THE ALPHA NEXT DOOR

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Chapter 9

Standing here looking into the eyes of my mate, a sick feeling overcame me again and my body began to shake uncontrollably.

Did he know why I came here?

The eyes of the man I loved, were cutting deep into me like I knife to my heart. I couldn't speak, I was immobile and frozen in the spot, all but the trembling of my body, which I had no power to control or stop. Seconds felt like torcher to me, all my thoughts centred on how he was about to react. I once felt that I knew this man before me, his face was like a book that I could easily read, every look predictable but now I know how wrong I was. My ribs felt like they were crushing the life and soul out of me, the weight of everything so overwhelming, I struggled to hold myself up.

What if he knows I was looking for help? That thought kept running through my mind, over and over like a broken record.

I wanted to flee, run for my life, find an escape route. But who was I kidding, I dont know my way about this pack house. It's not my luck. This is not my territory, he is not the mate I thought him to be, these are not my people, this is not my pack. They're all his! His people, his pack his territory and I'm the outsider, what one of them would believe me over him? What use would there be in fleeing when this cursed bond would bring me back anyways. My vision blurs from the tears that are flowing, sick with the worry of what's to come.

"What's wrong baby?" He asks while holding me fast, his hands wrapped about my upper arms.

I'm so confused by his sweet tone... I gulped down and weakly shook my head "nothing." I said, keeping my head low, I weakly whispered, barley able to get the word to leave my mouth.

"What's brought you to the pack house?" He asked curiosity in his tone, his hold on me growing tighter and I couldn't help but wonder was this a trick? A set up, to get me to trip up and reveal my true intentions for coming here?

"The Alpha asked me to be here for twelve noon, to collect the keys for the school house..." my words came out quick and fast, taking a deep breath I continued. "Looks like he's busy now, so I will come back later."

Nathaniel shook me slightly. "Look at me." He said fervently. My heavy eyes slowly raised, and I caught my breath as his eyes met my own. His scent so strong and overwhelming, my shoulder burned like it was lit on fire, his mark igniting our mates bond. It was like my body and mind were fighting against each other and I hated every second of it. I was trapped there, staring into his eyes, caught in a trance.

"Last night was foolish of me. I was angry Lolo dont hold it against me. We'll forget it and move on, ok?" It was hard to hear those words leave his mouth, he was brushing everything off like it was nothing. I may stand here now and look unhurt by his actions, but that's because my wolves ability to heal had mended by broken body, that didn't include how this is affecting me mentally either. That part sure as shit ain't healed and Nathaniel wants me to sweep it under the rug like a good little woman. Ugh!

My eyes searched his for any indication of remorse, or regret and all I could feel was his impatience. I laughed internally at the stupidity of my thoughts, of course he wasn't remorseful, why would I even bother to think that.

The sound of someone clearing their throat released us from our fixation, on instinct we both reeled our heads about to find the culprit. To my surprise Alpha Atreus stood tall in his doorway with his ever stoic look upon his face, his gaze directed at us. The shewolf harpy, strode passed by him, with a shit eating grin over her face. Stomping towards us she stopped by Nathaniel, his eyes never once left hers, and my fucked up heart felt like it was being crushed once more.

She stroked the back of her hand down his face, then down his arm. "My place tonight?" She asked in a disgustingly seductive tone, and he nodded in acknowledgement. "I'll be there Caroline."

What the actual fuck?

She turned to me and threw a set of keys at me, hitting me close to the temple and I awaited any reaction from the two men who witnessed her blatant attack. "I think you were looking for these." She said in a deviant voice, walking away laughing manically. Never in my life had I felt more worthless, I watched as Nathaniel stalked her every move till she was out of sight, until he finally looked back to me.

I was so hurt at this point, physically, mentally, emotionally and then... my own mate could so easily humiliate me in public like this. I always thought the bond was a blessing, something to look forward to, and be thankful for. Now though, I discovered -- for me it was nothing more than a curse.

"If you two are quite done there? Nate get in here we have some work to do." Alpha Atreus comanded, and Nathaniel let his grip loosen, my arms fell slack and he made his way into the Alpha's office without another word.

Confused on what to do next, I bent down picking up the keys that had been thrown at me. I quickly glanced towards the Alpha, noticing that his now lust filled eyes were set on my derrière. I couldn't deal with this shit, I quickly everted my eyes, inspecting the keys I held in my hands like they were a treasure or something of value. My body firmly stuck in place, anchored to this spot.

Do I leave? Do I go into the office aswell? Is our supposed meeting cancelled? Was I wrong about the time?...

The silence was awkward so I raised my hand with the keys and lightly jingled them about, still averting my eyes. My weak body and mind couldn't bare to face anything else, especially, those sultry deep blue orbs.

"Ah yes, those are the school keys. You can make your way outside and anyone will be happy to point you in the direction of the school." He prompted me to go on.

"Thank you Alpha, what of our meeting for twelve noon." I asked, I just had to know.

"No need -- I've got more pressing things to deal with now." He replied and I couldn't help but feel even more downtrodden. My opportunity to look for help dashed, not just with Nathaniel but also the council. Yesterday it was like he had given me a lifering for my problems, and he was going to help pull me ashore to safety. Now though, it's as if I had experienced the whole event in my head, and I was expecting more than what I should.

I took one look at him before leaving and I could swear for a moment there was a hint of remorse or concern in his eyes but he quickly shook it off returning to the hard stoic demeanour he usually has. Submitting to his stature I gave a little bow grasping the keys tight in my fist and walked away as quickly as I could.

In my dazed state my head was down, eyes on the floor. Struggling to find any hope, I looked and looked again at the keys in my hand. Then an idea hit me, it felt like they could be my reprieve, sanctuary from it all. Like the Alpha said the pups were of utmost importance, it would be my domain away from them all. Away from Nathaniel, away from the Alpha, from Caroline that whore!, from all the male dominated masculine macho crap that was this pack. Finally! Something I can call my own! It was what I needed to give me a little hope, and I'm going to cling onto it for dear life!

I was so focused on my hands I hadn't noticed anyone approach me until I walked straight into a young woman carrying a load of plates. I knocked her slightly and a couple dropped and smashed on the floor.

"I'm so sorry, my clumsiness is a pain. Let me clean this up." She grinned a sweet warm smile, it was beautiful and carefree with no anger for my clumsiness. I could have cried again just for receiving that warmth from her, I was beginning to expect a negative reaction from everyone, thankfully that wasn't the case.

"Where can I find a dustpan and brush? I will clean this up in no time." She tried her best to refuse but I wouldn't allow it, her hands were already full. After pointing me to a cleaning closet she went ahead to the dining hall. It's stupid but in the few moments that it took to clean the mess it had occupied my mind, all I wanted in those minutes was simple, to clean and clear the mess I had made. Not till I heard the crashing of the broken dishes when they slid from the dustpan into the trashcan did my thoughts return to their previous state.

"Hey!"....

"Um... Paloma is it?" She asked.

The young woman called my name, looking up from the bin, not sure how long I had been staring at the inanimate objects in it. My cheeks flushed with embarrassment, did I look as bad as I felt? I hope not, godess, I feel enough shame right now.

"Sorry." I replied

"I'm just daydreaming." I was trying so hard to hide under this false smile, I just hope it works.

"Ya, Paloma is my name, and yours?" I asked

Her chesnut brown eyes lit up, when I confirmed my identity. Honestly she reminds me of myself, so chirpy, warm and bubbly. Well the person I used to be, before yesterday. Shes about five foot four, petite with a tiny waist but rather voluptuous figure and her striking waist length red hair is a beautiful feature to complement her olive skin.

"Oh that's fantastic, I'm so pleased to meet you. My names Niamh." She replied, then wrapped me in a rather strong bear hug for someone so small. I grunt a little, my breath almost squeezed out of me, and then she laugh this infectious giggle that I cant help but smile at.

"I've been looking forward to meeting you for so long, so have the others. They'll be so jealous I got to meet you first." She laughs again. "Especially Veronica, oh my Godess she will be pissed, I got there first." Giggling again, I take the opportunity to ask "why?" A little confused by her enthusiasm for me.

"Oh how silly of me, my little guy will be one of your students, the others I was talking of are moms too. It's just fantastic to finally have the school going to re-open, none of us were fond of putting them in a human school, our pack tend to shift early so the fear of that happening without an adult werewolf present was always on our minds, plus fear of exposure aswell, gosh I'm rambling again, please forgive me."

"No, no, dont worry about it I totally understand. I'm excited aswell, actually I'm on my way over there now." I jingle the school keys, my heart lifted slightly this really is my best hope, and smile genuinely for the first time today. My stomach chimes in and begins to rumble, firing up my rosy embarrassed cheeks. We both giggled at the sound then Niamh invites me into the dinning area to get some food. I was ready to refuse but my body ached and I really needed some sustenance so I agreed.

We sat down at a table close to the kitchen and a few others joined. It was the first time since arriving that I felt so welcomed and I really appreciated it. A couple of the other women were also mothers to my soon to be students and it was great to find them so receptive and welcoming.

I was sitting at the table alone now the others had returned to their work and I was just finishing a coffee. Honestly not my favourite, I'm more of a hot chocolate kinda gal but memories of last night tainted my view on it now and I couldn't bare to drink it. I was wondering would I always have that association with it when someone tapped me on the shoulder.

"Hey bitch!" He placed a foot on the chair beside me and gave me a sardonic grin.

Stunned by the abruptness and vulgarity I looked at him like a lost puppy. His face seemed familiar... racking my brains I finally decked that he was the gaurd that I met on the boarder on my first day here. My eyes went wide and he began to laugh, giving me a few friendly taps on my back.

"You got there in the end." I flinched at his touch even though I could sense no malice in him, my body was over sensative.

"He's a big softie Paloma, don't mind him." Niamh says, I hadn't noticed her return. She comes around from behind me and embraces the warrior infront of me. He winks with a friendly and cheeky smile. Shaking my head I laugh at their antics.

"It was just a little prank, I hope you dont hold it against me." He says wiggling his eye brows.

"They love to act the rude and all macho, but underneath their all a bunch of sweethearts." Naimh claims but after my own experience I'm struggling to believe that true of everyone. Smiling and agreeing "I will take your word for it." I say. We sit and chat for about 10 minutes and I really like Charles or Charlie as he prefers, by the end. It's good to know not all the men here are complete beasts.

These two start to make out like a pair of newlyweds and I take that as my sign to leave. At least someone got a good deal with their mate. Walking out the dinning hall I wave goodbye to my new friends and feel a pang of jealousy when I see their bond.


* Niamh is pronounced Neeve













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