The Silent Alpha Chapter 33: Falling

***Zane***

Talia orders a pizza and the three of us sit by the fort and watch Shrek in Spanish.I can’t follow most of what is being said but the subtitles help.

Talia seems restless as we watch, glancing at me from the corner of her eye every so often and shifting on her pillow over and over again.

I know there’s something on her mind but I cannot bring myself to invade her privacy, so I timidly place my hand over hers, Talia flinching as the sparks ignite between us.

Ashamed, I pull my hand away but she takes it in hers and interlocks our fingers, muttering an apology under her breath.

“Sorry…it’ll just take a little getting used to,” she blushes, her thumb caressing mine.

“Your hands are…warm…” she smiles nervously.

She says nothing more, turning her attention back to the movie.

I want to ask her what is on her mind but before I can figure out a way to communicate, there’s a knock at the door.

A bit of dread settles in the pit of my stomach when I see Evan standing in the doorway.

He tries to hide his worried face with a smile, but his eyes give him away.

“The Queen wishes to speak to both of you about today’s… incident,” he says, carefully picking his words.

“Zane didn’t do anything wrong,”

Talia huffs, taking a Grayson practically swoons over the gesture and like a love sick puppy, demands to come out and mark her on sight.

Is that all you can think about right now? I snap at him, knowing we are very likely going to get kicked off the territory for his behavior.

No, I’m definitely thinking about her t**s too, Grayson replies nonchalantly.

Just look at how she’s puffing out her chest.

They look great in this top…

I despise you, I sigh, knowing there is no way to trade wolves at this point.

Trust me, I’d trade humans in a heartbeat, he retorts.

“I never said Zane did anything wrong,”

Evan explains calmly, though I can see the fear flicker in his eyes as he backs away from my small Latina mate who glares furiously at him.

“”Trust me, I would have loved to piss on Benoit Perrault years ago.”

“So then why-“

“Things are more complicated than you think and unfortunately, Zane and his wolf only made things worse,”

Evan interrupts.

“Please, just come to the Pack house so Aurora can speak to you both.”

Seeing that we would have to face Aurora sooner or later, we grab Kota and head to the pack house where Evan takes Kota out to play with Rio on the lawn while Talia and I head upstairs to Aurora’s office.I don’t smell the visiting Alphas anywhere, meaning they nervous.

Talia must be nervous too because she holds my hand as I open the door to the office, giving it a tight squeeze as we enter.

The tension in the room is thick, Aurora resting her head in her hands as she focuses on her breathing while her mate, Oliver, gives me a murderous look.

Carter, their Beta, seems to be the only one not upset at the moment, greeting both Talia and I with a smile.

A spine tingling fear washes over me when Oliver opens his mouth to speak.

“Do you have any idea what you two have done?”

Oliver growls, his blue eyes flickering between sapphire and silver.

“Do you have ANY idea how much you f****d up-“

“Oliver, stop it…”

Aurora warns, her face stern as she looks at her husband.

“Let them speak for themselves before you place blame on anyone.”

“You know as well as I do that it does not matter what the reason was.Zane had no right to pee on an Alpha visiting my territory!”

“Our territory,”

Aurora corrects him, Oliver’s mouth closing instantly.

“You forget, Zane and Talia are my guests here and Benoit, as a visitor, should have respected me by respecting my guests.You and I both know he has not!”

“So what do you propose we do?”

Oliver shakes his head in disbelief.

“That we should just let Zane get away with throwing away everything we’ve worked hard on building because he can’t “You’re one to talk,”

Aurora retorts, Carter coughing to hold back his laughter.

Oliver gives him a deadly look, Carter holding up his hands in surrender.

“I think I need some air,”

Oliver mutters, storming past me.

“Je t’aime,” Aurora calls after him, Oliver pausing at the door and taking a deep breath.

“I love you too,” he sighs, closing the door after him as he steps out.

Aurora lets out a large breath of air, pinching the bridge of her nose as she once again rests her head in her hands.

“Aurora, I can explain,” Talia says when the suffocating silence becomes too much.

“Zane was just-” Aurora holds up her hand, Talia clamping her mouth shut.

“I already know what happened,” She mumbles, finally looking up at us.

“I saw your memories as soon as you walked in.”

She runs her fingers through her hair and leans back in her chair with her eyes closed.

“Unfortunately, it does not make this situation any better.”

“What exactly is the issue?” Talia asks for both of us.

“Benoit is just another Alpha.”

“What’s the issue?”

Aurora laughs sarcastically, sitting up straighter.

“The issue is that Lune De Minuit is River Moon’s the pack company, but they also have a huge influence over our other shareholders.Alpha Jacques’s eldest daughter, Adeline, used to manage these shares before she went rogue 6 months ago.Benoit is the heir apparent to the Alpha title and has been managing the shares from France.He is set to take the title next month, so we planned to have a formal meeting with him next week to discuss the future of our partnership.His father, however, decided to show up two weeks earlier than expected.”

She stops to rub her temples in exhaustion.

“Oliver has been negotiating with Jacque all week to come up with a finalized plan to end the partnership.They came to an agreement this morning until Grayson so graciously pissed on Benoit Perrault.Now, not only are all the negotiations off the table, but Lune de Minuit has declared River Moon and, by proxy, my kingdom, an enemy.”

The young Queen looks like her head might explode with frustration and for a brief moment, she appears overwhelmed with emotions.

“I can’t believe I’ve only been Queen for less than 3 months and I’m about to enter another war,” she whispers under breath, Carter walking over to her and patting her back.

“Give yourself a little credit,” he chuckles.

“You were Luna for like 5 minutes before we went to war with the Witches and you took them down in less than 3 weeks.You can handle a snobby Alpha and his son with your hands tied behind your back.”

Aurora does not smile but his words seem to have given her the comfort she needed.

An enormous wave of guilt washes over the Queen.

“It’s not your fault,” Aurora says after a deep sigh.

“Benoit would have managed to cause trouble with or without Grayson’s help,” she laughs dryly.

“But did it have to be piss?”

You’re lucky I held back, Grayson snickers.It was either piss or rip out his throat.

You should be thanking me.Would you shut the f**k up? I snap, Aurora bursting into laughter.

“Me cae bien tu lobo, {I like your wolf},”

Aurora giggles, before her face once again grows stern.

“But he needs to learn discipline.I wholeheartedly disagree, Grayson replies before I shove him to the back of my mind.

“I still have something to discuss with both of you,” Aurora says, her eyes switching between Talia and I.

“Are we being kicked out?” Talia asks, her hand squeezing mine.

“That depends entirely on you,” Aurora responds with a shrug as she rests her hands on her desk.

“I made you a promise that I would keep you safe and I have failed you now on two occasions,” she smiles halfheartedly.

“And now it looks like the time of peace in my Kingdom is over.”

Talia shifts nervously on her feet so I wrap my arm around her waist and pull her close to remind her she has me to lean on.

“I know you have your reservations about wolves, so I don’t adds.”

“I could always make arrangements to place you somewhere else while Gwen completes her mission…But I would really love it if you stayed.”

Talia goes very quiet for a moment, wrapping her arms around my stomach and burying her nose in my chest.

“Dakota really likes it here,” Talia whispers to herself, though we all hear her.

“He’s never been around other pups…I had forgotten how much pups need to be around other wolves.He’ll have questions that I don’t know the answer to…And there are some good wolves here that he can look up to,” she admits.

“It could be good for Kota.”She looks like she has more to say before now, that is all she has to offer.

“So is that a yes?” Aurora asks with a hopeful smile.

“Well, what do you think, Zane?” Talia murmurs, slowly tilting her head to look up at me.

“Should we stay?”

Heat rushes to my cheeks andI blink ather.She’s asking me? No, Zane.She’s asking your shadow, Grayson grumbles, the desire to punch my own wolf growing by the second.

“Will you protect Kota and I?”

Talia whispers, her thick lashes fluttering at me.

With my life, Iwant to say but I only manage to nod my head at her, a small but beautiful smile curling on her lips.

“Then we’ll stay…” Talia replies, turning to look at Aurora.

“might like it.”

“I’ll see to it that he’s enrolled.I’m glad to see River Moon is slowly changing your perception of us wolves,”

Aurora chuckles, Talia’s cheeks turning red.

The young Queen rummages through her drawers and plucks out an envelope, holding it out for me to take.

“Which reminds me, in less than a month, there will be a Night of Melodies ritual.Four of our pups will receive their wolves over the next few weeks and will be initiated into River Moon as official pack members.We would be most honored if you would join us in this celebration.It will take place on the Buck Moon, perfect for the pups to test out their new wolves.There will be lots of food and music and plenty of pups for Kota to play with.It should be fun if you choose to come.”

“Thank you, your Majesty,” Talia replies quietly, taking the envelope from my hand.

“Are we free to leave now?”

“Yes, I just have one more question for Zane,”

Aurora says as she rises to her feet and switches to telepathy.

“Zane, you asked if you could work here in River Moon and I think I have something you could do.Would you be at all interested in guard training? Now that we have a new enemy on the horizon, it would be nice to have another silver wolf helping to protect the pack.You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to and you don’t have to give mean answer right now but-“

“Yes!” I reply almost too quickly, Grayson rolling his eyes at me for my eagerness to be useful.”I mean, yes, your Majesty.I would like that very much.”

“Great!”she says aloud.

You can start first thing Monday morning, 6 am sharp.Evan can pick you up and he’ll take it from there.

Her eyes suddenly fog over and she heaves a heavy sigh, Carter laughing at her.

“Well if that’s everything, I’m apparently late for a meeting with the other Alpha’s.You are dismissed.”

Talia and I collect Kota from the lawn and head back to the house.

Natalia

The idea of an impending war is unsettling.

Silver Crest experienced a time of peace during my reign as Luna and I’d only ever seen one rogue attack.It was small and luckily no one got hurt but it pales in comparison to an all out war against sophisticated werewolves.

Having Zane and Grayson with me, however, puts my mind at ease.

They would protect Kota without hesitation.

“What did the Queen ask you?” I finally ask when we arrive at the guest house.

For a second, it appears Zane might actually answer, his mouth opening a little but ultimately, he bites his tongue and finds his phone to type out his reply.

I do my best to remind myself that he is probably just afraid to speak to me, but it hurts nonetheless that he will not use his voice around me because Zane suddenly looks very nervous, as if waiting for me to scream at him.

To be fair, though, I know I have not been the kindest person to him so I understand that it will take some time for him to open up to me.

Patience, Itell myself, forcing a smile on my face.

Just be patient.I stand on the tips of my toes and press my lips against his, Zane’s eyes widening with shock at the sudden kiss.

It takes a moment for him to finally react but when he does, my entire body fills with sparks as his arms wrap around my waist.

“Eww mommy, eww!”

Kota squeals, a huge grin on his face as he holds his hands over his eyes.

“No more kisses for Zane, mommy!” I pull away from Zane and bend over to pick up Kota.

“Should I kiss you instead?”I ask, showering his chubby cheeks with kisses.

“No!” Kota screams, bursting into laughter as I tickle his belly.

Zane remains frozen in his place like a statue, his cheeks and ears bright red.

I lean forward to peck him on the lips, Zane only blinking at me.

Perhaps I am being too forward? I wonder, feeling a little dejected by his lack of enthusiasm.

I want to turn away and hide under a rock for letting my feelings get the best of me, when Zane suddenly cups my cheeks my stomach, their wings fluttering with glee with every movement of Zane’s delicious lips.

“Ewww, cooties,” Kota cries, once again covering his eyes as I reluctantly pull away from Zane.

“Okay, you little gremlin,” I laugh, making farting noises on his cheeks.

“How about you and I go look for a room for you tonight?” I ask, tickling him.

Zane tilts his head in confusion.

“A room all for me?” Kota asks, grinning from ear to ear.

“A room just for you,” I say, tapping his nose.

“You will be sleeping by yourself like a big boy tonight.What do you think? “

“Yeah!”

Kota nods his head, his big eyes twinkling with delight.

I carry Kota upstairs, but not without noticing Zane blushing furiously at the prospect of being alone with me tonight.

Kota picks the room at the end of the hall with a large window facing the River Moon Packhouse after inspecting all the rooms thoroughly and testing the mattresses for maximum bounciness.

I bring him all of his clothes and the few toys that he brought to make the room feel like his.

As a finishing touch, Kota places his stuffed wolf on the bed to sleep with him.

Around bedtime, I settle Kota into bed, cuddling with him for a moment.

“Kota?” I ask as I comb his hair with my fingers playing with his ears.

“Does….Does Zane ever talk to you?” I ask, biting my lower lip as I wait for his response.

Kota scrunches up his nose and laughs at me.

“Uh huh,” he nods his head.

“All the time.”

“And what do you guys talk about?” He shrugs, petting his wolf’s fur.

“Stuff.”

“What kind of stuff?” I pry, wanting to know just how long Kota and Zane have talked without me knowing.

“Poop!” Kota squeals.

“Kota, I’m being serious,”

I sigh, frowning at the little boy.I don’t get much information from him, however, Kota being too excited to sleep in his own room so I give up trying entirely.

It takes me an hour to finally put Kota to bed, my own energy drained from all of today’s activities.

I drag myself back to my room where I find Zane setting up a pillow and blanket for himself on the floor, reminding me that I had told him he could share the bed with me to keep Kota from curling up on the floor with him.

“You can sleep with me if you want,” I blurt out, covering my mouth in embarrassment almost immediately after the words leave my mouth.

“I-I mean you can sleep on the bed..with me,” I correct myself, Zane’s ears turning pink.

He nervously gathers his things and stares at me for a hold back my laughter when he trips over his own blanket and lands on his back on the bed, a part of his shirt riding up to his belly button.

I see a glimpse of an S-shaped scar on his hip but he quickly fixes his shirt to hide it.I do my best to pretend not to notice the shame in his eyes as he scrambles to hide under the covers and I climb into bed with him, pulling the covers down to reveal his red face.

“Why do you hide from me?” I ask, his dark brown eyes unable to meet mine.

I tilt his chin up, forcing him to look at me.

“Why did you hide your stutter from me?”

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