A Helping Hand
I wake up startled when the zipper to my tent is ripped open, Sitting up I hear a sharp intake of breath, looking down I realize I forgot to hold the sleeping bag to my body, all I’m wearing is a very revealing white tank top and black leggings. Gulping I grab the bag to protect my chest from those eyes that are burning holes into my chest, My heart beating hard against my chest as if it is enjoying his attention.
Last night I stayed wide awake staring at the ceiling of my tent, my depression sneaking up on me, suffocating me like it always does. The tears were minimal but they were probably some of the most painful tears I’ve shed.
" I thought you might like to shower before we go to the training grounds.” his eyes now wondering everywhere but my face. Nodding I grab my sweater pulling it over my head and begin moving toward the tent flap where he eventually opens it completely so I can sneak by him.
Climbing the staircase into the pack house we walk through the dining area thats incredibly decorated, I doubt Ryker was the one who decorated but whoever did it deserved an applause. A ginormous Dark Oak table spread across the entire room holding at least 50 chairs, this must house the higher ranked wolves . A crimson table runner holds a beautiful centerpiece dedicated to the moon goddess that is surrounded by crystals and candles for her worship. I won’t lie I couldn’t see him being very spiritual.
Leading me toward a rather large hallway that seems to have at least 5 rooms he opens the last door on the right and his scent slams into me knocking the air right out of me. Stumbling my back hits the wall behind us. Ryker spins around facing me looking for some sort of threat but when he finds nothing he stares at me silently asking if everything was okay.
" Sorry.” I mumble not ready to admit the unsettling attraction I had toward him.
" I hope it’s okay that you just shower in my room, it would be safer than down in the prison. Most of the men down there don’t have any self control and I don’t make it a habit to kill every prisoner down there that looks at females the wrong way even if I’d like to.”
" Completely understandable.” I mumble dazed but appreciative of his protectiveness of females.
Showing me to the bathroom I’m met with a huge granite bathroom with the biggest shower/tub I’ve ever seen, If I were to sit in the bathtub it would cover my knees and breasts at the same time. I’ve never seen such a beautiful bathroom before, out of curiosity I wonder where he got all the money to renovate this place. I can’t imagine Julian choosing which color gray goes well with granite.
" I will leave you to it. Practice starts in 45 minutes so try to rush a little bit.” he excuses himself kindly, but his eyes linger for a few minutes.
Moving toward the shower I notice it’s completely stocked with feminine supplies, bottles of shampoo, conditioner, a large bottle of lavender scented body wash which is my absolute favorite... wasting no time I jump in relishing the feel of scalding water cascading down my tight muscles while simultaneously scrubbing my skin to rid myself of the dirt that feels permanently embedded into my skin.
I feel my chest tighten and my eyes begin to burn... Not now... I am never this emotional but since coming here I can’t stop the pain I’ve bottled up inside for so many years. My back hits the ice cold shower wall and I sink to the floor wrapping my arms around my legs, allowing myself to break one more time. My entire body shakes with sobs, covering my mouth I try to silence the noises escaping me.
" Alethea? Do you need me to get someone to help you?” his voice holds a tinge of worry, it surprises me because he puts on this brave act to seem like he doesn’t care.
I’m trying so hard to get up but my legs refuse to work, everything refuses to work including my voice.
More bangs on the door startle me but still no change in my body.
“Okay Alethea I’m coming in! I know you’re breathing but I can’t tell if you’re okay! Just say something otherwise I’m breaking the damn door down!” Ryker screamed
I try so fucking hard but I can’t speak.
I hear the wood crackle under his body weight. Ripping the shower curtain open I feel his dark Iris’s burn into my bare shoulders. I listen to him sigh and immediately I cringe knowing that he can see the scars his father left , no man has seen me this vulnerable before not even Orion.
" Okay I’m just going to shut the water off and grab the towel.” his voice careful. Wrapping the towel around my shoulders I feel him tuck it under my armpits carefully avoiding my skin at all costs.
" I need you to try and stand up for me Alethea, I can’t pick you up without touching you.”
My body finally starts working because when I tell my legs to stand they actually work.
" That’s right I’ve got you, now step over the ledge... be careful!” I trip and his hands grip both my arms. My eyes roll into the back of my head as my memories play before me.
" Orion, their’s something I need to tell you. ” I run out of the bathroom and find my husband sitting at the table with his mother enjoying a beautiful lunch that he prepared. Orion is such a good cook and he loves being in the kitchen, he’d much rather be in the kitchen cooking rather than doing his Alpha duties.
" What is it love?” he smiled that dazzling smile that melted my insides
I wasn’t ready to share the news with his mother yet, I wanted to keep it between the two of us for now so I’d tell him later.
" Oh nothing I’ll tell you later, whats for lunch today?” I ask excitedly
" Black bean noodles and homemade vegetarian sushi.” thank god it’s vegetarian otherwise I’d have to tell him I couldn’t eat it.
" Sounds delicious.”
We eat and chat away like the happy little family that we are, his mom is one of the most amazing spirits I’ve ever met and she accepted me like her own the moment Orion told her I was his mate, his father had passed away when he was 16 but I like to believe he would have loved me just as much as his mother had.
After she left I went back to use the restroom one more time to confirm what I know is already true. Leaving the bathroom I find him sitting on the sofa reading a book while our favorite show was playing on Netflix in the background.
" Orion. I’m Pregnant.” I was so terrified but so excited at the same time
Dropping the book he launches off the couch moving toward me, fingers spreading across my slightly swollen belly.
" Really?” tears in his eyes confirmed he could hear its little heartbeat.
Showing him the two positive pregnancy tests, he picks me up spinning me in the air laughing with joy.
His hands jerked away from my skin like fire burning his flesh. Looking into his eyes I could see all the questions that he wanted to ask but was kind enough to refrain from asking.
" Lets get you dressed. I can tell you’re exhausted Alethea, maybe you should sleep the day away and we come back and assess our situation more tomorrow? We can train together tomorrow.” The pity in his eyes could have cut through my skin. Normally I despised being being pitied but for some reason Ryker’s pity comforted me.
I nod numbly.
“I’m sorry.” I whisper embarrassed yet again, I shouldn’t be acting so weak, otherwise everyone would think I was just this sad pathetic excuse for a wolf.
“It happens to all of us, no need to apologize for being human.” his voice is so deep and soothing, I could fall asleep just hearing it.
Ushering me out he lets my waist go and heads to his dresser opening two separate drawers. Pulling out a large t-shirt and boxers he tosses them to me telling me to put them on, all the while averting his eyes.
" I assume you don’t really have more than a few pairs of clothes so for now just use these. I’m sorry I have to go or I’ll be late and that doesn’t look good for being the newer Alpha. Just sleep in here for now.” My eyes are already so heavy and I don’t know what was happening but for some reason I felt comfortable here and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
I notice him point to the bed or the massive sofa letting me know either or was okay with him.
Ryker exits the room leaving me alone. Moving toward his bed I pull off the large red plaid comforter that has warm fuzz on the underside. The couch was so plushy and comfortable that I found myself falling asleep within minutes.
Strong arms lift me but just as soon as they lifted me they set me back down but on something even softer than the sofa. I mumble something unintelligible but hear a deep voice shushing me back to unconsciousness.
" Do you want us to move her to the room across from yours Ryker? Or back to the camp?” I don’t recognize the voice but it’s coarse like a chronic smokers voice.
“For now she’ll stay in here, I’m not sure if she’s safe or sane enough to move up here with the other members though, give me a few days or a week to decide that.”
Whoever was talking left the room gently closing the door as if he was afraid to wake me from my unconsciousness. The surface dips with the weight of another being, Rykers scent wraps around me like a blanket soothing me back to sleep instantly.
" Were all a little fucked up inside. You and I a little more so than everyone else but were stronger than them, we can defeat our demons together.” leather brushes a strand of hair from my forehead.
Something startles me awake.... Deja Vu... but this time a very large attractive Alpha is sleeping beside me. Eyes wide I don’t know whether I should wake him up or pretend to be asleep until the person who’s knocking actually wakes the sleeping beast.
" I can hear your breathing and heart racing, stop freaking out Alethea nobody is gonna say anything about us being in here together. I didn’t mean to fall asleep here either I apologize.”
Tugging the covers off he stands in front of me shirtless, I get a full view of his back. When we fought I only got a glimpse of the scars he has but now I see every raised purple lash mark that he’s ever received. I get a better look of the tattoos to, most seem to be tribal tats but his other arm sees to be dedicated to human war. Like he was in the human military, the Marines to be exact. How intriguing, I’ve never heard of an Alpha in training leaving his pack to be with humans. I’d love to hear the story of that but now definitely wasn’t the time.
" A little bold to be sleeping shirtless next to someone that can see everything you’ve ever experienced with a single touch.” I give an emotionless chuckle trying to show I still feel something, anything.
" It wasn’t on purpose I can tell you that, I never workout with a shirt on, its way to constricting for me and I haven’t slept in god knows how long.” he turns so his chest faces me and I can’t look away from the sculpted body... his entire chest looked like it had been chiseled by the gods.. he’s so beautiful. My god I was eye fucking him unabashedly like a little high school lovesick pup.
" Well I am the intruder here so theirs no need to apologize or try to explain yourself to me.” I manage to speak while continuing to stare at him but no longer staring at his chest but his face that held no emotion.. Just like mine. We are cut from the same cloth.
" Sir we have a problem!” the man knocks even more persistently.
“Dammit.” He whispers heading for the door looking back at me scowling as I pull the covers over my head hiding myself from curious eyes.
" What is it Jackson?”
“Rogues have requested a meeting with the woman..” Of course they wanted to talk to me, rogues always wanted something. Greedy wolves who disgusted me.
“Why would they request a meeting with her?” Ryker asks confusion lacing his voice
“Not sure but they’re very persistent in seeing her, right now, should I go get her?”
“No I’ve got it, thank you.” Closing the door he narrows his eyes at my as I expose myself.
“What do they want with you?” His eyebrows arch
“Who the fuck knows they are rogues. I probably killed one of his family members and he wants his revenge.”
“I won’t let you go alone, I’ll bring men with me.”
“It’s better I do this alone Ryker, I don’t want a war going on between your pack and the rogues because of me. It’s not worth it.”
“I need your help to find Julian, you are all we’ve got on him. He can’t beat you Alethea.” he makes a good point but doesn’t convince me to have him stand beside me.
" Let me go alone, hide in the shadows and only interfere if things go bad. Please for the sake of your pack.
“Deal, let’s move.” he says
Nodding I rush to the bathroom tidying myself and squirting toothpaste on my finger vigorously scrubbing to rid myself of morning breath. Hopefully Ryker wasn’t breathing when we talked earlier because my morning breath is definitely a killer.