A Mark at First Bite

Chapter Three: A Fight Ripe with Insanity


”Novi? ” I blurted out, spitting out my water. ”Fine. That is what my grandmother used to call me. We are here. ” Childlike wonder brightened her eyes, her stomach growling at the sight of the silver diner. Excitement buzzed in my brain, my dress shoes landing on the cracked pavement. Opening the door, she could barely stand. Scooping her up, she protested in my arms. Giving up, the owner of the diner ripped open the door. Terror widened her eyes, the motherly instincts in her coming to life. My mothers gray curly hair bobbed up and down, her gray eyes giving me a look of what happened. Her blue dress hugged her petite figure, her white sneakers squeaking on the black and white diamond floor. The red vinyl groaned as she shifted nervously, the red tables quaking slightly as she bumped it. Pictures of our family lined the red walls, fifties music popping away.

”Who is this? ” She demanded sharply, pointing to the biggest booth in the restaurant. ”Set her down, and I will help her out. ” Celly sat there stunned, tears streaming down her cheeks. My mother pulled the wet cloth out from her belt, Celly grabbing her arms.

”Please let me do that in private. ” She pleaded desperately, sobs wracking her broken body. ”It is too embarrassing. I don want to burden you. ” Sighing deeply, my mother shook her head. Wiping away the foundation and makeup, a cry of horror tumbled from her lips. Turning towards the kitchen, she snapped her fingers.

”Give me a bowl of the soup du jour! ” She ordered hotly, turning back towards my Celly. ”You are his mate, so let me take care of you. I can murder the person who did this to you. ” Waving her hands around, Cellys face dimmed with a polite smile. My heart skipped a beat while the wolf inside of me wanted to hunt down her abuser, the thought of him being ripped apart pleasing me a bit too much.

”Don worry about me. ” She stammered awkwardly, gripping her favorite book. ”I will need to go back to get my five things of clothing. ” Scrunching up her face, my mother scurried off. The blue uniform dress of the diner sat in her palm, Cellys eyes falling on the myriad of stains on her uniform. Patting the top of her head, the bell rang. My father rushed over with two bowls of chicken tortilla soup, his long gray hair was pulled into a ponytail. His blue t-shirt was covered in flour, his black jeans just the same. Rage flashed in his blue eyes, his teeth gritting together.

”Who did this to your mate? ” He snapped hotly, the oyster crackers crumbling to dust in his fist. ”I ought to k- ” Waving her hands again, she shook her head. A lump formed in her throat, her shaking fingers barely able to grab the spoon on her plate. Was it nerves, or the fact that she was incredibly weak? Why would a clan go that far to keep one of their own that weak? Something seemed off about it, and I was going to get to the bottom of it.

”I don need that. I am just an illegitimate child of my former clans Luna. I don deserve your respect, or free food. Let me pay yo- She blurted out urgently, tears flooding from her eyes. My mother cupped her face, trying her best to smile politely for her. Stopping in her tracks, surprise brightened her face. Just one look at her, and it was blatantly obvious that she had never experienced love.

”You are a beautiful girl. ” She comforted her, passing me the spoon. ”Feed your mate until she stops shaking. She looks like she hasn eaten for a couple of weeks. ” Another customer came in, the bell jingling away. Sitting far away from us, her blonde hair was twisted into a bun. A severe look burned in her eyes, a final notice sitting in her palms. My mother was close to losing the diner, and this woman was on her like a **ing shark. Celly stood to her feet, walking over to the woman. Harsh words passed between the two of them, her fingers snatching the uniform off the table. Running into the back, she came out in the uniform my mother lent her. A soft blush rose to my cheeks, the soft blue cotton hugging her hourglass figure perfectly. Tying a white apron around her waist, she shuffled about in the back of the kitchen. Pulling out a couple of pie crusts, my curious eyes watched her work. She pulled out a thing of ricotta cheese, while sauteing a bunch of spinach. Both my mother and father watched her as she drained the spinach, mushrooms cooking away in another pan. Combining six eggs, and everything else, it poured with ease into the bottom pie crust. Humming to herself, she pressed the top crust onto the bottom. Crimping the crust, she brushed it with a wash. Popping it into the oven, she chatted with my parents. Walking in, my arms wrapped around her waist.

”Shouldn you be resting? ” I questioned cautiously, surprised that she was allowing me to hold her too small waist. ”You look like hell. ” Turning her head, her eyebrow twitched. Slapping my arms away, this was the girl that I was used to.

”It is the pie to save your parents diner. ” She informed me heatedly, sitting at the island. ”If I make the banker happy, then she promised to pay off your parents debt on this diner. So you can thank me later. I am used to feeling like hell, but thank you for getting me out of there. If you are a good boy, then you will even get a piece. ” Setting the timer for an hour and fifteen minutes, she rested her head on the table. Gentle snores echoed against the table, a peaceful look washing over her face. Crying out in her sleep, the cries were horrible ones where she kept cowering in her sleep. Shit, she was broken in on the inside and outside. My mind wandered to the moment where I first found her, her white hair twisted in a bun. Golden eyes met mine, her lilac scent driving me nuts. Mate, my wolf growled at me. Leaping up the tree, I sat down next to her. Her shocked look made me blush, her defiance making me want to mark her right there. My heart shattered at her words, my ears not wanting to hear them at all. Watching her run away from me, my wolf howled for her to come back. Sulking all the way back to the party, it was boring. The world seemed brighter with her in my life, my jaw dropping to the ground when she walked out. The foundation on her skin hid her bruises, the red on her lips hiding the busted bottom. Smiling pleasantly, she served everyone with ease. Watching her the whole time, this bratty blonde bitch tripped her on purpose. A brute of man rushed up to her, he grabbed her by the collar. Enough was enough, the urge to mark her to get out was burning inside of me.

She stirred next to me, the timer going off. Leaping to her feet, a drop of water made her almost slip. Catching her by the waist, a fever burned her cheeks. Cold sweat drenched her skin, my mother pulling out the pie. Cutting a slice, she placed it on a plate. Carrying it out, Celly hung limply in my arms. All of us watched with bated breath, the fork scraping against the white plate.

”Novi, do you think she will like it? ” Celeste whispered softly, her hands trembling. ”I just want to help those who have chosen to help me. ” The bitchy bank ladys face softened, a moan pouring from her lips. Calling over my mother, she whispered something in her ears. My mother burst through the door, her body slamming into Celestes.

”Thank you so much! ” She blubbered gratefully, tears flooding from her eyes. ”She erased all of our debt. You don look so good. ” Nodding, she stumbled to the booth we once all sat at. Picking up the spoon, she slurped the soup. My mother scooted next to her, a piece of pie on three plates. Squishing onto the other side of my Celly, she groaned to herself. Pushing her soup away, the table shook as she rested her head on it. Black bags hollowed out her eyes, my eyes falling on her arms.

”I am so tired. ” She mumbled softly, her fingers playing with the clean spoon. ”Enjoy your food. ” Gentle snores echoed against the table, her chest rising up and down. A snarl curled on my mothers lips, her fingers drumming against the table. The same level of raw anger matched all of us, the urge to kill her father a similar desire among all of us.

”I wish you had found her sooner. ” She growled through gritted teeth, taking a bite of the spinach pie. ”Shit, this is delicious. ” Polishing off her plate, my fork cut into the soft pie. Salty collided with the creamy earthiness of the mushrooms and spinach. A sigh of pleasure tumbled from my fathers lips, all of our plates clean in seconds.

”I am sorry that I didn find her sooner. It isn my fault that she wasn in my clan. ” I snapped irritably, watching her sleep. ”I am going to take her home. Can you get me a container so I can take her home to sleep? Maybe we can get the doctor to look at her. ” Nodding in agreement, her head snuggled against my chest as I scooped her up. My heart shattered at the sight of her, the bruises causing my inner wolf to seethe with anger. She barely moved as I buckled her into her seat, plopping down into my side with a sigh of relief. The engine roared to life, the sound of the highway causing my head to throb violently. Curling into a ball, whimpers tumbling from her lips. Turning on the radio, heavy music blasted through the speakers. Her body jerked awake, her shaking hands rubbing her eyes.

”Did you save some of that soup? ” She queried hungrily, fishing through the brown bag my mother gave us. ”Bingo. ” Pulling out the soup, she ate it gingerly. Awkward silence poisoned the air, my throat clearing. The leather of the wheel creaked as my fingers gripped it tighter, my hands rubbing the wheel.

”Are you feeling better? ” I inquired cautiously, not wanting her temper to flare. ”You can tell me anything, Celly. ” A soft blush rose to her cheeks, covering up the soup. Flashing me a fake smile, she put it away.

”That is sweet of you, but I would rather not destroy your mental happiness. ” She said numbly, crossing her hands. ”I am surprised you don hate me yet. Most people thought I was a freak with my golden eyes and white hair. If you haven guessed yet, I am a white wolf with golden stripes in my fur. In fact I think I am hideous. ” My lips parted in protest, her head resting on my shoulder. The image of a white wolf with golden stripes flashing in my head, her golden eyes glowing in my direction. Shuddering with euphoria, my inner wolf yipped with joy. Mine, she was mine.

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