Alpha instinct, p.5
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       Alpha Instinct, p.5

         Part #1 of Moon Shifter series by Katie Reus
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Page 5

  “I know,” Teresa muttered. “It’s just … I don’t like the thought of you sacrificing yourself to be Connor’s mate. ”

  To her horror, Ana’s cheeks heated up. Her traitorous body flared to life at the thought of mating with him. Her breasts were suddenly heavy as she pictured what he could do with those strong, callused hands. The mere thought of him rubbing his palms over her breasts and …

  “Woman, I don’t even want to know what you’re thinking about. ” Teresa sat up and brought her knees to her chest, a wicked grin on her face.

  Ana cleared her throat and tried to get her lust under control. Now was so not the time for this. And the mating would be only temporary. Her pack needed an Alpha until she could figure out what else she could do. She couldn’t keep warding off Taggart forever, and soon someone could truly get hurt because of him. If anything happened to one of her sisters—or any of her pack—she’d never forgive herself if she thought she could have done something about it. “Connor’s offer is a good one. At least we know him and his brother, and if the Council has officially recognized them it means they have the financial wherewithal to support all of us. ”

  “Yeah, I guess. ” Teresa pushed off the bed and stood. “Sleep on it and we’ll tell your sisters in the morning, unless you change your mind by then. ” She gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before leaving.

  After she’d gone, Ana stripped out of her clothes and fell onto her bed. Sleep on it. Good advice, but it wasn’t going to happen. Not with Connor in the same vicinity. Every time she closed her eyes all she could picture was that ruggedly handsome face, his broad shoulders, strong arms … Groaning, she turned over and screamed into her pillow. It was going to be an annoyingly long night.

  Lounging casually on the bench outside the Native American gift shop, Chuck took a long drag of his cigarette. He savored the smell and taste of tobacco. Darkness had fallen early, but downtown Fontana, North Carolina, was lit up like a fucking Christmas tree. Literally. Twinkle lights were strung up around most of the light poles in the historic downtown. Everything about Fontana was quaint, picturesque. Boring. Nestled between the Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain ski resorts, it was almost identical to the other mountain towns. Christmas was almost two months away but storefronts already had holiday scenes in the windows, and joyful, annoying music blared most of the day. The place was too damn peaceful, too cheerful. It was like the people didn’t realize a revolution was coming.

  What would it take for them to get it? When the streets were decorated with blood and bodies they would. Then it would be too late.

  Two different packs of fucking shifter animals lived right on the outskirts of town and people didn’t care. Most were even friendly to them. It was insane. Even more insane than all the interracial couples he saw lately. That shit just seemed to flood television and movies. Tainting the pure white bloodline of their ancestors with filth. People were so immune to it that nothing fazed them anymore. So why should a group of freaks who could turn into animals be any different? America had turned into the land of pussies.

  He took another drag of his cig and glanced away when a young white couple strolled by, walking a yappy little dog. The dog was a waste of space, but at least they were dating their own race. All the stores were closing, so most people were down a few blocks where the restaurants were, but he didn’t want to chance getting noticed. Chuck knew he looked casual enough. Wearing jeans and a dark blue hoodie thick enough to block him from the icy wind, he fit in perfectly. And the gloves he wore weren’t out of place. It was too cold not to be wearing them.

  His phone buzzed in his pocket. When he saw the number he rolled his eyes. This jackass was constantly checking up on him. Chuck could barely stand to look at Adler and his nasty burned face, but the older man was technically his boss. He wasn’t a high-ranking leader in the Antiparanormal League but he was still one of their local leaders. And if Chuck was honest, the man scared the shit out of him sometimes.

  He answered the throwaway phone on the third ring, knowing the delay would annoy Adler. “Yeah?”

  “Is it done?”

  “No. The bitch is still closing up shop. ”

  “Don’t kill her!” Adler’s gravelly voice was condescending.

  Chuck gritted his teeth. He already knew that. But because Adler’s boss was breathing down his neck to grab this woman meant Chuck had to take flack from Adler. “I know. I don’t need a fucking babysitter. I told you I could handle this and I can. It’s just one old woman. ”

  “This is your first assignment. Don’t get too cocky. ”

  But it wasn’t. Not by a long shot, he thought with a grin. Just his first with the APL. “If you have so many doubts why didn’t you do this yourself?” Chuck asked the question even though he already knew the answer. With his scarred face it was difficult for Adler to blend in anywhere. People would remember him. That’s why Chuck had been sent.

  “Remember who you’re talking to, son. ” The deadly edge to Adler’s voice sent an unexpected chill up his spine.

  Chuck cursed his fear and he cursed the man on the other end of the line for instilling it in him. He’d seen what Adler did to people who failed him—and to women in general. The man was a misogynist of the worst kind. He didn’t even like white women. Something Chuck didn’t understand. Women were great, all softness and femininity, as long as they were white. Adler didn’t seem to think so, though. He hated them all. Fucking idiot. And he wanted to tell him how to do his job?

  He cleared his throat. “No disrespect, sir. I’ll call you when I have her. ”

  As they disconnected, the lights to the store dimmed. Finally. How long did it take to close up her pathetic little shop? He glanced to the left and right. There weren’t any locals or tourists strolling by. Tourists didn’t venture into town after dark anyway. They usually spent most of their time at the big ski lodge a few miles down the road.

  The Indian woman, or Native American or whatever they called themselves now, flicked a quick glance in his direction as she stepped outside and locked her door. Her long, dark braid hung down her back. His free hand balled into a fist. With hair like that it would be easy to restrain her if she tried to run.

  Holding her purse tightly against her side, she hurried down the sidewalk in the direction opposite the restaurants. He’d been watching her for a couple days, so he knew where she usually parked.

  Tossing away his cigarette, he stood and kept pace a few yards behind her. His rubber-soled shoes were silent against the icy sidewalk. They’d salted the ground earlier, so it was easy to keep up.

  His heart pounded against his ribs as he closed in on her. Withdrawing his KA-BAR, he drew in a quiet, cold breath. He was so close he could reach out and touch her. The old woman didn’t even know he was there.

  A powerful wave of adrenaline hummed through him. This must be what those aberrations felt like when they hunted someone. Powerful. It felt good, filling him with an almost superhuman strength. Being the hunter was so much better than being the prey.

  As she neared the end of the string of shops she started to turn toward him. They weren’t going to kill her—at first—but he couldn’t risk her seeing him.

  Lunging, he slammed her face-first against the brick wall. Pressing his knife into her neck, he didn’t say a word. He loathed being this close to her but he didn’t have a choice.

  To his surprise she didn’t cower in fear.

  Flailing and struggling against his hold, she screamed. Loud and long. The piercing sound burned his ears.

  “Hey!” A hostile male voice from behind him startled him into action.

  Shit! Grabbing the back of her head, he slammed it into the wall. Adler wanted her alive, but she wouldn’t shut up. This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen. She was old and he had a knife. She cried out again so he slammed her again. This time she crumpled.

  “I’m calling the police!” This time the
male voice was louder, closer. He didn’t turn around because he didn’t want anyone to see his face.

  As the woman slumped to the ground he grabbed her deposit bag and sprinted down the street. Since he’d been noticed, he needed this to look like a robbery, nothing more. Adler would definitely kill him if anything got traced back to the APL. The police reacted fairly fast in this small town, so he had to hurry. As he neared the end of the block he took a sharp left, then stripped off his hoodie and tossed it into some bushes. His long-sleeved orange shirt was a far cry from the dark sweater.

  Only now did he risk a glance behind him. No one had followed him, but he kept running. He’d parked his car a few blocks over and he needed to make it there fast.

  Adler was going to be pissed that he’d failed. That thought alone caused another surge of panic to hum through him. Chuck had done a lot worse to stronger people. Why the hell had he gotten so cocky just because she was old? He’d been so focused on grabbing her that everything else around him had funneled out. That wouldn’t happen again. No matter what, he was going to get his target in the end. He always did.

  Chapter 3

  Ana stared into her steaming coffee mug as her sisters digested what she’d just told them. She tried to keep her thoughts focused on the conversation at hand but found it increasingly difficult.



  And more confusion.

  Too many emotions bounced around in her head. After the gentle hug from Connor last night and the unmistakable erection she’d felt against her abdomen, her insides were all twisted up. Fifty years ago she’d been young, naive and ready to take on the whole world. She’d been excited at the prospect of sleeping with someone like Connor. Hell, she’d even dreamed of mating with him. Something she’d never told anyone. After he’d left it had been too embarrassing—and painful—to admit her girlish fantasies to her younger sisters. They’d always looked up to her and she hadn’t wanted them to see her differently. Then time had passed and it had been easier to lock up those dreams in the deepest recesses of her mind.


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