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Authors: Naomi Jones

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BOOK: An Alpha's Claim
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The human couple’s whispered declarations of love filled his ears. Nathan’s jealousy grew. That should’ve been him and Regine uttering those words in his bedroom. Her firm, chocolate thighs should’ve been wrapped around his waist as he made love to her. Instead, he was out here watching two humans consummate their union. Nathan returned to the compound. He and Regine were going to have a long talk about their situation. It didn’t matter if she didn’t date Alphas, because he wasn’t just an Alpha. He was her mate. There was no way that he was letting her walk away so easily.

Chapter Five

Nathan sat in his office looking over the storyboard on his desk. Dagger had created a comic book series based on a pack of lycans. He connected with the characters not simply because they were wolves but because he understood them. They all searched for something whether it was a mate or the truth about what they were.

Seeing the potential, he’d worked with Dagger doing a little artwork and helping to promote it. After the series had developed a solid following, he’d stepped back and focused on his own endeavor, his software development company. Dagger kept dragging him back in though…not that he minded. Nathan enjoyed working with the comics.

Nathan had been staring at the board for the past hour but he didn’t see it. Instead, he imagined Regine. The desire to consummate their union had practically engulfed him. After making it back to the compound Nathan wanted to lie next to her but chose to go into his bedroom. He kept reminding himself of how he ended up in his current predicament. Her words replayed over and over.

Nathan wasn’t going to get anything done until he saw Regine. They needed to have a chat on where they stood, he decided as he walked out of his office. Nathan bumped into Dagger in the hall.

“I’m glad I caught you. I just finished the storyboards for the next issue and I added a woman to the comic.” Dagger held up a sketch of the female.

 Nathan was impressed.

“Kind of looks like Regine. Doesn’t she?” Dagger asked before laughing.

“Very funny. You think adding a woman is wise?”

“It’s clear you don’t read fan e-mails. For the past few months, they’ve been demanding a mate for our main character. Our female fans think it’s time for the hero to soften up. Plus people want to start seeing female shifters in the series.”

“Fine. It’s your comic book. Do whatever you want,” Nathan said sidestepping his little brother.

“If you’re looking for Regine, she’s in the kitchen eating. I see you finally took my advice and claimed her. She reeks of your scent.”

“Dagger, mind your business.”

“I’m surprised I didn’t hear a peep out of either of you last night.”

“Like I said before, Dagger. It’s none of your concern.”

Nathan made his way to the kitchen and saw Regine crying as she looked at her tablet. This confused him because Regine was smiling through the tears. He strolled in and she rushed to hide what she watching.

“You might as well show me what you were looking at. Whatever it was left you upset.”

“Trust me,” Regine said. “It was nothing you’d be interested in.”

“Why were you crying?” Nathan asked as he looked into her soft brown eyes.

“These are tears of joy.”

“If so, why can’t I see what it is?”

“Nathan, I can guarantee you that what I was watching will freak you out. It’s a challenge for any man to look at,” Regine said with a confident smile.

He growled at her audacity at portraying him to be similar to other men but tried another route.

“As Alpha of this pack, I’m up for any challenge, Regine.” Nathan made sure to use his authoritative tone.

Regine shrugged her shoulders and picked up the tablet. “What do I get in return for winning this challenge?”

“What?” Nathan was sure he didn’t hear her right. Did she actually think she could win a challenge against him?

“If I participate in this challenge, I want something in return. On the off chance that you win, what do you want?”

he thought but aloud, he said something that wouldn’t make her uneasy. “If I win this challenge, you move into the compound permanently,” Nathan said.

 From her silence, Nathan knew Regine wasn’t expecting that. He also knew she wouldn’t back down from the challenge. It might be a bit underhanded, but he was willing to try anything to keep her close.

“Fine. But if you lose you have to be super-nice to me and Anik every day from now on.”

“I’ll be super nice to you but only cordial to Anik. Take it or leave it,” Nathan said, feeling confident.

“I’ll take it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Regine said.

Nathan suddenly realized that he might actually lose. He sat on the stool and waited for her to set it up. Regine laid the tablet on the kitchen island and scooted closer. The move brought her neck up to his nose. It took all of his willpower not to pounce.

“What am I looking at?”

“A woman giving birth.” She paused for effect. “Without any drugs whatsoever.”

The confident look she sported made his stomach churn. He had heard some of the pack say that watching their mates give birth changed their perspective on women in general. He also remembered a few males describing in horrific detail how females did it. Nathan never witnessed it and felt no need to watch when the time came. Now he had to see it because of Regine.

“Here we go. No squirming, gagging, and most of all, no walking away while the video is still playing. You have to sit and watch this from start to finish. The person posted this on her personal site and sent me a link but gave me consent to show others if need be. What you’re about to see is very a private moment. Understood?”

“Yes. And I expect you to leave this compound to bring your belongings here immediately. I’ll accompany you,” Nathan said, though he wasn’t feeling as cocky now.

Regine pressed Play and Nathan was suddenly wishing she hadn’t. A woman lying on a hospital bed with her legs spread wide open was displayed on the screen. The bloody head slid out partially and Nathan swallowed hard as her loud screams reached his ears. He thought he heard Regine’s voice in the background but wasn’t sure because he was busy trying not to gag. He’d seen his fair share of the human anatomy before but never looking like that. After much pushing and screaming, a big-ass head came out. After a tug the rest of the baby’s body slid out.

Regine’s voice again caught his attention. “He’s beautiful,” she said, and clamped and cut what he assumed was the umbilical cord.

The baby sure didn’t look beautiful to Nathan. He looked like an alien in a mix of mayonnaise and blood.

“Okay, I need you to catch your breath while we wait for his sister.”

There was another one coming?
Regine spent the next few minutes encouraging the woman to push. He’d need a hell of a lot more than kind words. He’d need a lot of liquor to get those images out of his head.

Nathan attempted to catch his breath throughout the rest of the video. That was all he could do to keep from walking away from this challenge.
Just a few more seconds,
he thought,
and I’ll be the winner.
But then the woman screamed again and again until another head slid out. Closing his eyes Nathan stood up and walked toward the sink.

Regine smiled as soon as Nathan stood. Her mind was running a mile a minute with all the requests she planned to make. Nathan was still trying to get his breathing under control but that video was mild compared to some of the other women she’d assisted. He only had about ten seconds of the video left. Regine found herself hoping he’d actually win.
Well, you win some; you lose some,
she thought before filling a glass with water.

“Here,” she said, handing it over.

He drank it three large gulps.

“Thank you.”

That surprised Regine. Nathan barely spoke to her when she was in his presence, let alone displayed any manners.

“You…see this everyday?”

“Yes. It’s part of my job. Admittedly I freaked out a little during training, but I love what I do. And the joy the mothers feel afterward makes it worth it.”

“Have you done this stuff alone?”

“Enough times to know how to handle myself and the expectant mother. I thought about going back to school to become a nurse-midwife, but I’m happy where I am right now. We couldn’t wait for the doctor but the parents were grateful to me afterward. It’s nice to be appreciated, especially being a nurse. Doctors get all the glory while we do most of the work,” Regine said with a big grin.

“Is it always…bloody?”

She had to be careful in how to answer this question. While she wanted him to understand what women went through, she didn’t want to scare him. Hopefully, despite his sternness, he would father pups and be a better man to his true mate.

“Bleeding is a normal part of the process. But all of that is gone the moment you’re holding your baby for the first time and looking into her or his eyes. You’d be proud of your mate the most because she brought this extension of you out of her body. And you’ll finally appreciate the sacrifices she made to bring your baby into this world.” Regine hoped her honesty swayed him to being more compassionate.

Last night she’d seen a different side of Nathan that made her want to see more. She bet he only showed that side to her. She looked up and became ensnared in Nathan’s forest green eyes. Regine felt lost in them. There was no trace of anger but she did notice something different.

“The women here are more comfortable with you by their side.”

“And I’ll always be here when the time comes,” Regine said.

“If you move into the compound, the women would he happier.”

“So the only reason you want me here is because of them?” She wondered if her skill as a nurse was all he cared about.

Nathan boxed her in against the counter and pulled down her shirt to expose the mark. It healed overnight but the mating scar remained. With him being that close Regine felt the urge to claim him in the same fashion. But she controlled herself.

“I would think me claiming you last night would be reason enough.” He bent his head and slid his tongue over the mark. Regine’s nipples hardened instantly. The edge of Nathan’s nose tickled her neck. “The real question is why did you reject my claim?”

Regine’s eyes were slowly closing at his touch. She was grateful he didn’t use his hands like he did last night.

date Alphas, Nathan.”

His touch was gone but he remained close.

“Give me a reason. Aside from me threatening you when we first met. Keep in mind I know you want me.”

She rolled her eyes and almost laughed but then he pressed his raging hard on against her. Even trapped behind his loose jeans, it was impressive. “I can say the same about you.”

“I don’t date Alphas because they tend to take their frustrations out on others. Like most Alphas, you’re arrogant and mistake your aggression for dominance. You only give orders to others. And worst of all Nathan, you feel women here have to impress you, not the other way around.”

“Those Regine, are my good qualities as Alpha of this pack. And the only woman whose attention I hunger for is the one who ignores me the most. Kind of ironic, isn’t it?” Nathan lifted her onto the counter so they were at eye level.

Regine tried to find a rebuttal for his statement and came up with nothing. She was having too much fun. Wrapping her legs around Nathan’s waist she had his full attention.

“When we first met at the creek did you want to kill me?”

Nathan brought her closer and whispered. “I wanted to do this.” He kissed her.

Regine closed her eyes the moment Nathan’s lips touched hers. Deepening the kiss, Nathan’s tongue slid into her mouth and she moaned quietly. With a slight nudge she laid back against the counter. His hands moved to grab the edge of her pants.

“Regine… Oh!” she heard Bryce shout from the entrance of the kitchen.

Hearing her name, she rose to a sitting position. Nathan’s touch disappeared. She missed it immediately but didn’t miss the smirk on Bryce’s face.

“What’s up, Bryce?” she asked, covering her face in amused embarrassment. Regine’s eyes floated over to Nathan. He didn’t say a word but his frustration was apparent from his low growls.

BOOK: An Alpha's Claim
11.18Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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