Authors: Laura Fields
by Laura Fields
Copyright © 2012 Laura Fields
All rights reserved. This book may
not be reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without written permission
from the author.
All characters appearing in this
work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely
poured down in sheets, drenching anyone brave enough to venture outside. The
worried friends of Harper were not leaving Canyon Public Hospital anytime soon
without getting drenched, so the weather did nothing but worsen their mood.
young woman who had been admitted to the ICU two days ago hadn’t yet stirred.
Axel patrolled the hallways, checking on her progress every third lap. He had
known immediately when she was in danger, had felt the emptiness when they
knocked her unconscious. That moment had started the longest 24 hours of his
life. Axel had torn the town apart in search of her, starting at the location
she had been before the kidnapping. Eight hours later, after fruitless
searching and much shouting on his part, she had regained consciousness and
told him about the dark room. Before she could say much more, the bond was
broken as they knocked her unconscious again.
had been in pure agony for the past three days, to say the least. After Harper
awoke a second time, her wolf had taken control and sent him images through the
bond while she escaped the empty warehouse. Wolf ran through the wilderness inconsolably
while Axel tried to track her location. He and his second-in-command found her
two hours later on the side of the road, battered, bruised, and once again
unconscious, but alive.
he had forced the doctors to answer was whether or not Harper had been raped.
If she had, he didn’t know how he would handle it. They had reassured him that
aside from a few cuts and bruises, she was fine.
was 3 in the morning, 40 hours later, and he had been had been asking himself
the same question over and over again since Harper's admittance to Canyon
Public Hospital. Why did Harper’s wolf run around wildly instead of helping him
second, Conner, was stationed outside Harper’s door because he was one of the
few wolves Axel trusted. Conner had been the beta of the Canyon Pack for five
loyal years, serving by Axel’s side through thick and thin. That was the only
reason he left his mate vulnerable for one minute intervals while he paced the
he was halfway down the hall, Axel felt her presence stir in his mind. She was
head hurt. Her body hurt. It smelled like antiseptic, clean and sharp. She
wanted to look around, but her eyes were too heavy and she was too tired. Pain
thrummed through each limb and she groaned.
voice whispered, "Give her a minute. She'll feel a bit groggy."
opened her eyes to bright lights and hopeful faces. A woman to the right leaned
over her bed, her mom, and a woman waited by the wall. The scratchy pillowcase
rubbed her cheek as she shifted.
Harper croaked. Her voice was rough, making speech painful. Tears welled up
from pain and seeing her mother.
baby girl! How are you feeling?" Gene’s warm face filled Harper’s vision
as her mother leaned in close.
mother had been there when Harper had broken her arm, lost her history
competition, and was dumped by her prom date freshman year. She was the only
one Harper felt comfortable whining to, and she was always there when things
know it does, honey. You’ve been badly hurt. We’re in the hospital right
door flew open and slammed against the wall. Harper watched a handsome man
storm into her room. All attention shifted to him and his overwhelming presence.
Harper appreciated his tall form, strong face, and messy dark hair. His
blue eyes ran over her body with relief.
was the luckiest patient ever, to get such a hot doctor.
he whispered, relaxing immediately.
a deep voice said in her mind a moment
later. Whoa! She was going crazy, hearing dual voices. Maybe she should
inform the doctor.
two long strides, he was kneeling next to her bed. He had a 5 o’clock shadow
that fit his jaw perfectly. His face should have been too close for comfort,
but it felt perfectly natural. In fact, she wanted him closer.
, the voice said.
eyes widened in shock and she cleared her throat. "Doctor," she told
him worriedly, "my head hurts and I'm hearing voices."
room was so silent it was creepy.
he growled after a moment.
must have made a mistake. Maybe he was a nurse? Harper glanced at his outfit.
Nope, he wasn’t wearing any scrubs. He wore a black shirt paired with jeans,
and he was definitely working it. Harper’s face flushed with embarrassment.
I just thought..." her voice faded because she wasn't sure how to
continue. The man almost looked insulted from her assumption. ”I thought you
were my doctor."
stood, his face a blank mask. It was almost as if Harper could feel his pain
and disbelief, but that would have been impossible.
Axel. Your mate.” His voice was as emotionless as his face.
what? Mom?" she asked, searching for an explanation.
I’m Axel.” The man crouched next to her again and took her hand in his,
frightening Harper. She felt like she knew him, but she was positive they had
sorry-” Harper started to say before the doctor interrupted.
give her some time.”
her some time? She doesn’t even know me,” he whispered. His anguish ripped
through Harper, leaving her miserable and breathless, although she didn’t know
why. He left her sitting bewildered on the bed before retreating to the corner
and sliding down the wall. Axel put his face in his hands and tried to regain
room stayed silent.
wanted an explanation. Preferably something along the lines of, ‘I'm sorry
honey, that was just the delusional man down the hall. No worries.’
Harper repeated into the silent hospital room, her mom stayed sadly quiet.
woman spoke up, "Harper, I'm actually your doctor. I believe your memory
has been damaged slightly. If you will give it some time, it should
was hard to concentrate on the doctor’s words with those strong emotions
flowing into her. Harper wanted to know why she was feeling such loss for no
memory?” She stared at the doctor, wanting to argue that her memory was just
fine. She could remember her mother, so obviously the strange man and the
doctor were mistaken. “No, my memory is normal. I know my mother, and I can
remember school. It’s good.”
I’m going to ask you a few questions.”
old were you when you moved to Canyon?”
was your first car?”
mom’s silver Mercedes.”
year did you graduate high school?”
you remember your graduation?”
was incoherent. She hasn’t graduated high school because she was in the middle
of her senior year.
haven’t graduated yet.”
you graduated two years ago.”
was impossible. There was no way she had graduated because she would have
remembered. She couldn’t believe it. Her memories couldn’t have just
disappeared. Besides, if the doctor really did tell her the truth, then that
would mean the hot man could actually be her… What did he say? Her mate. Holy
shit. This wasn’t real. For one thing, there were no mates in real life. There
were boyfriends and there were husbands.
not 20 years old, I don’t have a mate, I’m so confused, and my head hurts.”
Harper’s voice had risen with hysteria.
okay. Your memories should return soon.” The doctor’s soothing tone did nothing
to calm her internal storm.
, that voice said again. Somehow she knew it was
just couldn’t take it anymore. The memory loss, the headache, the voices, it
was all too much. “Stop! Just stop! I don’t know you. I’m not your girlfriend;
I’m not your mate.”
was too much to process. How was that man able to get inside her head? Harper’s
heartbeat lurched, but the cause had come from Axel. Somehow she could feel his
emotions. That was definitely new. As a matter of fact, she had never
remembered being able to smell this well, even though her increased senses
didn’t feel odd to her.
sorry,” Harper said, closing her eyes. “I just think I'm going crazy.”
Her mom started.
Doctor interrupted, “That’s enough for today. Harper, you're not going crazy,
but it'll take a while to process everything. Try to get some rest and we’ll
see how you’re feeling tomorrow.” She gave Harper’s two visitors a stern glance
before leaving the room.
soon as the door shut, Harper knew that her mom was going to start talking
non-stop, and her words would not help the situation. Before the flood, she turned
and demanded, "Mom. Please, just give me a minute to think.”
mother’s mouth had been poised for speech, but it snapped shut at her
daughter’s request. Axel still sat brooding in the corner with an unreadable
expression, and Harper could somehow feel the anger and distress pulsing from
him. She had to focus. She had to remember what she could.
had gone to Canyon high after moving here at 14, and her high school life had
been rough. She hadn’t quite fit in with the normal crowd, and there were a few
bullying incidents. After a while, Harper had grown to accept it. She had been ditched
by her dance date freshman year as a joke and had cried half the night. It had
all been some funny joke the ‘popular kids’ played, and Harper had known
better; no boy that cool would have honestly asked
to a dance.
remembered losing the national history competition her senior year because she
couldn’t remember the last king of Egypt’s third dynasty. Who the hell knew
that? She had studied all the potential subjects from past tests, and they had
never asked questions about Egypt before.
competition was in the spring, two months before her high school graduation,
but Harper didn’t remember graduating. The last memory she had was studying for
in the present, Harper shut her eyes to remove her mom’s pitying face and Axel’s
distressed form from view.
know, Sterling, you shouldn’t show weakness like that in public. It isn’t
becoming,” Harper’s mom said. Apparently she just couldn’t keep quiet.
growled. Harper opened her eyes in shock. He had just
mom. Harper could feel her wolf respond to Axel’s anger. Wait a minute. Her
wolf? Did she just think about being a wolf? What the hell was going on?
fought her warring emotions for a minute before finally giving in to defeat.
She didn’t know anything anymore. She didn’t even know who she was or
was. What had happened to her boyfriend? Harper had been dating Daniel and
things had been going great, so why did they break up?
thoughts brought her eyes to Axel. Now would probably not be a good time to ask
about Danial. Axel looked pretty unstable right now, and she didn’t want to be
the one to push him over the edge. He stood up and, ignoring Gene’s comment,
strode to Harper’s side, apparently coming to a decision. Dang, this man was a
looker. Harper wondered again how she had ended up with him.
briefly touched her cheek and murmured, “I’ll be here when you call.”
left the hospital room, and her mom seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. Faintly,
she heard murmuring something outside. After a moment, a large man walked in to
stand by the door.
took a container of water from her mom and drank deeply before asking the new
guy, “Who are you? I’m sorry if I can’t remember…” Harper trailed off lamely.
am Conner, the pack’s beta.” His voice was deep and clipped, like a sergeant.
Did he just say pack? Hopefully that wasn’t connected to her ‘wolf’. Yep, her
head was definitely rewiring his words. Somehow on the journey from Harper’s
ear to her brain everything was getting all jumbled and warped.
had dark hair and dark features, a mix of some exotic blood. In fact, he wasn’t
too sore on the eyes either. Harper slowly scanned him from head to toe.
Meanwhile, her inner furry conscience was growling in disapproval. She wanted
her mate here with her, not Conner.
was past due for the elephant in the room to be addressed. “Mom? Why can I hear
Axel’s voice in my head?”
mom stayed silent, her lips pursed. It was ironic how her mom chose to stay
quiet at the least helpful times.