Chapter 9: Alpha?
There had been plenty of phone calls to make while making our escape from Minnesota. I had been in touch with my former Pack members that had been held hostage in my house; as promised, they had not been further harmed and the St. Cloud pack members had left. I was adamant that they leave the area, fearing further reprisals after the latest aborted attempt on me. “Dang it, Marge, you’re LEAVING. If you hadn’t been out getting food, you would have been in chains with your sister Mabel and the others. I can’t protect you if they come back.”
“Young lady, I won’t let some snot-nosed kids run me out of the home I’ve kept for my entire life!”
I was simmering. “Marge… you’ve been my family’s housekeeper my whole life, and my whole parent’s life too. I need you in my house, but right now? Right now my house isn’t THERE. I couldn’t bear it if you were hurt in an attempt to get back to me. I’ve lost everyone, Marge, I need you with me. I need Mabel and anyone else still around there to leave. Go to friends or family, or meet me and we’ll find somewhere safe.”
She was quiet for a moment. “Where will you go, dear?”
“I don’t know for sure. I need advice and support, so I’m going to see Aunt Remington. She and Uncle Doug will know what to do, and we can be safe there.” I thought of her family, we were close as we often went to their Pack for celebrations. Her cousins Dave (22), Nathan (19), Derek (16) and Renee (13) were always fun to be around.
There was silence for a moment. “All right, young lady, but only until it is safe. I’ll talk to the others and see who else wants to go with us. Have you talked to Remi yet?”
“No, she’s my next call. We’re taking the scenic route, meet us in Miles City for dinner tomorrow, let’s shoot for six at Montana Rib and Chop House. Leave as soon as you can and get a hotel room there, get an extra room for me and put it under your name. I doubt if they’ll be watching west of our Pack lands.” I looked over at Mark; I couldn’t take him to Johnson Pack lands. “And talk to Tom, have someone drive Mark’s car there. He’ll get me that far then he can go home.” He looked at me, then back to the road; clearly he didn’t want to go home yet.
We hadn’t seen anyone following us from downtown Minneapolis, but we didn’t take any chances. Since we had told Goodwin we were taking I-90 west, when we hit the 494 loop in the south metro we headed west until we picked up Highway 212. This road would take a lot longer but we would be less likely to be seen on the rural highway.
Mark called his Dad, and filled him in on what had happened. I asked if we had any recourse in the non-aggression pact, but he basically said these things have no enforcement mechanism. Treaties rely on honor, and he had none.
The attack also changed my financial plans quite a bit. “Tom, I basically need you to make it so I can disappear for a while. School, housing, living expenses- nothing can be in my name so I can’t be tracked. I don’t know how much their Pack is tied in to the human systems or who their allies are. The fact that they got copies of police reports that hadn’t been filed, and destroyed evidence, is enough to make me cautious. I want to become a ghost to them.”
“There’s some I can do for that, and some I can’t. First thing, you need to operate in cash only now. Don’t ever use a credit card again unless it is untraceable to you. I’ll get some cash and some rechargeable VISA cards together and send them with Mark’s car. Meanwhile, I’ll see what I can do to set up some dummy corporations to invest in real estate. When you have an idea of where you want them, send me the list and I’ll put it together.”
“That’s fine, I should be in Wyoming for a week or two.” I was already looking forward. “You’ve got power of attorney for me, withdraw me from school and get my transcripts. I’ll enroll in an online high school and finish that way.”
“That works,” he said. “Now is the tough one. Stop at the next Wal-Mart and each of you buy a half dozen burner cellphones. Write down all your contact numbers, then destroy your iPhone. Buy a new computer, too, and don’t allow your old one to connect to the internet anymore. Transfer any files you need then wipe the hard drive clean. Do this soon, preferably before you stop again. From now on, you don’t use your name on the phone or in text messages.”
I was all right until the point where he talked about my iPhone. My baby! All my games and text conversations! Gone for a bunch of cheap flip phones. It was almost too much to bear, I felt like I was going back to the times my Mom grew up in. Pretty soon he’d be saying I couldn’t have my Sirius XM in my truck or something.
“Fine.” Mark held my hand, knowing it would be all right. “Now for the financial stuff. I can’t depend on being able to stay on my family lands, so keep selling the mineral rights but stop looking for land near there. Keep my finances liquid, until this is over I’m more interested in flexibility than earnings.”
“That sounds good. You’re still young, you might decide to settle elsewhere after you’ve seen a lot. Now that you are human, I’d recommend that. Move around every few weeks, see the sights and recover. I know you need physical therapy, so ask around, see if any therapists will do discrete home visits for cash. Keep your medical records to yourself, and don’t see a doctor in the same town you’re staying in.” He paused. “Ghosting is tough. Give Mark one of the burners, make sure they can take text messages, and he should copy down all the numbers of your phones. Send him text messages with your locations so I can get ahold of you if I need something.”
“Sounds good, counselor. Thank you for everything.” His family really had been good to me, especially in these past few days.
“You’re welcome, Ella. Stay safe, all right? Hand Mark the phone please.” I did, he listened for a moment then hung up. With wolf hearing I easily would have heard it, but human hearing sucks and I could only watch him scowl as he hung up.
He shook his head. “Work stuff.” He saw the sign for a Wal-Mart up ahead, and so we put the plan in motion. An hour later, with full bags, we were driving through a Chick-Fil-A and heading west again. The drive after that was pretty boring. The new truck was great, I had weaned off my pain pills enough I could drive, even if only for an hour or so. Mark was a good companion for the trip, knowing when to be quiet and being fun to talk to when not. Along the way, I had programmed all the burners into his cellphone, written down all my contacts, transferred all my files to my new laptop, and (sob!) ran over my iPhone and left it in the trash at a gas station.
We made it to Rapid City, South Dakota before we had to call it a night. Mark found us a hotel room- kind of. It was the bridal suite, complete with huge bed with mirrored ceiling, jacuzzi tub, large shower and complimentary chocolate and champagne. He was smiling when he came out with the key. “Just play along, Mrs. Harris.”
“Well, you wanted to travel incognito, so roll with it.” He took both our overnight bags from the back seat and put his arm around my waist. My arm was in a sling, still heavily bandaged. He made a show of pinching my butt as we walked to the elevator, and I giggled and buried my face in his shoulder.
“Congratulations, you two lovebirds!” The desk clerk was waving at us as the door closed. I looked up at him; he was the kind of guy I wish I had the chance to be with when I was younger. There was no chance with us, I was waiting for my mate and he was a human. Now I was human, I lost my chance at finding my mate since I didn’t have a wolf or wolf smell anymore, and there was nothing left for me to save.
We reached the room, it was over the top. I told him to take the bathroom first as I had to put the baggie over my arm to bathe, and I wanted to check the news. I heard the shower start. After tonight, I couldn’t bring him with me, I was damaged goods, I was being hunted and he was too good a man to drag into that.
It was now or never.
I walked over to the Jacuzzi and started to fill the tub. While the water slowly rose, I put on some music and turned the lights down, leaving only one in the corner opposite the bed and tub. I stripped off my clothes and piled them on a chair. I looked at my body in the mirror; I had bruises and scratches, all things that would have been long gone with a wolf. I still had my athletic body, with high firm breasts and a flat stomach. I ran my hand down as I felt my lust grow, tonight I would write over the memories of that day just like I wrote over the files on my laptop.
I pulled out the baggie and tape that I needed to keep the left hand dry. Securing it, I brought a pillow over by the sunken tub and set it where I could rest my hand out of the way. Sighing loudly, I sank down into the hot water and relaxed. I turned on the jets and moved until they were hitting my lower back just right. My eyes closed as I lay back, and it was only when the bathroom door opened that I opened them.
Mark was staring at me, a towel around his waist. I looked over at him, sitting up so my breasts were exposed above the water. He stared at me, not knowing if he was supposed to be looking. I smiled and extended my hand. “Come join me, Mark.”
He walked over like it was a dream until he was holding my hand. I pulled him gently until he stepped into the tub. He turned away to take his towel off but I let go of his hand and tore it away from him before he could react. His excitement was clearly growing. I was pleased with his size, having been around shifters who were naked during changes I had seen males before, and he was more than average. I tossed the towel aside with a smirk and moved my hand to his rapidly hardening shaft. “Ella? What are you doing?”
“What I wish I would have done years ago.” I started to stroke him back and forth, he sucked in his breath as he looked down at me. My lips parted and my tongue snuck out to wet them.
“I don’t want to hurt you, Ella, not after what…” He stopped talking when I leaned forward and took him into my mouth. I may not have been sexually active before, but I was in the internet generation and it wasn’t like I hadn’t seen or been shown what to do. Some of us girls had even practiced, not wanting to be a disappointment to our mates when we met. I took him to the back of my mouth, rolling my tongue around him and sucking slightly as my hand moved on his base. He groaned in pleasure as he spread his legs for balance. He reached down and cupped my face with his hand while his other hand ran through my hair. I continued my attentions, backing off until I was licking his head before taking him deep again. I wasn’t comfortable when he reached the back of my throat, so I kept my good hand at his base and worked it with my mouth. I would bob on it for a while, then back off and suck and lick the head. He would squirm when I liked the spot just under his purple helmet. It didn’t take long before he started to swell even larger in my mouth.
“Ella, oh God, I’m going to come.” I sat back and started jacking him more aggressively, until he exploded over my chest. “Holy shit.”
I sat back, pleased, and used my finger to gather some of his seed. Bringing it to my mouth, I tasted it; salty, not unpleasant. “I realized today that this is our last time together, Mark. I cannot bring you where I go, and I cannot give you the life I am going to have.”
He slid down until he was facing me in the tub, our legs intertwined and his hand holding my good one. “Why not, Ella? I’ve wanted you for years. I would follow you, help you in any way I can. I want to be with you.”
“You can’t, the packs won’t let you in. I’m hoping my new status won’t cause me to lose my access.” I moved a foot between his legs, checking to see how fast he was recovering. It was good he was young and healthy. “Plus, you know what Confucius said about revenge.”
“Before embarking on a tour of vengeance, dig two graves.”
“I’m going to be digging a lot of graves, Mark. They took everything from me, and the only thing left in my life that keeps me going is revenge. I will destroy them, and in turn I will be destroyed. I can’t bring you on that journey, Mark, I won’t dig your grave.”
He closed his eyes for a moment then looked at me. “Then what is this?”
“Tonight is you keeping me going for tomorrow. Tonight is going to be one night where we forget what is happening out there and just live a little. Tonight I need to make memories that will get me through the tough times ahead.” I moved forward until I was straddling him. His hands ran up my sides until they cupped my aching boobs, it felt so good when he touched them. He leaned forward, taking one nipple into his mouth, sucking and licking it until it was erect, then moving to the other. My good arm was around his neck as he caused delightful sensations to travel down my body. I reached down and positioned him at my entrance. “You’re still the first I’ve given myself to.”
We kissed deeply as I sank down on him, groaning our pleasure into each other’s mouths. I stilled for a moment, letting the pain and memories flee before I started to squeeze him inside of me. Our tongues explored each other as I rose up, enjoying the feeling before I dropped down again. The fire built quickly inside of me, and I shattered as he painted my walls with his seed.
We woke in a tangle of limbs and sheets late the next morning. The room smelled of sex and champagne, which I found out I liked a lot. I could actually get tipsy now that my werewolf metabolism wasn’t around to burn it off so fast. We made love slowly, both knowing it was the last time.
We didn’t say much to each other on the remaining trip to Miles City. I knew he was thinking of how he could change my mind, that I should return with him to school and make a life together with him.
I knew that we would never be safe.
We made it to dinner early. Marge and Mabel had caught a ride with my parent’s Beta, Darryl. The three were going to go with me to the Johnson Pack; the others had found family elsewhere to stay with. When I asked Darryl why, he just said “because you’re my Alpha and my place is by your side.”
“I’m not an Alpha, Darryl, I’m not even a wolf anymore.”
“My wolf doesn’t care. You are my Alpha, and I will serve you.”
I couldn’t dissuade him. I was right about Mark, he tried his best but I wouldn’t listen. He left disappointed, and I cried a little watching him go.
We stayed overnight there, and got on the road in the morning. By mid-afternoon, we were driving down a dirt road near the Shoshone National Forest. The Johnson Pack land was a large cattle ranch that butted up to the forest and the mountains. Before long we reached a gate; a man came forward, sniffing the cab. His eyes widened when he took in my scent. “I’m sorry about what happened to you, Ella. The Alphas are expecting you at the Manor.”
“Thank you, William. Tell Sally I said hello, I hope to see her soon.” I smiled back at him, hiding the hurt that his comment made. Every wolf who came across me would recognize me, but immediately know what I had lost.
We drove on for a few more miles before the road opened up to a large, open field. At the top of a small rise lay the Johnson Pack Manor. It was an imposing structure of lodgepole pine and glass with a steep metal roof in a dark green color. Three stories high, it contained common Pack rooms such as kitchens and dining, offices, and quarters for the Alphas and high ranking wolves of the Pack. Smaller structures were dormitories, homes and workshops. The Johnson Pack was large and prosperous, with over five hundred members.
Darryl drove around the circular driveway and stopped in front of the stairs leading to the long porch and entryway. I started to get excited, it looked like the Alphas and their families were all waiting.
“Ella!” Renee ran forward as I got down from the passenger seat of my truck, almost knocking me over in her youthful exuberance. I grabbed her with my good arm, protecting my other thumb, and spun her around.
“Renee, you’ve grown so much!” I gave her one more hug then she led me up the steps, her mother glaring at her for her breach of protocol. “Hello, Alphas. Thank you for letting us come to your pack.”
Both Doug and Remi embraced me, both of them holding back tears. “You are always welcome here, Ella,” said Doug.
“We are so sorry about your parents and what you’ve been through. We will help in any way we can.”
“I know, and thank you. You know Beta Darryl, Mabel and Marge? They are with me for now, it is too dangerous for any of us to be on our Pack lands right now.” We moved down to greet the boys; all of them were bigger than I remembered. Dave was standing with his mate Alice, his hand kept moving to her belly where their first child was in its fourth month of pregnancy. Nathan was filling out his form, he would be as big as his Dad soon, and was still looking for his mate. I saw Derek holding hands with his long-time girlfriend Amanda; they would be turning sixteen soon and were sure they were mates. They would be devastated if that wasn’t the case.
With all the hugging done, Luna Remi herded us all towards the Pack dining room. The majority of the members ate in the huge room, and all immediately quieted when we walked towards the elevated platform on one end. “Today we welcome Alpha Ella Grey, niece of Luna Remi, along with her Beta, Darryl, and members Marge and Mabel. Please extend them our hospitality.” There was a cheer and we could make out some well wishes as we sat down.
“I appreciate the thought, Aunt Remi, but I’m not an Alpha.” I looked down at my injured hand, which was starting to throb again.
Doug laughed. “You aren’t Alpha because of blood or battle. You are Alpha because wolves follow you and recognize you as such.” He looked at the people with me. “Alpha.”