Despair & Desire Ch. 01byTahoeCat©
Miranda Cook looked around her sparse apartment. There was nothing giving her any joy. The things that once sustained her, no longer did. It was lowering to see that all she had to show in her life; all that she had were lifeless, useless things that did nothing but take up space and collect dust.
With her decision made she wrote out her note and carefully placed it on the counter next to her bathroom sink. Then she turned on the water and got it as hot as she could stand.
She turned to her mirror and undressed. She examined her body for the last time. She was not a super model shape, if anything she was exactly the opposite. All she saw was her tits hanging down, her fat legs, her ass that seemed to her to be falling and flat. Her long sable hair to her was lifeless and a pain to deal with. Her skin wasn't even a creamy white or a delicate tan like she wished it was, instead she was just a plain old white woman with no imagination on how to get it to be anything like those scenarios. Her feelings about herself spiraled downward over the last few months; making her bitchy and moody one minute, and a weepy crying fool another.
She believed she hid it from her co-workers fairly well. She laughed at their jokes; answered when they asked her questions, or responded when she was needed for anything on the job.
Rationally she knew she was in a depression, but she didn't know what to do about it. How could she willing go into one of those offices, sit on a couch, and spill out her feelings to someone who got paid to write her off as another crazy woman who just wasn't getting any at night.
She had no friends, no family; no one would care if she was gone anyway. Just another number in a file they probably put somewhere and didn't care anymore.
The water had filled the tub as far as she needed it, so she turned off the taps. She turned back to the sink and picked up the knife that she had set there a few minutes earlier. She placed it onto the edge of the tub as she slipped into the water. As she settled back she found it odd that she was so relaxed at this moment. She thought she should at least be nervous, but she wasn't.
She let her arms stay under the water, soaking her skin, knowing it would only help what she needed to do. After a while, possibly twenty minutes she reached for the knife. She thought it was interesting that she had chosen such a simple knife. It was one from her kitchen set. Not the big blade that is typical of some who have not thought through to what they were doing, but the smaller more deadly of the set. The bread knife had the needed serration to do the job right.
She had taken the only drug she was willing to take, the bottle of ibuprofen still sat by the sink, downing at least ten pills before starting this. Feeling no pain, even that of the hot water that should have been stinging her skin, she raised the knife to her wrist. In a quick moved she sliced through her skin twice across the vein. Then repeated it on her other wrist.
She put the knife on the floor by the tub then let herself slide down under the water further.
Right away she could feel herself draining away, her head becoming lighter. She closed her eyes and settled back. Belatedly she heard the music still on in the living room and laughed as she had forgotten to turn it down and that the neighbor would be mad, and call the supper again. She didn't care.
The darkness came first, then she wasn't feeling anything and she knew it was happening. She said goodbye to no one and to everyone and let it take her. The tub water changing to a bright red as her blood mixed with it.
Leland Fairgate was walking in for his shift as the night trauma nurse's assistant. He was in school to finish getting his license as a full nurse. As he walked onto the main e. r. floor a woman was being brought in on a gurney. Her hair wet, her arms bandaged and an air bag being pumped over her face. As the e.m.t.'s past him with her he caught her scent and nearly fell to his knees.
He dropped is clipboard and rushed after them. As he moved into the e. r. he watched as they were unwrapping her arms and the obvious suicide attempt. Without a thought he stepped up to her and began to do his job and helped the nurse on duty with her injuries. Her scent rising to him nearly distracted him, but he pushed through it and continued to help. He repeatedly would look up to her face; he wanted to know every plain; every angle that was uniquely her.
He wondered what it was that pushed her to do this to herself, what would bring someone down so far that she felt the only way to stop it was to try and end her life? She was his and he would find out everything he needed to know. When they had finished the nurse shooed him away and pulled down her gown to see if there were more wounds to attend to. She heard a low growl from behind her and she turned. But she saw that the new assistant was already leaving the room. Forgetting the strange noise she went back to examining her patient.
Leland moved to the window in the door and watched. He almost lost his control when the nurse went to expose the woman's body. But his human mind knew she was just doing her job. He turned and headed to where the e.m.t.'s where chatting. He caught their eye as he stepped up to them.
"What happened?" he asked.
"Her building super found her after a complaint from a neighbor over her music playing too loud," one answered.
"She left a note," the other said. "The police took it with them."
"Did you get a look at it?" Leland asked.
"Only a quick one," the first one said, "She was saying something like she was too alone, or that was what I caught of it before they bagged it up and took it."
Leland glanced back at the e. r. and he felt his chest heaving, his heart pounding. He only found her now because he was too distracted by his ambitions to have found her sooner. He knew from the ancient lore that a mate could be driven to such acts when their life has never been fulfilled by finding their mate and completing that part of themselves.
He heard the e.m.t.'s leave; but didn't bother to look at them. He moved back to the window in the door and the nurse had already covered the woman back up. He turned to find any information on her that he could. His first thought was to get her name.
Miranda slowly understood as she awoke that she wasn't dead. She opened her eyes and saw what she already knew, she was in a hospital, could she do nothing right? She looked down at her arms and saw the bandages. What was she going to do now? She could take the stitches out while there was no one here. Maybe it would finish the job before someone did walk in.
"I wouldn't do that," a deep male voice said from the doorway.
Miranda turned her head quickly to see a dark haired man standing in the doorway, wearing a medical uniform. How'd he know what she was thinking?
"It wasn't hard to see what you are thinking Miranda," he said and stepped into the room.
She watched him closely as he brought over a chair and pulled it up next to her bed and sat. His eyes bore into hers, and she squirmed as his caramel eyes held hers.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Leland. I was here when they brought you in. I'm a nursing assistant and helped with your injuries."
"Why are you here now?"
"I wanted to get some answers," he said and leaned in closer. His voice gentled, "I wanted to know what would make you go to those extremes."
"What do you care? You did your job, now go away." She turned in the bed so that she was facing the window.
"I can't do that Miranda," Leland answered.
"What," she asked as she turned back, "Are you in training for psychology or something?"
Leland smiled a little at her tone. She did snide comments very well, "No, but there is more to me than you see."
"What do you want?" Miranda asked tiredly. She can't even get someone to leave her alone. There really was nothing she could do right. It proved her life was useless, that she was useless.
A low dangerous sound came from Leland's throat, "Don't think that."
"What?" she asked.
"Tell me why you thought that suicide was your only answer."
"That's none of your business."
"I'm sorry but it is."
"Why? I'm no one to you. Just please, leave me alone. I don't want to talk to you." She closed her eyes and turned away again, hoping that he would finally take the hint.
Leland sat a few moments longer just watching her. Slowly he stood and moved to her. Gently he put a hand to her hair and smoothed it back from her face.
Miranda's eyes popped open and she looked up at him. What was this? She should be feeling invaded by his move but it calmed her instead. She should be angry that he would assume that he had permission to touch her, but she wasn't. What she did do was turn so that his palm slid to her cheek. Then she turned more into his touch and caught the scent on his skin.
"Do you think you can sleep?" he was asking.
She looked up and saw he was standing very rigid, but still he was gentle.
"I'll be back later to check on you," Leland said as he continued to gently run his fingers down her cheek. "Promise me you won't do anything to hurt yourself."
She was caught in his eyes, his touch. "I promise."
Leland smiled and leaned down to brush a light kiss over her forehead. "I am coming back Miranda, just as soon as I can." He moved away and slipped out the door.
Miranda stared at the door as he left. What was that, she wondered. And why would she promise anything to him?
Leland hurried to his locker and checked out for the night. He needed to get to his alpha and fast. He was sending out his thoughts as fast as he could think them to any betas he sensed around the hospital, practically begging they watch over her. When he heard their ascending responses he ran out the door and down the alley. As soon as he reached the woods on the edge of the hospital property he changed to his wolf. Both of them needed the run to abate the anger and frustration that had built in them.
She was so lonely, he thought. He should have been spending time on looking for her. He never should have taken up this idea of being a nurse. His job would have been the same in the pack, regardless if his schooling would have benefited them all. His mate had been in need and he never knew it, he never looked for her.
A giant silver wolf jumped into his path and Leland stopped and quickly bowed.
The silver wolf changed revealing an older broad man with wide shoulders, his hair turning white around edges of his strong face, his tanned face looking down at Leland in sympathy. Alpha Draven was a strong leader.
"You may change Leland," he said to the smaller tan wolf.
Leland changed but still in the kneeling position. "My alpha," he said with pain. His emotions tore at him.
"I know Leland. I have heard all the betas have been saying. How is she doing?" Draven asked.
Leland looked up at his alpha, he heart in his eyes, "I fear for her my alpha. She has promised not to hurt herself, but I'm not sure she will keep it. There is such grief, and hopelessness in her mind. She calmed a bit when we touched, but I don't know if my being there will help her."
"Rise Leland," Draven said. When he did and he looked into the alphas eyes he added, "She needs us, she needs you. When she is well enough bring her to us. We have people that can help her. You can only do what you can as her mate. She may resist you," he warned. "But instinct will win out against that. Her reactions to you in the hospital may very well prove that she is not as far gone as you may believe."
That gave Leland the hope he was looking for, which was why he sought out his alpha. "What can I do for her? Just being there doesn't seem to be enough."
"She needs to see that she is needed, wanted, and loved in this world. That she always has been and that we were just waiting for her to find us."
"I should have been looking for her," Leland said in anguish. "I spent too much time looking for a career, too much time in the libraries."
"Leland you were following your path. You know your abilities lean toward healing. It's your time to be more than just another beta. When you finish your schooling you will be more than what you have been. If you stop now, like you are thinking, you will do yourself a disservice and her."
"She's human," Leland said quickly.
"Yes I know."
"What can I say that she won't go screaming from the room?"
"Be truthful, but wait until she is stronger. The knowledge that we exist may be a bit much right now."
A sleek black wolf stepped into the clearing with them. Leland again went down on his knee.
The black wolf changed; now there was a tall black woman standing with the alpha. Alpha bitch Junice was just as spectacular as Alpha Draven, which was why they were so greatly matched.
"Leland," she said and had him rise. "Forgive me for eavesdropping."
"No madam alpha," Leland said shaking his head. "No forgiveness is needed."
"Oh nonsense," she said, "It was rude. But I can't be too sorry for it. I wanted to ask you for a favor, and it will be no small feat for you."
"Anything madam alpha," Leland said.
"When you bring her to us you must ask her to become one of us."
Leland knew what that entailed. But he was uncertain in her current state of mind if she would even entertain the idea.
When he looked up to say as much she raised her hand. "Leland, from what information you acquired she has no family and maintains no friends. She is alone in their world. Here she will have family, she will have friends. And if Luna blesses you, she will start a family with you."
Leland saw what Madam Alpha was saying. All he had to do was show Miranda that she would go from having nothing to having everything. And that he was the one to give it to her.
Miranda finished her breakfast that was more than just good. It amazed her of the quality of the food she had. She guessed all the wives tales about hospital food was just that; a tale. She pushed the tray away from her and settled back. Her nursing assistant would be back to pick it up soon and she was hoping to be asleep by the time she did.
She thought about Leland again for the hundredth time since he left. It still confused her that she would promise not to hurt herself to him. But something had happened when he touched her. A sense of calm and serenity had come over her and she was certain that he was supposed to be there with her. But that didn't explain that his scent had her turned on. It had been so long since anyone had even looked at her, let alone drew her to them in an instant.
Before the depression had hit her; and hit her hard it did; she hid her size away with style and cuts of clothing that made her look good from a distance. But once a man had shown interest and he saw that she was fat he would make excuses and just not return calls. She was tired of being ignored or dismissed, or considered as having no control.
The truth was she barely ate every day. At best she would have a protein bar and coffee, or maybe a roll or bagel in the mornings. She typically skipped lunch due to her schedule; and ate very little for dinner. Her choices for that were not exactly the best but it would be only enough to make the hunger pains go away so she could sleep.
"That's a very bad practice you know," Leland said from the doorway.
Miranda turned her attention from the window that she had been staring out of as she was thinking to his now regularly clothed form leaning on the doorway. It irritated her that again he knew what she was thinking, and she wasn't buying his reading her face this time.
Leland chuckled at the expression on her face. She looked about ready to beat him for startling her again. No it wasn't hard for him to read her thoughts, but she was more than just his mate. He sensed a power in her that she wasn't even aware of.
"Are you going to sit or do I have to keep looking up at you?' Miranda said in a huff.
Leland straightened and took the chair that had remained by her bed. He watched as she followed his movements and sat.
"Is this better?" he asked.
"Yes," she said as she tried to understand him. She realized she had been waiting for him to come back as he said he would. She wondered if he was as kind as he seemed on first notice.
"Why not ask me what you are thinking?" Leland asked as he leaned back in a relaxed pose.
"How do you do that?" she asked as she shifted to see him better.
She gave him a look of total annoyance at his comment. Her brow had raised and she just stared for moment.
"Alright," he said and leaned forward. "For now all I can say is; yes you are easy to read, but I have a special talent that lets me know more."
"Hmm," she said and absently rubbed the bandages on her wrist as she considered this. "So you can read minds?"
"Well not all minds," he said. It was the best he could say without revealing everything about him and the pack too soon.
"Why are you so honest about something like that? If it were me I wouldn't tell anyone," she said as she rubbed the bandage again.
He noticed her hands moving and waited. He could see that she wasn't comfortable here in the bed, or in the hospital, and on a small scale with him.
"Are you ready to talk with me about what happened?" he asked to change the subject off of him.
Miranda shifted away and turned her attention back out the window.
How do you talk about something like what she was feeling? How could anyone understand what it was like to look in the mirror and hate everything you saw?
When she heard a low growl come from Leland she turned back. That was the second time she heard that sound from him.
"What?" she asked him.
"I don't like the way your thoughts are going," he answered honestly. "There's nothing wrong with the way you look. You're a beautiful woman."
Miranda shook her head. How sad was she that he would lie to try to make her feel better?
As soon as she finished the thought Leland was up and had her face in his hands. He was so close she could smell the aftershave that lingered on his skin. His eyes, a solid caramel that had a ring of green around the edges looked angry and fierce. The tan that tinged his skin only made his eyes more intense.
"Understand me," he said and she could practically taste his mint toothpaste on his breath. "I don't lie, in thought or action or deed. When I say you are beautiful I mean it. When I say there is nothing wrong with you, I mean that as well."
Miranda's chest had contracted at his statements. In too many years she had not ever heard anyone say anything to her like that or with such passion. Where he touched her was tingling with awareness. But still she couldn't believe him fully. Such things were fantasies in her life.
"You can't understand me Leland," she said as she lifted her hands to his. That action caused a riot of sensations to run over her. She desperately wanted him to lean down and kiss her. It was so strong she could already feel his lips crushing down over hers.
Leland saw and felt what she did. He wanted it just as she was imagining; taking her mouth in the way he wanted. To possess her passions in the way he knew would give them both the ultimate pleasure.
"You haven't been shown how much you have to tempt a man. You can bring a man to his knees with just a look, and they would be putty in your hands. Personally I hope you use it on me."
She had to break the connection that they had from touching each other. If she didn't she would believe anything that he said. She forced her hands to drop, hoping he would do the same before she lost herself again.
"Again," Leland said as he reluctantly let her go.