Read Alpha Asher [by Jane Doe] Chapter 92
Tristan had told me what to expect when my Father finally called. My Father had a back-up plan, one where he would not need me. It was in my best interest to prove useful to him, to show that I was willing to do anything for Breyona and Giovanni’s freedom. I believed Tristan when he told me the only way my Father would allow their freedom, was for Tristan to infiltrate my mind.
My Father did not know that I had long ago learned to shield myself. In those few minutes I had with Tristan, he taught me how to carve out a small piece of my mind for him. I would be able to keep my wits, my thoughts, and my self-control. The hardest part would be pretending that Tristan had control of my mind, that he was able to make me compliant. I had no time to practice, and unfortunately had to place my trust in Tristan.
I wrenched open the door that blocked my innermost thoughts, carving out a small section for Tristan. After a dull headache began prickling along my forehead, I was confident Tristan could venture in my mind no further. My Father sat silently, watching Tristan and I with an unwavering gaze.
‘It’s your turn.’ Tristan’s voice echoed in my mind, ‘Play your part well, or we’ll all be doomed.’
I didn’t have the time to mull over what my Father had said, or the fact that my Grandma had kept this from me. The sting of betrayal was brief, as I had more important things to focus on. My sister—half-sister, stood at the other side of the room, her chestnut eyes on me, her lips parted with words that would not form.
For a split second, I wondered what her life had been like. Our Father was subdued for ten years, his payment for her creation. She must’ve lived a normal life until then, until he snatched her from her home in an attempt to turn her into a monster. It was a risk—one I prayed would pay off, but I couldn’t leave her behind. She had spent far more time with our Father than I had, and I wondered how grievously she suffered. No matter what happened, I’d find a way to take her with us.
I wiped the emotion from my face, and let the light fade from my eyes. I turned to face my Father slowly, almost lethargically. I remembered how it felt to have Tristan in my head, how it almost felt like I was being drugged. I let my eyes glaze over as I gazed at my Father, and waited until he finally spoke.
“Did she fight you?” My Father asked Tristan, his bright eyes interested and calculating.
“She did, my Lord.” Tristan nodded, “The Witch who helped raise her, tried to teach her how to shield her mind. Her shields are weak, I’ve broken through them before.”
“Good.” My Father nodded, completely unaware that Tristan had betrayed him. “I assume she would like to ensure her companions safety.”
“She would.” Tristan nodded.
“Lead her to the dungeons, keep her under tight control.” My Father nodded, his eyes flickering back to the fire. “When you release the traitor and his mate, make sure to blind-fold them. I won’t have our location getting back to the she-wolf’s pack. Regardless, they are on borrowed time. We’ll let them have these next few days before we wipe them off the map.”
“Yes, my Lord.” Tristan nodded, heading to the door.
I stood from the couch slowly, keeping my posture relaxed and my gait slow. I remembered how it felt when Tristan entered my mind at the club, how all of the important details in my life faded into the background, how nothing truly mattered. If Tristan were truly in my mind, I wouldn’t have any idea where I was, or who I had been talking to.
I followed Tristan down the hall, keeping my glazed eyes ahead. I never once let my eyes stray to the guards, or the Vampire’s that lingered the corridors and rooms. Tristan led me downstairs and towards the back of the warehouse, where a thick metal door sat in the concrete wall. He slid the door open, and I kept my gaze uninterested as the screech of metal filled the warehouse.
We walked into what looked like an old maintenance closet. Brooms, mops, and shelves of cleaner sat along the walls. Towards the back of the room, a cement staircase descended into the floor. Flickering fluorescent lights lit the staircase, and I followed closely behind Tristan as we traveled down into the earth.
The tunnel we turned into was not one made of earth, as the walls and floor were the same cement material as the rest of the warehouse. It was just another testament to how long the Vampire’s had been living here, and how long they had spent remodeling the place.
I fought the urge to squint as we turned down a hall where the fluorescent lights had begun to flicker and fade, trying my best not to stumble over my own feet. With Maya suppressed by the silver cuffs around my wrists, I had only my human senses to rely on. Even with those dulled senses, I could smell the odor of blood and human filth. I clenched my teeth together, fighting the urge to gag as we turned into a room full of cells.
It was Breyona I noticed first. Her shoulder length hair was sticking up in matted tufts, her make-up smeared down her cheeks. The clothes she had worn were caked with dirt. In the same cell, sat Giovanni. Dark circles sat under his eyes, his cheekbones more prominent, and his skin a sickly shade of white. I wondered if they had been feeding them down here, and if they had given Giovanni any blood. The flash of burning hunger in his eyes told me what I needed to know, that whatever they had been feeding him, it wasn’t enough.
I fought the urge to physically recoil as I realized why they had put Breyona and Giovanni in the same cell. It wasn’t out of the kindness of their hearts. They knew Giovanni would be overwhelmed with hunger, and wanted to see if their mate-bond could withstand his need for blood. From the looks of it, Giovanni hadn’t fed from Breyona.
As Breyona saw me, she leapt to the front of her cell, her hands wrapped around the silver bars. I could hear the stinging of her flesh as she gripped the metal, but her eyes burned with such a ferocious helplessness that I couldn’t help but want to console her. Instead, I had to remain calm–uninterested as my best-friend pleaded with her eyes.
Two guards stood at the end of the cell room, and another two were situated at the entrance. I kept my eyes away from the guards, letting them roam lazily.
“Lola?” Breyona gasped, her voice rough and hoarse. “Lola, what are you doing here? You can’t be here, they’re using you. They’re using us to get to you!”
The hardest part of all of this was not looking Breyona in the eyes, pretending she didn’t exist, that she held no importance. I wanted to throw myself to the floor, to fight with every last breath until she was freed from her cell. I let my eyes pass over her face, glazed and uninterested.
“I’m afraid you’re wasting your breath, she-wolf.” Tristan sighed, though he didn’t look too unhappy over the fact. “She can’t hear you, not truly.”
Breyona turned her gaze on Tristan, practically spitting fire as she snarled at him. Giovanni did not follow Breyona’s gaze, his eyes were locked directly on me.
“You got inside her head.” Breyona growled, “Another pathetic attempt to get into her pants, and get yourself a higher position.”
“My position is secure, but do enjoy your freedom.” Tristan sneered, “While it lasts.”
‘Will he actually let them go?’ I called out in my mind, pinpointing Tristan’s presence as it lingered in the space I had carved out for him.
‘Yes. Despite everything else, he is a man of his word.’ Tristan grunted, ‘They’ll be unconscious and blind-folded, but he will release them.’
‘Good.’ I replied, my voice shaky.
Tristan turned to leave, and I followed behind him. Just as we were leaving, I locked eyes with Giovanni. I tried to convey the words I needed to say through my eyes, and desperately hoped he would understand. I could tell from one look, Giovanni saw right through my rouse, and that he knew I was very aware of my surroundings. He moved his head, the smallest of movements, but I knew he understood.
Only when Tristan brought me back to my room and shut the door behind us, did I let out a long breath. My shoulders sagged and for a moment, I felt a crushing weight lift from my shoulders. Giovanni knew, that could prove useful. Undoubtedly, Breyona would want to stay behind, to rescue me herself. Giovanni would be able to placate her, to convince her to return to Asher.
“You sounded believable back there.” I told Tristan, unease dancing around my stomach.
I still couldn’t figure Tristan out. I replayed the different scenarios and endings in my mind, never once discerning what angle Tristan was playing. He hadn’t once attempted to take advantage of me during my stay here, though I wouldn’t put anything past him. If anything, he was proving helpful. He had openly betrayed his King by not taking control of my mind, by having us pretend. For now, we had the upper hand.
“We all have our part to play, Lola.” Tristan smiled grimly, “I’m simply playing mine.”
“And what part is that?” I called out just as Tristan turned to leave. “You’re helping me by lying to my Father. Whose side are you on?”
“I’m on the side where neither of our species is eradicated.” Tristan grimaced, “As it stands, Vampires have the upper hand.”
“That’s also why I’m here. I want to give my pack the upper hand.” I countered, “There’s only one way to stop this war, and that’s to kill my Father. I could end all of this right now if I were able to get to him.”
“Kill him, in his own home?” Tristan scoffed, “You’ll be dead before you get the chance. There’s two ways you can go about this, use magic to end his life, or wait until you’re on the battlefield.”
“I don’t know any magic, and I don’t have the time to learn.” I shook my head.
There was no way I would be mentioning my upcoming heat to Tristan, but even without my heat, there was no chance my Father would postpone his war plans so that I might teach myself magic.
“Then I assume you better come up with a plan.” Tristan murmured, “I’ll be back tomorrow, try and get some rest until then.”
The door shut behind Tristan with a dull thud, leaving me to my looming thoughts. I already had a plan. Figure out when the Vampire’s planned to attack, discern the location of this warehouse, and get the information back to Asher. He could come up with a small team to help rescue me–and my half-sister, while also preparing for the upcoming battle. I could only hope Asher would have enough time to evacuate the town, assuming I learned of when my Father planned to attack.
After sleeping a total of two hours last night, I woke to the sound of my door opening. My heart stilled in my chest as my half-sister walked in. Even with sleep clouding my eyes, I loosened my posture and tried to appear oblivious to my surroundings. Her dark hair was shorter than mind, grazing her shoulders, but everything about her face looked familiar–except for those dark eyes, brimming with silent intelligence.
“You don’t have to pretend.” She shook her head, her voice small and delicate. “I know he’s not in your mind.”
“How did you know?” I asked, my voice flat and tinged with suspicion.
“I just know.” She shrugged, picking at her fingers as she watched me from across the room. “Father says my powers should be manifesting, but I’ve never seen any proof of that.”
“And did you tell him?” I grimaced, “Did you tell him I was faking it?”
“No, I didn’t.” Her tone was soft, her eyes guarded. She walked over to the side of my bed, cautious as though I might attack her. She perched herself on the edge, her spine ridged and straight. Her voice dipped into a low whisper, “Are you planning to leave here? To escape?”
“What would make you think that?” I asked, fighting to keep my voice even. “I came here of my own free will.”
Not that I would tell her, but I planned on taking her away from here as soon as I could. I didn’t care if she were kicking and screaming, I would get her far away from our Father. He would do nothing but turn her into a monster, and use her for his own gain. She had a life before this, before he swept in and took her.
“Take me with you.” She whispered, “Get me out of this place. I can help. I know where all of the guards are stationed. Once Father attacks your pack, the warehouse will be vulnerable. There will only be enough guards here to keep an eye on the two of us. Father is going to join the battle; he wants to kill the Alpha himself.”
I tried not to flinch at the thought of Asher dying at the hands of my Father, and tried even harder not to think of him. Every time I thought of Asher, I felt this crippling pain in my chest. I didn’t know it was possible to miss someone with every fiber of your being, to be willing to burn the world down just for a glimpse at them.
“Do you know when he’s planning to attack?” I whispered; another wave of unease settled in my stomach as I placed more trust than I wanted in this girl I had never met before.
“I don’t.” She frowned, “He doesn’t tell me things, he doesn’t trust me. Any number of the Vampire’s in here will know, the problem is getting them to tell you.”
She tilted her head towards the door, as though she heard something interesting, and quickly stood from my bed.
“What’s your name?” I asked as she walked over to the door, “I’m Lola.”
“Holly.” She murmured, closing my bedroom door behind her.
A mixture of Vampire and Witch, my half-sister was much like me, though she didn’t have the loyalty and strength of an entire pack standing behind her. I wanted to trust her, I wanted to believe that I wasn’t alone in this, but I had to remain cautious. Whether I could trust her or not changed nothing. She was family, and she would not be left behind.