Authors: Viola Rivard
Tags: #Fantasy Romance, #Love Story, #Paranormal Romance, #Romance, #Shifters, #Werewolves
|Number II of|
Running With Alphas
|Viola Rivard (2014)|
|Tags:||Fantasy Romance, Love Story, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Shifters, Werewolves|
Hale isn’t even remotely interested in Taylor - at least that’s what he keeps telling her.
But that doesn’t explain why he keeps turning up everywhere she goes and why he can’t seem to keep his hands off her.
As Taylor struggles to maintain her new relationship with Alder, Hale threatens to drive a wedge between them.
But is it because he wants her gone, or because he wants her for himself?
RUNNING WITH ALPHAS:
is a 100 page book and the second entry of Taylor’s story. This book contains ménage romance and profanity. Due to sexual content, it is not recommended for readers under the age of 18. For the full release schedule, please refer to the Author’s Note below.
his book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Even through his haze of irritation and indignation, Hale had noticed how soft his brother’s female was. He had also noticed how her cheeks had turned a light shade of rose as he’d explored her upper body and the slight tremor in her voice as she’d moaned beneath his touch. But it was her softness, coupled with the maddeningly potent scent of their fucking, that had kept him awake and hard for hours.
Hale had not fucked his brother’s female. He could have, maybe, if he’d gotten back earlier and if he had less regard for his brother.
Alder apparently did not share that same level of regard, because he’d taken his female right on Hale’s furs and now Hale had to suffer not only the pain of a broken nose but also the frustration of smelling the potent scent of her arousal, intertwined with the scent of his own.
As twins, Alder and Hale’s scents were identical. There were subtle nuances Hale had picked up on over the years. Alder, who was partial to going for runs, often smelled more like the forest, while Hale, who enjoyed digging and swimming, either smelled like earth or like fresh water.
For the past few hours, Hale had tried to focus on the pain of his nose. Not for the first time, he resented being a wolf, because as his nose rapidly healed, the pain lessened and his awareness of the female’s scent only increased.
Just as he was about to get up and find another chamber to sleep in, he heard the sound of footsteps approaching from the passageway. He recognized the pattern, graceful, but far too loud for a natural-born predator.
chamber was comprised of two levels, with his fur pallet on the flat, elevated plane. The floor sloped down to the lower level where the entrance was. To him, the chamber was nothing more than a place to sleep, and as such, it was otherwise empty and free of furnishings. He had many valuables, but they were all buried in strategic holes throughout his territory.
Never one to rely on sight alone, Hale didn’t bother sitting up as Beka approached. He listened to her footsteps and heard her stop within the doorway to his chamber. She tapped her foot impatiently, presumably waiting for him to acknowledge her. He didn’t.
“Having trouble sleeping?” Despite the distance between them, she didn’t have to raise her voice.
“Fuck off,” he said, at a slightly higher decibel.
He heard her saunter into his room and make her way up the slope. Each slap of her bare feet against the stone floor grated on his already frayed nerves.
She stopped at the foot of his bedding,
and Hale could hear the amusement in her voice.
“Does it disappoint you to know that you’re just as weak as the rest of them?”
He knew what she was talking about. It was something they’d spoken of often when they were younger, their shared disdain for the males of their species.
With the intellect of humans and the strength and cunning of their animal counterparts, wolf shifters were the apex predators of any environment. Yet the moment a human female came along, with
her soft, fertile body, the males lost their intellect and their dignity in favor of becoming mindless animals whose sole purpose was to breed.
Hale had always been adamant that he would not be among them.
Unlike most wolf packs, his had a range of different species—mostly fellow predators—and was predominantly male. Of the fourteen females in his pack, Hale regularly fucked eight of them. They had kept him satisfied for years and he had always assumed that if the urge to take a human mate ever did present itself, his unique and talented harem of shifter females would help him to take the edge off.
But as he finally shifted his gaze up to Beka, he found himself woefully underwhelmed.
The lamp she held cast a warm glow over her vibrant, tanned skin. Her platinum hair was unbraided and hung loose and free, the way she always wore it when she wanted his hands in it. Never one to go fully nude, she wore a lacy, crème-colored dress that hung around her upper thighs, leaving her long, smooth legs visible.
He should have wanted to run his hands up those legs, push them apart, and bury his aching cock inside of her. Instead, he found himself absently wondering how she always managed to keep her light clothing so clean despite living in a den.
Already forgetting her insult, he rolled over onto his back, affecting a bored look. “What do you want?”
Setting the lamp down on the floor, Beka climbed astride him, positioning herself directly below his cock.
“Don’t talk,” she said, taking him into her hands.
Bracing himself up on his elbows, he watched as she began to stroke him, noting that her hands were cool. Her whole body was cool, much cooler than his brother’s female, who had been warm beneath him. In fact, as Hale had touched and teased her small body, she had grown quite hot.
Thinking back, he tried to remember her name. As he had been leaving his chamber—forced out by his belligerent twin—he’d heard his brother say it. Or at least, what he thought was her name.
“What kind of name is
?” he mused aloud. “Does she sew clothing?”
Tay-lor,” Beka said irritably. “It’s a common name among humans, though I’ve only ever heard it used for a boy. Are we going to fuck, or what?”
Hale looked at her, as if noticing her for the first time. He glanced down at his cock, which had softened in her hands.
Wryly, he grinned. “Thanks. I’ve been trying to get rid of that for hours. Now maybe I can get some sleep.”
If looks could kill, Beka would have slaughtered him where he
lay. Fortunately for Hale, she, like most other shifters, was vastly inferior to him in power and combat skill.
“Like hell you
will,” a deep voice boomed from below.
Beka quickly skittered off Hale as Alder stormed into the chamber.
Hale hadn’t heard his brother coming, but he rarely did. As pups, they had made a game of stalking up on one another and Alder, with his boundless patience, had always been the best at it.
Hale turned on his side just as his brother reached the top of the slope. He’d thought that a few hours of separation would cool Alder’s anger, but
Alder looked nearly as furious as when he’d pulled Hale off his female earlier in the night.
“Brother,” Hale said in greeting, giving Alder a guileless smile.
Alder folded his arms across his chest. “What did you do to piss off Whiteriver?”
Changing tactics, Hale said, “My nose is feeling better.”
He registered a flash of guilt on his brother’s face and knew that he’d hit a nerve. In all their twenty-eight years, Alder had never struck him like that. It didn’t particularly bother Hale, as he was used to taking punches, but he knew that it bothered Alder.
“Answer the question,” Alder ordered, though some of the bite had left his tone.
Hale rubbed his chin, his blunt nails scratching at beard stubble. “Why do you assume that I did something to them?”
“Because the wolves
who attacked us said as much. Not to mention, Silas wouldn’t have broken the treaty without a damn good reason.”
“They attacked me as well,” Hale said.
He pulled the furs back to expose his hip. The claw marks were almost entirely healed over, leaving only three jagged pink lines on his flesh.
sighed and said, “One of their females, the small, mouthy blonde with the stupid name—”
“Tulip,” Beka supplied, having regained some of her composure.
Hale snapped his fingers. “That’s the one. I was tracking a deer near the foothills of Ezra when she approached me, wanting to fuck. I turned her down and she must have gone back to Silas and fed him some bullshit story, because a few hours later they were trying to run me down. Chased me all the way to Grave’s Point.”
His brother gave him a skeptical look. “I highly doubt Silas would break the treaty just because one of his wolves claimed you slept with her.”
“She had my scent on her.”
Alder arched a brow. “Why?”
“She sucked my cock,” said Hale. His brother gave him a withering look. “I know, I know. I fucked up. But that hardly constitutes war.”
Alder considered him for a moment, and then gave a reluctant nod. “If Silas was willing to break the treaty over such a minor offense, he’s obviously looking to go to war.” He shook his head. “I just don’t see why
, though. He doesn’t have the numbers.”
“He’s being irrational,” Alder said. “Ezra’s going dry. All the prey is in the valley. And there’s the fact that he’s had his eyes on Halcyon territory since he was a juvenile.”
When they’d left their older brother’s pack seven years ago, the valley and both mountains had been under the rule of Silas’s father, Maruk. By organizing the disenfranchised shifters within the territory, Hale and his brother had overthrown Maruk and claimed the majority of the land for themselves.
They had tried integrating what was left of the Whiteriver pack into Halcyon, but there was too much bad blood between them. Eventually, Alder had worked out a treaty wherein Silas and his pack
were given Mount Ezra on the grounds that they weren’t to hunt in the valley or ally themselves with rival packs.
Alder took a seat on the furs, running his fingers through his hair in a familiar, contemplative gesture. “What are we going to do?”
Beka climbed over Hale to sit beside Alder. “You mean you’re going to stay?”
She made no effort to mask the excitement in her voice
, and for once Hale shared in her satisfaction. He’d known, from the moment Beka had told him that Alder had brought a human back to the den, that his brother was going to leave their territory.
Hale was glad the situation with Whiteriver had played out the way he’d planned, because there was now the added bonus of keeping Alder around longer. Perhaps long enough for Hale to convince his brother to
ditch the female and stay.
“I’ll help,” Alder said. As if reading Hale’s mind, he added, “But as soon as this is resolved, I’m leaving.”
Hale lay back on the furs and stared up at the ceiling. “I understand. Domesticity always was your thing.” Before Alder could reply, he said, “We need to get to Winter before Silas does.”
“And I imagine you expect me to go?” Alder asked, sounding irritated again.
“He hates me,” Hale pointed out.
The leader of the
small bear clan had helped them in the previous war, but only because they’d had a common enemy. Winter was too uptight for his own good and had never appreciated Hale’s sense of humor.
“Whose fault is that?” Alder asked.
Hale tilted his head, giving his brother a flat look. “Are you going to go, or not?”
Alder let out a
Placing a hand on his leg, Beka said, “The sooner you go, the sooner you can come home.”
Hale watched with amusement as Alder gently pried Beka’s hand from his thigh. Alder had always been too nice and far too patient with her.
his gaze to Hale, Alder said, “I’m going to get some rest before I go. Stay away from her while I’m gone.”
Needing no clarification, Hale sighed. “I have no interest in your female.”
Turning his head back to the ceiling, Hale listened to his brother stand and leave the room. As soon as the sound of Alder’s footsteps tapered off, Beka climbed back on top of Hale, straddling him once again.