# – Silent Treatment
As soon as Sinclair left Roger and Cora alone, the human turned towards the door, determined to flee.
They’d talked about the mating ceremony for the better part of an hour, but as soon as they finished
making their plans, Cora made a break for it.
Before her hand could touch the door knob however, Roger’s voice stopped her in her tracks. “Oh so
you’re back to ignoring me, are you?”
Cora stiffened, turning back to the newly-minted Beta. “You got my sympathy when your brother was
dead, but now that we know Dominic is alive, I don’t see any reason to pretend.” She answered with a
shrug, trying to push away the memory of having the huge wolf’s arms around her. Of course, that was
much easier said than done – her mind was already carrying her back to that emotional night, and it
was nearly impossible to forget the way her heart had raced when he touched her.
Roger’s tears gradually slowed as Cora held him, breathing in her delicate scent and letting her gentle
touch tame his rabid wolf. Soon his heaving breaths were low and steady, and Cora’s soothing
murmurs fell quiet. It shouldn’t have been so electrifying – to hold a grieving man this way. But as the
worst of the storm passed, the more intimate the embrace seemed, and suddenly Cora was so terribly
aware of Roger’s powerful body flush against hers that she could scarcely breathe.
She felt as though his hands were scalding her through her clothes, and his warm breath fluttering over
her neck roused butterflies in her stomach. Gooseflesh rose on her arms as he emitted a soft rumble of
appreciation for her comfort, and Cora wondered why her mouth suddenly felt so dry. Even though the
big wolf had been vicious and unhinged mere minutes before, Cora felt safe and content in the circle of
his arms, and more alarming yet – she realized she didn’t want him to let go.
That was the last straw. As a doctor Cora was used to touching people constantly, and in the midst of
the refugee crisis she’d done more than her fair-share of hand holding. But no one had ever blurred the
lines of personal and professional this way, evoking deep emotions she should not be feeling –
especially not for a man who infuriated her as much as Roger.
Cora extracted herself a bit too abruptly, but she attempted to cover her actions with a hasty
cough.”You’d better let me take a look at your feet.” She suggested, glancing at the debris-strewn floor.
The wolf’s blood mingled with the glass and splintered wood and Cora wasn’t sure how to even cross
the wreckage, but Roger lifted her into his arms and carried her through the worst of it, ignoring her
“What are you doing?!” She’d exclaimed, wriggling in his strong grip.
“My feet can’t get any more beat up than they already are – yours can.” He explained, hitching her
“I’m wearing shoes!” Cora countered, rolling her eyes.
“Well you can’t ever be too careful.” Roger answered easily, though she thought she saw the corner of
his mouth twitching. He carried her into the bathroom and reluctantly returned her feet to the ground,
but he didn’t release her immediately. Instead he leaned her weight against him, as if worried she might
not be steady without his support.
Cora pulled away, becoming increasingly flustered. “Have a seat.” She instructed, searching through
the cabinets and extracting first aid supplies. Roger settled on the edge of the bath and patiently waited
for her to finish her search. If she’d felt brave enough to look over at the wolf, Cora would have seen
the hungry way he followed her with his dark eyes, or noticed the smirk which twisted his lips as he
listened to her pounding heart and racing pulse.
Trying to still her shaking hands, Cora sprayed warm water over the wolf’s torn feet, wincing when she
saw all the glass shards imbedded in his soles.
“How were you even standing?” She inquired.
“It helps that I’m very drunk.” Roger answered, his eyes locked on her lovely face. He was finding it
very difficult to control himself with the beautiful human, especially given the way she’d stood up to him
so courageously. He knew it must not have been easy for her, and though part of him was proud, her
skittishness was thoroughly provoking his wolf’s prey drive.
Cora’s knees were weak, but the familiar motions of her work helped keep her on balance. She
methodically extracted the glass from Roger’s feet with sharp tweezers, then cleaned and bound the
wounds with careful precision. ‘There.” She said, wiping sweat from her brow, even though the
temperature in the room was low. “You should stay off of those for the rest of the night.”
“But how will I get to my bed?” Roger inquired, arching a brow.
Cora didn’t like the sultry note in his deep voice, and she glanced in the direction of the bedroom. “I
think you’ll find your bed is in pieces. I think maybe you should sleep in the tub.”
She rose to her feet, cleaning up her supplies, and Roger’s heart sank. He didn’t want her to leave, in
part because he enjoyed her company far too much, but also because he simply didn’t want to be
alone. Roger clamped his eyes shut, not wanting to remember the pain which drove him to wreak so
much destruction. “I’m sorry for the way I behaved earlier.” He said, catching Cora’s hand before she
could get away.
Cora frowned down at him. “I’ve seen worse.” She answered honestly, “But I think perhaps you
shouldn’t be alone tonight.”
“Is that an invitation?” Roger questioned hopefully.
“My medical opinion.” Cora corrected. “The same I would give anyone in your state.”
“Everyone I care about is in the same condition – or thereabouts.” Roger lamented, feeling very sorry
for himself. nvëlx.o ‘They shouldn’t have to deal with me on top of everything else.”
Cora studied him closely. They were in an opulent palace with dozens of servants and guards. Finding
someone to stay with the wolf wouldn’t be difficult – even arranging a new room for him would take little
more than the wave of a hand. So why was she so tempted to offer her own company? Why didn’t she
want to leave him? Why was she so bloody tempted to feel his touch again. “I could stay with you.” She
blurted, before she could think better of it. “If you like.”
Roger blinked up at her, surprised but pleased beyond belief. “Really?”
“As long as you behave yourself and don’t get any wise ideas.” Cora answered, notching her chin up.
“I think we have plenty of proof that wise ideas aren’t my forte.” Roger replied, gesturing to the
“You can say that again.” Cora snorted, sweeping her gaze around. “But I’ll be damned if I’m going to
spend the night in this death trap. I’ll ring downstairs to borrow a wheelchair and then you can come to
‘Thank you, Cora.” Roger squeezed her hand, but Cora pulled herself from his grip and crossed her
arms over her chest. ‘You don’t know what this means to me.”
Cora’s cold expression wavered, a flash of genuine empathy bleeding into her features. Still, she didn’t
let her guard down. “I mean it, Roger. No funny business.” She stalked away before he could reply,
giving him a delightful view of her retreating backside.
“Ah, so that was just pity, was it?” Roger questioned, calling Cora back to the present.
‘That and my oath as a doctor,” she shrugged. “I couldn’t exactly leave you bleeding and practically
“U-huh, and I suppose you hold all your patients that way?” Roger pressed, closing the distance
between them. He didn’t stop until he was towering over her, and the delectable scent he’d come to
love spiked with adrenaline. “And let them sleep in your bed even though you insisted they stay on the
“Only the ones who are giant cry babies like you.” Cora bit, resting her hands on her hips
“Come on, admit it, Cora.” Roger purred, stroking a lock of hair back from her face. ’You’re warming up
“Don’t be ridiculous.” She insisted. “I showed you a bit of compassion in a time of need. That doesn’t
mean I’ve forgotten your past crimes.”
‘You’re the only one who hasn’t.” Roger reminds her, sidling closer. “I’m not saying I deserve it, I just
find it curious that you can’t move past things that your sister and my brother have forgiven. After all,
they were the targets, not you.”
“All that means is that I hold a higher standard for my sister than she would for herself.” Cora argued,
backing away until her shoulder blades collided with the door. She froze when she realized she was
cornered, nervously licking her lips as Roger continued to prowl forward.
“I have a different theory.” Roger shared, resting his hands on either side of Cora’s head. “Would you
like to hear it?”
Cora shook her head, not able to find her voice.
‘You like me.” Roger declared, enjoying the way her eyes dilated with surprise and anticipation. ‘You
don’t want to, but you can’t help it. But instead of dealing with that fact, you’ve turned me into a
Anger and fear warred for dominance in Cora, even as heat pooled in her stomach. “I have news for
you.” She hissed, fire blazing in her veins. “I didn’t have to turn you into anything. You helped Damon
set this war into motion. You targeted my sweet, innocent, pregnant, sister because you couldn’t handle
coming second to your brother. You’re trying to rewrite yourself as being deep and complicated and
tortured, but all you truly are is a little boy with a fragile ego and major mommy issues.” Cora pushed at
his burly shoulder, and Roger took a step back, eyeing her warily. “If I’d known you were going to twist
things this way I never would have shown you the ounce of humanity I did. But let me be clear, I won’t
be making that mistake again.”
Without another word Cora turned on her heel and stormed out. Roger listened to her pounding heart
as she retreated down the hall, and though she didn’t know it, the sound stayed with him for the rest of
the day, and well into the night.
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