Frustrated, she ran past him and sped up along the track. Her mind was still clouded from what happened, whatever had taken place. How does she not have any memories of where she had been for a year, why she no longer felt the beast inside anymore, and why Dominic betrayed her. That hurt the most. Not the brutal scars that marred the smooth skin all over her body. But knowing that someone who is was so close to her, someone who she called brother, can offer betrayal so easily. Rage welled up inside her chest as she pushed herself to run harder. She is the pack leader, the Alpha. She should be able to stand on her own, be strong on her own and move on from whatever the hell had happened to her. She can hide her ugly scars and put on her warrior persona. Her mind began to drift through memories of Dominic, back when he was all she had in life. She yanked her mind back, slamming that door closed, unwilling to process his betrayal. She was always clear minded, unafraid, and confident with any difficult situation. She felt angry tears begin to form in her bright jade eyes.
“I’m so damn pathetic.” She cursed to herself. Her voice sounded weak and foreign to her. Was it because she could no longer draw on the strength of her soul? The beast inside?
A familiar scent surrounded her suddenly and she was thrown out of her thoughts. She didn’t know how long she had been running for and didn’t realize that she had run off the path and was now surrounded in the thick vegetation of the forest. Slowing her pace to a walk she took a deep breath, letting the scent consume her. "Isaac." she whispered to herself. He presence brought her comfort and eased her troubled thoughts for just a moment.
"Lilliana." Despite knowing he was there, her heart jumped a little at the sound of his voice. Isaac, the man who had been with her for as long as she could remember. He jogged out of the dark brush and slowed to a walk next to her. She acknowledged him with a nod of her head and began to jog again. She was unsure if she really felt like talking to him right now. Her emotions were out of control and didn’t want anyone, especially Isaac, to see her so weak. She didn’t want him to know just how broken she felt, how truly lost she was. He had always there for her, ready to defend and yet was never afraid to stand up and speak against her, something that no else did, except for Dominic. She wasn’t sure how she truly felt about Isaac. He confused her, kept her on her toes with every conversation they had. He made her question herself and at the same time reassured her.
"Are you going to say anything to me, Lilliana?" Isaac had matched his pace with hers and again her heart jumped at the sound of his voice. She took a moment to steady her voice. "Isaac, I don't feel like talking right now and honestly I just want to be left alone. Note, I was running alone." She wasn't sure if that was entirely true, especially since she has felt so alone since she came back. He represented home, something familiar in this time of chaos, but also reminded her of what she had lost and could never get back. Irritated with her uncertainty with herself she quickened her pace to a sprint to distance herself from Isaac. He simply sped up too, but fortunately made the decision to stay a few strides back from her as they ran silently, only the sound of light padding of his feet against the soft ground to let her know he was there.
She weaved in and out of trees, felt the cool breeze chill her warm face. The earth, soft after the rain, thudding beneath her feet. Lilliana listened to the wildlife around her, the birds’ wings flapping, the squirrels burrowing in their nests. She soaked in all her surroundings as she closed her eyes and slowed her pace until she was standing still. She wanted to let the beast consume her again, to run with the wild like she used to. She missed running, the sounds of the forest around her, the feeling the cool sharp wind against her as her long hair whipped behind her. Again, she felt the buildup of tears. “I’m so damn pathetic.” she thought to herself again, as she lifted her head to the sky. She was completely lost her senses. Consumed by the forest, taking in everything it had to offer her and appealed to her wildness. Everything slipped out of her mind. She continued to listen to the orchestra of sounds from the forest until she heard Isaac’s footsteps as he approached her. She opened her eyes and blinked several times to get rid of the moisture in them. She realized her clothes were damp from the air and were sticking to her skin uncomfortably. She inhaled the scent of the forest deeply one last time to ground herself and turned towards the direction of his footsteps.
He was walking quietly, his face seemed relaxed, except for the strain in the muscles along his jaw. He dark curls were a mess on top of his head from the wind, his cool blue eyes, fixed on hers. Because of his tall stature and long legs, it took him only a few long strides before he was in front of her. Her body tensed expecting for him to say something harsh about how she was ignoring everyone the past few days. Leave it to him to call her out on her crap. To her surprise, he wrapped his arms around her in a strong embrace. She stiffened. He didn't say anything and neither did she. She simply stood there with her arms to her sides, not sure what to do, listening to his strong heartbeat. It was beating faster than normal- probably from running so long, she thought. Again, his scent overwhelmed her. She felt the heat of his body warm her from the inside out and her small frame began to melt into his. She closed her eyes not wanting to move, needing the comfort he was offering to her. However, she slid her hands between them and placed them on his broad chest. Her fingers splayed wide and yet her hands still seemed child-sized compared to him. She felt his strong muscles tighten as she attempted to push away from him.
"Don't. Don’t you dare." he whispered. His voice sounded strained as he tightened his arms around her. "I can’t let you go right now."
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