Inner Animal Ch. 06byRavenMoon©
Hey! Raven Moon here, (obviously) I ended up realising how much I'd written and thought that I'd put some of it up. I hope that you enjoy and please leave me a review or a rating to let me know what you think!
It was in the morning when Jason looked down on Danielle's sleeping form that he noticed what he had missed before when he had been swept up in his passion. Danielle's body was covered in scars.
His eyes swept over each mark as the back of his fingers ran down her spine. They each varied in shape and size and some appeared darker than others. A particular prominent one rested low on her hip and disappeared out of sight. Kissing the back of her right shoulder, his fingers stroked her waist causing her to begin to stir.
Her eyes slowly blinked open before a small smile came over her face. "...morning."
He grinned back. "Good morning." As he lowered his lips back to her skin, she sighed contently and cuddled the pillow.
A temporary silence came over them as Jason began to caress the scar where he had just kissed her. She shifted, seeming to struggle with an internal debate, before sighing. "You want to know how I got them don't you?"
"Yes," He admitted, moving his hand away. "But I'm not going to force you to tell me."
Danielle seemed to register this for a moment before glancing over her shoulder at him. Their eyes met before she redirected her attention to his headboard. "...Growing up I never really had anyone to talk to. My dad was always being called to the hospital and my mum was always working on a case- they never really had time for me. I was placed in boarding schools so I didn't see them much as it was. I hated them for it." She ran a shaky hand through her hair before continuing. "I didn't have any real friends: the thing is with places like that is everyone is obsessed with status and who can give the best connections. I mostly just kept myself to myself- I didn't want to play those games. The only way I could ever get my parents to give me any attention was to cause trouble so that they were called in. It's pretty pathetic really." A harsh laugh broke through her lips. Hearing the pain in her voice, he rested his head on the side of hers. She leant into the contact slightly. "When I was sixteen I met Jake. He seemed nice- he liked me for me. He never seemed to care about the other girls. I ended up sneaking out to meet him most nights. Jake was the first guy that I ever loved. He showed me what it felt like to have someone care about you, what it was like to have people like you for YOU.
"I ran way. I thought that it would be me and him against the world. I packed nothing but the essentials and climbed down the drainpipe to him. God, I really thought that everything was working itself out. I'd planned it so that my parents had been called in the day before so that I could steal my Mum's credit card so that we had something to live on for a bit. We ended up getting a cheap council flat but I didn't care. I tried to throw myself into the new culture and lose all traces of my background- I didn't want to be associated with that lifestyle anymore. I'd never felt so free." Her tremors had begun to worsen and Jason rubbed his hands up and down her shoulders to calm her. Exhaling noisily, she persevered. "That's when everything changed. I'd noticed that a large amount of money had gone from the bank account and so asked him about it. We got into a huge argument and... he hit me.
"I was so shocked. He just kept on apologising and I forgave him. He'd never gotten angry with me before and I thought that it was a one off. When he bought me flowers the next day, we moved past it. I found out later that he'd used the money to buy drugs. Things steadily got worse. At first, it was just odd comments that would put me down or he would humiliate me in front of his mates but then things got more extreme. He was drinking a lot more and he wasn't even hiding it when he took drugs anymore." A tear slipped from her closed eyes. "I used to lean against the doorframe and watch him just to make sure he didn't die.
"It was during another argument that he hit me again. He didn't apologise that time, he just left the room. He lost his temper more and the beatings started. I used to think it was my fault- he'd made me believe that I deserved everything I got. I used to wonder how he put up with me.
"When the money ran out, I worked as a cleaner at a strip club. I was about seventeen at this point- I guess that my parents had worked out that I took the card and kept it working so that I had something to live off. He'd spend the day getting pissed with his mates or high as a kite... that scar there," She nodded her head in the direction of where Jason was lazily tracing the scar on her shoulder. "Was when he threw me down and the glass from the coffee table smashed." She lifted a hand and rested it on a spot on the crown of her head. "I've also got one here from when he slammed me against the wall."
Jason ran his fingers down to her elbow where his advanced eye sight had noticed a white line. Brushing his finger over it, she laughed gently. "I did that when I was a kid- fell off a branch." He smiled softly before his fingers found a light pink mark on the back of the top of her left thigh. "That was when he pushed me down the stairs after I'd tried to get him to give up the drugs."
Almost hesitantly, Jason moved his hand over to the large scar on the right side of her hip. As he followed the line across her body, she rolled over and he was unable to suppress the gasp that came with the blow to the gut. It nearly reached all the way across to her belly button. He struggled to suppress the rage that was beginning to build in him at the sight of the mark.
She watched his face warily. "He was drunk and accused me of cheating. Unluckily for me, we were in the kitchen next to the knives. Luckily for me, he missed." At Jason's perplexed expression, she elaborated. "He was aiming lower."
Swallowing back bile, he placed his hand on the top of her left shoulder where another pink line marred her creamy skin. "He threw a glass at me." He ran his hand down her arm before gently twisting her forearm to expose various circular burns. "Cigarette burns," She clarified. "I guess I wasn't the only one who thought I was worthless." Ignoring her failed attempt at humour, he placed a chaste kiss on the marks before hesitantly moving to her abdomen.
Danielle shifted uncomfortably underneath him as he stroked his thumb over the scar. Her voice came out a whisper. "Kidney transplant." Another tear ran down her face and he moved to face her before kissing it away. Her voice remained husky. "The last beating I got from Jake was the worst. It was like he was possessed; he just wouldn't stop. I begged him to stop, I BEGGED him- but you could see it on his face, he didn't hear me. He just kept on punching me and when I fell to the floor he started kicked me. I thought I was going to die.
"I must have blacked out because the next thing I know, I was in hospital- I honestly don't know I got there. They told me that I'd been out for a while- that my kidney had started failing and that I needed a transplant..." When she paused, Jason placed a comforting kiss on her trembling lips. She sighed before clearing her throat. "The first thing I asked was where Jake was. One of the nurses: Karen, told me that she'd call him for me. It turns out that he didn't even know I'd left.
"I was lucky, I got a kidney pretty quickly but it was during my time in hospital that Karen noticed all of my scars and after a lot of persuasion I admitted to her what had been happening. Jake never visited so I didn't have to worry about getting hurt or shouted at but at the same time I was desperate to see him.
"I found out why later on. Apparently I'd flat-lined briefly and Jake must have seen it. When he'd asked Karen if I was dead she didn't deny it and he ran. When I found out what she had done I was furious, I couldn't believe that she'd done it. But, honestly, I don't think that I can ever repay her. She showed me what he had brought me to and told me that she had gone through something similar. She took care of me."
Jason was stunned. He ran his fingers through her hair as her breathing began to slow and her racing heart began to steady. "Do you still keep in touch with her?"
She shook her head. "Briefly, she used to call sometimes- just to see how I was doing. The last I heard she'd moved to Ireland." A look of wonder came over her face. "She risked her career for me- for someone she barely knew. I just... I don't think that I'll ever be able to thank her enough."
Vulnerability seemed to enter her eyes as he looked into them. She exhaled in an attempt to cover it. "I've never told anyone that before."
His hand paused. Shock overwhelmed him. "How long ago did it happen?"
"Nearly five years ago."
"Why did you never tell anyone?"
"It's not exactly something I'm proud of." She confessed.
"None of it was your fault, Danielle, what he did was inexcusable."
Her voice was quiet. "I'm the one who got involved with him. I'm the one who trusted him. I should have known better."
Jason gently gripped her chin and lifted it. "Now you listen to me Miss. Macintyre. You are the most beautiful, gorgeous- soul shatteringly sexy woman I have ever met. You know how to hold your own and won't hesitate to defend those around you. You couldn't have known better- how could anyone have known that he would hurt you like that?"
Silence came over them again until she hesitantly spoke. "Do you still see me as all of those things?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well you've seen them now- I wouldn't blame you if you weren't interested anymore. Just please don't tell people what I told you, I don't want..."
He cut her off with a passionate kiss that left her gasping for air before proceeding to run kisses all the way down her body. "I meant every word."
Fisting a hand in his hair, she pulled him back to her lips. "Thank you." Their kisses deepened as Jason ran a hand down Danielle's body to wrap a leg around his waist. His lips had just begun to follow a trail down her neck when his mobile began to ring from where he'd thrown it onto the sofa. As it continued to pierce the serenity, he dropped his head and groaned.
"Leave it," Danielle mumbled.
//...Alpha Evans... Brother dear, please answer the phone...//
Jason fought to ignore the insistent call in his mind as he was enveloped once more in Danielle's warmth.
//Jase!! Answer the god damn phone!!//
Giving in, he reluctantly pulled himself away and snatched up the phone with a barely concealed growl. "What?"
"Good morning to you too!" The feminine voice huffed. "Kyle told me that you brought a lady friend over last night- is it safe for me to come round?"
Raking a hand through his hair, he fought to keep his tone polite. "Not really."
"Well that's a shame because I'm outside."
"What?" Walking over to the window, he peered behind the curtain to see his sister at the end of the drive. She gave a small wave. "You've got be kidding me."
"Yeah, I love you too. Give me a break- it's the first girl that you've ever brought back to this place. I was curious."
Sighing, he glanced back towards Danielle who was watching his movements with a raised eyebrow. The flush on her cheeks and the way that the duvet was wrapped around her made him gulp and try to refocus on the conversation. "Fine just- just give us half an hour, OK?"
"Alright, I'll get the breakfast while I wait- does your lady friend want anything in particular?"
Grimacing at the surreal situation, Jason rested the phone against his chest while shyly looking towards Danielle. "Erm, is there anything that you want for breakfast? My sister wants to know."
The look of disbelief on her face was almost comical. "Seriously?" When he nodded, she looked puzzled before answering. "I guess a cappuccino, if there's one going and some toast, please." He relayed the information to his sister.
"OK, good. I'll be back in half an hour- oh and Jase please be decent." With that she hung up.
Rubbing at his brow, Jason addressed Danielle. "We've got half an hour before she gets here." He noticed her heavy frown. "What?"
"I thought you said that you only had a Mum."
Ah. Exhaling, Jason walked over before sitting down on the edge of the bed. "I'm sorry that I didn't tell you about Hollie. I'm quite protective of her and until I get to really know a person I don't introduce them to her."
She seemed to take this in silently before sighing. "...OK. I'm not thrilled but I get it. But, I need to know, if she hadn't turned up would you have told me about her?"
He smiled before brushing the hair out of her face. "Yes, if I wasn't otherwise... preoccupied..." He watched her face flush at the huskiness of his voice. "I would have told you more about my family." His hand rested on her cheek and she leant into his touch. "After everything that you've just shared with me... I'm not going to hide anything from you."
He couldn't- not anymore. He would have to find a way to tell her the truth somehow. After the night before, he had been forced to realise how important she was to him- there was no way he was willing to let her go. He would have to tell her he was a werewolf and pray to whatever deity was out there that she would accept him.
Danielle had to admit that she was looking at Jason in a whole new light. It had terrified her to reveal her past and for him to listen so attentively and accept her was overwhelming. Yeah, she was a little bit pissed that he hadn't told her about his sister but she could relate. She was protective of the other dancers and wouldn't willingly divulge information about them to just anyone.
Feeling heat begin to build in the gaze from Jason, she licked her lips. He groaned before standing up and beginning to repeat 'half an hour' like a mantra.
They had just both hastily, and separately, showered and gotten themselves presentable when a knocking came at the door. Jason looked at her before walking over and letting his sister in.
Hollie had dark hair and slightly tanned skin like her brother but the large grin on her face seemed to give off a bubblier personality. Her vivid amber eyes seemed to be looking her over thoughtfully. When she seemed to have finished her inspection, she lifted up a Costa bag in peace offering.
Jason rolled his eyes before shutting the door behind her. "Hollie this is Danielle. Danielle this is Hollie."
Danielle gave a small smile. "It's nice to meet you."
Hollie placed the bag down onto the counter besides Danielle. "It's nice to meet you too, Danielle." She fished out the cappuccino and passed it to her. "Sorry they didn't have any toast."
"It's alright!" Jason announced. "I'll make some now." Was he nervous?
Hollie raced an eyebrow with a barely suppressed smirk. "Wow, I'm impressed- Danielle how did you manage to do it?"
Taking a sip of her drink, Danielle frowned. "Do what?"
"I've never known my brother to make this much effort for a girl before."
Danielle raised an eyebrow before Jason quickly cut in. "It's just toast, Hollie."
"You've never made me toast before."
He sighed. "Would you like some toast?"
"No thanks, I've already eaten." As Jason opened his mouth to argue she drove on. "So Danielle what do you do?"
Danielle barely held back her laughter at the siblings banter before answering. "I'm a pole dancer."
If Hollie was surprised she hid it well. "How long have you been pole dancing?"
"About five years." She smiled gratefully at Jason as he passed her the toast. "What do you do?"
She was silent for a moment before smiling to herself and replying. "I'm a... life coach- I tend to help women keep their lives on track and sometimes to give them boundaries to stop chaos in their lives."
"Oh wow," Danielle grinned. "Maybe you can help me out one day- I could certainly do with losing the chaos."
Hollie looked at her carefully before taking a thoughtful sip. "Maybe."
Jason cleared his throat. "Hollie recently got married."
"Congratulations." Danielle grabbed Hollie's offered hand and tilted her hand to watch the light catch on the diamond on her ring finger. "It's gorgeous."
"Thank you..." Danielle noticed that her top had begun to ride up on her arm to reveal some of the burns on her pale skin. Hollie's eyes flickered over the marks caused shame to rush through her and she hastily yanked her sleeve down. Hollie continued her conversation as if nothing had happened which Danielle was extremely grateful for. "We didn't have anything too fancy just our... families."
Danielle gave a tentative smile. As if Jason felt her distress, he slipped an arm around her waist and placed a chaste kiss on the top of her head. She immediately relaxed into his touch and closed her eyes in contentment. When she opened them again, she saw Hollie looking at her and Jason in speculation. A blush coloured her cheeks but he didn't let her go.
"How long have you two been seeing each other?"
Jason answered her question. "Nearly two weeks."
Nearly two weeks. It had only been 'nearly two weeks' and already she'd slept with him. She felt sick.
Hollie's eyes never left Danielle's face as she spoke. "Jason, can you give us a minute, please?" Her eyes flickered to Jason where the pair seemed to have a silent discussion before he moved away.
"I need to make some calls anyway." He placed another quick kiss to the Danielle's head before stepping outside.
Danielle stood nervously as Hollie once again analysed her. Seeming to find whatever she was looking for, Hollie leant back against the counter behind her. "I've never seen my brother this happy with a woman before. You're good for him, Danielle."
Surprise came over her at the sister's words. "You're not going to tell me to back off?"
Her laugh was light and automatically caused a smile come over Danielle's face. "Definitely not- in fact I want to apologise in advance for whatever stupid things my brother is likely to say. Seeing the two of you together makes it look like you've been together for two years not weeks."
"Aren't you worried that things are moving too fast between us?"
"Hey, when you know you know- don't give me that look, Danielle I can tell how you feel by how you look at him. He cares for you just as much." She frowned as if a sudden thought had come to her. "Look your relationship is none of my business but I do have one request: please don't hurt him. Yeah, he can be an absolute douchebag sometimes but beneath it all he's still my brother."
Danielle allowed herself a small smile. "You know before you turned up, I didn't even realise he had a sister. He said that he hadn't told me because he was protective of you. What I didn't realise was that it was mutual."
Hollie rubbed the back of her neck in what appeared to be discomfort. Danielle remembered Jason doing the same gesture not that long ago and wondered if she'd picked it up from him. "Did Jason happen to tell you why he's so overprotective?" When she shook her head, she dropped her hand. "Well he's my brother so as you can imagine he's protective enough but, about six months ago someone tried to kill me."
"It was an ex... employee of Jason's who didn't take being fired very lightly." The colour seemed to drain from her face. "If Jason hadn't shown up when he did..."
Suddenly overtaken by a bizarre impulse, Danielle stepped forward and wrapped Hollie in her arms. The woman clung onto Danielle for a few moments as she gathered comfort.
After a few moments, she calmed down and Danielle slowly released her. "I'm sorry; can I ask why was he fired?"
Hollie sniffed as she gathered herself. "Jason won't stand for violence against women. When he caught the guy hitting another... employee, he went ballistic."