Read Single Wolf Female (Midnight Liaisons) Online

Authors: Jessica Sims

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Single Wolf Female (Midnight Liaisons) (2 page)

BOOK: Single Wolf Female (Midnight Liaisons)
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Did I really want to do that? I stared down at the phone number listed on the page, the personal stats blurring in front of my eyes. None of that mattered if he could keep my pack safe. What if he was worse than Roscoe?

I greedily scanned the profile, looking desperately for more information. Star Sign: Taurus. Who cared? Personality: Laid back, easy-going, friendly. Looking for: a like-minded woman.

Well shit. This guy was all wrong. First of all, I didn’t know a single alpha that was ‘easy going’. And if he was looking for a like-minded woman? It wouldn’t be me. Stubborn as a mule was more like my personality type. He was probably lying about his pack status.

Still, I had to know.

I flipped open my cell, dialed the number. It went directly to voicemail, and I lost my nerve. I clicked my phone off before leaving a message and blew out a deep, nervous breath. I needed a drink of water. My mouth was so dry I felt like I’d start panting.

I moved away from the computer and stripped off my jeans as I did, tossing them down in the already messy hallway. I hadn’t done much today except go to the dating agency, but I still felt exhausted both mentally and physically. It was the first time I’d gone out since Cash’s death, and it had drained me.

I needed a drink of water, and then maybe a nap.

My phone buzzed, but I chose to ignore it. Whoever called me, I sure wasn’t interested. I put the phone down and left it.

Distracted by the thoughts of who could be calling me, I missed the cloying scent in my kitchen – the faint undercurrent behind all the heavy stink of dried flowers – until I was almost upon it.

Then, I gagged.

There in the center of my kitchen floor lay all my lingerie. Bras, panties, and stockings had been tossed together into a neat little pile. And the neat little pile had been ‘marked’ with semen. Repeatedly. So many times that the semen left milky trails on the tile on the floor.

And amidst those trails, someone had bent down and drawn a heart in the thick fluid.

A message for me. I knew from who - Roscoe.

Disgusting. I choked back vomit, looking away. He’d broken into my house and left me this rather drippy message as a clear reminder that I wasn’t safe from him. That I couldn’t hide out even in my own house.

And judging by the lingering scent in the air and the…wetness of the message, he’d been here recently.

He planned on taking over my pack. Taking over me. He’d challenge the boys, and anyone that came close to matching him in domination? He’d run them off, or worse. I thought of Spence and Len and baby Eddie, barely 8 months old. They’d be in danger. It’d be worse for the girls; they wouldn’t be safe from him. I wouldn’t be safe from him.

The online Alpha was my only hope, unless I planned on showing throat to Roscoe.

And I’d fucking
die
before I did that.

 

 

Chapter Three

 

Time to call that alpha again. Swallowing my pride and my disgust, I ran back up the stairs and grabbed my phone. I glanced at the screen – two calls from out of the area numbers.

Hmm. That didn’t sound like Roscoe, or anyone in my pack. Who could it be? Another one of Cash’s bill collectors? I hit call-back, curious.

A man answered, his voice smooth as buttermilk. “Who’s this?”

Well, that was abrupt. I frowned, my fingers tensing on the phone. “You called me.”

“You called me first,” he said in that same lazy, unhurried fashion that just went all over me.

When had I called this stranger? A tiny, foggy thought slipped through my distracted mind – I’d called a number and hung up before leaving a message.

The man from the dating agency.

The snarl emerging in my throat died a second later. “Oh. Is this…” I struggled to remember the name on the alpha’s profile. A city. Something about a city… “Jackson?”

“You got me.” Another bland statement. Unruffled, almost bored. Kind of an odd stance for an alpha to take, now that I had thought about it. I felt a tiny bit of my hopes die – I needed an alpha, not another pretender.

That moved me past irritation and straight into rage. “Your dating profile. You put an ‘A’ in your status. Is that bullshit? You might as well tell me.” I put force into my tone. No one in my pack would be able to stand against me in an argument for long when I exerted my will.

He seemed a little amused at my high-strung demands. “What about it? If you don’t want an alpha, sister, don’t call me.”

Alpha?
Sister
?

The term was irony itself and a slap to the face. How many times had Cash jeered me with the same term?

I forced myself to calm, blinking back tears of frustration and sadness. “So you’re really an alpha?”

“That’s me.”

He wasn’t a man of many words, it seemed. I swallowed my pride again, and a small sigh escaped me. “I need you.”

“That’s flattering,” he said with a chuckle. “Mind explaining?”

He had a drawl, a southern one, but it didn’t sound like he was born to it. I noted that, mentally sizing up my prey.

“Do you have a pack?” I asked. Packs split and ruptured all the time, children with strong aggressive personalities striking out to head up their own packs.

There was a pause on the other end, as if he were gauging me as well. “I might, I might not. Why do you ask?”

My heart thumped painfully with excitement. Hope. “I have a pack,” I rushed out. “Our male alpha died a few weeks ago and I don’t have anyone to take his place. Unless I can get another alpha to lead us by the next full moon, we’re going to be taken over by another alpha.”

Again, the slow pause. “I take it that’s not to your liking?”

“It’s not,” I breathed, a wealth of tension in that small sentence.

“You the female alpha?”

I knew what he was asking – did I come with the package, or would I step down for his own mate? I bristled at that – he could bring a woman if he needed to (Cash had Joanne, after all) but I intended on keeping my spot at the head of the pack. There was also a careful law of dominance to be followed – I had to be stronger than all the other females in the pack and most of the males, but the male alpha needed to be stronger than me. If I could dominate this man, there’d be an uproar and the pack would continue to be unsettled.

“I’m the female alpha,” I confirmed. “I stay.”

I knew what that meant for me, too. Accepting this man as my alpha, into my pack and not being related to him? There was only one position for a female alpha that wasn’t related – that of mate. Not only would I be taking a stranger into my pack, and giving him the care of my family, but I’d be giving myself to him as well.

But then again, my other option was Roscoe.

“Are you interested?” I said flatly into the phone.

There was a moment of silence, and I could hear typing on the other end of the phone. “What’s your profile number?”

“Does it matter?” I said, my tone fierce. “It doesn’t matter if I’m ugly or old as the hills – I’m offering you the chance to lead a pack, if you’ve got the balls for it.”

To my surprise, he chuckled. “Ah, the female alpha. Delightful as ever.”

For some reason, that made me blush. I’d worked hard to cultivate my mixture of bossy domineering and motherliness for my pack and my position as head female (but not mate) to Cash. And because I wasn’t mate, I was used to being challenged…and winning.

“Are you taking what I’m offering or not?” I asked.

“Where you located?” he asked. “We’re passing through Waxahachie.”

‘Passing through’ was a polite term for ‘haven’t found a permanent pack yet,’ and I felt a bit of relief to hear that, though it quickly disappeared when my brain registered the ‘we’re’ part of his words. So he wasn’t alone. I should have guessed. Still, I could challenge whatever female he brought with him.

I was ready for her. I’d fight for my pack.

“I’m in Little Paradise, northwest of Fort Worth,” I told him. “Can you get here soon?”

“Maybe, why? Full moon’s not for a few days.”

I glanced back at my kitchen, and felt the same skin-crawling shudder of revulsion sweep over me. “Because the guy that wants your position broke into my house tonight and left me a message. And I need someone to change the locks.”

“I’ll be there in an hour,” he promised.

 

~~ * ~~

 

While I waited for my new alpha to arrive, I put on my pants again, grabbed a pair of gloves and tossed all of my underwear into the trash-burning barrel outside. I hadn’t mopped the floor yet, but I would soon. Ugh. I squirted kerosene into the barrel, tossed my plastic gloves in after it, and tossed in a match. Watching all my underthings burn made me feel a little better, but not much. Roscoe had broken into my house. Gone through my things. Touched them in dirty, nasty ways.

As messages went, that one was pretty clear.

A large white truck pulled up, and I glanced over at it in the darkness. My gravel driveway was about a hundred feet away from where I stood near the trash barrel, but with my wolf-eyes, I was able to read just fine in the dark. Jackson Wilder – Plumber and Handyman. Huh. The truck looked a little beat up, but I didn’t know a single handyman that kept a pristine truck anyhow.

The truck door opened, and a man slid out, his form veiled by the open truck door. I immediately clutched the shovel closer. I’d been using it to poke at the fire, but now it served a better purpose – protection. I faced the truck, my manner unwelcoming as I mentally steeled myself for the worst. What if this guy was mean? Bad tempered? Worse than Roscoe?

Was there even such a thing?

Before I could continue down that path, the man raised a hand in greeting and moved forward, shutting the truck door behind him and stepping closer to where I stood, body clenched, by the fire.

The breath rushed out of my throat.

When he hadn’t included a photo of himself on the dating website, I’d expected him to be ugly. Maybe short. Maybe fat. All of the above.

I hadn’t expected him to be tanned, lean, with sandy brown hair, broad shoulders and narrow waist. He looked to be a few years older than me, though it was hard to judge. His features had a very boyish cast to them. Half a foot taller than me. Fit. Amazing.

He smiled, sizing me up, and his entire face transformed. From smooth and prettily-boyish, he became stunningly beautiful. The smile took over his entire face, flashing white, and displaying the most heart-breaking set of dimples I’d ever seen.

Holy crap. I’d been hoping for mediocre at best. I’d gotten a male god.

Immediately I suspected a trick. I studied his face again, but I didn’t see anything that called out ‘alpha’ to me. He had heavy eyebrows over light-colored eyes, and a blunt nose and tapered chin. My father had been craggy and fierce, my brother a massive hulk of a man. The man moving toward me was tall, but the cheerful cast to his features was throwing me off.

My hand clutched the shovel a little closer and my greeting snapped shut in my mouth. Was this some joke on Roscoe’s behalf? Was I the victim of a prank?

He didn’t seem overly alpha, I thought. Sure, he was scrutinizing me, but his manner was open, friendly, positive. My brother and father – both alphas – had been surly and foul-tempered, and their method of greeting a stranger usually involved a fist. It was a bizarre change.

“Are you…” He glanced down, pulled out a folded piece of paper and read it, then looked up again. “Alice Savage?”

Instead of replying, I held my free hand out, the other clutching the shovel close. “Can I see some ID?”

“I need to see the same,” he said to me and extended his hand. His nostrils flared slightly, and I knew he was sensing his surroundings, prepared. The same way I was. His gaze settled on me, and I felt it.

Strength of will. The need to obey and please him. It was some innate sort of sense that came with alphas - natural leadership, a human would call it. Except I wasn’t human.

This guy was definitely an alpha. He didn’t need to swagger – he just needed to show me he was competent. Alert. Ready to defend his surroundings. I recognized the other alpha from posture and manner and sensed he was who he claimed to be.

But I still wanted to see ID.

To my surprise, he held out his entire wallet. I gave him another skeptical look before reaching out to take it, and then flipped it open. His driver’s license stared up at me, very serious. And the man in the picture looked…different. The name was the same – Jackson Wilder. I stared down, then back up at him again, suspicious. “That’s not you.”

“I get that a lot,” he explained in a mild voice. And broke into another smile, studying me. His dimples flashed again. “When I smile, I look different.”

As if to demonstrate, he assumed a serious face, and looked like the photo once more.

Me, I was still mesmerized by the dimples.

He pointed at his wallet. “My pack ID is in there. Behind the license.”

Digging for it meant I’d have to drop my shovel. I gave him one last skeptical look and then propped it against the metal barrel as the fire crackled and popped behind us. The fact that he knew that he had to have a pack ID was a good thing.

Sure enough, I pulled out the card and ran my fingers over it. Pack Ids were cheap things, mocked up to look like a social security card. No numbers were assigned, and there were no pictures. Usually they were issued by the alpha of the pack upon birth, and you received a new one if you left packs. I only had the one, and it was tattered and worn after being in my wallet for 24 years.

Jackson Wilder’s card was fairly new, the edges still crisp with plastic.
St. James Pack, South Carolina
, the ID read. Issued in 2008, which made me still with concern. Wolves could be made by a bite instead of born into shifting, but they rarely ascended to higher than beta. On a hunch, I slid my finger under the ID and met the grainy feel of an older slip of paper behind it. “You’re not a new wolf?”

He shook his head, the amazing smile (and dimples) disappearing. “Left for new ground a few years ago and met with the St. James pack.”

An alpha joining an established pack? That couldn’t have gone smoothly. I replaced the card and snapped the wallet shut, then held it out to him. “So why’d you leave them?”

“A fire,” he said, boyish face serious once more. “All died but myself and Dan.”

I swallowed. “Dan?”

Oh no. Was my new, pretty alpha…gay?

And why was that disappointing? If he was gay, I’d be safe from his attentions, after all.

Another car door shut, and my eyes flicked to the handyman truck even as I reached for the shovel once more. A boy slid away from the passenger side, lanky and uncertain. He was tall, but that was all he had going for him. A bit too thin, with haunted eyes and pale hair. He gave me a faint smile as he moved to stand behind Jackson.

Ah. Not gay. Just had a kid with him in his pack and hadn’t left him behind. I understood that.

BOOK: Single Wolf Female (Midnight Liaisons)
4.47Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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