hair behind my ear.
I felt a tear slide down my cheek and the next thing I knew Xavier had bundled me up in his arms, my head on his shoulder.
“Shhhh,” he murmured, stroking my hair. “It’s okay, Lei.”
That was what did it for me, everything began pouring from my lips.
“D-Daniel pushed me too far,” I sobbed, giving into the tears.
I felt Xavier go rigid against me, he pulled me away so he could look me in the eyes.
“What did he do?” he growled, anger vibrating through his voice.
I closed my eyes, blocking out everything. Xavier thought he’d made a move, forced himself on me.
“It’s not what you think...” I whispered, gripping to Xavier tightly.
“Then what the hell is it!?” he shouted in fury.
I squirmed as the scene replayed in my mind, the anguish returning and the horror multiplying tenfold.
My fake mother, I added silently.
The Headmaster sighed,” Your mother’s dead.”
...Now how do I react to that? I had no idea. As much as I hated her a part of me, however small, had always strived to please her. A part of me had loved her. I felt the first tear of many slip from my eye and roll slowly down my face. Then I became even more emotional as Daniel, who at the first sight of me crying, had come to comfort me with a hug. Yes, Daniel hugging me and I wasn’t punching him in the face for once. Who would have thought? After I’d managed to become even slightly composed the officer was talking to me.
“We found that she had been murdered, but we have no leads to who could have done it. Do you have any ideas who it could possibly be? Did she have any enemies or recent feuds that you know of?
I shook my head and glanced again at Daniel, who had moved to stand at the side again.
Not her enemies.
Daniel’s expression told me he was thinking the exact same thing.
Murder. Such a cold blooded act.
“If you have any ideas, the police would appreciate it if we were informed,” the policeman continued. “We realise now that you have no parents or guardians. As emotional as you may be we need to sort this out now. Mr Saven has offered to adopt you-”
And that was it. Them seven final words, they were what had driven me from my home, driven me from my life. Even the simple thought made me shudder. I refused to tie myself down to someone. The pain I’d felt then had reappeared after several years of being covered. It might have appeared that I’d acted irrationally, but I’d been pushed and pushed.
Becoming a werewolf; the war; losing Jayden; losing my father and half my pack; losing my mother; then the adoption. No real person could take all that pain and walk out normal; it affected me more than it should have done. Becoming a werewolf was traumatic enough, but with so many deaths, I’d become depressed. To get away from it I’d have to physically get away from it which meant moving away. It may have destroyed my chances of a good life, but it was better than living with Daniel.
“What did he do?” Xavier growled again, his eyes looking as if he was ready to kill.
“After everything, losing everyone I loved and losing...” I trailed off.
Xavier’s expression softened immediately, he knew how much it had hurt me, but he wasn’t aware that I hadn’t gotten over it.
He knew now.
“After losing Jayden,” I whispered, waiting for the expected pain and I was surprised when only a dart of hurt seared through me instead of the usual avalanche that crushed me until I couldn’t breathe. I clung to Xavier, he was what made me felt better because he’d known Jayden. None of my current friends could help, they didn’t know about Jayden, didn’t know I was a werewolf, they wouldn’t be able to cope.
“Daniel wanted to adopt me,” I mumbled, suddenly ashamed of running. “I know it was stupid, but-”
“Lei,” Xavier interrupted me, grabbing my chin between his forefinger and thumb making me look at him once again. “It was not stupid what you did, you thought it was right and you did what you had to do. I don’t blame you for running, I mean who would want Daniel to adopt them?”
Xavier said the last part with intended humour, his smile a mile wide and I couldn’t help the small grin that escaped.
“Do you understand? We’re not angry at you, Lei,” he told me softly, washing away all the nightmares I’d had, I could see Lucas and Jack’s gentle faces sneering at me with hatred, but now... now I couldn’t see that. Not after what Xavier just told me.
“I know Jack misses you and so does Lucas,” Xavier informed me, the small smile lighting his face turned to a smirk. “And I know I do too, I miss fighting with you most of all.”
I pulled away from him and hit him lightly on the arm, he pulled a pained face.
“Your face is so fake,” I laughed, swatting him again.
He winked,” I know.”
We stared at each other for a while; the rain still coming down like there was no tomorrow. I watched as Xavier’s expression became serious as his eyes scanned my body, he looked... worried. I started shuffling backwards, a natural instinct now; if people wanted information they’d have to chase me for it.
“Lei...” he warned, taking a step towards me.
He wasn’t going to hurt me, I was confident enough of that. He was anxious about me, worried even. He only wanted to make sure I was okay... and then probably force me back to the pack...
I couldn’t let that happen... not yet...
I saw the bus coming and glanced backwards. Xavier couldn’t see the bus and the bus stop wasn’t far from me.
“Don’t you dare,” he muttered, his eyes alight with annoyance. He was guessing I was going to run.
“Yeah right!” he snorted, moving forward to take my arm. The bus was beginning to move into the bus stop, I turned and ran. Xavier shouted behind me and I felt his fingers skim my arm, he was so close to grabbing me, but his fingers didn’t find the grip they needed. I heard him curse behind me as I jumped onto the bus, swiping my bus card and taking a seat at the back of the bus. I looked out the back window and gave him a cheery wave. Xavier glared at me, giving me the middle finger before turning and storming away.
Thank god Xavier couldn’t chase me in public.
Swivelling on my seat, I relaxed.
I never thought I’d ever want to be in a hospital, but right now it was looking like a safe-haven from Xavier.