Phoenix Reborn: An Alpha Pack Novella

Phoenix Reborn: An Alpha Pack Novella by J. D. Tyler

Book: Phoenix Reborn: An Alpha Pack Novella by J. D. Tyler Read Free Book Online
Authors: J. D. Tyler
horror of what he’d done completely overtaking him. He was lost to it, a deep well dragging him under.
    Then Kalen was there, battered and grim. Waving a hand over his face. “Sleep.”
    And he did. For a long, long time.

7
    Three months.
    Twelve weeks of pure unfettered hell on Earth.
    Noah couldn’t keep food down. Couldn’t sleep. After the first two weeks spent basically in a medically induced stupor to keep him from screaming, Noah had promised to be quiet. He’d been as good as his word.
    He hadn’t spoken since. Not to anyone.
    Especially not to Melina. The one who’d given Nix drugs to prevent their mating.
    Mackenzie tried to comfort him, explaining that if they had completed their mating, the bond might have suffered irreparable damage when Nix died. But she didn’t actually know, so Noah ignored her.
    Nothing mattered now, because Nick had been wrong. No, not Nick. He, Noah, had made the wrong choice.
    He’d murdered his own mate on the off chance that some crazy old witch knew what the fuck she was yammering about.
    And now he was doomed to be alone forever. He couldn’t live without Nix. Couldn’t live with what he’d done.
    Especially with Jinn, drinking his blood. Almost giving in to temptation. The black tar on his bond with Nix was gone now—but the bond was dry as dust. Dead. A shriveled vine leading nowhere, like his heart.
    Burying his face in Nix’s pillow, he cried himself dry for the last time. Then he calmly slid out of bed and sat on the floor. He reached underneath the bed and pulled out the metal box he’d found last week. He lifted the lid. Took out the Glock that was nestled inside.
    Loaded the cartridge. One in the chamber.
    One was all he needed.
    Stop! Wait for me, baby
.
    Noah shook his head, and stood. Must be going crazy. Finally. Not that it mattered.
    Shoving the gun in his waistband, he pulled the hem of his shirt over it and left the room. Something he hadn’t done much of lately and gained him too much attention for his liking now. But he guessed it was closure of sorts. He was sure everyone would understand.
    Would any of them deny they’d do the same, in his position?
    A few of his friends said hello, and he managed small smiles and some simple answers. Brief, polite talk that meant nothing, but made them happy because they thought he was finally healing.
    Healing? No. But he was going to be okay. At last.
    As luck would have it, he ran into Melina halfway across the yard on his way to the trailhead. “Going for a walk?” she inquired, stopping in front of him.
    She was trying. It really hadn’t been her fault. He knew that. She was Nix’s doctor, and he’d been her patient. “You could say that.”
    She cocked her head. “Where to?”
    “Down the trail. It’s a nice day.” The silence grew heavy for a moment. Then he said quietly, “I forgive you, just so you know.”
    For the first time since he’d come to the compound, tears filled her eyes. “I’m so sorry. I wanted Nix to tell you the truth.”
    “He was scared. I get that, and I don’t hold it against you anymore.”
    She nodded. “Thank you. For the record, he told me the day before you were kidnapped that he was done with the drug trial.”
    Noah’s throat closed with a wave of emotion. “Really?”
    “Yes. He wanted to quit, for you.”
    “But at the barbeque . . . why did he throw it in my face if he’d already decided to quit?”
    “I think he was lashing out. His fear got the best of him, and I know he regretted it immediately.”
    Thinking back, Noah could see that. He nodded. “Yeah, you’re right.” Stepping forward, he gave her a quick hug. “Anyway, no hard feelings now. Remember that.”
    Giving her a wan smile, he started around her. She grabbed his arm.
    “Noah. Are you going to be all right? Really?”
    “Yeah. I really am.”
    Something in his eyes must’ve convinced her, because she let him go. If only she knew.
    In minutes he was strolling down his favorite

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