I stood outside my parents house, stained in blood, and soaking wet with my clothes barely holding together. Shifting back to human, I stumbled up the sidewalk.
Wiping my face, I pressed the doorbell. The familiar tone played throughout the house. I waited, but nothing happen. My eyes started to burn as I feared the worst. Where would I go if they weren't home? I pressed the button again and again. Demon started barking and pawing at the door.
Tears started to fall. Titus has hit me. I shouldn't have went on the roof, but after he tried so hard to protect me from his dad's toxin, I didn't understand why he would do this.
A large dark form stumbled out of my parents' room. The lights in the hallway turned on along with the one above the front step.
My father opened the front door, and I heard his breath catch.
I fell into his chest and just sobbed. Everything was ruined. My marriage was over, because of something so stupid.
"Quint," called my mother. "Quint, who's there? Demon hush," she snapped as the shih tzu ran down the hallway.
My father brought me into the house and closed the door.
Finishing tying her robe, my mother stepped out of her bedroom. "Oh my god, Aden." She ran over and cupped my face. "Oh my god, oh my god." Her hand hovered over my chest. "What have they done to you?" She hugged me tightly.
I clung to her, taking deep breaths. "I messed up."
"No, sweetheart. Don't say that." She held me in front of her and patted my cheek. "Whatever happened we will fix it? Everything will be just fine."
I collapsed into her embrace and laid my head on her shoulder. "Titus hit me."
Her arms tensed around me.
My father's teeth grounded together. "He did what?"
"I made a mistake," I breathed, pushing back my hair. "I didn't mean to. I'm sorry."
My mother hushed me. "Right now we are all going to take a deep breath. Aden?"
I looked into her eyes.
"Does Xavier know you're here?"
I shook my head. "I ran here. I panicked. I didn't know what to do, so I ran."
"It's alright." She put her arms around me and rocked back and forth. "We are going to take this slow. Quint," she glanced toward the phone.
"Your father will straighten this out." She wrapped an arm around my waist and led me through their bedroom to the bathroom. "We're going to get you cleaned up and to bed. Why are you soaking wet?" She tucked a piece of hair behind my ear.
"It was raining in the mountain."
"You're so cold." She rubbed her hand up and down my arms.
She sat me down on the toilet and began filling their large jet tub. It was rarely ever used. My mom said it was a waste of water and just used the bathroom upstairs, along with something about hair clogging the jets.
"I figured you needed something a little more than a hot bath."
I smiled. "Thanks mom."
She sat on the edge and patted the spot at her side. I moved over and lowered my head.
"I'm your mother." She rubbed my back. "Being married to a werewolf doesn't change that. Now, I'm going to go change, and you hop in." She stood and handed me a hand towel. "Put that around your waist, because I'm coming back to check those cuts." She motioned to my chest.
"They'll heal, Mom. I'm fine." I wiped my cheek with my shirt.
"I'm just warning you, Aden. I'm coming back in here, whether you're decent or not."
I nodded and kept my head bowed as she left. It was embarrassing. This whole thing was humiliating. I ran my hands through my hair and took in a shaky breath. I ran away from the pack. Xavier was going to kill me.
I couldn't stay, though. Everything was telling me to get away from them.
Quickly removing my clothes, I climbed into the tub and situated the towel around my waist. I turned onto my side and just focused on breathing.
My mother knocked, and after not receiving a reply, she entered. Setting a bundle of clothes on the toilet, she turned off the water and knelt at the side of the tub. She twirled my hair around her finger and hummed softly.
"Did dad call Xavier?" I whispered.
"Yes," she said. "And WIR. It was really dangerous for you to run all the way here."
I rolled over and hid my face. "I'm sorry."
"Aden, please Aden." She wrapped her arms around my head. "Please, sweetheart, don't cry. I know you're hurting, but please don't cry anymore. You'll break my heart."
I couldn't help it. I thought I had finally figured out how to be a werewolf, but it was all ruined now.
My mom pressed the button, and the jets started. It felt nice. Grabbing a washcloth, she wiped my face and carefully dadded at my chest. The wounds had sealed, but bruises surrounded the bright red skin.
"Why would he do this, Aden?" She shook her head. "I know Titus. He loves you."
I turned away from her and pressed into the far wall of the tub. "He's been stressed. I got demoted."
"What?" she said sternly "Demoted, to what?"
"Omega," I muttered. "Darius is the next alpha, and I guess these alpha hormones mess with your head. He was hurting another werewolf, and I scratched his arm to get him to stop. Xavier demoted me to an omega for three weeks. Titus was really upset."
"That gives him no right to hurt you."
I glanced over my shoulder to see the protective side coming out of my mom. I wasn't the only one in trouble. Xavier would be receiving a very anger call.
"I climbed on the roof."
"You did what!" She narrowed her eyes. "Aden Perri. What on earth were you thinking? I've seen all the holes in that roof. What if you had fallen through, or there was a cave in. You could have been badly hurt or even killed."
Swallowing hard, I slipped deeper into the water. "Titus was really upset too. He told me he wanted to be alone, but I didn't listen. I kept pushing him, until..." I pressed my hand to my chest. "Are we going to have to get a divorce?"
"Aden, no." She brushed back my hair from my forehead. "Don't say that."
"Dad is never going to let me go back."
She grabbed my chin. "I will handle your father. For now, you'll be staying here until Titus can prove to me he will never lay a hand on your again. Understood?"
"Good. Now I'm going to check on your father and get your room ready. Take your time." She leaned down and kissed my forehead. "You're safe here. No werewolf will be sneaking into this house. I can promise you that." She gave me a wink.
"Thanks, mom," I said with a smile.
She tousled my hair before leaving. I sat up and closely examined my skin. It looked pretty ugly, and the warm water was bring out the deeper shades of purple. With a sigh, I turned off the jets and lifted the drain. Climbing out, I dried off and pulled on the clothes my mother had brought. I was still running a towel through my hair when I stood in the entryway to the kitchen.
My father's face was bright red. He was livid. My mother seemed to be deep in thought herself.
"I'm going to bed."
They both turned to me, trying to soften their expressions for my sake.
"Do you need anything, sweetheart?" asked my mother.
I shook my head. "No, I'm just tired."
"Okay. I closed the curtains, so sleep in as long as you want."
"'kay, good night."
They wished me good night as well as I walked up the stairs. I entered my old room and shuffled over to the bed. Pulling back the cover, I slid under them and tucked them around my face. It reminded me of him, this room, everything about this place held a memory with Titus. And unless god intervened, I won't be making anymore.
I still felt exhausted even after sleeping in until one. Dragging myself out of bed, I wandered to the door and downstairs. My mother was in the kitchen, looking through her recipe book.
"Good morning, sweetheart. How are you feeling?"
I shrugged and sat down at the counter.
"Are you hungry?"
I shook my head, before laying it on the countertop.
"I'll make you some eggs. It'll perk you right up." She went the fridge and started taking out ingredients. She was planning to do more than simple eggs.
She stopped for a moment. "He went for a drive." Setting everything by the stove, she went to get a pan.
Standing across from me, she gripped the counter. "Aden." She took a deep breath. "To meet with Xavier. He demanded we gave you back to them."
My breath caught in my throat, and I sat up. "Are you?"
"Heavens no," she exclaimed. "WIR is on our side, so don't be worried about any sneak attacks."
"What do you mean?" I rubbed my hands up and down my thighs. "I thought WIR did everything Xavier said."
"It's different for human born werewolves. As your father puts it, a human who mates with a werewolf is viewed like someone who marries a foreigner. WIR is there to keep it own safe just as much as it is to keep Xavier happy."
I swallowed the lump in my throat. "So Xavier can't make me go back?"
"He could, if Titus hadn't attack you," she stated. "WIR views that it is no longer safe for you to be at Northern Ridge, so they won't make you return. Titus's mark will keep other werewolves away, so you're not a threat to the pack's secret either." She tapped her finger on the counter. "Even if WIR said you had to go back, your father would have us on the first flight out of the country, before he let that happen. He was very adamant that, for the time being, Xavier and his pack are to stay away." She gave me a half a smile. "It actually a really good thing you're a sub, and Xavier had demoted you to omega."
I scratched the side of my head. "Yeah, since being an omega is so fun."
"It's easier to prove to WIR that you're not safe there. I bet you didn't know that if something were to happen to Titus, you could leave the pack and come home. WIR is very against human born becoming omegas."
Where did she learn all this? I started to laugh softly, making my mother purse her lips.
"Yes?" she said rather unimpressed.
"You've become a WIR expert. You know more about it than me."
"Your father is an agent." She turned to the stove. "And I might've had him look into all the loopholes on how to get you back if something were to go wrong. Let's just say, I thank god everyday you're now a blond."
I laughed. "That and I look like you."
Her lips pulled back into a grin as she cracked open an egg. "That's a perk too."