I’m sitting in the hospital waiting room with Winter’s brother Damien and he can’t seem to keep still. I
don’t blame him, all I can see in my mind’s eye is Winter, lying there, on the cold tiled floor, blood all
over her, her panties missing and dressed in some sort of lingerie.
My wolf had been ready to kill and I’d been more than a little disappointed to find that bastard Thomas
was already dead. I was also a little proud of Winter for killing him. She was strong, stronger than I had
thought her capable of.
Finally the wait seems to be over and I jump up as a doctor comes walking over to me. As an Alpha it
rankles that I haven’t been allowed back past the waiting area and I’m told it was because I couldn’t be
there while Winter was going through surgery.
Her brother has been deadly quiet since we’ve come here and it’s like he’s in his own little world, one
that I don’t want to pull him out of.
“Alpha Johnathon” he greets me cordially and finally I see some life come back to Damien. He sits
upright and stares at the doctor hopefully, desperate to hear some sort of news about his sister. I’m
anxious about my mate and my wolf is going insane inside my head right now, absolutely beside
himself over Winter.
“How is she?” I’m afraid to ask but force the words out. Surely she can’t be dead? I would have felt it
through the mate bond wouldn’t I have? I don’t know anymore. The doctor looks grim and I feel my
heart beginning to pound wildly in my chest.
“Winter is out of surgery” he begins and I feel a tiny sense of relief, her brother’s face lighting up with
I’m afraid to ask but I force the words out anyway “Was she sexually assaulted” | croak out and the
doctor shakes his head.
“From what we were able to determine she wasn’t sexually assaulted. However she does have bruises
and a gun shot wound in her foot. It’s infected so we are giving her antibiotics and monitoring her
Inod, my mind focussing on his words. Thank god she hadn’t been sexually abused, it’s the only
positive thing to come out of it. We hadn’t been to late after all but she’d gone through something
traumatic before we could get there. Only she would know what it was.
“Theres’ something else” the doctor says and Damien gets up, standing beside me and looking intently
at the doctor, his hands clenched into fists. I didn’t miss the flash of relief in his eyes when the doctor
said Winter hadn’t been raped. I don’t even want to know what the poor bastard is going through
knowing his own friend had purchased his little sister like a w***e.
“What is it?” I ask urgently and Damien nods, his eyes staring directly into the doctors whose beginning
to look a little uncomfortable.
“Her vocal chords were ripped apart by the attack” the doctor explained hesitantly “as a shifter they
may heat but it will take months before she’ll be able to speak again and that’s only if they do heal.
There is a chance that they are too damaged beyond repair and she’ll be mute for the rest of her life.”
I’m silent for a moment. It’s a lot to take in but my wolf and I don’t care if she can’t speak. There are
other ways to talk with someone but her brother looks absolutely devestated. He broke down in the car
on the way here and I’m terrible at comforting people. I’ve always seen crying as a sign of weakness
but right now I can feel my own eyes beginning to well up. trembling hands. “Oh my god” he says and
then goes quiet once more.
“Is she awake?”
The doctor shakes his head. “She’s still recovering from the surgery. We patched up the gunshot
wound and attempted to fix the vocal chord damage but there’s nothing more we can do. It will be
some hours if she wakes up” he explained kindly and I sigh. There’s no way I’m moving from this
hospital until I can see for myself that she’s alright. I have an overwhelming desire to be near her, to
hold her in my arms and never let her go and I know it’s the mate bond strengthening rather than
fading. Does she feel it on her end or is it just me? This was a mess.
“Can we see her?” Damien asks quietly and I too look at the doctor who looks a little weary.
“I’m not supposed to let you” he says “but as an Alpha you can command me and I would have to obey.
So there’s no real point denying you is there” he says and I grin.
“There really isn’t” I agree and the doctor sighs and motions to both of us to follow him. I walk down
feeling trepidation. I’ve never liked hospitals, they always seem so cold and impersonal. Luckily
Winter’s been put in a room close by and the doctor leaves us outside the door with a warning.
“Do not touch her, she’s hooked up to machines at the moment. If she wakes come get me or a nurse
immediately” and we both nod at him, understanding his concern. Poor Damien looks like he’s about to
break the door down and I thank the doctor as he leaves.
Damien opens the door and crashes inside while I follow, when I see Winter I stop in my tracks and my
mouth falls open in complete shock. She’s pale, so pale and she’s clad in a hospital gown. I can see a
bandage wrapped around her foot where she had been shot and there’s bruises all over her face and
arms and legs. There’s an N drip in her hand and another one monitoring her blood pressure.
“My god” Damien whispers, sinking down into a chair “she’s just” he sounds helpless and I walk closer,
my own heart seizing in pain. There’s nothing of the girl I met the first time left, this is an empty shell of
what she once was. I reach over to touch her hair, ignoring the doctors warnings. It’s matted, blood still
in it and I can smell it. I pull a chair over to the bed and sit there, unable to do anything but stare, my
heart squeezing in my chest. Then I see her eyelids flutter. Is she waking up?