Read Alpha Asher by Jane Doe Chapter 144
I barely remembered running into the forest even though I had little red marks speckling my face and arms from how fast I’d been going. Branches both barren and full of leaves slapped at my b**e skin, but the proof of it faded within seconds.
Her scent was faint, but I followed the thread until it withered away in my hands. The shadows scurried into the darkest corners of the forest, retreating farther with every step I took. I had just noticed it when the sound of a wet gasp sounded from close by.
The sight of her face, and the paleness of her skin as she lay sprawled out in the grass nearly sent me into shock. My mind was shutting down my senses one at a time until I could make sense of reality. There was one thing alone that propelled me forwards, making me stumble and scrape my knees as I fell at her side.
It was the slow thud of her heart and the way her lips formed a small smile as her eyes focused on me.
I didn’t hesitate as I tore her shirt open and yanked down her tank top, but the weeping stab wound above her left b****t had a sob catching in my throat.
“Goddess, Breyona. Why did you come out this far?” I whispered and pressed my shirt against her chest, barely recalling when I took it off.
“I saw…I saw my wolf…” She croaked and l****d her dry lips, which were now coated with a sheen of blood. I tried to shush her, but the words tumbled from her lips. “…she looked different.”
I stared down at my hands and remembered the glow that had taken over Rowena’s. She could use her magic to heal, which meant I could do the same. Maya didn’t speak the truth that lingered between us, that I might not be able to heal like Rowena could. Still, there was no other option. Rowena was too far away, and Breyona had minutes…possibly even seconds left.
There was no one that could help us in time. It was up to me, which meant there was no room for failure.
I threw my blood-soaked shirt across the grass and flattened my palms against her chest, trying to picture my own glow radiating from my skin. When that didn’t work, I closed my eyes and clawed at that smoky substance entangled with my soul.
I came up with nothing but the sound of my own heartbeat in my ears, and the anguish that came with failure.
“Lola…” Her voice was so quiet.
The sound of it held my heart in a vice grip and clenched with every raspy breath she took. I told her to be quiet, to let me fix this. Her blood coated my hands, and for once my stomach revolted at the sight. I couldn’t stand the look in her eyes, or the tear that trailed down her cheek because we both knew that I couldn’t fix this.
A branch snapped a few feet away, deep within the darkness of the forest. A sense of awareness tickled my spine, the same one I felt when that witch broke into our home.
Anger swelled in my chest, dark and pulsating like the shadows that watched with caution. I thought I could feel them hiding, responding to my rage as I screamed and snarled into the night.
“Come out, you f*****g coward!” I didn’t care who could hear me, or how many there were. All I knew was that if her heart stopped, everyone involved would d*e. “You want me? Come and get me!”
I screamed until the feeling of being watched faded, until I knew we were truly alone.
“Lola, it’s alright…”
Breyona’s eyes were clear as they stared into mine, but it was the understanding in her voice that broke a piece of me I hadn’t known existed.
The loss made me realize how far I was truly willing to go for the people I loved.
“The f**k it is.” I snarled.
Using my birthright, I stared through the darkness and called on the shadows that hid within it. With every ounce of force possible, I summoned them to my side.
It wasn’t just rage I felt when they ignored me.
It was betrayal.
The bravest inched a few feet forwards, but only to get a better look. Still hidden within the dark, I could feel their anxiety and their hesitation. Not a single whisper filled the air, and not one dared to come close.
“Why aren’t you listening to me?! I want to make a deal with you!” I screamed into the night and felt their answer in the way they retreated.
Their cowardice stoked my anger, morphing the emotion into a lightning storm that raged in my chest. I screamed with each crack of electricity, until my throat grew hoarse, and I tasted the metallic tang of blood.
My heart and head had been cracked open, and everything good and safe was removed. It left my morals scrambled until I wasn’t sure I cared what was right anymore.
“You took her wolf!”‘ I laughed, and the sound was every bit as unhinged as I felt. “You took the only thing she had to protect herself, and now you won’t come and save her? No, that’s b******t! Save her-heal her! I’ll pay whatever price you want!”
Breyona took what I somehow knew was her last gurgling breath. Acurrent skated over my skin, raising the hairs along my arms and neck as I screamed:
“Save. her. Life. Now.”
I wasn’t fast enough to cover my head when every shadow lurking within the forest swarmed us. A dense fog void of color surrounded us, very much sentient, and watching. They encompassed Breyona until she vanished form my sight, until the entire forest vanished from sight.
They were all around me, and I could feel their ire as if it were my own. If they had answered me, had listened to my call I might’ve cared about their feelings.
The only thing I cared about currently was the girl I had known since I was a child-who accepted my half-assed apology for turning into a b***h and became the best-friend I desperately needed.
Seconds passed in silence and just as quickly as they lunged, they slunk back into the cover of the forest.
I didn’t know what they did to her, nor did I care. All that mattered was the wound on her chest was gone, leaving behind smooth skin. They took every drop the blood that trickled from her body, which they were lucky to have devoured considering I had to beg for their help.
Breyona was unconscious but lifting her into my arms was easy enough. If I wasn’t furious and running on the fumes of my fading adrenaline, I would’ve found the sight of her tall frame in my arms comical.
My anger made the shadows restless, which was something that never happened before. They were voyeurs, watching until they were called, never affected by what went on in the world around them. It was unusual that my emotions invoked a reaction.
The shadows followed us as I carried her through the forest, but didn’t dare get too close, even with my back turned.
We had just reached the backyard when her eyes fluttered open, making my determined pace falter.
I wasn’t sure if I were amazed or annoyed that she had the audacity to laugh after almost d***g. Giovanni would certainly tear her a new one for venturing so far into the forest at night, but that wasn’t why I decided to cut her some slack.
I’ll pay whatever price you want.
I made that promise so effortlessly, knowing all too well how dark their requests could get. Not only that, but I’d never seen the shadows act this way before. There was no telling what price I had paid, just like there was no telling what they’d done to Breyona.
I stayed with Breyona all night, and not because Asher practically vanished into thin air. Even when Giovanni stormed into the house and swept her up in his arms, I remained at her side.
2 Nearly three hours later I got a mind-link from Sean and Mason, who had watched as Asher barreled through the pack’s territory lines chasing after a cloaked figure.
Another hour passed before Asher’s voice slid into my thoughts, which after careful deliberation I decided to ignore. I could still hear what he was saying, so I knew he was safe and sound, but that didn’t change the fact that he had blocked me off during his wild goose chase through the forest.
“Lola, I was right on her trail.”
I gave him the chance to explain himself only because he showed up at the house Breyona and Giovanni were staying at.
“Then where is she?”‘ I asked, my voice sharper than I intended, but exhaustion had long ago consumed me. “…did ignoring me, and risking your life to run miles out of the pack’s boundaries get you the witch?”
“She got away, but it wasn’t for nothing. The place that they gather, it’s North of the boundaries. I’m sure of it.” He took my sour attitude in stride, but no amount of understanding would melt the chip on my shoulder.
When he tried to pull me into his arms, I placed a hand against his chest.
“What you did wasn’t okay, Asher.” I told him, forcing myself to remain strong even though the flash of hurt in his eyes felt like a punch to the gut. I dropped my hand and leaned into his chest as his arms wrapped around my waist. “You know things would be very different if I was the one who vanished for hours on end, ignoring your mind-links to chase after a witch.”
“Lola-” I could taste his apology and the sincerity behind it since Asher’s pride sometimes kept him from owning up to his mistakes, but I wasn’t finished getting my point across.
“You’re an Alpha, which makes you more protective than most, but I won’t have you lock me away just to run onto the battlefield by yourself.” I told him, feeling a spark crackle in my chest as my words rang true. “I have the strength, the speed, and now the magic to help end this. Hiding me from danger won’t save this pack, it’ll be the avalanche that kills us all.”