Chapter 7 - Healing

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After I had calmed down, Mason took me into the kitchen and told me to eat some dinner.

When I tried to object, Mason quickly silenced me.

"Elijah will wait for you to finish it all." He instructed firmly and left without another word.

I was so exhausted from fighting that I didn't bother objecting again, even though I wasn't hungry.

Mason's comfort just minutes before seemed like a distant memory. It disappeared as fast as it came; replaced by icy coldness and authority I was familiar with.

Elijah sat with me at the kitchen table until I finished the heated tomato soup and toast for dinner. Mason had to leave for more 'business' upstairs.

Elijah and I pretty much sat in complete silence. He would occasionally offer me sympathetic glances that I couldn't stand. He was treating me like broken glass, like I was so fragile.

At some point during my struggle to finish my soup, Cole came in to get a glass of water. He kept his head down and only on the way out did he shoot me a quick sad smile.

I felt like screaming in frustration. I wanted nothing more than for him to give me his trademark smirk and mock me about something, anything. He didn't.

When Cole left, Elijah looked at me expectantly when I wasn't finishing my food.

"I'm full," I mumbled when I had only finished half my bowl.

"Just a couple more spoonfuls, Maddie, please." Elijah pleaded.

He sounded exhausted.

It only took one more mouthful for me to push the bowl away. I felt sick.

"I can't," I whined.

I know I sounded bratty and I hated that I was taking it out on Elijah, but I was so exhausted that I didn't even care. I just wanted to go to bed.

"Mase said all of it. You barely eat anything," Elijah told me.

"I feel sick," I complained, ignoring the last part of his sentence.

I heard Elijah sigh deeply. He didn't sound angry or frustrated, just really really exhausted.

He picked up my half-empty bowl and poured the rest down the sink without another word.

I didn't want him to do that. I wanted him to be normal with me and not treat me any differently. I wanted him not to pity me or look at me like a victim. I wanted him to make me eat the soup and not just concede because he felt sorry for me. But I knew that I had exhausted him to the point where he just gave in.

He came and sat back down at the table, taking the seat right next to me.

"Mase wants you to rest up at home for a couple of days," Elijah told me gently like he didn't want to aggravate me.

I didn't want to put off starting my new school for any longer. It was Monday tomorrow and it made sense starting. I was already late joining in late November, I didn't want to make it any worse for myself.

I looked up at him, about to object, but he cut me off quickly.

"Please don't fight me on this Maddie. You can't go to school in pain and rely on painkillers to fix the problem."

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