Alpha Province: Puppet Strings(6)

By: Becca Van

Rod rubbed his tired eyes and glanced at his Rolex watch. It was just after three in the morning. He quickly sent the bitch’s photo and file to his contact with a short message. Delete after memorizing. Get rid of the sim, battery, and phone. I’ll be in touch.

Rubbing his hands together with anticipation, he rose and headed for bed.

He’d do anything to clear his son’s good name. He just wished he could be there to see the fear on the slut’s face when she realized she was about to die.

* * * *

Cason now understood why his inner tiger had been acting so strangely. He had a feeling his beast had known their mate was coming, which had caused the aggressive restlessness. Even though he was glad she was finally here, he was in a quandary. He and his brothers weren’t cut from the same cloth as the other shifters. They didn’t like being around a lot of people, and while the other men were of the same mind, they were more reclusive and unsocial than the rest.

He wasn’t sure he and his brothers were good enough for such a beautiful, talented woman, and though he knew they should walk away, leave her to find someone worthy of her, he couldn’t.

Just the thought of his mate with another man had his tiger surging forth and the hackles on the back of his neck standing on end.

Cason pushed his thoughts aside, his gaze immediately going to his gorgeous mate sitting across the table from him. He frowned with concern when he heard her panting and saw the sheen of perspiration on her forehead. His ear twitched as his enhanced hearing picked up the rapid beat of her heart. When he glanced at Bladen and Daxon, he noticed they were also watching Sage with worried expressions.

When she shrieked after Bladen placed a comforting hand on her back and she cowered in her seat with her arm up above her head as if trying to protect herself, he almost lost it. A low rumbling growl started deep in his chest as he shoved to his feet, and the tips of his fingers started tingling. If Preston hadn’t gripped his arm firmly, he might have changed into his tiger right in front of his already terrified mate, and that would have been a travesty. The terror emanating from her skin, her pores was sickly sweet and made his heart ache for her. Even though he was furious that someone had hurt their woman, he wanted to question her until he had the fucker’s name so he could hunt him down and rip him to shreds, he was glad for Preston Louis’ intervention. Frightening her more than she already was wouldn’t be conducive to courting her.

Cason had a feeling it was going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to get Sage Garland to agree to go out with them let alone mate with them. With a frustrated sigh, he rubbed over the ache in his chest and sat back down. He and his feline wanted to devour their mate, but Cason didn’t think he and his brothers would ever get the chance to take her out to dinner, let alone kiss her.

* * * *

Sage sucked in a breath as she lowered her arm from near her head. Tears of humiliation stung the back of her eyes, but she blinked them back. She wanted to get up and hurry out of the room, but her legs were still trembling. While she knew she had no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed, she couldn’t help but feel those emotions. She was very aware of the eyes on her, but she kept her gaze on her empty plate.

“You haven’t told me what you want to eat yet, Sage,” Bladen said.

She tried to take the platter from him, but he held fast. “I have it, baby. Just take what you want.”

She frowned at him over the endearment, but since she’d already made a spectacle of herself, she held her tongue. The last thing she wanted or needed was to garner more attention her way. Thankfully, everyone was talking again. Elsa had said something to get the ball rolling. Sage had no idea what they were talking about and didn’t really care. All that mattered was that most of the attention was off her, for now.

With a shaking hand, she grasped the tongs and started putting food on her plate. Her stomach roiled, and she swallowed the saliva pooling in her mouth. Sage wasn’t sure if she’d be able to eat anything without having to run from the room so she could throw up, but she was going to make it look as if she was eating even if she didn’t put anything in her mouth. Once she had a piece of toast with scrambled eggs and a piece of bacon on her plate, she stared at it and swallowed again. Instead of picking up her knife and fork, she grabbed her mug of steaming black coffee, taking several sips. When her stomach seemed to settle somewhat, she lowered her gaze to her breakfast again. Before she could start eating, Bladen grasped her fork, cut a piece of toast with egg on it, and lifted it to her mouth.

“Open up, baby.”