After an attack left Ashton seriously injured and permanently disfigured, he has lived alone in despair, waiting for the day he would meet his mate and finally find the one person he was sure would love him despite his frightening face. When he does meet her, she is horrified by him and rejects him immediately. Now abandoned by the one person who he believed would be his saving grace, he sinks into depression and believes that there is no one who can see past his scars and love him as he is. A childhood friend comes back into his life, and he finds himself growing attracted to her, despite his better judgement. Will she accept him? Will he avenge himself and find his attacker? Can they weather the pain of his past together?
“Will he be okay, doctor? He’ll heal from this, right?” A worried but familiar voice broke through the darkness and fog in his brain, and he tried to open his eyes. Awareness of his surroundings began registering with his body. He felt dull pain in his body, but his face burned terribly. His eyes teared up at the pain, but all he could see was darkness. He moved slightly, reaching up to touch his face with a shaking hand. Was he blind? Why couldn’t he see?
His hand came into contact with soft gauze, and he realized that his face was bandaged up. It felt terrible. Why wasn’t it healing? His small movements went unnoticed by the two people in the room who were engrossed in their conversation.
“I don’t know how to tell you this, Luna, but I won’t beat around the bush. I regret to inform you that your son will be permanently disfigured. We’re lucky he’s alive. He’s unbelievably strong in order to survive at all. He might never look the same, but at least he’s alive.” The solemn voice dealt out a horrifying verdict. The boy felt his tears fall faster, soaking the gauze and burning his face.
“At least he’s ALIVE?! What kind of consolation is that?!” Shrieked the Luna’s voice, filled with sorrow and tears.
“I’m sorry. The wolfsbane has kept him from healing the usual way. I’ve done my best with him. There’s always the possibility of surgery in the future.”
“…” the Luna stalled in her hysteria for a moment.
On the bed, the boy licked his chapped lips and whispered, “Mom…”
In the next instant a small warm hand was holding his. “I’m here Ashton. Mommy’s here.”
He squeezed her hand helplessly, unable to speak with his dry mouth.
“Doctor, inform Alpha Josiah that Ashton is awake immediately.” The Luna ordered in her most authoritative voice.
“Yes, Luna Emily. Immediately.” The doctor took his leave, and Emily turned her attention back to her beloved son.
“Mom…” Ashton croaked. He wasn’t sure what else to say. He felt so full of emotions, trying to remember what all happened and also trying to process the doctor’s words about him being disfigured. Was he ugly? Was he scary? Would he be bullied worse than usual?
“Ssh, Ashton. It’s okay, darling. Mommy’s here, and Daddy is coming.”
Ashton felt his emotions rising, and suddenly he choked out a dry sob, shaking on the bed as the world crashed in around him.
“Oh, oh my son!” He felt gentle arms trying to wrap around him before giving up and just squeezing his hand. He lay there sobbing, unaware of when his father entered the room. With a black expression, Alpha Josiah took in the scene of his son bandaged up and shaking with sobs and his wife sobbing noiselessly while holding his hand. Anger welled up inside the powerful Alpha. He quelled it momentarily and strode into the room, sitting down on the other side of his son and taking his other hand. Both parents looked across the bed at each other over their son’s damaged body. What would this mean for the future? What was going to happen now? Sure, he was alive, but did their son stand a chance in the world now? More importantly, just who was responsible for this?
They sat staring blankly at each other, lost in their thoughts. Their son’s sobs quieted, and he fell back asleep. Luna Emily rang for the nurse and requested his tear-soaked bandages to be changed. The nurse paused and looked at the parents.
“Are you sure you want to be in here for this? You want to see?” She asked. Luna Emily squared her shoulders and nodded. Alpha Josiah also nodded, standing up and going to his Luna to offer her his emotional support. He could feel her sadness and her fear.
The nurse called for another nurse to bring in clean dressings and began to undo the bandages on Ashton’s face. Luna Emily turned her head into Alpha Josiah’s chest, unable to watch as the bloodied bandages were removed. She felt his chest muscles tighten as he sucked in his breath, and it was then that she ventured a peek.
The once-handsome face of her second son was destroyed by vicious claw marks, causing bone and tissue to be laid bare. Emily felt nauseated and ran into the bathroom to vomit while Josiah stood and stared at his unrecognizable son grimly.
The nurses applied ointment to the clean bandages and quickly hid his face behind the white gauze to ease the shock on his grieved mother. She emerged from the bathroom, wiping her mouth and looking pale green. Alpha Josiah went to her and embraced her tightly, just holding her to try and ease her horror and pain.
“I’ll make them pay for what they did to him. They will all pay with their lives,” he swore to her. Though they didn’t know who had done such a thing to their son, both parents knew that rest would not come to them again until they avenged him.