Curves & Alphas: A Paranormal Box Set: (BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance)

BOOK: Curves & Alphas: A Paranormal Box Set: (BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance)
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Curves & Alphas

A Paranormal Romance Box Set

Willow Brooks

Copyright © 2015 Willow Brooks

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher

www.mahoganypublications.com

The Alpha’s Desire

Alpha’s Desire Series

Book 1

Willow Brooks

Chapter One

With the whiskey of my Jameson and Ginger still warming my body, I stepped out into the slight chill of the late night air. The full moon hung above the buildings, throwing an eerie blue-gray haze over the damp pavement. Cars glistened, making even this back parking lot a shiny sight if I looked in just the right places. Over-aware of my surroundings suddenly, I pulled my thin sweater tighter around me as the hair rose on my neck. A shiver having nothing to do with the temperature slithered down my back.

 

Had my need for a heavier drink than the cosmos my friends drank tonight been some foreshadowing of events to come? I’d lived life by my instincts, even if over–the-top sometimes. I believed with all my heart that they alone had gotten me through the hard times. A single girl in the big city couldn’t be too overly cautious. I wished I’d have been a few minutes ago, though, when I’d decided to walk to my car alone. Better safe than sorry had always been my life’s creed. So, I had no idea what the hell I was doing now.

 

Christina
, I berated myself,
don’t let your imagination run wild yet again. Simply walk to your car. No one lurks in the shadows to hurt you.

 

Shaking my head at my apprehensive nature, with a deep breath I forced my feet forward. I’d parked in the side alley because, when I’d arrived, this club’s parking lot had already been full. The further I walked along the first row of cars, the more distance I felt from the noise of the bar and the security of my girlfriends. Safety in crowds, I’d always heeded, having grown up here in New York City. Yet, for some unknown and stupid reason, whether the whiskey or the girl talk, who knew, tonight I’d felt bold enough to go out alone.

 

On top of that, for some other unexplainable reason, I’d felt drawn to leave early. On the other hand, neither of my two girlfriends had had the same inclination.  My words of
I’ll be fine
echoed in my ears now as I turned the corner to the alley. My intuition had done a complete turn on me. I sensed I wasn’t alone, though the deep shadows beckoned otherwise. As the slight drizzle picked up into rain, I squinted to ensure no shadow changed, that nothing moved out there just beyond my car.

 

What had beckoned to me to go outside, I couldn’t explain. Regardless, I’d heeded the feeling. Something or someone had called to me, I swore. I’d had the great urge to obey, to come. To what I walked toward, I hadn’t a clue. Yet, in the club, I’d felt a great need.  The tightening of my muscles had make my heart pound, until I’d had to obey, crazy or not. 

 

Steps away, I fumbled my keys in my hand, one between each finger to form a weapon. Having just got the last one in place, the sharp edge of the teeth tight in the webbing of my fingers, the force of two hands threw me to the ground. Stunned, my mind tried to focus in, evaluate my plight and possible options. Survival mode overwhelmed my sense for a moment. As the first slices of pain registered in my brain, so did the cold that permeated through my now soaking wet dress and sweater. Worse, I felt what could only be the round barrel of a gun pressed between my shoulder blades.

 

“Money and keys,” a gruff, male voice demanded. “Make of car.”

 

As he’d spoken, he’d pushed the gun a little harder against my spine for emphasis. While willing my mouth to work, my attacker twisted the point of that gun barrel as if he could impale me with it without firing. My spine screamed for mercy even as my voice failed to do so. I waited for my bone to break. The odd wonder of whether you felt pain or went immediately numb from paralysis skittered through my cloudy thoughts.

 

I swallowed hard and closed my eyes tight. Dull white balls of light danced in my eyelids. I did manage to think twice though before I shook my head to overcome the dizziness that tried to overwhelm me. Didn’t want him thinking that I was trying to get away and clock me across the back of the head with his gun. I’d probably read too many crime novels. On second thought, I’d have thought something in them should have helped me here. This was real life, though, and I was in real danger.

 

Opening my eyes to only car tires and puddles, I squeaked out, “Take whatever you want. The keys are in my hand and my money in my purse.”

 

“Don’t move,” he hissed. “What damn car do you drive?”

 

I felt him grab my hand. The scratches on my knuckles burned with his leather-gloved touch. The cold metal of the keys scraped my palm, which had not easily released. My hand thrown back down to the pavement, the increasing chill sent painful vibrations through my almost numb fingers. The man on me moved. His knee or something pressed down on my back, as well, stopping the air I took in, forming roughly in gasps from not being able to move into my right lung. The air that managed to get in burned.

 

Calming down would have helped, but there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that that was going to happen. My purse dragged on the pavement as I felt the strap slip down my arm. Though I’d have sworn I’d been on the ground forever now, I knew only seconds had passed. Despite the pounding of my blood in my ears, I heard something move in the distance. I strained as if stretching my neck would get me that much closer to the source of the sound, allow me to hear it better.

 

Please let it be a man, a decent one, who would be willing to try to save a damsel in distress,
I pleaded with the universe.
Even if just a distraction to get this man, this gun, off of me.

 

“Please don’t hurt me,” I begged, though my words were drowned out by what could only be described as a low growl, one more animal rather than human.

 

The man on top of me stopped moving. I dared to look in the direction of the noise as it increased in volume. Ferocious, feral, the cry grew more guttural. The vibration of it shook my own lungs.  Just after a scratching sound began to move toward my head, the weight of my attacker vanished. A deep breath I’d been fighting for forced air into my deprived lungs. I gasped with the pain, saw stars before my eyes. With a shake of my head this time, the gray gave way to the dark shadows around me with hints of rubber and chrome.

 

Jumping to a crouch, I surveyed my surrounding for a safe direction to head in. To my left, the noise of a scuffle built. If asked, I’d have described it as a dog fight or something. Teeth snapped together, skin ripped, and anguished cries of pain mixed with threatening growls. Scrabbling to my feet, I moved to a car. Squatting down to hide behind the black Mustang, I craned my neck to get a view of what was going on.  My legs begged me to fall or stand, to release the aching muscles from the likes of the job I asked of them. My body in full tremble mode now, I barely felt the cold of the metal against my side as I leaned into the wet vehicle.

 

Even as I blinked, the scene before me didn’t change. To my knowledge, I hadn’t hit my head in my fall. Still, a large animal, nearly seven feet tall or more, picked up a man nearer to six feet, as if he weighed nothing. Standing on its hind legs, it held the guy, surely my attacker, up by just his arms, pinned roughly to his sides.

 

The man kicked his feet and cried out, more a girlish squeal than anything. The animal, on the other hand, lifted its muzzle to the moon and bayed, a deep, almost mournful wail.  After a few moments, the animal tossed the body to the ground. I heard a bone, or even bones, snap. While the strangely bent but still moving body did a slow dance of agony on the ground, the animal turned my way.

 

Our eyes caught for a second. Mine wide, I couldn’t look away from the wolfish ones that sparkled in the moonlight. A mix of amber and gold, they appeared to look right through me, into my soul if you will. As a knot coiled in my stomach, I tried to swallow over the lump in my throat. Instead of moving toward me, as I both feared and wished he might, the beast looked back at his victim crawling away like a wounded snake on the ground.

 

I watched in silence, my muscles frozen, while the muscles in the wolf’s legs bunched under his grayish-black pelt. It toyed with its prey then. The large paws batted at the body, pushing it away and then scooping it nearer in a violent repetition. A primal dance, and I remained mesmerized by the cruelty I couldn’t comprehend even as relief flooded me like warm water through my system. While I’d asked for a savior, the savageness of this one proved more than I could bear. I’d wanted a cop with cuffs to lock the guy away. Even still dealing with the sharp burn of my cuts and the hard throb of my bruises, blood and broken bones were not on my revenge list.

 

I believed firmly in justice that sadly rarely came, but never revenge. Rain on my lashes, dripping from my hair, blurred my vision somewhat. Despite the bone-deep chill it brought, I could be thankful for that. The man cried out again, which only made the wolf pause a second before it opened its large mouth. Enormous teeth, shiny with saliva, shone in the bright light of the moon before they moved toward my attacker.

 

Looking away for fear of a sudden onslaught of blood and guts, I crept past the car despite my body’s painful attempt at defiance of my will. With my car in sight, I realized I needed keys. Scanning again, careful to leave the current scuffle in the outermost part of my vision only, I spotted my keys and purse where I’d been taken down.

 

While the cries of an injured man died away, not a good sign, I grabbed my belongings and turned my back on the surely gruesome scene. If I’d seen blood and body parts, I allowed them to blur in my mind’s eyes as I fled to the safety of my car. Past the black Mustang that had served as my shield, I ran toward my little blue Taurus that has seen better days. I knew just how it must feel now.

 

Without looking back, I started the vehicle with enough force to cause a horrible metallic protesting noise before the engine purred to life. Every muscle in my neck tight, I focused on the alley, my way out, my way home. Hitting the gas too hard, I felt the tires spin, trying for purchase on the wet pavement. Once they caught, the car surged forward. With my shaking hands, I turned the wheel, waiting for the slam of metal against the brick wall of the building.

 

Surprised I’d missed, I came to an abrupt stop at the street. With a deep breath, I flew out into the traffic like a maniac. The honk of the horn of the angry driver behind me, that I’d cut off, only reassured me that I was no longer alone. I thought to lock the doors as I swerved back and forth, regaining control of my car, righting it in its lane. I didn’t look for the angry glare of the driver beside me as I stopped for the red light. Instead I cringed, the glass in the windows not feeling like protection enough. I tensed, waiting for something furry to come running down the street and smash through the glass.

 

My foot twitched to press on the gas as I waited for the light to turn. In no shape to drive, I couldn’t find another choice. I could have called my friend Chloe, still in the club, to come get me. But, one, I didn’t want to send her out into whatever was happening in that parking lot right now. Two, close to jumping out of my skin, I had not an ounce of patience in me to wait here and be made to feel like a sitting duck a second longer.

 

Many streets and a lot of bad driving later, I pulled into the parking lot of the apartment building I lived in. Turning off the car, I strained to look in every direction. Feeling unprotected, I couldn’t make myself unlock the door. My hand levitated above the door handle, gripping and releasing the air. I let my scream rumble in my throat at a low volume. For the first time in my life wishing I had a gun, I pulled open the glove compartment. I went for that odd tool my dad had placed in their years ago, the one that could slice your seatbelt or break your window if you drove into water.

 

Figuring the hammer-like end that could break the glass could crack a skull, or at least render a person unconscious, I gripped the object tightly. Getting out, I spun around, the hammer thing out in front of me. Satisfied to the biggest degree I could be that I was alone, I broke into a sprint to the door. It took me several tries to get my key in the door, but once in, I slammed it behind me. Racing up the steps, once I arrived at my own door, I figured I owed the owner of the building some paint to repair the numerous scratches my key had made around the locks.

 

Finally inside, I slammed my door shut and locked it. My violently trembling hand paused on the deadbolt. Letting my head fall to the door, I let my tears begin to fall.

 

“Home,” I sighed between sobs.

 

Yet, how come I still didn’t feel safe?

BOOK: Curves & Alphas: A Paranormal Box Set: (BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance)
8.74Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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