Bearly Healed:Pacific Northwest Bears(6)

By: Moxie North

“This room will be nice and quiet for you; the window overlooks the back yard. Cage’s house is just off in the distance on that side. The bathroom is right next door. But if you ever need help, I’ve put a little bell on the nightstand,” Connie said pointing to the bedside table.

There was a small brass bell and a petite vase full of wildflowers. It was sweet, like they were welcoming her. But Cassie still felt awkward. They didn’t know her, had never even met her and she was plopping her ass down like the big old burden she was.

She could feel the tears welling in her eyes as the self-pity tidal wave started. “Thank you, Connie. If you don’t mind, I’d like to lie down for a while,” she said quietly.

“Of course dear, we’ll all be outside,” Connie said, patting her cheek again and pretending she didn’t notice the flinch.

“Get some rest; we’ll wake you for dinner,” Effie said, kissing her forehead.

Dax and Edward just waved and left the room. Scooting herself back on the bed, she grabbed some of the crazy pillows and tucked them under her knee and then her other leg to elevate her ankle. She laid back and let the darkness come.

Chapter 4

The two couples were in the living room drinking coffee, or tea in Effie’s case. They’d been talking family things, baby things, avoiding the elephant in the room.

“So, this isn’t her normal personality?” Connie finally ventured in.

Effie snorted, and to her surprise so did Dax. They looked at each other and smiled.

“No, this is not our Cassie. Imagine a brightly colored, foul-mouthed, junk food eating tornado. That might come close to the normal Cassie. She’s funny, like sarcastic and shockingly funny. When she finally woke up from the coma, the doctors said it would take a while for her brain to start running smoothly again. So we waited. At first, it seemed like she was improving. Talking normally, able to understand her injuries.”

“Then one day when she was sick of her bed and wanted to use the restroom without an audience, we helped her to the bathroom. She was in there so long we started to worry. When she came out, well, that’s what you see now. I don’t know if it’s just the scar on her face or something deeper. Or maybe it’s both. I’ve tried to be normal around her. Banter like we used to, sometimes she tries, but it’s like she’s doing it, so she doesn’t hurt my feelings.” Effie looked at Dax, her sadness clear in her eyes.

“I thought when we got her home she’d cheer up,” Dax said looking at Connie. “I think she might have gotten worse. I’m a little concerned that she’s using her meds to escape a bit. I’m not blaming her. I don’t think she’s addicted. But she’s certainly using it as a crutch. Healing so fast as a shifter, I can’t imagine being in pain for months like she’s been,” Dax said sadly.

“I guess that’s a human condition that we are unaware of,” Edward said wisely.

“I have to imagine the painkillers are muting her some, but the rest is all in her head. The fact that her hair is blonde is crazy,” Effie scoffed.

Connie and Edward looked at Effie in confusion.

“I haven’t seen her real hair color since we were children. It’s usually every color of the rainbow. It changes with her moods. Now she says it doesn’t matter, that maybe it’s time she grew up. The Cassie I know never wanted to grow up. Or maybe that’s not true, maybe she was more afraid to grow up,” Effie said thoughtfully.

“Either way, we appreciate you taking on her care. She was just miserable at home. Effie was with her, but now Effie needs to rest and get ready for the baby,” Dax said.

“Of course, we’re family. We take care of our own. She will have lots of visitors, and we will include her in everything that doesn’t involve the babies. She doesn’t know right?” Connie confirmed.

“No, I didn’t think it was my place. I thought if she knew we were plunking her down in the middle of a clan of bears, she’d think we’d lost it. But you can always tell her the kids are too crazy, and you are afraid they’ll accidently bump her or something. She’ll believe that,” Dax offered.

The four sat quietly for a moment. Dax and Effie looked at each other worriedly. Connie and Edward looked at each other like they were hatching a plan.

“Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. Cassie has some, how shall we say, interesting family members. She has almost zero contact with them. But they’ve been popping up since the accident,” Dax explained.

“Do they want to see how she is doing?” Edward asked.

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