Read Alpha Asher by Jane Doe Chapter 128 – I handed the phone back to the cashier, hearing Asher’s objections on the other end, wishing I could soothe that side of him that wanted to shield me from all danger.
“Tell him the address, then hang up.” I told the cashier, deaf to her reply because it was Asher’s voice that rang in my ears.
“So, should I keep planning my escape, or did you delay my d***h for the time being?” Brandon asked the moment I was within sniffing distance, unable to keep his mouth shut long enough to let me sort through the guilt that made me short of breath.
I rolled my eyes at him, watching as put the gas nozzle back into it’s holder and gestured to the car, “I’d open the door for you, but from what I’ve seen of you and my brother, you’re not into the old-school romance type of stuff. Are you?”
I stared at his knowing smile without so much as a fraction of embarrassment on my face.
“Those schoolgirls of yours a little vanilla, Brandon? Does it surprise you that much that there’s women out there who want more than a few minutes of missionary, then a post-s*x rant about living in your brothers shadow?” I didn’t care I was being a b***h. From how awful my night had gone, I figured I deserved a few minutes. “Mind your own business or you won’t have to worry about Asher k*****g you, because I’ll do it myself. After we track down your friend.”
I got in the car and slammed the door, savoring the coldness of the glass against my warm face. Brandon didn’t open his mouth again but did turn on the radio so that AC/DC trickled in quietly through the speakers. Dad would play this kind of music when Sean and I were kids, back when he could glide and run throughout the house. It was this fact and the headache I still had that helped me fall asleep.
This time when I woke up, I knew exactly where I was. There was no avalanche of memories ready to flatten me, only the renewed annoyance that I was here with Brandon.
The sun had vanished from the sky, so I knew I’d been asleep for a few hours. I jumped in my seat when the truck of the car slammed, and Brandon yanked open the driver side door and got in.
“Here, shower and change into this. Hopefully, it fits. We don’t have much time.” He said, tossing a shopping bag and a blood bag onto my lap.
I looked out at the seedy motel we were parked out front of smack dab in the center of some nameless city. There were lights everywhere. From the cars that crept down the roads, nearly bumping into one another with every turn, to the skyscrapers and neon lights that flashed in various colors.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“My witch friend works at a night club. One that’ll kick you out in a heartbeat if you show up dressed like that-with or without my jacket to cover the blood.” He replied and tacked on, “oh, and I’ll want that dry cleaned. Yeah?”
“Oh yeah, sure. I’ll get right on that.” I snorted, balling up his jacket so it’d at least sting when I threw it in his face.
I downed the blood bag while peeling my torn and b****y clothes off my body. My favorite pair of leggings were littered with tiny holes from the glass that had shattered and sliced me to bits. If it hadn’t been for Brandon’s jacket, whose scent still clung to me like a cloud of noxious gas, the gas station clerk would’ve keeled over.
Somewhere halfway through my shower, I felt Maya finally wake up, Even with my enhanced vampire healing, Maya had to overexert herself just to patch up the largest of our wounds.
After showering faster than I ever had in my life, I pulled out a thin scrap of fabric and a pair of dangerously sharp stiletto boots.
‘Cute shoes…’ Maya yawned and stretched before shaking out her fur, ‘…I’ve been asleep for a while, haven’t I? Doesn’t seem like we’ve been kidnapped or captured…what happened after the c***h?’
‘Oh, we’ve been kidnapped alright, we’re just not trying to escape.’ I sighed and gave her a rundown of the last eight hours while I tried to figure out how to fit this scrap of fabric over my head.
‘Of all people to find us, it had to be Brandon.’ She huffed, needing no response to know that I agreed with her. ‘I guess anything’s better than the witch that made us c***h.’
My bra was stiff and soaked through with blood. Naturally, that wouldn’t have stopped me, but the dress Brandon had picked out was low cut with spaghetti straps. There was no putting my white-turned-red bra underneath that.
The fabric was skintight and the same dark shade as my hair. It would be a pain to move in if I needed to run, but it was long enough to cover my backside.
“I’m keeping these shoes…” I told Brandon, “…hope your heart wasn’t set on returning them.”
“Nah, you’re good.” He shrugged, glancing my way before pulling out of the parking lot. “I stole them, anyway.”
“Of course, you did.” I replied, wondering why I had assumed any differently.
Half an hour later, we were parked on some desolate city street right out front of a blacked -out brick building. Most of the buildings down the street were closed or shut down, apart from a 24-hr laundry mat. Instead of smelling sweat, d***s, and alcohol, all I could pick up was the light scent of laundry detergent. There was no red velvet rope manned by a beefy bouncer, or lines of men and women eager to get in. Actually, we were one of the only cars parked against the curb.
‘Lola? I can feel you through the mind-link again. Are you safe?’ A chill skated down my spine from Asher’s gravely voice. ‘I’m on a plane heading your way. Tell my brother if there’s so much as a hair out of place on your head, I’ll k**l him.’
‘Maya’s awake and better than ever, and you got on a plane? And believe me…’ I gave Brandon a long look, ‘…he knows what’s at stake.’
‘Stay safe, Lola. I’d lose my mind if anything happened to you.’
‘I know, but I will come back to you safe and sound. I did the first time, and I’ll do it again.’
I felt better knowing Asher had my back no matter the distance between us. He would scour the world for me or b**n it all down hunting whoever brought me harm. I could feel such a large piece of myself missing hundreds of miles away. The hollow feeling only made me that much more determined to get this done.
“Where are we?” I asked, “There’s absolutely no one here.”
“This place is hard to find for a reason. It’d be too obvious if there were flashing lights and three hundred people lining up down the block.” Brandon replied with a casual shrug of the shoulder, “And don’t ask where we are because I’m not giving you an address. The first thing you’ll do is tell Asher.”
I raised an eyebrow, “can you blame me?”
“No, now let’s go.”
I realized two things as Brandon opened one of the double doors and stepped inside, looking over shoulder to make sure I followed. The first thing was that this place was more than just hard to find. It was virtually impossible unless you already knew about it. I couldn’t hear the thundering music or smell the scent of alcohol in the air, until the doors had closed behind us. The second thing I realized was that I should’ve asked more questions, because there was a distinct charge in the air that I had felt once before-when Rowena did that ritual to reveal my binding mark.
“Magic hides this place.” I whispered, staring open mouthed at the club around us, which was much larger on the inside than the building should’ve allowed.
The ceiling alone was nearly fifty feet above our heads, with rows of lights that danced between purple, blue, and pink. Circular platforms were placed in clusters around the club floor, where n***d women covered in a healthy amount of body glitter danced freely.
A balcony wrapped around the back of the club, leading through a set of glass doors that took you outside. The bar itself sat at the center of the club, acting as the beating heart that kept the alcohol flowing.
We were boxed in by a red velvet rope, in line behind a group of women that were flirting with one of the bouncers. Brandon linked his arm through mine before I had the chance to object and steered us towards the second bouncer, a guy with a shaved head and trimmed goatee.
“Aye! Heard about some mess on your brother’s land. Wasn’t sure when you’d be back.” The bartender grinned, slapping Brandon hard enough on the back to make me wince. My movement caught the bouncer’s eye, “Well, now. Who’s this little number? Never seen you bring a girl up in here.”
I instantly bristled and opened my mouth to let this a*****e know exactly who I was when Brandon chuckled and pulled me closer to his side.
“She’s spoken for.” Was all he said, which wasn’t nearly good enough.
The bouncers’ eyes widened, “you went and found your mate?”
“F**k no. Lilly and I are just f**k-buddies, right?” Brandon smirked, sharing one of those ‘bro-smiles’ with the bouncer. Some neanderthal male bonding I could handle, but it was Brandon’s next comment that made me momentarily see red. “It’s actually my brother she wants-“
I wasn’t sure what type of man Brandon’s bouncer “friend” was, so after placing a solid punch to Brandon’s gut, I slipped past the two of them and charged into the club. The bar was closest, so I veered in that direction. I stopped short of the bar and looked around, feeling ridiculous because I had no clue what Brandon’s friend looked like.
Now that I was much closer to the women dancing on the platforms, I noticed they weren’t n***d at all. Well, at least not entirely. Little heart shaped pasties covered their n*****s, and what some would call a thong and others dental floss, circled their hips. Little gems placed on their neck, shoulders, and legs sparkled under the color changing lights.
“Little she-wolf, can I get you a drink?”