tagNonHumanOrphan Ch. 06

Orphan Ch. 06


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A red haze clouded Alexander's vision. Looking down at the man who had dared lay hands on his Jenabel. That he had brought her fear only deepened the crimson shroud of rage that hung heavily over Alexander. He saw everything about his prey, the minute details that allowed Alexander to see the fear he now instilled in the dead man below him.

The sheen of sweat across his brow.

How the veins at his temples and neck bulged from the frantic beating of his heart.

Tension causing his body to flex uncontrollably.

The cloying scent of fear that hung heavily on his skin.

Alexander was the judge, the jury and the glorious executioner of this fool. The mere thought of extinguishing this mans life caused a primal joy to course through his body as his heel pressed inexorably down on the man's throat.

"He's going to kill him Carl, you have to stop him."

Sophie's words brought Carl back from his own feral precipice. He wanted the man's blood almost as badly as Alexander but he knew it was not what was best for Alexander or his pack.

Looking around quickly Carl nodded to Brad finding that he had already started moving everyone over to the food and that the band had started playing again. While those that lived in Red Lodge knew there was something...unique about the Benton's and those that lived on the compound, that difference was nothing they advertised. It was pure luck that Alexander hadn't shifted in his rage.

Out of the corner of his eye Carl saw Thomas Bouchard start to move toward Alexander and Jason.

Carl's hand flashed out, grabbing Thomas by the arm.

"Don't Thomas, let me talk to Alexander, if you go over there now your son is as good as dead."

Thomas shot Carl a baleful stare.

"Get your hands off me Benton. That dog has no right to look at my son let alone touch him. I'm going to teach him a little respect."

Carl's grip on Thomas' arm tightened.

"He's a trained killer Thomas; if you get close he'll kill Jason then you. You'll let me handle this if you want to leave this compound alive."

Thomas paused, what little sense he had finally took hold. He gave Carl a stern nod as Carl released him. Walking slowly, Carl approached Alexander.

Feeling for his connection with the younger man he found it stronger than it had been but surprisingly still not a full Alpha bond.

Taking a deep breath Carl moved into Alexander's line of sight. He noted how the other man stiffened, how his eyes narrowed.

"Alexander you need to calm down. Release Jason and he will leave the compound. He'll never be allowed anywhere near Jenabel again. Your instincts were correct and you did the right thing protecting Jenabel now you need to let him go. Jenabel is safe."

Alexander glared at Carl, his boot ratcheting down on Jason's neck. His voice was a cold whisper.

"He touched her, he hurt her. Now I'm going to hurt him."

Alexander's eyes glowed with a golden fire. Carl knew he would have to act quickly, that Alexander's wolf was almost totally in control. If he shifted now with no knowledge of who or what he was, Alexander would be lost to the wolf within him.

Carl frantically sent his thoughts to Jenabel.

'You have to try to calm him Jenabel, he isn't responding to my command, he is beyond reason.'

Jenabel had been watching the scene play out. The truth of Alexander being one of them had shaken her to her very core. It left her breathless and her own wolf close to the surface. Her mate was stunning to watch. Fluid power and fury that would never let anything or anyone harm her. She had watched in stunned silence as he stood over Jason, a part of her reveling in the strength of her mate in his need to protect her. But now it was her turn to protect him, he couldn't shift now. She would lose him forever if he did.

Jenabel walked slowly toward Alexander. The closer she got the more he affected her.

The sight of his muscles tense, coiled, ready to unleash their power in her defense.

His warm amber scent growing stronger with each step.

And finally his depthless blue eyes, now swirling with golden fire found hers and she stopped in her tracks.

She felt his stare, understood fully and completely as their eyes met that behind the growling fury of a wolf protecting his mate was the man she loved. She could sense the shifting turmoil in him as he struggled to wrest control of himself from something he knew nothing of, to finding the fear of that unknown, the man crying out for someone to help him.

Jenabel walked right up to him. His eyes flashing rage for a moment before subsiding to a more balanced look. Her hand reached out to him, her fingers lighting gently on his shoulder.

With her proximity to the man beneath his boot Alexander's stare shifted down to his captive, the balanced look slipping quickly back to a more feral glare.

"Alexander, look at me."

Her soft tone had him locking eyes with her again. His features softened as he stared into their depths, their color shifting between brilliant emerald and dark jade. Alexander's eyes roamed over her taking in her dark ebony hair, high elegant cheek bones, and the swell of her breast under the flannel shirt she wore. His breathing became less ragged as he allowed her reassuring presence to calm him.

With a short step he released Jason who stayed still on the ground. Never had fear found Jason, now it held its own jagged spot in his soul. Thomas Bouchard moved quickly, grabbing his son and dragging him to their car.

"Mark me Benton, this won't go unchallenged. No one treats my family this way. There will be a reckoning on this and it will be coming soon!"

Carl watched as Thomas pulled his still dazed son into the Hummer and sped out of the gate.

Brad and the rest of the pack had done a good job of clearing the crowd, making sure that everyone was otherwise occupied so as not to witness the drama playing out in front of the Alpha's house.


Alexander's voice was a whisper. As Jason had been pulled away by his father, Alexander's focus had been on Jenabel. Now as the roaring fury ebbed, an overwhelming confusion crashed in on him.

Breaking his eyes away from Jenabel he looked around. Mr. & Mrs. Benton were watching him closely, Brad was leaning against the porch a small smile on his lips. Willow was bouncing on her tip toes a wide happy grin on her face.

"I told you so." She said to Brad which earned her a good natured scowl.

Alexander's voice was tremulous as he looked to the elder Benton's.

"I'm...I'm so sorry. I don't know what came over me, please accept my apologies'. I never behave that way. But when he grabbed Jenabel, when I sensed her fear, I just couldn't..."

His hand reached out slowly, trembling fingers caressing Jenabel's cheek softly. The touch elicited a small sigh and a smile from Jenabel.

Alexander felt the energy wash from his body, the tension of the last five minutes burning through all of his reserves. The touch on Jenabel's cheek soothed him more and he gave up his hold on the rage completely.

Jenabel saw his eyes flutter, knew what was coming as she moved to him.

"Brad, Daddy!!!"

They were at her side in an instant, each taking an arm as Alexander slumped between them.

"Damn! He's heavy." Brad grunted, good naturedly as he hefted the big man between himself and his father.

"Let's get him inside." Carl's tone was resigned. This turn of events would mean some changes for the pack. He would have to call Dmitri as well. Carl only hoped Dmitri would be able to give him some guidance on what had transpired.

"Take him to the guest room Jenabel used last night." Sophie called from behind as she wrapped her daughter in a strong loving hug.

"Did you see him Mom, he was so fast so strong so..." Jenabel's words trailed off as she got a wistful look in her eye that had Sophie rolling her eyes before turning serious.

"Yes Jenabel I saw. I saw a young man who has no idea who or what he is almost shifting for the first and last time. I saw him almost kill another man because he had no control over his nature. I saw Alexander turn totally away from being the man I have come to know and embrace unthinking rage. I know you're happy Jenabel, and I am happy for you that Alexander is one of us. But you have to look at the truth of it Jenabel. How would you feel if today, after living your life as a normal human, your wolf suddenly surged forward and took control? How would you process being a stranger in your own body? Of sharing your heart and soul on such an intimate level with half of yourself you never knew existed?"

Sophie watched as understanding played over her daughter's features. Jenabel began to shake uncontrollably. Sophie pulled her tighter, feeling the warm sting of her daughter's tears dampening her shoulder.

"How can it be Mom? How could he go his whole life and only now..." Jenabel paused, raised frightened eyes to her mothers as the full import of what had happened and what would or could happen slammed into her consciousness.

"He only has until the full moon Mother, only two weeks to learn what we spend years learning and coming to grips with. No one can be that strong, that self aware, that allowing. I'm going to lose him."

Jenabel's sobs were drowned out by the cracking slap that Sophie delivered to her daughter's cheek.

"Jenabel Benton! How dare you question your mate? Finding your mate is not the end of some fairy tale, it is the beginning of your life as an adult. It means putting aside those foolish notions of perfect glowing love and embracing that being mated, that finding true love is the beginning of a partnership. A union of bodies and minds and souls that will carry you down through the years come good times and bad.

Grow up Jenabel, your mate needs you. He needs you more in this moment and the days to come, more than any mate has ever needed the other. We are by nature a dangerous people Jenabel, our lives, until very, very recently, were fraught with all manner of dangers both from our own kind and outsiders. These dangers are nothing compared to what your mate will confront before the next full moon. You have claimed him as your mate. By his actions he has claimed you. Stand up and be the mate he has to have to survive."

Sophie's words were brutal. Not in a hateful or angry way but in the way of all such truths when spoken aloud.

Jenabel stood stunned for a moment. Her mother's words taking time to sink in, to become part of her.

'She's right.' Jenabel scoffed at herself. 'You're so caught up in the fairy tale that you're missing the truth, the actual depth of meaning, the very foundation of what finding your mate is.'

Jenabel stood straighter and squared her shoulders, a steely determination glittering in her eyes as she regarded her mother. She felt a subtle shift within herself, she looked at her mother for the first time as an equal, a woman who would fight and die for her mate just as she would.

Jenabel pulled her mother into a fierce hug.

"Thank you, Mother. Thank you, for kicking my ass when I needed it. Alexander will meet the challenges to come. I'll make damn sure of that."

Sophie was pleased to hear the conviction of honesty ring clear in her daughter's voice.

"Then perhaps we should go in, best that you are close by when Alexander awakens. He will undoubtedly have many questions. Your father and brother and I will help as much as we can, but most of this journey will be yours and Alexander's to take."

Jenabel nodded to her mother as they turned and walked into the house and into her destiny.


Alexander laid still, his breathing regulated, body relaxed. He gave the outward appearance of being deeply asleep. Such was not the case. He had been awake for almost an hour but after the events of the afternoon he simply needed to process what happened. To try to get a handle on what overtook him and drove him to protect Jenabel in the way he had.

Everyone knows rage. Alexander had felt it often during his service. But this was different, an order of magnitude different.

'I wanted to kill him. No, that's not true; it doesn't even come close to what I wanted. I wanted his blood. I wanted to end his life in the most violent and painful way possible.'

Alexander had killed many times. It was not a positive or negative thing for him. He did his duty, trusting that those who pointed him toward an enemy were right in their labeling them so.

This was very different. Everything in him, everything that made him who he was had screamed for that mans death for eliciting fear from his Jenabel.


The thought shook him to his very core. Alexander had never considered anyone his before. Never even came close. Whether due to his upbringing, his lack of family or his basic lack of social skills Alexander had lead a solitary life.

In the military he had comrades, men and women who he placed his trust in and who in return trusted deeply in him. It never went beyond that for Alexander. While those on his team would often find comfort in the arms of others, or bond emotionally with the members of the team, such was not the case for Alexander.

'This place has changed me. Brought out thoughts and feelings that I thought were long buried. Now those long buried or totally unknown emotions throw me from one end of a wild spectrum to the other seemingly at their own will.'

Alexander's tension began to rise. He felt out of control, which was something he vowed would never happen to him again after the orphanage. While the sisters had not been cruel or abusive, the knowledge that he was under their control, without the ability to exercise his free will had been a daily struggle. He could feel himself being drawn inexorably toward a black hole of doubt and fear. His mind whirled as his seemingly ordered existence began to inexorably spiral out of control.

It was a touch that kept him from falling. A hand lay gently in the center of his chest over his heart. The heat of it seared through the shirt to warm the skin beneath. He tried his best to maintain his charade but it was not to be.

"You've been awake for almost an hour Alexander. Open your eyes."

He knew it was Jenabel. While he had only heard her voice once, he found the sweet sound of it was burned into him. Her touch affected him even more. Once again it was like what he always imagined truly coming home would feel like back when he dared to dream of having one. The subtle scent of clove that quickly enveloped him caused him to take a deep breath, to simply allow it to wash over him. There was no hint of the acrid dark taint that had caused him to lose control earlier, now it was simply Jenabel, his Jenabel.

His eyes opened and found hers. She sat perched on the corner of the bed next him. Her eyes reflected worry, Alexander found that was unacceptable.

Reaching out his hand he brushed a stray lock of her hair away from her face.

"You don't even know me Jenabel, I should not cause you any worry at all."

Jenabel could not contain her laugh.

She had watched him sleep for several hours. The urge to crawl into bed with him, to be close to him, to offer him some kind of comfort had been nearly unbearable. But from what she knew of Alexander she thought it best to simply be there when he awoke.

Jenabel was surprised when he finally did awaken but hung onto the charade of sleep. She could see the warring emotions playing across his features even though he fought valiantly to hide them.

The way his jaw would tense slightly when something hurtful found purchase in his mind. How his lips would allow a small smile when a pleasant thought, hopefully of her, dislodged it.

She knew he was struggling with had happened this morning. She was bound and determined he would not run from it. He couldn't. In a perfect world she would have months, years even to allow him to come to understand and accept who and what he was.

But nothing was perfect and they didn't have the time. She made the decision, sitting there watching him sleep and then battle his unknown demons alone that the only way she could save him was by telling him everything and letting the chips fall where they may.

Sliding her hand up to his face, allowing her fingers to gently play through his hair she smiled as she spoke.

"I don't know you? Hmmmm, okay let me run a list by you. Then you can tell me I don't know you."

"You grew up in an orphanage in Boston, joined the military as soon as you turned eighteen, you're highly decorated, wounded in action which brought about your discharge about six months ago. You've been wandering since then. You saved my life, my father's life, almost killing yourself in the process. My parents and brother adore you. You made a point of avoiding me prior to today. You like to sleep under the stars, naked if you can." Jenabel smiled at his blush as she continued. "You have never felt like you had a home until you came here. And finally, seeing me being hurt by Jason, you did the only natural thing possible. You defended your mate to the best of your ability."

Jenabel watched as Alexander listened to her. Saw the acceptance of what she said, at least until the last statement.

"I don't know what you mean by "mate" Jenabel."

His words were hushed, his hand had never strayed from her hair, and he moved it between his fingertips with the reverence of a monk honoring his daily prayer beads.

Jenabel could resist him no longer, she had to try and gain his acceptance quickly before his logical mind slammed down tight on what he had to know and feel was the truth.

She bent slightly, saw his body stiffen as she brought her lips within an inch of his, their eyes locked on one another's. "Are you sure Alexander? Are you really sure you don't know what I mean by...mate?" Her voice caressed him as he felt her breath on his lips. He saw the swirling tempest of emotion in her eyes as she closed the remaining distance between them and their lips met.

It was more than either of them anticipated and both quickly became lost within the soft, sensual and oh so powerful joining.

For Alexander it was a pinnacle of emotion that he never believed was meant for him. He could feel the power and meaning behind the simple physical touch of their lips, processed how warm she was next to him. Understood in the way a heart beats without any conscious thought, that there was simply no other person on the planet who could illicit such desire, need, want and devotion than the perfect beauty he was currently joined with. With all this contained within just a singular kiss, such depths, such power, what would living a life with this miraculous woman hold?

Jenabel, in that instant, understood what tens of thousands of her kind had down through the centuries. That one day you would meet your other half, that they would speak to your soul and fill you with a joy unbounded. She felt the kiss deepen as his tongue tentatively tasted her lips, and then reveled in the tears of joy that slipped down her cheeks on to his as their tongues began their first sensual dual. She knew in that instant, to the very center of her soul that she would do anything to ensure his safety and protect his love for her.

It was a test of will for Jenabel to break the kiss, to pull away; but she knew it had to be so. There was more to tell him, more to make him understand and time was short. Reaching out her hand to him she beckoned him to rise.

"Come with me Alexander, there is so much I need to tell you, so much you have to know. I need for you to think on that kiss when your intellect balks at the truths I will share with you, the truth of you and me. The mysteries I have to reveal to you lay within it. Please trust me."

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