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Authors: Eve Langlais

When a Beta Roars

BOOK: When a Beta Roars
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When a Beta Roars
Number II of
A Lion's Pride
Eve Langlais
(2015)

How degrading.
Stuck babysitting a woman because his alpha said so. As Pride Beta, he has better things to do with his time, like washing his impressive mane, hunting down thugs for fun, and chasing tail--sometimes his own if his lion is feeling playful.

But his babysitting job takes an unexpected turn when the woman he's assigned guard duty over turns out to be his mate.

A female threatened by an outside wolf pack.

A woman he wants to call his
own
.

A mate who doesn't fall for his charm.

Usually Beta's leave the roaring to the Pride's alpha, but in this case given his level of frustration, he might have to make an exception. And if anyone doesn't like it, they can kiss his furry tail.

Rawr!

When A Beta Roars

(A Lion’s Pride, #2)

 

By

Eve Langlais

Copyright and Disclaimer

Copyright © April 2015, Eve Langlais

Cover Art by Yocla Designs © May 2015

Edited by Devin Govaere

Copy Edited by Amanda L. Pederick

Produced in Canada

 

Published by Eve Langlais

1606 Main Street, PO Box 151

Stittsville, Ontario, Canada, K2S1A3

http://www.EveLanglais.com

 

ISBN: 978 1927 459 71 3

 

When A Beta Roars
is a work of fiction and the characters, events and dialogue found within the story are of the author's imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, either living or deceased, is completely coincidental.

 

No part of this book may be reproduced or shared in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including but not limited to digital copying, file sharing, audio recording, email and printing without permission in writing from the author.

Description

How degrading. Stuck babysitting a woman because his alpha said so.

As Pride Beta, he has better things to do with his time, like washing his impressive mane, hunting down thugs for fun, and chasing tail—sometimes his own if his lion is feeling playful.

But his babysitting job takes an unexpected turn when the woman he’s assigned guard duty over turns out to be his mate.

A female threatened by an outside wolf pack.

A woman he wants to call his own.

A mate who doesn’t fall for his charm.

Usually Betas leave the roaring to the Pride’s Alpha, but in this case, given his level of frustration, he might have to make an exception.

And if anyone doesn’t like it, they can kiss his furry tail.

Rawr
!

Chapter One

Babysitting duty. The indignity of it burned—and in a way that no lotion could ever fix.

Hayder had better things to do on a Saturday night than babysit Jeoff’s younger sister. Much better things. Important things. For example, his mane could have really used a hot oil treatment to keep it slick and hold pesky split ends at bay. He could have also played
Call of Duty
and worked on upping his prestige.

But no. Apparently being second in command didn’t mean shit these days. Arik, the pride’s alpha, said, “Guard the girl,” to which Hayder replied, “Like hell.” Not one to allow subordination—or pass up a chance at sport—Arik jumped over his desk,  wrestled Hayder to the floor, wrapped him in a chokehold and threatened to have Kira shave his head if he didn’t comply.

Not the hair!
With such a dire threat hanging over him, Hayder agreed to the job.

The forced agreement meant he found himself outside a nondescript door, dreading the next few days or, gasp, weeks, if the situation didn’t resolve itself rapidly.

Wanna go play.
Such a sulky request.

His poor inner kitty didn’t understand the concept of duty. It wanted to hit the farm that the pride owned on the outskirts of town. Acres and acres of wild forests, wheat-filled fields and teeming with wildlife. A perfect location for a bit of sport.

Not happening. He had his orders, and like them or not—very not!—Hayder wasn’t one to shirk his duties. Bitch and moan, yes, but in the end, he respected Arik’s command—and feared Leo’s moderating fist.

The pride’s omega didn’t believe in soft talk and coming to a mutual agreement by discussion. Leo smacked sense into a person because, as he explained, “It’s faster.”

Raising his fist, Hayder knocked on the condo door but didn’t wait for an answer. Being the pride’s beta gave him certain liberties, such as access to all the units in the building—a building owned and managed by, you guessed it, the pride.

Slapping his hand on the control panel alongside the door, he waited for the telltale click before turning the handle to open it. In he walked, uninvited, only to stop dead.

Almost literally, and with good reason, given a gun wavered in front of his face. Bullets fired point-blank never boded well.

However, the weapon wasn’t the most shocking thing he faced. No, that was reserved for the possessive growl of his lion and the unwavering sureness that gobsmacked him when he caught the scent of the gun wielder. A woman. But not just any woman.

Mine.
Our mate.

Uh-oh.

Like most shapeshifters, Hayder had heard of the so-called certainty that hit certain couples when they first met. The zing of awareness. The moment of recognition. Or, in his case, the slam and resounding clang of a door on a cell labeled Monogamy.

Argh. Not the dreaded M word.

A cowardly lion might have run away, but Hayder wasn’t one to fear anything, especially not the short and trembling woman in front of him.

Barely reaching his chin with deep brown hair held back in a ponytail, she didn’t possess a fearsome mien. On the contrary, everything about her appeared soft and delicate, from the silky smoothness of her skin and the long lashes framing the biggest brown eyes to her cupid’s-bow lips, pursed and pink. She was also, judging by her scent, a Lycan.

Cats and dogs aren’t supposed to mix.
But tell that to his lion, who urged him to give her cheek a lick to say hello.

Uh, no. Somehow slobbering over a woman, armed with a gun, didn’t seem appropriate. Introductions, though, might help.

“Are you Jeoff’s sister?” he asked when she didn’t seem inclined to speak. Nor did she lower her weapon, but he allowed it for the moment. The acrid stink of fear rolled off her and agitated his lion.

She fears.
Feared him and Hayder didn’t like it one bit.

“Who are you? What do you want?” Her words might have proven more forceful if they’d emerged less breathy and high pitched.

“I’m Hayder.” He might have said more, like
I am the most awesome beta the pride could ever hope fo
r. He could have boasted he was a lion with a mane only slightly less impressive than that of Arik, the alpha king. He might have probably said something witty and flirty too, if she hadn’t almost shot him!

Chapter Two

Bang.

Oh no.
Arabella couldn’t help but feel horrified. She’d almost shot the pride beta, but in her defense, it was kind of his fault.

Rewind a few seconds to how it happened.

Upon hearing someone at the door, Arabella fumbled the gun that had never left her side since Harry’s death. No sooner had her mate died, leaving her an heiress with a sizable fortune, than the other wolves in the pack had come sniffing—and demanding.

Not interested. She’d made the mistake of jumping too young and too quickly into one relationship—a really wretched one—and she wasn’t about to get herself dragged into another.

Her would-be suitors didn’t care. It wasn’t Arabella they wanted but the fortune she’d inherited and the power she represented as widow of the last alpha for the Northern Lakes Pack.

Say hello to the prize in a tug of war over who would next wear the title of alpha. Never mind her mourning period for her mate was far from finished. No sooner was the last shovelful of dirt dumped than Lycans were fighting over who would claim her, and according to rumors, once they mated her, the plan was to get rid of her.

A pity she wasn’t in the mood to die. At only twenty-five, she had too much to live for. Only one problem. Saying no wasn’t an option.

Step in her big brother, Jeoff.

“Come live with my pack,” he’d demanded.

“I can’t.” While her brother meant well, he didn’t have the numbers to take on the kind of war her old pack would wage in their quest to control her. However, while she couldn’t bring that kind of danger to her brother, neither could she stay within the Northern Lakes Pack enclave, not unless she wanted to be forced to mate with whoever won the title of alpha during the next full moon.

It boiled down to a need for a stronger defense. A bigger pack who could handle the threat. Or, even better, “A lion’s pride,” Jeoff announced with sudden inspiration.

“What?” Surely she misunderstood. Everyone knew the felines and wolves tolerated each other at best.

“You need to ask for protection from the pride that runs my city.”

“Are you insane?” she’d replied.

“Yes.” Jeoff didn’t even bat an eye as he admitted it. He also didn’t listen to her protests as he made arrangements.

Stupid, over-protective jerk. How she loved her big brother, and truly, his idea was probably her best-case scenario.

Arik’s lion group was known for its strength and numbers. Only an idiot would mess with it. Buried within its folds, maybe, just maybe, she could find safety. But Arabella knew better than to let her guard down. Hence the gun that she aimed at the intruder who entered the condo the pride had loaned her.

What does he want? Who is he?

The impressively-sized man standing framed within the doorway made her shake and for more than one reason.

For one, he’d just entered after a brief knock. Surely a person with manners would have waited for her to reply? Then again, he hadn’t kicked down the door so that probably meant he had the right to be here. Could she trust him?

The expression on his face was anything but promising. On the contrary, he didn’t seem pleased at all. Golden eyes widened as they took in her appearance and the wobbling gun. His lips thinned. The air practically crackled around them. She sucked in a tremulous breath, just a small one, and despite the pills she’d popped earlier, it took only one whiff for her allergies to act up.

Her sinuses jammed, and she knew in that instant the guy was a darned cat. Great. Just her luck that her brother, in his quest to protect her from her previous life, had sent her to live with a bunch of felines even knowing she was allergic to them. Usually she reacted to only the household variety and not the shifter kind, but tell that to her tickling nose.

The antihistamines she took failed her. Her nose twitched. She sniffed. It tickled more. She tried to hold it in. Tried to—

Epic fail.

Achoo
!

It came out of nowhere, a massive sneeze that rocked her whole body. Whilst in its grip, her finger tightened on the trigger of the gun and caused a second explosion, not of the nasal variety.

Bang!

Oh dear.

“Holy fuck, lady!” The guy who’d introduced himself as Hayder yelled before he yanked the revolver from her loose grip. “You almost killed me there.”

“Sorry.” It was what she meant to say, but with her stuffy nose, it came out more like “Sawwy.”

A frown drew his brows together in a line, and for a moment, she braced herself. She knew what that look meant. She’d angered him, and when women pissed off men, that usually meant a slap, or worse.

At least it did in her old pack. She knew within Jeoff’s group, things were different, but since Arabella didn’t know how it worked with cats, she prepared for the worst.

Shoulders hunched, head dropped so her chin almost touched her chest, she adopted the most submissive pose she could manage upright.

Instead of a cuff, Hayder—whom she knew from Jeoff’s quick rundown was the pride’s beta—turned his head and barked, “Nothing to see, you nosy felines. Go back to your rooms.”

To Arabella’s embarrassment, she found herself the object of craning scrutiny by more than a half-dozen female faces.

“We heard a gunshot,” one stated.

“Who is that?” asked another.

“Who let the dog in?”

Hayder moved to block even more of the doorway, his bulky body providing a screen to hide behind as he addressed them. “None of your business is who she is. As for what you heard, it was just a simple misunderstanding. Now shoo, before I tell Arik you’re bored and in need of some kitchen chores. I hear the dishwasher is broken again.”

That threat got the crowd scattering, all except for the beta, who entered the condo and kicked the door shut.

No audience? That couldn’t bode well.

To give herself space, Arabella took a few steps back, but he wasn’t interested in giving her room. Hayder flipped the safety latch on the gun, tucked it into the waistband of his snug jeans, and stalked toward her, golden eyes intent.

And scary.

For a second time, she couldn’t help but take note of his appearance, in much greater detail this time. Tall, much taller than her five-foot-three frame, and wide, much wider than her chubby size-sixteen body—donuts might not solve the woes of the world, but they did provide respite.

She swallowed hard as his intimidating amber eyes locked onto her and wouldn’t let go. It shook her, shook and tingled all her senses, just not in fear.

Unless I fear my attraction to him.

He exuded a wild and casual handsomeness with his long, tousled hair, a shade of light brown. The glimpse of muscles hugged by his snug white T-shirt proved distracting, but it was his lips, sensual lips pulled tight, that distracted her with an odd thought—
I wonder if they soften when he kisses.

What a strange thought to have and for a man who appeared ready to throttle her.

His brows drew together in an impressive frown, and she cringed. It served only to knit them tighter, but instead of hitting her with a slap, he snapped, “Why are you shaking like a leaf in a windstorm?”

Like duh, because he was pretty darned intimidating. She thought it, but didn’t say it. Never speak the truth aloud. Another lesson learned in her pack. What she did reply was, “I’m sorry.” Apologies, that was what men liked to hear.

Not this one.

“Sorry for what? The gun going off? That’s not your fault. I should have known better than to just walk in, especially since you’re here for protection. Although, if you’re going to wander around with loaded guns, you might want to get something for your head cold so you don’t accidentally shoot someone the next time you cough or sneeze.”

“I don’t have a cold. It’s my allergies.”

“What are you allergic to? Is it something in the condo? Did they forget to dust? Tell me what it is, and we’ll get it replaced or fixed.” All great offers if they were part of the problem. How to explain the truth?

He took a step toward her, and her nose tickled. She tried to hold it in, she did, but he kept getting closer, all the while hammering her for an answer so she finally blurted it out, “I’m allergic to cats.”

That stopped him dead. His eyes widened, and not just because of her reply.

Achoo
! And yeah, this time, while she didn’t fire a gun, she might have done something worse. She sneezed on him.

BOOK: When a Beta Roars
12.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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