Read Alpha Asher [by Jane Doe] Chapter 75
After our individual conversations with Tyler and Brittany, Alpha Asher cancelled training for the day. As we emerged from the basement, Luna Freya stood in the living room, eyeing us warily.
“I trust my daughter isn’t being tortured down there.” Luna Freya grimaced, scowling at the basement door.
“I gave Lola my word she would remain unharmed, so long as she tells us what she knows.” Alpha Asher nodded, his rough voice held equal parts respect and authority. He respected Luna Freya and her position, but also knew he was free to do what he wished.
“Thank you, Lola.” Luna Freya gave me a warm smile, but her light eyes remained worried for her daughter. “I hope what she knows will help us end this mess. Enough lives have been lost.”
“Yes, they have.” Alpha Asher nodded, “She has provided useful information, we will see how accurate it is. You may visit her if you wish. Down the stairs, through the right tunnel. My men will direct you if you become lost.”
“Thank you, Alpha Asher.” Luna Freya flashed her heartwarming smile, “It is much appreciated.”
Once Luna Freya disappeared into the basement, I turned to meet Alpha Asher’s intoxicating eyes. The color of honey with golden flecks throughout, beautiful and alluring.
“I’m going to check on Breyona–and Mason…if he will allow it.” I frowned, fighting against the storm of emotion in my stomach. I hadn’t heard a word from Mason, not that I expected to after what I had done. I still couldn’t shake the guilt, and wanted to make sure he was doing alright.
I pulled out my cellphone and sent a quick text to Breyona asking if she could come and pick me up.
“He needs time. He knows it wasn’t what you intended, but she had rejected him regardless. Give him time to process that information.” Alpha Asher’s words were soft, despite his rough voice. His molten eyes burned into my own, softening as they read the guilt on my face.
“I’ll be back in an hour or so. I’m sure Sean will be ready to leave by then.” I replied, forcing a smile to my face.
As though today were a day for risks, I once again stepped into Alpha Asher’s arms. His body stiffened for a moment before it relaxed entirely. His reaction made me want to laugh. Had he never been hugged before? Much faster than last time, his arms snak*d around my waist. His chin rested on my head as I enjoyed every second in his presence. His musky scent clung to me, marking me as his own in yet another way.
Watching the guy you love almost die had a sobering affect. I was no longer afraid of pushing Alpha Asher’s boundaries. He claimed many times that I belonged to him, therefor I expected the same. I wouldn’t force him into anything without his agreement, but I no longer feared touching him.
Leaving myself no time to hesitate, I stood on my toes and reached towards his face. As though time had slowed, I watched as the bright color of his eyes dimmed. My lips fell against his jaw, a smile on my face as his stubble tickled my skin. I let my lips linger on his skin for a moment, enjoying the way his hands felt around my waist. As I pulled away, I noticed how dark his eyes had become and couldn’t stifle the burn that sparked deep in my stomach.
“You are extremely affectionate today, Lola.” Alpha Asher purred lowly, pulling me tighter against his body. His calloused hand gripped my chin and his thumb ran along my bottom lip. His eyes burned into me, shining with feral hunger and something softer. “Should I worry you’ve done something bad?”
“You’ve been with me this entire time.” I smirked, letting my tongue graze against Alpha Asher’s thumb. “I made my choice, Asher. You or Tristan. It’s time I started acting like it.”
“Someday, Lola. Someday I will erase every trace of that Vampire from your little mouth.” Alpha Asher snarled lowly, his face a mere inch from my own. His warm breath fanned across my face, sweet mint making my mouth water with desire. While I was feeling risky, I wouldn’t dare close the distance between the two of us.
“Then do it.” I breathed, eyes wide with longing as he held me against his defined body. “Why wait?”
“Affectionate and inquisitive.” Alpha Asher purred, his lips turning up in a deep smirk but he made no move to distance himself.
Just as I thought his remaining self-control had finally collapsed, someone across the room cleared their throat. With my face burning brightly, Alpha Asher stepped away from me. He pulled me tight against his side, as though he wasn’t embarrassed at being caught.
Alpha Zeke stood across the living room; a deep smirk etched onto his face. He leaned against the doorway, eyes glistening as he took in my heated face.
“Impeccable time as always.” Alpha Asher growled, though his eyes shined with humor as he looked at his friend.
“Terrifying…yet oddly arousing.” Alpha Zeke smirked; his bright eyes glued to my reddening face. “Is there a limit on how red your face gets?”
Alpha Asher’s chest rumbled with laughter. Beyond my control, his words had my face brightening even more. Alpha Zeke grinned mercilessly as he noticed this.
“I suppose there isn’t a limit.” Alpha Zeke chuckled, “That’s good to know.”
Mumbling an incoherent goodbye to Alpha Asher, I stalked from the house before Alpha Zeke could say anything further. The two of them were still chuckling as I left.
Breyona was oddly quiet in the car, her face a peaceful mask of indecision and contemplation. Even as she drove down the street, I could tell her mind was somewhere else.
“Could I ask you something?” Breyona finally spoke when we were inside her house. I looked through Breyona’s closet, eyeing up each dress and expensive pair of shoes she owned.
“Go ahead.” I nodded, my eyes trailing over one of her dresses approvingly. Black in color with ruffled baby-doll sleeves and an extremely short hem. It would land around my mid thighs, but I worried what might be revealed if I bent over.
“If Mason’s mate wanted to switch sides–would Alpha Asher have allowed it?” Breyona frowned, playing with her hands as she watched me explore her never ending closet. “Or would he just kill her?”
I couldn’t help but flinch at her last sentence, a disturbing picture of Adrienne’s death coming to mind.
“I wouldn’t have let him kill her.” I frowned, “He’d want to question her, to prove her innocence but I’d never let him kill her.”
“Is that what you did for Brittany?” Breyona asked, her voice sounding just a little less troubled.
“New’s travels fast, huh?” I quipped; my eyebrow raised. “But, yeah. Everyone deserves a chance to prove their innocence.”
“I agree.” Breyona spoke softly, “I have another question for you.”
“I’ll answer on one condition.” I smiled sheepishly, holding up the black dress I had seen in Breyona’s closet. “Can I borrow this?”
“That’s your condition?” Breyona snorted, sounding much like her normal self. “Hell, keep the damn thing. I’m too tall for it anyway. Shows all my goodies when I bend over.”
“I’m thinking it’s going to do the same for me. Perfect to wear around Asher.” I snickered, “What did you want to ask me?”
“Do you think all Vampires are evil?”
I felt myself stiffen at her question, wondering where the hell it had come from. From the serious look on her face, I knew she wanted an honest answer. For a moment I wanted to say yes, to curse all Vampire’s for my personal experiences with them.
Were all Vampire’s evil? Some Werewolves were evil, but others were good. Could it not be the same with Vampire’s? Who was I to condemn an entire race?
“No.” The word surprised myself, as did the mature thinking behind my answer. “There’s good and evil in everything. At the end of the day, it’s all about choice.”
Eventually she stood and helped me raid her closet, holding up a couple dresses for my approval. Breyona’s parents always had more money than my own, resulting in her huge closet. When we were younger, she’d always let me borrow her clothes. She had loads of dresses and shirts that no longer fit her comfortably due to her height.
“I guess not growing has it’s perks sometimes.” I chuckled, happiness rushing through me at the sight of a genuine smile from Breyona.
Whatever had been plaguing her mind was subdued, for now. It was clear she was dealing with her own demons at the moment, but I’d wait patiently until she wanted to share.
“How have things been going with your mate?” I found myself asking, wondering if she’s even had any time to spend with the poor guy.
“I actually haven’t had much time to try and visit.” Breyona chuckled breathlessly, “With everything going on, I don’t know how safe it is to venture away from the pack.”
“I guess you’re right.” I frowned, my voice soft and sympathetic. “I’m sorry about that–really.”
“It’s not your fault.” Breyona shook her head, a hint of anger shining through her hazel eyes. “Tyler’s the one that started all of this.”
“And now we have to deal with the mess.” I chuckled darkly.
“Some people never change.” Breyona’s laugh matched my own.
After spending the next two hours with Breyona, she sent me home with half her closet in my arms.
I tossed the clothes she had given me on the end of Alpha Asher’s bed and walked down the hall to Sean’s room. I knocked on the door and waited a few moments, smiling as Sean opened the door. He looked a million times better than he had last night. The short beard that had been growing was now gone, his face freshly shaven. His shaggy hair was now washed, and his skin absent of dirt. While he had lost weight, his eyes were no longer lifeless and sullen.
“Looking good.” I smiled softly, “You ready to head home?”
“Actually, yeah.” Sean grinned, looking much like his old self. A hint of sadness still lingered in his eyes, but I hoped that too would fade in time. “I actually wanted to talk to you. Come inside.”
I followed Sean inside, my stomach churning at how our last encounter had went. Sean had been upset over Kanyon’s death, blaming me for what happened. I hadn’t known it at the time, but Kanyon’s death was partially my fault.
“It wasn’t your fault, Lola.” Sean turned, replying to my thoughts as though they were etched onto my face. “Sure, the Vampire’s want you but they also want to destroy this pack. You couldn’t have changed that.”
“I never knew you were close with Kanyon.” I frowned.
“We were more than just close, Lola.” Sean sighed, looking twice his age as he sat on the bed. His eyes were shut, as though he were looking back in time. “He was my mate.”
While I visibly struggled to pick my jaw up from the floor, Sean did something unexpected. An earsplitting grin formed on his face and genuine laughter left his lips.
“Let’s hope Dad and Grandma have the same reaction.” Sean chuckled, his eyes misting over as he talked about his mate. “Kanyon’s parents didn’t know either. We never told anyone. I–I wasn’t sure what I liked for the longest time. I was in denial, and wouldn’t admit the truth. Then Kanyon comes along and I could feel the mate-bond snap into place. I couldn’t hide anymore. I couldn’t keep denying what I wanted.”
“Dad and Grandma will accept you as you are.” I promised him, making a mental note to rip Dad a new one if he says anything insensitive. “I never knew–I mean, you could have told me.”
“I know, Lola.” Sean smiled sadly, “When you left, I thought you hated me. I did nothing to stop you. Hell, I didn’t even contact you half the time. Tyler made you out to be the bad guy, and like an idiot I believed him.”
“We’ve all made mistakes.” I nodded, not a single drop of animosity in my veins. “What matters is that you’re back.”
“But Kanyon isn’t.” Sean frowned; his voice sounded so broken that I cringed.
“I think–I think you should talk to Mason.” I replied, “Mason just lost his mate too. I think you two might have a lot in common, and I think talking to someone might help you.”
“I’ll try.” Sean forced a smile to his face, but his eyes remained sad.
“Sean–I don’t know what the Vampire’s told you, but I found some things out while you were away.” I grimaced, cringing at the uncertainty in my voice.
I wanted to tell Sean what I had learned, how Dad wasn’t my actual Dad. After what Sean had just told me, I didn’t want to ruin things between us. He had left angry at me, and I wasn’t sure I could handle that a second time.
“I know, Lola.” Sean frowned, but his eyes remained understanding. “The other fighters talk, some of them overhear things. The Vampires were looking for you, they called you half-blood.”
“Mom’s mate was a Vampire.” My voice came out in an irritating whisper.
“Wow, that explains a lot.” Sean scoffed, looking oddly unaffected. “I mean–we knew she left her mate for Dad. I couldn’t understand how any werewolf could do that. I guess it makes sense now.”
“You’re awful understanding.” I chuckled, but my face remained clouded with stress.
“I mean–I just told you I like men, and you were pretty understanding.” Sean shrugged, much like his old self would.
“Thank you for that.” I breathed, the stress leaving my body as a smile formed on my face.
Perhaps Sean was going to be alright after all.
Using one of Alpha Asher’s vehicles, I drove Sean and I back to my Dad’s house. The sun was beginning to settle in the sky, preparing to lower so the moon might rise. The light in the living room was on, and I knew Dad was sat in his usual recliner.
Without knocking, the two of us walked into the house. Dad’s eyes snapped up to where Sean and I stood, the beer tumbling from his hand as he threw himself from the recliner. Dad had never been an affectionate man. His version of praise was a smile and a slap on the back. The sight of Dad pulling Sean into his arms warmed me, and I couldn’t fight the grin that formed on my face.
“You—” Dad grimaced, pointing a finger at me as he continued hugging Sean. “You are in so much trouble.”
“You’re welcome.” I smirked, relishing the happiness in my Dad’s eyes.
“You did it.” Grandma breathed, a smile stretching on her face as she looked Sean over. “Going to need lots of food to make up that weight.”
“I’m sure you can manage.” Sean chuckled, moving from my Dad to my Grandma.
“Now–I want the two of you to relax. Lola, come help me with dinner.” Grandma murmured, turning up the TV for Sean and my Dad.
“Everything alright?” I frowned, setting to work as she pointed at an onion and pepper that needed chopping.
“Remember what we talked about before you left to get Sean?” Grandma sighed, standing beside me to dice up some raw chicken.
“Very well.” I murmured.
“I’m aware of your–affinity with the shadows.” Grandma cleared her throat, glancing at Sean and my Dad to make sure they hadn’t heard. “I saw you at the fight, calling to them. I’m sure you know now how dangerous that is.”
“I do.” I frowned, something I had been wondering crossed my mind. “How come you can see them? Asher can see them too.”
“It’s not a special ability or anything.” Grandma shrugged, her lips twitching as she registered Asher’s name in my words. “You simply have to look hard enough.”
“Look hard enough?” I snorted, but my heart wasn’t in it. “Is that it?”
“It sure is.” Grandma chuckled, but her expression quickly turned serious. “I can’t tell you not to mess around with them shadows–but be careful. Their prices can be steep.”
“I know how steep their prices are.” I muttered to myself, refusing to meet her startled eyes.
“Don’t tell me–did you barter your life?”
“No.” I scoffed, “They wouldn’t accept my life. They took someone else’s.”
“Oh goddess.” Grandma shook her head, her hand against her heart.
Something about Grandma’s reaction flooded me with guilt, enough to bring me to my knees. Her sympathy and disappointment ate at me, hitting me harder than anything else.
“I didn’t–I didn’t know.” I spoke simply, “Asher was about to die, we were outnumbered. I had to do something. They would’ve killed Sean, Breyona, Mason, Carter and Wade once I was in their grasp.”
“The shadows can be a valuable resource, able to do things we can’t.” Grandma nodded, “But the cost can often outweigh the benefits. Sometimes a little of your blood is payment enough, but as you well know, sometimes they ask for more.”
“It was Mason’s mate they took.” I whispered; my guilt laden eyes locked on Grandma. “She rejected Mason for a Vampire. I didn’t know they planned on taking someone else’s life.”
Grandma didn’t say anything, knowing it would do nothing to rid the guilt from my system. Instead, she pulled me into her arms and squeezed tightly. Tears refused to spring to my eyes, as I had shed enough already. Her lavender and honey scent filled my nose, reminding me of the long days we spent in her herb garden. And even though my life was a mess, I knew everything would be alright in the end.