Chapter 6 Another Mate?
Rose 2 years ago… “Do you think you refusing to speak is helping your case?” he hissed, his blue eyes burning at me. “You are defying your alpha? Don’t force me to lose my s**t, Rose. I don’t want to hurt you,” I looked away and pursed my lips, focusing my eyes on the big tree that was visible outside my window instead. This might cost me, but I didn’t care anymore. I knew this was making him angry but this was exactly what he asked for. He destroyed my life just because he was ashamed of the way I spoke, even though it was no fault of mine. Because my voice annoyed him and humiliated him. So I decided to help him out a bit and shut my voice for good. Now he will never hear me speak again. Never ever again. _______________ Present My body hurts. Every inch of me hurts, but still not the excruciating way it was hurting earlier. As I opened my eyes slowly, it felt like huge stones were tied to my eyelids and it took a really long time before my vision could adjust enough for me to focus. And instead of the dark forest and ghastly shadows of the gigantic trees all around, my eyes fell on a clean white ceiling. It didn’t feel like the forest either. It wasn’t cold and there was no foresty smell. Everything smelt…normal? Maybe with a hint of a medicinal scent. My head rested on something soft, presumably a pillow, and I was covered with a very comfortable blanket. I had no idea where I was, but the exhaustion that I felt was so profound that I couldn’t bother. It didn’t matter if I was dead at this point, because I just didn’t have the strength left in me to fight anymore. It was all my fate now, wherever that takes me. “Oh, you are awake,” My thoughts were distracted by an unfamiliar but kind female voice. Mustering whatever strength I could, I slowly turned my head and a young woman wearing big black glasses smiled down at me. I stared at her blankly for a moment before a gush of panic hit me hard and I quickly scampered up, scooting as far away from her as I could. Who was this woman now? Was she a part of that disgusting gang of slave traders? A friend of Alana’s? Did they really catch me again and I lost my one and probably the last chance at freedom? My eyes instantly scanned the room and it looked normal and clean. Not like the disgusting, smelly room they locked me up in. It was all white with blue blinds. There were three single beds, each having blue sheets, blue blankets and pillow covers. I could also see a few machines here and there and there was something attached to my right wrist. A thin tube-like thing attached to what felt like a pouch of…water? “Don’t be scared,” the woman assured, distracting me. “You are perfectly safe now. I am doctor Carrie Young, the pack doctor.” My eyes widened at her words. Pack doctor? I knew what a pack doctor meant. But wait…pack? Whose pack? What pack? Nothing was making any sense to me and trying to make sense gave me nothing but a blinding headache. The last thing I remember was that I was running from those gigantic, angry wolves through the dark forest and then…. Then I ran into an even bigger one with glistening green eyes and he let out a howl that froze my blood before everything turned dark. “This is the Blue Hounds pack. You were brought here in well, not a very good condition I would say, but I did your first aid and all that and now all you need is to rest as much as you can and relax so that you can heal,” she continued when I didn’t respond. “How do you feel now?” How did I feel? I had no idea. Apart from the obvious exhaustion, all I felt was…nothing. I was just…blank. And I didn’t know how to explain that to anyone. “Okay, there is no hurry. You can take your time,” she smiled. “Just know that you are completely safe and…no one is going to hurt you here,” I raised my eyes to hers and she gave me a knowing, sympathetic look. “I will be right back with some meds. Relax,” I watched as she turned on her feet and walked out, shutting the door behind her. My body sagged down with relief and sighing, I blankly stared at my hands that were scarred with scratches. I had so many questions I wanted to ask. How did I come here? Who brought me here? What was I going to do now? Where was I and what did the future hold for me? I had no money, no family, no friends…I had no one I could call mine in this huge world. Had I been alone, I wouldn’t have bothered. I couldn’t care any less if I died. But that was the thing. I was no longer alone. My life was no longer just mine. It now belonged to the little life that was growing inside me. My stomach churned and I gulped down the bile that rose to my throat. This was a fact I had yet to process. Everything happened so fast that I didn’t even get the time to. One moment the pack doctor was telling me that I was pregnant and the next moment I was running from those ghastly wolves to protect this little life I wasn’t even yet familiar with. Everything in between is a blur. The nauseating wave of panic hit me again as I curled up in a ball, trying to draw some warmth and assure myself that everything was fine. Everything was going to be fine. “Sweetie,” It was the doctor again. I didn’t even notice when she got back. “There is someone you should meet. He is the one who brought you here and saved your life.” I blinked, my heart stopping for some reason at her words. Out of nowhere, a weird feeling enveloped me, a feeling really hard to explain as I slowly forced myself to raise my head. The moment I did, my eyes fell on a pair of gray ones and… Something inside me shifted. He stared at me silently, somehow his eyes widening as they studied me. My heart pounded against my chest furiously as I gazed back at him, unable to look away. A warm scent evaded the clinical one of the room and just liked that all the tension, the fear and nauseating feeling piling in my chest ebdded away replaced by a feeling of…peace? I had no idea what was happening, but as we both stared at each other, it felt like I knew him. As if I had met him before and basked in this warm scent before. And it baffled me because I hadn’t, I hadn’t ever seen him before. For the last two years, the only man I have laid my eyes on was…him. No man was allowed near me. And I wasn’t allowed anywhere outside the four walls of the cage that was supposed to be my room. “He is the man who saved your life,” the pack doctor smiled. “I will leave you two alone and be right back,” I instantly searched for that furious protest in mind that fear and aversion to men brought, but weirdly there was none. I didn’t feel the slightest ounce of fear as she left me in this stranger’s presence. Instead, I was again hit by that weird sense of familiarity. “Hi,” he finally spoke, taking a tentative step towards me. I clenched the sheets tightly, my heart pounding as he sat down on the little stool in front of me. My skin prickled as I fought the urge to move away, a feeling stemming from my fears, even though inwardly I had this strong sense of knowing that he wasn’t going to hurt me. I just knew…in my heart. “Don’t be scared, I am not going to hurt you,” he repeated. “I am…Noah. Noah Gray.” I still didn’t know what to say. All I could do was silently stare at him, my insides curling and shifting into a feeling that made no sense to me. “What is your name?” he asked softly, his voice sending a warm tingle down my spine. It was masculine and heavy but at the same time somehow cajoling. Reflexively, my eyes assessed him and again something about him felt so innately familiar. He had serious but beautiful gray eyes with long dark lashes, a sharp face with even a sharper jawline and a shock of unkept copper hair. His face was covered in a similar unkept stubble. His demeanor was brooding and serious but still something about him was…comforting. And the next realization that dawned inside my heart appalled me to no extent. He was beautiful. Immediately and unwillingly my mind compared him to…him and inside my heart I knew there was no comparison. And neither did I know why I was comparing this man to him…alpha Gordon Vance. The man who destroyed my life, the man who was apparently my mate and the man…whose child I was carrying. Again, bile rose to my throat, my stomach churning and again, in a manner that was extremely startling, the moment his voice touched me, the uneasiness ebbed away. “Don’t be scared,” he added, looking uncomfortable for some reason. “What is your name?” I gulped and as much as I wanted to speak, I was completely out of habit. I hadn’t uttered a word in two years and now I don’t even remember my voice. “It’s okay,” Noah assured me and I blinked when he gave me a very tiny lift of his lips. I could sense he was somewhat uncomfortable or wary of me. Was he disgusted with me too? I could see how strained his jaw was, and so were his eyes, which he was somehow desperately trying to fight. “Please say something,” he urged. “I know you are scared and you have endured a lot, but if you don’t speak I…” “Ro…Rose,” the words just pushed out of my lips, shocking me. It sounded so alien because I had completely forgotten how my voice sounded and even the motion felt unfamiliar. No one in the last two years could make me speak. No amount of his shouts, his threats or anything could make me speak and yet out of nowhere the words just rushed out of my lips at his urging. My brain was making no sense of all the sudden weirdness that this man I had never met before evoked in me. “Rose,” he tested the word and reflexively my lips parted at the way it sounded coming from him. I had no idea what he was thinking as he frowned before fixing his gaze back on me. “Do you remember what happened? Anything at all?” I slowly nodded my head in response. I ran for my life from those ghastly people who wanted to sell me.They were disgusting, addressing the other girls there as slaves and treating them the same way. I was appalled to see them chain the girls and line them up to be sold. Even though I was clueless as to what was happening, what I knew was that I needed to run. And so I did. “Were you running from the slave traders?” he inquired. I nodded again. How does he know about them? It didn’t feel like he belonged with those dirty men. No way. He looked very…expensive. And regal, like an alpha. And if he was the green-eyed wolf I ran into, then he might very well be. “That was very brave of you,” Noah muttered. “And extremely risky as well. They could have killed you if I…” he trailed off and pinched the bridge of his nose, looking agitated. He looked angry and I wasn’t sure at what or rather whom. After an eternity, he sighed and gazed up at me, his gray eyes glinting with determination. “Do you feel anything towards me? Any connection or pull…a sense of familiarity maybe?” he asked, fixing me with his gaze as he sat up straighter, the veins in his arms popping up. What? How does he know that? Can he peep inside my head or something? Who was this man? “Wh…wh…at?” I croaked. Noah stared at me long and hard, his lips parting as he took a deep breath. The longer he stared at me, the warmer my body started to get and I squirmed under his steely gaze. It wasn’t the way Gordon stared at me. Like he would want to strangle me and rip me apart with just his gaze. His gaze brimmed with discomfort which he was desperately trying to mask with determination. “Rose,” he said, his jaw clenched, tension radiating off him in waves. “I am your mate. We are…mates,” I blankly stared at him, my stomach rolling down to rock bottom as we silently gazed at each other. What?