Honor and duty are a given in their world, but where does love fit in?
Becoming alpha is something Brady Romero never wanted. His future is supposed to include the female he’s loved ever since high school. Settling down and raising a family is what he craves. Too bad his intended mate doesn’t.
Audra Nevers is alpha by default of her pack. The death of her parents along with her brother’s incompetence make her leadership a necessity. As much as she loves Brady, she won’t abandon her pack or her family.
But there’s a war brewing engineered by the were-panthers, Calhoun and Andrew Ryder. They want retaliation for the killings of their brother and father. The fact Calhoun has always wanted to claim Audra sweetens the prospect. The plan? Kill the Romeros and take Audra as the prize.
These shifters bring a lot to the playing field—passion, strength, and overwhelming stubbornness.
But in a community where pack and family trump personal desires, can love survive?
Too many thoughts on my mind, namely the backstabbing wolf, make sleep difficult. Without Audra by my side, I settled for a run.
It shouldn’t have surprised me when my feet led me back home. As soon as my paws breach the perimeter, I know I’m doomed. I should turn around and leave, but my wolf doesn’t want to. Thankfully, I still have a change of clothing in the secured box at the edge of my property. Correction. Her property. I own nothing here.
But that simple fact isn’t enough to keep me from checking on her.
As I creep toward the back of the house, I notice the lack of lights and noise. Standing in the shadows, I stare at the place wrapped in a semblance of peace. I was supposed to tear it all down and build our dream house. Just a small dwelling for us and a few pups. Nothing like the grandeur of my parents’ estate.
Unfortunately, the longer I linger, memories of Audra bombard my brain. It would be so easy to rush inside, take her in my arms, and tell her this was a mistake. Take it all back. Start over.
I start to leave when the back door creaks open.
“Brady?” She takes a hesitant step off the porch. “I know it’s you.”
Audra steps into the moonlight. It’s like the first time I saw her illuminated by the stars. Our first date. We’d been studying Lord Byron in school. Back then, I was a foolish boy wanting to impress the female I had a crush on. So I recited the poem perfectly to Audra. She loved it and fell in love with me.
Miraculously, the words tumble back to me. “She walks in beauty, like the night. Of cloudless climes and starry skies…”
“You remember it? After all this time?” Audra stops in front of me.
“How could I forget?” The urge to touch her is so strong. Instead of acting on it, I shove my hands in my jeans pockets.
She folds her arms over her chest. “What are you doing here?”
“I was out running. There’s a lot on my mind.” I pause and take in Audra’s pajama bottoms and flimsy top. “Can we talk for a minute?”
She sighs. “Come on. I think there’s some bourbon inside.”
Audra hands me a snifter before taking a seat on the far end of the sofa and curling her legs beneath her. She sips from her glass but doesn’t initiate the conversation. Instead, silence envelops us. I’m grateful for the moment. The longer I sit here, the longer I get to be with her.
Minutes pass slowly. Before it stretches on endlessly, Audra lowers her glass to the coffee table. “Brady, what’s wrong?”
“You know me too well.” I toss back my drink and relish the burn. Unhurriedly, I tell Audra, “Elsbeth broke the curse on my father.”
Audra smiles. “Oh, Brady, that’s great news! How’s he doing?”
“Actually pretty good. He recovered quickly.”
“I’m glad to hear it.” Audra’s dark eyes study me. “Now tell me what’s bothering you.”
“I’ve missed this. Talking to you always helps me.” I run a finger along the rim of the glass. “Elsbeth gave me some not so great news. The Ryders are stirring up trouble.”
“How so?” Audra folds her legs, crossed-legged style, and leans forward with her elbows on her knees.
To be honest, Audra is the only one I can trust outside of my family. If I want to construct a real plan, she might be able to help. “The curse was cast by a witch working with the Ryders. Tonight, I found out one of my own is in league with them too.”
Audra tilts her head to the side. “Who?”
“Remember the omega?”
Audra nods. “Is he the one who’s challenging you?”
“Yeah. He went straight to Cal after I announced I had to marry Amber.”
Audra pierces me with a cold stare. “Are you really going to do that? Now? Even after learning about the Ryders?”
I drop my gaze. “I told you I’ll put it off for as long as possible. If we can take down the Ryders, once and for all, it doesn’t have to happen.” My eyes lift. “It won’t happen.”
She turns up her glass and takes a long sip.
“I can’t quit you, Audra. Why do you think I ended up here?”
Audra shakes her head. “No, Brady, you don’t get to do this. You wanted a clean break.”
Setting my glass down on the table, I risk moving closer. My hand goes to her cheek. So soft. Just as beautiful when annoyed with me as when she’s happy. “Because I thought it was how I’d get over you. I can’t… I don’t want to get over you.”
She leans into my palm. “I don’t want to be over you either.”
“Ah, sugar.” I don’t need a better invite. Pulling Audra into my lap, my lips brush hers. She opens her mouth to me, and my tongue slides inside. So sweet. As if I’m kissing her for the first time.
My mouth trails down to her collarbone as I run a hand up her thigh. Audra leans back against the cushions. Her breath coming in short pants. “Brady.”
Her fingers thread through my hair. “Please, don’t leave, Brady.”
“I don’t want to.” Commonsense invades the moment. I sit up.
“What’s wrong? Why’d you stop?”
Scrubbing a hand over my face, I say, “I want nothing more to take you upstairs, but we need to be smart about this. Everyone thinks we’ve broken up. We need them to keep believing it.”
Audra slips off the sofa, her hands in her hair as she paces the floor. “You’re right. I hate it, but you’re right. Cal and Drew won’t reveal what they’re up to if we’re together.”
This is what I’ve missed. My mate knows me. She knows how I think. Right now, I need her help figuring out things.
“Exactly. But sugar, we’ll be together. I’ll come to you at night.” I walk up behind Audra and wrap my arms around her waist. This is my home. I won’t let anyone, not even the Ryders, keep me from it. “During the day, go about your routine. Let everyone believe you’re upset over my union with Amber.”
“It won’t be an act.” She turns in my arms and places her head on my chest. “Baby, we have to be careful. We don’t know who else is a threat.”
“I know.” I place my finger beneath her chin. “We have hours before dawn. Let me enjoy the time with you, and then we’ll make plans.”
“I love you, Brady.” She leans up and brushes her lips over mine.
Swinging her up into my arms, I carry her upstairs and settle her gently on the bed. I tug her pajama bottoms from her hips. As I stand up and then yank my shirt over my head, Audra removes her top. Completely exposed, she taps the mattress.
“You’re overdressed, baby.”
Just looking at her makes me so hard it hurts. In an instant I’m out of my jeans and kneeling onto the bed. “Is this better?”
Audra scrapes her nails over my abs as she pushes me down on the mattress. “Much.”
“I love it when you take control.”
She straddles me and eases herself down over my throbbing cock.
“Ohhh,” I groan. Sugar’s hot for me. Her pussy tightens around my shaft. I pant out, “Slow down. You’re going to make me come too soon.”
Rotating her hips, Audra says, “Don’t worry. We’ve got plenty of time.”
My little minx keeps working me until I’m pushed over the edge and moaning her name.
About the Author:
A native of Detroit, Michigan and a graduate of Western Michigan University, SF has fed her creative brain through a variety of jobs from customer service to working with animals. Although the work title has changed, one thing remained true—her desire to be a writer. As a kid she could often be found writing stories or with a book in her hand. It didn’t matter where the location, SF could be found reading (even at the beach).
Her debut novel, Regress—a dystopian set in her home state—developed from a dream. When she’s not concocting tales in her sleep, SF has been known to come up with entire dialogues in the shower.
SF prefers writing stories which answer the “what if” question in life. Her protagonists are strong and diverse set in post-apocalyptic or paranormal worlds.
Facebook Alliance Chronicles page: https://www.facebook.com/jointhealliance/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/SFBenson/e/B01DI9Z58Q/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1