Elize looked at her reflection on the large mirror inside her bathroom. The girl who stared back at her was a more tired version of herself.
It's been a few days since Aileen left, and things were not looking good.
In four days' time, her cheeks had sunk and there were huge dark circles under her eyes. The gray in her eyes was dull, bereft of any life. The bite mark on her chest was now barely visible, yet she could see two faint red dots that reminded her of how it all began. She had angry red and purple patches all over her body, from the various episodes of pain that started hitting Elize from a few days back.
She wished she didn't understand what was happening to her. But her mind kept going back to the conversation she had with Aileen in the garden. This was only making her regret meeting Zack by each passing moment, despite the pangs in her heart that yearned for his presence.
She held her head in her hands and sat down on the bathroom floor. It was the headache again. It's been keeping her awake since forever.
THUD THUD THUD
Somebody was banging at the front door. The noise was only making her pain worse.
Elize covered both her ears with her hands and started humming to herself to block out the noise.
THUD THUD THUD
The banging on the door was more intense this time. Elize raised her voice a bit and laid down on the floor next to the sink. She started rocking herself.
"Please God make this stop." She prayed, curling herself into the shape of a cocoon.
The headache was intensifying by the second. It felt like somebody was driving a hot iron through her forehead, all the way to the back of her head on repeat.
"Shhh, it's okay baby." Someone cooed into her ears.
A woman was on her knees next to her, her blond wavy hair framing her small face. She was looking down at her with much kindness. Her clear blue-gray eyes reminded Elize so much of her father.
If she didn't know any better Elize would have really thought that it was her father's mother. The one who she'd only seen once in a photograph hung over her father's office. It was impossible since she'd never met anyone from her father's side of the family and her grandma was dead- as far as she knew.
She knew that she was just hallucinating.
The visions came and went, always accompanying her pain.
Sometimes it was the woman who resembled her grandma on the armchair next to her window humming some old song, smiling at her. Sometimes it was some other random woman bending down and whispering nice words into her ears.
Whatever it was, Elize had a gut feeling about the people she was seeing. A feeling that told her that they were all dead.
She closed her eyes shut once again.
"Go away." She whispered in a tired voice.
The woman was humming now, a song that seemed familiar to Elize, yet she knew nothing of. All her hallucinations seemed to know this one particular song. Elize listened grudgingly as the humming turned into words.
Hear ye my little wolf
One day you'll remember me
Sleep now my little child
You will rise on a full moon's day...
Elize relaxed as the music slowly started calming her down. Her headache was once again receding. And once again there was peace.
She opened her eyes and let out a breath of relief. Her headache was gone. So was the woman.
She got up from the floor of the bathroom, steadying herself by holding on to the sink. There were fresh bruises on her chest. It looked as if someone was clawing their way out of her body. There were no wounds- only angry bruises that resembled the shape of claws.
Tears brimmed at the edges of her eyes. She wanted to cry.
Elize remembered Aileen's voice dismissing her worries in the garden, "Don't worry. Your wolf won't come out before your 18th birthday if you're not near other wolves or your mate."
"I'm dying then I guess," Elize muttered under her breath as she wiped the single tear that escaped her left eye.
She walked back to the room feeling tired and hopeless and eased herself onto the rocking chair by the window. A cool breeze was coming in through the opening from the forest. The shape of the waxing moon looked so beautiful against the night sky. Her eyes slowly started closing, the fatigue weighing heavy on her body.
It was around midnight when Elize woke up to a warm feeling enveloping her. The scent of the forest and honey-filled her senses, along with a heaviness on her hips.
She opened her eyes slowly to a wide expanse of a muscled chest. She knew who it belonged to without looking up at the person's face. Zack had moved her to the bed at some point in time and was holding her close to his body. His right hand was placed on Elize's waist, and his left hand gently caressed her hair.
Elize drew a sharp breath. Even in this state, her heart was beating fast with him being so close to her.
Sensing the movement, Zack looked down at his mate, meeting her eyes in the process.
"Hey," Zack said with a smile.
"H....hey," Elize replied with a coarse voice.
Zack's face wore a pained expression at hearing her. Elize suddenly felt conscious of how she looked at the moment. A muffled sob escaped her chest.
She couldn't stop herself when the tears came gushing out. For once she didn't hold back. She cried into his chest tugging at his t-shirt.
"Shhh... It's okay. I'm here." he cooed.
He placed small kisses on the top of her head until Elize calmed down. Holding her by her chin, he raised her face towards him.
"It hurts." She croaked.
Zack wiped the tear trails away from her face.
"I'm sorry I left without telling you, baby."
Tears formed in her eyes at the reminder. Elize took a deep breath and sat up, pushing his hands away from her. Zack looked hurt by the action.
He opened his mouth to explain. "Baby I-"
"Wait. I get to speak first." Elize said, interrupting her mate. Zack closed his mouth and sat up, leaning against the frame of the bed.
She continued, "You bit me and then you left me alone. You have no clue how I felt."
"I'm sorry Elize. I was quite shocked. Believe me, I didn't know how I lost control and my wolf ran over here to you. You are my friend's little sister. How do you think I felt?"
Elize felt angry all of a sudden. "Ohh I see. So you just left without saying anything."
Zack was now pleading, "Elize I- I'm sorry okay? Just tell me who did this to you? Did-"
"You did this to me!!" Elize shouted at him.
Zack was taken aback. He reached in desperation towards Elize and she moved away.
"Please Elize." Zack pleaded, "I don't even know what you're talking about."
"Of course you don't! I'm angry at myself for being fooled into this. Heaven only knows what came over me!"
"Please-" Zack's voice croaked. He was crying now.
Her heart hurt at the sight. She wanted to hold him and console him. But she held back.
Elize took a deep breath. She said, "I need to tell you something before we talk any further. So please stop crying."
Zack sniffled. He wiped the tears off of his own face and looked at Elize intently, ready to hear whatever she had to say to him.
She said, "As you know I'm a witch. But you should know that I'm only part witch."
Zack looked confused at the statement.
She continued. "The other part of me is a wolf -if you haven't already figured that out since Alex's shift."
"Ohh. So your father is-?"
"No Zack. My mother was a wolf. My maternal great grandfather was a wolf from this Island. This," Elize said pointing around her, "is their house which I will be inheriting in a month's time when I turn 18. My father is from a family of witches, which I never knew of until Aileen told me. So that's why I'm part witch as well."
"Ohh...and the head witch is your?" Zack asked
"She's my great grandfather's one and only step-sister. They were born years apart." Elize replied.
"Honestly I kind of knew that you had a wolf inside you the moment I-" Zack said pointing towards his mark on her chest.
"The moment you chewed me?" Elize asked, her right eyebrow raised.
"I marked you." Zack corrected. He continued, "I didn't know how to deal with the information though. Because when I first met you I thought that you were human..since I didn't know about Alex as well."
"The day of the accident?" Elize asked.
"Is that why you rejected me? Because I was human?" Elize narrowed her eyes at her mate. She wanted to punch him.
Zack was suddenly acting nervous. And it showed. He was sliding his hands through his hair multiple times. He looked vulnerable at that moment.
"I'm sorry. No, I was so happy to finally meet you Elize. I just didn't think you'd end up being my best friend's little sister. Maybe you don't understand but-"
"Save it." Elize interrupted. "It's in the past anyway. But your bite is making things worse for me now."
"Stop interrupting, please. Let me finish." Elize said, "You might not have understood this, but your bite triggered the wolf in me. I was not supposed to shift till I was 18 after the magic inside me has been put under control. Now I'm dying, Zack. I'm dying because you couldn't control your wolf."
Zack reached out to Elize with a pained expression. This time, she let him shift her to his lap, her back leaning against his chest.
"I'm sorry." He said as his body shook and his tears fell on the nape of her neck.
"I'm sorry too. I wish I had more time with you. I wish all those times I heard your howl, it was not just in my head." She said with a sad look painted on her face.
Zack stilled. "You heard me?"
"What do you mean?" Elize asked. Maybe she heard it wrong. She cocked her head to the side, positioning her ear as near to his mouth as possible.
"It was not in your head," Zack murmured sniffling.
"What?!" Elize asked, turning herself to face him. Her face registered much confusion.
"You were only hearing my wolf calling out to you. It was not in your head. You heard that because you never rejected me. You heard me because our bond was still valid, even though we were so far apart."
"Oh." Elize felt surprised and relieved at the same time.
Some time passed in silence, as neither one of them knew how to fill it. But both were conscious of their physical proximity to each other.
"Can I?" Zack asked, his face now inches from her own.
Elize could feel the tension building up between them, the desire growing. She wanted to kiss his perfectly shaped lips.
"Kiss me," Elize whispered.
Zack's lips slammed into hers as her fingers wove into his hair. His hands roamed around her back, making Elize shudder. A fire burned wherever his touch traveled.
And she couldn't stop. She wanted more.
The hardness of his member straining against her behind told her that he wanted her as bad as she did.
'Mine.' His voice sounded in her head. Elize smiled against his lips.
"Yours." She whispered.
Elize once again leaned in to kiss him. But this time the pain reached her before she could reach him. She screamed.