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Hazel Porter is perfectly happy with her bookstore job and her cozy apartment. But when a frightening encounter throws her into the arms of Seth King, she realizes there’s more to life—WAY more! She is quickly thrust into a world of supernatural beings she didn’t know existed, and Seth is right at the centre: a fierce, strong, gorgeous alpha who wants nothing more than to love and protect her. But Hazel is human. Can it really work?

Age Rating: 18+

Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.

 

Found by nightnoxwrites is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

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1

Summary

Hazel Porter is perfectly happy with her bookstore job and her cozy apartment. But when a frightening encounter throws her into the arms of Seth King, she realizes there’s more to life—WAY more! She is quickly thrust into a world of supernatural beings she didn’t know existed, and Seth is right at the centre: a fierce, strong, gorgeous alpha who wants nothing more than to love and protect her. But Hazel is human. Can it really work?

Age Rating: 18+

Original Author: nightnoxwrites

Note: This story is the author’s original version and does not have sound.

HAZEL

There was a chill in the air and the scent of winter approaching, crisp and smoky.

I wrapped my scarf tighter around my neck, warding off the cold as best as I could. Around me in the graying light, the last leaves were falling from the trees, marking the end of autumn.

I was on my way home from the bookstore where I worked, a twenty-minute walk from my apartment.

It had been a busy day. It was early November and people had already started to come in to buy Christmas gifts, and the bustle would last until January, when people came to exchange said gifts.

I rounded the corner and stepped onto the street where I lived, walked the short distance to my building, and gave a sigh of relief once I stepped out of the cold.

I lived in a five-story building, each floor with its own apartment. I walked up the first flight of stairs, which led to my door.

I straightened the little sign where my name—Hazel Porter—was written in my own neat handwriting, before I turned the key and let myself in. The familiar scent of vanilla from my diffuser welcomed me as I stepped inside.

My apartment consisted of a living room, a small kitchen, a bedroom, and a bathroom. It wasn’t much, but it was mine, and it was home.

I’d bought the place a little over a year ago. I’d been saving up ever since I was eighteen and had first started working at the bookstore.

Ten years later and I still worked there, not because I couldn’t get another job, but because I loved it so much.

My parents had wanted me to go to college, but the thought of more school had been unfathomable to high-school me.

Besides, I’d had no idea what I’d even study, so it was better this way. I hadn’t thrown money out the window on a degree I didn’t care about.

My parents had come around in the end, and though we didn’t see each other that often, we were on good terms and I was glad to see them whenever they came back into town.

They’d moved south in search of warmer climates two years ago.

I dropped my keys on the side table next to the door in the small hallway, shrugged off my coat, and unwrapped my scarf before hanging it on a hook on the wall.

I stepped out of my boots and placed them neatly on the shoe rack below.

I walked toward the kitchen, turning on the lights as I went. I was starving, and I rummaged through the fridge and cupboards on the hunt for some food.

I decided to make a simple omelet, not bothered to make anything fancy. The fridge was looking a little bare, and I made a mental note to go grocery shopping later that week.

With a full plate in hand I walked back to the living room.

I had chosen all my furniture carefully, wanting to create a calming, comforting space where I could relax and feel at home.

Neutral tones with a splash of color here and there were consistent in the Scandinavian-style decor throughout every room.

I plopped down on the gray three-seat couch, preferring to sit here rather than by the kitchen table—seating four—which I pretty much only ever used on the rare occasions I had people—mainly my parents—over for dinner.

I grabbed one of my blankets, a white fuzzy one, and draped it over my crossed legs. I switched on the TV and began digging into my omelet with enthusiasm. I was ravenous and it tasted heavenly.

“Another animal killing has been reported here in Pinewood Valley.

“The animal in question has still not been identified, and city residents are advised to take caution when hiking until the animal has been identified and captured,” the male newscaster warned.

This was the third one this month, I noted. Pinewood Valley was a town surrounded by forest on three sides, mostly consisting of pine trees, as the name suggests, and many residents were avid hikers.

Animal attacks had always been a risk, but they had been few and far between and usually happened deep in the forest, far from the actual town.

It was different now. Over the past few months, the attacks had increased in frequency and gotten closer to town. People were worried, and rightfully so.

I wondered idly what it could be while I shoveled the last pieces of my omelet into my mouth.

Maybe a bear or a wolf? All I knew was that it had claws. The victims had all presented with deep gashes and claw marks, blood loss being the ultimate cause of death.

I was glad that hiking had never really been my thing.

The rest of the news didn’t really interest me so I flipped to a different channel where some kind of sitcom was airing, and when I felt ready for bed I padded toward the bathroom to prepare for the night, turning off the lights on my way.

Once I was all tucked into bed I burrowed into the pillows, and soon I slipped into a peaceful slumber.

I awoke the next morning ready for another normal day at work. I got up, made toast, brushed my teeth, got dressed, and twisted my chestnut locks into a braid down my back.

I gave myself a once-over in the mirror, and the female version of my dad stared back at me, with the red-toned hair, blue eyes, and the slightly upturned nose.

I’d always looked like him—people had been telling me that for years—but the resemblance had seemed to increase as I aged.

The only thing I’d gotten from my mom were slightly fuller lips and her petite build. Being short had been a frustration of mine for years. I’d always wished I was taller.

I grabbed my coat and scarf and readied myself to brave the cold autumn weather.

I got to the bookstore in plenty of time, and I took advantage of it by making myself a hot chocolate in the break room with Crystal, one of my coworkers and best friends.

A bubbly young woman with caramel skin and curls in a slightly darker shade than her skin.

I felt optimistic, and I was sure it was going to be a good day.

***

By the end of my workday I was tired, but content. I really did enjoy my job.

I began my regular walk home, and all was well until I rounded a corner and found myself face-to-face with a hooded figure.

I stepped to the side to walk past him, but he held out his arm, stopping me in my tracks. Startled, I turned around to walk back the way I’d come from, but he wasn’t alone anymore.

The days were short this time of year, and it had grown dark.

There wasn’t anyone else around as far as I could tell. People preferred staying indoors where it was warm.

My heart hammered in my chest as I felt panic build within me.

The two men were large and muscular, and they were both wearing hooded coats, leaving their faces shadowed.

They pushed me toward an alley, making sure they were close enough so that I couldn’t escape.

One of them leaned in closer, and I could have sworn he sniffed me. I shuddered and my thoughts raced, playing out different scenarios of what could happen next in my head.

I wanted to scream for help, but I couldn’t seem to find my voice, and the scream was stuck somewhere in my throat.

“Well, well. All alone are we?” one of the men asked in a gravelly voice, his fingers grabbing hold of my chin, forcing my gaze to his. I couldn’t see it in the dark, but I could feel it.

The other one chuckled menacingly as he grabbed my arms and pushed me against the wall.

I squeezed my eyes shut, bracing myself for whatever they were going to do to me, because I knew that I didn’t stand a chance against them. My heart threatened to beat out of my chest.

All of a sudden there was a snarling sound and the arms that had been pinning me to the wall were ripped away.

A third man, impossibly bigger than the other two, was now standing in front of me, facing away from me. He was wearing nothing but jeans and a T-shirt.

In my daze from the situation, all I could think about was how he wasn’t shivering from the cold. It was a stupid thing to focus on, but I think I was in shock.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he asked the two men, who were squirming under the gaze of my rescuer.

His voice was rough, the fury in it almost tangible.

They didn’t respond.

“You are not welcome here. This is my territory.” His words confused me, but I was too relieved to pay much attention to them.

“Now leave,” he growled.

The two hooded men scrambled away in a hurry. As they began running, their dark shapes melted into the shadows and disappeared.

My rescuer stood in front of me, his posture rigid, slightly crouching, his arms raised at his sides like the wings of a bird protecting its young.

He didn’t move for several minutes after the two other men had left. Then he seemed to relax a little and he slowly turned to face me.

I couldn’t see him very well here in the shadowed alley. His large body was blocking most of the faint light coming from the street behind him.

“Are you all right?” His voice was still rough, but a tinge of concern softened it just a little.

“I think so,” I breathed.

“Do you live close by?” he asked me.

I was confused, and I was pretty sure my body was half in shock still, so it took me awhile to comprehend what he was saying and to be able to form words of my own again.

“A five-minute walk from here,” I was finally able to get out.

“I’ll walk you then. Make sure those bastards aren’t still hanging around.”

“Okay,” I said faintly.

I stepped back out onto the sidewalk. I didn’t hear the stranger follow me, so I turned to see if he was still standing in the alley and I ended up bumping into his chest.

He had walked so quietly—his boot-clad feet not making a sound—that I hadn’t realized he’d followed me.

“I’m sorry,” I mumbled, trying to hide my slight embarrassment.

“No worries.”

He had a light grip on my upper arms to prevent me from falling from the impact.

I looked up at him. He towered over me, but here in the glow of the streetlights I could see his face and I almost gasped.

He had scars, the shape of a claw mark across his face from his forehead, over his left eye, and all the way down to the base of his throat.

He had a handsome face, but the scars were so distracting it was hard to notice much else at first glance.

Combined with his massive size and dark coloring, it made him look dangerous.

Framing his face was a mess of dark curls, his green eyes almost startlingly bright. He met my eyes briefly before averting his gaze.

I drew my eyes away from his face, turned, and began walking toward my apartment again. There was a faint sound of steps as he walked behind me, much too quiet for a man his size.

My rescuer followed me all the way to my building, where I mumbled a thank-you, and he waited until the door was closed safely behind me before he left.

Once inside my own apartment, I leaned back against the door, my knees gave in, and I sank to the floor as sobs racked my body, the events of the night finally catching up with me.

Just the thought of what could have happened made me nauseous. After a while the crying stopped, and I got shakily to my feet and went to the kitchen to down a glass of water.

All the crying had left me feeling parched. I made my way to my bedroom as I had no appetite or energy to do much other than getting into my pajamas and falling exhaustedly into bed.

It didn’t take long for sleep to take me, but I kept waking up, plagued by nightmares the entire night.

When morning finally came I called in sick to work, something I rarely ever did.

I lay in bed most of the morning before getting up to take a shower, urged by a need to wash the memories of the previous night away.

At lunchtime I sat curled up in one of my armchairs, a towel wrapped around my wet hair. I called my mom, needing to talk to her about what had happened, in need of comfort.

She picked up on the third ring—it was fast for her—and I proceeded to tell her everything while fresh tears rolled down my cheeks, though not as furiously as last night.

I had cried more in the last twenty-four hours than I had done in the past six months.

In the afternoon I was finally able to eat something, and I found myself feeling more relaxed as I put on a familiar movie and snuggled up on the couch.

***

The next day I was back at work again. I was still a little shaken up, but I was determined to get back to normal. I wouldn’t let myself come unraveled by this one experience.

On the way home, however, my nerves almost got the best of me and I crossed the street before getting to that corner by that alley and walked on the opposite side until I had passed safely by.

I felt like someone was watching me from the shadows between streetlights, and I picked up my pace, wanting to get home as quickly as possible.

 

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2

SETH

Seth King was fuming. He marched into the pack house and headed straight for the alpha’s meeting chambers. He flung the door open and the weary looks of his inner circle met him when he did.

“How the hell did they get past the perimeter?” he thundered.

All the men standing before him bowed their heads, averting their eyes, unable to face their alpha.

An angry werewolf was always something to be wary of, but when it was an alpha you would have to be stupid not to be careful.

“There must be a weak spot somewhere on our patrols.” Nate, his beta, was the first who dared to speak.

“Then find it.” Seth’s voice was calmer now, but barely.

Those rogue bastards had almost harmed a human on his territory, and that was something he could not allow.

In addition to protecting the pack, the alpha was also responsible for the protection of all humans, or other creatures, within his territory.

Other werewolves trespassing and trying to hurt people on his turf was unacceptable.

“As chief of guard, the task of finding the weak spot falls on you, Thatcher.” He turned to the man in question and fixed his darkened eyes on him.

“Yes, my alpha,” the older man replied gravely.

“You are dismissed.”

The man got up, moving quickly out of the room so he could get to the task at hand.

“The two of you know what to do. Join the patrol, make sure they’re gone.” He turned to look at the two remaining men: his beta and his third in command.

“I’m going back to make sure she is still safe.”

The two men glanced at each other, exchanging knowing looks, but they said nothing, and they too departed to fulfill their task.

As soon as he was alone, Seth slammed a fist down on the round table in the center of the room, with a growl, before taking a steadying breath.

Then he proceeded to walk out to the back of the pack house, where part of the wall was filled with lockers.

He found an empty one and quickly undressed, placing his clothes in the locker and closing it firmly.

He then took off running at top speed, leapt through the air, and in a shudder that lasted no more than a second, he was no longer man, but wolf.

His paws were digging into the ground, pushing him forward, back to where he’d left the human woman.

He stayed in the shadows, making sure he wouldn’t be seen if someone happened to be out for a late-night stroll.

Being in wolf form made it easier to scent whatever he was looking for, his already preternaturally heightened senses even stronger then.

He sniffed the air, making sure the stench of the offending werewolves was nowhere to be smelled.

He created a perimeter around the building, which he then ran until—using the pack mind-link—his beta’s voice sounded in his head.

“All clear, Alpha. Perimeters secure, no sign of the rogues.”

He let out a relieved sigh before heading back to the pack house after a last glance up at her building.

***

Seth was anxious the whole day following the ordeal. No one was supposed to be able to pass his borders, especially not getting as far as the two rogues had gotten.

He headed to his meeting chamber for the daily briefing.

This morning the pack lawyer was there too, along with the beta and third and the chief of guard. Once Seth was seated, the rest of the men sat down too.

“I call this meeting to order,” Seth said, the authority of an alpha seeping into every word.

“There was a breech last night,” Nate began.

“Two rogues entered our perimeters,” Gabriel, his third in command continued.

“The weak spot has been located and secured. Overall security has also been increased and will be so for the next few weeks in case they or others try to cross the perimeter again,” Thatcher finished.

He was angry at himself for letting someone slip past the guards. As chief of guard it was a blow to his pride.

This was the sort of thing that could have put his position in the pack in question if he weren’t as respected and trusted as he was.

“Good. The human is safe too,” Seth said as he leaned back in his chair, one leg crossed over the other, and his arms on the armrests.

“We also have to talk about these attacks. It’s getting worse and closer to the perimeter too—though they keep skirting the line, always just out of our reach.” The frustration they all felt was evident in Nate’s voice.

“What shall we do, Alpha?” Gabriel asked, and all eyes were now on Seth.

A crease formed between his brows as he considered his answer carefully.

“We wait. Hopefully they’ll get tired and move on to new hunting grounds. If we go after them we risk being driven over to Alpha Caleb’s territory, and that will mean war.”

So it was agreed that they would wait and bide their time and hope that whoever it was out there either got close enough so they could attack and eliminate the threat, or simply left.

After the meeting, the group disbanded to tend to their individual duties—all except for Nate, who lingered with Seth after the others left.

“Out with it,” Seth said after seeing the look on his beta’s face.

“Gabriel and I were talking,” he began.

Seth lifted a questioning eyebrow. “And?”

“Well, is it her?” he asked finally.

Seth let out a soft gust of air and dragged a hand across his face.

“I don’t know. Maybe.”

***

Later that day, Seth scented her to a bookstore where it turned out she worked.

It had been easy considering his close encounter with her the night before. Her vanilla-and-honey scent was still clear in his mind.

He stayed close, watching her curiously. When she walked home he followed her, all his keen senses on high alert in case of more intruders.

Her obvious discomfort and nerves made him want to step out of the shadows and comfort her, smooth the crease between her brows, and tell her she was safe now.

He waited until she was safely home, like he had the previous night, before he wandered back to the pack house wondering how this human had captured his attention so completely.

He had had to save others before her, but no one had ever made him feel this protective before.

***

He kept watching her the following week, whenever he had some time to spare.

He told himself he was just making sure she was doing okay after such a traumatizing experience—that he would do it for any other human too.

But he was suspecting, as his beta and third did, that there was more to it than that.

***

The following Friday, a few nomad vampires were passing through town. They’d applied for permission and he had granted it as long as they promised not to feed on his land.

It had resulted in Seth feeling more and more restless, and when the day finally arrived, he found himself watching her even more closely.

He’d gone to her work and kept watch from a safe distance and followed her home as she went in to collect what had turned out to be a book before her walk led them to the park.

There she sat reading on a bench, completely lost in what she was doing.

He knew that if he looked closer at his behavior he would come off as a complete creep. He was literally stalking this woman at this point.

If she would have known he had been following her, he was sure she would be freaked out.

Seth sniffed the air and got a whiff of the vampires, and his body went rigid for a moment and his eyes darted to the reading woman. They were close.

He strolled down the path—forcing himself not to run—positioning himself on the bench opposite her, ready to defend her if he had to.

He pulled out his phone to check if Nate had texted him again, as the mind-link only worked when they were in wolf form.

Texting was their means of long-distance communication when they were in human form.

He heard her heartbeat quicken and he looked at her only to find her looking right back at him, a trace of wonder and curiosity clear in those blue eyes of hers.

When she realized she’d been caught, she quickly looked down and Seth saw a hint of a blush creep up in her cheeks. He stifled a smile before returning his attention to his phone.

Nate was giving him updates on the vampires. They had several guards tailing them, making sure they didn’t try anything stupid.

Apparently they had sentimental attachments to Pinewood Valley from before the area belonged to the werewolves of the King Pack.

They’d stopped at a few sites, but thankfully thirty minutes later he got a text that they were out of his territory again.

During these thirty minutes, Seth had made a decision. There was only one way to find out if his suspicions were true, and now was as good a time as any to do so.

He stood up and walked hesitantly toward the woman on the other bench and then he sat down next to her.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

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