I watched as the large men left the little cabin, leaving me alone with the doctor. He had a kind but withered face and a curious look in his eyes. He scrutinized my body from top to bottom before furrowing his brow.
“So, what is your name, child?” he asked.
I looked at him in astonishment and wondered what to do.
“Do I need to answer that?” I knew for a fact that there would be only one half-breed running from their pack with my name. The moment I said my name, they would know how to look for me.
“I was going to put your name on the medical chart for my benefit, but no matter!” he chirped.
“Your name has nothing to do with your health, so I will give you a temporary name to distinguish you.”
He hummed and looked around the room, searching for an appropriate name. I felt a pang of gratefulness at his understanding.
“How about I call you ‘Lemonade’?” he asked after a while.
“Lemonade?” I whispered, shocked. That didn’t sound much like a name.
“I couldn’t come up with anything fancy. I had lemonade in the morning,” he said sheepishly.I tried to show him a small smile but failed miserably in my nervousness.
He watched my expression for fear before looking down.
“Now that the men are gone, let’s go over your medical history, shall we?”
I nodded. While I didn’t trust these people completely, I knew there was no escaping this situation. I could only guard against so much after being caught by the pack protectors.
“What is your age?” he asked.
He looked up again and nodded before scribbling it down.
“Have you had your first heat, yet?” I, obviously, shook my head. “Are you sexually active?” I shook my head again, this time, my cheeks reddening with embarrassment. He didn’t even spare me another glance. He put his chart aside and scooted closer to me slowly.
“Okay, I will need to check your vitals and take a sample of your blood. I will keep asking you questions as I run the rests. So treat it as a conversation and don’t be too nervous.”I hummed and allowed him to put one of those machines that take blood pressure on my arm.
“You know, when I was going to school, these were becoming popular. I know there are fancier ones available these days, but I prefer these,” he said calmly. As the tightness went off, the doctor furrowed his brow. “You have very low pressure according to your age and species. Have you always had a problem with this?” he asked.
I blinked. “I don’t think I have had a checkup before.” I paused. “Not to my knowledge,” I amended quickly. I could see the flash of sympathy in his eyes. I chose to ignore it for my own pride.
“I see,” he mumbled before putting his stethoscope on and checking for the heartbeat and the condition of my lungs. Then the penlight checked my eyes and throat and nose. For the next fifteen minutes, I found out a lot of things about my body.
Apparently, I was severely malnourished, had anemia, and a plethora of other diseases which he said should be minor but together, were pretty deadly.
“Little girl, you are lucky to have found me. I am a good doctor, so I can get you up and running in no time,” he said with a toothy smile.
“I… I don’t plan on staying,” I told him.
He nodded sagely before guiding me into a separate room.
“You will get a full-body scan here. I just want to check everything inside is running as usual,” he informed me quickly.
As he placed me on the cold metal bed, I sucked in a deep breath and watched the scanner move over me.
“It’s okay if you don’t want to stay here, but you can’t wander around like this without getting proper nourishment. Have you tried hunting for yourself before?” He sat down on the little chair at the corner of the room as I rearranged the clothes on me.
I shook my head. “I… I can’t shift. I can only catch small animals. I mostly have plants for my diet,” I admitted sheepishly.
“Fruits and vegetables are a necessary part of a human’s diet. But as a half-human, your body requires a high amount of protein to function like a wolf’s. It’s harder for half-breeds to shift and I hear it’s painful.”
I slipped down from the metal bed and stood around awkwardly.
“Next up, blood test,” he prompted.
I barely felt a pinch when the needle went in. And the process was over within no time.
He finally leaned back and looked over everything he had found out about me.
“I know you don’t want to talk about what happened to you, but I could see the condition of your body when I scanned it. I am a self-sufficient doctor in this pack. I know a hurt wolf when I see one,” he said calmly.
“I… I am not hurt,” I was quick but quiet to protest.
“Others might frown upon my approach, but in my professional opinion, you have had a hard time bringing yourself up in a hostile environment. I don’t know your story and I can see that you are not prepared to tell me. So, I won’t probe. But I really hope you will understand the dire situation you are in and give yourself a shot at a healthy life.”
I stared at him for a long time.
“Are you trying to convince me to stay here?” I whispered.
He shook his head. “I don’t want to convince you of everything. You are an adult who has lived alone for a considerable amount of time. You know what is good for you. I am telling you that you are severely unwell and you need to take care of your body in a peaceful environment. If this pack is that place for you or not is not my call. But you need to nurture your body before it goes beyond the chance of repair.”
It was a very long sentence for a man like him. He was definitely kind and trying his best to fill in the gaps and make me feel comfortable.
“I can’t settle down,” I told him truthfully after what seemed like ages of silence.
He looked peaceful in his seat, without a shred of judgment or expression to give away his thoughts.
He didn’t ask me for reasons, as if waiting for me to tell him whatever segment of my life I allowed myself to tell him.
“I will get caught,” I said quietly.
“That’s a good reason,” he admitted. “A good environment comes with people who will look after you and ensure that you are not harmed. I don’t know what or who is chasing you or why, but… think about it.” He tapped his pen on the pad. “What do you think?”
“I will consider it,” I said quietly, even though I knew I wouldn’t. There was no way I was staying.
“For now, you must be starving. I will ask someone on kitchen duty to bring you some bland porridge to eat.”
Porridge. It was something I had not had in a very long time. I nodded hesitantly, not sure if I should be eating at a foreign place where I knew no one. I found myself trusting this old face, but I also knew that the innocence and sense of safety would probably be my downfall.
He picked up the little landline on his desk and pressed on 9. He waited, his finger tapping, and then his eyes lightened slightly. “Who’s on kitchen duty today?” he spoke into the phone.There was a moment of silence. “Excellent. Could you deliver some bland porridge? Put in a little meat in their too, yeah… make it really light.” He listened for a little longer before hanging up. He turned to me with a smile. “Your five-star meal will arrive soon. You can look around the room and familiarize yourself with the surroundings while I look over your tests, what do you think?”
I didn’t have an opinion on it. As long as I was facing someone who I had a semblance of beating, I felt a lot better.
As he concentrated on preparing the blood, I glanced around the room.
Starting from the anatomy charts on the walls to the model of organs beside his desk.
Finally, I looked over to the window on the other side of the room and slowly stood up and walked towards it. Sunlight streaked from the window, and I looked at it for the first time in a long time. I had not seen the unhindered sun for over a year. I hadn’t known I would miss it so.
My nose, though not as sensitive as full-blooded wolves, picked up on the scent of two people who seemed to be standing outside.
Curiosity got the best of me and I peered from the very corner to see the burly mean standing. Thankfully, they didn’t look like guards holding the fort. Instead, One was leaning against the wall of the cabin, while the other stood opposite him, talking about something.Their voices were so low that I couldn’t hear them, but I saw the other man turn distinctly towards me and stare for a split second.
I scooted away immediately, a gasp escaping my lips. The man was the one I had spoken to earlier. I squeezed my eyes shut when I heard a loud bark of laughter and a mumbled ‘cute’ from his direction.
Selena POV:There was silence outside again and I didn’t bother to look outside again in embarrassment. I shuffled back to the chair and seated myself.I looked down at my twined fingers and waited for a minute to compose myself.I heard the door to the cabin slam open and was startled to look towards it. It was a woman with a tray in her hand. The doctor, too, had startled as was looking at the female in question with thinly veiled horror in his eyes. “Wasn’t Lena in kitchen duty today?” he asked, trying to keep his voice down and out of surprise. He failed miserably because I could hear the anxiety in his voice. Hearing him so unsure, I felt fear creep up my spine. “Oh my, look at what the pack dragged in.” Her eyes scanned over my body and she scoffed. I could distinctly see the disgust in her eyes. I shrank back and slumped into the chair, trying to distance myself from her, but at the same ti
Duncan POV:Neo’s loudly muttered ‘cute’ caught my attention. I followed his line of sight and saw a small body quickly retreat. Neo chuckled and shook his head.“So much for being a threatening presence. The little one surely is scared and embarrassed easily,” he said softly. .A grave expression crossed Neo’s face when he looked at me.We had just left the cabin after Ruth and were distressed by what had just occurred. The whole situation irked me. Not only had Ruth aggressively floundered on my authority, but she had the audacity to look smug about it. The little widening of the half-breed’s eyes had given away exactly what Ruth had done when my back was turned.“Have you thought about what to do with her?” he asked.I shook my head. “So far, letting the doctor assess her for injuries and diseases is the first course of action. A lot will be revealed about her in that case.
Selena POV:Somehow, I fell asleep.“Selena?”I jerked awake, my heart racing in my chest. Sweat collected at my brow.“Steady there. It was just a dream…”The doctor’s right hand awkwardly patted my knee. I remained seated at the chair and saw him alternate between turning his concerned gaze from me to the notebook and back. I closed my eyes tightly, the dream already fading. It was less of a dream and more of a replaying of the day I escaped the White Claw Pack.My mind raced, wondering what had caused such a strong reaction within me. It had been a while since I had the nightmare, but I chalked it up to being almost trapped in a foreign pack. I forced a deep breath in through my nose and out through my mouth.“It was just a dream,” I whispered over and over again until I could feel the tension release from my body and disappear from my memory. Momentarily.“I&rsquo
Duncan POV:I paced in my office, trying to wrap my head around the impudence of the girl. Neo had already told me that she had gone out for a walk with Ed, but I felt it odd that she was so comfortable around the doctor. I knew it was about decades of professional experience that made her feel safe with Ed, but it didn’t tell me why she was scared of me and at the same time so defiant. An order from an alpha was hard to refuse, but maybe because she was a rogue half-breed, her wolf sensibilities had been dulled. But as I paced, I waited for Neo to bring me news about the girl. Selena… That was her name. I knew Neo was one to get gossip without letting others know, he was sensible and sneaky in that way. When he opened the door, it slammed against the wall. I turned to him in shock and gave him a glare. “Are you going to repair the wall yourself? I am not paying for someone to work on the scratch you put on the wall,” I s
Duncan POV:The air was frozen and the people watching refused to blink. I was one of them. “Come, someone help me take the girl to my house,” Meredith chirped happily as if she had not seen the ground around her wither and become devoid of life.Not one person moved. Meredith looked around the crowd and sighed. “Oh, come on. It’s not like I would lead you to death,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “If I was strong enough, I would carry her back myself. But I have a herniated disk, you wouldn’t want me carrying something heavy… even if it is a slip of a girl, will you?” she said with a bright smile. Neo was the first one to move. “I… don’t think…” he started. I sighed. “I will take her,” I volunteered. I looked at the girl again and seeing her unstrained face. She looked completely out of it. “Lovely. Someone is wolf e
Selena POV:I woke up slowly. The light that should have been streaming from the window had dwindled and the hum of the woman in the kitchen could be heard. I felt a surge of fear as I looked around the house, but then I heard a somewhat familiar voice speak. Though her back was turned to me, I was sure she was referring to me. Especially because there was no one else in the room.“Don’t panic. It’s not good for your body. This is my house. I grew up in it and my mother and grandmother before me,” she said as she made her way up to me on the couch. The bit of information shocked me. “I am going to tell you a bit about your mother and you will have to process the information slowly. There is no rush, understood?” she claimed. After fifteen minutes, I indeed needed a lot of time to process it. I was just realizing how little I knew about my father and his life before he had me. I still didn’t know how he had
Selena POV:Meredith had led me to a bedroom she had confidently announced was mine. As I sat on the comfortable bed for what seemed like hours… and it had been at least three hours. The light outside had faded considerably and it was fast approaching night. I had so much running through my head that I just shut down the world around me. It had been a long time since I had been able to do this. My mind was constantly filled with the need to look over my shoulder and take in my surrounding. To think about what I would eat the next day and the direction in which I was headed. So much had happened and not happened that I didn’t feel the difference between the hardness of the forest floor and the soft mattress on the bed. My mind just couldn’t make out the difference between the two. Meredith had left me alone after her tutorial on witches. But what did it entail to be a Witch? Apparently, greeting the land was more than just me accompanying a w
Selena POV:The sound of birds chirping woke me up. It was extremely loud and cheerful to my ears.I popped an eye open to look towards the light source I could feel behind my closed lids. From beyond the sheer curtains, they revealed that it was morning or at it what I could gather from the dark clouds looming overhead.I rolled onto my back to look at the wooden clock on the bedside table. It showed that it was nine in the morning. I had never slept past the break of dawn, so I was surprised. I must have been extremely tired because I didn’t remember any sort of dream during the night. Just darkness. Remembering that I was going to spend time with Meredith, I got out of the bed to look for the shower. One good thing about living in a house was that I had a bathroom. While I had been timid at Ed’s place, here, I felt a lot better. I felt like I was owed something because I was deceived. But it wasn’t fun. My brain nagged at me to look