Bred by the Alpha(4)

By: Sam Crescent & Stacey Espino

As soon as the guy reached for the grocery bag, her mystery man gave him a short, quick jab to the face with his free hand. The impact must have been intense because he fell over, unconscious, like a tree toppling in the forest.

“What the hell?” said one of the other men.

“Alphie, watch my bag, eh?” The stranger set his groceries down beside his dog, who was now sitting obediently, albeit not happy with the conflict.

She watched in horror, waiting for the remaining five men to beat the stranger senseless. Instead, he moved like a skilled mercenary, taking them out one by one. She swore he hadn’t even put effort into his attack, looking bored but pissed off.

Within seconds, all the men were on the ground in various states of injury. Some groaned and cried out; others were knocked out. Her stranger adjusted his jacket, then returned to collect his bag and his dog. She still hadn’t moved.

“Rebecca, are you okay?”

“H-how do you know my name?” Her anxiety was through the damn roof, and it didn’t help that she no longer took any medications to calm her down. She was determined to live a more natural, healthy life.

He smirked. “You told me in the grocery store, remember? My name’s Liam, by the way.” One of the men attempted to sit up, and Liam kicked him in the chest.

“I don’t know what to say.”

“You look a little pale. I should walk you home.” He glanced over at her bags. Her groceries were strewn all over the truck bed and parking lot. Liam frowned.

“Thank you,” she said. “I don’t know what I would have done without you.”

He shrugged. “Deer season opens this Saturday, so the weekend warriors will be flocking to town. Most of them are assholes, so you should be on guard the next couple weeks.”

“I never knew.”

He hooked his arm around hers and helped her up the path to the street. She was still in shock. They walked along the side of the road towards her apartment. It was a small triplex that used to be a century home. She had the loft, and she loved the views from her windows even if it was small.

“So, Rebecca, tell me about yourself,” he said.

She decided not to let her fears control her this time. She’d been given a round two with the same man. “I’m an editor. I work from home.” Oh God, that was about it. Her life sounded more pathetic than it seemed.

“I love to read. Guess we have something in common.”

The three of them continued along, the road getting darker as they grew more distant from the lights in the parking lot. “Why didn’t you let your dog help you out back there? Not that you needed it.”

He smiled. “I didn’t want him to get hurt.”

Was it possible to fall in love in less than an hour?

“I love animals,” she said. “Dogs, cats, rabbits, you name it.”

Liam stopped, turning her to face him. “We’re a lot alike, you and I. What about wolves, Rebecca? Do you like them?”

“I love wolves,” she said. “They’re so beautiful and feral. Of course, I wouldn’t like to meet one on the way home.” She giggled, then stopped herself.

“You have nothing to worry about,” he said. Liam trailed his finger along the edge of her jaw, a feather-light touch. The way he looked at her made butterflies flutter in her stomach. “I’ll protect you from the wolves, too.”

Rebecca might be a thirty-year-old virgin, but she could envision changing all that for a man like him. “I bet you could.”

They began walking again, their hands occasionally brushing, bringing her body to life. The crickets droned all around them, a soothing melody. She was surprised how comfortable she felt around this man. New people usually made her clam up.

When they reached her home, they stopped in front. A lamp she’d left on glowed from the third-floor window. The faint scent of his woodsy cologne had her breathing in deeply for more. “Who’s waiting for you?” he asked. “Are you married?”

She shook her head. “I live alone.”

“You’re new to town. You’ll have to let me show you around one day.”

Rebecca felt a jolt of excitement. This gorgeous, beast of a man was actually interested in her? Or was he just being nice?