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Alpha Asher by Jane Doe Chapter 147

Read Alpha Asher by Jane Doe Chapter 147

“Sacrifices…” I said for the third time, narrowing my eyes as I followed the curvy backroad in the new car Asher reluctantly loaned me.

“The red-haired witch, doesn’t she know how to do blood-magic?” Mason asked, refusing to let me stew in silence. “She really can’t think of a reason for these… sacrifices?”

“She doesn’t know much blood-magic. It runs in her family, but they don’t practice it themselves.” I explained. “I just wanted Holly to know where she comes from. As much as she can, anyway.”

I hated having control over Holly’s life. Making decisions for her, forcing her to see a therapist, it made me feel like she was a prisoner and not part of the pack. I didn’t want to make her feel how our father did, like pretty bird shoved into a cage, left to rot as it sang itself to death.

Only one other person truly knew how I felt, and it was Tristan. The sour vampire seemed like the only person able to get through to Holly. It made me feel marginally better that Tristan and I agreed on one thing vehemently. The soft-spoken, raven-haired girl I now called my sister could never, ever meet the woman that birthed her-the world’s most powerful blood-witch and the one coming for my head.

My thoughts drifted to Lars and those scuffed boots of his. At one point I’d been positive he had something to do with all of this, but now I wasn’t sure. The more I let my mind wander, the easier it was to convince myself that it wasn’t his specific pair of boots I had seen.

A jolt shot down my spine, electrifying my nerves as it forced my attention back onto the road.

I’d been following a sharp curve when a figure darted out of a cut in the forest. My heart seized in my chest as I yanked the wheel to the side and sent us careening out of the way. Instinctively, I slammed my foot into the brake which sent Mason and I flying forwards.

Panic lodged itself in my throat, growing larger until only a sliver of oxygen could pass through. Lars’s hand froze mid-wave from where he stood on the shoulder.

Even though my heart still raced from shock, he hadn’t caused the emotion currently choking me. For a split-second, day was replaced by night. There was no Mason by my side, no help or rescue on the way, yet I wasn’t alone. Only those scuffed boots kept me company, but they were also the countdown to my death.

“Are you alright, Lola?” Mason asked, his voice low. The sound of his concern sucked me right out of my thoughts.

“I am really beginning to hate driving.” I replied through clenched teeth, tightening my grip on the steering wheel to keep my hands from trembling.

It took every ounce of patience within me not to jump out of the car and strangle Lars. What mostly stopped me was the lingering thought that he could somehow be involved.

“Damn, Luna. You tryin’ to kill me?” Lars asked, his arm resting on the roof of the car.

There wasn’t a hint of amusement on my face.

“What are you doing here, Lars?” I deadpanned.

“Bike broke down, can you believe it?” He shook his head, and I was surprised to see he looked a bit pained. A second later the emotion vanished, replaced by his usual charming grin. “I got a buddy just inside town whose got a shop, he can put my bike in his truck. I’ll be forever indebted to you if you give me a ride.”

“That’s supposed to make me want to help you?”

When his lower lip jutted out in a less than effective pout, I started to roll the window up.

“Alright, I’ll behave!” He held his hands up in surrender. “I promise, just give me a lift.”

“Get in the damn car, Lars.”

The first five minutes were quiet, but there was a tension building that I swore I wasn’t imaging. Lars seemed completely at ease; his arms draped across the backseat like we were his personal chauffeurs. The voice of curiosity in my head, which sounded suspiciously like Maya, poked and prodded me with all the questions that needed answering. The feeling became so overwhelming that there was no stopping myself from asking the first and least suspicious thing on my mind.

“What brought you all the way out here?” There was just the right amount of disinterest in my voice to make it seem like I was being polite or trying to break up the silence.

“That buddy I mentioned has some property. He lets me park my camper there.” He replied, watching the passing evergreens through the window.

“You’re that torn up over your bike?”

It was a bold assumption; one I knew was spot on when he scoffed and took it as a personal offense.

“If you knew how much time and money I put into her, you’d understand. Some of those parts took months to come in, and I’m still paying them off. She’s in perfect shape…makes no sense why the engine seized.” He grumbled, but I was only half listening because Asher’s deep voice began to rumble in my head.

‘Zeke and I just went through the tapes, and there’s something you need to see. If you’ve got a minute, I need you to scan through what I watched. There was a witness, someone walking down the block, but that’s not all-its easier if you see for yourself. The picture wasn’t the greatest, but it’s not anyone I recognized. Before we release the image to the public, I want another set of eyes I trust.’

‘Sure, give me a minute.’ I told Asher, and quickly followed the directions Lars provided until I turned down a narrow dirt road that ended at a refurbished barn.

I could see why his friend lets him keep his camper here the guy had just about every other mode of transportation sitting around the barn. There was nearly a dozen rusted cars, a few street bikes, and even a four-wheeler or two. I even spotted a tractor trailer that had seen better days. What I didn’t see was the camper Lars mentioned.

“I thought you said you parked your camper here?”

“I typically do. Last couple of nights I’ve been camping in the woods.” He nodded at the barn. “You can drop me off here. He’s bound to be lurking around somewhere.”

Lars got out of the car and peered through Mason’s open window. I couldn’t tell if the smile that tugged on his lips was sinister or if he was just trying to flirt again. Either way it did nothing to quell the bad feeling brewing in my stomach.

“Thanks for the ride, Luna.” He winked.

With his hands in the pockets of his jeans, he whistled a tune under his breath and headed in the direction of the barn. It replayed itself in my head while the scent of dirt and machine oil clung to my nose. Even with the windows down and the crisp breeze passing through, the smell lingered.

‘Ready when you are.’ I mind-linked Asher, steering the car onto the shoulder of the main road.

As his thoughts filled my head, I closed my eyes and allowed myself to slip into the memory.

Four grey walls stood on all sides, far enough apart to allow room for a desk, computer, and two bulky Alphas. Stale coffee and a mixture of cologne stained the air. Displayed on the monitor was a grainy image of where Devin’s body had been found. Just across the street, walking in the opposite direction, was a figure.

Zeke’s profile came into view, his smoky eyes narrowed as he clicked a few buttons on the computer.

It was dark outside when the surveillance video began to play, but the streetlamps along the road illuminated every corner of the screen. There was no hiding from the light, or at least I thought there wasn’t.

A blurry figure came into frame and one by one the streetlamps went out.

‘Rewind the video to the exact moment they came into view.’ I told him and waited until our killer came back into view.

The picture wasn’t the greatest, but what I thought had been a low-quality camera was actually a cloak wrapped around the killer’s body. There were no discernable features visible-even determining their gender was impossible. They were just a mass of darkness, one dragging the corpse of Devin Armstrong.

The video resumed, and exactly three minutes and twenty-seven seconds later, the streetlamps flicked back on. A steady throb started in the back of my head as my eyes scoured the screen from top to bottom. It wasn’t Devin’s freshly placed corpse that had me breaking the mind-link and forcing the car into drive, but the witness I now knew I recognized.

“Lola, what the hell?!” Mason cried out and clutched the door, but that did little to hold him in place as I spun the car around and took off fast enough to make the tires squeal.

His face paled and then turned green as I hit the sharp turns, slowly letting off the gas to keep us from flying off the side of the mountain. I could feel Asher’s voice rattling in my skull, but the sound of my pulse and the throbbing in my head was far louder.

I shot down the narrow dirt road, not once slowing even though the dust kicked up was impossible to see through. Pebbles bounced off the hood and windshield, one leaving a crack the size of my pinkie. The car jerked, and a masculine scream rang in my ears as I flattened the break against the floor.

The tires locked, sending us sliding across the dirt before coming to a complete stop, inches away from the side of the barn.

Both Mason and Asher’s voices joined the low ringing in my ears as I shoved open the door and clamored to my feet.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” The grittiness of dirt hit my tongue when I opened my mouth and snarled.

Slowly I turned, narrowing my eyes to try and peer through the thick wall of evergreens that surrounded us and the barn. There wasn’t the faintest sound or scent of Lars, only the eerie silence of a vacant forest. The sour feeling in my gut was confirmation enough, our only suspect and witness was gone in the wind.

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