Read Her Boss the Alpha Online

Authors: K. S. Martin

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Paranormal, #Werewolves & Shifters

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BOOK: Her Boss the Alpha
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“Alpha?”  Lauren’s
voice was dreamy and far away sounding.  She couldn’t concentrate.

“Louis was the
alpha and he had no sons, Jake is the heir.  In a normal pack, he would be
challenged but we don’t do that here.  Our pack is family only.  Jake will
protect us now.  He will do well.  He always does.  Rest now and pray for his
safe return.”  Victoria stood, taking the tea cup and left her in the chair by
the fire place.  She was dreaming.  She must be sick and have a fever.  It
would explain why she slept with her boss, why she was here, and why he’d just
turned into a wolf.  A fever.  Yes.  Lauren’s eyes closed and she curled up in
the wingback chair that sat facing the crackling fire place.  The warmth
soothed her and made her feel safe.

***

Lauren woke in the
massive navy blue bed.  She stretched.  The light was dim outside.  How long
had she been asleep?  Rolling onto her back, she felt him before she saw him. 
He was asleep and she curled into him nuzzling his chest.  His arms wrapped
around her and pulled her close.  Lauren felt safe here with him, safe and
warm.  “My mother said that she had a conversation with you earlier.  She said
that she explained things.”  Lauren nodded.  “Do you understand what all of it
means?”  Lauren shook her head and he chuckled.  “Are you scared?  Of me?”  His
eyes opened then to look into hers.

“Do I look
scared?”  She whispered.

“Fair enough.  If
I let you go home will I ever see you again?”  Lauren’s brows knitted.

“Why wouldn’t
you?  Do you think that I’m going to run away just because you’re different?” 
Her finger traced an invisible pattern on his chest.

“I’m a little more
than different.”  He scoffed.

“You’re the blue
eyed wolf in that picture aren’t you?”  He nodded.  A soft smile lifted the
corners of his mouth.  “I don’t know which is more beautiful.”

“Which what?”

“Which way, when
you are a man or when you are that magnificent wolf.”  She leaned up and kissed
him softly.

“Mother mentioned to
you about being my mate.  I know that it’s quick but she’s right.  I do want to
claim you.  I want to make you mine forever but I won’t without your consent
Lauren.  Back in the day, a wolf would see a female that interested him and he
would claim her.  It was rape.  He could also have many mates like a harem.” 
Lauren was appalled.  Part of a harem?  No way!  “I don’t believe in that way
of thinking.  I only want one mate.  One willing mate.”

“Claire was
supposed to be your mate wasn’t she?”  Lauren’s mouth quirked.

“No.  Mate is
forever.  Claire and I were not meant to be but we were close.  We were
together for a short while when she found out that she was sick.  If we were
meant to be together forever, she wouldn’t have died.  Claire told me though
that my mate would come into my life very soon after she died.  She saw it in a
dream and she believed that as compatible as we were, we weren’t mates.  The
day after she passed, you were at my receptionist’s desk.  I believe that fate
that put you there.”

“Was Claire a wolf
too?”  Lauren couldn’t help but think that Claire had been better suited.

“No.  Claire was a
human.  I’ve always known my mate would be a human.”  He watched her, smiling
softly.  His finger traced a line from her temple, around her cheek to her
chin.  She could feel the impending goodbye.

“Are you going to
take me home now?”  He nodded.

“We have family
business to attend to and even though everyone likes you some of them are
uncomfortable with you being here.”

“Because I’m
human.”  She didn’t want her husband’s family to hate her for something that
she could not change.

“No, because
you’re a stranger sweetheart.  They’ll get to know you soon enough but right
now, everyone needs to grieve.”  He hugged her tightly.  “Get your things
together and Maxwell will take you home.  Okay?”  She nodded and turned to get
up but he pulled her back.  “I’m going to miss you.  I’m sorry this weekend
didn’t go as well as it could have.”  Jake kissed her softly then pulled the
necklace he wore over his head.  “I want you to wear this.  It’s my family’s
crest of sorts.  All of the women in my pack wear them.  Someday you will pass
it down to our first born.”  He dropped it over her head and let it rest between
her breasts.  It was much longer on her than it had been on him.  “Maxwell is
waiting outside when you’re ready.”  Jake went through the bedroom door and
down the long hall then disappeared around a corner.  As sweet as he’d been, it
felt like he was dismissing her.  Lauren gathered her things and went outside
to the waiting limousine.

Chapter 5

 

Thibodaux Devlin
was on the last of his nine lives unless he could kill the newest alpha in the
Bryant clan.  Someone shot Louis and George this morning when the old man and
his pack of misfits were out on their run.  So, it will begin.  When the oracle
told him a century ago that his life would end with the most powerful Bryant
wolf, it became his mission to kill that wolf.  He had to wait until the wolf
was the alpha though.  Killing them all at birth would not satisfy the
prophecy.  When Thibodaux Devlin was turned back in the early sixteen hundreds,
his kind ruled the hills of England.  His kind and the Bryant’s kind.  He and Ulric,
a rogue Bryant wolf developed respect and eventually a friendship of sorts
early on.  Eventually, he and Ulric became best friends.  Ulric helped him hunt
fresh meat to drain of its lifeblood, at least until a hunter shot him with a
silver bullet through the heart.  Devlin hunted alone since.  The hunter
claimed to have killed the first werewolf after watching him change back into a
man.  Devlin drained the hunter for killing his friend.  The oracle or
prophetess as they were sometimes called gave him his future to spare her life
in the late eighteen hundreds.  She said that the unmated and most powerful alpha
of his oldest friend’s lineage would take his life.  All males in the Bryant
lineage were mated before becoming the alpha until Jacob.  Devlin had hoped
that the girl with cancer would mate him which would extend Devlin’s fate
another hundred years or so but she’d died.  To complicate matters further,
Devlin and Bryant were in a turf war in the IT industry.  Devlin grew bored
many years ago with being poor and started his own computer company, it evolved
into an IT security company.  The Bryant’s ran a successful software, IT
security, and web design outfit.  They were putting him out of business without
effort.  He’d turned the tables on them though about three years ago.  If you
can’t beat them, steal their best help.  All of his successful ideas since were
from original Bryant employees.  He smiled.  This had nothing to do with the
oracle’s bullshit, it was personal.  Devlin, always super competitive, would
never be a poor wandering vampire again.  He would not aimless travel from city
to city looking for a meal.  When the wolves started domesticating two hundred
years ago, he ran out of volunteers to hunt fresh meat.  He missed the good old
days when Ulric would find them, Devlin would drain them, and Ulric would eat
what was left.  No fuss, no muss, no evidence.  He sighed watching Zoe step off
of the elevator.  It was time to charm her into another meal.  Devlin hated
sipping from this girl.  She was usually full of drugs or alcohol.  She always
smelled of an old man and her blood was loaded with cholesterol.  Why couldn’t
she eat a salad once in awhile like other women?  Devlin considered moving to
an area where there was no fast food available or where the population was on a
health kick.  He longed for the days before cheeseburgers when blood was sweet
and thin not loaded with thick fat. 

“Hey boss.”  She
sing-songed.  “I’m sending more candidates your way.  I think that you’ll like
them.”

“Did you get
Lauren?  I want the info on new branches he’s opening and you said she is the
only one with access.”  He leaned over his glass topped desk balancing on his
thick forearms.  Devlin was not a huge man.  Men in fact in his time were quite
small, for his time he’d been large though but now, just a small average.  His
arms were always impressive.  Before he was turned, he worked in the fields and
that built some impressive strength.  Zoe smiled like the cat who’d tasted the
cream. 

“I gave her till
Tuesday but I’m sure she will come over to our side.  She’s tired of him
watching her.  He stares at her all day sometimes.”  Devlin quirked his eyebrow. 
“It’s like he’s stalking prey or something.  Anyway, she hates it and I have
her convinced that he is going to fire her.”  She tossed her long straight blonde
hair over her shoulder and crossed her legs.  Zoe flirted with him endlessly no
matter how often he charmed her into chasing others instead.  She still saw him
as powerful and as a way to get the power
she
wanted.  She was quite
ambitious for her age, also quite knowledgeable as to how to use her body to
get what she wanted.  He’d been bored with her for months now, bored with her
speech pattern, her flirting, and her cholesterol laden blood.  As soon as he
could, he would replace her.  The corner of his mouth lifted at the thought but
Zoe interpreted it as a come on, it most assuredly was not.  He smoothed a hand
over his thick blonde wavy hair and focused his bottle glass green eyes on
hers.  Women found his eyes fascinating.  They gushed over the color,
particularly the blue that circled the outer rim of his iris.  They would stare
into them, lambs so easily led to slaughter, like Zoe now.  “I love looking
into your eyes Dev, they’re so…”

“Yes my dear come
closer…”  His fangs extended and he tested one with the tip of his tongue, the
metallic taste of his own blood excited him.  She stood staring into space
while he unbuttoned her dress and let it fall away.  Zoe conveniently did not
wear any of the accoutrements that other women found necessary.  She preferred
to have the ability to dress quickly after her trysts and escape just as quickly. 
He lifted her to perch on the edge of his desk and bent his head down to her
breast where his fangs pierced the prominent blue vein there.  Zoe sat stock
still.  She stayed in the trance that he’d forced on her.  When he’d tasted his
fill, he wiped her skin and then his mouth.  He buttoned the dress and
straightened it.  “Go and sit in the chair please, Zoe.  Now, you said that
Bryant stares at Lauren.”  He began when she’d settled.  “Does he do this for
long periods of time?”  She nodded.  “Does he ever follow her out of the
building?”  Zoe nodded again, still staring off into space.  “Do you ever
notice that he eyes change color?”  Zoe’s head wobbled forward and back
woodenly.  “Good.  I want to meet her Zoe, do your best work to bring her to me
or be punished for failing.”  She nodded again and got up.  She walked to the
elevator and pushed the button.  “And Zoe,” he called after her.  She turned to
look at him again.  “Have a good night.”  That was her signal to snap out of
the trance and to follow her instructions.  Zoe waved and stepped into the
elevator.  She’d eaten seafood and had a lot of wine for dinner.  It made him
heady and he sat.  Bryant found his mate but the prophecy was still out there. 
He was the most powerful alpha physically in a millennia, he was also the most
powerful of his line in business for the time being.  Louis never succeeded as
Jacob had, not to dismiss Louis’ efforts.  He’d made them a fortune back in the
day when the family business was in construction.  Louis had almost lost it all
just as easily when his mate was killed in a car accident.  All of his focus
and determination faded.  When Jacob graduated college, Louis had only the
estate left which he mortgaged betting it all on his grandson.  It was a good
bet, Jacob was an overnight success.  He’d left school with degrees in
Business, Computer Science, and Economics.  Jacob was extremely intelligent.  Ulric
was smart for his day but he wouldn’t hold a candle to his heir.  He pondered
whether or not Lauren knew that she was Bryant’s mate.  Devlin was sure that
she was human, but he’d never been close enough to scent wolf or human on her. 
Soon
.  Zoe would bring her and he would not only milk her for
information but hold her as leverage.  Zoe said that Lauren wouldn’t go out
with them to the pub or to lunch.  She said that Lauren always ate salad and
fruit at her desk.  Did he dare hope that she was a health nut?  Clean blood at
last?  Perhaps he would have her for supper instead.  If she proved compliant
and if she tasted good, Zoe would no longer be useful.  Perhaps, Zoe would be
no more.  The thought curled his lips sadistically.  There was nothing like old
fashioned bloodshed to perk a fellow up. 

Chapter 6

 

Lauren did her
laundry and tidied her apartment.  It was Sunday evening and she hoped to hear
from Jake soon but knew she probably wouldn’t see him until tomorrow morning. 
Their night together was more than she would’ve ever have hoped.  That man was
certainly talented in bed.  She smiled to herself for not the first time since
leaving him but she’d cried as well.  To see that lovely old man lying in a
pool of his own blood was devastating.  He’d been the silver grey wolf that
she’d scratched behind the ears, Lauren realized that now.  The small red one
that nudged her hand was the same one that hopped up on the bed after her
shower and that was Dora.  Lauren saw her tilt her head the same way at the
breakfast table and even though she didn’t make the connection then, it was
obvious now.  She felt so badly for all of them.  His mother said that mates
were ‘forever’ Moments after her forever died next to her father.  She was the
strong woman not Lauren.  She would’ve died right there with him, she thought. 
Jake never said whether the girls were found but Lauren assumed that they were
since he was so calm in bed yesterday evening.  Then he’d sent her home.  He
didn’t drive her and say goodbye properly, but put her in the hands of a
chauffeur.  It didn’t anger Lauren but it did make her a little sad.  She’d
hoped they could make love once more before she left but it didn’t work out. 
She toyed with the pendant he’d placed around her neck.  It was silver and she
thought silver was poisonous to werewolves but then too, that was TV and
movies.  Lauren wondered if there was a text book or something that she could
read and learn about them.  He said that he was her mate, mate is forever, and
since she knew absolutely nothing about wolves, werewolf or otherwise, she had
a lot to learn.  Why were they all different colors?  Shouldn’t they look alike
if they are family?  In the one show she’d found on cable yesterday all of the
wolves were grey like Louis.  The narrator mentioned white snow wolves being
located in the Canadian Arctic region while red wolves were dominant on the
east coast and in the south.  He said that red wolves were only bred in
captivity now and there weren’t any in the wild.  Lauren giggled.  That was
true, indoors could qualify as captivity, when she got to know them better, she
would ask Darrell and Dorothy if they conceived the girls indoors or out. 
Maybe she would even call the producers of that show and demand an edit.  She stifled
another giggle.  That was probably against the rules if you were mating a
werewolf.  Obviously, they would like to remain a secret.  Lauren hung her
suit, blouse, undergarments, and pantyhose up on the hook on her bedroom door. 
She would wear the navy blue suit tomorrow.  It would be a subtle reminder of
her on the duvet for him to see her in navy blue.  There was knock on her front
door and she went to answer it.  Sometimes Grams brought her cookies on
Sundays, she liked to bake but was diabetic she’d said once and if she kept
them all, she would have to eat them all.  Lauren opened the door to find an
immaculate as usual Zoe.  What could she possibly want and how did she know
where Lauren’s apartment was anyway?  “Hi Zoe.  What are you doing here?”  Zoe
gave her the usual cat like smile that she always did and stepped inside of
Lauren’s apartment.  Lauren had to move aside when Zoe pushed her way in
unbidden.  “Is there something you need?”

“Yes, in fact
there is Lauren.”  She sat down on Lauren’s overstuffed couch in almost the
same spot where Jake sat not very long ago.  “I need you to come work for
Devlin.  Don’t go back to Bryant IT, it isn’t safe for you.”  Lauren’s face
scrunched up with disbelief.  “I mean it Lauren.  Mr. Devlin really wants you
to come and work for him and if you don’t well…there will be repercussions.” 
Lauren sat in her grandmother’s rocker and stared at Zoe.  What did that mean? 
Repercussions?  “I’ve been working for Devlin for awhile now and it’s not by my
choice.  He has threatened me and believe me when I say it is not a threat that
I take lightly.  His interest is in you now and you should just come along
willingly because if you don’t, he will hurt you.”  Lauren’s brows knitted and
she sighed.

“Zoe, thanks for
the message but I think that I am going to stay at Bryant.  I like my job and
there are going to be some very nice changes tomorrow.”  Lauren stood.  “So if
you will excuse me.”  Lauren gestured toward the door. 

“Have it your
way.  You are very stubborn Lauren.”  She was texting someone.

“So I’ve been
told.”  Lauren opened the door not noticing the huge man on the other side.  He
came in and shut the door behind him.  At the same time, he grabbed Lauren, his
beefy arm sliding around her throat while he pricked her with a hypodermic. 
Everything went dark then and Lauren slumped boneless to the floor. 

***

The funerals were
held quietly at the rear of the estate property on Monday morning.  Family and
servants only attended the private ceremonies and his grandfather Louis was
buried beside his grandmother Viola who passed many years ago after a car
accident.  His father was interred not far away near a red maple tree, the spot
his mother chose.  Jake stood beside his mother who was putting up a brave
front for her children and grandchildren.  Jake had been awake for nearly three
days now trying to figure out who killed his father and grandfather.  He didn’t
know of anyone who would gain a thing by their loss.  Neither worked, the only
assets were tied up in the estate which had just passed to him.  The business always
belonged to Jake.  His family members were silent partners who were paid
salaries and dividends.  It did not make any sense.  The police were baffled. 
Of course, they’d questioned him first but the entire family supported his
alibi, plus several servants corroborated his story.  The shots were from a
several hundred yards away, and even though few people could make that shot, he
didn’t know of anyone who would want to.  The whole thing was perplexing.  The
police were checking into a theory now that Jake paid someone to do it but they
weren’t getting anywhere.  He insisted that they expand their theories and to
stop wasting time on him, of course they weren’t listening.  Jake had
investigated on his own to see if his father or grandfather were into anything
that he was unaware of but he’d come up with nothing.  Bryant security was also
working toward the same goal.  It wasn’t a robbery and not a kidnapping, it was
slaughter.  The only thing that made sense was that they were being hunted
again.  That someone had figured out that they were wolves and was hunting
them.  But then why only shoot the two?  There were seven of them out there that
morning and the sniper could have picked them off easily.  Why shoot the old
wolves, why not the younger ones?  They would grow up and reproduce, his father
and grandfather posed no threat to anyone except maybe on a golf course.  His
mother was speaking to everyone but he wasn’t listening.  He wanted this
resolved now.  Lauren was waiting and he wanted to get back to his mate.  “Son,
lunch in the kitchen.”  He nodded.  “I mean it.  You need to eat.  I think the
last thing you ate was breakfast on Saturday.”  He quirked a half smile at her
and at the memory.  Saturday was the last time he’d seen his mate.  Saturday
he’d tagged her but didn’t get to claim her as he’d planned.
 Soon
.  She
was so lovely, so delicate, and so smart.  In all of his years he’d never come
upon a woman who rivaled his academic success or who could work a computer as
fast as he could.  He wanted to suck on each one of those quick little
fingers.  He let his mother lead him into the kitchen where a roast with all
the trimmings waited.  The cook must’ve started this before daylight to have it
done this early in the day.  Jake sat at the head of the table, his seat now
that Louis was gone.  He longed for the days when a wolf could claim his mate
and drag her into a cave not to come out again until he was very well
satisfied.  Jake chewed a piece of meat not tasting it.  He should call her,
hear her voice, and see what she’s wearing.  His mid section stirred. 
Hopefully, she wasn’t wearing anything at all.  He looked at his watch.  She was
at her desk eating a salad and an apple more than likely.  Jake stabbed another
piece of meat.  When they were mated, together and inseparable, no damned
salads.  “Any thoughts on the investigation son?”  His mother stirred him from
his thoughts.  Jake shook his head.  “It will come to you, it always does.”  He
nodded and pushed his half full plate away.  She gave him a disapproving look
but said nothing.  How could she be so strong right now?  She’d just lost her
mate and even though her initial reaction had been typical, her behavior since
had not.  Perhaps she was in shock.  She insisted that he go and rest now.  His
health need not suffer and since she’d heard him pacing all night, every night
since, she knew he had not slept.  Jake went to his wing and showered.  He
grabbed his cell phone and called Lauren, no answer.  He’d noticed that she
kept it in her purse in the bottom drawer of her desk.  She probably did not
hear it.  He decided to try the phone on her desk but it too went unanswered. 
Jake pushed end after leaving a message and tried to go to sleep.

***

Lauren woke stiff
and uncomfortable on a white leather couch in an office that she’d never been
in before.  Her eyes adjusted to the light in the room, office fluorescents. 
There was a blonde man sitting at a large glass topped desk typing furiously on
a computer keyboard.  “Glad to see that you’re awake Lauren.”  He said without
looking up.  Lauren sat up and rubbed her pounding temples.  “I am Kendrick
Devlin.  I own this fine establishment.”  His fascinating green gaze was intent
on her now.  “Zoe has referred you quite enthusiastically to my accounting
department.  She says that not only are you a hard worker but that you know all
of the ins and outs of Bryant IT.  You will share those with me.  Before you
make some grand gesture, I wish to inform you of a few things.  Your
cooperation is not only expected, lack of it will be punished severely.  Your
choice.  Also, I am a vampire.  I am nearly five hundred years old.  I did not
get to be this age because I am stupid, so don’t bother to try.  I know that
you are Jacob Bryant’s mate but that you have not been claimed yet.  You have
no marks on you except mine.”  She gasped and he smiled sardonically.  “On your
neck my dear and thank you for eating your vegetables, Zoe lives on booze and
bullshit.  She’ll be dead by the time she turns fifty, the stupid little twat. 
You however have very sweet blood Lauren and with a cooperative demeanor, I
will let you continue to feed me.  Do remember that as long as I enjoy your
blood, you live.”  His left brow rose over the sarcastic lift of his lips.  She
wanted to scratch his eyes out, literally.  Lauren found though that she was
unable to stand.  Her muscles weren’t listening.  He chuckled as he watched her
fight the internal struggle.  “You’ve been charmed my dear.  You are at my
command, when I want you to rise you will.  Until then stay seated Lauren and
stay quiet.”  He went back to his computer.  Why couldn’t she move?  What the
hell did charmed mean anyway?  This was all too freaky.  Where was Jake?  Had
he missed her yet?  Was he looking for her?  She wondered how long she’d been
out.  She remembered the big burly guy that grabbed her in her apartment.  He’d
stabbed her in the neck with something that burned in her veins.  “Come here
Lauren, I’m hungry.  Once I’ve eaten, I will order your dinner brought up.” 
Lauren stood and crossed the room to stand before him.  Devlin patted his lap
and she sat down against her will.  “I would like for you to wear your hair
down from now on Lauren.  It will hide my bite.”  She nodded and watched his
fangs extend.  His finger guided her chin forward and closer while he leaned
into her neck.  “I want you to shower first then you will eat.  You will find
clothes to put on in the locker room and then you will begin working.”  She
nodded and his teeth slid painfully into her neck.  Lauren hissed at the pain but
he sucked and sipped on her.  When he’d finished he licked the wound.  “That
will seal it until next time.  What kind of dressing do you prefer on your
salad?”

“Lemon juice and
olive oil.”  She answered.  Her voice sounded robotic to her.  It felt as
though she were trapped inside herself. 

“Very good.  Go
out of that door to the right, and into the women’s shower room.  It will be
the second door on the left.  You will find your name on your locker.  Inside
will be toiletries, toweling and clothes.  Shower, shampoo, brush your teeth,
and put on your deodorant, once you complete that, dress and return to this
office.  You will sit on the couch and await your supper.”  She nodded and left
unable to sway from the instructions he’d given.  Her feet would not carry her
one step passed the women’s room no matter how hard she tried.  Lauren followed
each command he’d given until she found herself back on the couch.  He was
still at his desk.  A tray sat on the coffee table.  It contained a large salad
with diced chicken breast and, an apple and a bottle of water.  She sat and ate
while he ignored her.  Lauren studied the room.  Apparently, there were no
rules against looking around.  She memorized her surroundings looking for an
escape should the opportunity arise.  Devlin glanced at her.  “There is no
escape until I permit it.” 

“I was looking at
those hideous drapes.  You should fire your decorator.”  She wiped her mouth
with her napkin.  He guffawed.  So I can misdirect maybe even lie.  She
thought.  It may come in handy.

“You are very
amusing Lauren.  I can see why Bryant is interested in you.”  He went back to
his computer for a few more Moments then sat back in his chair and studied
her.  “Now tell me everything that you know about the Ohio operation.  You do
the books for that office, correct?”  Lauren swallowed trying to lie but ended
up telling him every single thing about not only that office but also about the
office that she worked in and the other two that were about to open.  It was
late when she’d finished and he put her in a room.  He told her to sleep until
seven then she was to shower, dress, and come back to his office.  Where was
Jake?

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