Forrest, Dawn - Alphas' Prize [WeresRus] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour) (10 page)

BOOK: Forrest, Dawn - Alphas' Prize [WeresRus] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour)
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He turned to his men and instructed them to move Vladimir and Yuri out of the main house and into one of the cabins in the forest on the estate. They jokingly called the cabins “Love Lodges,” or more crudely when the ladies weren’t around “Pussy Palaces,” but he decided not to mention that little gem in front of Jo. She gave a little whimper and looked perplexed and upset when they were carried away.

“They’ll be okay, you can see them later. I doubt that you’ll be able to concentrate with them near, and your reaction to them is a bit distracting.”

He cleared his throat and addressed everyone in the hall.

“Fellow Councilors, I am pleased to introduce Joanna Akara, new member of the Montana Mountain Pack, daughter of Katherine Akara and the late Connor McDonald, former Prime of the Anglo-Celtic Pack and Alpha of the Scots Pack. Yuri and Vladimir Volkov have claimed that Joanna is their mate. I do not dispute their claim, but as her Alpha I give her my protection. I invited her here with the promise that she would be safe and free to leave at any time. The choice is hers.”

There was a collective rumble of disapproval from all the males in the room because they knew it wasn’t true, not really, because there was no choice in wild nature. Just as surely as spring buds open to the sun, the blooming reaction of her body to the Siberians proclaimed it. She was their mate. To a werewolf that was everything, but he guessed that because she’d been raised outside of the Pack, by a mother who fought for her freedom and independence, she might need to believe that she did have a choice, that her decision was freely given and not preordained by biology or dictated by the Lore.

Two such strong mates for a female! Such a thing was very rare, but he couldn’t help thinking that the young werewolf woman could do a lot worse. On his own each twin was formidable, and together they would be able to protect her better than any Alpha alive, except for him. On the other hand, they had found themselves mated to one of the few females alive who could take on two such dominant Alphas. Often the moon-fated were fortunate like that.

“I am Paul Kaiteke, Alpha of the Maori Pack. I’m surprised but very pleased to meet you, Joanna Akara, daughter of my Pack. How is your mother? We have all been very worried about her, particularly your grandparents.” A heavily muscled Maori with traditional facial and body tattoos addressed Joanna gently.

“I am honored to meet you,” she said, following protocol. At least her mother had taught her that. “She is in danger, and I am here to seek help.”

Will admired that she kept her voice strong and clear when she must have been very nervous. All eyes looked with concern at Joanna and then at him.

“There is an urgent matter that Joanna and I must attend to and things that we will discuss at full Council when the unmated members return. The mating claim by the Siberian Pack Alphas is good but very unexpected. Please excuse us so that I can properly address you all as soon as possible.”

He guided Joanna out of the room toward his study. She was clearly agitated at being apart from her mates and seemed confused. He wondered how much she knew about her heritage and Pack life.

* * * *

It took every bit of discipline, forged by love for her mother, to stop herself from sprinting from the Hall, pouncing on the twins, and shredding the leather between them. It was frightening how she was reacting. She fervently wanted things that she’d never had before, such as physical intimacy, loving, and a good fucking. It had been just under two months since she had sexually matured and “become.” Before then she hadn’t been interested in men for sex. Since then she’d felt hot and horny but not attracted to any of the men she knew, and then, of course, she’d had to run. There really hadn’t been the opportunity to take these new urges for a test drive. Well, she had a sneaking suspicion she’d soon be screeching around a trial track, and she couldn’t wait.

She reluctantly followed Hawke down a corridor to a thick wooden door. He opened it and stepped back, giving her plenty of room to pass through and avoid contact. The man was trying to honor his word, and she could see the effort it cost him.

“Bloody hell, what’s that lovely smell?” said a deep Australian voice.

She stopped dead, and Hawke almost crashed into her. Sitting at a desk was a man with a woman on his lap. He was obviously a werewolf, but she couldn’t distinguish if he was mated or not. What struck Jo was the woman’s aroma. Her scent was strangely similar to Lynne’s.

The young woman batted the man with her hand.

“Ah, love, she doesn’t smell as good as you, and no one ever will after Thursday night,” he said to placate her as he caught her hand and kissed it.

They both looked at Joanna with surprised curiosity.

“I was wondering what all the ruckus was about,” the woman said with a friendly smile.

Hawke made the formal introductions.

“Angela and Mike will be bound at the full-moon run on Thursday. You can scent that they are mates but not yet permanently bound.”

There was so much she didn’t know about her own kind, this whole experience was more a learning vertical straight line than a curve.

“It’s nice to meet you both,” she said automatically as she wondered if her scent would change due to the twins, and what would be the catalyst.

“Please, let’s quickly talk about my mother,” she implored Hawke through gritted teeth. She was finding it hard to think of anything except the two gorgeous men with long, straight, snow-white hair and a scent to live for.

“Do you mind if they stay?” he asked, indicating to the couple about to get up. “They can be trusted.”

She knew that he didn’t want to be alone with her, and the fact that he was fighting his attraction was reassuring. She shook her head. He quickly explained what had happened since they last spoke.

“When Khan gets here tomorrow we will question him. It looks as if your mother escaped from him.”

Her heartbeat faltered at the news. If her mother wasn’t with Khan it could mean one of two things.

“Either that or he killed her.” Her voice quavered with worry. “The werewolf that attacked us last night was Indian looking, tall and swarthy, with short, black, straight hair and a mustache. I’d recognize him if I saw him again, and I certainly recognize the name Ashok Khan. Mom told me he was the one who came after her in Scotland and who probably killed my father.” She clenched her fists and gritted her teeth against the anxiety that washed through her.

“I doubt that he would have killed her, because he wants and needs her alive. I promise that I will try to help your mother. You say he was there when your mom fled Scotland?” She saw him give Mike a pointed look.

“Yes.”

“Then he must have had something to do with the Scots Pack massacre,” Mike said.

“Massacre?” Her shocked voice raised an octave.

“Yes, all the Pack who were at the castle that night were killed, no witnesses, no clues. Charles Knight, the English Pack Alpha, took over as Prime, and Sean Bruce, a cousin of yours who was absent at the time of the incident, became the new Alpha of the sadly reduced Scots Pack. In fact, Charles and Sean are here for the Council Gathering. They are unmated and so not near the house at the moment.”

She knew that she had some family in New Zealand, but it also looked as though there was a whole other large branch of her family tree that she didn’t know about.

“Thank you for all the trouble you’ve gone to for me. My mom doesn’t know what happened after she fled because she severed contact with all Weres. You’re probably right about her being okay. She’s very resilient.”

“If the description of the bruises on Khan’s face and body are anything to go by, I’d say she’s that and then some.” He sounded impressed.

Jo relaxed a little, knowing that the chances were in favor of her mom being okay. She wanted to use a phone or a laptop to contact her mom, but she knew that using any device belonging to the Pack could compromise her mom’s security. Was that the right thing to do? She had never felt so uncertain before, so distracted and unable to focus. She knew that her mom would be worried about her going to the Pack but that she would stick to the plan and head to the cabin in the Colorado Rockies. Jo decided not to try to contact her until she knew more about her own situation.

“You’re finding it hard to concentrate because you are apart from your mates,” Hawke said gently.

Was the man a mind reader?

Mike’s eyebrows shot up, and Angela squealed in delight, “Oh congratulations, who is the lucky male?”

“Mates, as in plural?” Mike picked up on his words.

“They just met a few minutes ago, and I had to tranq’ the guys,” Hawke spoke for her. “It’s Vladimir and Yuri Volkov.”

The pair on the chair looked stunned.


Both
Russians?” Angela said at last with a gulp.

Mike whistled. “That’ll be some mating and bonding,” he murmured and looked at her with new appreciation.

Angela blushed. Again Jo felt frustrated at knowing so little, and it was worse with her mind not firing on all cylinders.

“Angela, your type of scent is pleasant and familiar to me. It’s a little similar to a friend of mine’s. I thought it was unique to Lynne, but I must be wrong.”

“I’m a Were female. My dad is a werewolf. Your friend must be a Were.”

“No, that can’t be right. Here’s her scarf.” She reached up to her neck only to discover that the scarf wasn’t there. “Oh, I must have lost it when I rolled off the bike.”

“Rolled off the bike? Are you okay?” Angela asked, sounding puzzled and concerned.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I was escaping from them…my, er, mates.” She frowned and quickly changed the uncomfortable topic of the Russian twins. “I’ve met Lynne’s parents, and they definitely aren’t Were. I must have made a mistake.” But there really was a similarity, although it was clouded by the mating process.

“What’s the strength of Jo’s scent now? It went to dizzying proportions when she was near the Russians,” Hawke asked Mike.

“S’okay. I can resist it because I now have Angela, but I recommend that you keep the cotton wool in or wear nose plugs until after…” he trailed off, and his eyes darted to her.

“What?” she asked.

For a few seconds no one spoke, until Angela cleared her throat. “Oh, for goodness’s sake, you guys talk about and have sex all the time, why the sudden shyness? Jo, once true-mates have sex they begin a sort of pre-bonding process. The more you’re
with
them”—Angela made a linking hand gesture so that there would be no misinterpretation—“the more you take on their scent. It’s a warning to other males to stay away. It isn’t permanent, unlike when the full bond is formed on a full moon. In normal circumstances, once the permanent mating bond is in place, you will no longer be compatible with any other Were.”

There was silence for a second while she absorbed that information.

“Well that’ll be a fuckin’ relief,” she said without thinking.

Angela chuckled

“Er, yes, well, back to what happens now,” Hawke said, sounding as if he’d rather be anywhere else than in a room discussing sex with her. “Soon all the unmated Alphas will be back. We will arrange a full Council meeting tomorrow to discuss you and your mother’s situation. I can put you in a secure cabin on the estate with mated men for protection, or you can stay with Vladimir and Yuri in their cabin. Their mating musk should lessen the effect of your scent.”

“I don’t know them.” It seemed the obvious yet lame thing to say, and under the circumstances she didn’t think it was that important.

Hawke’s expression softened. “I expect our ways are strange to you. Your body and the beast within you know enough. They are your mates, Joanna, and you will be safer with them. This would be a good time to get to know a little about them as men, before the full-moon run. No one will force you to mate and bond. I promise that.”

The look on his face told her that he thought they wouldn’t have to. Still, she was thankful for his words of support and guidance, which made her feel more confident about her mom’s situation.

“I want to go to them.” She did, irrefutably, no doubt it was right, but she would be loyal to her mother. “But I also need to think about what to say to the Council. I can’t abandon my mother just because I have mates.”

“Perhaps you should simply show the Council,” Hawke said smoothly.

She cocked her head to one side. What did he mean?

As if he heard her thoughts he continued. “You stopped running and came to the Pack because you trusted me. Immediately you found your mates, and that is cause for great celebration in our society. That would not have happened if you had been too afraid to come to the Pack. We must argue that Katherine be given every opportunity to meet her true-mate without fear of being forced into a partnership.”

Of course the unmated Alphas would go for that because there was a chance her mom could be the true-mate to one of them. The mated ones wouldn’t care.

“What if her mate isn’t here? We must get an agreement to never force a claim on her.”

He nodded. “There will, of course, be many Weres who will want her in lieu of a true-mate, but the choice should be hers. She may prefer the comfort and security that being claimed will bring to that of a life in hiding.”

BOOK: Forrest, Dawn - Alphas' Prize [WeresRus] (Siren Publishing Ménage Amour)
11.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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