Eighteen

Spike must have noticed I was a bit down; he took my hand and kissed my cheek.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Just thinking," I replied.

He obviously wasn't convinced. "What's wrong?"

"Nothing."

"Tell me."

I sighed, giving in. "I was just thinking about how messed up this all is."

"How messed up what is?"

"I'm no longer part of the pack, but I hardly fit in to normal society either."

"This is all only temporary," he assured me.

"Is it? Is it really? It's been six days and I can't do anything. I can't have conversations with you, I can't even..." Tears were starting to form in my eyes.

"Even if that never comes back, you'll still be Ingrid to me."

"You won't want me if I can't even become a wolf," I murmured, mainly to myself.

"Have I ever said that? I've always loved you, in some way. I love you for being Ingrid, not for being a wolf."

"But--"

"Stop worrying about it, okay? You'll always be my Ingrid. And no matter what, you'll always be my superior." He smiled.

"There'll be someone else to take my place," I said.

"Do you want there to be someone else?"

"No, you're my boys."

"Just like you're our Ingrid. My Ingrid. Now stop worrying about it. Okay?"

"Okay," I said, smiling half-heartedly.

I continued flicking my pen as Rollin came and sat with us. He'd already finished writing his evaluation but he'd come to sit with us anyway. He was using his pen to play with my hair. I looked at him and raised an eyebrow. He grinned and just carried on.

My boys, I thought to myself.

"Hm?" asked Spike, as if I'd spoken.

"I didn't say anything," I told him.

"I could have sworn you did." He frowned.

"I heard you as well," said Rollin.

"I didn't say anything," I told them.

"Think of something, anything," said Rollin.

I raised an eyebrow again but didn't comment. Instead, I thought: Why?

"I heard you again, though it was fainter that time," said Rollin.

"I heard too," said Spike, grinning like a maniac. "It's coming back."

Spike pulled me into a hug. I settled my head on his chest and sighed, relieved. My sense of smell seemed to be sharpening as well; I could smell the faint undertones of dog on him. I loved the smell. I'd become so used to it before, I'd stopped noticing it but now it was there again and I loved it. It set my heart going and made a feeling in my gut that told me to hold him tighter.

Within a matter of minutes, I'd gone from being nothing to hugging my boyfriend. Wow, I never thought of Spike as my boyfriend...

The End

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