Kiera is a rogue, exiled from her wolf pack after losing both her parents. When she accidentally trespasses into the pack lands of King’s Clearing, she is offered a comfortable but sheltered new life; one that comes with a considerable catch. The pack’s alpha king, the handsome but short-tempered Harrison Blackwolf, needs an heir after dismissing his previous mates and asks Kiera to become his new mate. As the couple try to put aside their differences, they soon find that sharing a home — and a bed — is the least of their worries.
Age Rating: 16+
“Please... Harrison... Alpha... don’t do this…”
Harrison stood coldly above the young woman, the darkness in his eyes showing just how little he cared. His tall, solid frame towered over her, and his black hair fell into his eyes as he stared downward.
The girl knelt on the floor, crying and begging for him to not do what she knew he was intent on doing. He had made his choice. She wasn’t worthy of the title. She would end up just like the other girl, rejected and ruined.
Harrison took a deep breath.
“I, King Harrison Blackwolf, reject you, Scarlett Pace, as my mate.”
The girl gasped as the mate bond was ripped from her, the rejection stabbing like a knife as she crumpled on the floor.
If Harrison had been affected, he didn’t show it. He stood firm, his resolve unchanging as he looked down at her.
“B-b-but why?” She sobbed. “You didn’t even give me a chance.” Her whole body heaved as her violent sobs filled the room.
“You are not worthy of the title. You are not Queen Luna material. It is too much for some and I can tell just by one look that you can’t do this.”
Harrison spoke without emotion, his words cold and unfeeling.
“I need someone strong, someone who doesn’t need me to coddle them or take care of them. I need a queen.”
“You’re a monster,” she whispered.
As he walked away he heard her break into loud cries once again, confirming in his mind that his decision to reject her was the right choice. Just as rejecting the girl before was the right choice.
We won’t get another chance, his wolf, Bear, growled. ~You only get one second chance. Looks like our alpha line will end with you…~
Harrison growled at his wolf, “Thank you. You’re being very helpful.”
He walked down the hallway, meeting his beta on the way to his office. “William, the girl is in my apartment. Make sure she is packed and escorted off pack land.”
William let out a sigh. “Yes, Alpha.”
Harrison could tell this was a job that William would rather not do. Nothing was worse than dealing with an emotional, sobbing she-wolf after a rejection.
He walked into his office and closed the door, making his way to the desk before dropping into the chair with a huff. He leaned against his elbows that he propped on the desk, rubbing his face in his hands.
He was strong. The rejection of a mate didn’t hurt him as badly as it hurt others. But he couldn’t deny it was draining, more mentally than physically.
Especially this time, considering he had just rejected his second-chance mate.
“This is a good thing. Now we can find a mate strong enough for the position. It will be easier.”
What are you going to do? Hold auditions? Bear muttered sarcastically.
“I mean... we could…”
I WAS BEING SARCASTIC!! YOU RUINED EVERYTHING!! NOW WE’LL NEVER HAVE A LUNA AND WE WILL BE CHALLENGED!! Bear yelled, angry that they had rejected a mate for the second time. There was no third-chance mate. This was it.
“We will find someone more suitable. Someone to give us an heir,” Harrison grumbled before beginning his work for the day.
Kiera walked into her tiny basement apartment with an exhausted sigh. She threw her purse on the old, hand-me-down couch and walked to the kitchen, kicking off her shoes along the way as she looked through the few pieces of mail she had.
“Bills, bills, more bills. Why is it always bills?” she muttered, throwing the stack of mail on the counter and grabbing a glass from the cupboard.
“Why can’t one of these days it be a fat check from some rich aunt I didn’t know existed...”
As she leaned against the counter she took a long swig from her glass of water before closing her eyes.
She stood there in the kitchen, imagining herself running through the forest without a care in the world, her wolf free and living in a place where she could be herself always.
Kiera walked down the hall and into her bedroom, finally stripping out of the greasy uniform she’d been wearing for ten hours that smelled of stale coffee and bacon.
“I need about six showers…,” she muttered as she walked to the bathroom.
She needed to wash off the remains of Mr. Howard, the old handsy diner patron that came in daily. That, and the food smell. She turned on the water and stood beneath it as the hot water and steam washed off the day.
Suddenly the water stopped, making her yell and leaving her with a face covered in soap. “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!” she screamed, fidgeting with the knob before giving up and wiping away the soap that was slowly stinging her eyes.
As Kiera wrapped herself in a towel, thankful she had at least been able to wash her hair, she angrily walked out to the bedroom and looked through her stack of bills.
She let out a growl as she realized she hadn’t paid the water bill. She looked at her bank account with a sad groan, realizing she didn’t have enough for the water bill and that’s why it hadn’t been paid in two months.
“What am I going to do?” she said softly, sitting down on the bed as tears began to fill her eyes.
We have a few water bottles in the cupboard... rinse off with those? her wolf, Poppy, offered pathetically.
Kiera gave a sad chuckle before wiping the tears from her eyes.
“No matter how much I work, I still don’t seem to have enough…”
She pushed her long, red hair away from her face and let out a sigh.
She got dressed, not willing to let this new setback break her. She’d done enough crying in the last eight years to last a lifetime. She wasn’t going to start again now.
She looked in the mirror, her faded blue tee-shirt hung off her shoulder and her shorts had holes in them. Kiera looked at her reflection with a sigh.
Her silver eyes were tired and worn, exhausted from the constant trial that was her life. She shrugged and left the room, making her way out to find something to eat.
She walked to the fridge, her long red hair still dripping from her shortened shower.
As she opened it, Kiera noted how empty it was. She let out a frustrated grumble before walking to the pantry and pulling out a package of instant noodles.
“Meal of champions right here…,” she muttered before boiling some water.
As she ate her ramen straight from the pot, she sat alone in her apartment, quietly reading a book. She didn’t have a TV. There was no point—it wasn’t like she could afford cable or any streaming services.
Someday we’ll get out of this dump. Find a nice place in the mountains with lots of space…, her wolf, Poppy, whispered hopefully.
“That would be nice…,” she replied, wishing the same. “Maybe tomorrow evening we could drive down to the mountains and have a run.
Could we really? Poppy begged. ~It’s been AGES!~
“I know,” Kiera whispered. “We hardly ever have a day off, or the time. But Bill gave me tomorrow evening off, so we could totally do it.”
Kiera spent the rest of the night alone as usual. She didn’t have anyone except herself.
When she had lost her parents eight years ago in a tragic car accident, she was shunned by her pack and sent away. The pack didn’t want to deal with a sixteen-year-old orphan, so she was quietly exiled and swept under the rug.
The beginning was hard. Kiera had been homeless for the first few months, working during the day as a waitress and sleeping in a shelter at night.
It had been terrifying but had forced her to figure out her life quickly and she had become strong and a bit of a fighter.
As Kiera drifted off to sleep, she dreamed of a day where she wouldn’t have to worry about the bills piling up or where the money would come from. She wouldn’t have her shower cut short or her meals from a package that she was sure were expired.
Someday, she would have a home.
When Kiera woke in the morning, she went to work. She had the breakfast shift, which meant her morning was early and quiet.
She took the bus to work as usual, sitting silently by herself as she and everyone else on the bus minded their own business. You didn’t talk on the five AM bus.
As she walked into the diner, she took a deep breath at the sound of pots and pans clanging in the back of the kitchen. Bill was in the back, yelling at one of the other cooks, and she could smell the coffee brewing in the corner.
“Let’s do this then…,” she whispered to herself, mentally preparing herself for the busy breakfast shift.