Read Alphas Unleashed 3 Online
Authors: Cora Wolf
Tags: #Paranormal Romance
Copyright © 2014 Cora Wolf
All rights reserved.
Days and days pass, and still there’s no sign of Connor, and Sara begins to contemplate a future without her passionate alpha werewolf in it. She begins to see another side of Marcus though, a gentler, more compassionate side. She thinks that maybe, in time, she could even love the cold and damaged alpha wolf.
But just as Sara is getting close to Marcus, the dark and silent mansion in the woods gives up one more of his secrets, and Sara begins to question if there is only room for revenge in Marcus’ heart.
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It had been five days since Connor had disappeared in the night in his wolf form, and each day I had felt more and more helpless, until I felt overwhelmed by the emotion, like helpless was all I was. But there was nowhere to go, nothing to do with that feeling. I couldn't contact Connor, I couldn't go after him. All I could do was pray that he found his way back to me.
But that didn't stop me from thinking, obsessing really, over what I would say to him if I could talk to him. I sat on the big wide window sill at the front of the house, wrapped up in a blanket and watching the rain fall, and rehearsed for the hundredth time the speech in my head that I feared I would never get to say out loud.
If Connor had come walking through the front door at that very moment I would have told him that I loved him, that he meant more to me than he could ever possibly know. I would tell him that he had rescued me, physically but emotionally and psychologically as well. And I would say that nothing could ever change that, that he had a place in my heart forever.
If only he would come back.
Just then I heard footsteps behind me and whirled around, thinking that maybe my thoughts and prayers had somehow summoned him back to my side. But it was just Marcus, treading lightly, seeming a little unsure of himself, like he didn't want to intrude on my private pain.
Which was silly, it was his mansion, he could go wherever he pleased in it. I still thought of myself as just a guest.
"How are you?" he said in a quiet voice, in to the silence that I had enveloped myself in for the last few days. It was almost strange to hear another person's voice.
"I'm..." I almost said 'okay' just on instinct, but I wasn't even remotely okay. "I just wish he would come back," I finally said. It was the most positive thing I could think to say in that moment.
Marcus didn't say anything in reply, but he came and sat down on the other corner of the big window sill, so that he was facing me.
"Do you think he's coming back?" I asked.
"I do," Marcus said without hesitation, "but if you had asked me if he would stay away this long when he first left, I would have been equally sure the answer would be no." He waited a long moment, and neither of us said anything. "It's funny, ever since I found him, he and I haven't been apart for more than twenty-four hours. I know I seem to like my loneliness," he looked at me, "but it was always a comfort to me to know that he was just a little ways away."
I knew that feeling well. After having been forced to be alone for so many years, being around others who I felt safe with was such a welcome relief. Even with Connor gone, just knowing that Marcus was still in the mansion, just a minute away if I needed anything, was a big part of what was keeping me sane while I held my silent vigil for Connor, waiting for his return.
But even so, the thought that plagued me was whether there was even a place for me in that mansion without Connor there. I had gotten a taste of something amazing with Connor, and while having Marcus there was a comfort, it wasn't enough. I was safe with Marcus, but safety wasn't enough. I needed love, and companionship.
I felt a few tears coming, and I was so accustomed to crying by that point that I didn't even bother to wipe them away. But Marcus saw them and he immediately got up and came over to me. He silently pushed me back from the side of the window sill and then squeezed himself in between, so that I was leaning against his big, warm chest, rather than the hard, cold wood.
And it was such a strange thing, to have Marcus comforting me, Marcus who was always so cold and distant, that I immediately stopped crying. He wrapped one big arm around me, like he had when he had been helping to teach me to shift at will, and pulled me back on to him, and I finally settled in, though it felt strange, like maybe I was somehow betraying Connor.
I couldn't help but think that if Connor had wandered by that window at that exact moment he would have turned right around and walked back in to the forest. It was his impression that I had been ignoring him, and getting close to Marcus instead, that had driven him away, after all. And I knew then, in that moment, that I had been mentally distancing myself from Marcus ever since Connor had left, unconsciously walking myself back from the thing that had made Connor leave.
But it felt so good, to have Marcus there, with his arm around me, reassuring me just with his presence that everything would be okay. But why had it taken him five days to do this?
As if sensing my thoughts, he said "I'm sorry you've seen so little of me over the last few days. The truth is that I wanted to come to you and be with you but I thought that you might blame me for Connor leaving."
"No," I said right away, "I don't blame you at all."
He seemed to relax a little at that, and I was surprised at how heavily it had seemed to be weighing on him.
"The truth," he said, "is that ever since all three of us spent the night together I haven't been able to stop thinking about you Sara. Ever since my wife and family were taken from me I have been completely singular in my desire to take revenge on those that killed them. I never expected to have romantic feelings again. And so I was caught completely off guard when I suddenly developed them for you. I still feel compelled to see my revenge on the vampires through, I suspect that that will never change for me, but I want you to know that regardless of what happens with Connor, you always have a place at my side, with me."
"Thank you," I said, not wanting to say more. I would need time to digest all that. Could I come to love Marcus the way I had fallen so completely for Connor? Maybe, in time. But Marcus' pain was much more personal than Connor's ever had been. He was defined by it. Despite what he said, I wasn't sure he could ever make room in his heart for anything else. And if he did ever manage it, he might come to resent the person that had taken that pain away from him.
In many ways Connor and Marcus had been two opposites who, when they came together, made a whole. Marcus cool and removed, Connor hot and passionate. Together, they made sense, but apart they seemed incomplete. Especially Marcus. He didn't seem to make sense without Connor there to compliment him.
But I held on to his arm across my chest all the same, grateful for any comfort that was being offered, and silently prayed that Connor would find his way back to the two of us. To me.
The next day, and still no sign of Connor, I went looking for a distraction, to get myself away from the window, away from the gazing out at the outside world and feeling trapped in my own sadness.
I went exploring in the mansion.
It was a big enough place that just going around and poking my head in to all the rooms took a long time. But for the most part none of it was very interesting. There were bedrooms and bathrooms, a library, a whole second kitchen, other rooms that probably had some official function or name that I wasn't familiar with.
But all of the furniture had sheets over it, and all of the lights were off, and everything was covered in a fine layer of dust that hadn't been disturbed in years, and I didn't want to be the one to disturb it. It felt like it would be disrespectful to Marcus to do that. Instead I only poked my head in and witnessed what was there, and moved on.
Soon I had made my way back to the room that Connor had shown me, the one with all the pictures. I went inside and quietly closed the door behind me. Then I went to the other side of the room and threw back the heavy curtains and let the light come pouring in.
It seemed as if the room had been a bedroom once, now that I really had a chance to look around. There was a bed and a side table and a door which I discovered was an attached bathroom. And the stacks of boxes. I took the lid off of the top one and started to paw through the hundreds, maybe thousands of photographs inside. So many sunny days, so many smiling faces. It seemed like a box from an alternate dimension, rather than just a decade ago. It didn't seem possible that the world captured in those photographs was the same world that we lived in. But the pictures didn't lie.
There was nothing new to learn in that box though. So I put the lid back on and started on the next box. I took the first thing off the top, which was an envelope, and opened it up. I took out a letter, the paper musty with age, and read the neat handwriting:
Things are well on the island. As I'm writing this it is summer here, though I don't have any clue when this letter will get around to being posted. Life moves slowly here, and trips to the mainland are few and far between.
I have good news though. I am pregnant. Again! I remember when we were young, how I was adamant that I would never be a brood mare for some alpha male. Younger me would be horrified at the person I have become, but that is life. What about you? Who have you become?
Conall is also well. He sends his love. Begrudgingly. He has his hands full leading our pack. Just last week another pack of werewolves, fresh in from somewhere south, arrived on our island, looking to make a home there. Conall and a few of the strongest pack members went to them and told them the island was our territory, and that they weren't welcome. Thankfully they went peacefully, but more and more werewolves seem to be coming north every day, as word spreads that the vampires stay away from these extreme parts, where the sun sometimes never sets.
Have you considered my offer to come and join us? I know you and Conall weren't exactly the best of friends when the two of you first met, but he promises me he is willing to let the past be the past, if you are. Becoming a father has seemed to mellow him somewhat. Or at least shifted his priorities around. The truth is we could use you here, big brother. With all the new werewolves streaming in to Alaska, we need strength more than ever. There will surely come a day when some new pack washes up on our shores and they refuse to leave peacefully.
In happier news, your niece is growing up every day. Even at ten months she is fierce, and has a force of will that is impressive. Conall claims she takes after him, but personally I think she takes after you. I truly hope that you get to meet her one day.
Are you getting these letters big brother? Are you still alive? I was told you are, but sometimes I wished you were not, heartless as that may sound. It would make your silence easier to bear. Sometimes I dream that you finally found a way to make yourself in to a human, and you escaped the destiny that was waiting for you. I hope you did. I hope you found your own little slice of happiness, and are off right now living it, and these letters are all unopened, in a mailbox somewhere.
But if you are there, and you are reading this, then please write back. I miss you. I hope that you miss me.
I looked at the date. The letter was eight years old. I wanted to run downstairs and brandish the letter in Marcus' face and scream at him. Why hadn't he gone north to be with his sister? Why was he still there in that house? He had a family that loved him and might still be alive, and a safe place to go to and live, and people that needed him, and he was still there in that damned house with its dusty rooms and awful silences.
I didn't understand it, and I couldn't not say anything.
I left the room and went quickly down the stairs, before my brain could catch up with the outrage that I was feeling and tell me that this was a bad idea. I went right in to Marcus' room without knocking, and just as I had thought he was at his laboratory desk, hard at work trying to make more werewolves.
"Why haven't you gone to be with your sister?" I said, brandishing the letter at him.
He got up in one smooth motion and took the letter from me. After glancing at it he glared at me, cool and severe, and all my heat and anger melted away.
"This is none of your business," he said, his voice low and rough.
"But why haven't you?" I said, wanting an answer at least, wanting to understand what seemed to me to be an insane choice. What could possibly make him stay?