After what felt like hours of silent shock, I threw my clothes on and trudged home. I still couldn’t form coherent words about what had just happened, or my bodies reaction to it.
While my blood boiled at how bold Alpha Asher acted, the sensitive spot in between my legs throbbed. I was torn between hating it and loving it. Maya was silent for once, leaving me to my internal struggle.
When I finally got home, I ran to my room to change out of my damp clothes. I threw on a plain t-shirt and a pair of cotton shorts. I joined the rest of my family for dinner and was happy to find my grandma had saved some sweets for me after all.
Sean turned to me as we were eating dinner, “So, Lola. Why’d you dump coffee on Ethan’s head?” A smirk formed on his face.
My dad snorted and nearly choked on his food as he gave me a shocked look. Quickly, his face turned red as he started chuckling.
“Lola, can’t you stay out of trouble?” He cackled and my grandma soon joined in.
I shrugged, rolling my eyes at the two of them. “He acted like an ass.”
I didn’t need to give more information than that, Sean and my dad knew exactly how Ethan was.
“Should’ve done more than that.” Sean chuckled.
I shrugged, “The coffee was Maya’s idea. I wanted to punch him in the throat.” That comment sent my grandma into fits of laughter.
After dinner I helped my grandma with the dishes and quickly headed to bed. I was excited to sleep in before going to lunch with Breyona tomorrow. What person gets excited about sleep? I do.
I took my clothes off and threw them on the bed, then made my way to the shower. When I was finished I threw the same t-shirt and shorts on.
I frowned at my pillow, noticing the folded piece of paper that sat on it. I could’ve sworn it wasn’t there when I had slipped my clothes off. How did someone get it in my room without me hearing? And more importantly, why was there no scent?
I grimaced as I turned the paper in my hand, my eyes widening at the picture that fell from it. I could easily make out my own form in the photo.
I was standing in front of the woods, looking around as I slipped inside. That was taken today, as I was heading to the secret swimming hole.
I set the picture on my dresser and let my eyes scan over the note.
You shouldn’t be wandering around alone, Lola.
The weird note set me on edge and I wondered who it could be. I couldn’t see Alpha Asher doing this, he already tormented me in person. The only other people that came to mind were Chelsea, Tyler or Ethan. There was no way Tyler would get close enough to this pack to leave a note in my room, not with Alpha Asher trying to end his life.
Ethan seemed like a flimsy suspect, but I could totally see Chelsea doing something like this.
I rolled my eyes and stuffed the note in my dresser. Without a second thought, I climbed into bed and succ*mbed to sleep.
I woke up screaming.
Someone was shaking me and the second I opened my eyes, I noticed someone’s face much too close to my own.
“Geez, Lola!” Breyona groaned, clapping her hands over her ears, “You’re gonna bust my damn ear drum!”
“What the hell!” I gasped, sitting up in bed as I glared at her.
“Dude it’s almost one in the afternoon.” She rolled her eyes, placing her hands on her narrow hips.
“And you couldn’t wake me up like a normal person?” I raised my eyebrow at her, dragging myself out of bed.
She shrugged, a mischievous smile on her face. “It didn’t cross my mind.”
“Oh, I’m sure.” I rolled my eyes at her. I grabbed a thigh-length floral dress and slipped it on, throwing on a pair of black sneakers as well.
I didn’t bother shooing Breyona away as I changed, I had been raised with Breyona. We first shifted together as kids, so nudity was never an issue between us.
“Since when did you get muscular?” Breyona asked, sitting on the love seat in my room as I brushed through my hair.
I shrugged, “An entire year of training does that.”
“I need to go wherever you went.” Breyona chuckled.
“I’m sure grandma would be more than happy to take you in.” I giggled.
“I wish. After the fight with Alpha’s pack my mom has become a little overbearing.” Breyona shuddered.
I frowned, “I understand that though. My mom was her close friend.”
“I understand it, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it.” Breyona frowned as well. “How are you doing with that though? I can’t imagine it.”
I was silently thankful for Breyona’s care-free attitude and the fact that she didn’t feel the need to coddle me.
“I’m dealing with it.” I shrugged, “Maybe I handle death weird, but I don’t know. It’s sad and I miss her like crazy, but I don’t feel like breaking down all the time.”
“Hey, everyone grieves differently.” Breyona shrugged, changing the subject to the cafe we were going to eat at.
We walked a couple blocks to the cafe, not bothering to take her car. The weather felt amazing and I didn’t mind wasting the time.
The cafe had quickly changed in the time I had been gone. It used to have this old fashioned feel to it, but now it was completely modernized.
“I like it.” I nodded, looking around at the decor approvingly.
Breyona nodded in agreement, “They updated the menu too. The avocado burger is amazing.” She laughed as she licked her lips.
We chatted over lunch, rekindling the strong friendship we once had.
The day went by quickly and before I knew it, I was climbing into bed. Part of me dreaded training tomorrow morning. The bruises had just faded from my last training session with Alpha Asher.
Luckily, I remembered to set my alarm for training. I met Brianna outside and we walked to the pack house together. After dropping our bags off in the locker room, we made our way to the mats.
We stood and chattered for a few more moments, only stopping when Alpha Asher walked in. He was flanked by two men, who I learned were Alexander and Jax.
Both men were huge, covered head to toe in various scars. I could see why Alpha Asher’s pack was so intimidating, all of the men were giant and scarred.
“Attention everyone,” Alpha Asher’s deep voice silenced everyone in the room. His very presence demanded everyone’s undivided attention. “Pair off into your groups and begin, Alexander and Jax will be around to help.”
And with that everyone scattered. I reluctantly made my way over to Alpha Asher, dreading the next few hours.
“We have a new addition,” Alpha Asher told me, his honey colored gaze locked on my own, “You will be his partner for the time being.”
A guy I hadn’t seen before approached Alpha Asher and I. He was cute in a boyish sort of way. He had light blonde hair and chocolate colored eyes. His build was muscular, but not giant like Alpha Asher and his men. The guy had a round baby face that made him cuter, and a cheeky smile that brought one to my own face.
I could feel Alpha Asher’s eyes on me as I turned to greet the new addition.
“Are you gonna do what I think you’re gonna do?” Maya chuckled and I smirked in response.
“If you mean try to make Alpha Asher jealous, then yes I am.” I snickered.
“I’m Mason.” He smiled at me, and I felt my lips turn up in response. He was much taller than me, but then again everyone is.
“Lola.” I nodded at him.
He gave me a goofy smirk, “I’ll try to take it easy on you then, Lola.”
I giggled mischievously, “Oh don’t worry, I can take care of myself.”
“We’ll see about that shorty.” Mason chuckled and I followed him over to an empty space. I stifled my smirk when I glanced at Alpha Asher’s face, the gold swirls visible in his eyes.
The second Mason attempted to hit me, I could tell he was trying to go easy on me. That fact annoyed me, but I decided to have some fun with it.
Mason lunged forward, his arm extended to throw a punch at my face. He was slow even on human standards. I smirked as his fist got closer to my face, only moving when it was an inch away. I grabbed his fist with my hand and wrapped my leg around his arm in a move that Chris spent weeks teaching me.
I twisted my torso and shifted my weight towards the ground, sending Mason tumbling forward. I rolled gracefully whilst Mason landed on his face.
His head popped up from the floor, his blonde hair tousled as he looked at me with surprise.
“I guess you can take care of yourself.” He gave me a lopsided grin.
I laughed at him, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
The rest of practice went on swimmingly. Mason had some skill as a fighter, but he was much too slow to keep up with me. While he had strength on his side, I had speed.
I watched the sweat trail down his biceps as he attempted punch after punch, unable to land a single one.
“What are you?” Mason breathed heavily, tumbling to the ground, “Some kind of tiny ninja?”
“sh*t, you blew my cover Mason.” I giggled, rolling between his legs and nailing a solid kick to his balls.
Mason groaned and doubled over, “That was a cheap shot, Lola.”
I giggled as his face turned red, I really hadn’t kicked him hard.
“You’re right.” I nodded, giving him a sympathetic smile, “I’m not very strong, so I have to hit where it counts.”
“If my junk stops working, I’m coming for you.” Mason warned, but a smile played at his lips.
I gave him a look of mock horror and he rolled his eyes.
For once, training ended on a good note. I didn’t feel sore for once and I actually had a good time. Alexander and Jax helped me with my punches and kicks, and I realized they were much scarier up close. Attractive, but frightening. What was even better, I could feel Alpha Asher’s eyes on me the entire time.
At the end of training I followed Mason out the doors and waited for Breyona to catch up.
“You coming?” Mason turned around just as I stopped walking.
I nodded in the direction of the pack house, “Waiting for a friend!”
“I’ll wait with you.” He smiled, leaning on the wall next to me.
“You did great in there, Lola!” A curvy girl with flaming hair grinned at me, giving me a small wave. I recognized her as a shy girl named Katie. She had lived next to Breyona for as long as I could remember.
I smiled back at her, “Thanks!” I called out.
I frowned, “So why haven’t I seen you around before?”
Mason shrugged, “I was here for a couple years as a kid, but my grandpa got sick and needed help so we moved. He died last year and we finally decided to move back.”
“So, how old are you?” I blurted the first thing that came to mind, wanting to change the topic.
Mason gave me a goofy smiled that told me he appreciated my abrupt subject change, “I’m nineteen. And how old are you, Lola?”
“Eighteen.” I smiled back.
“There you are! I was looking for you.” Breyona’s smiled, the pack house door’s closing behind her.
I gave her an apologetic smile, “Breyona this is Mason. Mason this is Breyona.” I smiled at the two of them.
“You sure you wanna put up with her Mason?” Breyona smirked, “She beat you pretty hard today.”
I stifled a giggle at Breyona’s blunt self.
“Oh she did. I had no idea she was that skilled.” Mason chuckled, “I don’t think she’s too bad though.” He smirked as he shot me a quick wink.
Breyona walked home with the two of us. We all laughed and exchanged stories about our childhood. Breyona left first, her house was the first on our block.
Mason and I approached my house and I turned to see him off.
“Is this your place?” Mason’s eyes roamed over the house I had grew up in.
I shrugged, “Yup, that’s home.”
“So has Alpha assigned you patrol duty yet?” Mason turned away from my house with a grin on his face.
I sighed, remembering I had to start today. “Yeah, I start at 6 p.m.”
His chocolate colored eyes lit up, making him look like an excited kid. “I start at the same time!”
I couldn’t contain my grin at the sight of his excited face, “Wanna meet up?”
“Sure! I’ll be at your place at 5:45 p.m!” He grinned and gave me a wave before running off down the street.
I went inside and managed to have a couple hours of down time and dinner with my family. After taking a shower and throwing on a black tank-top and leggings, it was almost time to go.
A knock sounded on the door and I hopped off the couch. I almost knocked Mason down as I barreled out of the house.
Being friends with Mason was effortless. Mason and Breyona were two of the easiest people to get along with. They were both genuinely nice and never excluded anyone.
We reported to the posted patrol site and met up with the others on duty. After assigning groups and routes, we set off to scan our respective areas.
Mason and I were paired a lanky looking guy named Kyle and a muscular girl named Ashlynn.
Ashlynn gave us a friendly smile as we all shifted and took off running.
Maya stretched her legs happily and bounded off after Mason and the others. While she wanted to run and explore, she set her mind to the task at hand.
The wind rushing through your fur is an intoxicating feeling, the feeling of freedom.
We ran the perimeter of our area and stopped for a few moments. We let our wolves simply wander, still scanning the area for any threats.
‘Guys on the southern side. Something came barreling through the woods, we couldn’t make out what it was. Most likely just a rogue. Keep your eyes peeled, it was heading in your direction.” One of the patrol members called out through the mind-link.
Maya’s fur bristled in excitement. She longed to run at her full capacity, to sink her teeth into something.
The four of us froze as we heard the snapping of branches. The sound was coming from all around us.
“He said it was only one.” Mason’s sandy colored wolf whipped it’s head around.
I frowned and Maya let out a low growl, “It sounds like more than one, but I trust the others.”
“We need to split up.” Kyle suggested, and it was a solid idea.
Ashlynn’s voice chimed in, “They sound like their moving. If it’s only one, how can it be moving in two separate directions?”
“We need to split up. Ashlynn and Kyle, take the left. Mason and I will head in the opposite direction. If anything approaches you, call the others.” I barked orders at the three of them, and it was a strange feeling.
Mason and I bounded off into the forest, letting our ears guide us to whatever was running.
“Something feels off.” I mumbled. Whatever we were chasing had no scent. Typically rogues smelled like rotting flesh. A wolf who could cover their scent was incredibly strong and resourceful.
“You think so?” Mason’s wolf let out a low whine.
The only sound was that of cracking branches, and paws hitting the wet earth.
We skidded to a stop when we reached a small clearing. The only thing lighting up the clearing was the bright moon that hung in the sky.
The rustling was coming from all around us and I growled in frustration.
“Whatever it is, it’s circling us.” Maya growled, her fur bristling at the thought of a fight.
As soon as it began circling us, it all of a sudden came to a stop. The entire clearing was silent.
“It’s- It’s gone.” Mason’s voice was laced with confusion.
It wasn’t running from us – It was leading us.
I felt my eyes widen as a head of flaming hair came into view.
What was she doing all the way out here?
“Call the others, Mason.” My voice was quiet, but the strength in my words surprised me. I was never one to take control of a situation, but that was just something else that had changed about me.
“Wha-” Mason started, but his question was cut short when he looked into her glassy eyes.
Sitting against a tree, a mere thirty feet away was Katie.
Her flaming hair rustled in the breeze as her green eyes peered lifelessly at the two wolves who approached her.
The scarlet blood that soaked her neck was only a shade darker than her hair.
Her throat was torn out and her mouth was open as though she were letting out a silent scream.