Chapter Two - Vivian

Tom’s mouth inched away from mine as I leant in for a kiss, his hot breath danced across my face right just as our lips were about to meet, His hand caressed my hair working its way down till it stopped resting on the small of my back. His other hand cupped my breast, teasing my erect nipple with his fingertip. Tom started to fade as  I was jolted into consciousness, a bright white light flickered above me, I blinked rapidly trying to adjust my vision. My mind was foggy, and it hurt to move. 

“Welcome back Vivian, you had us worried for a minute there” 

Turning to the sound of the voice, a man about thirty-five was examining my right arm, which was covered from elbow to my fingers in a hard white cast. His sandy blonde hair swept across his forehead, big brown eyes with long dark lashes. Tanned arms burst out of his blue scrubs. Scrubs? Hang on, and then it dawned on me. Hospital, I am in the bloody hospital.

“Look at me Vivian” he smiled revealing the whitest teeth I had ever seen. “Do you know what happened?”

“I was at my father’s office and then after that, I have no idea” I croaked, it hurt to talk and my throat felt as if I had swallowed razor blades.

“You were hit by a car, Vivian and you sustained an open compound fracture in your left tibia, and left humorous, several lacerations to your arms and head that required stitches”. Making notes in my chart his brow furrowed with concentration. “I have reset your tibia, and inserted rods and screws to keep it all together, the cast will have to stay on for eight weeks to keep it immobilised, same with your humorous”. “Dr Vernon, the hospitals plastic surgeon, stitched your face, to help with minimal scarring”.

“You are going to require some intensive physiotherapy when the casts come off Vivian, this will be a long, slow recovery”

“Eight weeks” I groaned,  “Can I please have some water?”

Passing me the glass, he pressed a button on my bed and raised my head higher. “I will have the nurses come in and change your IV and adjust your pain medicine, Oh and I will let your loved ones know that you're awake and ready to receive visitors”.

Squeezing my hand, “I will come to check on you later, get some rest” he walked out of the room.

“Vivian, thank god you're okay, you gave me such a fright”. My father burst into the room, his usual stoic expression gone, worry and stress etched his face.

Grimacing I tried to sit up higher on the bed, “I have not forgotten our conversation, Dad”. Even though I had just been hit by a car, I was not in the mood for forgiveness.

“Oh Viv”, he spluttered “Let’s not talk about it now”.

I glared at him, too exhausted to rehash the conversation with him. My head was pounding as I closed my eyes, as my eyelids became too heavy to keep open and drifted off to sleep.

A dull throb in my leg wakes me up, and I become aware of a hand touching mine.

“Go home Dad” my voice croaks “I don’t want to speak to you tonight”

“I’m not your Dad, Vivie '' a deep voice chuckles as his fingertips glide up and down my arm, my hairs stand on end, and goosebumps covered my skin. I knew exactly who that damn voice belonged to.

“What are you doing here Tom?” I scowled “I don’t need or want a pity visit, you have made your feelings or lack of feeling quite clear”.

“Look at you Vivian Brown, ran over by a car and still as sassy as ever” he chuckled, with the typical smug Thomas Bradley look across his damn handsome face that I just wanted so desperately to kiss, to touch.

Rolling my eyes, I snatched my arm away, crossed them across my chest, and turned my head like a petulant child.

“Just leave Tom, I have nothing to say to you”

“Oh, but as your Fiance, I have plenty to say to you, Vivian”. He smiled predatorily, sitting down on the chair next to my bed.

“Let’s get something straight, there is no damn way I will ever marry you” turning back to face him “ No matter what deal you and my father have struck”.

“That’s where you are wrong, I will be the alpha of both packs Vivian, and there is not a thing you can do about it”.

“You are not worthy of being the alpha of the Red Crescents, Thomas Bradley” I spat. “You’re the leader of mutts and misfits”.

His face flushed red, as I saw rage flash in his eyes before he could quickly maintain his composure. A cruel smile crept upon his face, bending down he pressed his lips on my cheek, kissing it hard.

“Do not make me torture you into compliance, Vivian”, he leered crudely.

“If you lay a hand on me, Thomas, if you so much as lay one finger on me, I will kill you”.

My heart raced as my anger towards Tom intensified. How could I be in love with this condescending prick? At this very moment, I despised him.

“Good night, my bride, you get your rest” he sang as he walked out the door. Turning his head he sneered “We have a wedding to plan”.

I folded the sides of the pillow over my head and closed my eyes, very aware that my life was spiralling out of control. This was total bullshit and archaic, this sort of practice had been slowly changing throughout the years in werewolf packs, a few lucky wolves were still fated to be together, but that had alluded me. I had resigned myself to potentially falling in love and marrying a human. The once very common practice of arranged marriage now was very uncommon and frowned upon.

Tears started rolling down my cheeks, the sad thing is that if Thomas Bradley wanted to, if he loved me, if he had asked without making a pact with my father. If he got down on his knee and told me how much he loved me and asked if I would be his wife, I would have said “Yes” and it would have been the easiest yes I have ever said. Because I love Thomas Bradley with every fibre of my being. The very first time my eyes met his I knew that he was the wolf I would love until I took my last breath.

Tonight would not be the first time I had fallen asleep, with Thomas Bradley on my mind, and I knew in my heart it would not be the last. Machines beeped all around me, nurses and patients walked up and down the hall, and the neon light above me blinked as I drifted off to sleep.

The smell of eggs woke me, blinking rapidly to adjust to the bright light, the cafeteria lady placed the tray on my table.

“Good morning” she smiled as she placed a plastic mug on the tray and left the room.

A nurse entered the room, wheeling in the blood pressure monitor.

“Hello Vivian, I just need to check your obs please” she smiled as she placed the cuff on my arm. “How are you feeling today?”

“Good, a little bit sore”.

“Your blood pressure looks good, I will just check your temperature and leave you to your breakfast”.

She stuck the thermometer into my ear and pressed the button.

“Everything looks really good, Enjoy”. “The doctor will be doing his rounds this morning, hopefully, you will be able to go home in a few days”.

Reaching for the remote, I pressed the button and raised the bed until I was in a sitting position. Lifting the plastic dome that covered a piping hot plate, my stomach grumbled in anticipation. “Oh no,” I muttered to myself,  two flaccid pieces of bacon sat on rubbery eggs.

My stomach dropped as I poked them with a fork.

“Good morning V, I have breakfast” My best friend Cat burst through the door clutching a bag of baked goods and a tray with two cups of coffee.

“Thank god” I smiled at my bestie. “You have saved me from starvation”.

 Cat and I had been inseparable since the first grade when she has locked my fingers in between mine and had loudly declared to everyone within earshot that she was claiming me as her best friend forever.

Tall and willowy her blonde hair was cut in a shaggy bob, which suited her sassy personality.

Her blue eyes changed shade depending on her mood, tanned skin from constantly being outside. She was funny and loud, smart and tough. Her father had been killed by a rogue wolf when she was five, It had just been her and her mother ever since, until last summer when she was vacationing at the beach and had met Jasper.

She had not yet told Jasper what she was, I mean how does one casually drop that bomb to their new boyfriend, Oh by the way I am a werewolf, you know like in the movies, a savage vicious creature ruled by the moon. I did not envy her position. Her family will disown her, being with a human was still shunned upon.

“What the hell happened V?” she asked shoving a blueberry muffin into her mouth. “I'm pretty sure we learned to look both ways before crossing the street when we were kids.”

“You will never frigging guess what my father is up to Cat” I replied taking a bite out of a croissant filled with ham and cheese, wiping my chin with the back of my hand as the melted cheese stuck to it.

“Whats the oh so powerful Alpha Edric Brown done now?” raising her eyebrows as she took another bite.

“He has married me off to Thomas bloody Bradley, that's what!” “Like it's the 1600’s and I am his damn property”.

Cat started coughing, choking on her muffin as my words sunk in. Grabbing a bottle of water off the tray she took a gulp. Her eyes were as wide as saucers and I knew instantly what she was thinking.

“It could be worse V, I mean it’s not like you haven’t slept with him” she laughed spitting muffin crumbs all over her dress.

“Its so much worse Catherine Jones”  looking down at my lap I whispered, “It is so much worse because I am in love with him”.

Sobbing I laid back down on the bed, Cat moved closer to me and stroked my hair. 

“It will be okay, we will figure it out”.

“I will not marry Thomas Bradley” I sobbed “and because I will not, I will be the reason that the Red Crescents and Rogues go to war”.

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