When An Alpha Purrs(7)

By: Eve Langlais

Indrawn breath. A snicker. A full-on guffaw.

Arik swirled again and tossed deadly visual daggers at his second. “I fail to see the humor in my butchered mane.”

“Dude. Have you seen it? It is bad. What did you do to piss Dominic off? Seduce one of his daughters?”

“Actually one of his granddaughters did this to me!” He couldn’t help the incredulous note. The effrontery of the act still got to him.

A thump and a shake of the wall as Hayder hit it, his shoulders shaking with laughter. “A girl did that to you?” His beta convulsed with mirth, not at all daunted by Arik’s glower and tapping fingers.

“This is not amusing.”

“Oh, come on, dude. Of all the people to have a hair mishap, you are the worst.”

“I look like an idiot.”

“Only because you didn’t let her finish hacking the rest off.”

His fingers froze as he took his gaze off the screen for a moment to address the travesty. “Cut off my mane?” Was his beta delusional?

“Well, yeah. You know, to even it out so it doesn’t show.”

A growl rumbled forth, more beast than man, his lion not at all on board with any more trimming.

“Okay, if you’re not keen on that, then what about a hair weave? Maybe we could get you a platinum one, or pink for contrast since you’re being such a prissy princess about it.”

That did it. A lion could take only so much. Arik dove over his desk and tackled his beta. Over they went with a thump and a tangle of limbs.

As he was slamming Hayder’s head off the floor, snarling, “Take it back!” to his beta’s chortled, “We’ll get your nails done while they’re weaving,” Leo strode in.

A giant of a man, he didn’t even have to strain as he grabbed them each by a shoulder and yanked them apart. But he didn’t stop there. He slammed their heads together before shoving them down.

Arik and Hayder sat on the carpeted floor, nursing robin’s eggs, united in their glare for the pride’s omega, also known as the peacemaker. Of course, Leo’s version of peace wasn’t always gentle, which was why he was perfect for the pride.

The behemoth with the mellow outlook on life took a seat in a chair, which groaned ominously. “You do know that the staff two floors down can hear the pair of you acting like ill-behaved cubs.”

“He started it!” Arik stabbed a finger at his beta. He had no problem assigning blame. Delegation was something an alpha did well.

Hayder didn’t even deny his guilt. “I did. But can you blame me? He was pissing and moaning about this precious mane. All I did was offer a solution, and he took offense.”

“I assume we’re talking about the missing chunk of hair on our esteemed leader’s head?” Leo shook his neatly trimmed dark crown. “I keep telling you that vanity is your weakness.”

“And chocolate chip ice cream is yours. We all have our vices,” Arik grumbled as he heaved himself off the floor and into his leather-padded seat—with built-in heating pad and massager because a man in his position did enjoy his luxuries.

“My vice is beautiful women,” Hayder announced with a grin, adopting a lounging pose on the floor. Felines were king when it came to acting as if embarrassing positions weren’t accidental at all.

“Don’t talk to me about women right now. I’m still angry at the one who did this.”

“I think I’m missing a key point,” Leo stated.

It didn’t take long to bring Leo up to speed. To his credit, the pride omega didn’t laugh—long. “What are you planning to do?” Leo asked in a deep rumble.

“Do?” Good question. Arik couldn’t beat the hairdresser. She was, after all, a girl. He couldn’t eat her—she’d enjoy it too much—and he doubted he could get her to eat him—even if he would enjoy it very much. But, on the topic of eating, he could make her swallow her words… Wouldn’t that be an awesome revenge?

“Uh-oh. Judging by the smile on his face, he just came up with a devious plan,” Hayder announced. “Count me in if you need help.”

Indeed, Arik had devised a perfect plan for revenge. In the game of cat and mouse, he was about to even the score.

Chapter Four

“Good morning, mouse.”

The husky words just about had her wetting her pants. Leaving the key in the barbershop lock, Kira whirled around, so fast her coffee cup sloshed. Hot liquid splashed over her hand, and she yelped.

“Ouch!” She used the excuse of her burn to keep her attention focused on her hand instead of her unexpected visitor. A very tall visitor who’d obviously lain in wait for her.