Chapter Twenty-Six: Warmth
We ended up in a busy part of Wales. Lyssa told me it was a city called Cardiff, it was the capital of Wales and one of the largest cities in the United Kingdom. We received some funny looks from humans who saw us and looking down at myself, I realized why. We were dirty, muddy. In all honesty, we looked like we had been dragged through the fiery pits of Hell and escaped.
"Wait here," Lyssa instructed, never ceasing her stride. She bumped into a man and stumbled an apology. Once he was gone--after giving her a dirty look--she looked back at me and beckoned me over.
Once I was at her side, she showed me the car keys she had swiped from the man and I frowned a little.
"We're stealing cars now."
"It's our only chance to get to the hotel Alpha Donovan runs," Lyssa said, sniffing the air to find the man's scent and use it to track his car. "Alpha Donovan is most likely at the hotel with his Mate because he's a pretty good friend of Alpha Allen's. When Caine was Alpha, they used to hang out all the time. Because Alpha Allen thinks you're dead, Alpha Donovan will have come racing over to pay his respects. Especially because you're Moon Blessed. Until we can get to Alpha Donovan and get under his protection and call Alpha Allen, we're screwed. We've got about fifty Wolves and only the Moon Goddess knows how many Hunters looking for us. Once we reach the hotel, the Hunters won't be able to enter because entering would mean the American branch of the Hunter's Association are okay with this and I have a feeling, they're not."
Lyssa was right, of course. Right now, our only chance at survival was stealing.
"Fine," I relented, looking down at my dirty clothes with a frown. "But can we at least go somewhere and take a shower and change our clothes? We look terrible."
She nodded once. "We'll stop at a hotel for a couple of hours. Just so you can rest. We'll move later on in the evening, though, okay?"
We reached the man's car and hopped inside. Typically, grand theft auto wasn't something I liked to do, but Lyssa was right. If we wanted to survive, we were going to have to make compromises.
After a brief shopping session with some money Alyssa had stolen, we ended up at a small motel. It was kind of dinky and not nice by anyone's standards, but it was better than sleeping out in the woods.
Lyssa emerged from the bathroom not even five minutes after we had checked into our room, her hair still damp from her shower.
"Your turn," she spoke up, giving me a strained smile. "After this, make sure you get some sleep, okay?"
I nodded once, trying to ignore the tightening in my chest. I felt for Alyssa right now, I really did. She'd had to leave her Mate behind to protect me.
"I'm sorry," I spoke up suddenly, my throat tight. Maybe it was because I was away from my own Mate, maybe it was because it had been too long since my soul had touched his. I didn't know, but for whatever reason, I was feeling sentimental.
Her eyes widened, taking in my gloomy expression.
"What do you have to be sorry for?" she asked. "You didn't do anything wrong."
"You had to leave your Mate behind to protect me," I answered. The pain I was feeling for being separated from Marc was probably nothing compared to her pain. I knew Marc was somewhere safe, alive. Things were different for Alyssa. I knew she was probably fretting over whether or not the others figured out he had helped us. If they did figure it out, it would be hard to imagine what they'd do.
"You're my Luna," she said, her smile was a little more real this time. "It's my duty to protect you with my life. As my Mate, Roy became a member of our Pack the moment we met. It's his duty to protect you, too. You know, Wolves consider it a privilege to die protecting our Luna. I think Roy feels the same way. Even though he doesn't know you, he feels a sense of loyalty towards you. But Roy is fine." She smiled to herself a little. "He's my Mate. As a Beta, the moment I met him the connection was strong. I can feel that he's still alive."
My brain was reeling from what she had told me, but I couldn't deny the relief I felt. I was a little bit jealous, though. Because she could feel her Mate's consciousness, she could feel him even when her Wolf was incapacitated. I, however, was kicking myself for dragging my feet with Marc and not letting him Mark me when I'd had the chance. Perhaps, I'd be able to feel him now if I had.
Seemingly reading my mind, Lyssa smiled and said, "I don't blame you for not Marking Alpha Allen. You may have been a Wolf, but in many ways you were still human. All of this was new to you."
I nodded and stood to walk into the bathroom for my shower. Lyssa must have been some kind of angel. Her words kept soothing all my doubts. In all the books I've ever read, they say the Beta and the Lunas always develop a close friendship. They say that the Beta is more loyal to their Lunas than their Alphas in many ways. I could understand why now. Alyssa knew just what to say to make me feel better.
Sleeping was difficult. How could it be easy when all I could do was worry? Lyssa chastised me until I finally did fall asleep. I couldn't deny, I was worried about her. I wasn't sure how long it had been since she last slept, but the dark shadows under her eyes told me it had been a long time.
I woke from a restless sleep not even an hour later. I could feel my Wolf stirring. She was stronger now. I wanted to weep in relief. Somehow knowing she was okay made me realize that I was okay, too.
Lyssa was standing in the far corner of the room, looking out of the window. She was almost unnaturally still as her eyes scanned for a threat. It was still bright out, probably only about one or two in the afternoon.
"You should get some sleep," I told her.
She glanced at me before turning her attention back to the window. "I'll be fine."
"No, you won't." I sighed, placing my feet on the floor and pushing myself up. "You go to sleep. I'll watch for any threats. My Wolf is waking up now, she'll probably be back to herself in an hour or so. Besides, I used to live in a kind of shady neighborhood before my dad got a good job, so I can spot a shifty person as easily as spotting cake in a room filled with vegetables."
She opened her mouth to protest, but I cut her off.
"I wasn't asking. This is an order as your Luna," I said sternly, looking at the circles under her eyes that were deeper and darker than they were before. "Besides, it would be impossible for you to keep going in your condition, Lyssa. Aren't you better fit to protect me after you're well rested?"
She seemed hesitant, but she blew out a gust of air and muttered an "okay."
About ten minutes after her head hit the pillow, she fell asleep. I kept my eyes glued to the window, watching for anything suspicious. It was serene, though. Quiet. There was nothing but the passing by of cars and the occasional staff member here and there.
After some time, my Wolf was completely awake. The first thing she did was reach out to Marc's Wolf. She hadn't been coherent for five seconds, but her first thought was her Mate. I could feel how broken he was as my Wolf mind touched his. He perked up, our souls reaching out for each other and intertwining.
I felt warm.
I didn't realize how...cold I had been on the inside until that moment. In that moment, Marc's warmth was everything I had been missing. I had a strong desire--stronger than before-- to see him again.
I looked out the window and what I saw wiped the fond smile off of my face. There were two Wolves and two Hunters getting out of a huge black Hummer. Their faces were serious and they looked pissed and scared at the same time.