3. She came back
It’s been a couple of tough days since Aleida died in our arms. Nothing matters anymore; everything is gray and dark. What is this world without our beautiful darling? I don’t want to live without her, but I know I must. Alexander needs me, and so does Elias. It just feels... empty without her here with us. Never again will I hear her melody laugh or kiss her lips; we won’t get more puppies because she’s dead. Gone. Up at the moon goddess. Sometimes I pretend she’s with me even though I can’t see her. I imagine that she looks down at us and protects us better than even the goddess herself can—wishful thinking or truth, who knows, no matter what, because she’s gone. We’ve invited our allies and are socializing ourselves right now; they want to show their respect to our queen. We chose to bury her instead of burning her body to spread the ashes that we usually do with the fallen. Call it intuition or whatever you want, but Miliano and I agree that that choice is one of the best we’ve done. The children need to have the opportunity to visit her when they want to talk to her, and they can’t directly speak to a pile of ashes in the same way. Hopefully, they can find some comfort in that place she’s buried and feel her presence. Oh goddess, what I wish my love were here with us...
“Alpha Kian, I’m very sorry to disturb you. I just wanted to ask if you’ve seen my son, Sebastian, here anywhere?” a woman asks as I recognize as alpha Carl’s wife and luna.
“I’m afraid not; how long has he been gone for?” I ask.
“He said that he would get something to drink, but that was over an hour ago!” she says and starts to panic.
“I’m sure that he’s here somewhere; how about I help you look?”
“Thank you, alpha.”
We search for him everywhere. Even the basement, without any luck. The mother is searching in pure panic and despair, tears threatening to fall from her worried eyes. When we’re about to spread out to start looking, a massive white creature comes in; it looks like a wolf but is something else. The creature has a boy on its back, and we immediately start growling at it; we can’t know if he’s hurt or not. Some even shift. But the creature doesn’t react to our sounds or movements; instead, it settles down to let the boy get off. Both me and Miliano shift, ready to attack, but the kid stands in front of it just before we do. He screams at us not to touch it, which apparently is a she. I ask him why we shouldn’t attack, and he says that she’s our queen, in other words, Aleida. The boy’s dad attacks her, and he bites her flank. Why isn’t she defending herself? He’s going to kill her. The boy stands between them again and tells him to leave her alone. Then he bends down to pat the creature, who’s slowly shifting back. She looks familiar, but I can’t place her. He repeats that it’s the queen, but no one believes him. That’s not Aleida, she’s got dark hair, and she’s not that visibly muscular. Alexander and Elias suddenly show up. They shine with joy and crawl towards the girl. Alexander hurries and calls her “mama,” I freeze when I hear her voice. It’s oddly familiar. Aleida’s grandmother comes up and talks to her, the girl responds. The grandmother walks to one of our members to whisper something; she then says that it really is Aleida, and my heart stops in my chest. My baby? Henry and Killian hug their friend like never before. Jason and Nathan are next in line; her tears fall in joy at holding on to her brothers again. Then she walks over to us, and I forget to breathe. Tears are streaming down mine and Miliano’s cheeks. Our darling is here; she’s really here! My wolf howls with joy, and I hug her. My wolf nor I ever want to have to be without her again. We love her. She carries our puppies; once again, she’s strong and will bring our children into the world. I’m so happy that I don’t know what to do! I don’t know what to say about her now. She’s still our Aleida, but she’s not. The strength and confidence she had before have now doubled. I wouldn’t want to fight her on a battlefield; I can promise you that. At the same time, I can’t help but worry about her. We sensed her anger at the front row when she was about to attack Sebastian’s father, which can become a problem. She must learn to control her emotions and the power that she carries. If she gets into such an angry state, then she can hurt anyone without thinking about it. Aleida would break if she found out in retrospect that she hurt one of those she cares about and loves. She isn’t an aggressive creature by nature, but she has strong power. The force shouldn’t control her; it should be the other way around. I have complete confidence that she’ll learn it, and, in the meantime, we only have to get others to avoid pissing her off. But there are advantages in her temper and her beastly half; that is, she can defend more substantially than before. We can send her out in the front lines in an attack, and she’ll probably come back unharmed. My mate is no longer a rare gem; now, she’s legendary. We begin to spread the word that the queen has come back to us and that she has resurfaced. Hopefully, everyone is as happy about this as we are. At the same time, it’s impossible for us to know. There’s a lot of different species out there, and not all of them have good intentions. She defeated King beautifully, but that could easily have been a lot of luck on her part. Aleida can be in danger without knowing about it. Both me and Miliano intend to keep her safe, no matter the cost. She’s not only our mate right now, but she’s also carrying precious cargo inside her womb, our puppies. If someone attacks her, she can’t protect herself like before, since she must be careful not to get punched in her stomach, and it doesn’t matter which form she’s is in, there’s still a significant risk of her or the puppies dies. I don’t think that someone will attack us any time soon, but we can’t know that either. There’s something that puzzles me about the fight, however. Why didn’t the other vampires help their clan leader? It’s not usual for vampires to play clean, they always have a plan, and it’s rare for them to watch their leader die without reactions. So, why didn’t they help him or at least react? No one showed reactions neither before nor after the duel finished. The vampires looked rather happy about the outcome, at least until Aleida took her last breath. They looked sad and showed only respect towards us, no attacks. Can you see where I’m going with this? Something is odd about this whole thing; are they planning to attack us or capture Aleida to use her power? I must talk to her about this. Since I’m an alpha, my control behavior is more extensive than for the average werewolf. If it’s about something I can’t control, then I find a way to handle it; nothing and no one can stand in my way. Least of all, when it comes to my own mate, but all of that has to wait because now I’m going to enjoy the time I have with my mate.
“Ugh, I could kill for a margarita right now!” I exclaim aloud when I slam the door open to walk inside the packhouse.
My mates, their betas, and Nathan are sitting in the kitchen. They stop talking to watch Jason and me; I swear to God I’m so pissed right now that I can kill him! He continues to laugh at me, but that just fuels my anger more.
“What the fuck is wrong with you, Jason!? I told you to stop it; why do you have to continue!?” I scream at him.
“Come on; it wasn’t that bad...” Jason laughs.
“Oh, it wasn’t?”
❖❣ Flashback two hours earlier ❣❖
Jason and I are driving towards the mall. I need new clothes, and he wants to check out a new phone, so we decide to ride together. It begins before we even get in the car. At first, there are just small annoying noises; then it’s the drumming on the dashboard...
“For the love of the goddess, can you freaking stop!?” I exclaim angrily at my brother.
He stops for a moment and looks at me without saying a word... And then this fucker continues! I have no idea why he decides to terrorize me today; the only thing I know is that I wouldn’t ride with him to the mall if I knew earlier that he would be a pain in my ass. I turn up the radio to try to drown his damn drumming without succeeding. During the car journey, I ignore him the best I can, and once we arrive at the mall, I throw myself out of the car immediately when the engine stops.
“Damn, girl, you’re fast. How can those tiny little legs carry you so fast?” Jason asks.
“They’re not tiny. Would you please stop annoying me now? You’re going to spoil my mood for everyone,” I beg my brother.
“Okay, I’ll stop.”
“Thank you,” I sigh and walk inside.
It only takes five minutes before he begins to annoy me again. This time he’s slamming his palm against stuff to make the loudest noise possible. A clerk comes up to us and asks if we need help with something, then the idiot squeezes out the stupidest thing he can say...
“Yes, thank you! This ugly creature here is my little sister, and she is completely hopeless when it comes to female hygiene. Can you convince her that she has to change the pad during her period and can’t use the same until it’s over?”
Oh. My. God. This is a human girl! She looks like she’s about to die! Great, now I’m going to be arrested for murdering my brother. I fake laugh at Jason’s “joke” and look around the store, desperate for an excuse so she’ll leave us be for a moment.
“My brother’s joking; I can’t find the bras. Can you show me where they are, please?” I ask and smile as big as I can.
“Of course, miss. Follow me,” the clerk says; I do as she says, give Jason my middle finger and mouth “fuck you” to him, which he chuckles at, by the way.
And then there’s the food court where he actually “accidentally” drops his red squishy on my white shorts and makes it look like I have my period. Werewolves don’t have periods like humans, we have heat occasionally, but that’s something else. Don’t even get me started on when he throws himself down the stairs and yells at me to stop hurting him. In Gucci, he says to the cashier that I escaped the psych ward and more... Now, do you understand why I’m pissed? It’s like he decides to behave like the typical big brother today, just like that. On the drive back, he’s drumming again and makes high-pitched noises. I slam my fist into his face and give him a black eye. He groans, but I can’t care less. This fucker continues to embarrass me and annoy me since we left! I told him to stop, which he didn’t; this, my friends, is called consequences.
“Aleida, what the fuck!? You punched me!” Jason exclaims and holds his hand over the eye.
“You should be happy about the black eye; it was between hitting or castrating you,” I growl at him.
Thankfully, he’s quiet the rest of the way home. As soon as I park, he sprints out of the car and continues! I think that there’s something seriously wrong with my brother if he can’t even follow simple instructions? He probably has to use a helmet when he’s cooking too...
❖❣ End of flashback ❣❖
“I swear to god, I’m going to kill you!” I exclaim.
“Why don’t you like my drumming?” Jason asks and begins to do it.
That’s it! I shift without thinking about it and lunge at him. Jason stops when he sees to which pissed-off level he took this and now knows that he took all of this too far. Kian, Miliano, Henry, and Killian are trying to hold me back while Nathan slaps Jason in his head.
“You’re a dickhead! I told you not to challenge it, and yet you do!” Nathan growl at our brother.
“What do you mean, a challenge?” I ask when I shift back.
“He was curious to see how far he could take it before you shifted. We researched some hybrid scrolls and found out that some hybrids can’t take anything at all without shifting. You have an unusual resistance,” Nathan explains.
“You,” I point at Jason. “You go out there and put my bags in my room.”
“And why would I do that?” he asks in defiance.
“Do you want our brother and your alphas to know what you put your luna and queen through?” I ask in an innocent voice.
He looks frightened before sprinting outside. Miliano and Kian give me questioning looks; I show my index finger in a “wait” position. Jason runs upstairs and puts the bags where I told him to. When he gets down, Nathan holds him and makes him sit down.
“Now, what did he do?” Nathan asks.
I tell them everything, and at first, they’re laughing. But when I tell the parts where Jason screamed that I hurt him, that makes them growl. My dear brother didn’t think about what could happen, but I did, and that’s why I’m smirking at his misery right now.
“Are you fucking stupid, Jason!? You’re a gamma, for goddess sake! How can you be so careless? What if someone had called the human police? Aleida would get arrested, and they would’ve taken a blood test,” Nathan exclaims.
Jason’s eyes are as big as saucers. He didn’t think about that part. Our blood is not the same as humans. Most humans don’t know about supernatural beings, but there’s a part of them who does, hunters. Hunters kill vampires, werewolves, yeah, every single magical creature they can find. Basically, he could’ve signed my death warrant by doing the things he did, and because he’s the gamma, this mistake is unacceptable in our world. We don’t know who the hunters may be or if the police, hospitals, or whatever helps them.
“I can see the werewolf community’s headlines...,” I begin dramatically and pretend to hold a newspaper. “‘The hybrid queen comes back from the dead just to be outed by her brother to the hunters’, that would be fucking ironic.”
“You’re not helping!” Jason hiss at me.
“I’m not trying to. You behaved like a bitch; we aren’t twelve and aren’t kids anymore, Jason. You’re a gamma, and I’m the queen. Can you see why this is a problem here?”
“Are you mad at me?” he asks after a moment of silence.
“No, I’m not mad at you. Irritated—yes, but I also know that this is the typical big brother behavior you would have had if we grew up together, so I give you a pass this one time,” I say with a sigh.
“I was only researching and thought it would be fun...,” he mumbles, clearly ashamed.
“I know Jason, and that’s exactly why you’re doing double training every single morning for a month,” I smirk at him.
“You can’t do that!” he exclaims with big eyes and an outrageous look. “Alphas, you have to stop this!”
“Actually, she can do that, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. She’s our alpha, and what kind of mates would we be if we went against our beautiful mate’s orders?” Miliano smirks and winks at me.
Jason stomps his foot on the floor like a toddler before thumping his way to his bedroom and slams the door shut. I laugh loudly at him until I fall on the floor. My mates are smiling at me, and Nathan is shaking his head with a sigh.
“You just have to rile him up, don’t you?” my big brother asks.
“Hey, I didn’t get to be the annoying and frustrating little sister, so now I’m taking my chances where I can get them,” I answer.
“What I did in my past life to be tortured by you two as my siblings—I’ll never know,” he replies with a sigh.
“Oh, hush. You love me, and I’m your favorite sister,” I say and wave my hand casually.
“You’re my only sister,” he laughs.
“Exactly! No one can take that title away from me,” I smile like a kid who just got a new bike.
“Not to be a Debbie Downer, but we need to talk to you, Aleida,” Kian says with a serious face.
“What is it?” I immediately stop my shenanigans to listen.
“Luis called when you were away.”
“What did he say?”
“The pack needs you, and it doesn’t look good.”