Claimed by the Alphas: Part Four

BOOK: Claimed by the Alphas: Part Four
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Claimed by the Alphas

PART
FOUR

 

 

Copyright ©2014 by Viola Rivard

All rights reserved.

Cover Design by Yoly Cortez of Cormar Covers

On the mating thrall, I will just say this:

it is the union between two souls, both flawed and impassioned,

desperately
seeking the perfection and purity that can only be found in new life.

Marie du Luponte, 1931

An excerpt from
Wolves of the Cordilleras

CHAPTER ONE

 

A smattering of bruises, varying in size and int
ensity, dotted the curves of Mila’s hips. Light abrasions blemished her legs and torso, all the byproduct of wayward claws and mismanaged canines. Her alphas had been particularly careless lately, their needs increasingly voracious, and now she knew why.

Everything has a price to pay, kid, especially great sex.

When she was younger, she used to think her mother was a cynical bitch. Like most women in their twenties, she was starting to realize that her cynical bitch of a mother may have been right about a few things. Granted, it would have taken a crystal ball for her mom to see where she’d ended up: mated to two werewolves, and soon to be their broodmare.

“Just get in, Mila.
It’s not so bad.”

Washing and sunning
themselves in the last rays of daylight, Brae, Rosie, and Gem were resplendent. With their beautiful hair, long legs, and shapely bodies, any man who encountered them would probably think that he had stumbled upon bathing sirens.

“I can see my breath,” Mila told Brae.
She pointed down at the shoreline. “That water is going to give me pneumonia.”

“You smell like sweat and mating,” Rosie said impatiently. “You really need to clean yourself up before the thrall begins.”

Unlike Brae, who erred on the side of tactfulness, Rosie had a bluntness to her that vacillated between refreshing and irritating. With Mila’s nerves already frayed, she was in no frame of mind to appreciate the she-wolf’s candor.

“If I smell like sweat and sex, it’s because your stupid alphas can
’t keep their paws off of me,” she said, kicking at a pile of gravel. “And I don’t give a crap about the stupid thrall. If you really want me to be clean then take me back to the den and help me heat up some water in my tub.”

Mila was being a whiney brat, and it had very little to do with how cold it was. She had taken her clothes off with every intention of suffering through another icy bath time, only to see the marks on her body and be reminded of the one thing she was trying to forget about.

If Asch was right, then some time tonight, the mating thrall would begin. A week ago, Mila’s biggest concern had been that the two alphas would fight to the death over her. Now that that was settled (she hoped), there was a far more unnerving prospect looming over the horizon: motherhood.

To be fair, before she had left Tye County, Mila had considered the fact that as a werewolf’s mate, she would eventually be expected to have children. Eventually being the operative word. Although she had read
Wolves of the Cordilleras
from cover to cover and a hundred times over, the memoir was written in the thirties. While it was considered a racy book for its time, a lot of the more lurid details of life in the pack, particularly the details surrounding the mating thrall, had been glossed over or left out entirely.

Going into this, Mila had been under the impression that she would
meet a handsome, dominant guy who had the occasional urge to howl at the moon. They would engage in a few weeks of courtship, which would culminate in passionate lovemaking. After a few years, once they were sure they were a ‘good fit’ for one another, she and her alpha would come to the mutual decision to begin a family. Oh, and the den would have running water and electricity.

Instead, Mila had
two
dominant guys, and while Asch had his moments of seeming moderately human, Caim was pure alpha wolf. Rather than being courted, Mila had sex with both of them by her second day in the pack, and what the three of them did together could never be called
lovemaking
. Now, a week into her life as a werewolf mate, they planned on impregnating her and everyone expected her to be okay with that? Oh, and there was no damn running water or electricity.

God, she could just scream.

Pale arms came around her waist, pulling her into a tight embrace. She recognized Brae’s minty scent and didn’t panic, but stiffened at the feel of the other woman’s damp breasts pressing up against her back.

“Relax, Mila. The water is not so bad.”

With that, Brae lifted her off the ground and hauled her over to the river. Mila thrashed wildly in her arms.

“What the hell?”

“Once you are in the water, you will be fine.”

As Brae moved farther into the river, Mila’s feet, and then her legs, became submerged in the frigid water.

“Rosie, make her stop!” Mila cried.

Rosie wrinkled her nose
. “I am sorry Mila, but you smell terrible.”

“Fine, fine, I’ll take a bath, just let me go,” Mila groused. If Rosie and Brae were
actually in agreement over something, she wasn’t about to argue with them.

Brae complied
, setting Mila down in the waist-high water. She kept her arms wrapped around the trembling human, infusing Mila’s body with her warmth. In the face of the sweet gesture, Mila was unable to stay mad. She let herself relax, leaning into Brae’s embrace.

“How are you so warm?”

“I was born in Nunavut,” Brae told her. “This is nothing.”

Rosie waded over to them
. “I will help warm you too,” she said, before wrapping her arms around Mila’s neck. She crushed her body against Mila’s front and said, “There, how is that?”

Mila heard a wet slap. “No one asked you to help,” Brae said hotly.

Rosie’s grip on Mila tightened. “I do not need to have permission to help our pack mate.”

“Mila already stinks. She does not need you making her fouler.”

The two women began a slap fight, fiercely smacking at one another with Mila sandwiched between them. She ducked down, trying to stay out of the way of flying palms.

Gem came over then, carefully extracting Mila from the naked brawl. “Let’s just get out of the way,” she suggested, pulling Mila along.

The water of the large river bend deepened, and soon Mila’s feet could no longer touch the bottom. They swam over to a flat rock towards the center of the river. Mila propped her elbow up on the rock and turned back to watch the fight.

“I think the thrall is making them a little wacky,” said Gem.

The moon-faced werewolf had a sweet country drawl that reminded Mila of her cousin Cora. She didn’t know much about Gem, aside from the fact that unlike many of the others, she hadn’t grown up in a pack. That fact alone had made Mila take an instant liking to her. It was nice to have someone to talk to who hadn’t been raised by wolves.

Curious about Gem’s observation, she asked,
“Why would that affect them?”

Despite the ambiguity that surrounded the mating thrall, Mila had gone out of her way to avoid discussing it. It was as if she
’d thought that by completely ignoring it, the whole thing would somehow blow over. Now that it was here though, she needed all the information she could get.

“We can all smell it,” she explained, a faint tinge of pink staining her cheeks. “It’s not affecting us the way it is you, or the alphas, but—”

“It’s not affecting me at all,” Mila quickly pointed out.

Gem scratched the back of her neck
. “I dunno, I always heard that a werewolf’s mate gets just as loopy when the time comes. My mom said that she wasn’t in her right mind for days.”

Mila gave
her a dubious look, but didn’t respond. She didn’t want to insult Gem’s mother, but she highly doubted that the thrall was having an effect on her. If anything, the whole experience was a sobering reminder that she needed to get her shit together, and fast.

Gem nodded towards Brae and Rosie, who were still having it out. “They best be toning it down soon. Asch and Caim aren’t gonna put up with that kind of nonsense once you’re having their babies.”

“So tell me, why do they hate each other so much?” Mila asked quickly, not really caring at all. For some reason, the word
babies
sounded even more hair-raising than pups.

“Oh, no reason in particular.”

“What, really?” she asked, her interest piqued.

She gave a slight shrug. “Haven’t you ever met someone that you just really disliked, for no good reason?”

“I guess so, but this,” she said, nodding towards the screeching tangle of angry limbs, “is a little extreme.”

Still smiling, Gem said, “Let’s wash up.”

Brae had been right. Mila did get used to the water, though she vowed that it would be the last river bath she took, at least until summer. The temperature in the valley was dropping quickly with the onset of winter. The days were short, and in the early mornings, dew crystalized on what was left of the vegetation. Even being between two, warm males, Mila kept herself bundled under blankets and furs as she slept.

After going under to wash her hair, Mila resurfaced to find that the women had abruptly stopped fighting. All three wolves looked very subdued as they watched the tree line by the far bank. Mila watched as well, not needing superhuman senses to know who was approaching.

The wolves of the Lazarus pack usually behaved normally around Asch. He was a good leader, who only inspired fear when he was angry. Most of the pack seemed to prefer him as alpha, though few would actually admit it. Even Brae, his staunchest supporter, shied away when Mila pressed the question to her. This was because as much as they loved Asch, Caim pretty much scared the crap out of them.

Besides Asch and Lotus, Mila had rarely seen members of the pack address Caim directly. Around him, they kept their heads down and
rarely met his gaze, making him seem more like a despot than a leader. Mila knew from her short time with him that in some ways, they were right to fear him. He was aggressive, short-tempered, and utterly domineering.

But little by little, she was beginning to
uncover another side of him, a side that seemed exclusively reserved for those within his inner circle. He could be playful and downright mischievous. Sometimes she thought he could even be loving, but also suspected she might just be deluding herself. Just a couple days ago, he had told her plainly that he wasn’t in love with her. She doubted that would change any time soon, and tried not to let that bother her.

Mila anticipated that Caim would be in his wolf form, but was still surprised whe
n his large form broke the tree line. Locked in his jaws, he was half-carrying, half-dragging what looked to be a giant…boar?

~~~

Caim set the carcass on the shore. He loosened his fangs from its neck, leaving behind two sets of puncture wounds. A fresh kill, blood began to pour from its neck and drain into the river. He indulged himself in a few licks, before looking up at the human.

He could only hope that once the thrall was over, his attraction towards her would wane. He enjoyed her a great deal, and intended on enjoying her in the years that were to come, but his re
action to her was bothersome. Not since he was a juvenile had a female rendered him so incapable of controlling his own body.

If it were just the need to mate, it would not have been troubling. Even when she refused his advance
s, Caim was growing adept at changing her mind. It was no difficult task for him to insinuate himself between her legs and take his fill of the human’s soft body.

Except that he was never full. He always wanted more of her.

His eyes were immediately drawn to her ample breasts, which bobbed alluringly on the surface of the river. The chilled water made her nipples stiff, and he knew that if he touched them they would feel like small pebbles between his fingers.

The only thing that stopped him from joining her in the water was the other females.
Usually he was not averse to mating in view of the pack, but the human had more reservations than he did. Even if she had been willing to let him take her as such, Caim also did not find it appealing. One of the many changes that came along with having a mate was a sharp possessive streak that he could not rid himself of. Sharing her with Asch was enough. He did not want the pack anywhere near him when he mated with his female.

When his eyes finally travelled up to her face, disappointment settled in the pit of his stomach. She looked angry.

“Is that a boar? Why did you bring that here? Oh my god, it’s bleeding into the—”

Caim shifted into his human form, temporarily silencing her. He watched, satisfied as her eyes swept over his body. It had been an hour since he had left her in bed. She had wanted him then, and it was clear that she still did.

“It is a pig, and I brought it so that you could have your pick of the first cut,” he told her, gesturing towards the kill.

The females watched quietly as the human paddled over to his side of the river, making a wide path around the pig and the stream of blood
emanating from its neck. She wrapped her arms around her torso as she came ashore, and Caim noted with displeasure that her lips were turning blue. Instinctively, he reached out for her. Her irritation all but forgotten, she readily accepted his embrace.

“I’ve never seen a pig that big,” she said, leaning her
wet head against his chest.

BOOK: Claimed by the Alphas: Part Four
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