To Catch His Mate (Crescent Moon Series Book 5) (2 page)

BOOK: To Catch His Mate (Crescent Moon Series Book 5)
4.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“Where. Is. She.” He managed to get the words out through gritted teeth.

“I don’t know.” Kayne’s entire body was stiff as he said the words.


“I…don’t know where she is. She left a week ago.”

It took a long moment for Reece to digest what Kayne had said, to read the actual fear on the other alpha’s face. As far as Reece knew, Kayne had always kept a close eye on his only daughter. She was basically considered a princess to the pack. Immediate worry for her sliced through him. His wolf clawed furiously, not liking this news one bit.

Before he could respond, Kayne jerked his chin to the left. “Come on, I need a drink.”

A dozen questions were on the tip of his tongue, but he held himself in check. He’d get his answers. More than anything, he wanted to see Alyssa. The three weeks he’d spent with her had been the best of his life. She was like a ray of sunshine and he refused to live without her. Not when he knew that she wanted him too. Of that he had no doubt. Hell, he was the one who’d had to put the brakes on when they’d been kissing.

Because if he hadn’t, he’d have taken and claimed her right on his living room floor. She deserved a longer courting than that. She deserved better than him, but he was too selfish to walk away from her. His wolf had decided that she was his before they’d ever spoken two words to each other, and once he’d met her, he agreed too. He had no clue what had gone wrong between them.

Her last night in his territory, she’d been withdrawn from him, but then she’d given him a gift. A vintage baseball hat for his favorite team. It had been so damn thoughtful, so like her. Something had been off with her though and he should have pushed to find out what it was. Feeling as if he was on autopilot, he followed Kayne into a huge kitchen bright from all the sunlight spilling into it.

“Sit,” Kayne ordered.

Reece wanted to pace, but did as the other alpha said. He watched as the male pulled out an expensive bottle of single malt whisky from a cabinet. Kayne poured two glasses before joining Reece at the center island.

He slid it to Reece and to his surprise, he saw the slightest tremble in Kayne’s hands. Shit. If Kayne was that worried, this was bad.

Ignoring the drink, he slid off the chair. Screw feigning civility. “Kayne—”

“She’s okay. That much I know.”

The words took away some of his fear, but not much. “How do you know?”

“She’s texted me multiple times over the last week just to check in and assure me she’s okay. But she disabled the locator on her phone so I can’t even track her.” The last part came out as a surly grumble.

“Alyssa wouldn’t leave you like that.” Reece had gotten to know her during their time together, so he knew without a doubt that she’d never hurt her father.

“She…” Kayne scrubbed a hand over his face. “We argued. Badly. She wanted out of the mating to you and I told her she was being immature, that this was the right thing. I’ve never seen her get so mad before. She shouted at me, something she’s never done. I yelled back and fuck, I made her cry.” He collapsed on one of the chairs. “She was gone the next morning.”

“She was the one who wanted out of the mating?”

The alpha’s mouth pulled into a thin line. “Yeah.”

The knowledge was like a silver dagger to Reece’s gut. He sat again and picked up the tumbler. He downed it in one swallow, savoring the burn of the liquid. “I didn’t hurt her,” he said, maybe more to convince himself than Kayne. He’d been so careful with her. Hell, they’d literally only kissed a few times. It had been intense and he’d wanted way more, but he’d never truly touched her. He hadn’t trusted himself to stop and it had been clear she wouldn’t have.

Kayne snorted. “I know that. It’s the only reason you’re alive. Something was wrong, she wouldn’t tell me what. Just that she didn’t want to mate.”

Reece started to respond when he heard the sound of the front door opening. He scented a wolf, probably female, a few seconds before a tall, striking blonde strode into the kitchen.

She looked between the two of them, her eyes going cold as they landed on Reece. He’d never met her before so the coldness surprised him. Not that he cared about some random female.

“Is everything okay?” she asked Kayne, her expression softer as she looked at the alpha.

He nodded. “Yeah. Just worried about Alyssa.”

“God, Kayne, she’s fine. She just needed some space.” The blonde shook her head, dismissing Kayne’s words so quickly it was clear she knew where Alyssa was or at least had a good idea.

The other alpha picked up on that fact as soon as Reece did. Reece wanted to grill the female, but this wasn’t his territory, and he wasn’t sure of the relationship between Kayne and her.

Kayne’s gaze narrowed, all worry from earlier gone, and pure alpha back in his gaze. “Where’ve you been the last week, Ember?”

The blonde shrugged and glanced at the whisky bottle with interest. “Busy. Have you forgotten your manners? Aren’t you going to offer me a drink?”

“You don’t drink whisky.”

“I wouldn’t say no to a twenty-year old single malt.”

“Damn it, Ember!” He stood now, advanced on the female—who didn’t back down an inch. “You know where she is?”

She crossed her arms over her chest, arched a defiant eyebrow. “Yes.”

It was as if all the air was sucked out of the room with her response.

“And you didn’t tell me?” Kayne’s voice was low and deadly.

“You didn’t ask. And I’m still not telling you.”

Something electric sparked between the two of them. Even Reece could see it was sexual tension. He didn’t give a shit what was going on though.

He forced himself to stay in his seat when all he wanted to do was get up and shake the female, to force an answer out of her. “Is she safe at least? Protected?”

Ember looked at him then, her eyes glinting with surprise. “You care?”

“Of course I care!” He’d gone too long without seeing her, without touching her or hearing her sweet laugh. And he’d thought she cared about him too.

“Hmm.” She looked back at Kayne then. Even though she was tall, the alpha was taller so she had to look up. “On what planet did you think it would be a good idea to force a mating on your daughter?”

Kayne growled, but not at her bold question, it was more of a sound of frustration. “I wasn’t trying to force her. I won’t be around forever and I wanted her mated with someone strong, someone who would always take care of her. When Reece came to me about courting her—”

The blonde’s head swiveled to Reece, then back to Kayne. “When did this happen?”

Reece wanted to know who the hell this female was that she was able to ask so many questions of the alpha without reprimand. But if it got him the answers he wanted, he’d tell her anything she wanted.

“About a month before Alyssa and Kayne came to my territory,” he said before Kayne could respond.

Frowning, the female stepped back then moved around Kayne and grabbed the bottle. “Wait, there’s no way you met her before then. She’d have told me.”

Reece rubbed the back of his neck, suddenly uncomfortable. He’d seen Alyssa out shopping in a neighboring town before he knew who she was. His wolf had woken up and taken interest immediately. He’d been about to approach her until he spotted what looked like two bodyguards hovering nearby. After some research he’d discovered exactly who she was. So he’d approached Kayne about courting her.

Reece had never thought the older alpha would decree some sort of arranged mating. Not that he’d argued, because he’d wanted Alyssa with every fiber of his wolf.

“I didn’t say we met. I just saw her.”

“Then he came to me about courting her. I was the one who decided to implement the arranged mating.” Kayne took the tumbler Ember had just poured and downed the contents.

“You’re an idiot,” she muttered, but with no heat as she turned to Reece. She looked at him hard, her gaze assessing. “Do you want Alyssa to strengthen your pack, or for her?”

“Her.” God, he didn’t give a shit about strengthening his pack. They already had a solid foothold in their territory and that wasn’t changing. He’d told a few annoying packmates that was why he was mating with her, but soon everyone would see she was his.

If she’d just give him a chance.

“You actually sound like you’re telling the truth. I need a few days to think about it before I tell you though.”

His wolf instinct had him stepping forward before he’d realized he’d even moved.

Kayne moved lightning fast, yanking Ember behind him as she yelped in surprise. Kayne’s wolf flared in his eyes and that was when Reece realized this was more than just sexual tension between him and the female. The alpha hadn’t claimed her yet, otherwise Reece would have been able to scent him on her, but he definitely wanted to.

“She told you a few days,” Kayne growled, the sound more animal than human.

“Fine. You know how to reach me,” Reece said through gritted teeth. Not that he didn’t already have two of his packmates trying to track her through other means. Sneaky? Yep. He’d hunt his little mate down any way he could. Then he’d convince her they were meant to be together.

Without another word he stalked from the kitchen and exited the house. As soon as he made it to his truck, he was calling his guys again, checking on their progress. He wasn’t going to wait for one of Alyssa’s packmates to tell him where she was.

* * *

“What was that?” Ember asked, her voice breathy and far too seductive for Kayne’s sanity.

He took a deep breath, forced his wolf under control before he turned around to face her. It was becoming harder and harder to control his wolf around her. After his mate died almost three decades ago, he’d never thought he’d have the desire to mate again. And not to someone so young. She was thirty, but compared to his two hundred it felt wrong. At least that was what he’d been telling himself the last twelve months. The excuse was getting old though.

“You don’t get to ask the questions,” he murmured, finally turning to look at her. “You’ve been sitting on Alyssa’s whereabouts for the past week, when you knew I was worried?”

She squirmed slightly and glanced away for a second. “It’s not like I’ve seen you the past week, so how would I
you’ve been worried?”

“Don’t be a smartass.” He grabbed one of her hips in a purely dominating gesture, tugged her to him.

Her gaze flew to his, her eyes wide with surprise and…there was definite lust in the air. From both of them, not just her. He was exhausted trying to hide his reaction to her.

“Who’ve you been with the past week?” He could try to tell himself he had a right to know since he was her alpha, but it wasn’t his business who Ember spent time with. She was a grown wolf and as far as he knew, she hadn’t taken any lovers in the pack. For that he was grateful. Meant he wouldn’t have to kill one of his packmates.

“None of your business.” Her expression was more confused than defiant.

He sucked in a sharp breath, inhaling her sweetness. Leaning down, he ran his nose along the column of her neck.

She went completely still before her long, elegant fingers settled on his chest and he could feel her trembling. From lust or fear, he couldn’t tell. Maybe a bit of both. Not that she could be afraid he’d ever hurt her. He’d rather cut off a limb. But he’d never touched her like this before. Even if he’d wanted to.

“Tell me,” he murmured.

“No.” She shoved at his chest. Hard. The action took him by surprise more than anything.

He didn’t step back, but he lifted his head, looked down at her.

Her breathing was erratic. “I never thought you were cruel.”

“Cruel?” He blinked in surprise, unable to stand the sudden tears shimmering in her gaze. God, he’d made two females he cared about cry in the last week. What the hell was wrong with him?

For the first time in years panic invaded his veins. Shifters in his pack didn’t generally cry, they usually just took out their aggression or whatever by shifting and going for a run. Or fighting. He didn’t know how to handle this.

“Using my attraction to you against me is unnecessary,” she whispered as she wrapped her arms around herself. Clearly protecting herself from him. “I’ll tell you where she is, I just…promised her I wouldn’t. I don’t want to lie.”

That was when he realized Ember thought he’d been asking about Alyssa’s whereabouts again.

A brief burst of shame filled him that he hadn’t even been thinking about his daughter’s location. Because the truth was, if she was in danger, Ember would have already told him. So he knew she was safe. All he’d been thinking about was who Ember had been spending time with. “I wasn’t even thinking about her,” he admitted, moving in on her, crowding her until he had her pinned against the center island.

Her tears dried as she stared at him with a hint of confusion and yeah, lust. “What?”

“I just wanted to know if there was some pup I should challenge.” Even the thought of her with another male made him insane. She’d just returned to the pack a year ago and he’d been fighting his feelings and attraction the entire time. She was strong, smart and funny. He adored everything about her.

BOOK: To Catch His Mate (Crescent Moon Series Book 5)
4.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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