After reading our fill of the information before us, the three of us trudged back into the living room. Breyona made sure to return the book, placing it exactly how it was when she had removed it from the safe.
“Can’t be too careful.” Breyona chuckled breathlessly, but her eyes looked pained.
The three of us sat in silence, each mulling over our own bit of information. I hadn’t told them about Jessie, not having realized how important she was until now. I had met Jessie during patrol one night with Carter, Wade and Mason.
Two years younger than me, but out running patrol due to her keen sense of smell. I wasn’t sure if Jessie knew of her heritage, but happily placed it into the ‘worry about later’ category. There was little point for me to jump into Jessie’s life and turn it upside down.
When the silence finally became too much, and I remembered Alpha Asher’s plan for tonight, I broke the silence.
“How would you two feel about coming with me to get Sean back?” My voice sounded stronger than I felt, my words coming out strong and steady. My insides were a knot of nerves. Worrying about Sean and his safety, along with my Father’s plans and the annoying mark on my neck.
While I felt elated to have found information about my mark, I still had a week before my nineteenth birthday. An entire week to endure this mark on my skin, to deal with the constant pull I felt whenever I thought of Tristan.
“Does Alpha Asher know of this plan to save Sean?” Breyona’s eyebrow lifted, some of the trouble in her eyes faded at the distraction.
“Of course.” I scoffed, “He’s the one who came up with the idea. It’s like you have no faith in me.”
“Faith? That’s what you call it.” Breyona chuckled, my question now grabbing her full attention.
“What would we have to do?” Mason’s eyes were locked on my own, a lopsided grin forming on his face.
“Alpha Asher is bringing two of his own men. We’re going to a nightclub in some city. There they have this underground fighting tournament, one with werewolves and humans.” My l!ps slowly fell as I said the words out loud.
I’m sure we were all thinking the same thing. If Sean was there and we managed to rescue him, would he be the same?
“So, are we storming the gates? Or is this more of a lay low operation?” Mason quipped, breaking the air of unease that had filled the room.
“I think it’s a lay low operation.” I chuckled, “Alpha Asher will go more in depth once we leave tonight, but for now dress the part.”
“I wonder how many werewolves they get have come into their clubs.” Breyona mused, her fingers tapping against her jeans.
“Hopefully a couple.” I mumbled, “That’s something you should mention to Alpha Asher tonight. Be at the packhouse before six.”
Claiming she had some errands to run, Breyona dropped Mason and I at my old house. Anytime I mentioned my Grandma’s cooking, Mason nearly jumped from his shoes in excitement.
I was sure by the end of the year; Grandma would want to adopt both Breyona and Mason. I made sure to tell Mason to keep the plan from my Dad. It would butcher my insides to see the look of sorrow on his face if we failed, or if Sean was nowhere to be found.
“Felt like I haven’t seen ya in ages, kid.” Dad grunted, watching from his usual place on the recliner. Some football rerun played quietly on the television.
“We saw her yesterday at the fight.” Grandma pointed out, coming inside from the backyard, an exasperated look on her face as she eyed her middle-aged son.
“I meant around here.” Dad grunted, “She’s hardly been around the house, been spending all her time up with Alpha Asher.”
Grandma shot me a quick look, followed by a wink that made my stomach twist into knots.
“She lives at the packhouse now.” Grandma snorted, pulling some food from the refrigerator, as if she had known the two of us walked into her house hungry. “Mason, would you give me a hand with some of this?”
Mason scrambled like an eager kid to help my Grandma, asking questions along the way.
“Your parents ever teach you to cook?” Grandma side-eyed Mason, a smile playing on her lips.
“Not really.” Mason shrugged, giving Grandma a sheepish grin. “I worked at a Deli last year, so I know how to fry up some meat but that’s the extent of my cooking abilities.”
“Grab an apron and let me show you my ways.” Grandma chuckled, tossing an apron at a shocked looking Mason. I gave him a thumbs up and plopped down on the couch, shooting my Dad a grin.
“How’ve you been likin’ the packhouse, Lola?” Dad grunted, forcing his eyes to remain on the television. Something in his tone piqued my interest. He sounded uncomfortable and hesitate, holding back what he really wanted to ask.
“It’s been fine.” My eyebrow lifted as I took in my Dad’s weathered yet handsome features.
“And I suppose the Alpha’s been treatin’ you alright?” Dad grumbled, clearing his throat before reluctantly forcing his eyes on me.
“Dad, just ask your question.” I chuckled, ignoring the ball of discomfort in my stomach. “We’re both horrible liars and you look like you’re about to be sick.”
After giving me a defensive grimace, Dad finally caved.
“You and Alpha Asher–seem close.” Dad grunted, waiting for me to make the connection. “I just don’t want to see you in the same situation—as before, y’know.”
A violent blush filled my face, my Dad’s words and their multiple meanings swarmed my head.
“I’m not–There’s nothing for you to worry about.” I chuckled, “My birthday’s almost here, which will solve a lot of my problems.”
I hadn’t told my Dad the possibility of my mate being a Vampire, nor could I bring myself to mention it. Neither of us had talked about what Tristan did, or what Mom had done. I couldn’t bring myself to mention the past, to reopen the wound she had caused all those years ago.
A sour taste filled my mouth at the thought of my Mom. I had been so quick to shove the pain away, that I never had a chance to truly mourn her death. Even now, there were far too many other things drawing my attention.
‘Well, you’re not outright lying.’ Maya snorted, ‘We are pretty…close with Alpha Asher.’
‘Hush.’ I hissed, ‘Dad doesn’t need to know that.’
‘And the raging blush on your face is supposed to reassure him?’ Maya chuckled.
“I trust you Lola.” Dad nodded, his eyes running over the deep blush that stained my cheeks. “Got any plans for your birthday?”
“I’ll probably just run around town like a crazy person, sniffing around for my mate.” I shrugged, “The usual.”
From the kitchen I could hear my Grandma snort, a cheeky smile on her face as she met my eyes. Mason had a smear of flour across his chin. The white powder stood out on his tanned skin, looking much like chalk dust.
“You’ll do no such thing.” Grandma chuckled, shaking her head. “I’m sure Alpha Asher would be more than willing to throw you a birthday party.”
“I’m not sure I’m up to a birthday party this year.” I chuckled lowly, remembering how well Chelsea’s birthday at Haze had gone.
‘Well, we did meet Brittany that night but our time with Alpha Asher was well worth it.’ Maya shrugged, making an excellent point.’
“With all of the bad stuff going on, everyone needs something to celebrate.” Grandma shrugged, her eyes lit with her mysterious and seemingly infinite wisdom.
“I’ll think about it, but I doubt Alpha Asher would want to throw me a birthday party.” I shrugged, peeling my eyes away from Grandma’s knowing gaze.
The four of us had dinner in the kitchen. Every so often Grandma would flash a proud smile at Mason, who returned the action feverishly.
Once dinner was finished, Dad retreated out to the fire pit, a beer nestled in his hand. Grandma wasted little time, practically cornering me in the small living room.
“Does Alpha Asher have any news on Sean?” Grandma frowned, her light-colored eyes searching my own.
While I could’ve tried to hide the information from Grandma, she would know something was up. Whether she found out the truth or not, it would bug her until we came home safety.
“We might have information on where Sean is. We’re going tonight to try and bring him home.” I murmured, hoping the TV would drown out the sound of my voice.
“Be safe, Lola. I know you can handle yourself.” Grandma nodded; her lips pressed into a thin line. Something flickered in the back of her eyes, something that was clearly eating away at her.
“Is there anything you need to tell me?” I lifted my eyebrow at her, my eyes searching the lines on her face.
“Nothing you need to worry about right now.” Grandma shook her head, “Focus on getting Sean back, we can talk after.”
“I’ll hold you to that.” I nodded, letting out a weary sigh as Grandma pulled me into her arms.
Dad dropped Mason off at home before taking me to the packhouse. If we were trying to go in the club undetected, we’d have to look the part. While I trusted Breyona to do most of my make-up, I wasn’t completely incapable.
I dug through one of the closets in Alpha Asher’s bedroom. He had all of my clothes moved into his room, and had my stomach twisting at the thought hours after.
I slipped on a tight black dress. It reached around mid-thigh, but covered all of my bits nicely. The neckline dipped down my chest, showing the barest hint of cleavage.
Perfect to wear to a club, but also give me some sense of security. I curled my hair lightly, letting it fall down my back in thick waves of obsidian. I slipped on a pair of medium length heels, long enough to poke an eye out if need be.
Once I finally came downstairs, Alpha Asher and Alpha Zeke were in the middle of a heated conversation.
Alpha Asher’s eyes found my own, as though he had felt me enter the room. I watched with concealed satisfaction as his honey eyes grew dark, taking in every ounce of creamy skin I had left open to view.
“I’ll stay here and babysit Alpha Bran, but next time you’re taking me along.” Alpha Zeke grunted, crossing his arms over his chest. A wicked grin formed on his face at Alpha Asher’s clear reaction to me.
The sight sent a jolt of pleasure down my spine, one that had me hoping Alpha Asher was in fact my mate.
Breyona and Mason arrived on time, ten minutes before six. They each had dressed for the occasion. Dark in color, Breyona’s dress resembled my own. I ignored the blatant desirable stare Alpha Zeke had given Breyona, and it seems she too ignored his powerful gaze.
Mason wore dark slacks followed by a long sleeve top. The shirt clung to the dips and ridges in his body, making his muscles stand out.
Alpha Asher had put every one of us to shame, his outfit simple yet highlighting every delicious ounce of his body. His black shirt was thin, consisting of a material that clung to every ripple of his muscles.
His build looked huge in the outfit he wore, concealing most of his skin yet highlighting every bump and groove. His large forearms were visible, the sleeves of his shirt bunched up at the elbows.
Carter and Wade were last to stroll into the room, the hint of a friendly smile forming on Carter’s face. Wade remained stoic as he often did, eyeing the four of us somewhat warily.
“I want to make this as fast as possible.” Alpha Asher grunted to the five of us. “Alpha Zeke’s friend can get two of us into the fight, the rest will linger in the club. Keep an open mind-link at all times, I want no surprises tonight.”
While my stomach turned, we all listened intently. The prospect of finding my brother weighed heavily in my stomach and for a moment, I had wished I skipped dinner.