Alpha Asher’s P.o.v
I reluctantly let Lola leave the house, hoping she would somehow manage to stay out of trouble.
The moment Lola left the house, I traveled down to the cells to speak with Tyler. I was forced to use the holding cell’s in this pack, missing the ones in my own desperately.
The holding cells in this pack were pitiful in comparison. Silver bars and dirt walls were all that kept prisoners in line.
It was obvious these cells were rarely used. The cell bars were rusting, the smell of damp earth surrounding us.
I had brought my Beta along, hoping the two of us would coax some words from Tyler. We had kept Tyler under tight lock and key.
Guards monitored his cell constantly, they also injected small amounts of silver into his blood stream. He was kept weak and isolated in hopes his mind would break before his body.
I had visited Tyler the night we captured him and saved Lola. He had refused to speak, demanding he talk to Lola. The demand sent fury rolling through me. Tyler was not in any position to make demands, nor would he speak with what was mine.
Tyler had this petty hold over Lola, claiming they were meant to be together. I had heard the rumors floating around the day after I took control of this pack. The old Alpha had a girlfriend but discovered his true mate in the middle of his relationship.
I walked down to the cells with Beta Devin at my side. Two guards were leaning against the earthen wall, watching Tyler through the bars.
“Has he said anything useful yet?” I turned to one of the men, my eyes flickering to Tyler’s hunched form.
“No, Alpha.” One of the guards shook his head, his eyes narrowing in hatred as he looked on at Tyler. I recognized one of the guards from my own pack, the other was once a part of Tyler’s pack. The hatred in his eyes was staggering, especially as he looked down at his old Alpha.
I remembered the young werewolf’s name. Isaac had once been close friends with the old Alpha, making me reluctant to accept his offer as a guard. It was his hatred for his old Alpha that made me accept, and Isaac had not been one to disappoint.
Every half an hour, Isaac would enter Tyler’s cell and beat the truth from him. Tyler had yet to speak of anything other than Lola, but my will remained unbroken. It had been a total of two days, longer than I thought Tyler would last. Bringing Lola down here was a last resort, something I tried not to think on.
I opened Tyler’s cell and stepped inside. The smell of sh*t and piss was overwhelming, turning my stomach. Tyler had seen better days.
The c**ky tilt of his chin was absent as he sat slumped over in his cell. His light-colored hair was brown with dirt, his clothes crumpled and stained. His light eyes remained bright and unbroken, something that would soon change.
“It appears your men have forgotten my breakfast.” Tyler’s voice was raspy from lack of water, his head turning up in my direction. His eyes were bright as his lips turned up in a c**ky smile.
My wolf wanted to tear through, to destroy the man that laid claim on what was ours. Tyler’s hold on Lola was non-existent, a power he wished to reclaim.
Tyler was one of those men who couldn’t stand to be ignored, to be replaced by something better. Reclaiming Lola was poor attempt to claim his old life, one where he hadn’t lost everything.
It was never my intention to attack Tyler’s pack. I hadn’t noticed the little pack until Tyler climbed for my attention. I could ignore his side-eyed looks of jealousy and superiority, but I couldn’t tolerate out right disrespect. Tyler had disrespected my position in front of my pack.
Naturally, an act like this wouldn’t be grounds for war. The two Alpha’s would fight one-on-one, the victor absorbing the loser’s pack.
Tyler had run back to his pack before we had the chance, prompting my own action in return. I could never allow another Alpha to disrespect me and run. A coward had no right running a pack.
Instead of acknowledging what he said, I kept my face an impassive mask. I gripped Tyler’s tattered shirt in my fist, lifting him to his feet. His head rested against the earthen wall; his lip split from his time with Isaac.
Feeling my wolf’s strength surge through me, I tossed Tyler’s body against the wall. His flesh hit the earth with a sickening smack, but the light in his blue eyes remained.
‘Not for long.’ My wolf murmured, looking down at the would-be Alpha. ‘Everyone breaks.’
As much as I wanted to, I hadn’t the time to stay and truly torture Tyler. I informed Isaac and the other guard to feet him scraps a few times a day. Enough to keep him alive, but not enough to gain strength.
Alpha Bran had been waiting outside the Training building for me, insisting he needed my men’s aid in setting up for the fight. I had detested Alpha Bran’s father, and now I detested his son.
The two of them were insufferable pricks, thinking themselves the King’s of the world.
While the prospect of Lola fighting Alpha Bran pissed me off, it would be satisfying when she won.
‘Alpha Bran will never live it down.’ My wolf murmured in appreciation.
Alpha Bran continued to push his boundaries. Extensive comments about Lola and his night with her left his mouth. He was goading me on, I knew that much.
Alpha Bran’s pride often clouded his judgement. He ran the second largest pack in the world, one I could easily absorb if need be.
I had been quite the dictator a few years ago, my goal was absorbing as many packs as possible. I had long ago left that goal behind, content with the size of my pack.
We had the numbers and the warriors, there was just one thing missing. It was something I had spent many years ignoring, something I wasn’t sure I wanted.
I had the pack, the men, but I didn’t have a mate. I needed a Luna.
Alpha Bran’s men worked with my own, turning the open space beside the pack-house into a fighting ground. The open space lingered beside the Training building and was once where training was held. When the recruits began their training as wolves, we would move outside.
The space was flat and barren, but Alpha Bran requested more. After a couple hours, the earthen floor was covered. In the center of the field sat a large dirt lot, circular in shape.
This was where Alpha Bran and Lola would be fighting. Large lights were strewn about, staked into the ground. The sun was just beginning to set, marking only an hour before their fight.
I paced inside the packhouse as the minutes ticked by. Ten minutes before the fight, I was nearly ready to explode. Her two friends had come twenty minutes earlier, standing by as they waited for their friend.
The girl Breyona continued throwing me anxious glances. Her eyes were glued to the clock on the wall, counting down the seconds until the fight. Even the guy Mason, looked concerned.
The constant need to suppress my jealousy around Mason was infuriating, but I knew Lola needed them here.
“She’ll be here, Alpha.” Beta Devin grunted, giving me a wary look. “Do you really think Lola would run?”
“No, I don’t.” I shook my head, agreeing with Beta Devin’s reasoning. “She’s incapable of arriving anywhere on time.”
“She’ll be here.” Breyona muttered, her eyes meeting my own. “She went to her Dad’s house, their probably just running late. You know how she is.”
As if on cue, the front door opened, and Lola walked in. Her face was red from exertion, but she was otherwise unharmed.
My hammering heart stilled at the sight of her, her black hair done in a tight braid down her back. The black leggings and sports bra clung to her full frame.
“Did you run here?” I grimaced, taking in the sight of her.
“What? No, I didn’t run here.” Lola’s face contorted in confusion, her bottom lip jutting out. “We were just running late.”
“You’re about to fight an Alpha and you couldn’t keep track of the time?” My voice came out harsher than I meant, my eyebrow lifting as I stared at the defiant expression on Lola’s face.
“Baby steps, Alpha.” Lola snapped, her hands finding their way to her hips. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
I peeled my eyes away from her hips and glared. This little ball of fire was distracting me more than I thought. I was noticing all her habits and began enjoying each one.
Her lip would jut out in a pout whenever she was being scolded, her hands would find her hips when she became defensive. I was beginning to enjoy the flash of fire in her eyes when she called me ‘Alpha’.
I sent Breyona, Mason, and Beta Devin outside. I needed a minute alone with Lola before my head nearly imploded. The urge to touch her skin was a constant itch in my head.
“Ready to watch me beat up an Alpha?” Lola’s lips turned up in a smirk that sent my heart hammering.
“You’re awful c**ky.” My eyes blazed down at her, irritation and lu*t filling my body. Her eyes were wide and innocent, catching on to the anger that rolled from my body. Regardless of tonight’s outcome, Lola would be punished for her behavior.
“Maybe I just have a really good Alpha training me.” Lola shrugged, her own lu*t filling her eyes. As much as she tried to resist me, her eyes always gave it away.
“Careful, Lola.” I smirked down at her, my thumb rubbing against her plush bottom lip. “Keep complimenting me, and I might just think you like me.”
Lola had the reaction I anticipated. A scoff came from her perfect lips, her eyes narrowing incredulously.
“Keep dreaming.” Lola smirked, turning on her heel and exiting through the front door. Her hips swayed, her bottom prominent through her leggings. I ignored the tightening in my pants, pushing thoughts of Lola’s round bottom from my mind.
I had caught up to Lola effortlessly. Lola was fast for a werewolf, but it was clear she was in no hurry. Some part of her was nervous for this fight.
Alpha Bran stood in the middle of the dirt circle; his face bright with cheer as he talked to some of the guests. I could see Alpha Zeke nearby, an irritated look on his face as Alpha Bran clapped him on the back.
Alpha Bran was the first to notice Lola’s arrival, something I had already anticipated. Lola’s Dad stood off to the side, looking irritated yet proud. Her Grandma stood nearby, her face calm and serene despite what tonight would hold.
“Lola sweetheart, you’re here.” Alpha Bran smirked, running a hand through his hair. His pitiful excuse at flirting only irritated me and my wolf.
Lola’s look of disgust cooled some of my anger.
“Obviously, this is my pack.” Lola rolled her eyes, clearly tired of his antics.
“I’m afraid I can’t go easy on you sweetheart.” Alpha Bran smirked, pulling his shirt from his head. Many of the guests stood by awkwardly, anticipation and nerves filling the lot of them. It wasn’t often one of their own would fight against an Alpha.
The rules were as such, they could fight in wolf or human form but had to keep within the circle. The first one unconscious or dead would win the fight.
An uneasy feeling filled me. It was clear Lola received training in her year away from the pack, but had she trained in her wolf form?
The two of them stood at opposite ends of the circle, their eyes locked on one another.
I made my way to the front, taking my place beside Alpha Zeke and Beta Devin. It was responsibility to begin the fight. I let any emotion drain from my face, giving Lola a long look before beginning the match.
“Fight.” My voice rang out through the crowd of people. The lights illuminated the field as the sun continued to set. Shadows were thrown across the field and forest line.
Without hesitation, Alpha Bran leaped forward. His claws extended in the short amount of time it took to reach Lola. For just a moment, I worried she had a moment to slow when registering Alpha Bran’s attack.
Surprise rolled through me as Lola turned, flattening herself as Alpha Bran whizzed by. His claws dug into the ground as he skidded to a halt.
His blue eyes were bright with surprise, clearly underestimating Lola. Lola on the other hand looked elated and calm.
Alpha Bran pulled himself from the ground. I knew his wolf was giving him speed and strength, judging from the speed Alpha Bran used. A wolf’s energy was not inexhaustible. Sooner or later his wolf would tire, retreating to the back of his mind.
Alpha Bran kept close to Lola, giving her little room to escape and move around. While Alpha Bran was not the best fighter I had seen, he was better than I anticipated.
Alpha Bran threw punch after punch, while Lola stumbled to dodge his moves. He was keeping her close, working her against the far wall of the circle. Lola needed room to move, room to dodge his attacks.
My chest constricted as his lengthened claw grazed Lola’s ankle. The move had set her off balance, leaving her falling to the floor. Lola pulled herself up with speed that surprised me.
As Alpha Bran’s punches and swipes became more desperate, Lola began to pick up speed.
I watched as something flashed from the corner of my eye, turning my head at the sight. Something cold rushed through me as I watched the shadows gather. They followed Lola’s every movement, keeping out of sight behind the crowd. The shadows followed her silkily as if they were under her command.
When Lola lunged and dodged, the shadows followed. What had once been a warm night, was now cold. Light wind whipped around, lashing against skin. A sense of unease fell on the crowd, but I seemed the only one who noticed.
My eyes scanned the oblivious crowd, their eyes locked on Lola and Alpha Bran. There was one set of eyes that were not on the fight, but on the gathering shadows behind Lola.
Lola’s Grandmother stared at the gathering shadows; her mouth parted in shock.