The Alpha’s Woman
by AC Arthur
Book 1 in the Wolf Mates
THE ALPHA’S WOMAN by A.C. Arthur
Kira Radney is all delicious curves and strong will and has no desire to be a subservient mate. When a member of her father’s pack attempts to make her his mate by force, Kira has no choice but to flee. The last thing she wants is to submit to any male and their pack. But when her escape attempt leads her straight into the arms of an alpha wolf-a sexy, dangerous, protective alpha-Kira must fight against her need to be free, and her secret desire to be controlled.
The Alpha’s Woman
Book 1 in the Wolf Mates
The Alpha’s Woman
The Full Moon
She had no choice but to run.
As a deafening howl ripped through her body, sounding throughout the small room she’d been allotted, Kira’s long, sharp, black nails ripped through the curtains at the window until they fell to the floor in shreds. In an effort to release the pain burning deep inside she did the only thing she could, lashing out with wide swipes of her arms, deadly nails scraping along every surface they encountered.
Her lips peeled back from her lycan teeth, elongated and piercing as her mouth opened wide, another grisly growl breaking free. Around her she could hear furniture crashing to the floor, material and papers being torn and the rapid thump-thumping of her heart. It was there that the pain had originated, beginning with the day her mother died three months ago.
She’d believed she could go on even through the daily agony of not knowing for certain who had shot her mother down as she ran through the familiar forest. Her father had told her nothing, keeping his face stoic as he reported Tora’s death to his pack as if it were just another announcement and he were some paid employee from CNN. But he had been Tora’s mate, Kira’s father. He should have felt something, yet he hadn’t. Kira should have known then that something was wrong.
Instead she’d tried to do everything her mother had taught her, tried desperately to be the alpha female she was born to be. She’d wanted to stand tall, proud of the extra keen senses and strength she possessed over other lycan females. Coupled with the strategic planning and leadership skills she’d attained from watching her mother as she stood by her father leading this pack, she’d had all the components to be a great alpha female. But Kira had failed. Pitifully. Irrevocably. Failed.
She’d been humiliated and disrespected and when she’d finally spoken up, she’d been betrayed by her own father.
Another guttural growl and she spun around this time facing the mirror over her dresser, stopping cold. Staring back at her was the beast that was her counterpart, the lycan with its feral snarl, protruding forehead and nose, eyes glowing light blue. Her hair was wild, sticking out around her face and falling in wild strands over her shoulders and down her back. She would have scared herself if that fear hadn’t been replaced by the sting of lies and deceit. By the hatred she’d harbored for the members of her father’s pack, and for Penn himself. He wasn’t a father to her, wasn’t what he was when her mother had been alive. He’d changed in these months, so much that allowing a member of his pack—his only daughter—to be assaulted the way she had been hadn’t warranted so much as a double-take.
“It’s time you accept your fate, Kira. There will be no others, only them that are willing to take you and be what you need. Do not fight the inevitable,” Penn had told her as she lay in the corner of their living room, her clothes ripped from her shivering body.
She’d kept her back turned to him, her head tucked low in disgrace as his words slammed into her skin like arrows. There would be no others because no lycan would want a female with her tall and curvy body. In his eyes she’d appeared more dominant than she should have because she was almost as tall as the males with her five foot nine stature, and while she wasn’t as muscular as they were, her body was built broadly. The fact that she was probably smarter than at least three out of the four Betas in the pack meant nothing, nor did her abilities regarding the maintaining of the pack residence and the strategic planning skills her mother had taught her where their kind was concerned. She could be an excellent resource to the right alpha, a fact Tora cemented into her mind from the time she was a young girl.
But it wouldn’t be any member of her father’s pack. She’d realized that with startlingly clarity. They weren’t who she was meant to be with, something Tora had also told her in the days just before her death.
“I’ve taught you everything I know,” her mother had said, long lashes cloaking her soft brown eyes. “But there’s more for you, Kira. More than I could ever teach you, more than you could have ever imagined. Beyond these walls and this pack, there is something for you. A destiny neither of us could ever have imagined.”
“What?” Kira had asked moving to sit next to her mother on the edge of the bed she shared with Penn. Fear and uncertainty had hung in the air like a dark cloud, just hours before they were set to attend Kira’s college graduation. It should have been a time of joy as she’d finished her courses early and would be receiving her BA in Psychology. Tora had been so proud of Kira’s goals to study the human psyche as well as the desire to probe deeper into the mind of the lycans. Yet, today, she looked so sad.
“Tell me what else there is?” Kira had insisted.
But Tora had only shook her head and managed a shaky smile. “Not today, my child. Today is for all for you. It is your beginning.”
Three days later Tora had been killed and Kira had felt more like it was her end.
But it hadn’t been. She’d survived in this house with this pack for three months since then. Every day knowing, sensing, that what had mother had said to her had been absolutely true. There was more for her than what was here. And after what had just happened to her coupled with the fact that her father was condoning one of his Beta’s trying to forcibly claim her, Kira knew exactly what she had to do.
With a fist to the glass Kira broke the mirror, taking a step back from the shattering pieces. Her chest heaved as she struggled to reign in the beast, to yank it inside where it belonged. As an alpha female, she’d been trained and mastered controlling her shifts so there was no doubt she could pull the beast back, but as the anger continued to rage, the beast was unrelenting in its claim over her. She lifted the mattress from her bed, digging her nails in deep and ripping it apart, tossing the remnants across the room. Next was the dresser that she turned completely over, standing atop it to howl into the night once more. Her pack mates would hear her, they would recognize her cry, but they would not come to her. Not to offer assistance or consolation, none of them, especially not her father.
That was just fine because she didn’t need them. Her mother had been the only one to ever give a damn about her. Tora had taught Kira everything she knew, just as she’d told her before her death. There was nothing here for Kira and she’d been a fool to let her father try to convince her otherwise. Her mother had been right, there was more for Kira out there, in the world she supposed, and Kira was determined to find out what exactly that was. With that thought Kira backed up until she crashed into a wall, sliding down to sit on the floor. With arms propped on her knees, head hanging low, she breathed heavily, until her heart rate slackened, the sharp nails and teeth detracting slowly. She felt more like herself, like the self-assured and independent woman she planned to be.
Then she stood and she began to pack, because her choice had been made. She would leave this place and these people and she would find what her mother knew was out there for her. She would run towards freedom, towards the life meant for Kira Radney, not the one they’d tried to force on the alpha female.
And she wouldn’t look back. Ever.
Two weeks later.
The more she squirmed the harder his dick became. His arms were wrapped around her tightly, the heavy weight of her breasts resting over them. His mouth watered, incisors biting into the skin of his lower lip, claws threatening to rip free.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Blaez growled into her ear, his mind warring with his body to keep his shift at bay.
“I was walking,” came her clipped reply. “How about you? Is grabbing strange women a part of your regular routine?”
No, there was nothing routine about this. Blaez knew that for a fact. He’d been searching the woods, looking for something, following up on the feeling that had plagued him all afternoon. The one that had warned of danger.
And he’d found her.
Yet it was something else entirely clenching him at the throat just this second. Something so basic it may have been funny if he wasn’t who he was, and she wasn’t where she should not have been.
He blinked once more trying to clear his mind of the thick haze of lust that was now blanketed there. He took a breath and almost faltered. Her scent so potent and intoxicatingly sweet wafted straight up and into his nostrils, as if it were meant solely for him. Instinctively, his arms tightened around her, the soft globes of her ass like a cushion to his powerful erection.
If she were afraid she was doing a damned good job of hiding it. As for her arousal, that wasn’t working too well for her. The scent of her dewy folds was what caused him to reach out and grab her close, to have the soft globes of her ass rubbing against his now raging arousal.
Blaez held firm, grinding into her when she attempted to break away. The effort had him hissing through his teeth and when she tilted her head to look back and up at him, he almost moaned. Her eyes had glowed when she’d first turned to see him, hints of gold amidst the hazel color were bright and cunning in the seconds before he reached out and grabbed her. If her gaze had been meant to warm him of her anger and annoyance, he ignored it, opting to pull her back against him, enjoying the feel of her body against his for a second longer.
“You’re not from around here,” he snapped. “It’s dangerous to go traipsing around in someone else’s territory. Didn’t your Alpha tell you that?”
She moved quickly, much faster than Blaez had expected, so that now she was facing him. But his reflexes were faster—much faster than even a lycan’s should be—and he kept hold of her at the waist, her breasts flush against his chest. Her hair was disheveled, long dark strands framing her face to give her a distinctively wild and wicked look. At his sides now his fingers clenched and unclenched as the unfamiliar ache to run them over her scalp, tangling his hands in the dark mass and pulling her head back threatened to take charge. Her mouth would open as she gasped from shock and he would take her then, his lips on hers, tongue stroking the moist recess of her mouth.
He shook his head quickly as kissing was not something that Blaez did often. It wasn’t something he’d ever wanted to do with any other woman, ever. Not in his dreams and certainly not in reality.
“No. I’m not from around here and I don’t have an Alpha. Are you going to report me?” she asked in a voice that was equally husky and sensual, snippy and cheeky.
“You’re lucky I’m not the type to take and claim you for my own pack,” he replied, the real reason for his anger towards her finally reaching the surface.
Lycans as a whole were not a domesticated bunch. There was no doctrine of rules or any thoughts of fair play when it came to building the most powerful and lethal pack. The same type of reckless abandon lay the groundwork for their insatiable desires. Next to hunting, their lust was a ruling factor in their lives, especially on the night of the full moon.
That, most likely, was not the intent of their kind. Then again, when a species was born of a god’s selfish and arrogant rage, it was no wonder said species didn’t see life through rose tinted glasses. Instead, the descendants of Nyktimos that had been lucky enough not to live in the deceptively utopic world of Arcadia, now roamed the earth either struggling to find their place or threatening to kill anyone that crossed their paths—namely their own.
This too was a result of their unnatural birth into a world that was neither ready nor equipped to deal with them. Had the battle between Zeus and Lykaon not gone to the extremes of the god using his power to turn Lykaon into a wolf and killing all but one of the king of Arcadia’s sons, then maybe, just maybe they would not be in the predicament they were in now. But Lykaon, angry and feeling hopeless in his newfound form let jealously overrule and bit his only remaining child, Lyktimos, turning him into a werewolf. In the vein of the apple not falling far from the tree, Lyktimos had taken his own anger and distress straight to the humans, settling in Seattle with the intent of wreaking havoc there, only to betray himself by falling in love with the most prohibited species—a human female—who Lyktimos eventually turned into a lycan. From there the hybrid lycan was born and Blaez and his kind were doomed.
“I don’t give a damn about you or your pack,” she snapped back at him, her stance and glare depicting nothing but distaste and disdain.
Her body, on the other hand, was sending off a totally contradictory vibe. She was aroused, there was no mistaken, her body just about vibrated with the need. Her nipples had grown hard, brushing like tiny spikes over his chest, thighs trembling with the urge to be spread.
He wanted her.
And Blaez Trekas did not want anyone or anything.
“You will not be killed on my watch or my land. That’s not the kind of attention I wish to draw. So you’re coming with me,” he said easily stepping away from the tree she had him backed against. The temporary entrapment had only come at his allowance. The fact that her turn of defiance had only succeeded in bringing her body even closer to his had been his sole reason for allowing it at all. As he had no intention of dropping to the ground and riding her until she begged for his permission to come, Blaez knew it was time to get them out of the open, out of the scenting range of any other pack looking for a bitch.
“I am not coming with you,” she said to his back as he’d already begun to walk away. “I’m not a part of your pack so I don’t obey your commands. I don’t obey anyone’s commands!”
The last was said with every bit of defiance that lived within that soft, curvaceous body of hers and it may have been commendable if it were directed at her enemy and she were the Alpha bitch of her own pack. But she wasn’t and Blaez was not a lycan to be toyed with or disobeyed.
Turning on her with the speed and agility only an Alpha would possess he lifted her clear from the ground, tossing her easily over his shoulder and began his trek back through the woods to the lodge where he and his pack resided.
She squirmed, pounding her fists into his back, attempting to kick but for his arm wrapped tightly around the back of her legs.
“Let me go you idiot! You don’t own me! I’m not one of yours!” she screamed as he walked, her perfectly rounded ass rubbing against the side of his face.
On instinct Blaez lifted his free hand to smack that delectable globe. The sound echoed throughout the woods, or was that only in his ears. His body certainly had its own reaction to the sting of his palm against the softest ass he’d ever imagined.
He did not stop walking, nor did he stop thinking of slapping her ass again and again, his dick growing harder against his thigh, and his mouth watering at the thought.
“Sonofabitch!” Kira yelled and screamed and continued to fight back against what felt like a body of steel.
She knew the logic of what he’d said to her, had heard it just about every day of her life. So him saying it was not only tiresome and familiar, but it really grated on that last shred of lycan patience she possessed. It had been one thing to hear this from her parents, another entirely to have him daring to speak to her that way when he didn’t even know her, and now he was carrying her around like they belonged in some pre-historic time.
And he’d smacked her ass!
That had been the clincher. No, actually, that had been the moment Kira knew for certain she was in trouble. Because the action which should have enraged her to the point where she shifted and showed this Alpha asshole just who she was and what she was about, had instead aroused her to no end. Her vulva lips had pulsated, throbbing as the sting of his palm against her ass had sent spikes of pleasure throughout her body.
After he’d taken a few steps without even a hint of letting her go or another comment to keep their argument going, she figured she’d better re-think what she’d managed to get herself into this time.
She knew the rules, just like he’d said, he could “take and claim her” and there would be no one to stop him and not much she could do about the situation. Except kill the sorry bastard!
Only something told her that wouldn’t be as easy as she thought, not with this one. His physical strength was obvious, the deep and commanding tone he spoke with, another tell-tale sign that he was an alpha to his own pack. What she was having a hard time pinpointing was this aura that surrounded him. It had come quickly as she’d first glimpsed him, seconds before he’d grabbed her, holding her so tight against a very impressive arousal. In a flash it had been gone, or rather her attention had been focused elsewhere, but Kira knew she’d seen it and now she wondered at what it had actually meant.
“Look, why don’t we try this,” she said hating this vulnerable position she found herself in, and not too keen on talking to his back either. “Put me down and we can talk like mature adults. Instead of resorting to these basic primal instincts that are bound to get us all killed one day.”
“I don’t plan on getting killed, or letting you get yourself killed. We can talk when we get to the house,” was his clipped response.
He had spoken to her like he was talking to a child or one of the Betas in his pack. No, she thought with a huff, even they would receive more respect than he was currently showing her. That’s simply how the packs worked and one of the big reasons she’d decided as she’d been traveling that she didn’t want to belong to another one. She had never cared for the hierarchy of the packs—the Alpha Male as the all-knowing ruler, his Alpha Female, just as strong and smart, but relegated to staying in the house and offering strategic hunting plans, but not going out to hunt or defend with her pack, and the Betas, male and female who simply did what they were told, when they were told, no questions asked. She was an Alpha Female, which meant she was smart enough and strong enough to do anything any Alpha Male could. Besides, her mother had told her there was more out there for her, more than simply being some alpha’s mate. And she dreamed of more.
At least she’d thought it was a dream because when it was over she’d been sitting on the wet ground, her back against a huge tree, head swimming in dizzying circles. She’d been standing on a deck or a porch of some kind, looking out into the night as the calls of an enemy pack had sounded their arrival. The battle plan was hers, spoken in her voice, a commandment to whoever was there with her. And then she’d run, wild and free, cool air ruffling through over the thick layer of lycan skin which covered her face once she’d shifted. She was going into the battle, claws extended, teeth bared, the alpha female ready to strike.
That scene had made her believe all that her mother had said even more strongly. It had, in fact, inspired her to switch directions and to head to the Montana mountains instead of going further south as she’d originally planned. Now, she wondered if that had been a mistake after all.
“I didn’t plan on getting dragged off into the night,” she reluctantly admitted. “But we know what they say about the best laid plans.”
Her mouth was going to get her into trouble. Her mother used to tell her that and Kira had ignored her. It wasn’t her mouth at all, but her too round ass, too big boobs and the notion that she should be able to select who she would give both to, that’s what had gotten her into trouble. And now her mother was dead. Gone. Unable to help her only daughter in the time she’d needed her most.
Kira’s fists balled once more, but she didn’t slam them into the Alpha’s back. She didn’t open her mouth to curse at him or about what he was doing to her again. Instead, she clenched her teeth, fighting back the tears that threatened to fall, the self-pity that had begun to stalk her daily.
With one carefully aimed bullet Kira had become the most wanted piece of ass in Seattle and Penn, her father, still wrapped in his grief and thirst for revenge against those he thought responsible for Tora’s death, had done nothing to protect her. At least this Alpha with his stony gaze, deep, authoritative voice and the sexiest butt she’d ever seen, had thought about her safety first.
Then he’d smacked her ass and the thought of her safety had slipped, no dripped away as her vagina had immediately clenched at the contact, desire wetting her plump folds instantaneously. It shouldn’t have aroused her and she used the fact that in two weeks there would be a full moon to explain the reaction.
“You shouldn’t take me. Just leave me alone and I will be fine. I’ll steer clear of the forest,” she told him, knowing that was a lie. Even though she’d gone to human schools, done all the human teenager things—i.e. hanging out at the mall and going to boring as hell parties, then heading off to college where she continued to do much of the same—the woods had always been home for Kira. They were her shelter, the only place where she’d ever felt any real connection.
“I’ll do with you as I please,” he replied quickly, his tone clearly intending to leave no room for argument.
Again, Kira’s fists were clenching, so tightly her nails almost broke the skin of her palm. She struggled for calm, knowing it was necessary, especially in this situation. Because this was no ordinary lycan. Of that Kira was certain. Any other alpha would have claimed her. It wouldn’t have been about keeping her safe, but moreso about keeping her period.
“I don’t belong to you,” she told him finally. “As a species living in a human world we have to dislodge this notion of taking whatever we want, dominating whoever we can, just because we believe it’s our right.”
Kira half expected him to drop her to the ground at that moment, looking at her with a mixture of bafflement and disgust just as Penn used to whenever she’d say these types of things to him. Her father was the Alpha of a Hunter pack—which meant his sole purpose was to hunt those from the Devoted packs, the ones who were inclined to live in peace amongst the humans, while being certain not to cohabitate with them the way Nyktimos had. The Hunters believed in something totally different, they believed and craved total dominance, but to gain that they had to be rid of the Devoteds that would undoubtedly continue to preach their simplistic coexistence with the humans.
Penn not only hated that Kira had wanted to study the lycan’s minds more deeply, but that she thought she could change his and the minds of the other Hunter packs with what he called “ridiculous words from human books”.
“Our world lives by different rules,” Penn had told her on one occasion.
“Rules of jealousy, vengeance, senseless killing and basic bullying,” she’d replied. “Not so different from the human world at all.”
“I’m not taking what I want, I’m protecting what I can,” the deep rumble of his voice yanking Kira firmly from that memory.
“What if I don’t need your protection? What if I’m as strong as you and can do just about all the things you can?” she countered.
As if saying in response that he didn’t give a damn, his booted feet stomped upward. They were going up steps, although she could barely see them in the dark of night. She could scent, which worked better than vision for lycans anyway, to see if there were anything familiar about where he’d taken her. Instead, when she inhaled deeply her nipples tightened to a painful peek, her thighs clenching involuntarily and confusion quickly set in.
“You are nothing like me. I can stake my life on that fact,” he said only seconds before dropping her to her feet.
Kira struggled momentarily to land upright and not flat on her back. The book bag she’d hastily stuffed all her belongings in threatened to pull her down anyway. Righting herself she took a precautionary step back. But in seconds realized that precaution meant absolutely nothing.
A light had come on, probably sensor motivated, and she could see that she was standing on a wooded porch. She could also see that the Alpha standing in front of her—more like towering over her—was unlike any lycan that she’d ever seen before. He was more than six feet tall, she knew because she was five feet, nine inches tall herself and she still had to crane her neck upward to see into his eyes.
His skin was the tone of melted butter, smooth and taut over the bulging muscles of his biceps, his neck, his legs. He stood with his legs parted, his arms at his sides, fingers opened wide, ready to release his deadly claws if need be. He had a strong, clean-shaven jaw, a light mustache and a bald head. He wore lycra, shorts that fit his thighs and that toned ass and a shirt that melded over what she knew would be a perfectly sculpted upper body. He looked equally fierce and drop-dead gorgeous and she gulped in an attempt to keep her composure.
“I’m going to take you inside,” he told her taking another step towards her, closing the small space she’d managed to put between them.
“And you’re going to sit down and tell me exactly why you were in my woods.”
Her breathing came in quick pants now, desire pooling in the pit of her stomach like molten lava. She licked her lips, saw his gaze dip lower, then quickly pulled her tongue back inside. He appeared too-good-to-be-true, tall strong and alpha bent on protecting its alpha female…only she wasn’t his and this was the last place she wanted to be.
“And what if I don’t?” she taunted, refusing to give in to the arousal that had already taken over her body and was now ready for her brain to join the party.
He took another step, pressing his body flush against hers, reaching his hands around to grip the globes of her ass, pulling her so that she went up on tiptoe with a sharp intake of breath.
She couldn’t help it, a little gasp sounded with his motion. Kira wasn’t sure if it was those damned pleasure spikes shooting through her body from the point where his hands again made contact with her ass, or the quick flash of bright blue in his eyes. At any rate she couldn’t speak, could barely do anything more than stare and wonder.
“Then I’ll have no choice but to punish you for being disobedient. Is that what you want, lýkaina?”
Again, words were just lost. Her mother would never believe it, but her mouth remained closed. Until he moved in closer. When she didn’t immediately respond he leaned in even further. “Do you want me to spank you until you come?” he asked, his lips brushing the lobe of her ear, her mound rubbing flush against the thick length of his erection. “How quickly would you come if I did?”