Once all of the packing was finished, the three of us headed to the kitchen for dinner. Ten minutes into dinner and halfway through my first plate, there was a knock on the door.
“It’s probably Beta Devin.” I nodded to my Dad, standing to get the door.
Beta Devin stood patiently on our patio, a grim smile forming on his face as I answered the door.
“Lola.” Beta Devin nodded, regarding me strangely. A few guys stood behind him, and from the looks of it they were Alpha Asher’s men.
“All my stuff is packed. It’s all in my bedroom.” I nodded at the other guys. “Come on in.”
Beta Devin stepped through the doorway, while the other men headed straight to my bedroom. They wasted no time carrying my boxes out and loading them into a dark SUV.
“Is there somewhere private we can talk?” Beta Devin gave me a pointed look.
I nodded and headed to my now empty bedroom. I closed the door behind us for good measure, plopping down on my neatly made bed. It gave me a strange nostalgic feeling as I looked around my nearly empty bedroom. It hadn’t looked like this since I left and ran away to Grandma’s. How much things have changed in the short time I’ve been home.
“I would like to make it known that I am the only one Alpha Asher has informed of..well last night’s events.” Beta Devin cleared his throat. For such a huge and intimidating man, he sure looked uncomfortable.
“I understand.” I gave him a strained smile. “I trust you to keep it to yourself.”
As strange as it sounded, I did trust Beta Devin. He wasn’t a bad guy by any means, he was just a simple man loyal to his Alpha. His next response didn’t surprise me.
“I will, unless Alpha Asher informs me otherwise.” Beta Devin nodded, “You have to understand, if the Vampire’s are behind these murders Alpha Asher will be forced to take action.”
“I understand completely.” I nodded, and truly I did. “The pack comes first. The attacks were completely unprovoked from what it looks like.”
“You’d be able to turn your back on the Vampire’s if Alpha Asher declared war?” Beta Devin watched me intently, a strange emotion flickering in his eyes.
“Of course.” I nodded, “I might be half-vampire, but my loyalty remains the same.”
Beta Devin nodded, “I hope you find your decision easy and without consequence. In my experience, it is—difficult to turn your back on what you are.”
I wanted to ask Beta Devin to elaborate, but the haunted look in his eyes kept me from questioning further.
“I will need you to provide a full description of what the Vampire looked like.” Beta Devin pulled out his phone, his eyes watching my face intently.
Something stirred within me, something that protested speaking out against Tristan. The scarlett mark on my shoulder ached, but I refused to let it hold me back. My emotions for Tristan were because of the mark, nothing more.
“Light blonde hair, down to his shoulders.” I murmured, “Blue eyes, large build.”
My mind was wandering, being su*ked into last nights memory. I could still feel his cold lips against my skin, quenching the fire that seared my body.
“And what was he wearing?” Beta Devin cleared his throat.
“Wearing?” I trailed off. I couldn’t what Tristan was wearing. My attention wasn’t on his clothes, but on his body and the feelings he ignited within me.
“I understand.” Beta Devin truly did look like he understood. “Once your mind clears, inform me if any other details rise to the surface.”
“I will.” I promised.
“Alpha Asher requests I bring you to the pack house myself.” Beta Devin gave me another wry smile.
“Thinks I’ll run away?” I couldn’t help the smirk that formed on my face.
“It seems we can never be too prepared with you, Lola.” Beta Devin huffed, but his lips twitched up into a smirk.
“If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you just paid me a compliment.” I snickered at Beta Devin.
“That was most certainly not a compliment.” Beta Devin actually chuckled, a booming sound that bounced off the walls.
“Finish your dinner and say goodbye.” Beta Devin gave me a kind look. “We will be leaving in twenty minutes.”
Beta Devin and the rest of the men headed outside, giving me time to finish my dinner.
“You only lived with me for a year but it feels so much longer than that.” Grandma chuckled, piling another scoop of mashed potatoes on Breyona’s plate. Breyona groaned in pleasure and stuffed a spoon full into her mouth, giving Mason a dirty look as he scoffed at her.
“A year.” Dad scoffed, shaking his head. “You were born in this house. It’ll be strange with you gone.”
“I’m sure Grandma will keep things interesting.” I teased, pulling my Dad in for a hug. “She’ll keep you busy with tons of gardening.”
Dad groaned, “Don’t forget, you only live a five minute walk away. I’ll drag you back here if she makes me do any more gardening.”
“I look forward to that.” I snickered, shooting my Grandma a stern look. “But only if she pays in sweets.”
I hugged my Grandma and Dad goodbye one more time before leaving the house with Mason and Breyona. Breyona held at least three tupperware containers in her hands, a successful smile on her face.
“You have enough leftovers for three days.” Mason chuckled, eyeing her containers with a look that suspiciously resembled jealousy.
Breyona shrugged, “They’ll be gone in twenty four hours.”
“Give me one.” Mason whispered, eyeing one of the containers greedily.
“Not a chance!” Breyona scoffed, clutching the containers tightly in her arms. “You doubted Grandma’s cooking skills, that’s not my fault.”
“I’ll give you twenty bucks.” Mason pouted, looking like a little kid.
“Fine.” Breyona snapped, “But you’re not getting the mashed potatoes.”
“I’ll take anything at this point.” Mason grinned cheekily.
I snickered at my two friends, giving them each a hug before they piled into Breyona’s car.
“I’ll see you for training Monday, if you survive that long.” Breyona snickered, wagging her eyebrows at me suggestively.
Mason’s cheeky grin turned into a frown at her words, making me feel guilty for some odd reason.
“Try not to piss the Alpha off too much.” Mason laughed lightheartedly, but it sounded almost forced.
“I’m sure I’ll be fine.” I reassured the two of them, shooting Breyona a stern look.
I walked over to the SUV, surprised when Beta Devin hopped out and held the passenger door open.
“Thanks.” I nodded, hopping in silently.
Two men sat in the back, both of which I recognized from training. I assumed the other two were driving whatever vehicle held my boxes.
“The guys will bring your stuff inside.” Beta Devin nodded as he pulled off down the road. “Alpha’s already picked out a room for you. I’ll show you once we get there.”
The ride lasted a minute and a half. It was strange watching Asher’s men bring my belongings into the pack house. Tyler had lived here his entire life. We explored these halls and played games out in the garden. The entire house felt different now, it wasn’t a bad feeling just unexpected.
Once all of my boxes were brought into the room, Beta Devin pulled me from the living room couch. My mind had been wandering, flickering from Tristan to my childhood memories with Tyler and back to Alpha Asher.
“All of your boxes are in your room.” Beta Devin grunted, “Follow me.”
I didn’t need his help to find my way, but I was surprised to learn I was staying in the west wing of the house. Typically the Alpha stayed on that side, along with his Luna and any children they had.
“This is your bedroom.” Beta Devin nodded, “Your bathroom is inside, on the left.”
I nodded in thanks, but something else caught my eye. A pair of dark oak doors, sitting snugly next to eachother. A glistening bronze plaque sat on the door, a name etched in black lettering.
‘Alpha Asher Desmond’
“Asher Desmond.” Maya repeated in my head, purring the words as they came from her lips. “I like it, sounds s*xy.”
I rolled my eyes at her, but couldn’t help my curious gaze.
“Alpha Asher is right next door?” I couldn’t help the curious and slightly longing tone in my words. As I suspected, Beta Devin caught on instantly.
“He is.” Beta Devin smirked, his eyes glinting in amusement. “He insists on keeping an eye on you, with your penchant for trouble and all.”
“Of course.” I returned Beta Devin’s smirk.
“Alpha Asher will return within the hour.” Beta Devin murmured, “And if you don’t min me, I will be returning to my own bedroom.”
Beta Devin turned and headed back down the hall. I assumed he stayed in the other wing of the house, the one reserved for the Beta and his family. Every pack had different housing rules, and this one was ours. At least, it was when Tyler and his family were in power.
I walked into my new bedroom and looked around in surprise. Alpha Asher definitely had remodeled everything. The old Luna had a taste for antique’s, decorating the entire house herself. Everything had changed while I was gone. All of the antique’s were removed, and new modern furniture was scattered about. A huge four poster bed sat in the center of the room, a little mini bar and couch was nestled in the corner.
The bathroom was huge, as I suspected and was my favorite part of this entire ordeal.
I hopped into the huge shower. I didn’t actually need one, but it was taunting me. The rain fall shower heads were tempting me, begging me to give them a try. The mark on my neck burned, and the cool water from the shower soothed it but only brought Tristan to the front of my mind.
‘I bet his cold lips would sooth the burn’, That small part of my mind whispered.
I hopped from the shower, drying myself and throwing on a pair of shorts and a tank-top. Just as I was ready to crawl into bed, a hard knocking came from my door.
“Come in.” I called out as I pulled back the blankets and eyed the bed lu*tfully.
I could feel Alpha Asher’s presence swirling around before I even turned to look at him. His husky scent battered me in the best way. I turned and met his molten honey eyes, the urge to leap into his arms was crushing me. In a way, I was grateful for his presence. Alpha Asher drove away every thought of Tristan. I didn’t care if it was because of my intense attraction to him or something more, I wanted Tristan gone from my mind.
“Lola.” Alpha Asher exhaled, his voice rough with sleep deprivation.
“Alpha.” I murmured, a slow smirk forming on my face.
Alpha Asher looked incredible, even in his tired state. His hair was a mess, but that only made him look s*xier. His long sleeve shirt was crinkled and rolled up to his elbows, his dark slacks clinging tightly to his thigh muscles.
“I see you’ll be sleeping right next door.” I lifted my eyebrow at Alpha Asher in amusement.
“Let’s see you get into trouble when you’re only ten feet away.” Alpha Asher muttered, his honey eyes locked on my own.
Our interesting conversation through mind-link popped into my head, as did the intense org**m that followed. His mere presence spoke to my body, waking it as though it had been asleep.
“I’m sure I can still manage to surprise you.” I smirked, placing a hand on my hip.
Alpha Asher’s eyes flickered down to my body, heating my skin as he trailed them up. They stopped when they reached the scarlett mark on my shoulder, exposed from the thin tank-top I was wearing.
“So.” Alpha Asher exhaled, anger flaring in his eyes. “Tell me about this mark.”
I sputtered for a moment, unsure what to say. I fully expected him to notice it, but I was hoping it wouldn’t be so soon. Maya and I weren’t sure we wanted to see his reaction, but the conversation was inevitable.
“Grandma thinks it’s not permanent.” I said the first thing on my mind, “That if my mate is a werewolf, their mark should overpower Tristan’s.”
“Tristan.” The name came from Alpha Asher in a low growl. His voice spat the word out like acid, and I nearly cringed at the hostility in his tone. “You feel something towards Tristan?”
Alpha Asher’s eyes turned black faster than I would’ve thought possible. Fear surged through me, this time the excitement did not follow. Alpha Asher looked f**king pissed, his eyes were black with fury and I scolded myself for how easily Tristan’s name rolled from my tongue.
“No—I don’t.” I stammered, “I don’t feel anything for him.”
I was being truthful, that was clear to anyone with working ears. Unfortunately, blind rage dulls the senses. An Alpha’s anger was worse than just an average werewolf. For once, I wished I didn’t piss off Alpha Asher.
“Now we’re going to die.” Maya groaned.
“I think I may agree with you this time.” I shuddered, “Well it was fun while it lasted, Maya.”
“I love you, Lola.” Maya howled, “But I hope you know this is your fault.”
“I love you too, and thanks.” I huffed. Even in the face of death, Maya was dramatic.
Alpha Asher took a step forward, his body towering over me. He stalked me slowly, like I was his prey. The muscles in his jaw were moving, and I tried not to be mesmerized by how deadly beautiful he looked in this moment.
“Do you think you belong to him now?” Alpha Asher snarled, taking another step forward. “Because his mark sits on your skin.”
“No.” I shook my head. “He doesn’t own me.”
“You’re right.” Alpha Asher snarled, taking another step forward. “I own you.”
As Alpha Asher took another step forward, I took one back. I flinched as my back grazed the bed side table, realizing I had nowhere else to go.
My own stupid pride flared at what Alpha Asher had said. While my stomach erupted in butterflies at his possessive words, my big mouth got the best of me.
“No one owns me.” I snapped at Alpha Asher.
My eyes widened as he froze in spot, his lips pulling back in a feral sneer.
“You’re wrong, Lola.” Alpha Asher’s voice was calm, but his rage filled the room. His wolf was feral, desperate to come forward. Alpha Asher’s voice melted into his wolfs as they spoke to me. “You belong to us. It’s time I reminded you of that.”