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Authors: Carina Wilder

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BOOK: Winning the Alpha
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Eight:
Baring my Soul

 

 

The following morning was my first private interview on camera. A few girls were called
into the mysterious soundproof room before me and while I waited, I had the requisite makeup plastered to my face and was given clothing to wear for the day. My onscreen persona was apparently supposed to be a stylish big girl; I supposed that Julia was right and they were in fact going for the plus-sized model look. When I saw myself in the mirror I felt better than I had the day before; I seemed to be getting accustomed to the fully made up face that looked back at me. My eyes were smoky and my lips red, and my hair looked naturally spectacular, as if I’d rolled out of bed and it had fallen into a sexy, wavy veil of perfection. They’d even managed to accentuate my cheekbones and I actually felt genuinely beautiful.

When I’d eaten breakfast I
cleaned the remnants of the bacon and eggs out of my teeth, which meant having Jay, the growling, very gay makeup artist reapply my lipstick. I was getting to like him a lot, which was a good thing since I fully expected to spend a lot more time with him. He was another shifter, a member of the pack, and he was a feisty thing. He was too small to be an alpha but I didn’t doubt that he put up a good fight when called upon to do so.

“Honey, you’d better not fuck this up,” he said. “You look perfect.
Don’t go sobbing to the camera about the other women or some other girly shit.”

“But Jay, if I screw up my makeup it only means you and I get to spend more time together. Surely you’d be delighted.”

“Hardly. Now get your curvy ass out of my chair. I have some nasty pieces of work to paint this morning.”

“Well, don’t be too nice to them. I wouldn’t want to think you play
favourites.”

“You know you’re my
favourite. I can’t stand skinny silicone-filled women who think they’re entitled to the world’s riches and handsome men. You’re one of the only real ones around, and I wish they were all soft and strong like you.”

Jay, of course, had a hard body, but I could t
ell that he meant it. A gay shifter who liked voluptuous, smartass women. I was beginning to think I’d died and gone to heaven.

 

I went into what was imaginatively called the “Meeting Room,” though it was really only a chair and a cameraman as I quickly discovered. After I’d walked in I heard the door close behind me. I turned to see Tristan standing before me, fully clothed this time. I supposed that I shouldn’t have been surprised to see him; after all someone would have to interview me and he was the man in charge.

Before
the camera was turned on he told me to take a seat.

“You look gorgeous, by the way,” he said. He was infinitely more charming than his alpha, this one.
And the alpha wasn’t the one who made my nipples stand at attention.

“Thank you.”

“Now,” he added, looking straight into my face. I was having trouble making eye contact after the previous night’s glimpse at his delectable man parts, but I realized quickly that he was incapable of feeling shame, at least about his body. And no wonder; if I were a man who looked like that I’d never put clothes on.

“I’m going to ask you some questions. I want you to answer honestly, but think about how the audience would want you to feel as well. Don’t act indifferent or unexcited; the whole point is to make them think you’re desperate to stay in the house.”

Well, that would be easy. I was indeed desperate; the thought of leaving this man behind was too much. I decided that my strategy would be to talk about Craig but to think of Tristan instead, so that any question about developing feelings could be answered honestly. I was no actress but it would be easy to lie if I could manipulate the system in my own way.

The
camera began to roll and he asked his first question: “So, what was your first impression of the man you met?”

What was my first impression of
Tristan? This really would be easy.

“He was gorgeous,” I said, smiling broadly. “I mean,
I was a little shocked at how attractive I found him. He’s tall and muscular. But that’s not really the important thing. He seemed kind and intelligent. And I got the impression that we really clicked, like there’s something…some sort of chemistry…between us.” I thought of the lightning bolt that had shot through me with our first touch in the mall.

I looked at
Tristan for a second, seeking his approval. He remained stone-faced and nodded solemnly to me. I wasn’t sure if he understood that I was talking about him.

“I just
hope he decides to keep me here,” I continued. “I want more than anything to stay in this house and see where things go. I mean, it’s too early to say anything about love, but there’s no question that I could see myself having real feelings for him.”

“And what,” asked
Tristan, “do you think about the twist, finding out that he’s a shifter?”

“Honestly,
this will sound strange but when I first met him, I smelled something. It was good, don’t get me wrong; like a musky smell, like…the manliest thing I’d ever smelled. I suppose in a way that I wasn’t surprised to find out he had a wild animal in him.” I was still thinking of standing in front of the exquisitely gorgeous producer in the mall, his scent hitting me, making me immediately desire his body.

“My mother…”
I said the words without thinking.

Tristan
’s eyebrows rose in an expression of curiosity. This was new, his face said. I realized that I shouldn’t have begun the sentence as I was now about to reveal a private detail about my family on television.

“…m
y mother sometimes tells me that men are wolves. When I was a little girl, my father disappeared. There was a rumour that he was a shifter, you see. Which means that I would be a sort of half-breed. But people told me there was no such thing, so I always figured that it was a legend. Somewhere, though, the story’s always lived inside me.”

Tristan
put his hand out and told the cameraman to shut it down, and when he was sure that the camera was off he walked up to me and said, “You didn’t tell me this.”

“When would I have told you? I’ve never told anyone, not really.
Like I said I didn’t think it was true.”

“I thought…no, I knew…there was something in you. Your smell, the way you pulled me to you. It was like a magnet was drawing me in. I couldn’t have stayed away if I’d wanted to. I still can’t.”

I felt heat surge through me, as though I’d suddenly grown feverish. Quiet excitement coursed through my veins and nerves, and I felt my body tingling as though a small series of shocks were shooting through it again, beginning in my head and traveling at the speed of light to the place between my legs that seemed so intent on getting closer to Tristan. I felt myself exhale deeply, trying to control the desire to take him then and there, reminding myself that it was particularly inappropriate to do so in front of a curious cameraman.

I stared at Tristan
, not knowing what to say. I saw in his face a hint of the feral expression that I’d seen the previous night in both men. But instead of a look of rage or challenge it was one of pure, animalistic desire.

Could it really be? I wasn’t a cock
y girl, the sort who would ever in a million years assume that a man would want me, particularly when he was surrounded by a herd of gorgeous women. And this was on top of the fact that the man in question was physical perfection; there wasn’t a woman on earth who wouldn’t want
him.

“Sir,” said the cameraman, interrupting our locked stare and moment of silent contemplation. “We need to move on to the next girl.”

It was interesting that the crew member didn’t call him by his name; there seemed to be a respect, a reverence almost.
Sir.
I liked it.

Tristan
responded with a low growl, which made the cameraman immediately back off. My producer was still staring at me, his hands on the arms of my chair, and I watched as his chest heaved under his breath. My eyes lowered and I saw a bulge in the front of his pants which threatened to tear them apart as easily as his wolf form might do; he wanted me in that moment as much as I wanted him and I knew it.

As if in response to his swollen cock, m
y nipples were firm now under the thin fabric of today’s dress and the lace bra I’d been given to wear. I wondered if it was deliberate, if the people in charge of wardrobe strove to reveal our arousal by supplying us with nipple-revealing tops. If so, they should be pleased with their success. And if there had been a monitor between my legs it would easily have gauged the heat, the wetness and the tightness of a pussy that longed to welcome into its depths the throbbing member which was only a foot away. The cock which I’d seen the night before and so wanted to take in my mouth, to pleasure the man until he howled with ecstasy.

Finally,
Tristan broke the silence. The poor cameraman, who was cowering by now in the corner, clearly feared this powerful wolf. If Craig was the alpha, there was no question now that Tristan was the second in command.

“Send the next
one in,” Tristan said, the same growling quality to his voice. The young man left, looking relieved. “I’d rather ask you more questions,” the gorgeous man in front of me muttered. “This isn’t right, that I can’t get to know you better. I need to. I must.”


Tristan…” I said.

“I know. You’re here for Craig, and I’m a traitor for even thinking these things, let alone saying them.
But I want you, Nikki. With every inch of my body I want you. I have since the moment I saw you.”

I wanted to reach down and rip my d
ress open, to shove his beautiful face into my chest, to ask him, beg him, to take my firm, sensitive nipples in his mouth. I wanted to tear his pants off and to eat him, to suck his perfect cock until I satisfied him. To push his face between my legs, doing what I knew he wanted to do to me. In that moment I would have thrown it all away; the show, the chance to stay around, for five minutes naked with this man. But I couldn’t jeopardize his future, his life. And after what I’d seen the previous night I could only imagine that Craig would try to tear his throat out if he learned that Tristan was after one of his women.

“I have to go,” I said. They were the most difficult four words of my life
so far, even though I knew I’d see him soon.

Tristan
stood and removed his hands from the arms of the chair. I looked down and saw that there were distinct indentations in the fabric from his strong grip, as though all the energy of his longing had been transferred into his grasping fingers.

He
turned away from me and said, “Go, then.” His voice was as tense as his body.

I left th
e room silently, full of regret but determined to keep myself in the game.

Nine
:
An Im
promptu Swim

 

 

That afternoon John
Stone, the host, came into the house. When he arrived I got the impression that most of the women were disappointed to see him. It wasn’t surprising; the entire structure of the show seemed to have been set up to create false cravings for Craig, depriving us of his presence to make us anticipate it all the more, and each visit from John was a manipulation. I almost felt sorry for him for being the guy no one ever wanted to see.

For my part, it wasn’t Craig that I craved.
I found my eyes shooting constantly to doorways, but never to the
front
door. I knew at all times that Tristan was somewhere in the same building as me and all I wanted was to lay my eyes on him. It was torture, but the reward of capturing glimpses of his tall form as he loomed over others, giving commands, made up for it. There was a chemical addiction forming that could only partially be satisfied with my brief moments in his presence; each sighting was like a shot of my drug of choice but each shot made me need more.

 

After summoning the “ladies” in his annoying way and gathering us around him, John made an announcement.

“Though you’re probably eager to go on a date with Craig,” he said, “we have another
, smaller twist for you, one that has only been added to the mix this very afternoon.”

Gasps from the crowd, angry grumbles and the odd giggle. I imagined John announcing next that
they’d just discovered that Craig was a vampire warlock with a foot fetish.

“Craig’s place within the hierarchy of his pack was earned through several criteria. He is the largest, the str
ongest, the wiliest of the wolf pack. He would like for you ladies to understand what it is to earn your place, to be put through a series of competitions in order to gain his favour.”

Ha! This would be good. I pictured beach fucking volleyball or some sort of “who has the firmest implants?” contest.
Craig didn’t strike me as the sort who’d ask a couple of women to sit and play chess to prove their desirability.

“The first
competition will be a series of trivia questions devised by our head producer, Tristan. Whoever answer the greatest number correctly wins immunity, which means that you can’t be eliminated this week. In addition, you’ll be able to choose who has the first date.”


Why would we choose someone else for the date?” asked Brittany. For once she had a point.

“You might not want to. But remember---if you win, you’re immune and don’t rely so heavily on the date. If you choose someone to go out with Craig, chances are that he’ll keep her around through the next dismissal ceremony. Think of it as a way to make an alliance
which could get you further in the game.”

I liked this twist; it meant that I could avoid a date with Craig while staying around, near Tristan. I had no doubt that he’d manipulated the rules just to give me the best chance of staying in the game.

Well, that was it: I had to win.

 

We wer
e taken outside and each placed in a sort of makeshift booth separated from the others by thin plywood walls. Each of us had a buzzer that we were to hit when we thought we knew the right answer to the trivia questions.

The first
question that John asked was easy: “What was the name of Elizabeth’s love interest in Pride and Prejudice?”

I smacked the hell out of my buzzer, then realized that it was unlikely that I had a lot of competition.

“Yes, Nikki,” said John.

“Mr. Darcy.”

“Correct. Joanna and Melanie, you were the last to buzz in so you’ve been eliminated.”

The two women walked to the sidelines and sat on a bench, looking frustrated and grumpy.

“Second question: What is the name of Charlotte Bronte’s most famous work?”

Really? Another literature question?

“Jane Eyre,” I said after buzzing in. Two more were eliminated.

The next questions were all to do with Dickens, Shakespeare, Vonnegut and other famous
authors. I could hear the candidates sighing, bitching, remarking how unfair this was. Meanwhile I smiled internally, only feeling the tiniest bit of guilt that this contest had been custom-designed for me.

“Now,” said John as I happily accepted my victory
, having eliminated the women one by one, “You may choose the lady who will have the first date with Craig.”

I thought that I would seem ins
ane not to take it myself, but there was one woman I wanted to keep with me and this was her best shot, I knew.

“Julia,” I said. “She should have it.”

My friend, who’d made it quite far in the trivia contest, gave me a hug. I knew that she was mostly in this competition for the excitement of it but who knew? Maybe the feisty redhead and Craig would hit it off in ways neither of them had imagined.

 

When the time came for Julia to be picked up for her date, the women gathered in the living room. I sat in the corner on a comfortable armchair, enjoying my vantage point for watching her greet Craig.

Having had a round in
wardrobe and makeup with Jay, Julia came out looking gorgeous. Whatever their planned date was had to be a fairly glamorous one as she was dressed in a backless, slinky blue gown.

“Julia,” I said, “You look gorgeous.”

“Thank you, darling,” she said, blowing me a kiss from across the room.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” said Brittany, flashing a forced smile.

“You mean like burst an implant when I fall on my Botoxed face? Unlikely,” replied Julia in a lilting voice. It was fun to watch Brittany change to a shade of crimson that rivaled the reddest rose. I guess Botox doesn’t prevent rage from showing itself all over a woman’s face after all.

The doorbell rang and Julia opened it to an enthralled Craig, who hugged her, told her how lovely she looked and briefly came in to say hello to us. Fr
om my corner I saw his eyes dart around the room, and I thought I saw him sniff the air before his gaze settled on me. It looked as though he was searching me out, but he didn’t seem particularly happy about it. Perhaps he was more embarrassed than Tristan about last night’s incident.

The cam
eras remained in the room after the pair had left, giving the women time to express their envy; how good Craig looked, how they wished they’d been the ones on the date. I didn’t partake; instead I tried to decide how to spend my evening.

When the camer
as were off and we were given the all-clear to do as we wished I wandered out to the backyard. The evening was beautiful and warm and the sun reflected off the rocky faces of the surrounding peaks, giving them a golden glow. The pool sparkled gently in the light and for a moment I imagined that this was my property; my home, pretending that the women in the house behind me didn’t exist. I slipped off my shoes and sat by the water, dipping my feet in.

A
s I looked to my left and admired the splendor of the mountains, a loud splash shocked my out of my reverie. Surely the remaining candidates hadn’t already changed into bathing suits? I’d thought I was alone.

I looked at th
e disturbed surface of the pool. As it calmed and stilled I saw a solitary form gliding through its depths towards me.

It wasn’t until he came close and his head emerged from the water that I recognized
Tristan. He swam up and put his elbows on the concrete edge, lifting himself so close to me that I could smell him.

“I didn’t know you were allowed in here,” I said. “The pool, I mean.”

“It’s not really kosher,” he replied. “but the only person around here who’s allowed to bark orders at me is on a date with your friend.”

“And I’m glad for the two of them
,” I said.

“Are you?” He was looking into my eyes as if trying to discern my sincerity level.

“Well, given that I could have taken the date for myself, I’d say it’s pretty obvious that I’m happier here. All I wanted was the immunity.”

“Why?”

I looked straight at him. All the teen angst-ridden shyness that I’d felt at first with Tristan was gone now. I had a feeling that we were on equal ground here. No---that’s wrong. I felt that I was in a stronger position than him; I held more cards, had more control.

“Why do you think,
Tristan? Why do you think I might want to stay here?”

“I shouldn’t have asked. I keep overstepping,” he said, his light eyes narrowing. I sensed frustration
building in him, both at being in a situation that was beyond his control and, perhaps, at being so close to me. His scent grew stronger and I started to feel aroused again, my own inner animal reacting to his.

The sun began to set over the mountains and
Tristan’s face was no longer lit by the sparkling light. His eyes, which had shone so bright against his dark wolf fur, seemed almost more intensely light in the shadows. As I looked at him a mischievous grin overtook him, replacing the look of frustration. He pushed himself away from the edge of the pool and began to tread water in front of me.

“What are you thinking?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he said.

As he moved closer, I began to utter “Liar,” but the word didn’t have a chance to escape my lips.
Tristan’s hands reached up, grabbed my calves and pulled me into the pool with him.

I dunked under, shocked by the sudden immersion, and when I came up again I slicked my hair back and laughed.

“You lupine bastard,” I said. “I hope Jay uses waterproof makeup.”

“Don’t worry,” said
Tristan, putting his arms around me and keeping me afloat. “He does. But even if he didn’t you’d still be the most beautiful woman in the world.”

His
face was right in front of mine, his perfect lips only inches away. I felt his hardness growing against my pelvis and as he looked down at my body he seemed to become even firmer and thicker, creating in me a flame of desire that I thought would burn me from inside.

I was wearing a white blouse and a lace bra
, the afternoon’s designated outfit, which had gone transparent under the water. My nipples were clear and pink in spite of the façade of clothing. The cold water had made them go hard and they beckoned to Tristan, challenging him to resist them.

On th
e bottom I wore a loose skirt of a thin cottony material. Most of it was now floating on the surface of the pool, exposing my bare legs under the water.

“My God, you’re sexy
,” Tristan said, looking me up and down, the grin still on his face.

He let me go
suddenly and bobbed downwards, his lips deliberately grazing my left nipple as he went. I gasped, looking around to see if anyone was close by. The sensation sent a shockwave through my body and I wanted to pull his head back up and command him to suck on the hard pink flesh through my clothes.

But he had other plans.

He was completely submerged now and I felt his hands on my bare thighs, spreading them apart as he kicked with his legs and kept us both afloat in some miraculous feat of water-treading.

His mouth settled between my
legs, kissing me through my panties, again and again, and finally his tongue stroked my flesh through the thin, soaked fabric. Our producer was breaking all the rules and I liked it. My excitement made me think I could come right then and there, and I didn’t intend to resist the impulse.

One
of his hands let my thigh go and gently his fingers pulled my panties to the side, and then, although I was already in a state of delicious sexual ecstasy, his mouth went at me in earnest and proved that my most sensitive parts could feel even more wonderful.

I didn’t know how he could hold his breath for so long; maybe it was a wolf thing. But I trusted him to know his limits and I
happily let him have his way.

His lips gently squeezed my sensitive pink
flesh and I shuddered. My body positively ached for him, my pussy contracting and swelling in anticipation of the cock or fingers it so completely desired.

I put my hands on his head and stroked his hair under the water, wondering what I should do if someone came out of the house. As I kept watch I allowed the pleasure of the sensation to take over; the tongue that ran the length of my lips over and over again and then settled on my clit
oris, stroking it gently but firmly as my nipples all but tore through my bra and blouse.

“Oh God,” I whispered, though he couldn’t hear me. “
If you keep that up I’m going to come. I’m going to come for you, Tristan.”

He seemed to feel my energy through my hands and he began to lick more vigorously while he pushed two fingers inside me and worked my delicate opening with gentle thrusts
, increasing his intensity as he lapped at my swollen pink bud.

I thought about his naked form
then, his perfect body; the strong wolf who’d turned into a god of a man and stood before me the night before. And then my mind settled on the image of his hard cock, standing firm for me, asking me to pleasure him, to fuck him, to eat him until he came for me.

BOOK: Winning the Alpha
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