Read Alpha Asher by Jane Doe Chapter 174
As Asher’s snarl bounced off my skull and left my ears ringing, I feared he’d already discovered the truth. The tidal wave of worry I’d been seconds away from d******g in fell flat when he snarled. ‘Lola, pull the d**n car over. Now.’
I let out a sigh of relief. He hadn’t figured it out yet.
A single tap to Tristan’s shoulder told him we were in the clear-for now, anyway.
Since the helmets we wore left us unable to communicate, the tap system I made up on the spot was what I used to keep him up to date. One tap meant we were safe, and to keep coasting down the backroads at normal speeds. Abiding by the speed limit was slower than simply taking off like a bat out of h**l, but there was always a chance it would keep us from being discovered for just a few seconds longer. Two taps told him to speed up, and three…three meant we were out of time.
‘You know I can’t do that.’ I told Asher, forcing to the very back of my mind the loud snarl of the motorcycle’s exhaust and the pressure the helmet exerted on my temples.
Cassidy’s head was much smaller than mine. Sean had been right when he said I had a big head, even if he’d only been teasing. Thankfully, adrenaline was much more potent than Tylenol. I’d certainly feel it in the morning, though. If we managed to live that long.
‘Oh, you’ll live that long. Not even d***h can keep you from me, not with how much trouble you’re in. You won’t make it far, Lola. The warriors are gaining on you, and they have instructions to stop the vehicle at any cost.’ Asher’s gristly voice circled my head, picking up on snippets of my thoughts, little fragments that managed to slip down the mind-link. ‘I highly doubt you’d mow them all down.
The confidence in his voice and in the dry laugh he sent down the bond tinted my vision in an unsettling shade of red. It boiled the adrenaline in my veins and made my muscles go rigid with fury.
As Tristan finished speeding around a curve and brought the bike back into its upright position, he turned his head ever so slightly in my direction. He tapped once on the top of my hand, the one clutching his leather jacket to keep me from flying off the bike. Though I couldn’t hear him or communicate mentally like I could with the pack, I knew he was asking me if I were alright. I tapped once in response, wondering if I’d hurt him when I clenched my fists and inadvertently tightened my hold on his torso.
‘You remember what happens when you underestimate me, Asher?’ I asked, my voice venomous.
At the moment, there was no trace of the she-wolf he loved, only the unforgiving nature of a Luna crossed by someone she trusted. The bond between us was still there, still intense, and unbreakable, but the stress of our circumstances forced us down opposing paths.
Asher had changed since the announcement where I revealed what I was to the pack. Perhaps this illogical, overprotective side of him had always existed, but was buried beneath the unwavering strength of an Alpha born and bred from polished steel. I wasn’t sure what specific moment triggered this side of him, but he’d slowly been spiraling these past few months, sinking to the bottom of his own tumultuous ocean.
His reply was instant, tinged with the barest hint of disbelief. ‘You’d risk k*****g your own people to follow through on this plan of yours?’
‘Unbelievable, isn’t it? Although, I think it pales in comparison to you trying to force me into compliance with an Alpha command…as if that’s ever worked for you.’ I laughed bitterly.
From out the corner of my eye, I saw something moving within the forest. I craned my head towards the trees, watching with peeled eyes as they all blurred into a massive wall of darkness, the emerald greens and rich browns stolen away by night. Silence radiated down the bond, vibrating the mind-link constructed between Asher and I. Seconds, I waited for his response, expecting nothing less than some flimsy excuse about the lengths he’d go to protect me.
When those seconds ticked by and a full minute had passed, I tapped Tristan’s abdomen twice.
The sport bike we were on snarled, spitting its rage and shooting forward with enough speed to send me sliding off the back end of the seat. I tightened my grip on Tristan’s torso, too consumed with Asher’s silence to react to him relaxing under my hold.
‘Was that a motorcycle?’ Asher asked, his voice unsettlingly calm.
A single drop of sweat, chilled by the wind that tried so desperately to hold us back, trickled down the back of my neck.
I leaned to the left as Tristan hit a sharp curve without breaking speed, managing a glimpse at the GPS in the process.
We were so close to the borders of the pack. Without a doubt, I knew there would be a patrol team surveying the area, but they had no clue who we were or that we were headed their way. Once we barreled through the boundary lines, they most likely wouldn’t bother following.
I forced the rumbling of the engine and the sound of wind whooshing in my ears to the back of my head, and somehow managed to conjure a response out of thin air. ‘Nope, that was Maya and I snarling at you.’
Seconds ticked by and my stomach dropped further.
‘You clever little brat.’
Alarm bells exploded in my head, screeching in their shrill tones until my ears began to ring. Saying to h**l with the system I created, I tapped Tristan’s abdomen in rapid succession. I squeezed my eyes shut to keep Asher from picking up on any stray images that managed to slide past my grasp and held on for dear life.
‘Uh, Lola…the wolves slowed down. I think they know you’re not in the car.’ Cassidy shouted over mind-link, her voice growing farther away.
Two things happened simultaneously.
A series of howls split the air in two, and Tristan twisted the throttle to its furthest limits, sending us veering head-first into oblivion.
The chilling song of the warriors d*****d out everything. Every sound, from the bike’s wailing engine to the creatures that lurked within the forest, was silenced by the cries of our pursuers. Only one thing managed to pierce the unsettling veil the wolves howling cast over us-Asher’s voice.
‘No wonder you weren’t worried about getting past the warriors. Who is driving the car, Lola?’ He asked darkly.
As Tristan hit another curve, barely slowing in speed, the bike lurched to the right. Even with my eyes clenched shut, I could feel the whoosh of something much too close to my face for comfort. As he completed the turn and yanked the bike into an upright position, my eyes snapped open. I had to s*****w back bile as I realized it was the asphalt of the road I felt, breezing but a foot away from my face.
Werewolf or no, a motorcycle c***h at triple digit speeds with only a helmet as protection would leave me irreparably scarred.
‘Doesn’t matter who’s driving the car, Asher.’ I shot back, ‘You did this when you stopped treating me like a Luna and started treating me as only your mate.’
‘You are my mate.’ He bellowed, his anger vibrating the length of our bond until my teeth began to chatter. ‘I’ll find out who’s helping you, Lola. Mark my words.’
‘I am your mate, but I am also the Luna of the largest pack in the world, and the Queen to an entire race of mythical beings. I told you my plan because I love and respect you, but I do not need your permission to protect my people.’ I replied, instantly noticing the power that filled my voice and thoughts. It matched that in Asher’s, perfectly equal in its intensity. ‘You can either have the warriors follow the car to figure out whose inside, or you can have them try and catch up to me. It’s your choice, but the outcome will remain the same.’
There was a wisp of desperation deep within Asher’s voice, one he tried to conceal with his aggression and hide by means of intimidation. His anger had never worked on me before, which is why I was able to see right through it.
‘Lola, this is your last chance…’ His voice grew impossibly low, full of dark promises that were colder than the chilly sting of wind against my neck and chest.
Another chorus of howls pierced the thin veil of night, much closer than they had been before. He’d made his decision, just as I had made mine.
‘Through h**l or high water, Asher, I will come back to you.’