Read Alpha Asher by Jane Doe Chapter 168
By the time backup arrived, and Rowena stabilized the Vampire whose heart were still beating after having her throat slit, I was utterly exhausted.
The trick I did, somehow managing to control the otherworldly power that was known for being uncontrollable, left me with little to no energy and a raging case of cotton mouth.
Even worrying about Asher, which I’d been doing since the blood witch said he had problems of his own to deal with, sapped what little strength I had left.
As I swayed where I stood, staring down at the five lifeless bodies, the shadows watched from their hidden alcoves within the forest. Tristan stood nearby, his eyes flitting to my face every few seconds as though he were worried I’d topple over at any moment.
I sure felt like I was, but I’d never admit that.
Instead I frowned at the blood that watered the earth and thought about the words that the blood witch uttered.
“Make use of their blood…” I said quietly, lifting my gaze to peer at the darkness that surrounded us.
Cassidy continued to gnaw on her lower lip, which she’d been doing for the last half hour. “What do you mean by that?”
Tristan grunted, which was indication enough that he knew exactly what I meant.
“As reward for your service, you may feed on the blood that was spilled, only that of the five Vampire’s who needlessly lost their lives this night.” I said to the shadows, my voice strong despite the lead that weighed down my bones and claimed my energy. At the last moment, staring down at the men who had harbored such hatred for someone they knew very little about, I added: “…all I ask is that you return their bodies to the earth.
I wasn’t sure if the tendrils of darkness could feel my lack of strength, or if they were simply that hungry, but they swarmed the ground like the fog that often cloaked the entire town in the early morning hours, when the air was thick with humidity.
Cassidy let out a sound that was halfway between a croak and a wail, taking several steps back though the shadows still slithered around her feet.
“What in the hell…” She muttered.
Within seconds the ground was clean, free from the blood and the bodies of the dead Vampire’s.
“Lola, are you alright?” Tristan said quietly, his voice so low that I had to strain to hear him. “You look like you need some sleep…”
“I do, and I will, but only after I figure out how the hell this happened.” I told him; thankful the others weren’t within hearing range. “Have the Vampire taken to a cell …one of the nicer ones. I don’t want her harmed, I can’t begin to stress that enough.”
“I’ll stay with her to make sure, but only after you’re safe in bed.” He replied, and as he held my gaze it wasn’t desire I felt, but the genuine need to protect and serve his Queen.
The handful of wolves on patrol who knew the location of Asher’s personal holding cells escorted the Vampire, each one under strict orders to only use force should she try and escape–and judging from how much blood she lost, that wouldn’t be happening anytime soon.
Cassidy was promptly escorted home by a few of the remaining warriors in the patrol team. She must’ve not been too shaken up because the reluctant glances she tossed our way told me she didn’t exactly want to leave.
Rowena, Cordelia, Tristan, and myself all ventured back to the estate, where tensions continued to rise until I wasn’t sure who was angry with who.
The way Cordelia stared at me as the four of us stood in the kitchen struck me as odd, especially considering it was her spell that had failed to work properly. For the first time, I was wondering if my gut feeling about her were incorrect.
Was there a chance she was one of the leaks spilling information to the blood witch?
“Could I speak with you alone, Cordelia?” I asked, shattering the haze of silence that had befallen the three of us.
Tristan’s reluctance weighed on my shoulders, reinforcing the nagging thought that I might’ve been wrong.
As soon as we were alone, her stoic expression fell, deepening the lines that circled her eyes and mouth. “You’re wondering why my spell didn’t work, and I wish I could tell you, Lola, but I just don’t know.” She placed her hands flat on the marble countertop and stared down at the flat colors. “There’s a chance it could’ve been overridden by the blood witch’s magic, but she would’ve needed a significant amount of blood to fuel such a thing. The only other option is that those Vampire’s were already within the territory lines when I casted the spell.”
“We’ll have to assume that they were, which means I’ll have to talk to Asher as soon as possible.” I forced the words through clenched teeth, fighting the urge to start shouting down the mate-bond, linking his mind with my own and potentially distracting him from what could easily be battle.
Even if I did manage to get through, I’d most likely have seconds before I passed out.
“There’s something I needed to talk to you about, Lola …” Cordelia’s lowered voice and unwavering gaze put a stop to my disorganized thoughts, bringing my attention back to the present. She leaned forwards, skewering me with her eyes. “What exactly did you do back there?”
I blinked at her, flashes of memory dancing behind my eyes. Tendrils of darkness wrapping around limbs, piercing the skin like razor thin needles that held the Vampire’s in place. “I’m not following.”
“The blood witch sent six Vampire’s after you and reanimated a dead body, yet you and your friends are alive. Not only that, but the amount of residual power I felt was intense…to say the least.” Cordelia replied, pursing her lips. “The shadows were watching you, child, and don’t think I didn’t see them clean every blade of grass free of blood.”
“I’m not sure what you want me to say, Cordelia.” I murmured, following the feeling in my gut that told me to keep quiet, to give as little information as possible. “I don’t know exactly what I did, but it worked, and the threat is gone for the time being. Isn’t that what’s important here?”
“It is important, but it’s not the only important thing.” She said ominously, her eyes flickering to the same doorway both Tristan and Rowena vanished through. It led deeper into the house, past the living room and curved staircase to the lounge and back door.
“Did something happen between you and Rowena?” I blurted, unable to keep the question at bay for any longer. It had been over a week now that the two of them had been walking on eggshells around one another, Cordelia more than Rowena.
The middle-aged witch that reminded me so much of my grandma that it hurt to suspect her as the enemy frowned. “Nothing you need to concern yourself with. You’ve got enough on your plate and we’re both grown witches, we can handle a spat.”
For some reason, I had the strong feeling this was more than just a spat, but I stayed quiet anyway.
Late that night, after spending the last three hours curled up on the couch in a deep sleep, Asher’s voice began to trickle into my thoughts.
‘Lola, are you awake? I got word from a couple warriors on patrol that there’s a new face in the dungeons. What happened? Was anyone harmed?’
I sat up from my spot on the couch, stretching my arms far above my head. Delirious with the remnants of sleep, I groaned as my back popped in three separate places, each one cutting Asher’s voice off for half a second.
‘Good morning to you too.’ I grumbled, taking a long drink of water from the glass Tristan left on the table before I slumped over. ‘No one’s hurt. Well, not anyone in the pack.’
Asher didn’t miss the way my voice soured, just like I didn’t miss the frustration that oozed from his.
‘Shit. It’s getting worse, much worse.’ He cursed, his anger vibrating the mate-bond between us. Highly saturated images of last night flashed in my head, replaying the battle between myself and the Vampires for Asher to see.
‘Things are finally coming to a head.’ I murmured, shuddering as my stomach dropped and intuition spiked. Without a doubt, I knew what I was saying was the truth. ‘Whatever their plans are-whatever their goal is, they’re close. I can feel it.’
‘If the blood witch went through all that trouble to warn you herself, you must have something she wants. She wants to throw you off your game, get you doubting yourself, so you surrender before the fight even begins.’ Asher grumbled, both to me and himself.
Even though Asher had no magic of his own, his intuition was just as sharp.
I padded into the kitchen, wincing against the bright light of the refrigerator as I opened the door. A water bottle full of blood sat on the top shelf, courtesy of Tristan.
‘It’s my magic, it has to be.’ I told him, taking a long drink from the bottle before sighing deeply. ‘After what I did with the shadows, I’m sure of it.’
The blood in my mouth turned sour from the thought. I twisted the cap back on and placed it in the fridge, already rejuvenated from the small bit I’d imbibed.
‘Speaking of which, what exactly did you do to control them? You’re sure you didn’t make a deal by mistake?’
‘I didn’t make any deals. It was similar to when Breyona was hurt…’ I swallowed, hesitating on my trip back to the living room as the memory of my best friend dying flashed in my head. ‘I wasn’t asking them to do anything. I was commanding them, and they had no choice but to listen. I don’t know why or how, but that’s what happened.’
Asher grew silent for a moment before asking, “Don’t you have that book Giovanni got for you? The one with your family name on it.’
‘I honestly forgot I had it. It’s been tucked away while everything’s been going on.’ I admitted sheepishly, thankful he couldn’t see the embarrassment on my face.
‘Perhaps you should go through it, see if it says anything about what you did tonight.’
‘Does it make me a coward that I don’t really want to open it? It was a big enough bombshell learning I’m part Vampire, and another when I found out about my witch side. I’m not sure I want anymore surprises in my life.’ Releasing a breathless chuckle, I sank back into the couch.
Asher’s response was immediate and provided support I hadn’t realized I needed. ‘It doesn’t make you a coward. If anything, you could use a bit of caution from time to time.’ I detected a hint of teasing in his voice and rolled my eyes at the sound. ‘When I get back we can go through it together, yeah?’
‘I’ll hold you to that, Alpha.’ I said softly, my chest light and fluttering from the fondness in his voice. Already my trepidation was fading, chased away by my fearless mate. ‘…but only if you tell me about your night. I know I’m not the only one with a story to tell.’
‘You picked up on that, huh?’ He grunted. As seconds of silence ensued between us, he had no choice but to launch into the details of his own night and the distraction the blood witch claimed to have provided. ‘Alpha Bran’s men intercepted our group. They attacked on sight without any regard for their own.’ Along string of curses filled my head, each one more deadly than the next. ‘Came out of nowhere. We still can’t figure out how they picked up on our scent. Clara did some magical shit and covered our trails.’
‘It had to be the blood witch, then.’ I nodded even though he couldn’t see it. A dry laugh escaped my lips, ” …they’re working with her, they’re just too blinded to realize it.’
I spoke to Asher for well over an hour, relaxing only when he assured me that no one had lost their lives.
Two of the men in his group were injured, but both were taken into Zeke’s pack and given shelter until they were healthy enough to make the trip back home. Asher had to reassure them numerous times that they hadn’t failed, and that their lives were more important than completing this mission along side their Alpha.
Mason and Clara were the main entertainment for the group, it seemed. They’d been at each other’s throats since the moment they left the pack grounds, only working together when they were ambushed by Alpha Bran’s men.
I had planned on asking every single nagging question in my head when my cellphone began to ring. Upon further inspection, I realized I had a few missed calls from Tristan.
“I cannot tell you how much I wish Vampire’s had that mind-link thing you wolves have.” His voice slithered from the speakers, tight with agitation. “It’s unnatural to be this unreliable in the twenty-first century. Aren’t your kind supposed to be glued to their cellphones?”
“Good morning to you too, and if you must know, I was fast asleep.” I lied. “Also, no. Human’s are attached to their cellphones, not werewolves.”
“Nice try. You weren’t asleep, you haven’t been for the last hour.” He pointed out, ignoring my response about humans and their cellphone addictions. “You need to get to your mate’s dungeons, the faster the better. The Vampire you saved wants to talk, and whatever it is she has to say, she’ll only say to you.”
I scrambled from the couch and made it halfway to the front door before realizing I needed shoes…and pants.