Alpha Kaden by Midika Crane is now available to read on Galatea, a reading app recognized by BBC, Forbes and The Guardian for being the go-to place for explosive new romance novels. Keep scrolling to read the first chapters or download the app for the full uncensored version.
I pull the edge of the curtain slowly back from the window and peer out onto the street. It’s getting dark out, the moon illuminating the deserted sidewalk. To any other eye, the scene might appear innocuous – peaceful even.
Everyone’s doors are closed, their curtains drawn. Their gates are locked and their kids are safely inside. But everyone is on high alert, like they are every night…
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Chapter 9 - Hide and Seek
“Well, what do we have here?”
Kaden sits smugly in his seat, staring at me through the open window.
He looks as if he’s just won the biggest prize in the lottery by stealing someone else’s ticket.
I take a moment to assess the situation.
I could run. I want to run. If I head off down the road, I won’t get more than a hundred feet before he catches up.
If I go back across the grass I’ll be faced with the Vengeance Pack wall, where he can easily corner me.
If I get in the truck, I’ll die. If I dash across to the other side of the road, I may make it to the woods and have a chance of getting away.
But I’ll need to make sure he doesn’t expect it.
“What are you doing here?” I ask, trying to gain myself more time to think.
“I was about to ask you the same thing,” he muses.
His lips crease in a smile that can only be described as evil.
He is evil. And he knows it.
“I’m leaving,” I state defiantly.
His expression turns to one of shock, like he can’t believe I’m actually sticking up for myself.
That is what I want him to think—that I’m truly standing up to him, rather than plotting my escape.
He was probably expecting me to run right away.
Then he grins. “I see. Without my permission?”
I stare. His permission?
“Does your husband know?”
“We aren’t married yet.”
He suddenly leans over the passenger seat and pops the door open. It’s like an invitation.
Cool air from the air-conditioning blows onto my legs, enticing me with icy fingers.
“Yet,” he says, tasting the word on his tongue.
Does he seriously think I’m going to hop into his car and ride off into the sunset with him?
If so, he’s seriously lost it, because that’s the last thing I’m planning on doing.
“Great,” he tells me. “That means you’re mine for today. We have a lot to discuss…”
“Discuss? I’m not interested in another one of your games,” I counter.
He sighs deeply, looking ahead of him.
Cars whizz past, hardly noticing what is going on here at the side of the road.
“Games are fun,” is all he says.
“Funnily enough, I don’t find your punishment fun at all.”
“Get in the car and I’ll show you how much fun my punishments can be,” he says with a devilishly handsome smile on his face.
I grit my teeth in disgust.
I see a water bottle in the holder next to Kaden. Then an idea pops into my head. “I will, on one condition.”
He narrows his eyes at me. I can tell he is curious. A condition is something he can manipulate; I can tell that’s what he’s thinking.
But this is something he could never manipulate…
“Give me that bottle.”
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He frowns. He has no idea what is swimming around in my mind right now.
“You want water?”
He grunts. “You’re wasting my gas.”
“And I will continue to until you give me what I want.”
“I could walk out of this truck and ruin your axs in front of everyone on this road right now,” he says.
A low growl of anger surfaces in my throat.
“But since I’m enjoying your antics, I will give you what you want.” He leans over to his cupholder, which contains a half-empty bottle of water.
He tosses it to me, and I manage to catch it.
I screw the lid open and take a swig. He’s watching me carefully, so I pretend that’s all I’ve been wanting this whole time—just a drink of water.
I slip into the car, but don’t close the door after me. The leather of the seats clings to my warm skin as I sit down. Kaden watches me with caution.
Taking him by surprise, I throw the water into his face.
Then, without staying to see his reaction, I’m out the door and sprinting across the road, dodging the traffic and praying I come out of this alive.
“I’m going to kill you!” I hear him shout from behind me.
Okay, so I may not live through this…
My throat starts to burn, as well as my thighs, as I rush through the undergrowth on the far side of the Highway.
I’m unfit, but I’m running on adrenaline. I push through the grass, the edge of the woods in sight. If I can reach it I can find a tree to climb and wait it out till Kaden gives up.
I twist my head around to see if Kaden is coming after me. I don’t see him. I’m not that surprised—he probably doesn’t want to cause a scene in public.
I make it to the woods and feel some degree of relief.
I weave quickly through the trees.
Luckily for me, it’s much cooler under the leaves, and there’s a lot of cover. My heart is still pounding furiously in my chest, however.
When I turn again to look over my shoulder, I still don’t see Kaden behind me. Have I lost him?
I twist around a tree, then press my back against it and close my eyes. All I can hear is the sound of my panting as I attempt to regain my composure.
If I don’t calm down, he’s going to hear me.
I hold my breath for a moment, listening for footsteps. Nothing.
“Mara?” I hear his voice say. It’s coming from somewhere to my left and it seems a good distance away, yet still too close for my liking.
I let my breath out slowly. I need to climb one of these trees and hide.
“You know how I like games?” I hear him calling.
I try to block out his voice.
He knows I’m in these woods somewhere, but hopefully he can’t work out where exactly.
I glance up, but can see no bough available to grab and hoist myself up on.
I say a few words no Purity Pack member should utter, even under their breath.
“Hide-and-seek happens to be my favorite,” Kaden calls. He sounds closer this time.
I tread quietly toward the next tree. It too lacks any branches I can reach. I feel cursed.
“I’m not going to put a bet on it, but I think I’m going to win this game,” I hear him taunting me, sounding much closer now. “Which means…”
He breaks off, and suddenly the world goes silent. Five seconds, ten seconds… It’s as if the birds stop singing, and I can hear my own heartbeat.
“You owe me.”
A pair of gloved hands grab me round my waist and pins me against a tree, making me scream.
“Let me go!” I yell, struggling in his arms. I can feel his breath hot against my neck. He’s probably smiling that sick smile of his.
“I’ve let you have your fun,” he mumbles in my ear.
He twists me around and presses me firmly against the tree.
I feel as if the wind has been knocked out of me; I can’t move.
His handsome face is so close to mine, I can see every curve and line of it.
His skin looks so smooth, I want to touch it, want to feel it under my fingertips for the first time.
Seeing a monster up close makes it impossible to deny it’s real.
He presses me more firmly against the tree, but it doesn’t hurt.
I’m distracted by Kaden’s proximity and the look he’s giving me.
For a second, I think I get a glimpse of a soul in his eyes.
He leans in, and I can feel the energy between us.
It seems to be drawing us closer together; his lips are tantalizingly near mine now.
I am conscious of his hips pressed against mine, ensuring I have no chance of escape.
And, weirdly, just for a moment, I don’t mind.
I’m enjoying it.
I’d only have to move an inch to kiss the most infamous killer in werewolf history.
His eyes are on my lips, and I wonder if he feels the heat between us as much as I do. It’s warming my face, my whole body.
I fancy I detect an internal fight going on behind his eyes.
It’s like I can see two devils dancing on his shoulders, arguing with him over what is wrong and what is right.
I’m not allowed devils, however, being a Purity Pack girl, which allows me to recover myself before he can and to push him firmly away.
He stumbles backward, and I take the opportunity to start running again. Except my legs are weak after what just happened—something that I don’t understand.
The pull between us was like nothing I have ever experienced.
We didn’t have to touch for me to feel the most pleasure I have ever had.
It doesn’t take more than a few long strides for Kaden to reach me and to pull me back.
“No one escapes me a second time!” he grates.
Despite my struggles, he keeps a strong grip on me. I’m not getting out of this again.
“Yes, keep saying my name like that. I love it when they struggle,” he taunts.
I shake my head furiously.
Suddenly, I feel his fingers against my neck and I realize what he’s doing. But it’s too late for me to do anything before I black out.
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