The High Price Of... (Private)

Hospitals, they smelt terrible, Thérèse made it a point to avoid them when ever possible. Thanks to who and what she was that was relatively easy. Granted there had been times, now and then, when a brother, or a cousin, an uncle or even her mother had needed more help the kumpania could provide. Times like that had been more than enough to learn the smells of disinfectant, medication, sickness, and fear.

She was afraid now. Another violent cramp shot through her abdomen, the ache in her back hadn't gone away for two days. It was the bleeding, the clotting, though that finally sent her to seek help. For two months she'd not had a normal cycle and had started to suspect that.... that... she couldn't even say it. What if she was? God in heaven, what if she was? Had been... (the very thought nearly brought her to her knees.)

Did she want it?

Did he?

Could they?

Had they?

Could she... could she keep it from him? Would another member of the Pack be willing to claim it? The only one she was even near close enough to to ask was Greer. No, she couldn't ask this of him she would have to face it herself. Another cramp reminded her that she was alone, the father, her mate should be here. But he wasn't, he couldn't be, he didn't know, couldn't know, she did not have one... she didn't she had nothing, only herself. What ever the out come tonight she would have to face it on her own. She didn't know if she had the courage to tell him, to ask for his support, so... it was alone then. There had been a great deal she'd managed alone. This would just been one more thing. Ordinary, that would be fine. She was able to manage herself under the worst of circumstances... Thérèse had just never anticipated them being this bad.

She was a failure, on so many levels she couldn't even count them all.

A nurse came in to check on her and assured her a doctor would be along shortly. Why Thérèse felt the need to hear this from a doctor was a mystery. She knew. She knew what was happening to her. Her heart broke at the very idea. All she wanted was to hide in a dark solitary den and not be disturbed for days, a week... a year.

Oh yes, she knew. She wanted to cry, she refused, wanted to and refused... but she knew.

It was her fault... the mulo... She knew when it had happened, and she knew why, but that didn't make it any easier. In fact, it made it worse. She'd stood there, She'd gambled, she'd egged him on, she'd sent the message in the bottle. It had been a week since that message and she'd gotten no response. She should have waited longer she should not have pushed like that, she should not have advertised her presence to the woman and the Kadzait... she should have trusted their Alpha.. she should have trusted her friend, Nikhila... any one other than the mulo... anyone. But she couldn't ask anyone for assistance. Of any kind.

At the very least she should have known -he- would find out. It was, it had been, a call for help, and now... now she was paying for it, and the price was high. But Thérèse had become convinced that her family was safe, that he wouldn't risk any kind of attention by injuring them. She'd said as much. It hadn't mattered what had happened to her, but some one else was having to pay the price. Two other people really... both he and... she embraced the cramp, the physical pain, welcomed it. It was easier than the emotional ramifications.

Her keeper had not been pleased, he'd learned of her message and it had apparently irritated him. There was no doubting that.

She had baited him, not really caring about the consequences. Thérèse really didn't think he'd harm her, nothing permanent. It wasn't as if this mulo had too many of their kind under his control she was too valuable a resource. She'd expected a physical response, but he'd done that before, she'd recovered, she would again. She wasn't afraid. Perhaps that is what set him off as much as anything. How she could have thought she was the only one who would suffer, who would pay the price. She was disgusted with herself. Guilt, grief, fury, depression, all twisted and turned with in her. She was horrible, selfish she should have known. She didn't deserve to have survived this. She had known what she was doing, but it was the innocent, unknowing and helpless that were paying.

The doctor came in the room and Thérèse felt all the blood drain from her face. He was wearing that polite professional look of concern that always preceded bad news. No good could come of this. She really didn't want to hear what he had to say. With a few deep breaths she prepared herself to simply deal with what she was about to be told with control without emotion.

Even her keeper had a breaking point, even he could be goaded into an emotional reaction and she had two nights ago. The fierceness of his reaction had startled her. She'd expected to be struck, she was braced for it. She knew she couldn't fight back but it was worth it. To irritate him, to make him lose control, to slow him down, to protect her pack it was worth it.

Being thrown down the stairs seemed a small thing. At least they would be easily explained, a misstep. Just a simple bobble. No one would question it, in fact they would probably sympathize. All she remembered though was laying on the cold floor an watching -him-.

He'd stalked out through the back leaving her in an aching heap at the base of the stairs. Thérèse didn't even mind, it meant he was gone. It meant she'd survived another meeting with him. It meant she was winning. Although, it had seemed and odd time for her period to start, but she had only pulled herself up and gone home wanting nothing more than to be away from him.

The bleeding had been irregular, it had been odd, there had been some... clotting? But Thérèse had managed to ignore it, convince herself it was nothing. If the cramps, and the aching had stopped she would have put the whole thing out of her mind. But it hadn't.

She'd gone to the ER late, after work, alone. No one had seen her, it was dark. Dark enough to hide her shame, her... fear.

God in heaven, this was not happening.

Hours and hours later, all she had to do was wait, to worry, to wonder, but hours and hours later the doctor confirmed what she knew.

Thérèse closed her eyes and took another deep breath. She thanked the doctor for his time. There was nothing that could be done now. He only confirmed that. They kept her for a few hours for observation, they might have kept her longer, but she couldn't take it, she needed to get away from the smell.

Thankfully, no one gave her any trouble when she checked out.

There were issues she'd have to deal with. But not now. Now she just wanted to get away from this smell. She just wanted to be home.