The Alpha's Mate - Chapter 74 (2024)

 

TALA

Taking over Leah's body, I felt every snap of her body. No wonder she was screaming.

What have our human counterparts gone through? The pain is excruciating, even for us. We can bear the pain, but as humans, it makes me wonder how they cope with it.

The final snap made me wonder if it was safe to open my eyes. I felt something on my paw, which made me open my eyes. I looked around and found someone staring at me—Josh.

"Tala," he murmured with a smile while he removed his hand.

I blink a bit. After settling, I became aware that I was in my true form. I couldn't help but look back and see Leah looking confused. I was worried about her.

I felt the fever come during the shift, but Leah didn't seem to feel it, which was concerning. When she registered what was happening, she got away from her friends just by the skin of her teeth.

"Leah, are you okay?" I asked, pulling from my thoughts. My voice made her look at me.

"You can come closer to see what is going on," I said.

Leah stared at me for a moment. "This feels weird," she murmured. "I don't feel like I am there."

A little giggle slipped past her words. She always had a way with them when she was younger and now.

Saying nothing, I sighed and looked back at the two men who were now in the lounge and staring at me.

Looking down, I spotted black and white fur. I took my time, moved up, and shook my fur until I stood there.

"Wow!" someone said, which made me look at the men. However, I soon realized it wasn't the men who spoke. It was a young female voice.

My eyes darted to the door, and Leah's friend Lucy was in the doorway, with her mouth wide open.

"Crap," Leah said. "She must have followed me out of the house."

I said nothing and kept my eyes on her.

Lucy stared at me until I heard movement, and someone stopped beside me. Looking up, it was Josh. His eyes were on Lucy.

"You shouldn't have—" he said, but a low growl rumbled from behind, which made me look over at the man behind—Leah's uncle. His wolf was close to the surface, which was not normal. That would usually mean that his wolf wanted to kill or protect, but what was his wolf doing?

"I didn't mean—" Lucy murmured, sounding scared, which made me look back at her. Her expression of fear made me look back at her.

"I wanted to make sure Leah was okay," she whimpered. "I won't say anything."

Another growl erupted, making me turn around and growl at him. He stared intensely at Lucy. This didn't look good.

"Lucian," Josh said. "Control yourself. She's just a child and Leah's friend."

"Tala," Leah shouted. "Protect Lucy."

I knew I was going to. There was no way I was letting this damn fool hurt someone who means so much to my human.

My eyes stayed on Lucian, but I moved away from Josh and stood before Lucy.

A low rumble of my growl rippled through me while I stared at the man.

Lucian looked at me and closed his eyes. He had to get control of his wolf. Something was up with him, but what?

"Lucian, control him!" Josh said, moving to the front of me and blocking my view.

The man was defending us, defending Leah.

Leah moved closer to the surface. She was joining me upfront. "Don't let him anywhere near her," she said, to which I nodded.

I could not let him. I would protect her friend or any human who needed it.

Josh suddenly moved to the side, which made Leah and me stare at Lucian. He was back to his human self. I listened closely and felt his wolf, but he seemed further back than he was.

"Sorry," he mumbled. "He didn't know what to do. He wanted to protect them somehow, but I didn't know why. Leah and Tala would never hurt her. She is their friend. But my wolf wanted to be let out. He wouldn't tell me why?"

There was silence until Lucian muttered a sorry and went back through the kitchen door.

Josh, who seemed tense, let his shoulder roll back and turn around slowly. His eyes landed on us, and he smiled. "Tala," he said. "Leah, why don't you let your friend in? It is unsafe for her to stand on the door like that."

Leah went back slightly while I moved further into the room but looked over my shoulder and stopped. I sat down and watched Lucy stare at us.

Her eyes were full of every emotion you could find—curiosity and fear were the main ones, but there was even a sense of relief that I couldn't understand.

I watched Josh step toward her and hold out his hand to her. "Lucy," he murmured. "Please. I will explain everything to you, but you need to be inside. It is not safe for you or even for Leah right now."

Lucy looked taken aback by his words and nodded while entering the house.

Josh closed the door behind her and looked back at us. "Well, I guess you can tell we are not all human," he said. "We are werewolves."

Lucy stared at him, shocked. "Werewolves?" It wasn't a question. It sounded like she was trying to process what was being said.

"She looks scared," Leah murmured, making me look back at her while Josh told Lucy about our kind.

"She is," I said. "She just watched you shift into a wolf. That can't have been easy for her."

Leah stayed quiet for a moment before speaking again. "Will it hurt like that every time we shift?" she asked, which made me shake my head.

"No," I said. "I should have prepared for this and told you more about it. I thought we would have had another day or two. I was planning on telling you later when you returned, but I felt the fever set in, and it was too late."

Leah looked at me.

"Why did it happen like that?" she asked. "It happened so quickly."

I shrugged.

"It shouldn't have," I muttered, which made me ponder what the moon goddess had told me over the years, but nothing had been set for me. This came quickly like we were getting prepared.

"Leah," someone called, pulling me from my racing thoughts. Looking back at Josh and Lucy, who seem to stare at me.

"Her wolf is called Tala," Josh said with a smile. "Leah is close by. I can feel her."

I stared at them while Leah came closer to see what was happening.

Lucy and Josh's eyes widened, but Josh recovered quickly. "Their eyes changed like that, makes it known that both wolf and human are as one."

"Wow!" Lucy whispered and stepped toward me but stopped. "Can I pet her?"

Lucy looked at Josh. But without hesitation, I moved closer and rubbed my fur against her, which made her jump slightly.

Lucy looked down, and her face lit up while her hand went to my head. She scratched behind my ears, which I loved.

"It looks like Tala likes that," Josh said with a slight laugh.

I looked at him, but a scent wafted through the open window.

Rotten eggs, which could only mean one thing—rogues.

A loud growl erupted through me, which made Lucy shriek and step back.

"f*ck," Josh muttered.

"Rogues."

The Alpha's Mate - Chapter 74 (2024)

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