When I became conscious again I was laying on my stomach on something soft and warm which I only assumed was a bed. I tried to move my body but the pain shot through me and I stilled remembering the fact that my back had been grated like a block of cheese. I ease my face deeper into the pillow taking in a deep breath trying to calm myself but instead I am hit with Noah's scent. The memory of him holding me stirs in my brain and I feel my face heat up knowing that I must be in his bedroom. 


I heard the soft sounds of someone breathing so I turn my face in the direction to find Noah passed out on the bed next to me. He looks completely relaxed and it's hard to imagine him with his usual scowl. The urge to reach out and brush the hair from his forehead is so strong that had I been capable of the movement I would have done it. I continued to stare at him enjoying the fact that I could admire him without his trying to push me away with his normal smugness or cold attitude. 


I decided to bare with the pain because I wanted to touch him. I slowly lifted my arm clenching my teeth against the burn and stinging protest of my back. When my hand was within touching distance of his face his hand shot up and caught my wrist making me yelp in surprise. His eyes shot open quickly and narrowed on me for a moment before he blinked a couple times as if coming back into the real world. When he realized it was only me he quickly dropped my hand, "Are you okay?" He asks with concern his eyes shifting over my body inspecting me, "Are you in pain?"


I blink once in surprise over all his concern before a smile finds its way onto my lips, "Have you been taking care of me this whole time?" I ask. His eyes find there way back to mine and I can see his cheeks are a light shade of pink giving me the answer to my question. He clears his throat, "Not the whole time..." He says as he looks away from me. 


"Right, you had to sleep at some point." I tease. I watch his cheeks turn a brighter shade of pink and giggle which I cut shot with a wince. He looks back to me with concern and I give him a sheepish grin, "Guess I'm not quite ready for that yet." 


"Once we get the wolfsbane out of your system you will heal much faster." Noah comments as he pulls himself up out of the bed and I feel a twinge at the loose of his warmth next to me. I watch him as he walks across his room and into the bathroom. I close my eyes as I am swept back into the strange emptiness I had before I passed out. So is this what Noah felt his whole life? No wonder rogues do such horrible things who could endure this feeling for that long?


Heavy footsteps draw me out of my thoughts and I see Noah coming out of the bathroom holding a small trashcan and a class of white colored liquid. I have a feeling I know whats about to happen and I have an even stronger feeling that I am not going to enjoy the experience. He comes around to my side of the bed and sets the trashcan down and then holds out the glass to me. I eye it suspiciously, "that is some kind of yack juice isn't it?" I ask disheartened. 


"Don't think about it just drink it." He says in his usual manner. I look to him briefly with a frown before taking the glass from him with a slight wince, "You really could work on your bedside manner doctor." I tease him before I bring the glass to my lips and quickly drink it trying hard not to think about the last thing Noah had handed me to drink. The liquid is actually not bad tasting in fact it is incredibly sweet. Once it's all down I hand the glass back to Noah and sink back into the bed. 


"So this is what you were like before you met Claire?" I ask after several minutes of silence between us. I notice him stiffen out of the corner of my eye from the seat he had pulled over to my side of the bed. He doesn't say anything back to me so I figure that is one area of his life he doesn't want to talk about. I open my mouth to ask another question but his voice cuts me off, "Everyone thinks we're born that way but we aren't—" 


My eye look to him quickly and I shut my mouth not wanting to ruin the chance to learn about Noah. He is staring down at his hands, "Even rogues were born with some bonds. Rogue mothers are always bonded with their children it's impossible for it not to happen. They are allowed to keep the bond with us until we mature to an age where we don't need them to sustain us—then the bond is broken. I was five when my father forced my mother to break her bond to me." 


I feel my heart clench at the though of a tiny Noah being forced to endure something like that. He looked up from his hands, "She wouldn't do it. I'm not sure why I was any different than my brother to her but she refused to do. My father was so angry. He brought her in front of the entire pack and forced her under the threat of killing me to break the bond. The last thing my mother ever did for me was save my life." 


I can feel tears streaming down my face, "I'm so sorry Noah—" I rasp out. His eyes meet mine and he looks vulnerable for a moment before I see them turn hard again, "After that I was taught the life of being a rogue." He looks back down at his hands.


I can tell Noah wants to shut down the moment we are having but I'm not going to let that happen, "My mother—" I start and his look back up to mine, "She died during a rogue attack. I was playing in the woods with a couple of the other kids from the pack. My mom was nearby of course watching over us as she gardened. I remember that it was a particularly beautiful day—" I close my eyes as the memories flash through my mind and I smile slightly thinking of my mother in her garden with her giant dorky sun hat. 


"My house was sat near one of the boundary lines but it had never really been an issue before but that day. A group of rogues crossed over—I remember my mother tearing through the woods to reach us. She tried to lead us back to safety but we didn't make it far before we were cornered. She turned into a crazed animal and attacked those rogues without a second thought. She fought to protect us all—the last thing my mother ever did for me was save my life." I meet his gaze and I feel the air between us spark up with all sorts of emotions but the most prevalent was understanding. We might have come from different worlds but we could understand each other—it was possible that we weren't so different from each other. 


I was going to say something more to him but I was hit with a wave a nausea. Noah must have noticed because he rose up out of his seat and came to my side lifting the trash can. Before I had a chance to thank him I was spewing my stomachs content into the waste bin. I groaned at the pain it sent to my back but I couldn't do much but ride the wave at this point. 


When I couldn't throw up anymore Noah helped ease me back onto the bed, "I'm never drinking anything you give me ever again." I say on ragged breath. He looks down at me with a bit of amusement but doesn't comment. His hands go to my back and lift the bandages up, "Your wounds should heal up pretty quick now—" He places them back against my skin. 


"Thank you for your assessment doctor—Do you think will it scar?" I ask sarcastically. He chuckles and moves from my bedside grabbing the waste basket, "Well I'm glad you're starting feel better." He comments clearly noting my sarcastic nature bubbling to the surface. I smirk, "What gave you that idea? Would it be my dazzling wit and charm?" He barks out a laugh from the bathroom and I feel my wolf stir at the sound sending a wave of happiness and relief shooting through me. 


Welcome back.


Mate? She calls out in my head and I try not to roll my eyes. Of course her first thought would be about Noah.


He's here. I say to her and I feel her relief over this apparently the void had effected her too just as it had me. We survived, I reassure her.


We had a reason, She says back softly and I look toward the bathroom knowing exactly what her reason was. Who knew that being wounded would be such an eye opener.


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