Authors: Rebecca Royce
Tags: #Fallen, #Alpha, #Fated, #Desires
A Fallen Alpha Novella
By Rebecca Royce
A Fallen Alpha Novella
By: Rebecca Royce
Published by Fated Desires Publishing, LLC.
© 2013 Rebecca Royce
Cover Art by Valerie Tibbs
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person or use proper retail channels to lend a copy. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. To obtain permission to excerpt portions of the text, please contact the publisher at [email protected]
All characters in this book are fiction and figments of the author’s imagination.
In the first book of her exciting new series, Rebecca Royce invites you to a world where the death of the Alpha Prime has left a vacuum in the power structure binding the packs together and the alphas of each werewolf pack are on the brink of war. Negotiations will take skillful handling, dominant strength, and the discovery of old bonds long forgotten.
A mechanic, the Philadelphia Alpha Travis Michaels understands how to keep his pack together and running smoothly despite the upheaval caused by the death of Lucian, the Alpha Prime. To that end, he makes regular visits to a little diner in New Jersey—a neutral ground where he and the Manhattan Alpha try to negotiate a peace. But the last thing Travis expected to find in the diner was a latent werewolf and his true mate…
“You’re going to shake things up, that’s for sure.”
Lilliana Rouse’s new boss, Matilda May, shook her head and uttered the same words she’d been muttering for hours. Lilliana smiled at the older woman. Matilda was nice and easy to work for. If she occasionally got lost in her own thoughts, Lilliana had no intention of pointing it out to anyone. All she needed was for someone to declare Matilda unfit because of how much she talked to herself, and then Lilliana would be out of yet another job.
That couldn’t happen. Lilliana had been laid off five times in one year. That had to be her absolute maximum. Six might push her off some kind of proverbial ledge she’d yet to discover.
The door to the diner shook and rang the little bell attached to the back.
Someone must have come in
. Lilliana didn’t turn around to look. She had ice cream to scoop, and Matilda liked to seat the clientele herself. The shop might be just a diner, but Matilda was determined that it would be a classy diner.
They weren’t at their busiest time of the day, and, with three waitresses working, the more customers that came in the better. The kitchen could handle it and Lilliana knew not one waitress would complain about having some extra tips at the end of the day. Maybe a busload of people could show up.
“Why hello there, Travis,” Matilda purred. As Lilliana dug deeper into the impossible-to-scoop French vanilla, she couldn’t help but grin. “It’s always a great day when you come to visit us.”
This Travis must be quite a looker. Lilliana imagined a sophisticated old man with silver hair that curled a little bit at the end. She could practically picture the two of them together. To see if she was right, she glanced up to check out the man Matilda had escorted further into the restaurant.
He had his back to her, but his rear view did not confirm Lilliana’s speculation. Very tall and broad-shouldered, with visible tattoos that looked eclectic—some tribal, some black and white, and some that resembled an animal— up and down his arms, he was obviously not a gray-haired senior citizen.
A brown-haired man in the prime of his life, by the looks of it.
Apparently, Matilda preferred the hot, inked-up variety of guy. Lilliana shook her head. She hadn’t even seen his face, and she could predict his level of attractiveness. Perhaps her mother was right — when it came to men, she would always be a hopeless romantic; that was why she’d sworn off guys. Lilliana Rouse wouldn’t fall in love this year.
This was the year Lilliana would discover herself.
With that thought adding a bounce to her step, she walked to the customer who had been patiently waiting for her to bring him his ice cream. He was a nice man in his fifties, who usually came in with his wife. When his other half was with him, he ordered salad. Alone, he always went for the ice cream.
“Here you go, Pat.” She placed down the bowl. “And I know. Not a word to Carol.”
He winked at her, and she smiled. This was a good place to work. Much better than the back office of the accounting firm where she had crawled out a window to get away from her creepy boss. He’d tried to touch her and she’d scratched him up, torn his shirt into two with her fingernails. Most people screamed, kicked, or punched, but Lilliana had discovered she had a propensity to claw when she felt threatened.
Odd, even for her.
Everyone who came through the door at Matilda’s diner treated Lilliana with respect. No one had been lewd or inappropriate, yet.
“Has he been in this week?”
Lilliana turned at the sound of Matilda’s friend’s voice. Low, deep, and scratchy, it sent shivers down her spine. She sucked in her breath. Hell. The man’s voice exuded sexuality. Matilda had sat him in Lilliana’s section, so at least she knew she’d soon get a glance at his face.
“No, darling.” Matilda sighed loudly. “You know better than to expect Cyrus Fennell to let anyone know his plans. He’ll come here and pick up your message when he’s damn ready and not a minute before.”
Lilliana walked over, holding her notepad. “Hello, there.” She smiled brightly at Matilda and then turned her attention to the man who had gotten her worked up before she’d ever even seen his face.
Her mouth went dry.
Yep, her initial impressions had been correct.
Sex on a stick.
She immediately forced her thoughts away. This man wouldn’t be getting in her pants, even if he were interested in doing so.
One year. No men. That left her six more months to go.
So what if he had high cheekbones, a long, strong nose that looked like it had been broken more than once, if the scars in the center were any indication? A five o’clock shadow covered his jaw, and his blue eyes were warm while he regarded Matilda, a big plus as far as character went. Anyone who liked her boss got a check-plus in Lilliana’s book.
“Lilliana, this is Travis Michaels. He is a very special customer here. Take good care of him.” Matilda patted Lilliana on her shoulder before she turned back around. With one finger, she pointed at Travis. “And you. Behave.”
Matilda walked, her gait slow but steady, back to where she sat by the door waiting for customers at the hostess station.
Travis raised his thick, dark eyebrows and looked at her. Her cheeks heated up at his open consideration. She immediately glanced down.
“Lilliana.” His voice had lowered in tone from when he spoke to Matilda. “Look up, please.”
“Oh.” She forced her eyes upward. Why had she gotten so interested in her feet? “I’m sorry. That was rude.”
He shook his head. “No it wasn’t.”
“Okay then.” She’d really blown it already. All it would take was Matilda’s special customer to tell Lilliana’s boss how weird her new waitress was and she’d be out on her ass. Again. Why couldn’t she ever seem to be normal? “What can I get you to eat?”
He pointed at the booth across from him. “Sit down.”
She moved before she could stop herself and took a seat where he had pointed.
What the hell did I just do?
“No. I don’t know what I’m doing. I can’t sit here. I’m working.”
“You can sit for a minute. Matilda won’t mind, and someone else will temporarily cover your tables.”
“I don’t want anyone else to cover them.” She stood up. “I’m sorry. I need my own tips. I can’t share.”
Travis leaned back in his seat and goose bumps broke out on her skin. The man made her feel like she couldn’t sit still. “Why did you get up when I told you to sit?”
“Because I have a job to do.” Why did he sound so surprised? Did no one ever say no to him? Probably not. Gorgeous men tended to get what they wanted. “What can I get you to eat?”
“Who do you belong to, lady?”
Okay. This had gone from weird to downright rude. “I don’t
to anyone, thanks. Do you want some more time to look at the menu?”
“Bring me a coffee to start.”
She nodded before she scampered away. This was going to be a long shift.
Travis Michaels watched the little she-wolf take off like a bat out of hell to get his coffee. At first he hadn’t been sure of her origins. She didn’t smell exactly like a werewolf.
He wouldn’t be surprised if she turned out to be some kind of hybrid. Part werewolf, part human would be his guess since he did not smell vamp on her anywhere. Their metallic base always made his teeth hurt.
Why hadn’t she told him who she belonged to, and why had she been able to get up and leave when he’d told her to sit? His blood stirred, making him shift uncomfortably in his seat. It was two weeks until the full moon. He shouldn’t already be this antsy.
Lilliana stopped to speak with another customer, bending over slightly to look at something on the bill. She smiled, touching the woman’s arm. Travis stared at her ass. Round, supple, and firm—he wanted to bite it.
When was the last time he’d reacted this strongly to a woman? His cock hardened, and the closer she got to his table, the more her individual scents hit him in the gut. The aroma of peaches and cream coated her skin. Beneath that, she smelled of lavender. A growl sounded in his throat, and she jumped back a step.
At the hostess desk, Matilda cleared her throat. Travis gripped the table. He hadn’t spontaneously growled in twenty years. On his twelfth birthday, his uncle had taken him outside and whipped him for the slip-up. Twelve was too old to lose control and thirty-two was way too damn old.
Lilliana’s hand shook when she set down his coffee. “Are you okay?”
“Yes.” He paused. “Are you?”
. The thought should have surprised him; only it didn’t. The growl had pretty much cemented that for him. To make matters worse, the smirk the old wolf Matilda wore told him she’d known this would happen. A little warning might have been nice.
Matilda, one of the few remaining New Jersey wolves, had always kept her own counsel. She didn’t belong to him, she wasn’t part of his pack. She owed him no allegiance.
“I’m fine. I mean you just made that noise,
Wanted to run? Got scared? Wanted to bite me? Got wet in your panties?
“I don’t know. I reacted very weirdly. I’m sorry. It’s none of my business what noises you make. I have strange reactions to things. Don’t mind me one minute. Now, did you decide what you wanted to eat?”
The truth dawned on him suddenly, like a flashbulb going off on a camera, and when it moved through him, he saw the same stars he would have had she taken his picture. Lilliana did not know she was a werewolf. This meant she’d also be unaware that he was a wolf or even that he was an Alpha of a pack. If she’d been aware of her gift, she’d have scented his status, and this would all be going much smoother.
“I’m going to have the meatloaf.” He handed her his menu. “And a shot of tequila if this place has any.”
She scampered off again, and he got out of his seat to find out from Matilda exactly what was going on. He leaned over the hostess desk, making his eye contact.
A wolf didn’t get to be as old as Matilda without knowing how to read cues. He wasn’t even going to make this hard for her.
She raised a gray eyebrow. “About what?”
“The she-wolf you hired. I need details about her.”
Because I’m going to go insane if you don’t tell me everything you know immediately
. It was a good thing Matilda couldn’t read minds. He didn’t need her going down that particular train of thought with him.
“Well, first off, I would think it was obvious to an Alpha like you that she has no idea she’s a wolf. I’m guessing she’s half.”
“That’s what I thought. How can she not know? You can’t shift into a were every full moon and have no clue about it.”
Unless you are really, really dumb
“There’s another option. Think about it, Alpha-wolf. I’ve known you since you were a little boy. Your father would bring you here to my diner on your way home to Philadelphia after he would go visit with the Alpha-Prime in New Hampshire. You’ve seen the world. What is the other option?”