Alpha Asher chapter 24

I went to bed that night, a detailed dream of Sean filling my head.

He was thundering through the woods, his four paws raking up dirt as he barreled forward. Clumps of grass and earth sprayed out from behind him, tree’s and branches blurred as he ran past. The forest around him was slowing, his senses heightened in his wolf form.

The dream continued like that for some time, simply Sean running through the woods. A few moments later the dream shifted. I was still standing in the woods, but Sean was gone. The same sickeningly sweet scent was lingering in the air. The forest was quiet, unusually quiet. The forest was absent of bugs or creatures. Typically at night, the forest is alive with living creatures. Animals hunted at night, insects chirped and buzzed. There was none of that in my dream forest. Everything was still, inducing a strange sense of anxiety. The feeling of being watched surrounded me, the prickling feeling of eyes running over my skin.

“Lola.” A deep voice called out, slick like oil.

The bushes shook, and a strange sense of death settled over the forest. Thick and almost tangible, this strange shadow-like substance ebbed from all around me. It was black like smoke, lapping the ground as it ebbed closer and closer. Plants wilted under the touch of the strange smoke, urging it to move faster.

I sat from my bed with a startled breath, my dream had been cut short. It wasn’t surprising to have nightmares in times like this. I was merely lucky my nightmares didn’t include Katie or Kanyon’s glassy gaze.

Training without Alpha Asher was monotonous and almost boring. I sparred with Mason easily, taking him down multiple times. Deep in the back of my mind, I already missed Alpha Asher. A day without bothering him felt unsuccessful and pointless. I quickly realized how much I longed to see the fire burn in his eyes as he fought his hidden desires.

After training Breyona and Mason tagged along to my house. The three of us ate lunch, my Grandma supplying Breyona with as many pastries as she could carry.

“Your Grandma is awesome.” Breyona groaned, munching on a brownie as we walked to her house.

“She’s only baking like this cause she’s stressed.” I chuckled.

“I wish my mom stress baked.” Breyona rolled her eyes, “My Mom stress cleans. Won’t even let us touch the kitchen anymore.”

“Mine just watches those spanish soap operas.” Mason shuddered, his eyes widening in fear.

“Is Mason scared of his Mom’s soap opera’s?” Breyona cackled, pelting him with a piece of brownie.

“You act like it’s funny but you’ve never had to sit and endure four hours of it.” Mason shook his head, “And this is why I’m always out and about.”

We walked up the stairs to Breyona’s house, and walked inside.

It had been years since I was in Breyona’s home, but not much had changed.

The family pictures still lingered on the walls, a few new ones added to the collection. Breyona looked nearly identical to her Mom and older sister. The newest photo was of Breyona, her sister, her Mom and Dad. Breyona’s sister had a large baby bump and an even wider grin on her face. Breyona’s lips were pulled up in a smirk, as though she was holding back laughter.

“Lola?” Breyona’s Mom called out, a surprised smile on her face. “I was wondering when I’d see your face again.”

“Hey, Miss Shelby.” I grinned, giving Breyona’s Mom a hug.

There was a time when Breyona and I were inseparable, a time before I met Tyler. I would spend most of my days at her house. Breyona’s Mom wasn’t a fan of my Mom, but that never stopped me from finding my way over their house. Breyona’s Mom would never turn me down, always offering a place to stay when my Mom became a little too overbearing.

“How’re you holding up?” Shelby frowned, giving my back a soft pat.

Breyona got her winning personality from her Mom, and her intense sarcasm from her Dad. Breyona’s Mom considered me a distant daughter, always making me feel included. The fact that she didn’t hold it against me when I ditched Breyona for Tyler, said loads about who she is as a person. Forgiving, kind, and compassionate. Just like Breyona.

“I’m managing.” I nodded, a tight smile on my face. “I don’t have it as bad as some others.”

Kanyon and Katie’s families flashed through my mind. Losing someone so young took such a hard toll on families.

“I understand, dear.” Shelby smiled sadly. “Just know it wasn’t your fault.”

“I appreciate that.” I forced a smile.

That was one topic I truly didn’t want to approach. I was still struggling with my own emotions, convincing myself I wasn’t to blame.

Breyona dropped the baked goods off at her house, getting dressed for patrol tonight.

The three of us hung out until it was time to leave, making our usual walk. As always, Breyona turned left while Mason and I turned right.

Carter and Wade were waiting for us when we approached. The four of us began our usual run, looking out for anything suspicious.

While Maya relished in her limited freedom, I scanned the forest for the sickeningly sweet smell. This time around it was gone, leaving me to believe I had imagined the entire thing. Scents typically faded but never disappeared entirely, especially in twenty four hours.

I was almost convinced tonight would be another peaceful night, until a loud voice burst through my head.

“South side – Something broke through the perimeter.”

The frantic voice flooded through the mind-link and the four of us took off without question.

“Did you see anything?” I shouted through the mind-link.

“Couldn’t see anything.” Someone replied, “It was too fast.”

Our paws thundered against the cool earth, heading to the Southern patrol station. When we finally arrived there were multiple other wolves.

“The scent disappears twenty feet into town.” Someone cursed in my head.

“You couldn’t catch them?” Wade growled, “You couldn’t catch a simple rogue?”

“Whatever it was, was fast.” A sandy colored wolf shook it’s head. “We couldn’t even see it coming.”

All hell broke loose through the mind-link. Everyone was pissed and on end. Someone had clearly made it into town, which meant another dead body could be waiting for discovery.

“The forest got darker too.” A small voice called out in the midst of the chaos.

“Darker?” I frowned, my head turning to meet the bright eyes of another wolf.

The wolf was dark colored with patches of white and orange. It’s eyes were chocolate brown and glistening with hidden intelligence. I had never seen this particular wolf before, but that wasn’t surprising. I didn’t know many of the people in our pack, I had been obsessed with Tyler for too long to notice anyone else.

“Yeah.” The wolf nodded, a soft feminine voice filling my head. “Like the shadows got bigger.”

“Ignore her.” A grey wolf snapped, a low growl coming from it’s mouth. “She did nothing to help. Just froze and looked around all terrified.”

“I saw more than you did.” The girl murmured, her chocolate eyes looking towards where the threat had come from.

I looked around at the trees and shrubs.

“It does seem.. darker, doesn’t it?” Maya frowned.

“I think so.” I shrugged, “Like the Moon isn’t as bright.”

“Or the shadows are bigger.” Maya repeated the words that came from the smaller wolf, sending a strange chill down my spine.

“Everyone.” I snapped, trying to stop the bickering. “I said- Enough!”

My voice bellowed through the mind-link, stilling the rowdy wolves.

“Someone could be dead right now.” I snapped at all of them, “Arguing will not change what happened.”

“What should we do, Lola?” Mason frowned, a small whine coming from his wolf.

“You five, continue searching the perimeter. If they try to leave, alert us immediately.” I snapped at five of the wolves, the little multi-colored one included. While she was much smaller than the others, her eyes glistened with a strange intelligence that begged to be used.

“The rest of you, follow me into town.” I continued barking orders, “We will search town for any dead bodies.”

My heart thumped at my own commands. Anxiety and adrenaline coursed through me. The last thing I wanted was to find another dead body, but someone got through out perimeter. A simple rogue didn’t possess that kind of speed, nor did anything else for that matter. Whatever it was, barreled through the perimeter without being spotted. It was either the fastest creature in the world, or somehow invisible.

We searched town endlessly, never once encountering a dead body. No one was injured, and there was no one roaming the streets at this time. Everything was silent.

The five who continued running patrol reported something nearly an hour later. Something had ran by them, never once stopping as it barreled through the woods. One by one we shifted into our human forms, throwing on spare t-shirts and sweatpants.

After letting Alpha Asher and Beta Devin know tonight’s events, we all headed home. The next patrol shift arrived early, setting up quickly before we left for the night.

“Lola.” The small feminine voice called out.

I turned to meet those intelligent chocolate colored eyes.

“Who are you?” I frowned, I can’t recall ever seeing her before.

She was a little bit shorter than I – Which is really saying something. Her stature was petite, her hair long and brown.

“Jessie.” The girl gave me a timid smile, “You wouldn’t remember me, I’m two years younger than you.”

I couldn’t help it when my eyebrow raised, “You’re only sixteen?”

Jessie nodded, a light blush forming on her face. “I am.”

“And Alpha Asher has you out here?” I scoffed. So much for not recruiting kids.

“I’m good with my nose.” Jessie shrugged, “I’m the one who asked for the job.”

“I see.” I nodded, “And did you smell anything.”

Jessie hesitated, her eyes flickering over to Carter and Wade, “Whatever it was smelled sweet.”

“Sweet.” I repeated, not entirely believing what I was hearing. How could Jessie smell it when Mason, Carter and Wade couldn’t?

“Really sweet.” Jessie crinkled her nose, “It didn’t smell too good.”

“No, I don’t imagine it would.” I shook my head. “Lets keep this between ourselves for now.”

“Don’t the others already know?” Jessie frowned.

“I don’t think so.” I glanced over at them, “I don’t think they can smell it.”

“So you can?” Jessie paused, “Smell it, that is.”

I gave a cautious nod, “I smelled it yesterday. It was gone today.”

“That’s weird isn’t it?” Jessie pursed her lips. “Scent’s don’t just disappear like that.”

“You’re entirely correct.” I nodded.

After my conversation with Jessie, Mason and I headed home. Breyona walked with us, chatting about the unseen intruder. No one could figure out what it was. Some murmured about Vampires, but that was nearing impossible. Vampire’s never met in groups, and rarely ever attacks packs. Vampires had abilities and strengths of their own, but often couldn’t hold their own against werewolves. There was no reason for a stray vampire to wander into our territory.

My mind was churning with possibilities. Tyler would never recruit a stray vampire to do his dirty work. He hated vampires more than Alpha Asher, which was really saying something. Vampire’s stayed to themselves, never living with eachother or meeting up. If it was a vampire who ran into pack territory, there had to be a reason.

My questions were answered when I arrived home. Grandma had dinner sitting out for me, which I happily scarfed down. Dad and I talked for awhile, but I finally retreated up to bed. A long shower later, I was standing by my bed with sleep filled eyes.

The white index card made a strangled yelp leave my lips. I had assumed the notes would cease after I told Alpha Asher.

With frustration building, I yanked the index card from my bed.

‘Meet me at the swimming hole. Midnight – Tomorrow.

Come alone if you want crucial information regarding the attacks on your pack.

If anyone follows – I will know.’

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