Ch.8 Avoidance

ALESTER:

Alester bolted upright in bed, sweat pouring down his back. He huffed, trying to catch his breath.

He rubbed the crust from his eyes and pushed his tangled hair away from his face. As he gripped the edge of his bed, he tried to compose himself. His heart pounded a mile a minute. The world continued to swirl until it swirled its way to his stomach and he raced to the bathroom.

Unable to hold it any longer, he hurled up everything in him. Sweat dripped down his brow as he clutched the toilet.

‘What was that dream?’

Alester took some calming breaths and, when he was sure his stomach had stilled, he got in the shower.

He let the scorching water run over him, hoping it would erase the horrific feeling the dream had left behind. Instead, he stared dazed, going over the dream again and again until the shower ran cold. He could only remember flashes of the dream; Phiona, Samantha, him but not him, chains, and a lunging beast.

He wrapped a towel around his waist and sat on his bed, unable to shake the memory of the lunging beast.

“grrruurrrrg.” Alester’s stomach rumbled. He had to chuckle. His stomach was in knots, but it demanded food.

The moon glowed through the hallway window, a thin line of light hovering just over the horizon following it. It was much earlier than he would normally wake.

Yet, the dining hall resounded with the noise of the boisterous crowd. Each talked over the other. The breakfast half gone.

He paused in the doorway and stared at the crowd. Renewed Images of the lunging beasts, his pack, played in his head. He thought about turning back, but his stomach urged him forward.

Alester tried to keep to himself as he filled up his plate, snacking as he went.

A voice boomed behind him.

“Wow. I’m impressed. You finally made it to breakfast on time.”

“Ha.Ha.” Alester laughed humorlessly around the piece of bacon in his mouth.

While his father sat, he looked around for a seat. He scanned the breakfast hall, his eyes stopping at a pair of dark Hazel eyes.

Samantha gave a small wave and a welcoming smile. As if asking him to sit with her.

Alester smiled politely and turned away. Opting to sit next to his father.

“Woah. And what did I do to deserve this honor?”

Alester ignored his dad’s joke. Knowing that his father’s attention would soon turn back to the surrounding company.

One being Phiona’s dad. At first they were all talking business, but after a few minutes, his dad turned his attention fully to Phiona’s dad to ask where she was.

Alester tried to tune them out, trying to thwart his dad’s attempt at forcing them together.

He shoveled the food into his mouth and was ready to leave when he felt his wolf stir.

“Mate.” He heard his wolf at the same time as he smelt Phiona enter the cafeteria.

His entire body tensed. He wanted to avoid her at all costs. Alester stood and tried to walk away. But Phiona wrapped her arms around his shoulders and nuzzled her nose into his neck. Trapping him.

“Good morning, babe.” She purred.

His hairs stood on end at the sound. He attempted to pull away, but Phiona went in stride with his movement. Her hands traveled the length from his shoulder to down his arm. Half her body pressed against his side.

Alester shuddered in disgust and desire despite himself. He pried her hands off of him, holding them in his hand.

“Phiona.” he nodded, trying to sound civil in front of everyone before letting go of her hands, leaving her staring at him dumbfound, mouth hanging open, unable to retort.

Alester walked swiftly to the sink, dumped his dishes, then sped out the door.He ran outside in dire need of fresh air. And shifted as soon as he could. Not caring about his clothes.

He felt dirty having Phiona’s hands all over him. He felt guilty and disturbed. But he also felt longing and desire. Alester wanted her. And he hated it.

He would not want her. It didn’t matter what his wolf wanted. He reminded himself of his dream. His ‘wolf’ was happy beside her, willing to devour him without a second thought.

Alester shuddered. He would not let that happen.

He let the chaotic chatter of his mind fall to the background and focused on how the earth shifted beneath his shaggy black paws. The dew coated his fur wherever it touched.

His senses became overwhelmed with the aching in his limbs. He could taste the silky morning dew splash up as he ran, coating his nose and tongue.

It took him a minute to realize that he was no longer alone.

There were wolves chasing behind him. Alester felt his heart constrict with fear. His shackles raised as he halted and prepared to fight. His back stayed turned to them, his ears honing in on their pounding feet, ready for their attack.

The Wolves ran past him, panting happily. Focused on who was in the lead among themselves.

‘Oh right. morning run.’ He sighed with relief.

Alester angled himself on his back legs and pushed himself off the ground to give him an advantage in catching up.

He had forgotten about the morning workouts.

Alester joined in on the run. The feeling of competitiveness pushed out the last of his troubled thoughts.

The sun broke over the horizon. It beamed through the trees, warming his fur and the ground beneath his feet.

His muscles stretched more with each movement. The fresh air stung his lungs.

He felt pride as he passed the other wolves around him, beating many to the training site.

He howled with joy, emptying his lungs and forgetting everything else except that moment.

Other wolves joined in on his howls before they shifted back to human form.

Many of them looked just as proud as he felt, giving him a knowing smile. The smile that said they enjoyed seeing him finally join in with the group.

Alester continued into the locker room to secure a pair of shorts.

He was in the middle of his first set of reps when the mouthwatering, earthy fragrance wafted through the air.

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