With Liam’s help, it’s easy connecting the dots. Devastated by her husband’s death, Camille Paxton had broken down mentally. She’d probably spent the past few months in a psychiatric home. I don’t know how, but she sees her husband in Alpha. And in me she sees an enemy who seeks to take away her ‘husband’ a second time. This explains why Alpha broke up with me. Camille had probably threatened him with my life. These thoughts run through my mind as I alight Linda’s bike and advance to Alpha’s house.
Linda catches up with me, but like a shadow she stays quiet. I rap my fingers on the door. Barely a second later I’m about to knock again, but my ringing phone cuts me off. Tentatively I answer dad’s call.
“Bethany?” mum asks.
“Oh my God. Are you alright? We just got your voicemail. We are already on our way to the airport. We informed the police. They’ll send a bodyguard over at once. Where are you? Are you alright, honey?”
“I died,” I say. “This is me speaking to you from the grave.” They’ve been away for three days and not once did they try to contact me. I’m sure there’s one flimsy excuse or the other, but I don’t want to hear it. I’m certain mum’s phone fell in water. Maybe dad’s phone dived in to play hero.
“Bethany I know you’re mad at us,” dad says. “And you have every right to be…” I tune out his voice as the door gives way, letting out a middle aged woman. I don’t need an introduction to know she’s Alpha’s mum. She looks between Linda and I. Her moist, puffy eyes tell me she’s been crying.
“Talk later, dad.” Ending the call, I smile at Mrs. Jordan.
“Good morning.” She doesn’t smile back.
“Good morning. Who are you?”
“I’m Bethany, Alpha’s classmate.”
“Alpha is unable to see anyone right now.” Something is wrong, but I can’t place a finger on it.
“Why?” Mrs. Jordan is just about to close the door when a painfully familiar voice cries out. I gasp.
“That’s Alpha! I need to see him. Please.” Mrs. Jordan considers my request for a moment. She turns away, letting me into the house.
Although I’m relieved I don’t find Camille by the corner, glaring at me, the sickening feeling that something is wrong doesn’t go away. My eyes roam the house as I follow Mrs. Jordan to the stairs. That’s when I see three bullet holes marring the wall.
“What happened?” I ask. Playing deaf to my question, Mrs. Jordan mounts the stairs and disappears into a room I’m certain is Alpha’s. Curious as a cat, I step in after her. A shirtless Alpha sits on his king-sized bed with his back to the door. A man sits opposite him, attending to something on Alpha’s torso. And beside the bed, Mrs. Jordan melts into the arms of someone I recognize to be Miller Jordan. Grunting, Alpha grabs a fistful of his mattress.
Although an urge to go around him and see the source of his pain steals me over, the fear of seeing him in pain roots me to the spot. Another grunt from him forces me to face my fears. I go around him and find the man (obviously a doctor) tending to a gaping wound on his arm. Alpha squeezes his eyes and clenches his teeth in pain.
My eyes adjust to the bloody cotton sandwiched between his shoulder and the palm he rests on it. Unable to restrain myself, I burst into tears.
“Mum I’ve told you already, stop crying,” Alpha says. “These wounds are nothing I can’t recover from.” He opens his eyes and freezes at the sight of me.
“What happened?” I ask. “When did this happen? Why didn’t you tell me you were hurt? Who did this?” He holds out his hand toward me. Sniffling, I grasp it and let him pull me close.
“It doesn’t matter who did this,” he says. “What matters is no one will ever try to harm you again.” More tears escape my eyes as I watch blood streak along his shoulder blade.
“We need to take you to the hospital.”
“That won’t be necessary,” he says. “I’m already receiving treatment.” I wince as I watch the doctor stitch Alpha’s skin like it were a piece of cloth. Alpha bites his lower lip in an obvious attempt to stifle a scream.
“I know Camille did this to you,” I say. “I know everything. Why didn’t you tell me about her?”
“She was going to hurt you if I told you about her mental illness,” he says. “I’d never forgive myself if anything happened to you. I don’t know how, but her eyes were everywhere. That’s why I had to stay away. I was going to explain everything once I returned her to the mental home. She’s receiving treatment now. Hopefully, she’ll be able to get over her husband’s death.”
“I don’t care if she’s unwell,” Mrs. Jordan says. “She will have to pay for what she did to my son.” Alpha sighs.
“Mum, there is no need for that.”
“If you enjoy getting stabbed multiple times, that’s you. But I don’t enjoy seeing my son in pain.”
“Mum…” Alpha says, but Mrs. Jordan doesn’t give him a chance to speak. She storms out of sight, with her husband trailing after her.
“And I don’t enjoy seeing my Alpha in pain,” I say.
Done dressing Alpha’s wounds, the doctor turns away to arrange his tools in his first aid box. Alpha pulls me to his lap and wraps an arm around me.
“Pain is when an Alpha is forced to stay away from his Beta.” He plants a kiss on my lips.
“I love you,” I hear myself say. He smiles wryly.
“If it wasn’t too soon to use the L-word, I’d say I love you too, Beta.”
Alpha seriously knows how to make me smile like a fool. But hey, it’s not like I’m complaining. If being with him would turn me into a fool, then I’d happily be the queen of fools.
By D.L Biranen