MARRIED TO THE ALPHA - VOLUME 2 - Season 7 Episode 43
After dinner, Axel and Yasmin led the group to a lake.
It was a fifteen minutes-long walk that passed in friendly chatter.
Talia noticed that some members of the Midnight Guardians pack were following them. It felt awkward because they were keeping their distance, but she knew that they were curious about her and Damon, yet staying away out of respect, so she pretended not to see them.
No one talked about swimming, but it was an opportunity to spend time outside, see the area, and enjoy the night scenery with the lake as a backdrop.
The forest ended abruptly to open into a narrow clearing that was covered in grass and occasional protruding rocks before it melded into a calm lake that glistened under the moonlight.
Talia smiled at the sight. It was beautiful.
They all sat on the rocks and ground and chattered.
Yasmin and Cornelia were talking about the outside world with James and Axel listening.
Kai and Meg were asking Keith and Liam about Sandy because Meg wanted to prepare a welcoming party for Sandy.
Talia thought how that was cute. “Do you normally arrange a welcome for new members?”
Meg was not sure. Other than Yasmin, no one else joined the Midnight Guardians pack after her, but… “I am thinking about my experience. Everyone had their duties and routine, and with my ability flaring out of control and breaking things randomly, it was tough. If not for Kai, I would be totally lost. I want to do something to let Sandy know that her presence is appreciated and how besides her mate, other people are also happy she is here.”
“That’s so sweet of you, Meg.”, Talia said. “Let me know if I can help you with this.”
Meg needed a moment to come up with an idea. “The big lounge in the main building. We can invite Elders and anyone who has some rank and introduce Sandy officially, and when that’s done and guests leave, then just our circle can continue in an intimate setting with fruit cocktails and roasted marshmallows. Something homey.”
Damon shook his head in disapproval. “Sandy is a warrior. If you want to make her feel at home, instead of cute cocktails and gooey chocolates, we should have a hunt.”
‘I could use a hunt!’, Liseli shouted in Talia’s mind and Talia felt excitement swelling inside her. Her wolf wanted to stretch her paws, probably with Sapa, and Talia couldn’t ignore her.
“Hunt sounds like a good idea.”, Talia said and looked at Damon. “How about we add a competition for some fun and bragging rights?”
Damon was up for the challenge. “Do you have something on your mind?”
Keith made a face. “If Alphas are competing, we might as well sit this one out.”
Meg agreed with Keith. Alphas are faster and stronger, with sharper senses, but she liked the hunt idea, just like anyone else. Was there a way to level out the field?
“We can come up with goals for the hunt.”, Meg suggested.
That got Liam’s attention. “What animals do you have here? Maybe we can mark a few in advance, and only those would count toward the final score.”
“And if we hurt an unmarked animal, then the score will be deducted.”, Keith chimed in.
Meg’s eyes lit up, obviously in approval of this twist. “How should we mark them?”
“Make sure that mark doesn’t leave a scent and it’s not a physical object that can be seen because that will allow your Alpha to cheat.”, Axel said teasingly from the side.
Talia blinked at him when she realized he was talking about her. “You think I will cheat?”
Axel shrugged. “When the competitiveness kicks in and you see that you are losing, anything is possible.”
Talia puffed her cheeks in protest, but she didn’t comment on it. Talia and Liseli would love to win and impress Damon and Sapa, but would they cheat?
“Talia”, Axel called. “While they are planning the hunt, can we have a word?” He tilted his head to the side, telling her that they should step away and talk in privacy.
“Of course”, Talia responded and stood up from the rock with Damon right behind her. He had no intention of leaving her on her own. Not anymore.
Talia smiled at the clingy Alpha and took his hand into hers, their fingers interlacing immediately as a silent confirmation that he was coming with her.
Axel didn’t mind Damon’s company, knowing that Talia will tell him everything anyway.
Axel led the way toward the lake, and they stopped where water kissed the damp soil.
Axel closed his eyes to sense the surroundings and when he confirmed that no one was within the hearing distance, he said, “Since I have unrestricted access to all archives, I use my free time to read. It’s mostly historical data, some sounding like fairytales, but I found something interesting about this lake. There is a phenomenon at the bottom. Can you sense it?”
Both Damon and Talia closed their eyes and started feeling their surroundings with the focus towards the depths of the lake.
The outlines showed uneven ground with rocks and some plants swaying slowly, and then there were clams, fish, and turtles.
As their senses moved toward the middle of the lake, there was an absence of animals, and then the water became blurry.
‘How far can you see?’, Damon asked Talia through their private mind-link. ‘I can’t see beyond the kelp forest.’
‘Let me show you.’, Talia responded and opened her mind to project what she sees directly into Damon’s mind.
Damon was surprised to see that Talia’s perception was sharper than his. Sapa told him that Damon had a physical advantage when compared to Talia, while she had sensitivity to energies and could manipulate them, but Damon didn’t think that she would have this much of an advantage.
It’s not that he was jealous of her, but Damon craved more strength and abilities, how else will he be able to protect his kitten?
Damon shook those thoughts away and focused on the mental images Talia was sending him. She was going deeper into the kelp forest that moved with the strong unpredictable currents and Damon thought how that was familiar.
It took him a moment to realize that this resembled the depths of the lake that’s next to Darkbourne, the same one where Tatiana got stuck in kelp and Maddox saved her.
Talia continued deeper to find that the currents in the lake rotated around the center that pulsated with an unusual amount of energy, reminding her of energies at the portals where one can cross to a different realm, yet not quite the same.
The energies prevented her from seeing what was at the center no matter how hard she tried, so Talia opened her eyes and asked Axel, “What’s down there?”
“You can feel it, right? There is something.”
Talia understood that Axel didn’t know what it was. “Did you dive there?”
“I couldn’t reach far on my own. I was thinking that we can go together.”
“Are you sending her to danger?”, Damon growled with warning dripping from his word.
Axel raised his hands, palms toward Damon, signaling that he doesn’t mean harm. How could he forget about this protective Alpha who will attack first and then ask questions?