"He is not our fated," I told my wolf out loud as I flagged a taxi down. One stopped and I hopped in. "Take me to Highwynne road," I told the driver.

"Highwynne road..." He mused. "Where is that?"

The bout of the mental torture I was inflicting on myself as a result of the sudden arrival of the voice in my head stopped and I actually made some effort to look around me. The road looked different. Ashlake didn't have bad roads but there was just something more industrial to the road I was staring at. The houses around. They looked expensive and perfect. Nothing like the variety in Ashlake. It made me wonder–Scratch that, it made me fear I was in a different city. Surely Matthann was not sick enough to drive me to a different town just to get laid.

"Where is this?" I asked the driver, reaching into my purse for my phone.

"Marblefay. Why do you ask?"

Marblefay? The city I grew up in. The place of nightmares. I kept my cool and opened my device. Not sure why. Perhaps I hoped the driver was exaggerating to extort a rookie visitor of money. I went to maps and found out just how far from home I was. My fears had been very right. Matthan was sick enough to drive me to his own home which was two towns away just to have sex. I didn't even think about how he did it. I refused to let the man dominate my thoughts. Even if he was cute. I swiped at my notifications only to be blown away at the magnitude of calls and texts my parents had put through. To think I was the sole person to put myself in this sort of compromising position and now I was dead meat. If the cops hadn't been called already.

"Can you drive me to the closest bus stop? I need to get to Ashlake."

"You are quite far from home." The man told me. I noticed a smirk in his mouth. I chose to ignore it because I tended to overthink. Perhaps I was seeing things. Being here could do that, right?

"We are safe Eloise." The voice in my head comforted me as the car started moving. "Papa is dead."

I fixated all my attention on my phone throughout the journey in a bid to avoid looking at something that would trigger another of those repressed memory. It took me work to cope with all that baggage. I was not going to be dealing with another relapse. I was fine now. The past was in the past. After all, it had been nineteen years. I kept my gaze down because the road looked familiar. We lived not too far from the road. It would come as no surprise if our house which burned down years ago still stood as a relic for the people of Marblefay. But even my best wasn't enough. My jittery fingers clicked the G****e app and I did it. I searched the Thistle family tragedy. It had been my birth last name. Countless results popped up. I opened a more recent one. It had been years since I looked the case up so seeing that there was something new relating to the tragedy morbidly fascinated me. I will make this tragedy into something of beauty and memories, the header read. The statement was said by some manor renovator. A photo of her was slapped just across the article. I would see through the facade of a smile and kind eyes she gave the camera. She was just like all of them after that tragedy. Plastic fakes who hoped to get a few pity likes and a trial of popularity in complete disregard for the trauma of a child. They all said they sympathized but they weren't there. They didn't know how hot a burning house could get. They had no idea what it was like to breathe in thick black smoke in place of air or see your mother covered in the pool of her own blood. To see your father relish the idea of taking your life. Tremors enveloped my body just thinking about it. I was moments away from having another full blown panic attack. She just had to butt in. My wolf.

"Why are you doing this to yourself?" She asked me.

"I am not doing anything." I retorted, careful not to snap out loud so I would not look crazy.

"But you are." She replied, refusing to be put silent. "You are putting yourself in this horrible situation to get him out of your mind. You would rather torture yourself than reckon about what I said. Matthan is our fated Eloise. I felt it when he kissed you. Our souls, they fit. He can remedy your pain. It is the will of the goddess."

I clutched hard to my phone. I swear that the device was moments away from becoming scrap under the influence of my iron grip. I felt stronger. Now that my wolf was back, it was of no surprise. I stopped clenching and that made the thoughts in my head cascade. I didn't want it to happen. I didn't want Matthan to be my fated or any werewolf at that. My life was perfect just the way it was. Once the time was right, I would find someone. Someone boring. Someone human to settle down with. "I don't need to be remedied," I whispered to my wolf. "Only broken things need that and I am not broken."

"I hear you say that but we both know the only reason you have limited yourself and your life is because of your crippling uncertainty."

"Shut up!" I almost screamed aloud. This was why the thought of having a voice of reason in my head creeped me out. I had lived a good life making my decisions alone. I missed that. My wolf had barely stayed a day and she was already trying to therapize and fix me just like my parents. What did they see exactly? What was so broken about me that they all saw the need to fix it? "I am not uncertain. I don't fear anything. I just don't want to deal with another werewolf. I don't need him to be remedied and fate has absolutely nothing to do with the future I deserve. I am not going to end up like my mother."

"Took the words right out of my mouth. You are afraid Eloise. We are afraid of ending up like her. Because she had something a lot of werewolves coveted. A pairing as rare as the one of fate. But even that wasn't enough. The man she was fated to be with was the same person who took her life. You don't want to end up like mom. Another domestic abuse statistic."

A drop of salty hot tears trickled down my cheek. I wiped it as quickly as I could. But the emotion of despair didn't disappear and I hated that my wolf was right. Was that what they all saw? Prodigy, Eloise Carter was afraid of her future. Was that why everyone was trying so hard to remedy me?

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