Alpha Asher by Jane Doe Chapter 199

Alpha Asher by Jane Doe (Alpha Asher & Lola)

Chapter 199

When I came back inside the living room, nothing had changed. Zeke was still dancing with Breyona while Giovanni watched with a mixture of irritation and adoration on his face. Tristan continued to glance at Holly, who was curled up on the couch watching the two dances with blush-stained cheeks. Clara and Mason looked like they wanted to join in, while Ca*s*sidy laughed at Kendrick’s terrible moves.

Only Asher noticed me come back in, his dark stare soft as it turned to my face. There must’ve been something-some fragment of truth in my expression because his eyebrows slid into a grimace and his jaw tightened.

“What is it?” He asked, coming to my side.

I held the papers in my grasp, still trying to process what the hell I’d just read. The envelope with Breyona’s name on the front sat at the very top, another hole in my heart because I knew this letter would dampen her mood. It was from her parents, a last farewell to their only daughter before they were murdered.

The single envelope felt like it weighed a thousand pounds.

Every head in the room turned to Asher and I, hearing the question he’d asked me and seeing the truth on my face. Tristan was at my side in an instant, followed by Breyona. Giovanni hovered at her back protectively, as though he could shield her from whatever had gone wrong.

“The neighbor just brought this over. Apparently, it was delivered to the wrong house.” I said, my voice low and eyes darting up to meet Breyona’s. “It’s from your parents.”

My best-friend s*cked in a sharp breath, her large brown eyes instantly watering. They scanned the papers in my hands, latching onto the envelope that stood out against the tanned pages that had been torn from the book on my family’s history.

“Is that.. is that for me?” Her voice trembled as she asked.

I swallowed the knot in my throat. “They left it for you…incase they didn’t make it.”

Her lower l!p began to tremble, and she brought her hand up to hide it just as Giovanni pulled her into his arms. I looked up at the Vampire that towered over her, that protected her with the same fervor he protected me with.

“Take her to my bedroom or one of the spares. I’m sure she doesn’t want an audience.” I murmured, handing him the envelope with pain clutching my heart.

Zeke, who had been hovering on the outskirts, c*oc*ked his head. “Those papers are from the book, aren’t they? What do they say?”

I gave a small shake of my head, one that said, ‘not here.’ It’s not that I didn’t trust everyone else in the room, but my insides were so shaken that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to utter the words around this many people.

Mason’s voice rang out, snaring all of our attention. He had his arm around Clara’s shoulder, but his words weren’t just directed to her.

“Mind if we grab some of those leftovers you got stashed away? I’m starved.” He said, rubbing his toned stomach. There was a knowing look on his face, but it was laced with sympathy that told me he understood completely.

Clara hummed, holding back laughter. She batted her eyelashes at Mason, making him smile. “You’re always hungry, but I could use a snack too. Alcohol gives me the munchies.”

Kendrick nodded, oblivious to the tension in the room. “I second that. Plus there’s never a bad time for a burger.”

“Go ahead and dig in.” I said, forcing a smile onto my face.

Mason and Clara headed into the kitchen with Ca*s*sidy and Kendrick following closely behind. The blonde in charge of hosting tonight’s sleepover had a concerned look on her face, and clear reluctance in her eyes as she left us alone.

Holly appeared around Tristan’s shoulder, tapping it gently to get his attention.

“I think I’m going to go with them. I could use another blood bag.” She whispered, her eyes flickering over the rest of us.

Tristan nodded, something in the depths of his icy gaze thawing as he looked down at my half-sister.” Giovanni put them in the ice box in the garage.”

Once Holly had padded out of the living room, leaving only Asher, Zeke, Tristan, and myself, I knelt down in front of the coffee table and spread the papers out for them to see. Asher flicked on the television, cranking the volume up to drown out our voices.

They were made of the same thick material as in the book. Even the writing and ink were the same, elegant, and lilting as someone with an expert hand painted them across the page. The frayed edges only proved further that they were the missing pages, but it did nothing to explain how they’d gotten that way to begin with, or who had taken them.

Each one of the guys passed around the sticky note that was attached to the front, their eyes skimming over the last words of Breyona’s parents before they were k*il*led.

“The witches are the ones that k*il*led them, so it stands they most likely had the pages to begin with. We need to prepare for the possibility that they already know.” Tristan pointed out, his mind on the same track as my own.

I chewed anxiously on my lower l!p, picking at the skin that come up from the last time I bit into it.

“We need to pray to the Goddess that they don’t.” I whispered, staring down at the pages.

“What the f*uc*k?” Zeke mumbled, his eyes sliding back and forth as they traversed each page with rapt interest. He slid a hand down his face, which had paled considerably. “f*uc*k, this is bad.”

Asher, who had been silent this entire time, pinched the bridge of his nose and suppressed a snarl.

“Can someone explain?”

On any other occasion, Tristan would’ve taken that moment to poke fun at Asher. He would’ve gotten into him for being too impatient and high-strung to read. The stoic Vampire said nothing, looking expectantly at Zeke and I as he too waited for an explanation.

Zeke looked up at me, a light I’d never seen before in his eyes. They’d always been full of warmth and friendliness, and while they weren’t exactly distrusting, there was a wariness there that I found myself hating.

“Do you want to, or should I?”

“Go ahead.” I croaked, not trusting my voice.

“The first page is saying there are no limits to Conjuration, but that there are certain…side effects. The side effects the witch experiences are dependent on where the power comes from. It goes on to describe these two different planes of existence.

They’re kind of like Heaven and Hell, only think of them as dark and light. There’s no way to travel to these planes, but they’re the sources of magic that all witches pull from. Even the evil ones pull from light without knowing it since the dark plane is so hard to access. There are some in history that have accessed the dark plane, but only in small amounts.

Conjuration acts like a key to both planes, and lets the witch pull from them freely…drawing as much power as she wants.” He explained, pausing to give Asher and Tristan a moment to catch up.

Tristan’s grimace held a hint of confusion. “How is this knowledge dangerous?”

“He hasn’t even gotten to the good part yet.” I said, my l!ps pressed in a thin line.

Zeke tapped the second page in the stack. “It gives an example. It talks about one of Lola’s ancestors who pulled from the dark plane, drawing more power than any other witch has in existence. The spell k*il*led an entire town of people, but it worked.”

The dim lighting paired with the pressure filling the room, s*cking the air from the four walls, left me lightheaded and shivering. I slid my hands beneath my thighs to hide the tremble in them.

Asher leaned forward in his seat. “What did the spell do?”

Instead of looking at Asher, Zeke met my eyes as he spoke.

“The spell created something. Something dark and never before seen by our world. It created the Shadows.”

Tristan’s already pale skin grew paler, like w*et tissue paper dr*a*p*ed over cobalt veins.

“The Shadows? You’re sure?” He asked.

Zeke nodded, his face grim. He tapped the page a second time. “Positive. It says it right here. Not sure why the Shadows are willing to make deals with the Vampire monarchs, but if I had to guess it may be the fact that both Vampire’s and the Shadows drink blood.”

“Why would she create the Shadows? For what purpose?” Tristan scowled.

“Humans…witch hunters, had taken her baby. They thought witchcraft was taught, not passed down through the generations. They didn’t know her baby had magic of its own. Either way, she couldn’t allow them to take her child, so she acted.” I replied, my eyes glued to the pages.

There had been this f0rce inside of me that demanded to know the truth. Why would anyone create something like the Shadows? The thought that this dark ent*ity had been birthed from one of my ancestors thoughts made my skin erupt in goosebumps. I couldn’t stop myself from reading the pages, desperate to know more. The answer brought not a speck of comfort.

Asher ran his fingers through his hair, tugging at the roots before letting go. “We can work with that. It just means that Lola is more powerful than any of us thought.”

My mate’s eyes met my own, and in their golden depths I saw understanding so pure and strong that it made me want to weep. I wanted to find rea*s*surance in Asher, but I couldn’t let myself. He had no clue how much worse it got, but soon, he would.

“There’s more.” Zeke said. “The witch that created the shadows went too far. Tapping into that kind of magic is addicting, and even doing it once can get you hooked. It says here that she lost her mind, and that the dark magic had changed her over time. Before she was murdered by other witches, her sisters, she’d created what the humans called ‘the Black Death’.”

Tristan locked eyes with Asher, his icy blue against my mate’s warm gold. Something passed between them, an agreement of sorts. It was the first time I’d seen them wholeheartedly on the same team.

The four of us went silent, but the truth hovered in the air around us demanding to be given life. It was Tristan that spoke the words on all our minds, solidifying the fact that we were losing this battle and that our worst nightmares-they were so close to becoming reality.

“If they’re able to control Lola, they could quite literally erase both our species from existence.”

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