The Alpha's Bride
Chapter 26 - A Cover-up Story
Maya and Caden were throwing glances at Damon and Talia through the rearview mirror and observing how Damon cradled Talia in his arms gently, like she was made out of glass.
’Since when is our Alpha so kind to victims of abuse? ’, Maya asked Caden through their mind-link.
’You wanted to ask: since when is our Alpha so kind. Period. ’, Caden corrected her and asked, ’Did you know about this? ’
’Nope. ’, Maya responded. ’Damon was always fast in picking up women but bringing one home is a first for him. ’
Maya pointed at the rearview mirror, indicating for Caden to look.
Caden ’s eyes shifted just in time to see Damon adjusting his position so that Talia is more comfortable as she slept while leaning on him.
’It seems that Damon ’s taste in women changed. ’, Caden said.
Maya agreed. ’I thought he goes for curvaceous mature women. I remember him saying how he gets a kick of seeing boobs bouncing in the rhythm he sets with his hips, and that the only good ass is the one that has ripples when spanked. For someone who emphasizes that he likes them experienced, it ’s strange that he chose a skinny teenager. ’
’I can hear you. ’, Damon grumbled and both Caden and Maya shrunk.
’If you want to badmouth me, ensure the mind-link is just between the two of you. ’
Damon couldn ’t confirm if Maya and Caden stopped their gossip, or if they just tuned him out. He knew that they were not malicious.
Their comments were not in good taste, but only because this was his mate. If it was any other woman, he wouldn ’t care.
It was normal that they had questions about this unknown girl who suddenly popped out of the trunk, but Damon was not ready to talk about her. Actually, even Damon barely knew anything about her.
However, he knew that she is his mate, her scent is addictive, and delightful sparks prickle his skin when they touch… She was badly treated, and Damon needed her close and safe.
And that was enough for him. For now.
Damon was pleased that Talia agreed to come with him to his pack (and he didn ’t need to resort to kidnapping or figuring out how to move in with her).
In the Dark Howlers pack, no one will dare to mistreat her, and he will make sure that she gets whatever she needs and wants.
Damon will never forget the fear in her eyes, and how pitifully she looked in that attic.
Damon decided to take her with him on a whim, and he had no plans for tomorrow or the distant future, but he knew that he would make sure Talia ’s life going forward is a happy one.
He observed Talia and frowned at her injuries.
’Find us a hotel nearby. Something further from the main road. ’, Damon said through the mind link to Caden and Maya.
’Are you so eager to shag her that you can ’t wait? ’, Caden asked with disapproval. They still have a long way ahead of them and the girl is hurt and tired.
Damon grit his teeth in frustration. Why did Caden assume the worst? OK. Damon ’s reputation with women is not the best, but Talia is obviously in need of care and rest. He is not an animal!
’She needs first aid, and we can have breakfast. ’, Damon responded while suppressing his rage. He didn ’t want to snap and wake up Talia.
Maya and Caden agreed with this. Food was a good idea. They left in a hurry on empty stomach.
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Per Damon ’s instructions, Maya booked two rooms. She assumed that it will be girls in one room and boys in the other one, so she asked for two rooms with two beds each.
’Buy medical supplies for tending to cuts and bruises. Order breakfast in your room for me also. Let me know when it ’s ready. ’, Damon sent them a message through mind-link.
Maya and Caden gaped at the sight of Damon who carried Talia princess style inside a room, and he closed the door behind him.
Damon placed Talia on the bed gently, happy that she didn ’t wake up.
She frowned a bit when her back touched the mattress and he wondered if she has an injury there also.
He sat at the edge of the bed and looked at her sleepy face full of bruises and cuts. Her upper lip and left cheek were swollen, yet she still looked beautiful.
He took her hand in his and smiled when delightful sparks prickled his skin.
After an unknown measure of time, Damon asked his wolf, ’Now what? ’
’What do you want to do? ’, his wolf responded with a question.
’I want to hold her and… I shouldn ’t. ’
His wolf snorted in disapproval. ’Why are you resisting? ’
’You know what will happen if others find out she is my mate. Everyone will target her. She is weak and she already suffered too much. ’
Damon ’s wolf didn ’t agree that Talia was weak. Anyone who can have so many injuries and not dissolve into sobs, must be strong.
His wolf felt Damon ’s conflict and he decided to help Damon understand his current situation.
’In that case, there is only one thing to do. ’
’Which one? ’, Damon asked.
’Reject her. ’, his wolf said, and they shared a piercing ache in the chest area as the invisible bond between Damon and Talia was protesting the idea.
His wolf spoke again. ’You can ’t do it because you know it won ’t do any good. That ’s why you couldn ’t leave her behind. ’
Damon released a slow breath. ’What should I do? I can ’t let her go, and I can ’t be with her either. ’
His wolf was already pleased that Damon didn ’t reject Talia in the spur of the moment. He knew better than anyone how much Damon craves control. That was Damon ’s way of dealing with the harsh reality, but this was one thing where Damon can win only by letting go and allowing the bond to guide him.
’I can feel your anxiousness, boy. It will be fine. Don ’t rush this. For now, keep her close and keep her safe. In time, you will know what to do… ’
’Food is here ’, Caden ’s voice through the mind-link jerked Damon out of his thoughts.
Damon checked the time and realized that he lost about half an hour. That never happened before.
He was staring at sleeping Talia and lost track of time. He concluded that this bond is messing with his mind big time.
’Damon? ’, Caden called after a minute.
Damon knew that he should leave, but he found it difficult to separate from Talia. What if something happens? What if she disappears again?
He got an idea.
’Caden, answer the call and keep it on… ’, Damon instructed and took his phone to call Caden for a video chat.
Damon placed his phone on the TV stand so that the camera points at Talia, and with this video call, he can keep an eye on her from another room.
”Give me your phone. ”, Damon demanded from Caden as soon as he entered Caden ’s and Maya ’s room.
He nodded in approval when he saw Talia sleeping on the screen of Caden ’s phone.
Damon muted the call so that they don ’t wake up Talia accidentally.
”That ’s called a baby monitor. ”, Maya said to Damon.
”When you have a camera pointing at the baby while she is sleeping so that you can see her from other parts of the house. A baby monitor. ”, Maya explained.
”Or stalking. ”, Caden added. ”Will you tell us what ’s the deal with this girl? ”
Damon sat on the chair and took one plate that had eggs, bacon, and sausages. ”Let me eat first. I ’m starving. ”
He was shoving food into his mouth while stealing glances at Caden ’s phone (aka the baby monitor). Knowing that Talia was there, sleeping, gave him peace.
Damon narrowed his eyes and focused on the phone in order to confirm that Talia ’s chest is rising and falling as she breathed. Other than breathing, she didn ’t move a muscle, and he needed confirmation that she was alive.
”We got the first aid supplies. ”, Maya said and pointed at the bag that was next to Damon who didn ’t respond.
”Damon? ”, Caden called.
”The first aid supplies are there. ”, Caden repeated what Maya said previously, and then gestured to the empty plate in Damon ’s hand. ”You said that you will tell us about the girl after food. ”
Damon didn ’t realize at what point he finished food. He spaced out again while staring at Talia. Whatever symptoms he has, it ’s getting worse.
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