Forever in the Past and Forever in the Future by Neener Beener chapter 19
“Let’s break gentlemen. Take the time you need for lunch, tea, follow up on pack business, whatever you need. We’ll reconvene later this afternoon, ” Saint’s growl reverberates through my voice as he fights for control. I don’t wait for an answer. I bow and leave the room with Kas following close behind.
“Bronx! What’s the matter?” Kas calls after me. I can’t stop, Saint is forcing his way to the surface. I can’t risk hurting her or saying something I’d regret. She has been working so hard the past couple of weeks, meeting with the therapist, eating healthy foods so she can gain weight, and getting to know pack members. I can’t ruin that progress by losing my temper in front of her.
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Even with all the positive strides she made, she still has nightmares almost every night. She tosses and turns, talks and cries in her sleep, and wakes up screaming in cold sweats. I sleep on her sofa, so she won’t be alone when she wakes up. It’s my responsibility to keep her safe. I cradle her in my arms and soothe her until she falls back asleep.
Sometimes I’m so tired that I fall asleep holding her but most of the time, I go back to the sofa.
Being a bystander in Kas’s personal Hell is excruciating to watch. I can’t imagine living it but I already have. The second time I came back from war, I spent months in the hospital. Saint almost killed three nurses one evening. He forgot where he was and was convinced they were witches trying to kill us. Reggie almost resigned after I attacked him in the hallway. I almost slit his throat right there in the packhouse. Fortunately, he is well trained and was able to fight me off long enough until help arrived. Lenora was the one who convinced me how important mental health is, not only physical health. I still see the therapist every month. She would be disappointed at how I was handling this situation.
Right now, I have to get out of here before I go off. I pull off my clothes leaving them in a trail on the floor behind me as I stride down the hall until I’m in my underwear. I let Saint take over as I push open the back door, just in time for him to shift into his huge white wolf form and we take off running.
“We’ve got forty-five minutes to get it out of our system, man.”
“Fine,” Saint growls and cuts off our mind link.
I hear the conference room door slam open. I look over the landing to see Bronx busting out, his eyes were pitch black, and he looks like he’s got murder on the mind.
Oh shit. What set him off this time?
Kas is desperately trying to keep up with him, but it’s no use. She’s so small, there is no way her teeny little legs can move fast enough.
By the time I get to the bottom of the stairs, Bronx is gone with nothing but a trail of clothes leading to the door and a scared little mate who is trying not to James is standing behind her, looking a little panicked. He knows how to handle two full-grown charging werebears, no problem, but a crying she – wolf, not so much.
In the past couple weeks, Kas has grown on me so much that I already consider her my sister. It tugs at my heart to see her upset. It makes me angry that Bronx is the one who caused her to feel this way.
“Come on little sister, let’s go upstairs. Tell me what happened, ” I motion to James that it is alright and to follow us.
“We were meeting with the Elders and one of them recommended asking light witches to help me with my powers and Bronx got really mad. I could feel it. I t was so strong, it made me mad. The next thing I know he’s headed out the door and ran off,” her voice is shaky as she explains what happened.
“The Elder Council recommended witches come here?”
“Yeah or I can go to them in France. They can help me learn how to control my abilities, ” she wipes the tears out of her eyes as she explains.
” Oh, I see,” I rub the scruff on my chin, “Well, in a perfect world, Bronx would tell you this, but I guess I need to.”
“Tell me what?”
We sit on a bench in the hallway outside my office. James stands near the end of the hall, giving us privacy but still close enough to protect Kas if needed.
I sigh trying to decide the best way to explain Bronx’s past.
” Kas, Bronx lost his eye during the war, in a fight with a dark witch. She used magic to paralyze him and sliced it out with a cursed silver knife. She also stabbed him in the gut and took part of his liver. She wasn’t very careful about it and the knife broke off in his abdomen. He was fully awake for the whole thing and couldn’t do anything about it. Saint was blocked because of the silver floating around Bronx’s body, so he couldn’t help heal him. Bronx almost died. In fact, there is still a couple flakes of cursed silver imbedded in his liver. It will never fully heal. Can you imagine how strong he and Saint were before that?
Before the cursed silver? Practically invincible. It took months for him to recover and he was forced to retire from military service. Rumor is, the witch kept his eyeball as a trophy and used his liver to finish some dark spell she had been concocting.”
“Oh, my. No, he never said anything to me about it,” Kas says softly. She looks like she’s a bit in shock.
”Yeah, suggesting witches help you, that would be one of the things that would make him that angry, ” I explain.
We talk a while longer until Lenora comes out of her office. She sits on my lap while we fill her in on what happened.
I continue to explain Bronx’s behavior, “I know it seems odd that he would disregard you like that, Kas but in his mind, it was to protect you, I’m sure of it. When he gets mad, he shuts everyone out. He used to lash out at everyone. Even Reggie and me. One time, Bronx almost sliced Reggie’s throat because he didn’t recognize him. He didn’t recognize his own Gamma, Kas. Can you imagine? Reggie was ready to leave the pack over it.”
Lenora chimes in, “I was the one to convince Bronx he needed help. So he started seeing one of the pack therapists and it helped a lot. I think he still sees her once a month. He still has his problems, Kas, but we all do to some degree. There’s a reason he has the reputation he does. He walked away just now because he doesn’t always know how to deal with his temper. That’s the only way he knows how to not hurt you. He’s never had someone in his life he has been protective over the way he is with you.”
Just then, Bronx comes up the stairs with a lit cigarette in his mouth, a small grunt with each step. He is covered head to toe in mud, except for the gym shorts he picked up, but those are basically trash now. I know covering yourself in mud is a military tactic to hide from enemies, but none of our security sensors triggered to indicate our borders had been breached. Did he just roll in the mud for the fun of it?
“Dude, first off, what kind of party did you and Saint have? And secondly, no smoking in the pack house! “
He walks straight past Lenora and me as if we don’t even exist.
“I need you,” he says, pointing to Kas. He bends down and grabs her around the waist like he’s going to hug her, except he picks her up and puts her over his shoulder. He doesn’t even break his stride, he just continues walking as if Lenora and I aren’t standing there. He spits out the cigarette and steps on it as he walks away.
“Uh, bye guys, thanks for the talk, ” Kas waves over Bronx’s shoulder at us as she’s carried down the hall.