2: Avery

1990 Words
I awoke to the beeping monitors, trying to sit, I found myself strapped to a hospital bed, an IV in my hand. "Wha-what happened?" I croaked, waking my mom who had been sleeping on the chair beside me. Mom's face lit up, "Avery! You're awake!" She said, tears streaming down her face. "You had a terrible accident," she said hesitantly. The memories slowly began to trickle back into my mind. I had been taking a shower when all of sudden I slipped and hit my head on the shower floor. The next thing I knew, I woke up here. As the clouds of confusion settled, reality set in. My mom informed me that due to seizure-like symptoms throughout the coma, they were forced to perform an ultrasound–something they wouldn't have done if they hadn't been so worried and desperate for answers. To their shock and surprise, it revealed something even more unexpected than a head injury. "How long was I out, mom?" She fiddled with the hem of her shirt, "6 weeks. Avery, uh, there's something I need to tell you." "What is it? Am I okay?" "Yes... you both are." "What... both...?" Realization dawned on me as shock electrified my core. No, it cannot be, I cannot be pregnant with that bastard Alpha's baby. "Get it out of me." "Avery, honey, we can't do that. It's past the time for a safe extraction... you're having a werewolf pregnancy..." "What does that even mean?" "It means that despite the fact that it's only been 6 weeks...you are progressing much quicker than a normal human pregnancy... double the time and thats how far you are in your wolf pregnancy. 12 weeks. Past the safe point for a choice." Tears welled up in her eyes. I slammed my fist against my head, "why didn't you take it out as soon as you found out? This can't be happening to me, this can't be happening to me. God get me out of this nightmare." "Avery, honey..." "Stop calling me that!" I snapped.My mom recoiled, startled by my outburst. But I couldn't help it. I felt like my whole world was falling apart. This wasn't how my life was supposed to turn out. I had plans, dreams, aspirations. And now it was all gone, replaced by the looming reality of a pregnancy I never wanted. I buried my face in my hands, tears streaming down my face. "I can't do this," I murmured. "I can't be a mother. Especially not to a werewolf baby." My mom put a gentle hand on my shoulder. "Avery, I know this is hard. But you're strong. You'll get through this. And we'll be there with you every step of the way." I shook my head, feeling hopeless. But a small part of me knew that I couldn't just give up. I had to fight, had to find some way to make this work. After a moment, I looked up at my mom, "Don't you want to know whose it is?" She hesitated, "only if you want me to know. I promise I won't tell dad until you're ready to tell him yourself." "Oh mom..." I burst into panic. "Avery, it's okay," she said softly. "You can tell me. I'm here for you." The words came tumbling out of my mouth before I could even think them through. "It's Alpha Braden's baby," I whispered, my voice barely audible. Mom gasped, and took a step back as if she'd been burned. "The Alpha?" She shook her head in disbelief. "Oh Avery, what did he do to you?" Without warning, tears started streaming down my face again as the memories flooded back to me like a tidal wave. "Alpha Braden had used me for s*x and then rejected me. Mom, it was like I was a no one to him." I gasped, "he cannot find out about the baby, please. You cannot tell a soul." A small gasp from the corridor caught my attention as a medical tray clattered. Mom ran out the door to see who it was, but by the time she got there, it was too late. Whoever had heard our conversation was already long gone. "Avery, I think we need to get you out of here. I don't think it's safe here for you anymore, and I think we need to go now." Her voice was firm, but the slight tremor told me how afraid she was. "What about you and dad? My brothers?" "We will be fine, but please, move a bit faster, I know you are woozy still, but theres no time to waste. I've heard the rumors, you know. You need to leave. Right now." I nodded, slowly getting out of the bed, feeling a wave of dizziness wash over me. My mom helped me to my feet, and I swayed for a moment before steadying myself. "Okay, let's go," I said, my voice barely above a whisper. My heart was pounding in my chest, and I felt like I was in a dream. We made our way out of the hospital room, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. My mom had grabbed a bag of my clothes and toiletries before we left, and she tossed it to me before we exited through the back door. Outside, the air was cool and refreshing, and I took a deep breath, trying to steady my nerves. "Where are we going?" I asked my mom. "We're going to my sister's cabin. It's in the woods, and it's secluded. You'll be safe there." She looked at me with concern. "Are you feeling okay?" Shoving me in the car, she hustled and got in the drivers seat before high-tailing it out of the parking lot. "Yes, mom, I'm fine. Shouldn't we talk to dad, or something?" "I will fill him in when I get home." "Wait, you're not staying with me?" "You know I can't do that Avery. I have responsibilities at home. I promise you'll be safe here." As we drove, I couldn't help but feel like a fugitive on the run. The reality of my situation was finally starting to sink in. I was pregnant with the Alpha's baby, a werewolf baby no less, and I was on the run from him. If his beta found out, or the rest of the pack, I'd be done for. The pack that Alpha Braden led with an iron fist were some of the most cruel to outcasts. I couldn't imagine what he would do if he found out about the baby. Would he come after me? Would he try to take the baby away from me? The thought sent shivers down my spine. When we finally arrived at the cabin, I was surprised to find how secluded it truly was. The cabin itself was small and cozy, nestled in the heart of the woods. It was the perfect place to hide out, at least for a while. My mom helped me inside and settled me onto the couch, while she went to retrieve some supplies from the car. As I sat there, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed by everything that had happened. "Yes, okay, yes. Thank you Sapphire." My mom's quiet voice floated through the air. "It's settled, my dear. My sister is on her way and she will be here to protect you." "How can a human protect me from that monster?" I wailed like a small child. "Sapphire isn't a human honey. Remember having a garden that never died? A river that never dried up? She's a green witch and she will do whatever she can to keep you safe." "If she's a witch, then why aren't you?" My mom sighed, "I made a deal with someone a long time ago to trade the source of my powers for something far more worthy. No, my love, do not cry for me. My sacrifice was well worth it." I couldn't help but feel a wave of admiration for my mom. She had always been an enigma to me, a woman of quiet strength who had sacrificed so much for her family. As we waited for my aunt to arrive, my mom busied herself with making dinner while I curled up on the couch, lost in thought. I tentatively laid my hand on my belly, shocked when I felt what I thought was movement. I didn't know how I was going to do this. I didn't know how I was going to be a mother, let alone to a werewolf baby. Being a human meant I was rather inadequate for whatever this baby might need in terms of care, instruction and education. Sighing, I watched some birds fighting outside the window. As I watched, my tension slowly released and I found myself enjoying the quiet. When my aunt arrived, I was surprised to find that she was nothing like I had expected. Instead of a wild-haired, cauldron-stirring witch, she was a calm, collected woman with an air of serenity about her. "Hello, Avery," she said, smiling, "it's been a long time, hasn't it. I bet you hardly even recognize me." I shyly held out my hand but she rushed in for a hug. "No handshakes for family, dear girl." My mom yelled out, "dinners ready! Let's eat and then I'll be on my way back to your father." We sat down to eat and my aunt took the lead in the conversation. She told us stories of her travels around the world and her adventures in different parts of the globe. Her stories were fascinating and seemed almost too wild to be true, but somehow, in her calm way, she made it all seem plausible. As we talked, I felt a sense of comfort settle over me. For the first time since I found out about the baby, I felt like everything was going to be okay. After dinner, my mom hugged me tightly and whispered in my ear, "I love you, Avery. You'll be okay. I promise." Then she was gone, and it was just me and my Aunt Sapphire. We sat on the couch, sipping tea, as she looked at me with kind eyes. "How are you feeling?" she asked, gently. "Scared," I admitted, "how come I haven't seen you before?" "You have, dear child, but it was many moons ago. Alpha Ashton forbade witched from being on pack grounds, so I had to stay away, but I always sent a little present on your birthday so your garden would always bee green." She smiled kindly. "Mom was saying that you are a green witch? What does that mean?" "It means I have a natural ability to connect with the earth and all of its inhabitants. I can help plants grow, heal animals, and even see things that others cannot. It's a unique gift, but also a big responsibility." I nodded, intrigued by her explanation. "Can you help me with the baby? I don't know anything about being a mother, let alone a werewolf mother." "Of course, dear. I would be honored to help you in any way I can. But first, we need to make sure you are safe. We don't want the pack finding you here." "How can we make sure of that?" I asked, feeling a sense of dread. "We can create a protection spell, but it will require some ingredients that we don't have here. I will need to gather them, but I won't leave you alone. I'll ask some of my contacts to keep an eye on you while I'm gone." "Thank you, Aunt Sapphire. I... I don't know what to say." "My dear, you're overwhelmed. You've had so much come at you in such a short period of time. In fact, it's off to bed with you. We will be safe tonight, but tomorrow, we go find the herbs," she patted my cheek. "Goodnight, auntie." "Goodnight, Avery."
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