6. Let the beast out
Beeping and a bright light indicate that I’m in the pack hospital yet again. I should get a clip card. You know one of those “do this x number of times and get one for free’? Given how many hospitalizations I’ve had in the last year, that’s no more than right.
“Aleida, can you hear me?” Kian asks in a soft tone.
“Yes, I can hear you, dear mate of mine,” I answer with a smile and open my eyes to look into his deep orbs full of concern.
“What the hell happened to you? One moment you were fine, and then you started screaming.”
“Someone tried to force my shift, telling me that I have to let my beast out, or they’ll kill everyone I love,” I answer in a small voice.
Kian growls at my words, knowing that the person meant our puppies. No one is going to touch them; at least we agree on that. Someone’s knocking, and a moment after, Miliano walks in with the boys in his arms. Jason, Killian, and Henry are holding one girl each.
“Hello, my babies,” I coo at the boys and make ‘give me’ motions for them.
Miliano brings them over to me, and they simultaneously nuzzle my neck for comfort. I whisper sweet nothings to them and kiss their cheeks. Gradually, they begin to relax into my touch. My boys are so young, and they’ve had to endure so much in their short time here on earth. It has to stop!
“I must learn to control this because I don’t know when the person will enter my mind again. If I’m not strong enough, they’ll make me shift without my consent, and since we don’t know what their angle is, I can hurt all of you without noticing,” I say in a confident tone that gradually becomes vulnerable.
“Babygirl, I’m sorry, but you’re not strong enough yet,” Miliano says with caution.
“I don’t have a choice here, Milo!” I say in a determined voice. “That person can make me turn whenever they want. I was strong enough to refuse this time; I might not be as lucky the next time...”
“Lepa, we want to but-,” Kian begins, but nothing he says can change my mind.
“Don’t make me command you, Kian. Because I’ll command all of you if I have to,” I say with a stern voice and a death glare.
They all flinch at that. I never force others to obey my alpha command, but I’ll do it to protect them when the situation is as dangerous as this. Since I’m the strongest supernatural alive, you can all understand what catastrophe it’ll be if I lose control. I could kill over fifty rogues on my own when I was simply a wolf; imagine how many I can terminate as a hybrid. The difference is that this time, it might not be rogues I execute but my family. My family needs to understand how grave this situation is, even if I have to force them.
“So, how’s it going to be?” I ask without looking at them.
“We’ll help you,” Miliano sighs. “We love you too much to say ‘no.’”
“That’s great; give me an hour to prepare, and I’m good to go.”
“Ale-,” Jason begins.
“One hour,” I say and look him straight in the eyes, silently daring him to challenge me on this.
“Fine, one hour. I make the warriors move out of the way and be ready to take you down if they have to,” Jason sighs and walks out of there.
Miliano puts the girls between my legs, and it feels incredible to have all of my puppies close to me. I caress my girls’ cheeks and kisses my sons’ foreheads. They’re going to be protected; it doesn’t matter what or who’s in the way.
“I’ll never let anything happen to you. Even if I have to protect you from myself,” I whisper to my boys and close my eyes.
A single tear falls from my eye; Alexander notices and wipes it away with his tiny hand. Miliano and Kian walk closer to me, and that’s when my little men growl. This time it’s authentic growls; the daddies stop and look at the boys surprised while I laugh.
“Such good boys you are, now you’re starting to sound like your daddies,” I coo.
“You’ve been teaching them how to growl?” Kian asks with wide eyes.
“Yeah, they need to learn how.”
“That’s an alpha’s thing to do!”
“I am an alpha, dear Kian,” I answer.
“But it’s a dad-to-son thing to do!” Miliano exclaims.
“Well, it’s not my fault that the both of you neglected your sons and forgot about them as soon as we got home with the girls, now is it?” I snap back.
They know I’m right and can’t re-battle me on this. Instead, looks of shame adore their faces, and it serves them right for forgetting about their heirs to the pack when we’re gone. The dads walk closer and pick up one son each to play growl. The boys growl back, and they look happy doing it. Alexander and Elias are beginning to growl better and louder. Then my mates roar even more emphatic, which makes the boys laugh. Kian and Miliano look pleased with themselves. Which is why I growl, making the windows vibrate. They look at me, all of them.
“I win,” I declare with a shrug and a smile.
“Hey! That’s cheating!”
“Nope, it’s still growling.”
“It’s not fair.”
“Life isn’t fair, my love. Now, can you please put the kids to bed?”
Kian picks up the boys, holding them securely on his hips. Miliano takes one of the girls, while the betas take the other two. I’m left alone with no one to talk to except for Elisa. She’s not as talkative as Lisa; we mainly speak to each other when I’ve got questions or when we’re fighting others.
Elisa, are you there?
Of course, my dear. I sense that you have many questions to ask.
Can you help me control the power?
I can’t answer or promise you that, even though I want to. The power you’re channeling isn’t coming from me; it’s from yourself, your inner strength. That’s not something I can control since it’s not from the animal side.
So, I’m on my own then.
I’m very sorry, Aleida.
I sigh and get up from the hospital bed. Someone has placed clean clothes for me at the table by the window; I grab them and walk into the connected bathroom. It’s not something fancy, just a pair of plain jeans, underwear, and a tank top. It doesn’t take long for me to change. I walk out of the hospital and stop when the cool breeze touches my bare skin. Winter is coming, and I love every second of it. It’s my favorite season of the year, running through the snow, without being noticed, because of my snow-white fur. My legs take to me to the training grounds, where we’re supposed to meet soon. The warriors are watching me cautiously, and I don’t blame them. They’ve been briefed on the situation, and frankly, if my luna died, resurrected, and came back as an unstable hybrid, I would freak out too.
“It’s all right, boys. I’m not going to go berserk and kill you all, I promise,” I say with a smile and sit down Indian-style on the lawn.
They let out a breath of relief but remain in their attack mode if needed. I lay down and close my eyes; the sun warms my face. I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors; nature calms me in ways nothing else can. A shadow casts on me, and I slowly open my eyes to Miliano’s smiling face.
“We were going to get you, but I see that you’re just as stubborn as always,” he says, dragging me up from the grass.
“If I would’ve to wait for all of you old people all the time, I would never get anything done,” I smirk.
I’m the youngest of our little group, and since they never let me forget about it, I usually bounce back with the “you’re old” card. It’s helpful as always, and Miliano jumps at me, but I dodge him. I grab his arm and slam him down on the ground. The training has started.
“You’ve got to do better than that, mate of mine,” I snicker.
Jason and Kian jump me simultaneously; I side-step, grab their necks, and slam their heads together. Not to hurt them, but to make sure that they know who’s boss. I laugh at their attempts; they’re trying to get me mad and are failing miserably. Their attempts are admirable, I give them that, but this isn’t going to make me mad. This fighting is fun to me and nothing else. And when I can take: two alphas, two betas, and gamma at the same time, it’s no use in trying this method.
“Oh dear little sister, you’re no fun at all,” a voice says behind me, and I would know it from anywhere.
“Nathan!” I exclaim happily and jump into his waiting arms.
I don’t see him as much as Jason, and often it’s only for the day. Someone must have called him and asked him to come here to help me train. This means that they knew they weren’t going to be enough. Nathan is namely one of those few who can press the right buttons and piss me off without trying, which is why he probably volunteered.
“Aw, did I tire you out so much that you had to bring in the big guns?” I coo at the five men lying on the ground, exhausted while I just have started.
“You were a fucking war machine before you became a hybrid; now you’re a freaking God. Would you mind not blaming us for being only wolves? We have a disadvantage,” Henry pants.
“Am I here to talk or to piss you off?” Nathan asks in his formal tone.
I jump him, but he side-steps, which makes me slam into a tree. My head is pounding from the impact, and I groan from the pain. Nathan doesn’t waste any time; instead, he slams his body into me, making me fall.
“Damn, you’ve lost your touch already, Aleida. You must be the weakest hybrid in history,” Nathan says in a bored tone and fakes a yawn.
I kick his legs away, and my fist hits his cheekbone. He laughs at me and spits out blood. His teeth are full of dark red blood when he smiles, and it’s disgusting. I’m starting to get annoyed. Elisa is growling menacingly.
“A weak hybrid, a weak alpha, and a weak queen.”
“You’re a coward, and you couldn’t even stay with your mates from the beginning because you were scared of the outcome.”
“You can’t protect your pack and family.”
Punch, slam, kick.
“You can’t even protect your puppies from yourself. You’re nothing but a weak mother,” he hisses, and that’s the last straw for me.
Bones are cracking, a loud growl coming from my throat, and I stand on two legs. Nathan is smirking at me while the others look afraid. The warriors look unsure but ready nonetheless. Nathan shifts and runs away; I follow him on two legs. I’m as fast as him when I’m standing upright; if I’m on four, it’s even worse. He runs back to the group, and I’m furious. Elisa is chanting, “Kill him; he disrespected our abilities to protect our puppies,” in my head. I’m about to jump him with my canines showing when eight warriors jump on me to hold me down. They’re no match for my hybrid, however, and are thrown off easily. One of my big paws lands on Nathan’s back and forces him down on the ground. My claws find their way into his skin and draw blood. I growl him in the face, and he isn’t looking smug anymore; he’s frightened, but I can’t stop. I bite him furiously, not caring about the screams to stop. I’m about to bite his neck and end his life when a voice stops everything going on.
I look up and see Alexander crawling towards me. My abuela is ambling behind him with Elias in her arms, not looking worried at all; I shift and look down at my brother’s bloody torso. And it hits me hard. How could I do that?
“Oh goddess, what have I done?” I whisper and start to sob violently.
Alexander reaches me, and I pick him up, crying into his neck. I repeat, “I’m sorry” to Nathan, not knowing what to do or how to react. I’m torn apart by the knowledge that I’ve hurt my brother—one of the few who love and protect me no matter what. I give Alexander to Kian before rising and slowly back away.
“Aleida, what are you doing?” Miliano asks with concern.
“I can’t stay here,” I whisper with tears streaming down my face.
“What are you talking about?” Killian asks in a panic.
“I’ve almost killed my brother. I’m not stable and can’t stay here!” I shout and shift.
I run into the forest, with the only thing in my brain that I have to leave. I’m the cause of danger right now, and until I can handle it, I’ve got to go. People are chasing me, but I’m faster and leave the territory quickly. I run for what feels like hours and block all mind links from my mates, who beg me to turn back.
“Alpha, what are you doing here?” Luis asks me with confusion when I arrive.
“I’m unstable and can’t be with my family. Find those who’re ready for a fight; we’re going to hunt for rogues.”
He gulps at my voice, nods his head, and walks away. I look out over the forest, knowing that many rogues are in there. I scented them on my way here, and I’m out for blood. My emotions are off, I hurt my brother, and when I turn them back on, I’m going to break down. But until then, I’m going to be the predator for once, instead of always being the prey.
She left again. Though, this time I understand why. Aleida feels that she can’t control herself, and we all saw it happen before our eyes when she slashed her claws into her brother’s chest. He’s at the pack hospital right now; the warriors rushed there with Nathan in their arms. He’s going to make it, but she hurt him badly. When Alexander crawled to her, my heart stopped for a second. I thought that she would hurt him too, but it turns out that he could calm her down. Aleida shifted by seeing her brother and broke down. My sweet angel, she must be hurting now. Luis called us to say that Aleida is there. At least we know she’s safe. Since barely any women and no children live in the packhouse, that’s the best place for Aleida to be at the moment. When she’s there, no one bothers her when she’s working. Here, there’s always our family who seeks her attention, and many times, we forget that she needs her own space. In Aleida’s pack, there’s only disturbance if it’s attacks or something similar. Maybe it gets more comfortable for her to learn the control if she’s left alone for a while. Our puppies began to whimper when she left the territory, and it hurt to hear that. As her mates, we could feel it too, but it was bearable. But a relationship between a she-wolf and her puppies is an entirely different thing. It hurts both mother and puppies to leave each other like that. All we can do is hope for a quick recovery and more knowledge about hybrids. We can’t blame her for being scared and feel helpless in this unusual situation we’re all involved in. I’m not mad; sad is a better word to describe what I’m feeling. My woman is hurting, and there’s nothing I can do to help her. We tried, and look how good it worked. Aleida attacked her brother without being able to control it whatsoever and sent him to the hospital half dead. Through our bond, I can feel her anxiety and regret sipping through. I’m sitting in our shared bedroom with Alexander in my lap; he’s whimpering in his sleep and won’t calm down. He hasn’t cried yet, only showing his sadness with whimpers from time to time. Miliano is having more trouble with Elias, who won’t stop screaming and crying for his mother.
“What are we going to do, little man?” I ask my boy and caress his little hand with my thumb.
What to do indeed. How many times haven’t we watched her end up in the hospital, just to be okay again, and end up there once more? Yet again, Aleida is in a bloody war with herself, and I’m not sure she’s going to make it this time because now, she’s afraid...