Chapter 9

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"Overall, she's malnourished, but doesn't appear to have any issues in that regard, that can't be corrected with a better diet. The 7 scar on her arm appears to have been made with a silver blade, which is why it hasn't healed and the scar is still visible." The doctor then paused, trying to decide what to say next.

"There are a few concerns though," he began, and Dante turned to him sharply, nervous about what the doctor was going to say.

"Yes, what is it?" Dante demanded impatiently.

"First, she has more scars on are back, similar to the one on her arm. It appears they were also caused by cuts with silver, but I'll need to make a more thorough examination to determine the extent, and whether or not they will heal further."

Dante snarled when he heard about the additional scars. It filled him with rage to think of Luther and his men beating his defenseless mate. He made a step toward Seven, intending to take her in his arms, but she interpreted it as a hostile move, because of the snarl he had made, and she recoiled away from him, tripping over the side of the bed, and then scrambling toward the corner of the room, as far away from his as she could get.

"I'm sorry," he quickly uttered, "I'm so sorry, I'm not going to hurt you" he said, taking a step back, so she would hopefully relax and realize he didn't mean to scare her.

"Sir" Dr. Anderson continued, "there's one more thing."

"Yes?" Dante asked, not taking his eyes off of the trembling Seven, cowering in the corner.

"Her wolf seems to be buried" the doctor said quietly.

"Buried?" Dante questioned, turning quickly to face the doctor. "What do you mean?"

"It appears that the cuff she was wearing, that Jackson showed me, had wolf's bane infused with it somehow, and considering that she has probably had that on for quite some time, it seems that it has forced her wolf into some sort of dormancy. There's really no telling when she might re-emerge. It could be today, it could be weeks or months. There's just no way to know."

At hearing the doctor's words, Seven broke down into heavy sobs and dropped to her knees. She had missed her wolf, all along these difficult months, she had hoped to be reunited someday, but the words of the doctor filled her with sadness, as she realized she didn't know when she might get to feel her wolf again, or get to shift.

"Thank you, Anderson" Dante said quietly, "you can go, I'll let you know if she needs anything else."

The doctor quietly left the room, and Dante slowly made is way to Seven, still sobbing in the corner of the room. He gently pulled her into his arms, and she didn't fight him. At this moment, she didn't care what happened to her, she just needed to grieve her missing wolf. And even though she still didn't know what Dante was planning to do with her, and she definitely didn't trust him, his presence was calming, and his embrace was comforting, so she sat there and cried in his arms, until she had no more tears.

It had gotten pretty late by the time Seven was done crying and Dante finally released her and stood up.

"I'm going to get you some food, and bring you something else to wear" he said. "If you'd like, you can take a shower and try to rest some. Is there anything else you want or need?" he asked.

She just sat there, not even sure what she would ask for, even if she had planned on speaking. After a few moments, Dante walked to the door and looked at her one more time.

"I'll be downstairs if you need anything, and I'll be back soon with food." And he walked out the door, closing it gently behind him.

Seven waited a few minutes before deciding to go take a shower. It had been so long since she had experienced the luxury of warm water for bathing. She stepping slowly into the bathroom, and locked the door behind her, then crossed the room to lock the other door that led to Dante's room. She then turned on the water and quickly undressed and stepped into the steaming shower. The hot water felt good and she could have stayed in there for hours, but after a while she could smell food, and the pull of her hunger forced her to complete her task and go find the food that she was smelling.

She stepped out of the shower and quickly wrapped herself in a soft towel that hung on a bar on the wall. She quietly walked to the door and peeked into her room. Nobody was there, but there were clean clothes sitting on the bed, and a tray of food sitting on the nightstand. She quickly went into the room and put on the clean clothes that were soft and comfortable and actually fit. Someone had thoughtfully picked out several outfits for her. There were casual clothes, like the outfit she had just put on, but there were also items to sleep in, a few pairs of jeans and different tops as well as a few dresses. Seven put everything away in the closet and the dresser, wondering if she would be around long enough to wear much of it.

She then sat down on the bed and ate everything that had been provided for her. When she was done eating, she set the tray down beside the door and sat on the bed, unsure what to do next. She didn't want to go wandering around the pack house, and she definitely didn't want to bump into anyone she hadn't met yet, but she also wasn't sure what was expected of her. So she just sat on the edge of the bed, uncertain what to do, for about half an hour before someone knocked gently on the door.

She knew it was Dante, she could smell his scent before he had even reached the door. When he knocked, she got up and slowly opened the door, curiously peeking out at him.

This was the first time she actually stopped to look at him. Up until this point, she had been so consumed with fear at the sudden change of her circumstances that she hadn't truly processed what he looked like. Everything had felt like a bad dream, and she hadn't focused on any details. But now, after getting cleaned up and beginning to actually take in her surroundings, she actually stopped to look at him for the first time. He had dark wavy hair that looked like he had been running his hands through it frequently. It was longer on top, and clean-cut on the sides. His eyes were a deep hazel that at the moment, showed flecks of green. He was much taller than Seven, and she had to tilt her head to look up at him. He looked very strong, and even in the suit he was wearing, was obviously incredibly muscular and fit, with a warm dark complexion that indicated he spent a lot of time out in the sun.

"I just wanted to check on you" he said, bringing her back from her distracted thoughts about his appearance, as he looked at the empty tray that had been full of delicious food. "Are you still hungry, would you like anything else?" he asked.

Seven shook her head to indicate 'no.'

"Can I take your tray?" he asked, still standing outside of the room.

She backed away, opening the door further to allow him to come in, and then she picked up the tray and handed it to him. He just stared at her, and she was beginning to feel uncomfortable. She had heard many times about the pull of the mate bond, and how many times, true mates wouldn't be able to keep their hands off of each other, and would often consummate and mark each other almost immediately after finding each other. These thoughts filled her mind, and she began to fear that Dante was going to take her forcibly. He took a small step in her direction, and she took two steps quickly back.

Dante couldn't help but feel hurt as she repeatedly cowered away from him. He still hadn't decided whether or not he would accept her as his mate, he still felt he needed to know more, and even if he did accept her, he would never force himself on her or do anything to knowingly frighten her, and it pained him to see her react in fear, every time he looked at her. So when she quickly backed away, he turned back toward the door.

"It's late" he said, "you should get some rest. Someone will bring you breakfast in the morning" he finished, and then he walked out, slowly closing the door behind him.

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