The Silent Alpha Chapter 52: Red Water

***Zanet***

After Talia’s former Gamma called last night, Talia went into a frantic terror, shaking violently with both rage and fear that her ex-mate was trying to locate our son.

It was not until I brought Kota in to stay with us for the night that she finally calmed down enough to go to sleep.

Grayson, however, was too enraged to stay quiet, so I let him out to patrol around the house while our mate and pup slept soundly.

Now as the dawn breaks over the horizon, I shift into my human form, changing into a pair of shorts and stumbling back into the room.

“Tell Christian he can go to hell.My son already has a Dad and I have an Alpha who I am going to love.I am going to love him and I am going to be happy because after all these years spent being angry and full of hatred, I deserve to have my happily ever after,”

Talia snarls into the phone before hanging up and huffing loudly to herself.She looks up to see me standing in the doorway, her cheeks heating up as she curls back up in bed with our sleeping pup.

I don’t know what to say as a kaleidoscope of butterflies flutters about from my stomach to my head.

Talia pats the empty space beside her, coaxing me to come to bed with her as she pulls the covers open for me.I crawl into bed, She interlocks our hands and brings them to her lips, kissing my knuckles gently as she speaks.

“Christian wants to make me his Luna and take Kota as his next heir,” she murmurs, her other hand brushing away Kota’s hair from his face.

A low growl rumbles through my chest, Talia chuckling softly to herself at Grayson’s possessiveness.

“And it appears my sister ended up in a coma after attempting to turn,” she sighs.

I rest my chin on her shoulder and pull her closer to my chest.

“A-are you al-alright?” I ask, Talia shrugging to herself.

“I have let Vanessa and Christian control my life for several years now,” she whispers.

“And for a long time, I’ve been living in fear of my own heart, too afraid to let anyone else get close enough to hurt me again.It’s so much easier being alone; it’s comfortable.No one can hurt you,” https://novelebook.com/she adds with a small shrug.

I hold my breath as she guides my hand to her chest and presses it over her heart.

“Do you feel my heart racing?” she asks, the thumping of her heart drumming against the palm of my hand.

“y-yes.”

“It hasn’t done that in a long time,” she murmurs in breathy whispers.

“But my heart races every time I’m with you…And I realize…I never want to stop feeling that.” to live, to grow, to fight intensifying as she speaks her truth.

“I want to be yours, truly and completely yours,” Talia whispers, turning to look at me with tears tugging at her eyes.

“So I will give you my heart and my soul…even if it terrifies me.Even if I feel I’m not good enough.I’m done letting Christian and Vanessa win.I want to stop running.I want to be happy…and that starts by accepting your mark.”

My eyes widen in shock and I can’t help the giddy smile that stretches across my face.

“R-really?” I ask, Grayson wagging his tail enthusiastically.

What are you doing? Don’t question her, he snaps.She might change her mind!

“Tonight,” she murmurs.

“Mark me tonight.”

I lock eyes with her, trying to decipher if this really is what she wants or if it’s just the fear taking over again.

All I find in her eyes, however, is something no one but my mother has ever looked at me with: acceptance.

I am flawed and tainted by my past, but this perfectly imperfect human still wants me to be the father of her child and the man of her life.What more could I want?

“T-tonight,” I nod, a smile curling on her lips in response as I lean in for a kiss.

“One more thing, Zane,” Talia adds, teasing me by pulling away from my lips.

“How would you feel about asking Queen Aurora if we can stay in River Moon…indefinitely?” She asks, biting on her lower lips as she waits for my reply.

There is nothing to think about, however, as I already feel right at home here, more so than I ever did at Scarlett Haven.

As I part my lips to answer, Kota suddenly sits up, his eyes filing with tears as he looks at us.

“Baby, what’s wrong?” Talia asks, sitting up and opening her arms for him.

“I dream of a bad wolf,” he whines, burying his face in her chest.

“And red water. Lots of red water on you, mommy.”

“Red water?” She asks, turning to look at me in confusion.

” What red water?”

“Red water everywhere!” He cries.

“He was mean to Daddy.Why was he so mean to Daddy?!”

“Okay, okay,” Talia soothes, rubbing his back as she kisses his head.

“Daddy’s okay now.See?”

“NO!” He screams, shaking his head at us.

Talia holds onto the crying pup, whispering soothing words to calm him down.

“K-Kota,” I whisper, leaning into him.

“Do y-you want to see the bu-butterflies?”

“NO!” Kota snarls, aggressively wiping his tears and hiding his face from me.

An idea pops into my head and I grab the little stuffed wolf I “W-wolfie, wo-would y-you like to go see the bu-butterflies with me?”

I ask the stuffed wolf, Talia picking up on my redirect tactic and smirking at me.

In a much lower voice, I respond to my own question.

“Y -yes, Za-Zane, I-I want to see the bu-butterflies.”

“W-what about y-you, Ta-Talia? Wo-would y-you like to go see the bu-butterflies with me?” I ask, Talia nodding happily.

“I would love to come,” she giggles.

“Kota, do you want to come with us?”

“Nuh-uh,” he mutters, shaking his head.

“Well then K-Kota can stay here all b-by himself and we can g-go see the bu-butterflies,” I say in my deep voice through the wolf.

“That’s a great idea,” Talia adds, gently sliding Kota off her lap.

“Let me just brush my teeth and get dressed and then we can go.” We both start to get up when Kota very timidly crawls to the edge of the bed.

“Can I come?” he asks, wiping his tired face.

“Of c-course y-you can,” I say, shoving the wolf in his face and peppering him with wolf kisses.

“I-I love y-you K-Kota.Y-You’re my b-best friend and I-1 will never let an-anyone hurt y-you.”

The little boy gives into the wolf’s kisses and allows himself to be washed and dressed by his mother, but his dream lingers in my mind.

haunting my son’s dreams and why was Talia covered in blood? I don’t get much time to dwell on the dream as the three of us make our way downstairs for breakfast where we find Agnes already hard at work over the stove.

The scent of freshly made pancakes, eggs, bacon, and potatoes fills my nostrils, my mouth watering with hunger.

Kota wastes no time in greeting Agnes, tapping on her leg to get her attention and waving hello at her.

She greets us all, our eyes meeting for a brief moment.

There i] is fear and despair on her kind face as she hurries to fix us each a plate, and I realize she is trying to make herself useful to me.

Her hands tremble as she sets a plate in front of me, guilt filling my heart for my cold behavior towards her last night.

“I made your favorite,” she signs anxiously.

“I know you probably don’t need me now that she’s back but I just wanted to-“

I don’t let her sign any more nonsense, pulling her into my arms in a tight embrace.

At first, she remains stiff, as if unsure if she had the right to touch me after last night but when I refuse to pull away, she finally wraps her arms around my waist.

Tears stain my shirt as she lets her pain trickle down her cheeks and I only squeeze her tighter.

Kota asks why Agnes is crying but Talia only whisks him away and sets our breakfast out on the patio to give Agnes and I some privacy.

When I pull away, Agnes frantically wipes her tears and”I know I don’t deserve your forgiveness, but I never meant to hurt you. I just couldn’t bring myself to tell you the truth about why I came to Scarlett Haven,” she pleads.

“Please forgive me, but if you can’t, I understand.”

“I’m not angry at you,” I reply honestly.

“I realize now you were only doing what you thought was best.It is I who should be thanking you for all the years of your care.You were so broken and yet you chose to care for the son of the man who killed your child.You chose to be my family when I had no family left to care for me.My mother may be alive, but her presence can’t erase all the love you gave me,”

I sign, tears gathering in Agnes’ eyes once more.

“It was you who held my hand during my first shift, you who shielded me with your body during a beating, you who washed my wounds after a long day of labor, you who taught me how to speak when I had no voice to do so.I love you, Mom.https://novelebook.com/I will always love you.”

She does her best to hold back her tears but her feelings get the best of her and she sobs into her hands, her body relaxing with relief that I still see her as my mother.

I once again wrap her up in my arms, shielding her from the world as she cries.

When she’s let out all of her emotions, I lead her out into the patio where we find Talia and Kota hunched over a patch of grass.

(***F.uck you N**elJar, Nov*leb**k, and SWN**el.Stop stealing my work, you cuntchops!***) murmurs, pointing to three lady bugs crawling along some blades of grass.

“1 spot, 2 spots, 3 spots…”

Talia’s voice trails off as we all hear the sound of soft footsteps tapping towards us.

Rionna takes timid steps down the walkway, a small tray wrapped in tinfoil visible in her hands as she approaches.

She sets the tray on the patio table and smiles nervously at us.

“Good morning,” she both says and signs to us, shock washing over me that she can sign.

“I saw you guys having breakfast outside.I thought I’d join you, unless perhaps you’ve changed your mind about sharing a meal with me.I can leave if it’s too much right now,” she signs as she speaks.

I’m at a complete loss of words as I stare back at my mother, still in shock that after all of these years, she’s still alive, still here.

Luckily for me, Kota fills the awkward silence with his nosy self and he points to the tray on the table.

“What’s that?” he asks, giving Rionna a cheeky grin as he bats his thick lashes at her.

She smiles and pulls back the tin foil wrap to reveal freshly baked coffee cake, an involuntary gasp escaping my lips as a number of memories come flooding back to me.

“I made some coffee cake,” she explains, showing Kota the delicious treats.

“I don’t remember if I liked it in the past, but it’s my favorite breakfast treat now,” she shrugs.

“Y-you loved coffee ca-ake,” I mumble and sign, turning away coffee cake we used to share when she would come visit me in my prison.

“Y-you used to dr-draw happy faces on the ca-cakes with the cinna-cinnamon and icing… be-because they ma-made me laugh.”

“Oh,” Rionna whispers, looking down at the little coffee cake slices she still decorated with icing and cinnamon smiles.

“I-I didn’t…I’m sorry.”

“Do-don’t be!” I shake my head at her, Rionna jumping a little from the enthusiasm in my voice.

“I-I’m glad y-you came.S-sit.I-’ll serve y-you.”

I practically run into the house to grab another plate of food, feeling giddy inside to have both of my mothers, my mate and my son with me for breakfast.As I return with the food, I find Rionna sitting across from Agnes, both deeply enthralled in a conversation.

“You are still his mother,” Rionna explains to her.

“So if it’s alright with you, I would like the opportunity to get to know the man you raised.”

“He used to talk about you a lot,” Agnes replies timidly.

“I can only hope they were good things,” Rionna smiles at her.

“He loved you very much,” Agnes responds.

“It was hard living up to a ghost sometimes…”

“I’m afraid I might be in the same boat,” Rionna sighs.

“He may be disappointed in me.I don’t remember what Elenore was enough.Good thing he still has you.It’s a relief to know he wasn’t completely alone in my absence.”

I nearly drop the mug in my hand as I read their conversation, the sound of me fumbling with the mug startling Rionna.You would literally make the worst ninja, Grayson sighs.l ignore him as Rionna comes up to take the plate and mug from me and we gather around the patio table, Kota settling beside Rionna and asking her a million questions.

“What’s your name? Where do you live? What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite animal? Do you know where clouds come from? Do all flowers smell good? Why is your hair gray? Do you have a wolf? Does it also have gray hair? Can I sit on your lap?”

Rionna answers each question with a smile but by the end of breakfast, I still know very little about her and her new life.

Sensing my growing sadness, Talia slips her hand into mine.

“The girls at the hospital tell me there’s a flea market in the outskirts of the city,” she announces.

“Perhaps we can all go for a little shopping trip and some fresh air? Maybe some raspados {shaved ice}?” she adds, wiggling her eyebrows at Kota who jumps up excitedly.

“I would love that very much,” Rionna replies.

“I’ll just get my purse and maybe change into something more comfortable for the weather.It’s quite warm today,” she chuckles.

She excuses herself while we put away the dishes and get his hair like mine, and redresses him in shorts and a tank top for the heat.

When Rionna returns, she seems a little upset, her brows furrowed in thought.

I want to ask her what’s wrong but she only forces a smile and waves her hand a little to indicate that it’s nothing for me to worry about.I realize it likely has to do with Toran so I decide it’s best I not pressure her for answers.

The four of us pile into the car Aurora has lent us for the duration of our stay, Talia taking the wheel as we head out of River Moon territory.

We turn up the radio, Kota shocking us all as he sings along to Cardi B’s WAP.

“No more tablet for you,” Talia mutters as she starts to change the station.

Fear washes over her features when she looks up at the road again, and she shoves me over to the side of the passenger window.

“Look out!” she screams, the sound of a gunshot followed by the cracking of the windshield ringing in my ears as the car swerves from side to side down the middle of the road.

Something warm splatters onto my shoulder as I reach for the steering wheel and pull the e-brake so we don’t drive off the road.

The car finally comes to a stop and when I look up, I see my mate covering a gaping wound on the right side of her neck near her collarbone, blood spilling between her fingers.

“Talia?”

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