Chapter 22

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After a fifteen minute journey of finding Ashton's room, I was greeted with an empty room that was in dire need to be cleaned. I shut the door behind me while taking deep breaths. I'm not sure I have ever smelt a smell as bad as whatever his room smells like. It's a mix of dirty socks, moldy food, and dust. Almost as if no one has lived in the room for years. I frown at the wall before heading to the river.

Over my time here I have become well aware of the hot spots for everyone to run away to, and the river was one of them. Charles had brought me there during my first week. He wanted to make sure I was adjusting fine, and that his 'crazy ass family' isn't scaring me away. I simply laughed and told him they hadn't yet. The rest of the night was spent staring at stars cuddled up on a blanket. We had stayed the night, a huge mistake because the water had risen and gotten us, the blanket, and our clothes wet. We had to walk through the cold morning chill in wet freezing clothes that dragged behind us every step, but I appreciated his effort of being romantic.

Over the past few days Charles has been disappearing for hours at time, and only appearing when it is time for bed. Our mating hasn't gone anywhere because he always seems to have another reason that he needs to leave, a meeting I can't go to, a family he needs to visit - but it's okay, I don't need to come with. Everything he can think of, and I know he is lying, he is trying to find every excuse to be as far away from me as he can.

Some of the pack memebers, whom I had met about a week ago when I was introduced to the pack (a complete disaster, Charles had shown up late and I had stuttered over almost every word I had to say, everyone said it was fine, cute even, but I couldn't help my disappointment when Charles once again disappeared into the crowd), had said that they saw him going into town, with humans, on more then one occasion. I don't blame him if he needs to do something in town, but he lies about it and that is what makes me mad.

I take a deep breath as I reach the hill above the river, and sure enough, there Ashton is, his feet dunked into the chilled water while he stares out into the forest. I can see the dark purple bags underneath his eyes and know that he hasn't been getting any sleep. I frown when I realize how long this must have been going on, Aria had a reason to be so distressed while talking to me about it.

I walked down the hill, more like skip so I don't face plant, and sit down next to Ashton. I roll up my jeans before sticking my feet in the water, I sick in a breath at the cold feeling before a shiver goes all the way up my spine.

"Oh my gosh, you must have shins of steel if you can have your legs in there without them falling off." I grumble as I pull my goosebumped legs out of the water and rub up amd down on them to warm them up. I see Ashton smile out of the corner of my eye and I feel a surge of success go through me, only a few seconds and I already have him smiling.

"So.....Aria came to see me, she thought that something was going on. Now that I can see you with my own two eyes, I think she was right." Ashton rolled his eyes as he watched his feet kick back and forth in the water. I look down already the water and relish in the calming feeling from watching it, something about watching the water flow is relaxing, no wonder everyone comes down here.

"I just want to make sure you are okay. I know, that I.....mated into a complicated family. You guys have your problems, and I respect that you won't tell me them, if I don't need to know, then I don't need to know, but you. You have a bone deep problem. One you have been hiding from everyone else, even your twin sister, and I want to help." I tell him calmly as I look at his profile. I can see he is in as good need of a hair cut and a shower, if the smell is any indication.

"And you freaking smell like a toad, so I know you haven't been in your room, which also smells like a freaking toad! But that's not the point, the point is that you have a problem, and I want to help." I stress the word help so he gets it through his thick skull that I am not just doing this because I think of him as my pet project.

"Its not like you would want to hear, it's about your mate, so I'm sure you would punch me before I could even finish." He grumbles as he throws stones into the rushing water. I frown at him before picking up my own stones and chucking them.

"What the hell are you talking about? Charles and I are not on talking terms. The little fucktard is disappearing everyday and then tries to cuddle with me at night, like he'll to the fucking no!" I scoff in anger before chucking another rock. It lands on the other side of the river bank. I turn to Ashton to see him smiling at me .

"What?" I ask as I continue to throw the rocks so I don't have to look into his intense eyes.

"I've never heard an omega swear so much as you do." He muses as his lips twitch. I spit out a quick laugh before pointing at the forest.

"After spending a good ten years in the forest, I've learned that you can't be a pussy, otherwise you are killed." I stare out into the forest as I think about a few of my close encounters. I'm glad where I am now.

"I lived as a rouge before, only for a little while, when I was young. It's kinda has something to do with my attitude." I look at Ashton and see the look in his eyes. He trust me, he wants help, and he want my help.

"Tell me." I say as I look at him. He takes a deep breath before starting.

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