I couldn’t sleep; it felt like my skin was set ablaze with how warm it was. Licking my bottom lip, I shivered at the cool breeze, knowing my heat was near. This was the first wave before the full moon. Midnight fell and Basil still wasn’t in bed. I rarely saw him lay next to me as returned late and woke before the break of dawn. His scent saturating the place told me he was there. Even though I had my own room, he still liked to be here. I think me being near him calmed his wolf. My wolf awakened when I breathed him in and I couldn’t contain my deep growl. Shoving the duvet off my body, I stumbled to my feet, leaving the confines of my bedroom. From what I'd learned, Basil lived in the pack-house but had an entire wing to himself. So, I didn’t have to consider the amount of noise I made when wandering down the dimly lit corridors.
Sweat clung to my skin and I grumbled under my breath. There were parts of being an Alpha female I hated like our heightened heat experiences.
Entering the kitchen, I went to get a glass of water, throwing my head back as the cool liquid glided down my throat. Those few seconds were utter bliss until what felt like flames lit my body once again.
I turned off the faucet, spinning on my heels and froze when Cena stood a couple of feet away from me, his murky brown regarding me impassively. He had an intimidating essence that was different from my mate. While Basil had this savage edge that could leave a quake of fear, Cena was quiet but there were times when I caught a deadly sheen in his eyes. The tattoos on his skin and the one curling around his cheekbone to the top of his right brow gave that away. With a quizzical look, I crossed my arms.
“What are you doing here? This is the Alpha’s area,”
“The Alpha wants you to return to bed,”
I blinked. “Excuse me?”
He stepped forward, the corners of his eyes hardening before he said in a low deep voice. “Return to your room, Alpha’s orders.”
“I suggest you step back before I slit your throat,” I hissed dangerously and he flinched, visibly. I smiled internally. “My fucking orders!”
Too many times in my life men thought they could scare me into submission. I released a humourless scoff - I may be a she-wolf but the blood running through my veins were ones of many great Alphas. I was a born leader or so I wished for.
His eyes flashed with something I couldn’t decipher and he stepped back, his lips tightening into a grim line.
“I advise you to return to your room,” He repeated but in a gentler tone. Searching my face for a reaction, he continued to watch me, waiting for my answer.
Releasing a heavy sigh, I turned away. “I’ll take it into consideration.”
He paused for a few seconds before retreating into the darkness. Just thinking about it, I think that was the most he’d ever said to me. I would often see him and Basil communicating with their eyes but then again, it could’ve been through mind link. They were so alike yet so different. I wasn’t able to hear any of Basil’s thoughts but the fucker could hear mine. There were times when he’d speak out of nowhere answering my unspoken questions.
It was infuriating as I was curious about his thoughts, thoughts of his own wolf. He was an enigma.
Splashing cool water on my hands, I touched my neck, sighing in content at the cool sensation sizzling through my heated skin.
I glanced out the window, hoping the evening breeze would soothe me. Without a second thought, I stepped outside through the back door and inhaled the evening aroma which calmed my nerves.
Wandering into the forest, I felt my wolf awaken at the woodsy scent. It was a perfect night to go for a run, isolated from the pack and to focus on the earth, on Her calling.
Barefooted, I strolled down a bleak path that was unknown. The further I went down, the clearer the path became. I stopped in my tracks at a noise, a whine sounding so... miserable. I knew it was him, my wolf stirring at his distressed call. I shook my head, releasing a scoff. Basil distressed? It was an image I found impossible to visualise.
I followed the pitiful cry and found him on his knees, the leaves of the forest partially blocking him from my view. Yet, thanks to my heightened senses, I was able to see every aspect of him.
He arched his back and from the outline of his body, he trembled vigorously but it wasn’t because of the breeze. The scars I saw a couple days ago stood prominently on his stretched skin. Growls ripped from his chest and he rocked back and forth. The language he spoke was unfamiliar and it seemed like he was talking to someone. But there was no one there...
Frowning, I continued watching him, utterly fascinated. Every fibre in my body was attuned to his presence, the deep rasp of his voice and the animalistic cry that echoed into nothingness.
He assumed I would listen to Cena but he underestimated my personality. I was a stubborn she-wolf and didn’t listen to anyone and at times, not even my own brother. My teenage years had been the worse. Blackouts were usual as were my fits of rage. It was a common ritual for any Alpha born.
I knew Basil went through the same experience. How could he not? He was a Neanderthal in our modern world.
I couldn’t see the emotions underlying his expression with his hair in the way. He snarled, spitting to the ground as he rocked back and forth, his voice sounding so... human.
Shocked, I was slightly wary. Caught up in my emotions, I didn’t see the human standing next to me. Gasping, I stumbled back as the sound of my heartbeat thumped loudly in my ears.
This person wasn’t human – she didn’t even look alive.
She stared at me, eyes wide and emotionless. She was so still it held an eerie notion, causing chills to crawl up my spine. The woman had straight long hair black as night. We were the same height, her russet coloured skin paling with a light shade of grey. She was a corpse standing before me...
She was she dead.
Her lips parted, nothing but air streaming through before clutching my arm. I cried out at the sudden pain piercing my skin, catching Basil’s attention. His white eyes took in the girl next to me then her fingers curled around me before meeting the agony in my eyes.
Unwanted tears trickled down my cheeks like hot lava - the pain was unbearable, nothing like what I’d experience. It felt like my life was slowly fading away and I tried to wiggle out of her iron grip, but even with my strength, I couldn’t break free.
Within seconds, a whirl of wind rushed by me and the woman’s throat ripped open. She tumbled to the ground, blood oozing from her gruesome wound. Standing in front of me, his body was so close, death clung to his skin. His forehead touched mine, his eyes boring into mine and I couldn’t tell if he was angry or just wild.
His chest heaved with each inhale, his body shivering as he restrained the wolf beneath his flesh. A deep growl resonated through his chest, sending soothing vibrations across my skin. Fingers snaking around my neck, I winced at the sharp force of his grip.
“I expect you to follow an order,”
“I’m not good at following them,” I murmured and his nails dug into my skin.
“That’s going to be a problem,”
“Why?” I asked searching his eyes for answers he wasn’t revealing. “And who was that-”
I paused, staring at the empty ground. The woman Basil killed disappeared. There weren’t any traces of blood splattered across the grass and the strange feeling I had was replaced with confusion. I looked back at his hands; the blood was gone. It was like the woman was never there. His grip on my neck loosened as I pulled away, glancing at our surroundings to see nothing.
I glanced over and saw the shadows of the night lurking around his broad frame. Yet, he didn’t seem fazed. He continued to stare at me as it seeped around him, reaching for me like claws ready to entrap their victims in a vortex they could never escape. I stilled as adrenaline rushed through my veins at the sense of danger and I staggered back in a desperate attempt to avoid.
At his booming voice, it retreated back into the woods and I blinked, unable to comprehend what I’d witnessed. The shadows, or whatever it was, left at his command. Basil took a couple steps forward but I retreated, extending my arm to create even more distance between us. What the hell?
He stopped at my unspoken words.
“What the hell was that?”
He didn’t respond to my question but instead shifted his eyes to the ground. His lips tightened into a thin line, scratching his unruly beard thoughtfully. He wasn’t going to say anything, he was content to stay silent for god knows how long. Basil was reserved, a quiet man and I gritted my teeth in frustration.
“What the hell are you, a monster?”
Releasing a bitter laugh, his lips twitched up into a rare smile that didn’t seem right with his persona and it didn’t reach his eyes. It almost looked forced.
“Is that supposed to be a joke?”
I shook my head. “That woman-”
I gaped at him. He can’t be serious...
“The one you just killed!” I exclaimed.
Basil sighed and touched my shoulder. Lowering his head, his nose skimmed my cheek as he breathed deeply. I scented him back which calmed my wolf. “Your heat is near and you’re tired. You need some sleep,”
“No,” I struggled in his grasp but his grip tightened. “I’m fully awake after what I just saw,”
“You didn’t see anything,” he spoke again but I didn’t recognise the words; it was the language he spoke earlier and within seconds, my muscles weakened, dizziness knocking my body into exhaustion. My eyes drooped; my vision of him became blurry. I fell forward but strong arms caught me, wrapping around my waist and hauled me to his hard chest. By then, my eyes were closed but my mind was awake, aware of my surroundings and the scent of my mate.
Rough fingers brushed my cheek gently. Lightly kissing his mark on my neck, he lifted me in his arms bridal style. The darkest depths of my consciousness surrounded me, pulling me deeper into a slumber I tried to fight off.
I had this urge to see him, his face. I wanted to see the man behind his affections. Drowning in the pool of unconsciousness, I heard his next words which sent chills to my bones.
“You won’t take her soul.”