I waited my whole life to find my Prince Charming…only to discover that the Moon Goddess destined me for the Devil himself.
His dark eyes cut like daggers.
His rough hands have sent many to an early grave.
And his low, menacing growl is enough to make anyone drop to their knees in surrender.
My wolf longs for his body. But my mind knows that life with him is nothing more than a death sentence.
Pack law states that I belong to Alpha Rainier Stone…that I must submit to his every whim and will.
But I will not cower before him like all the others do.
I will stand up to him, even if that means getting punished by the alpha.
Besides…who says getting punished is always a bad thing?
I make my way downstairs for some much-needed coffee. Sleep has evaded me for weeks now, and I know why.
I have been trying to find him since the first time I shifted into my wolf 10 years ago.
The older I get, the bigger the gaping hole in my chest grows.
A wolf needs her mate.
My mother always told me my mate would be my everything.
If only I could find him.
I am now twenty-six years old and still haven’t seen hide nor hair of him.
For all I know, he could be dead.
I live in Wisconsin and currently stay in the pack house. It’s a beautiful place, really. Snow-covered forests and glistening, frosted lakes make up most of my pack’s territory.
We have a small pack. Twenty-four wolves to be exact.
The pack house is a two-story lodge with a beautiful kitchen and enough rooms for all the unmated wolves, which isn’t many.
I finally make my way downstairs and walk into the kitchen.
I put on some coffee and stare out the huge window in front of the sink. Nothing but rural, frostbitten country for miles.
I genuinely love it here. It’s so quiet and peaceful I barely register someone walking into the kitchen behind me.
“Good morning, Lex,” my brother, Adam, says.
“Morning,” I say. “Want some coffee?”
“Should that even be a question?” He smirks.
Adam has always been my best friend and mentor.
Our father passed away when we were very young, and our mother raised us the best she could until she passed a few years back.
Our dad was a beta, so Adam was expected to take on that role when he became old enough.
Alpha Greg, our alpha, took him under his wing and taught him everything he needed to know.
Alpha taught him how to truly be a leader.
“Where were you last night?” he asks me.
“I went for a run. I needed to clear my head, and my wolf wouldn’t leave me alone.”
He knows how I feel about finding my mate. It has all but consumed me this past year, but he just says to have patience, that my time will come.
I want to believe him, but it’s so hard when you have been looking for as long as I have. Most wolves find their mates shortly after their first shift.
“Ah. Well, before I forget, I wanted to let you know the alpha from the Southridge pack and a few of his warriors will be down tomorrow to discuss some territory issues.”
“Okay, and why are you telling me this?” I ask him, tensing slightly.
Everyone has heard about the alpha of the Southridge pack.
He takes what he wants and kills whoever tries to stop him.
“We haven’t had a visit from the Southridge pack in years, so I don’t really know what to expect. You know what everyone says about him. Alpha wants everyone to keep their eyes and ears open. We don’t want a fight.”
I nod and wait for him to continue.
“Also, I’m going to need you to ask Linda and Julie to help you cook enough food to feed everyone when they arrive.”
“I’ll ask, but you know those two,” I tell him while pouring him a cup as well. “You have to literally beg them to do anything. Can Gennie not help?”
Gennie is my brother’s mate and my only friend. There aren’t many wolves here so I’m as close to being a loner as you can get.
“She would, but she’s in charge of cleaning and fixing up the dining hall.”
He takes his cup of coffee and turns around to leave. Before walking out the door, he looks back over his shoulder at me.
“Keep your head up. You will find him soon, and he will absolutely adore you,” he says and leaves.
The drive to work takes only five minutes.
Working at a bar isn’t exactly what I had imagined doing growing up, but it does allow me to get out and meet new people.
As soon as I arrive, I go straight behind the bar and begin cleaning up before the customers start piling in. I hear someone come through the front door and look up.
Gennie, my brother’s mate and my coworker, comes through the door and gives me a questioning look.
“Why didn’t you answer your phone last night?”
“I had a lot on my mind. Just went out for a run and didn’t get back til really late,” I tell her.
She gives me a small, pity-filled smile.
“Don’t look at me like that.”
“I just want you to be happy.” She smiles sadly.
She comes around to behind the bar and starts drying the glasses that I’m washing, and I give her my biggest smile.
“I’ll be fine. Just need to keep busy so I can keep my mind from wandering so much.”
She finally drops it, and we finish cleaning by the time customers begin to arrive. A couple hours later, the night is in full swing.
Bar patrons, humans and wolves alike, are pouring in, and I can tell it’s going to be a long night.
It’s been four hours since I arrived at work and it’s finally slowed down. Only a couple people remain in the bar.
A tall, blond human male flags me from the end of the bar, so I make my way to him.
“Hi, what can I get for ya?” I ask quickly.
His eyes roam my body, lingering on my chest before I snap my fingers to get his attention.
“Can I get you a drink?” I ask again.
“I’d like to get a whole lot more than a drink if it’s coming from you,” he says behind a smirk.
I roll my eyes and cross my arms over my chest.
I’m used to getting attention from males, but I’ve never been very interested in any of them that have hit on me.
I’ve had a couple flings here and there but nothing permanent.
I’m still holding out hope for him.
When the male says nothing else, I turn around to head toward the other end of the bar.
“Excuse me, but you didn’t fix me a drink,” the male says as I’m walking away.
“Excuse me, I gave you a chance to order, but you would rather make sleazy comments instead,” I say as I glare at him.
“I’ll take a vodka, on the rocks,” he says, smiling like a smug asshole.
I grab a glass and fill it with ice, feeling the human male’s eyes on me the whole time.
When I look up from the bar again, I notice a group of men I’ve never seen before entering the bar.
Just one whiff and I know they are wolves.
I lock eyes with the largest male and at the same time I’m hit with the smell of fresh rain and pine.
My entire world stands still as our eyes meet and I know, without a shadow of a doubt…this is the moment I’ve been waiting for.
I have finally found him.
I don’t move.
Hell, I don’t think I even breathe as we continue our complete stare-down.
I can’t look away and I can feel my wolf going crazy.
He starts walking toward me and that’s when I really take him in.
He’s tall, well over six feet, and has muscles for days.
He’s one of the largest males I have ever seen.
His hair is jet black, just like mine, and his eyes are the color of fire.
He carries such a powerful aura that has me shaking in my shoes.
Goddess, he is beautiful.
He steps up to the bar with three other males tagging along behind him.
“Mate,” I say out loud, before I can stop myself.
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