A Dormant Howl

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Chapter 6

Alone time with the Alpha

While Mama set the table for dinner and we waited for Chinese from The Peking Duck, I trudged upstairs with my book bag in hand. I let it carelessly drag-- thump, thump, thump --up each steep step. Tossing it onto my bed, I kicked off my sneakers and began to change into something more comfortable. Soon my jeans, tee shirt, and bra were tossed into the laundry basket and in their place were my comfy “lounge about the house” clothes: my large panda slippers, wide legged black sweatpants, and an oversized, off the shoulder cable knit sweater with a black tank top underneath. Tonight, I resolved to do two things: enjoy myself and forget the unpleasantness caused by both Tanner and Merigold Newton.

It is the day before my sweet sixteen and I am eating my favorite meal with my family, minus one . . . oh, Papa! I look up and close my eyes, trying my hardest to hold back the tears. No matter what, I always miss my Papa around my birthday. While my current family members tried their hardest to make up for the absence, Papa would always try to make it special. As I had special traditions with each member of the family, the most special were the ones with my Papa.

After dinner, he and I would always meet at our spot for my favorite dessert-- s’mores with dark chocolate and honey graham crackers. Say what you will about it not being a “real” dessert, but when Papa and I would eat them it always felt like the best thing in the world. Ever since he died, Jerry has been taking me there and has never, ever missed a birthday. The difference about this time is I’d be alone with the Alpha.

After dinner, I cleaned up with Mama and the boys left, insisting that they already had plans with their buddies. If they made it for my actual birthday, I was fine with whatever they did. After everything was cleaned up, I left Mama downstairs to watch TV while I began on my homework. I was just starting some math homework, eager to get as much as I could do before meeting Jerry in the backyard on the path into the woods.

As I struggled with a word problem, a familiar presence invaded my mind. I closed my eyes, allowing the feeling to spread through me and relax me. I chuckled as I listened and felt Alpha Jeremiah communicate with me.

What are you up to? He asked casually. I smiled, allowing my mind to open a little more so he could feel my slight dread and frustration at doing my homework like a good girl.

Just doing some homework before I see you. Why? I deadpan as I continue doing my statistics homework. I felt him shudder at the impact of my feelings, but he then let out a deep, rumbling bark of laughter.

Oh yeah, what subject are you on? He asked, interested in what was causing me so much annoyance. I sighed, rolling my eyes at his continued pestering. Ugh, he was so distracting-- and he likely knew it, too. I could only imagine him-- standing under my window, no shirt on waiting to shift. I bit back of girlish giggle, trying to shield my growing amorous thoughts and focused on the topic at hand.

Stats, Jerry-- and it’s kinda important I finish this. Look, does this conversation have an ending? Because the sooner you stop being a distraction, the sooner I get to see you, I cooed playfully, then groaned and nearly slammed my face into my math book. Gosh, did I just sound like a lovesick puppy?

Watch the tone you take with your Alpha, little girl. He ordered, trying to sound commanding. It only made him sound more desirable. I am pretty sure he knew this. I could practically see and hear the grin as it spread across his face, as unleashed the power of his tone on me.

I sighed, wondering if he somehow got off on being commanding and demanding using that alpha tone. I heard him grunt in shock and then growl at my defiant and somewhat rude thoughts. Giggling in full force, I jump off my bed and go over to my window. Trying to be as sly as I can, I peel a corner up of my curtain and peer down toward the snow-covered ground under my window. I instantly drop the window, barely containing a squeal of delight. Ah-ha, I knew it! He was already here, egging me on to hurry out. I quickly peer out the window, catching him looking unaware and studying the surroundings.

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo, I giggled until my belly hurt. He frowned, looking confused. I let out a bark of laughter, causing him to jump into a defensive stance and glare at the surrounding woods. This is too much-- I cannot take much more of this. His mannerisms and this scenario will be the comedic death of me.

Look up, you fool! I coo, causing him to finally look up at me. I give him a bright smile and a coy wave, delighting in the look on his face. He turned beet red as I waved at him. Cutting off the mind link, I pull the curtains back and open the window so we can talk for real.

“What are you doing down there, amidst the frost and snow, my good sir? Are you stalking me now, Alpha Jeremiah?” I inquired audibly, batting my eyelashes at him. He smirked, a mischievous look on his face. The force of the mind link hits me, causing me to gasp as I feel the intensity of his gaze combined with the strange feeling of the mind link between him and I.

You wish, Desi. Just get your butt down here and don’t forget our blanket, he ordered warmly. I nod, closing the window and turning to go but I stop-- curiosity winning out. I daintily lift the corner of the curtain, peering out to watch him. I guess he thought I stepped back into the room, closing the curtains as he began to remove his pants. But giving a quick look over his shoulder and he freezes, his eyes growing dangerously darker and his mouth twisting into a delicious yet warning smirk. I feel my breath catch in my throat-- he must’ve seen me sneaking a peak. Who wouldn’t? He’s hot.

Hey, this show is not for free, you naughty girl. Don’t you have some preparations to make before coming out? He reminds me, his voice through the mind link coming off as husky. Almost immediately, I jumped back and fell onto my bed, burying my face into my pillow-- screaming as loudly as I could. I could almost feel Jeremiah smiling with pride because he knew he affected me so intimately.

I didn’t change my clothes, just tied up my hair in a messy bun, put on my snow boots and black parka. Grabbing the blankets from my closet, I run down the steps and nearly break my neck in the process. Damn spidey senses, I chuckle to myself.

“Mama, I’m heading out with Jerry. I won’t be late.” I shouted from the back door. Momma was in the family room watching Dexter.

“Okay, sweetie. You have your pouch with you? I added a new stone. It should make the suppression stronger.”

“Yes, Mama I have it. See you later. Love you.”

“Love you too, sweetie. Tell the Alpha I said hello and next time, he should come inside rather than steal my only daughter away!”

I couldn’t help but cough a little. What is going on with everybody?

Before I even treaded down to the path, I heard the distinct sound of a beast with great power and intimidation growl from behind me. But this growl wasn’t a threatening one. It was more of a sound a tiger would make when communicating with their family in a non-threatening manner. I slowly turned around to see the most majestic, stately, dominating Lycan I’ve ever seen and luckily this beast protected me like no other.

“Crow . . .” I breathlessly whimpered as he tipped his head to me, greeting me as he kissed my hand, wanting his head to be caressed. I quickly acquiesced, ruffling the hair on top of his head until a low moaning noise emanated from his mouth.

Crow’s a black colored beast, and not just any shade of black. He was rare – he was the color of obsidian. No other shades of grey or pewter. He was dark as night – as if the night sky was devoid of stars and moon. His eyes were the only aesthetic that stood out amongst the stygian darkness of his fur. In human form, Jerry had hazel eyes while his beast’s gleamed and glistened a rare green jade. But when he was angry, they went from a jade to a pool of black that was so dark that it looked like his eyes were empty sockets – deep, fathomless, and all-consuming.

Besides my family’s beasts, I loved this beast above any other. Gingerly removing my hand from his head, he motioned with a clawed finger to the backpack besides me. Nodding, I opened the backpack and added the blankets to it before closing it and hoisting it onto my back. Turning back to face him, Crow knelt so I could climb onto his back.

Hold onto me, tight, my girl, he ordered me through the link. I felt my cheeks blush at the words dancing inside my head...my girl. I quickly did as he requested. As my arms wove about his neck and my ankles crossed just above his waist, his arms came back and grabbed me at the hips, further anchoring me to him.

I am going to take you on the ride of a lifetime, he promised with a mischievous chuffing noise.

Crow, Jerry and I had a connection I couldn’t explain – nor do I think I had to. Whatever it was we had – it was ours. My Papa used to joke with Alpha Josiah that in a past life, we were mates.

I now knew that after my experiment with Wren in the forest two years ago, we had one too. But for some strange reason – Tanner fought it like he was in an internal battle. Like he didn’t want me but was damned if anyone else did. And he thought I didn’t know it, but he’d protect me from a safe distance.

Jerry, he never ignored me. He would drive me places when I needed a ride, pick me up from school and walk me home. I never felt alone when I was with him. And when Crow was agitated, all I needed to do was rub his head and he’d settle. His eyes were my favorite. Both Jerry and Crow have these intense eyes that if you look just right, at the right angle, they looked like jewels – green amber or green jade.

My ear rested on Crows shoulder and all I could hear was the steady beating of his heart. I ignored the cold whipping past my face, the white snowy landscape blurring past us so fast I could feel my eyes sting. I burrowed my face into the crook of Crow’s neck, allowing his warmth to spread through me as I took a deep lungful of cold winter air. His scent filled my lungs-- cloves, pine needles, and... Arriving at the clearing we were surrounded by an open-air canopy of bare trees, branches covered in snow and crystal chandeliers of ice, that if you listened hard and long enough, a symphony played, and the wind was the conductor. Sliding down Crow’s back he snarled, missing me there. But I playfully shoved his shoulder, telling him it was now Jerry’s turn to spend time with me. I held a change of clothes for Jerry to put on after he shifted.

As he changed, I laid out the hard fold up mat, like a gym mat large enough to cover the patch of ground we were going to sit on, then I laid out the heavy winter blanket on top of the thick mat, and then finally a fur blanket to cover our legs if they got cold.

Emerging from the woods, fully clothed was Jerry. His wavy black hair was tousled, thick strands falling just over his eyes. It was so long, I wished I could run my fingers through it. Why does he always look at me as if he knows what I’m thinking. Stop it, Jeremiah Josiah Nolan. I snapped to myself.

He held kindling in his arms, and I found stones to make a hearth. Lighting the dried twigs and leaves, we got a nice fire going. There was soft music playing.

We did what we do best, we talked about everything and anything. He told me how excited he was to be officially made Alpha of our clan. He had so many plans. Like he wanted to allow same sex mates as true mates. He wanted to do the same for human mates, making an official decree that these “alternative” mates were welcomed and wanted amongst us. He wanted to invoke more family friendly policies and he wanted to offer further education to those who wanted to go to universities and study subjects that were more lycan based, like lycan medicine, lycan education, he had dreams and goals and he couldn’t wait to get started.

All of the sudden our topic of conversation changed.

“I spoke to Tanner.” He said flatly. I turned away, focusing on the fire and the marshmallows that were burning. I tried to not to be interested, watching how the flames caramelized and burned its edges.

“Oh, yeah . . .?” I said casually. I felt Jerry shift slightly next to me as one of his arms came about my shoulders. I stiffened slightly, but quickly calmed down.

“Des, can you look at me when I’m talking to you?” He said, his voice soft and cool as velvet. When I did not immediately turn to look at him, he gently reached out and pulled my chin with his right hand, so I was looking at him in the eyes. Finally, unable to keep my pent-up anxieties and feelings to myself, I unleashed my teenage angst on my best and most beloved friend.

“Why? It’s not like he’ll suddenly listen to you and actually care that he treats me like crap.” I snapped. My body was trembling, the marshmallow forgotten in the flames. My vision blurred, causing Jerry’s perfect face-- his dark tousled hair, warm hazel eyes, and soft lips, oh my goddess those lips --to disappear. I could almost feel the tears rolling down my cheeks. But then Jerry’s hands were there, wiping away and soothing the tears from me.

“Don’t cry over him, baby,” He ordered gently, his tone sorrowful. It made me cry harder, causing him to pull me into a fierce hug, my head resting just above his rapidly beating heart. His voice rumbled in my ears, sounding like far off thunder.

“He’ll eventually learn and when he sees that his actions have hurt you, it’ll be his fault and it’ll be too late.” He whispered, his words and voice playing over me like a spell and bringing me back to earth. Sniffling, I pulled myself away-- only to rest my forehead on his shoulder. Jerry’s hand rested on one of my shoulders, the other pressed gently into the small of my back-- moving in slow, comforting circles.

“You’re right screw him –” I began, my voice gaining power. I knew I needed to move on from whatever we had been to each other-- or thought we had been to each other. Jerry shifted, gently pushing me so I now looked up into his face. He looked both pained and confused.

“Wait, what, no I didn’t mean you should give up on him.” He said hastily. He opened his mouth to add more, but I beat him to it.

“No, no Jerry you’re right. He no longer will affect me. He’s nothing to me. Yeah, nothing-- zip, zilch. I mean, Tanner, who?” I unabashedly scoffed. Even though I knew I was full of shit. Jerry knew it, too, but he allowed me this.

Jerry smiled and handed me another marshmallow. As nice as the silence was, I looked up to the star filled sky and took notice of the immense presence of the moon. Quietly, I spoke to the Moon Goddess, just a secret I needed to share with her. Is it wrong that I want him to kiss me?

“Have you ever kissed a boy, Desi?” Jerry asked suddenly, inching closer to me as I tried to focus on toasting my marshmallow. My cheeks burned, my mouth going as dry as cotton. Feeling his warm eyes burning into the side of my face, I shifted my shoulders and cleared my throat, trying not to seem too over eager.

“You know I haven’t, Jerry.” I whispered, taking my eyes off my perfectly caramelized marshmallow. I feel the air leave my lungs as I stare into his face. The look on his face is a mixture hunger and fear.
He licked his lips, his eyes moving from mine down to my mouth, back up to my eyes.

Turning away, I feel the air coming and going in small gasps as I awkwardly make my s’more. Hands trembling, it feels as though it takes forever to make it before I lift it to my mouth and take a hearty bite. The melted chocolate oozes out of the sides of the graham cracker and down my chin on the corners of my mouth. Jerry continues to move his head closer to me, tipping his head down slightly. I can feel his breath tickling the tip of my nose.

“Hold on, you have a little chocolate, right there...” he tried to point it out with his pointer finger but I attempted to beat him to it. He’s too fast, he catches my finger and says breathlessly, “Here, allow me.”

The tip of Jerry’s tongue strokes the corner of my mouth, cleaning the chocolate off. Then before I know it, he licks it off my chin. I gasp, butterflies dancing heartily in my stomach. I feel both disgusted and yet thrilled-- up until now, that has had to have been the most thrilling experience of my short life.

“Why haven’t you had your first kiss yet? You’re sweet, beautiful,” His right-hand cups my cheek as his left rests on my left leg. I try to scoff, brush him off but his hands become firmer, pulling me closer until we are nose to nose. We are both breathing heavily now, breathing the other in as though they are life itself.

“You know you’re the only female I allow to call me Jerry.” He murmurs against my cheeks, his warm breath causing me to melt like the marshmallow in the flames.

“That’s because you love me.” I gasp, my eyes feeling heavy. I bite my lip, feeling warm with embarrassment. Did I just say that out loud? Goddess, I hope he didn’t notice. I shift slightly, my nose nudging his playfully.

“I haven’t kissed anyone because if I did, you, my brothers and even Tanner would’ve killed the boy.” I admitted, my voice hitching. He chuckled, his warm breath tickling my cheeks. Jerry then closed his eyes for a moment, almost savoring our closeness.

“What if I gave you your first kiss? “He asked slowly, his voice so soft I almost don’t catch his words. When I understand what he has just said, I look at him, mouth agape. Blinking in surprise, I nervously chewed my bottom lip.

“Y-you mean on the cheek?” I squeak. He shook his head and put his pointer finger on his lips, then outstretched his finger to touch mine.

“No, not on the cheek. A real kiss,” he corrects, hi thumb coming to gently brush against my bottom lip. Too anxious to speak, I nodded my head. Oh, goddess the alpha was about to give me my first kiss! Immediately my mind begins to whirl with worry as I contemplate what is about to happen.

I hope my lips aren’t tight! I hope they’re not too dry. It is winter after all...and before I could psych myself up, I felt the most tender, plush, warm lips ever pressed against mine. With no hesitation, my body instantly leaned into his-- my arms wrapped around him and held on for dear life.

I could tell he liked it, he pulled me in as he inhaled. I felt a tickle at the edge of my consciousness and, sensing it was Jerry, I allowed him entrance.

Open your mouth for me, Desi...I want to taste you. Please, he requested huskily. I quickly obliged, tentatively opening my mouth and granting his tongue access to mine. The warm sensation of his tongue and mine darting in and out of each other’s mouths was more than I could describe. With one slight moan from me, I could feel his mouth contour into a pleasing grin.

Reluctantly, we parted-- a string of saliva continued to bridge our mouths together. Our foreheads touched as we giggled at what we just shared. I sighed happily, resting my head against his shoulder.

“This was my best birthday ever!” I announced happily. Jerry smiled, pulling me close into his side before resting a warm kiss onto my forehead.

“Happy birthday, Desi Doo.”

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