Alpha's Strength (Fallen Alpha)

BOOK: Alpha's Strength (Fallen Alpha)
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Alpha’s Strength

A Fallen Alpha Novel

 

 

By Rebecca Royce

Alpha’s Strength

A Fallen Alpha Novel

By: Rebecca Royce

Published by Fated Desires Publishing, LLC.

© 2014 Rebecca Royce

ISBN: 978-1-62322-122-5

 

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person or use proper retail channels to lend a copy. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. To obtain permission to excerpt portions of the text, please contact the publisher at [email protected]

All characters in this book are fiction and figments of the author’s imagination.

Dedication
 

To Carrie Ann and Lia with all my thanks.

Alpha’s Strength

 

 

Cyrus Fennell rules his pack in New York City with an iron fist. He’ll keep them all safe, whether they want him to or not. His days are busy and his nights never ending. He has no time for anything new—not with war on the horizon. But when he walks into his local coffee house and scents his mate, he’ll find a new kind of fear: the terror that his enemies are coming for Betsy.

Betsy Warren has lived her life as an outcast. She’s crossed the country to try to save her parents, even though they have never understood her. Meeting Cyrus will change everything for her. But can she believe she’s really a werewolf and that her entire life has been dictated by a vast conspiracy she knew nothing about?

Cyrus and Betsy will have to fight to preserve their fragile love, or watch it fall apart thousands of miles from their home. Can they save their pack and stop the war?

Chapter One

 

 

October had to be Cyrus’ favorite time of year in New York City. Not too hot, not too cold, but with a slight crispiness in the air that beckoned his wolf to come out and play. Too bad he had to travel upstate to get in a decent run. He rubbed at the back of his neck and loosened his tie. His suit was expensive, but that didn’t make it any less constricting. Or maybe everything simply pissed him off. The tension in the boardroom had become ten degrees too serious, and he refused to take any more bullshit. Not when the woods called to him.

“All right, gentleman, I’ve listened to you all day. Hell, I’ve been listening to this shit for the past year and a half since the subject of going public first came to light. I wasn’t in favor then, and I’m not now. Why?” He slammed his hands down on the mahogany table in front of him so hard the coffee pot in the center of the too-expensive-to-be-practical piece of furniture jumped up in the air before bumping down.

The room fell silent as the other nine people in the room stared at the motion. Were they truly worried about the polished wood, or had he finally gotten their attention? He sniffed the air. He scented the correct amount of fear. Not too much, not too little. Like the weather outside, the pack’s rapt attention —finally—made his wolf very, very happy.

“Well?” Cyrus stretched his arms over his head trying to ease some of the tension that had become his constant companion. “Aren’t you going to ask me why?” He would gladly die to keep any of the wolves in the room safe. In a heartbeat. But right then, he’d like to wring every one of their necks. All at once.

“I don’t think we dare ask right now.” His sister, Lake called out from her seat towards the end of the table. Small and blonde as their mother, she dared speak when the others wouldn’t. As his family, he allotted her more leniency not afforded to the rest of the pack. As pack Healer, she fell directly below him in terms of hierarchy. Healers didn’t have to obey the normal rules of protocol with the Alpha—not in his pack.

For his part, he chose to ignore Lake’s remark. If the pack feared him a bit, so be it. He’d never hurt any of them, and a little fear would keep them in line during tumultuous times. If they weren’t careful, everything would be lost. With the death of Lucian, war loomed ever closer.

“I’m not going to take this company
public
because, in case you failed to notice, we are a company run by werewolves. What we do
here
isn’t for
public
consumption. This is
my
company. I built this place for you—it shields us, and provides for our expensive tastes. Tell me, have I not made all of you exceedingly rich?”

“You have, my Alpha.” Justin, one of his most loyal Betas, spoke from the back of the room. As a wolf, Justin fought fiercely and, in his human form, ran the legal department with predatory skill. “But I imagine we’ve all thought about the potential here. We live in the human world and, when a communication security company is doing as well as ours, eventually, it is taken public.”

“And then what happens to all of you?”

The attendants in the room stared without responding. This time, he understood their silence wasn’t because he’d raised his voice, but rather because they didn’t know the answer. What should they do in this situation? What was the right answer? How did werewolves stay hidden in the human world, but still live well?

He stood. He’d had enough for one day. “Everyone back to work.”

Chairs were pushed away from the table, squeaking and groaning. His pack members quietly rushed from the room. None save Lake made eye contact with him. He clenched his fists. Why on Earth had he ever wanted to be Alpha? Some days, he’d prefer to be able to walk away, to lower his eyes, find something inside of himself that could be submissive and go home to a waiting family.

Instead, he always stood alone at the top of the power triangle, and he always went home to an empty penthouse.

Poor little rich wolf…

Cyrus shook his head. Hell, he couldn’t blame any of them for wanting more money. Who didn’t? Maybe if they all lived in the woods, they’d embrace their inner canines and not worry about any of this crap. But living in Manhattan meant co-existing with the humans.

He would keep them all safe, keep New York his own, and take over as Alpha Prime—no matter how much he hated the idea—if he had to in order to make the first two occur. Who the hell would ever choose to be Alpha Prime?

“Cyrus.” Lake’s voice caught his attention.

“Sister.”

“I wanted to remind you—”

He let out a loud breath, interrupting her. “I haven’t forgotten.”

“—that Alexei Babikov is arriving tomorrow.”

“Have I been acting senile? Like I’m losing track of major events I set up myself?”

When she spoke her tone sounded more chiding than he liked. “It’s my job to tell you. Your bad attitude and surly temper are probably why you can’t keep an assistant. If your own pack doesn’t want to work for you, you need to make adjustments somewhere.”

He picked up his brown leather Coach briefcase and tossed the satchel across the room. Papers went flying. “Do you want to be Alpha, Lake? Fucking
challenge
me.”

His sister had the audacity to roll her eyes. “Obviously I don’t want to be Alpha. Keep the job. You do it so well when you’re not acting like this. What’s come over you lately?”

“Nothing.” A lie. Lately, he wanted to crawl out of his skin, and the edginess had nothing to do with the full moon being two weeks away. As Alpha, he shifted whenever he wanted to. He didn’t have to wait for the call of the moon to bring on his change.

“Right. Nothing.” She walked over and placed her hand on his shoulder. “Well, mister-nothing-is-wrong-with-me-tough-Alpha-boy, you have nothing on the schedule for the rest of the day. As your Healer, not your assistant, I’m ordering you to get out of here before you explode and take the whole building out with you.”

Healer or not, he didn’t have to listen to her if he didn’t want to, except, he really did need to take a walk. Nothing irked him more than Lake being right. She’d be smug about it for the next week.

“I’ll go to lunch.” He sighed.

“You do that.” Her smile said he hadn’t fooled her. “I promise the company will still be standing when you get back and still be privately owned.”

He walked toward the door and stopped to stare at her. “You know you can’t work at the hospital. I get why, for you, this job is not what you want, but what you want isn’t possible. Not right now.”

Sadness poured out through her scent, unobstructed for a second, before she reined the aroma back in, and nodded.

Good wolf
. He’d trained her well. All of his people learned they had to be on guard with their weaknesses. No undo shows of emotions to give the enemy an edge, including scented feelings. Not with the werewolf world on the brink of war.

Maybe his orders screwed up their emotional well being, but he had no time to worry about psychological damage while the wolf world collapsed around them. With no Alpha Prime to manage them all, the smart, individual Alphas of the wolf packs prepared for war. And everyone gunned for New York City. His turf.

Over my dead body
.

Cyrus stormed from the room and she followed close on his heels. Outside of the conference room were the desks of some of the assistants, including his sister’s, which was situated right outside the door to his private office.

Apparently, she wasn’t done with the subject. “I know I can’t be in the hospital. I get all the reasons—full moon problems and the potential for discovery. But what is the point of living among the humans, if we can’t interact with them, Cyrus? Why don’t we go back to log cabins and hiding in remote, out-of-the-way towns? Why live in Manhattan at all if I’m not allowed to really
live
here?”

He raised an eyebrow, knowing his answer would sound mean. Cyrus had no choice. How could he pacify her when he didn’t know the right response himself? Lake and all the others needed surety from him, not indecision.

“You’re ready to give up your weekly manicure, your chai lattes, and your corner dry cleaner to go wash clothes in the woods? Feel free, sister. I don’t think you’d survive a week.”

Turning his back on her, he left her standing next to her desk. These were not questions they could answer today. Cyrus pulled out his phone while he approached the elevator. He had three texts from other Alphas. Travis, from Philadelphia, wanted to discuss visitation rights considering their new blood oath not to attack. Some of Travis’ people wanted to see distant relatives in Cyrus’ pack.

Ultimately, treaties drove him crazy. Too many potential disasters came to light with the more deals he made. Blood-oathing Travis had been a necessary evil, even if Cyrus would have preferred to keep his borders permanently closed. The days of passing notes between Alphas at a diner in New Jersey had long passed. The treaty obligated him to be in constant communication with the Alpha of Philadelphia. The endless rounds of texts saying nothing, but still crowded with meaning, he didn’t have time to decipher had replaced the simplicity of telling Travis to fuck off.

When the elevator doors opened, he growled and stepped inside. Two other texts came in from Alexei, the Alpha from Boston, demanding certain shows of respect while the Alpha visited Manhattan. He forwarded those notes to Lake.
Let her deal with them.
She’d decide if they’d reserve him a hotel room facing away from the sunset or whatever the bastard demanded to be difficult. Otherwise, she could call off the whole thing.

Cyrus really didn’t give a shit anymore.

Six months ago, he’d wanted a treaty with Boston to help keep New York City secure. Now, with the constant back and forth with Travis in Philadelphia, Cyrus wasn’t sure he should go any further down a worrisome road.

Cyrus stepped out of the elevator and crossed the lobby to the street. The noises of New York City greeted him. He’d heard tourists call it too loud, too busy, too tall of a city, but he found the sudden onslaught of sensory information calming. He couldn’t overthink things when he was in the world that was Manhattan.

Or at least that’s how he usually felt. At that moment, he wanted to crawl out his skin. What the hell was the matter with him? A growl left his throat, startling him. That was the second time in ten minutes he’d growled without meaning to. When was the last time he’d done that? Twenty-five years before? He’d probably been about eight years old, right after his first change.

Adult male werewolves didn’t do anything unintentionally—especially not ones who grew up to be Alphas. Control belonged to him.

He sniffed the air. A scent called to him, increasing his restlessness. In this case, the scent bugging him tasted like vanilla. But how to determine whose aroma he needed to find?

Cyrus looked left and right. This was New York City. Finding the scent of vanilla was like asking him to locate a needle in a haystack. Maybe whoever it was would go away and leave him with one less irritation in his cluster fuck of a week.

He stormed into the Starbucks across the street. Coffee, he needed some right then and there. If he could sharpen his senses and make it through the rest of the day, then he would let himself travel north that night for a private run—just he and the moon.

The smell of vanilla was stronger inside the coffee shop and not because of some syrup they used in the coffee. No, it grew in strength, far powerful than normal. Inside, his senses went high alert and his muscles bunched with tension. There was a threat. There had to be. What else could possibly elicit such a response from him?

He scanned the room until his gaze located the problem. Lilliana, the mate of the Alpha from Philadelphia, was sitting outside his office building in a Starbucks.
What the fuck? What the hell is she doing here?
He took a deep breath. Why did she smell different? Hybrid wolf, yes that had stayed the same, but why had she coated herself in vanilla? This close, he liked the smell. It made him dizzy, as if he needed to sit down for a while.

Cyrus steadied himself on the back of an empty chair and stared at Lilliana. She was petite with blonde hair that fell to her shoulders and curves in all the right places. He’d always been attracted to her, but she’d smelled too much like Travis, and something—indefinable—had been missing. She’d never really done it for him before. His eyes widened as he realized what he should have cued into immediately. She didn’t smell like Travis anymore.

Something’s wrong.

He walked over to her and threw himself down in the chair across from her. “What’s going on, Lilliana? You know you shouldn’t be here without permission. Very clear rules. I don’t send my people to wander around Philadelphia. Explain yourself and why you smell different.”

Lilliana sat back in her chair. She stared at him for a few seconds, her brown eyes punching his gut as though she had struck him. He’d barely blinked when she looked down at the table.

“I’m sorry. I think you’ve made a mistake. My name isn’t Lilliana.” Her voice was softer than usual. She bit down on her lower lip. “Unless this is some kind of joke, sir.”

Shock rendered him speechless.
Holy shit
. The girl in front of him was absolutely not Lilliana. She sounded different, she smelled different, and Lilliana would never in a million years be as submissive as the half-breed she-wolf sitting in front of him.

BOOK: Alpha's Strength (Fallen Alpha)
2.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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