I rock backwards, my soul feeling like it’s tearing. My heart feels like it’s a bloody mess, ripped apart and barely living. Tears spill down my cheeks and I don’t dare try to wipe them away. I’m frozen, staring at her arm; a morbid display of her own scars, mixed with ones that someone else tore into her flesh.
I wince as I visualize, all too clearly, someone giving her those scars, and a loud sob racks its way out of my chest. I knew she was bad, but I never knew it was to this extent. I never thought that she’d want me to… kill her.
She’s sick. She’s hurt. And she’s riddled with scars, things that would have healed long ago if she was healthy. Pain rises in my body, starting in my stomach and making me double over, tears soaking the sheets under me, and stopping at my chest, making me feel like vomiting. It isn’t physical pain, but emotional, and even I, a wolf with Alpha blood, can’t shrug it off.
She’s hurt, and it’s my fault. I should have been there for her, I should have found her before I did. If I had gone looking for her, gone pack-hopping in search of her, the way so many of my friends did at seventeen and eighteen, I could have gotten to her before this. She might not be hurt at all.
Why did I stay with the pack? I could have taken a year off before taking on the position of Alpha – in fact, my dad suggested I do just that – but I didn’t want to. I was cocky, and stubborn, and desperate to claim the power of being an Alpha.
I should have just gone looking for her. God knows that I had friends offer to bring me searching the surrounding packs, looking for her, but I never went. I figured she’d find me soon.
Looking at her now, my beautiful, scarred mate, I can’t help but feel guilty. I should have went looking for her. I should have been there for her.
I failed her, I realize with a sudden jolt of desolation, and I shake with the pain of the mere idea. I wasn’t there to save her. I’ve only known her for five days now; but I should have been with her when I had the chance to find her, two years ago!
I’m a horrible mate, I think to myself, and shakily stand up, backing away from her. I can’t stand to look at her anymore, not right now; my gaze keeps going back to her arm. All of those scars… Everything that has happened to her in the last two years, I could have stopped. I could have been there for her. Maybe, she wouldn’t be broken. She could be okay, if only I came to find her…
My thoughts trail off, and suddenly disappear, my pain and desperation cutting them off as I run out of the room. I don’t know what to do with all of the emotions, all of the hurt filling my body and rocking it like a tidal wave, so I toss a fist into the wall nearest me, breaking a hole right into the plaster and barely wincing. I keep throwing punches, tossing my hands at the walls as tears cloud my vision and I taking out all of my self-loathing, my body shaking. My wolf howls in misery with every punch, and it only drives me harder.
The sounds of my fist tearing through the walls fills the house, but no one comes up to investigate. They all know to avoid this floor of the house at all costs, at least while my mate is up here and still recovering; everyone, that is, other than Olive, Seth, and my parents.
When I finally tire of hitting things, I sag against the wall, my back pressed to it, and my hands at my sides. I bang my right fist into the wall behind me, but my sadness is overtaking my anger, and my hits are weak. I only last a few moments like that, before my knees give out and I slide down the wall, hitting the floor and burying my head in my hands.