My Hockey Alpha Chapter 237 My Hockey Alpha Chapter 237: A Strange Place Nina “C’mon,” the old man said, jerking his head toward the door. “I got my truck out front.” The old man turned and walked out of the store without waiting for us. Enzo and I paused for a moment and shot each other an uncertain look before collectively deciding that this strange old man from the middle of nowhere was probably our best bet at getting to the Alpha King’s mansion in time, and so we decided to follow him.
The aforementioned truck was incredibly rusty and worn down. We had walked past it on our way into the gas station, but it was so beat up that I had assumed that it was abandoned. However, when the old man opened the door and looked at us through the windshield with his yellow eyes peering out from beneath his tattered trucker cap, I realized that I was wrong. When we opened the passenger side door, it was one of those old style trucks with the bench seat. There was no back seat, so I shot Enzo another uncertain look before I decided to slide into the middle. Enzo climbed in behind me and kept his arm firmly wrapped around my shoulders as the old man stuck the key in the ignition and the truck sputtered to life.
Soon enough, we were on the road. The old man pulled out onto the dirt road that ran straight down the middle of the tiny little town, and he followed that road for a while. It eventually wound through the forest, with rows of pine trees on either side. If I looked closely enough into the forest, I was certain that I could see quite a few sets of yellow eyes looking out at us. It made my blood run cold. “Rogues,” the old man said, noticing my apprehension. “They won’t bother with a vehicle. If ya were on foot, though…
” His voice faded and dropped away. I could only imagine what he meant by that, and it made me glad that we didn’t try to walk to the Alpha King’s mansion after all. “Um… Are rogues common around here?” I asked, squeezing my hands tightly between my knees to hide the fact that I was shaking slightly out of nervousness. The old man nodded. “Yup.” No one said anything else for a while. Soon, the road widened and the trees became sparse on either side. And, finally, after crossing a little bridge that ran across a narrow river, the road became paved. The old man picked up the pace. I was surprised that the beat up old truck was even running at any speeds greater than ten miles per hour, but I wasn’t complaining. Even though the old man was silent and gruff and the truck felt as though it would fall apart, there was a certain air about the old man that made me feel oddly comfortable around him. I couldn’t explain it; it almost was the same as the strange couple who found me when James shot me.
The old man was more stoic than the couple, but he had the same sort of energy to him. He felt almost paternal. Maybe that was why I felt comfortable asking him questions, and maybe that was why I ignored Enzo’s apprehensive looks. “What’s your name?” I asked the old man. I glanced over at him to see that he was driving steadily with one knotted old hand on the steering wheel, and the other resting on his knee. Looking at him, I could imagine what he looked like when he was younger; he was lanky and a bit hunched over now in his old age, but the sinewy muscle on his forearms and the sparse stubble on his face made me think that he was probably a hard worker his entire life. He was probably tall and muscular at one point, like Enzo.
The way that he clenched and unclenched his jaw while he drove seemed a bit like Enzo, too. Or at least it did, until I realized that he was actually chewing tobacco as he rolled down the window and spit a big ball of brown spit out into the air while he drove. “Frank.” He didn’t ask what my name was. In fact, he didn’t say anything else. I bit my lip, and decided to pry a little bit more out of curiosity. If we were going to be sitting in this vehicle for a few hours with this old man, I wanted to at least try to make some conversation. “So… What do you do for a living?” Frank made a hmph sound. Enzo’s hand tightened on my shoulder, and when I glanced over at him he was somewhat glaring at me. But, suddenly, Frank spoke up. “Where are you two from, anyway?” he asked without tearing his eyes away from the road, his knuckles tightening around the steering wheel. “P-Pardon?” I asked, somewhat sheepishly. “
Why do you ask?” “Yer clearly not from ‘round here. I know yer a werewolf.” He jabbed his thumb in Enzo’s direction, still without looking away from the road. “But you…” His voice sounded almost a little accusatory. I knew that, without my wolf’s presence, I still smelled human. It occurred to me then that maybe these people didn’t trust humans for one reason or another, but that wouldn’t have explained why Frank decided to give us a ride after all. Neither Enzo nor I knew what to say. We both shot each other another wary glance. Frank, noticing this, chuckled.
His laugh sounded like an iron poker being raked over hot coals. “It’s alright. Ye don’t need’a tell me nothin’. Hey.” Frank suddenly pointed up ahead. On the side of the road, there was a big neon sign hoisted up onto a tall pole that came into view. It was a sign for a 24/7 diner; the type of place that truckers usually stopped at in the middle of the night when there was nowhere else to get a hot bite of food to eat. Although…
This place was so rural that I figured it wasn’t just a place that was frequented by truckers, and judging from the row of other old beat up pickup trucks in the gravel parking lot, my suspicions were confirmed. Without waiting for a response, Frank suddenly slowed down and pulled into the parking hot. He put the truck in park, then turned to look at us for the first time throughout the entire trip. He stared at us for a few moments, then down at the meager bag of water and snacks between Enzo’s feet. “You two are on an important journey, eh?” Frank asked.
Once again, Enzo and I didn’t know whether we should say yes or no, but Frank didn’t wait long for a response anyway. “Look, I dunno what yer up to exactly… But yer gonna need more food than that. C’mon. This place’s got good food. Nice ‘n hot.” Once again, Enzo and I looked at each other, then down at our bag of snacks. Frank was right; we hadn’t eaten in over twenty-four hours at this point, and I knew that we were both starving. If we were going to fight Selena, no matter the outcome, we couldn’t do it on such empty stomachs. Finally, Enzo nodded and opened the passenger side door. “Sure, Frank,” he said, sounding a lot less apprehensive than he seemed earlier; maybe Frank’s kindness made him relax after all. “We could eat.
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