Authors: Lynn Leite
By Lynn Leite
Shifted book 7
Copyright © by Lynn Leite
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead events or locals is purely coincidental.
Bryce Woodland hadn’t realized how boring being the Pack Alpha could be. He was standing in for the current Reiner pack Alpha who had temporarily left him in charge of the Alpha duties while he was off resolving a mysterious family problem with his niece. Whatever was going on in the Alpha’s family, it had to be pretty serious for the Alpha to take time off.
Bryce was born Alpha and
, someday, he would be the leader of his pack. He had known this since he was a child. Bryce had been training for years to take the Alpha position when Drew Weston retired. His training just hadn’t included the mundane day to day problems of pack life.
A knock at the office door made him cringe. A steady stream of females had been to see him in the last few
days. Apparently, half the single females in the pack thought they would be the perfect mate for him. Most of the women were not interested in him specifically, but the role he would play in the future of the pack.
Come in,” he called while bracing himself for yet another flirtatious woman at his door.
Bro, how’s the mighty Alpha this fine morning?” Aiden, Bryce’s twin brother, said while sporting a mile wide smile.
, acting Alpha.”
“I am hoping Drew comes back today
. That’s how I am doing. So far today, I have had to deal with two domestic disputes, three reports of teenagers shifting out in the open, and one case of trespassing. It’s already been a really long day and it’s not over,” Bryce groaned. It wasn’t like he wanted any real action. The fact that the pack was pretty quiet was a good thing. Truthfully, he didn’t know if he was ready for any real emergencies. He just hadn’t expected to have to be a referee in civil matters.
Sounds like you’ve been busy. How about the babes in the waiting room? What do they want?”
,” Bryce growled. The last thing that he wanted was to shop for a mate among the social climbing women in the waiting room. All of them were under the impression that one touch and the mate fever would thrust them into the Alpha-bitch role. None of them were particularly interested in him before Drew Weston, the current Reiner pack Alpha, publically named him his successor.
poor thing. Are woman throwing themselves at you? What a burden,” Aiden taunted.
don’t want a mate who is only looking to be with me because I will be Alpha someday.”
“I can take a few off your hands if you want?”
“They are all yours. Just make sure they know you’re not me.” Aiden and Bryce were identical. There were subtle differences, but only family and a few close friends could actually tell them apart.
“I can get my own women
, Bryce. I don’t have to pretend to be you. So, other than the harem you seem to have, how are things going? Have you heard from Lexi?” Lexi, their older sister, had recently mated Gage Cheveyo, brother of the recently named supreme Alpha. They had disappeared to some remote island after a crazy were, who held a grudge against Gage, tried to kill her. Thank god that problem was resolved. Maybe the domestic disputes and teen shifting wasn’t so bad. At least there was no real drama to deal with. He had had enough of that in the last few weeks, before they found the were responsible for targeting their new brother-in-law.
called Dad. They are coming back tomorrow. She’s fine and deliriously happy from what I hear.”
, I always worried about her. Being the only human in the pack was hard on her.”
She’s not human anymore. Gage took care of that. The Cheveyos are a fiercely protective group. I don’t think we need to worry too much about her safety.”
Any word on her friend?”
’s friend Amber had been turned against her will in an attack when Tom, the were responsible for trying to kill their sister, used her friend for bait. Tom was dead, killed according to pack law that dictates that no were can turn a human against their will. Her friend, however, was having trouble adjusting to her new life among creatures she didn’t even know existed. Amber Douglas had been sent by Maverick, the Cheveyo pack Alpha, to a retreat in the Adirondacks to come to terms with her new life. The facility was designed to help weres that had been turned against their will.
she’s still having a hard time. She at least believes we are real now. Lexi told Dad that she is still refusing to shift.”
she holds the wolf back too long, she’ll go crazy,” Aiden said in a somber tone.
thinks she’s crazy already. They will get through to her. They have people there that are trained for this kind of thing.”
hope she’s okay. I kind of liked her when she was human. She was a good friend to Lexi.”
I’m sure Lexi will be there for her when she gets out. So what brings you here?”
’t a brother drop in on his Alpha sibling?”
never just drop in, Aiden. What’s up?”
Well, I did have some parking tickets you could take care of.”
not the sheriff, Aiden. Unless the tickets were issued by the pack enforcers, I can’t help you. Last I knew, the enforcers had better things to do than play traffic cop.”
was worth a shot. No, seriously, Mom sent me to check on you. She’s been on Dad all week about you being too young to assume Alpha duties.”
“So far the Alpha duties haven’t amounted to much. Tell Mom that Drew is coming in tonight.”
“He’s only been gone a few days. I take it things with his niece went well.”
“It’s all very hush hush
, Aiden. I shouldn’t have even told you about the niece. I don’t know what happened, or why he had to go. All Drew said was he needed me to be in charge for a while. I don’t think that he wanted the whole pack wondering what was so important. It took him away from his duties.”
didn’t mention it to anyone. If he asked you to step up, then he must have thought he’d be gone a while?”
Either that, or this is a test to see if I can handle the job. Speaking of which, I need to get this paperwork in order before he gets back.”
“Paperwork? Doesn’t he have a secretary?”
“Julie is his secretary. I guess if you can’t trust your wife, who can you trust? She went with him.”
, that makes sense. I’ll let you get back to it then. Call if he gets in early. We can go out and have a few drinks.”
What, no date tonight?”
,” Austin said, making quotes with his fingers.
Right, you pick up girls and leave them heartbroken. You’d better watch yourself. Someday you’ll meet your mate and she’ll reject your playboy ass. Then where will you be?”
Still single?” Austin joked. “I don’t see you rushing out there to meet with those women in the front room to see if one of them might be your perfect match.”
God help me if one of those vipers is meant for me. They all pushup their breasts and lick their lips when they see me coming. If I wasn’t the Alpha heir, they wouldn’t look twice. They’re power hungry, vapid creatures, in hollow shells.”
Don’t hold back Bryce. Tell me what you really think,” Austin laughed and waved as he strolled out the door heading for the viper pit.
Bryce shook his head. They may be twins
, but Aiden was his own man. Bryce didn’t see the point in going through woman like tissues the way his brother did. Bryce was more the relationship type. He had the same girlfriend for all four years of high school. Then in college, he had dated Karen for almost two years.
He liked to think he was destined for a relationship more like the ones his parents had. A true mate didn’t always show up
, but he was only thirty. He could wait a lot longer before searching out a life partner. In the meantime, he had work to do.
It was 10 pm when the phone in the Alpha office rang
. Bryce hoped it was Drew. He had been expecting to hear from him hours ago. “Hello?” he said hesitantly. He really needed to remember to hire a secretary when he became Alpha. Thankfully, that wouldn’t be for a very long time. His mother was right. He was too young to assume full Alpha status.
’s Drew. We will be there in less than a half hour. I need you to clear out any visitors. Tell the guards to expect us around the back. We will be coming in through our private quarters.” Drew’s voice was tense. It set Bryce on edge.
everything alright sir?”
Bryce, I’ll explain when we arrive.”
notify the guards and clear the compound.”
Thank you, Bryce. Oh, and call your father. I need to meet with both of you.”
Yes sir.” Bryce knew for sure something was wrong now. Drew didn’t normally conduct business after 9pm unless it was urgent.
Bryce dialed his parents’ home. His father didn’t normally carry a cell phone when he was at home. Lars was a family man first and Pack Beta second. Growing up, Bryce had always known his brothers and sister came first. He hoped someday to show the same devotion to his own family. It would be hard as Alpha, but it could be done. He had seen it recently when he met Maverick Cheveyo, Alpha of the Cheveyo pack. His family was his strength. Bryce would take a lesson from the pack leader when his time came.