Owned By The Alphas: Part Five

BOOK: Owned By The Alphas: Part Five
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Owned By The Alphas
Part Five
Faleena Hopkins
Contents

O
wned
By The Alphas 5

By Faleena Hopkins

Cover Image Calt © CuraPhotography

Cover Image Al & Red © Kiselev Andrey Valerivich

Cover Image Wolf © Outdoorsman

Cover Image Moon © Suppakij17

Licensed through:
Shutterstock.com

Published by Hop Hop Publications

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission of the publisher.

Copyright © 2015 Faleena Hopkins

All Rights Reserved

Part 5 - Description

S
POILER ALERT
- read books 1-4 before reading on…

R
ed’s asked
her to leave with him, and Ali in her baser, primal form, could not deny him. With the packs coming to rescue them, what’s going to happen when the battleground reveals only the remains of a grizzly, its orphan, and empty clothes the new she-wolf no longer needs?

Just when the rules were about to change in Calt’s pack, the other alpha had to go and change the game.

Where there is love there is life.

Mahatma Gandhi

1

T
he sounds layering
the wind were highly distracting now that Ali’s senses were heightened. More than just the flurry of snow, she could actually hear the snowflakes hitting against one another, a tapping that grew less gentle as the storm increased. The gusts were thunderous now and the only thing that could penetrate past them was Red’s voice. Its vibration was so throaty and masculine that she stared at him a second longer each time he finished talking, so struck by the sound.

“There has to be a place to hide from these winds. They’re tearing at my open skin.” The pain was evident on his face and the slowness of his movements. The gashes in his body were grotesque and hard to look at, especially now that snow and ice had lodged in them. The one good thing about the cold was that the blood had stopped flowing. He had lost too much already, and she worried for him, no matter what he said. They stayed close to the mountain, the sharp rise showing no route to climb for at least two miles now. They both needed something good to happen.

Where is he taking us? This is insane. Will he last the night? Please God, help us!

Just as they turned a sharp bend, he cried out, “There! You see it?” She followed where he pointed and saw a small, dark cave tucked in a crook of steep granite. He looked down and met her eyes. “Until this storm passes.”

He held his hands in front of his torso as a fresh burst of wind slashed at their bodies. She stayed by his side, glancing up to him often as they trudged toward the jagged hole. He paused and panted against the pain, and Ali nudged his hip with her muzzle, urging him to keep going.

He rasped, “I’m fine. Don’t worry,” and started walking again.

The cave’s entrance was not quite six feet high. Red had to bend to go in, and he grimaced, no longer pretending not to be in agony. Thankfully, inside, the granite ceiling extended upwards, allowing him to stand at full height and not to have to bend the places that stung.

With the dramatic advancement of her night vision, she was able to see inside the primitive space. The walls glistened with a light dew, snow’s condensation swept in by the wind. Stalactites suspended from the dark gray ceiling. The cave narrowed as it went deeper into the mountain and Ali padded in that direction, looking over her shoulder at Red.

“Yes, let’s get further in. There will be no dry wood to gather for a fire. We will have to keep each other warm.” He offered her a weak smile.

He is just as worried as I am. I can see it in his eyes!

The tunnel had only two rooms leading off of it before it stopped in a dead end. He chose the smallest one. “We’ll be able to make the most of our body heat in here.”

He winced as he bent to clear the sharp straws of granite dripping from the door’s arch. Lowering himself to the hard, stone floor, he watched Ali wrap her body around his back to keep his kidneys warm, careful not to touch his wounds with her fur. She’d heard somewhere that if you warm the kidneys, you won’t be as cold; it’s why vests work.

“Thank you, Ali,” he said on an exhale.

She laid her muzzle on his uncut leg and stared at the granite wall in front of her. The details of it were extraordinary, tiny crevices and long flat lines formed by water, eons ago.

“Are you seeing the world for the first time?”

She looked up and nodded. He smiled and touched her face, running one thick finger the length of her snout. She closed her eyes as he swiped between them. “It’s beautiful isn’t it? You know, when I lost the battle, I regretted that the most. I wanted to show you the things I had seen. But it didn’t occur to me until now that you wouldn’t be able to see it like I could, like you can now.” Feeling around, he inspected his leg. “It doesn’t look like it’s going to bleed again. But it’s probably just frozen.”

Ali angled to see the leg. It looked even more ghastly than earlier. She closed her eyes, lowering her chin to the ground.

“Oh now, don’t be like that.” He stared at her. “Don’t you trust me?”

She looked at him.
I never trust a man to admit he needs help, no.

Changing the subject, he offered, “I know what you’re going through. I was a boy when it happened, but I remember how strange everything was. I’m glad I’m here for it. You wouldn’t want to do this alone, as I did.” His eyes grew distant. “Before I became one, I didn’t even know werewolves existed, and then here I was, fighting them on a daily basis. Sometimes to the death.” Surprise shook through her. He met her eyes. “Yes. I killed a few. It was them or me. I had no choice.”

How long do I have to be like this? Can I change back? How do I do that? Help me!

He frowned, trying to read her mind. “Are you angry? I was only protecting myself. These were not good men. Or good wolves.”

No! That’s not what I was thinking! Dammit! This is so frustrating.
She shook her head violently enough to make him smile with relief.

“Okay! Okay. You looked upset. I thought that…” He huffed. “I’m an idiot. Of course you’re upset. You can’t talk. Here I am talking about me, and look at you. You probably feel stuck in there.”

Yes!
She tilted her head, amber eyes softening.
Help.

He blinked at her, then looked away. “I’m trying to remember that part, when it happened to me. It’s so long ago. Are you trying?”

She barked at him, her furry eyebrows knitting together.
Of course I’m trying!

He laughed. “Sorry, but your facial expressions are fucking adorable. You are a very cute wolf.” She laid her chin on the granite floor again, and stared off. “Yeah, pouting isn’t helping. You’re still cute. Maybe even cuter now.”

She shot him a look, trying to hold onto her annoyance, but his smile was infectious. She nuzzled his arm and gave it a lick.

“Thank you for the kiss. Let me think. The first time I turned back was when I went to tell my father. I wanted to face him, as he knew me, and then show him what had happened. If you’re not able to shift then maybe it’s because you don’t want to, yet? No, don’t get annoyed again. I’m saying maybe you’re not ready, or the primitive part of you is enjoying this.” His voice changed from thoughtful to conspiratorial. “Don’t you see? You’ve tapped into the part of you that most of us have forgotten. The part that trusts her instincts. Protects her own. Who knows who she is. You are a wolf, Ali. A beast of the night. You and I can go anywhere. Do anything. The world is open to us.” He exhaled deeply and closed his eyes, adding, “As soon as I get some sleep.”

He closed his eyes and leaned back with her as his cushion. Resting the top of his shoulders against the wall, he winced and adjusted so that no injured part of him was touching anything.

She waited until he settled, and then she closed her eyes, too, thinking on what he said. She liked the sound of it, and agreed that while she hated seeing him hurt, there was a primal part in her that ruled her body now, and her instincts.

I am wild now.

I am free.

2

S
heets of snow
hid the light of the risen moon. Brought together by a common goal, the werewolves crossed the river with great caution. The rocks were even more slippery than before. Tawny’s paws clipped the edge of one and she teetered, nearly slipping into the rapids. Using the adrenaline rush to hone her focus, she leapt to the safety of the next, sending a layer of snow flying as she continued onward. Bloo, Motis, and Jal were just behind, and each of them benefitted from the wolf before them clearing the way.

Tawny barked an alert that they were almost there. She rounded the bend to find the only living thing left on the battle ground was the baby grizzly tucked into its fallen mother, hoping for warmth it could not longer find. Confused, Tawny scanned the area, the snow obscuring her vision just long enough to give her hope that they were here…somewhere.

Bloo arrived at her side as Tawny’s lithe, muscular body stretched up into her human form. The others followed her lead quickly. As their bones finished the change, their faces compacting, Jal and Motis eyed the bears with wary glances.

“Where are they?” Bloo asked, shielding her eyes with her hand as she twisted her body and searched.

Tawny kicked the snow where Red had fallen, revealing bright red bloodstains. Nothing more. “They’re gone? How can that be?” she asked the winds, trying to understand.

“Was there another attack? Another grizzly?” Motis kicked the snow in a larger circle, searching for more blood. Jal helped him, but they found no sign.

Bloo threw up her hands. “They left! Isn’t that what’s happened here? They left together? Can they have done such a stupid thing?”

Tawny shot a look from the corners of narrowed eyes. “We didn’t pass them on the way here.”

Jal blinked snowflakes from his eyelashes. “They could have tried another route! You said Red dropped Ali over the rocks…”

Bloo finished, catching on, “…so maybe they tried another way to cross! Someplace less dangerous.” She scanned the ground, searching for prints that could in no way still be there. “It is possible. Should we search?”

Motis announced, “Red would not abandon us without goodbye.”

Tawny’s doubting gaze shifted from brother to brother. She didn’t want to tell them,
for love? People do things you’d never think they would
, so instead, she offered, “Let’s search for footprints.”

“With this snow?” Jal complained. “There is nothing!”

“We must try!”

The four of them spread out, but enough time had passed that no evidence was left. Through the flurry of wind, a horrible noise sounded. Four pairs of eyes latched onto the baby grizzly as it cried out with longing and need. The females blanched. Bloo shot a glance around the werewolves. “What do we do with the baby?”

As his eyes flashed, Motis snorted. “We eat it!”

Tawny looked at the small beast and felt a pang. She ached for cubs of her own, and the scene was awful, mother and child. “We will not kill it! We will take it back with us and save it.”

Bloo’s gray-eyes grew soft. “We find another answer. Agreed.”

“In these months when food is scarce,” Motis exploded, “you would have us let it live?”

Tawny wiped her face of snow so she could see. A verbal threat to fight him played on her tongue but she bit it back, struggling against the old habit. “You know I am a hunter, Motis. If I ask this of you, can you not give it to me?! I will not see that cub killed. I will not!”

Bloo shouted, throwing her arm to point. “There is the larger bear for food. We have already taken
her
life and so we shall not waste the resources of
that
kill. It is our way, at least with my pack.”

Jal held out a hand to stay his brother’s temper as he somberly agreed, “As with ours.”

Motis glared. “Fine.”

“Good. Now we must think.”

An outburst of wind shot through the air. Bloo paused before calling out over it, “If Red and Ali found another way to get to your den, they will be there when we return. But if they did not…”

Motis exploded, “What makes you think they left together? He would not leave our pack. Not like this!”

Tawny stepped forward, impatient. “You saw his face when she showed up at our den! He could hardly see or think!” Motis’s stubbornness flickered. He
had
seen that, though he didn’t want to admit it, not even to himself. Tawny continued, shouting over the weather. “Red is a great alpha, and he has been honorable in every way. But he loves the female. He just does.”

The brothers exchanged a look as the gusts of snow and sleet whipped between them. No one spoke, and that time felt like an eternity.

Motis snarled, “We search!”

Tawny rolled her eyes and joined the other three as they shifted to wolf-form. They returned to the river, following it deeper south. There was nowhere to cross and spirits plummeted quickly. When Motis started for the mountain, Jal barked frantically enough that the other three wolves stopped and stared at him, thinking he found something.

He shifted to speak to them, and said with a weary heart. “Enough! I’m sorry, Motis. But you are being selfish. If he has left, who are we to bring him back? Like a prisoner? You know the female would be taken from him. He would fight, and he does not have the strength in the condition they described! But you know him, he would do it anyway.”

The females watched Motis’s face as he transformed. It was he who had to decide, the others had already. He looked toward the mountain with determination pulling at the corners of his eyes. The clock ticked slowly. Finally Motis called out with a thundering vibrato, “Jal and I will take the grizzly. One of you will take the cub.”

Jal grimly added, “The winds are picking up, not waning. We must head back now.”

Bloo’s bones cracked as she transformed to speak, her eyebrows raised as she suggested, “What if we came back for the grizzly? Take only the cub now?”

Motis spat, “And leave it for another predator’s meal? I think not! Jal and I can manage. We are stronger than you play us.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…” Bloo started.

Jal looked at her. “It’s not you he’s mad at.”

The three rejoined Tawny as their wolves, and together they ran back to the scene of the battle.

The baby bear was sitting up, watching the wolves as they shifted into their human forms for the last time. It was too small to know they were dangerous. It needed a mother, and it needed food; that was all it knew. It held up one arm and made a wailing noise that broke Tawny’s heart. She dipped down and picked up the little creature, brushing snow off its fur. It blinked at her as she wiped icicles off its face. If they hadn’t come back, it would have frozen within the hour. She held it tightly to her breast as the brothers hefted the large carcass.

“Damn! This is not going to be easy!” Jal moaned.

“Deal with it!” Motis shouted.

They started for the river and Bloo and Tawny walked side by side, both smiling sadly at the baby bear. As their bare feet crunched across the ground, she threw a sideways glance to Tawny. “She sure is cute.”

Tawny looked down. “Oh, you’re right. It’s a girl.” She kissed the top of the creature’s head. “Yeah. She sure is.”

BOOK: Owned By The Alphas: Part Five
12.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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