'An alpha with a unique skillset and immunity to a vampire's powers—feared by his enemies and valued by his pack. A merciless killer. A natural leader. And... my cousin.'
As Katie peered through the slats of his wardrobe, she wished she had been born into another family. Any other family would do. Being the cousin of the strongest, most vicious Alpha in the pack might sound like an advantage, but she knew the truth. At eighteen years old, not only was she a mateless virgin, but she'd yet to even kiss a boy. Or a girl, for that matter.
Despite being considered the most beautiful Omega her peers had seen in decades--according to her friends at least—she had never dated. She'd watched her friends pair off and dreamed of being in love—of forming that special bond with her mate. The problem was—none of her potential mating partners would dare so much as look at her. Not with Theon keeping his watchful eyes on her every move.
'It never mattered so much before,' she thought, staring longingly through the cracks in the wood. 'Not until you showed up.'
The newest member of her cousin's group—Devlin—sat on the floor with the others. With his knees up and his head resting on his hands, he looked almost feminine. Cheek-length jet black hair fell across his face as he listened intently to Theon, his ice-blue eyes never wandering from his leader.
"Well?" Theon asked. "Are you going to own up?"
Theon stood and paced about the foot of the bed, the floorboards creaking under his feet. "I know one of you didn't vote for me, and while I didn't want leadership, in fact, I can think of nothing more tiresome, I expect at least my own pack members to vote for me."
Katie scanned the group, her eyes flitting to Devlin first. He looked innocent.
'Thank God.' She breathed a quiet sigh of relief. The thought of Theon hurting her future soul mate made her stomach turn.
"I'm sorry!" Adam cried, bowing his head to the floor in a dramatic fashion. "It was my parents. They're traditionalists. They forced me to vote for Jason because he's a Goldman. I didn't think it mattered since you said you didn't want to lead."
Adam cowed as the larger boy approached, stepping through his pack with delicate footfalls.
With a strong build and a height just under six foot eight, Theon was formidable in stature, but it was his aura that truly terrified his foes. Unlike most werewolves, his yellow eyes pointed teeth remained visible even in his human form.
Those jagged teeth showed as he smiled at the Beta who had betrayed him. "You don't have to cower. I won't hurt you."
These words loosened the tension in Katie's muscles. She hated violence and the sight of blood, but the words had the opposite effect on Adam, causing him to panic.
"No. No, please. Please don't. Please, Theon."
"Sorry." Theon stood over him, casting a long shadow over the shaking boy. "You're out."
"No, no, no, no," Adam pleaded in a tearful panic. To him, this had to be a fate far worse than violence. He'd been a member of her cousin's pack since as far back as Katie could remember.
Katie felt sorry for Adam. That, and a little guilty for feeling so relieved it wasn't the new guy being pushed out.
She jumped slightly as Theon slapped his hands together and rubbed them, grinning widely. "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here."
When he turned his back to the others, facing the window, the other members grabbed Adam and dragged him from the room, ignoring his protests, pleas and promises.
With dreamy eyes, Katie stared at Devlin, who was now left alone with her cousin. She watched as Theon turned and smiled down at the ridiculously beautiful boy. She frowned, leaning forward to get a better view as Theon placed a finger under his pale chin and tilted his head back.
'No way... he doesn't also have a crush on Devlin, does he?' Katie wondered in a panic. Theon was straight as far as she knew, but Devlin was a whole other level of attractive. 'He might be tempted—'
Katie's brain paused mid-thought as Devlin's head snapped in her direction.
'He can see me,' she realised, slapping her hands over her mouth for reasons she couldn't explain. There was no way he could hear her breathing, even with werewolf hearing. And as for her scent... she lived there. Her scent would already be all over the house.
When Theon followed his gaze, she knew for a fact she'd been spotted.
'Think up an excuse,' she urged her brain. 'If he founds out you have a crush on Devlin, he'll go out of his way to keep you away from him.'
She desperately racked her brain, thinking up any possible reason to be spying. The thought of not being able to stare at those pale blue eyes made her scream internally. 'Noooo! No, this can't happen!'
She couldn't concentrate on spying as her cousin concluded his meeting. The mood had turned sombre after the others returned. When all the members of a pack were together, they were at their strongest—a unit. These tight-knit little groups within the main pack were closer than blood families. When one was missing, it naturally made the others anxious.
'Image how Adam feels,' she thought. 'All alone in the world.'
It was likely he would try to find another group or leave altogether—a fact which made Katie sad. Adam had been her first crush. Of course, Theon had forbidden it and dished out his hateful rule: 'No dating family members.'
Not that it made a difference who she was interested in. As soon as anyone showed a lick of attention, Theon would be all over them. His intimidation tactics were famous among the villagers of Moonvale, and as such, Katie had resigned herself to a life of celibacy... when she wasn't plotting to run away.
'I can't run away now,' she sighed to herself, watching the newcomer. He was too perfect—everything about him from his scent to the shape of his eyes and even the way he sat perfectly still.
She watched as he unfolded his legs, raising himself from the floor in one graceful move. He spun on his heels and gave Kenny a sympathetic smile and arm rub on his way out of the room. Kenny had been Adam's best friend since birth, and you didn't have to look at him too closely to see he was suffering from the loss.
A faint smile played about her lips as she watched Theon following them from the room.
'I'm free to escape!' she thought. 'I got away with it. He didn't see—'
Then he slammed the bedroom door shut and yanked open the closet, leaving Katie to stare up with a big dumb grin.
"I was just looking for my coat—"
"Save it," he uttered. When he turned and plonked himself onto the bed, she crawled out of her position between the shoeboxes and old sheets. "Whatever lame-o excuse you've concocted—just save it."
"You don't know." Katie waved a finger at him, raising her eyebrows. "There could be a very pertinent and real and not made-up reason I'm sitting in your closet."
Theon said nothing, just laughed and nodded, indicating for her to go on.
"I've developed a fear of open spaces," she offered. "Or I've found a portal to a universe run by a giant lion. Or... or I was... just incredibly bored?"
She shrugged her shoulders, fluttering her long eyelashes with the most innocent face she could muster up.
Theon remained silent, letting his facial expression do the talking. He cocked his head, flashing his monstrous teeth in a growing half-smile.
"Can we please just not make a thing out of this?" Katie begged, face full of hope. "This doesn't have to be a big thing."
"Oh, Katie, Katie, Katie." He tutted and sucked at his teeth to make a whistling sound. "Whatever should I do with you?"
Unable to answer, Katie sat in silence, trying her best to look cute. The sound of heels clicking on the pavement drew her attention away from the awkward conversation. Feeling hopeful, she bolted to the window.
As she'd suspected from the tell-tale heel click, it was her best friend, Haley.
"Haley's here!" she cried with over-the-top enthusiasm. "Let's talk about this later."
Once she was almost at the door, almost free, he dashed to overtake her in a blur of speed that bordered on impossible.
"Don't go thinking I'm going to forget," he warned, leaning in to whisper. "And don't think I don't know exactly what you were doing."
Katie paused for a moment, lost in her thoughts, before dashing to answer the doorbell.She pulled the door with so much force the knocker rebounded and made her best friend yelp in surprise."What's gotten into you?" Haley cried with a frown. "Calm down your biceps, Super Girl.""Sorry... I had too much coffee," Katie admitted. She'd drank an entire pot while waiting for the boys to arrive—a decision she'd regretted once trapped inside the closet without a toilet. "In fact... I need a wee. Be right back!"After speeding to the toilet, she returned to find Haley in the kitchen fixing herself a drink. The smell of cheap instant coffee filled her nose.Haley turned and looked up sheepishly as Katie entered. "You said coffee so...""So you had to have coffee," she finished with a smile. "It's okay. You can make yourself at home here."
"How could this happen?!" The veins in her father's neck stood out as he swept the breakfast dishes from the table with his thick forearm.Jade blinked away droplets of milk from her eyelashes, frozen in horror as a waterfall of plates, cereal, and glasses crashed to the floor."I, uh, I d—don't—" Jason stammered, shaking his head. He reminded Jade of one of those rickety old ventriloquist dummies as his teeth chattered, struggling to explain something he couldn't have foreseen.'But you foresaw it, didn't you?'Jades’ conscience whispered.'You saw it coming and you never said a word.'Jade hung her head.'Because I'm to blame for this,' she concluded."You won't be able to beat him," her father was saying, pacing through the shards of broken china. "That boy is a monster. Even if we fought him four on o
Jade's mind raced, filling with questions that had no answers. Why would he want her as a mate? Was he simply teasing her? Would he really let her brother live?What would it be like... to be his mate?Her eyes ran over his form, taking in his shape. He was tall and solidly built—muscular with long limbs. And it wasn't just his human form that was oversized—his wolf was immense. A monster among monsters.What would it be like to mate with him?The thought brought a blush to her cheeks. She pictured him naked, pressing against her, his sharp teeth and hot breath bearing down on her neck."Well?" he pressed. "Do we have a deal or not?"Without thinking any further, Jade nodded. She would do anything to save her brother, but in that instant, it wasn't saving Jason that spurred her to action.'Do I want to be
The group were deathly quiet as they walked home, but it wasn't an ordinary silence. It felt almost as if there was a weight to it. Or some other tangible element. Even the birds and squirrels were keeping their distance.Theon had remained behind with the elder members of the council. Katie figured he was either going to lay down the law or transform and eat them. He wasn't one to be bossed about by people with what he called 'borrowed power.' His power was real; backed up by teeth and claws. He would not give an inch to anyone weaker than himself, which included pretty much everyone. Alexander had been smart enough to figure this out and had left him to his own devices, never once giving him an order.Theon challenging Jason's leadership was a shock to just about everyone else, but not to Katie. She knew there was no way he would live under the rule of a guy his own age. Especially not a stuck-up prick like Jason. Alexander wasn't gr
The silence that fell over the hall as the last straggler departed was deafening. Jade heels clicked over the hardwood floor, making an echo that alerted Theon's attention. As he turned to face, her she froze on the spot—a deer in headlights.'A deer,'she thought.'I'm one of the strongest Alpha's in this pack, and he makes me feel like prey.'A shiver ran down her spine as he approached slowly, placing steps carefully as if stalking her—as if he knew the effect he was having on her body.Her knees were like jelly when his feet bumped against hers. He loomed over her, face still puckered with marks from the transformation. The veins on his neck stood out, throbbing with the slow and steady beat of his heart. He wasn't excited or afraid—but entirely at ease.For a horrible moment, as he stared without blinking, she couldn't remember the words she wished t
'What's going on here?'Katie screwed up her face in defiance. "I'm making spicy chicken wraps. What does it look like?"She stiffened but tried to hold her ground as Theon approached, aware of what was coming. He'd place a hand on her neck and gently squeeze, maintaining constant pressure that became too much to bear. Eventually, the pain would be too great, and she would apologize for fear of having her collarbone crushed."No, no, no," she argued, feeling his bony fingers poke at her. He'd never hurt her, not intentionally, but he didn't let her 'sass' him, as he put it."What's with this attitude? Hmm?" he asked. "Don't you know you're talking to the Alpha Prime?""Sorry, Sir," she uttered, rolling her eyes. She turned to face him, slipping away from his grasp. "I'm proud of you. Really. I'm making dinner to celebrate.""Hmm." Theon flashed
Jade smiled, hoping Katie would be happy to hear the news, but something told her the situation was bound to become strained. Haley had always welcomed her presence, but she sensed a prickle of jealousy from Katie, as though she wanted Haley all for herself."Wow, you and Theon?" Katie's eyes widened. "I never pictured you two together in a million years.""Seriously?" Haley cried. "I've been sensing the sexual tension between that pair for years.""Oh," Haley cried, looking down at her phone. "They're throwing a party tonight to celebrate Theon's leadership.""Oh geez, that's cringy." Katie rolled her eyes. "What are they going to do, change the name on the banner from Jason to Theon?"Jade laughed. Katie might be a bit thorny at times, but she never failed to brighten her mood with her sarcastic insights.She felt herself stiffen as the males de
Haley watched as Katie pulled the clothes from the pile she'd provided, desperate to find something that would grab Delvin's attention.Devlin. Bloody Devlin. He was all she heard about lately. It had gotten to the point where Haley was sick of hearing the name. Yes, he was unusually attractive with his icy eyes and little beauty spot, and he did seem like an interesting guy...'Oh geez, don't tell me it's rubbing off on me?' Haley panicked quietly. She tried to push his image out of her brain as Katie prattled on about how evil Theon was for standing in the way of her love life."He touched my hand. I told you, right?" Katie looked up at her.Haley nodded. She'd only told her seventeen times."I mean, I'm not crazy," Katie went on. "Why would he do that if he didn't like me back?""I don't know," Haley said evenly as she pick