Alpha Asher chapter 43

Lola’s P.o.v

Maya’s excitement slowly faded into frustration as Grandma explained the techniques we can use to protect our mind.

“Meditation.” Grandma nodded serenely, “Learn to control your own thoughts and emotions. Keep’s them out of reach.”

“And how long does this take?” I frowned, my mind running through the ways I could do this.

“Awhile.” Grandma frowned, “It’s not an easy process, disciplining your mind.”

“Well.” I sighed, her techniques wouldn’t be useful to me tonight. “Where do I begin?”

Grandma explained how to meditate, telling me to picture a glistening oasis. She told me to look into the waters and see my own reflection. It seemed easy enough.

“That’s only the first step.” Grandma chuckled.

“The first step?” I huffed, shaking my head.

Fighting I could deal with. Learning to strengthen my body was simple. Strengthening my mind seemed difficult.

I’m impulsive at the best of times. I’m hardly able to control my words let alone my thoughts.

“Second step.” Grandma continued, “Picture a library, stacks of shelves and books as far as the eye can see.”

“Okay.” I drawled the word out, “Books.”

“Let your thoughts fill the books.” Grandma continued, giving me a light smirk. “You can have one book dedicated to Alpha Asher, if need be of course.”

I raised my eyebrow at Grandma and opened my mouth to let loose a snarky remark. She waved me away with her hand, a knowing smile on her face.

“My point is, fill the books with your thoughts and bind them tightly.” Grandma nodded, looking much more serious. “Tuck the books on their shelves and leave them there.”

“That’s it?” I questioned. It seemed far too easy.

“That’s it.” Grandma nodded, “The more you practice, the easier it will get. But I’ll warn you Lola, it’s all too easy for the books to be shredded when you’re first starting out.”

“Got it.” I nodded. How hard could it be to keep my brain books from being touched?

‘Listen to Grandma.’ Maya rolled her eyes, ‘She knows more than us.’

‘So you’ll listen to Grandma and not me?’ I scoffed, ‘Figures.’

‘You get us into trouble.’ Maya pointed out, ‘Grandma doesn’t, and she makes amazing brownies.’

Grandma let me use my old bedroom to practice. She promised to ensure Dad wouldn’t bother me while I practiced.

I laid down on my bedroom floor, positioned in the middle of the room.

Clearing my mind was incredibly difficult, not that I was surprised.

Once my own inner voice quieted, images of Asher and Tristan flashed through my mind.

Asher with his delicious dark hair, tousled to perfection.

Tristan with his light locks and porcelain skin, his swirling blue eyes mischievous.

I forced the images away as best I could, wishing Maya could provide some assistance.

Grandma made it clear that Maya couldn’t help. Whatever mind tricks the Vampire’s used, it suppressed our wolves. Maya would be no use to me if they managed to slip inside my mind.

The oasis in my head was fuzzy at first, the details an annoying haze. As I continued taking steady breaths, the image became clearer.

Crystal blue waters, swaying wheat grass, and the scent of nature in the air.

I imagined myself delving deep within my own head, a library forming around me.

Rows upon rows of empty books lined oak shelves, each cover a different style and color.

I walked the dark halls of my mind, plucking a deep amber book from it’s place on the shelf. The cover was dark, but intertwined with threads of gold.

I thumbed through the rough pages, each one blank and without words.

I figured I’d start with the beginning.

I let my memories of Tyler flow from my mind and into the tightly bound book.

Memories flashed and swirled around me.

Tyler and I running through the pack house, his Mom chasing after us. The time we went to the homecoming dance together. Every memory I had of Tyler pulsed through my mind, filling the pages of the book.

When I looked down at the book, the pages were full. Messy script depicted each memory I ever had with Tyler, all leading up to our encounter in the woods.

I tucked the book back on the shelf, and moved onto the next one.

I had no idea how long it took me, as time seemed to be still in my mind.

Book after book, memory after memory. Leather bound books, hard cover books, short books, withered books. Each were as different and unique as the memories being placed within them.

I finished with my memories of Alpha Asher, every last one of them. His book was larger than the others, the cover a startling shade of black, flecks of silver embedded into the cover.

I stepped back to observe my handiwork, satisfied with what I had done.

When I opened my eyes, I realized three things.

One, the sun was beginning to set in the sky.

Two, my body was incredibly sore.

Three, I had the most killer migraine.

‘Well?’ Maya’s voice filled my head instantly, ‘How did it go?’

I cringed at the sound of her voice in my head, my dull bedroom lights igniting a painful throb.

‘It’s all done.’ I grimaced as I replied to her, ‘Every memory tucked away.’

‘It was that easy?’ Maya frowned skeptically, ‘Grandma said it wouldn’t be easy.’

‘Didn’t seem too hard.’ I shrugged, ‘Maybe it’s a half-vampire thing.’

‘Maybe.’ Maya scowled. She didn’t seem very convinced.

Grandma was happy to let me stay for dinner, Dad grumbled a ‘hello’ and pulled me in for a tight hug.

The conversation was light, occasionally drifting over to Sean.

“I can’t help but wonder where he is.” Dad frowned, scratching at the stubble on his chin.

“He’s probably somewhere warm, somewhere with a beach near by.” I shrugged, the hint of a smile forming on my face. “He always said he’d live at the beach if he could.”

“Well, I hope he comes back soon.” Dad nodded, but his face held less worry. “It was nice having another man around.”

Dad snickered at his last comment, flashing me one of his old cheeky grins.

“Oh really?” I cocked my eyebrow at him, shooting Grandma an incredulous glance. “What’s so bad about us females?”

“Ever since you and your Grandma came back, the house has smelled funny.” Dad shook his head, his eyes glistening with amusement. “Lilac, vanilla, and all those sweet smells.”

Dad faked a shudder and chuckled as Grandma whacked him with a pot holder.

“Better than the smell of body odor and days old pizza.” Grandma shook her head pitifully, “And to think I made an apple pie for dessert.”

“Apple pie?” Dad’s eyes lit up, and he gave his Mom a sheepish grin.

“Oh don’t you dare.” Grandma scolded, “You’ve lost your pie privileges.”

Dad’s jaw dropped and I snickered at him, sticking my tongue out in his direction.

“Don’t mock your Dad.” Grandma turned with her eyebrow raised.

Amusement twinkled in her eyes, and I could easily tell how much Dad had missed the two of us. It was also clear he missed Sean, but sometimes people needed to get away. I couldn’t blame Sean when I had left for an entire year.

We finished our dinner, and after dramatic begging, Grandma let Dad have some pie. The afternoon was exactly what I needed, some carefree time with my family. It helped to distract me on what was to come tonight.

I headed back to the pack house around ten o’clock, slipping down the hallway and into my bedroom.

I stripped out of my clothes, throwing on a pair of leggings and a long sleeve t-shirt. After awhile I could hear shuffling coming from Alpha Asher’s bedroom.

I wanted to cross the hall and knock, to bother Alpha Asher until he dragged me into his bedroom. The soreness in between my legs agreed. We wanted more of him.

For once, it was Maya who reminded me.

‘You can’t go messing with him right now.’ Maya shook her head, but I could still feel her longing. ‘If this plan is gonna work, we need you at your best.’

‘Alpha Asher doesn’t inhibit me, Maya.’ I rolled my eyes.

‘He distracts you.’ Maya pointed out, ‘He distracts me too. We don’t need distractions tonight.’

‘You’re right.’ I frowned, giving my bedroom door one last longing glance.

The minutes ticked by slowly, and I was practically vibrating with nervousness.

I stayed still on the edge of my bed, taking deep breaths to calm my nerves. Each wave of anxiety made the bookshelves in my mind shudder, quaking under the weight.

Grandma was right, I needed complete control over my emotions. I tried to picture the oasis, calming my mind as best I could. Only when the bookshelves stopped quaking, did I stand from the bed.

Thirty minutes before Midnight, Breyona and Mason’s voice filled my mind.

‘You ready, Lola?’ Breyona sounded tired, yet determined.

‘As ready as I can be.’ I nodded, doing my best to keep my nerves from my voice.

‘You got this, Lola.’ Mason chimed in, his usual happy tone sounded stressed and worried.

‘It’ll be fine.’ I wasn’t sure if I was reassuring myself or them. ‘If Tyler’s still interested in me that way, there’s no way he’ll let anyone hurt me.’

Sneaking from the house was easier than I expected. Little did Alpha Asher know, but Tyler and I had spent years sneaking around his house. My footsteps were light and calculated as I crept down the hallway. I even went as far as to hold my breath, only breathing when I was clear from Alpha Asher’s bedroom.

I slipped out the sliding glass door, remembering how the front door used to squeak horribly.

‘Did you make it out?’ Breyona’s voice murmured in my mind.

‘Safe and sound.’ I chuckled lightly, ‘No one noticed.’

‘Keep calm.’ Maya murmured, ‘We need a clear mind.’

I tried to keep my mind clear as i headed towards the other side of town, stopping when the forest line came into view.

I took a deep breath and walked into the forest. It was getting more difficult to keep my mind clear. Every little sound had me turning on my heel. I was sure Alpha Asher would appear at any moment, dragging me away before I could say anything.

Each sound was either a Vampire coming for my life, or Alpha Asher coming for my body.

The true test was when the swimming hole came into view. My heart lurched and sped up, my bookshelves shuddering in my mind.

‘Calm, Lola.’ Maya urged quietly.

‘You can do this.’ Breyona murmured through the mind-link.

‘We’ll be with you the entire time.’ Mason nodded, and I could practically see the goofy grin on his face.

I tried to picture my anxiety leaving me, a clear oasis becoming clearer in my mind. The bookshelves stopped their shuddering and remained still.

I walked over to the swimming hole, noticing how different it looked at night.

The swimming hole was where Tyler and I had come to relax, to get time away from his duties as future Alpha.

In the middle of the night, the swimming hole looked mysterious and threatening. The usual clear waters were dark, looking like murky ink as it sat still under the dim moonlight.

I had arrived early, and the minutes ticked by much too slow.

11:59

There was nothing but silence. The usual sounds of nature were absent. Not a single cricket chirped. The entire forest was holding it’s breath.

12:00

My watch flashed, and I let my eyes wander around aimlessly.

“Hello, Lola.”

Tyler emerged from the brush, no longer concealed by darkness. His eyes glinted hungrily as he stalked toward me.

I refused to let my anxiety spike. Tyler was not something to fear.

“Beautiful.” Another familiar voice, “Wonderful to see you again.”

Tristan emerged from the brush, his light hair catching every ounce of moonlight.

‘Lola.’ Breyona murmured, ‘Focus.’

I painted an image in my mind, showing Breyona and Mason what was happening.

A low growl rang out in my head as Mason caught sight of Tyler.

‘Any minute now.’ Maya murmured, ‘Tristan is gonna try to get into your head.’

“You know why I’m here.” I straightened my spine, and fought to keep my voice even and clear. “Tell me what I need to know.”

“Mm, you want information?” Tristan mused, a sly smile on his face. “What will you give in return?”

Tyler glared at Tristan, but quickly turned his eyes back to my own. For just a split second, I saw the Tyler of my childhood lingering in his gaze.

He was in way over his head. Whatever plan he had was failing, being taken over by the Vampires. I refused to help him. He made his choice, and now he was going to suffer for it.

At Tristan’s words, two more Vampire’s came into the clearing. Each had Tristan’s strange beauty, even though all three were wildly different.

The first one was huge with tanned skin and short curly hair. The second had skin the color of fresh espresso, his eyes gold and firm.

“You said to come alone.” My eyes flickered between the two new Vampires. I kept any fear that threatened to fill me under control. “And yet you bring backup?”

I felt like I was wrestling a wild bull. The scarlet mark on my neck itched and burned, begging to be soothed by Tristan’s touch. I was holding that part of myself back, all while controlling my emotions.

“My friends Gabriel and Giovanni are merely here for protection.” Tristan’s smile was understanding and slightly condescending. “We are on Alpha Asher Desmond’s territory after all.”

‘What did he say their names were?’ Breyona’s voice sounded rushed, almost frantic.

‘Giovanni and Gabriel.’ I murmured quickly, refusing to take my attention off any of them for a split second.

Something happened in my mind, something that nearly threw me off guard.

I could feel someone walking around in my head, their fingers grazing the books that sat nestled on my shelves. If I closed my eyes, I was sure I’d see Tristan’s sly grin as he strolled around in my head.

I forced every book to remain on it’s shelf, tightly bound and out of reach. My head wasn’t foggy this time, my thoughts were clear but my attention was divided.

“Why don’t you come with us, beautiful?” Tristan murmured, taking a slow step towards me. “Let me finish what I started and I will give you all the information you desire.”

I could feel his words bouncing around in my head, urging me to follow along. His words tried their best to dull my senses, but the books on my shelves remained tightly bound.

“No.” I shook my head, feeling a small piece of me cower at the word. “I will not come with you.”

“Learned some new tricks?” Surprise flashed across Tristan’s flawless face, followed by irritation. “No matter. Try if you will, but you are destined to be mine. My Queen.”

That side of me whimpered at the word ‘Queen’, and I couldn’t help but think of how fitting it would be. Queen Lola.

‘Snap out of it.’ Maya hissed.

‘Lola, keep yourself together.’ Breyona scowled in my mind.

My bookshelves stopped shaking and finally remained still.

“No one dictates what I’m destined for.” I snapped at Tristan, reigning in my irritation at the last moment. “I belong to no one. Now give me the information you promised before I alert the rest of my pack.”

A sly grin formed on Tristan’s face.

“You threaten me with your precious Alpha?” Tristan’s eyes flickered deviously, “I will tell you one thing, beautiful. This is only the beginning. Your pack will fall, and you will take your rightful place by my side.”

“Don’t count on it.” I shook my head, ignoring my burning mark.

As much as I denied it, a part of me wanted to be with Tristan. The desire I saw in the depths of his eyes called to me, as well as the darkness surrounding him. It was alluring, promising power and praise I had never experienced before.

Tristan continued worming his way into my head, searching for some way to weaken my control. While his face remained calm, I could feel his burning frustration.

He had never been slighted before—never been resisted. For whatever reason, I was the ultimate prize for him, a prize he had to win.

That only strengthened me. I was not a prize to be won. I’m stubborn, hard-headed, and fiercely loyal Lola.

“You can’t break me, Tristan.” I managed to utter his name, not a trace of longing or familiarity in my words. “What a waste of time this must be for you.”

Tristan’s eyes flashed dangerously, his sly grin widening on his face. He looked like some kind of avenging angel–or demon. Beautifully fair haired, his porcelain skin appeared to glow under the moonlight.

“On the contrary, I’ve been meaning to ask you something beautiful.” Tristan’s voice was rough and smug. “Haven’t you been wondering where your brother is?”

The bookshelves collapsed, each book tearing at the binding. Pages scattered to the floor, messy scrawling covering each torn scrap.

My mind clouded with thoughts of Tristan. The mind-link snapped, leaving me alone.

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