Read Lycan Alpha Claim (#1): (BBW Shifter Romance) (Brief-Bites Novelette) Online

Authors: Tamara Rose Blodgett

Tags: #vampires, #vampire, #urban fantasy, #paranormal romance, #dark fantasy, #dark, #werewolves, #alpha, #tamara rose blodgett, #marata eros

Lycan Alpha Claim (#1): (BBW Shifter Romance) (Brief-Bites Novelette)

LYCAN

An Alpha Claim
Brief-Bites
®
Novelette

Episode 1

 

New York Times
Bestselling Author(s)

MARATA EROS

TAMARA ROSE BLODGETT

 

All Rights Reserved.

Copyright
©
2015 Marata
Eros

Copyright
©
2015 Tamara Rose
Blodgett

 

No part of this publication may be
reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any
means, or stored in a database or retrieval system without the
prior written permission of the publisher.

 

This book is a work of fiction. The names,
characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's
imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be
construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead,
actual events, locales or organizations is entirely
coincidental.

 

www.tamararoseblodgett.com

 

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Cover art by:
Willsin Rowe

Proofed by:
Corinna

Synopsis:

 

Talyn Phisher is a counselor in a world that
has been turned on its ear by an unthinkable discovery: vampires
roam among humans.

 

If all this upheaval was not enough, Talyn's
body is changing. Signs that something is seriously wrong plague
her. Having been told she's barren and there's no hope—Talyn still
longs for a family of her own, though the stories she hears from
clients tell her happiness is a long shot.

 

Talyn wants that shot. She longs for a man
who will put her first—for who she is.

 

Until a stalker's pursuit threatens
everything close to Talyn's heart.

 

When Talyn feels her life is in imminent
danger, she reaches out in desperation to the Final Enforcement, an
elite, fringe group of the police who do more than take the law
into their own hands.

 

Only to discover Talyn isn't what she thinks
she is.

 

And neither is the one who stalks her.

 

 

1

 

Call me old-fashioned
.
But I'm probably the last counselor in the world who uses a pad and
pen.

Everything is Brain Impulse Technology
now—thought-to-device driven.

Any other counselor would have their
pulsepad out, ready to record their thoughts and insights
directly.

But that method feels so detached to me. So
my pen sits poised in my left hand above recycled ecru-colored
notepaper.

I'm fighting a lot of urges today. The urge
to swing my foot as I listen to the hundredth same line out of a
different mouth.

I can't take my life
.

Counseling is unfortunately
only rewarding when a client comes along who really
wants
to be happy. Who's willing to be
dragged through the muck of their dysfunction sufficiently long
enough to find themselves coming up for air on the other side—and
discovering it to be fresh.

Of course, it's a case
of
physician, heal thyself
. Talyn
Phisher isn't happy.

I'm content
.

And that's a big-ass difference.


Dr. Phisher?”

Oops
. I jerk my head
up, caught. “Yes, Beatrice?”


Bea,” she replies
sullenly.

God, where is my head
?
Clearly—up my ass
, is my
mind's immediate response.


Yes, Bea,” I duck my head in
shame, take a deep calming breath then meet her eyes.

They're large and dark, one of the unusual
people where the black dot almost blends with the brown iris
swimming around the island of their pupil.


I was discussing my argument
with my foster dad.”

I nod, dredging sympathy when
what I really want to say is, pull up your big-girl panties
and
deal
, for fuck's
sake.

But that's entirely un-counselor-like of
me.

I shut my mouth and purse my lips for a
moment, desperately wishing for some lip gloss. Instead I say,
“Well, let's address things in order of priority.”


Okay.” Bea crosses her skinny
arms below fifteen-year-old breasts. Gaged ears wink at me like two
additional mouths. A tattoo climbs the delicate column of her neck,
the tail of a snake appearing to strangle her.

I'm unmarked.

Tattoos are the height of
popularity. They lost their stigma in the beginning of the
21
st
century. It's actually more rare that someone doesn't have
ink than those who do.

I tamp down on my sudden compulsion to crack
my knuckles.


This is what we have,
Bea.”

Her eyes dart around my office as though
looking to escape another dry lecture.

But I'm never dry. That's part of my
problem. Sometimes, my unorthodox methods get results. “You have to
make marked progress, or the courts will toss your ass straight
back to juvie.”

Her head whips back to me, shocked by my
frankness—my use of language, I'm sure.

Her black lipsticked mouth pulls into a
smile. “You're cursing, doctor.”

I smile back at her, old enough to be her
mother, though God knows that'll never happen.


And you're listening,” I
point out.

She flops back against the couch. “Okay, lay
it on me.” Bea's slim arms rest on the back of the sofa, her face
carefully schooled into neutrality.

Also a defense mechanism.


This is your tenth session,
and you spew the same crap every time. Child Protective Enforcement
suspects there's something wrong, and they have ordered counseling.
I will get to the bottom of it, no matter how many layers you
erect.”

Bea doesn't look especially surprised at the
gauntlet I've thrown down between us.

My teeth begin their normal, midday throb
and I apply pressure by clamping down. They don't hurt so bad that
I'm ready to go in and get them checked, but the muted pain is a
distraction I don't need.


You're asking me to get along
with a guy who's not my dad.”

I lean back, forcing a casual disinterest
that is the opposite of what I feel. My limbs begin to tingle.

I get that special feeling.

Breakthrough, baby.

Jesus, I thought it'd never happen.


Tell me a reason you
can't
get along. Besides him making you
eat food from a certain shelf. Or a curfew of eleven at
night.”

Many foster families have
assigned food shelves for non-biological children. It's a form of
silent prejudice. But that's not enough to nail this guy. I need
more. I suspect there
is
more. But
ten sessions is a long damn time to hold out on my gut instinct. I
do listen to my gut more than most.

My instincts never let me down.

The ticks from my archaic clock swallow our
mutual silence.

Bea leans forward, jagged short hair dyed an
inky black sweeps forward to cover an eye.

She rests her forearms on her thighs.

I wait.

A minute goes by. Two.


Tell me what he does to you,
Bea.” I feel the compulsion in my voice, and let it thread its way
to Bea with soft and deliberate insistence.

My teeth ache a tiny bit less, and I release
an almost silent but grateful sigh.

Her face lifts, the pierced bottom lip
trembling with the effort to keep that stoic expression glued in
place.

I sit up straight, pen and paper
forgotten—breath held.

Then she carefully unbuttons the cuffs of
her unseasonably warm long-sleeved shirt.

Healing lines of varying depths litter her
skin.

Cutter.

Her sad eyes find mine. My heart is in my
gaze, there for the taking. She reaches for it with such
hesitation. Then crushes the pulsating mess of my feelings with,
“What he does to me at night, or during the day?”

At night.

I don't plant my face in my hands but it's
close. I know what happens at night.

I've heard it before.

2

 

Being a councilor probably isn't a great
career choice for me.

Too empathetic.

I carefully shut the door after Bea exits,
leaning my forehead against the other side.

She won't be going back to that foster
family. Even now the cops are on their way to arrest that sick
excuse of a human being. He's done enough to Bea to get an
immediate lock up.

I'm not going to cry,
I
tell myself as the first, hot tear worms its way down my
face.

I press my face against the expensive door
inside the clinic I share with other doctors and bite my lip.

Pain sears where my teeth touch and I yelp,
immediately touching the tender spot with my finger.

What the hell?

I walk swiftly to the bathroom and gaze into
the mirror, looking closely at my teeth.

I don't like what I see.

My canine teeth, as they're called, seem to
be performing some kind of circus act and changing.

Unbelievable
.

As if that twenty plus extra pounds I'm
running around with isn't enough to worry about. Or my lack of A
Man in the picture.

Or my status of barren. Yup.

Now I've got a case of skank mouth to top
off the misery cake like a spoiling cherry. Swell.

I step away from the mirror with a shaky
laugh, tonguing off the bead of blood I put there. I'm sounding
like some of my patients who have nothing wrong with them except a
bad attitude.

I dab at my sore lip with a bit of damp
toilet paper and toss it in the commode.

Blood and tissue flow down in a swirl of
water as I flush. I watch it disappear as though transfixed.

I need to get out of here
.

Bea's story of molestation isn't something
that will be out of my system tonight. Or tomorrow night.

Or the next.

I'll head to the gym and burn off some
steam.

I use the bathroom and turn off the light. I
walk silently around my small office, doing the shut-down routine
by rote.

I turn off the desk lamp.

I upend the ashtray into the separator. The
illegal cigarette smell puffs up the nauseating after-odor.

I waft a palm.
God,
gross
.

Another horrible habit. But one I've found
is not something people can give up while also being challenged
with obtaining emotional wellness.

Nope, they need the cigs. So I write the
prescription that waives the legality part of it. The lesser of the
two evils.

I work my jaw back and forth, notice I'm
doing it and stop. My joints protest as I bend to pick up some
fallen threads and I sigh.

More working out
, I'm
only thirty-seven—not seventy-seven.

Lastly, I scoot around the coffee table and
squeeze behind my couch for patients.

The slatted blinds are already tilted up to
allow in light but offer a feeling of privacy for clients.

My fingers wrap the little knobs. I'm a
flick away from closure.

My gaze sweeps the narrow slivers of the
outside I can see.

The bluest eyes I've ever seen blink back at
me from paces away.

I scream, falling backward over the couch
and hitting my head on the coffee table.

Stars burst in front of my vision and I
groan.

I roll over on all fours.

Somebody's out there, Talyn!
Get your ass moving!

I shake my head to clear it. I lurch and
clutch the material of the couch, heaving myself to my knees. My
heart feels like it's trying for escape but I'm not some sissy.

Except for the scream.

I lean my torso against the back of the
couch, and peer out of the still half-open slats.

A semi-underground flight of concrete stairs
leads up to a busy metropolitan sidewalk where walking legs greet
me. Pant legs, bare legs and many different kind of legs flow
past.

There are no eyes.

I want to lie to myself. Shake it off as
though I was just seeing things.

But I'm not like that. In reality, I'm a
scientist. I study the brain. I study people.

I like it—
self-delusion
isn't my game.

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