Romance

Belle's Beast

Bernie R. Jones

Young, street-smart Annabelle is living a life of petty crime to stay alive when she's kidnapped by a group of mysterious men. She's fully human, so she's shocked when it's revealed that she is the fated mate of Phoenix, one of the men who took her. Phoenix is her soul mate and ferocious alpha of his werewolf shifter pack, and she is to become Luna (female leader) of his pack, ruling equally beside him. Annabelle struggles to fit into her new circumstances, but she can't deny the connection she feels to Phoenix...

Content Warning: 18+ (Child Abuse, Kidnapping, Violence Against Women)

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Belle's Beast - Book cover
Romance

Belle's Beast

Bernie R. Jones

Young, street-smart Annabelle is living a life of petty crime to stay alive when she's kidnapped by a group of mysterious men. She's fully human, so she's shocked when it's revealed that she is the fated mate of Phoenix, one of the men who took her. Phoenix is her soul mate and ferocious alpha of his werewolf shifter pack, and she is to become Luna (female leader) of his pack, ruling equally beside him. Annabelle struggles to fit into her new circumstances, but she can't deny the connection she feels to Phoenix...

Content Warning: 18+ (Child Abuse, Kidnapping, Violence Against Women)

1: Prologue

He watched her with his predatory gaze as she walked, he had no idea why she was out at such an ungodly hour or why she brought out the primal instincts he fought so desperately to suppress.

He watched the small brunette start to speed up.

She looked over her shoulder, at him, her gaze not at all frightened but confused. She sped up, and he chased. Catching her sweet honey and lavender scent.

She enticed him, he wanted her.

And now, he was going to have her.

***

The cold November air whirled around the almost barren streets. The sun had long passed set, and the girl should have been home hours ago.

Her apartment was two streets away, less than ten minutes if she sprinted. Her calves were burning as she continued to run, she wouldn’t last much longer in her current state.

She never had been athletic in the slightest, it was a massive disadvantage. Especially since she was outnumbered, five to one.

She had sensed a presence following her a few blocks back. Little did she know it was more than one man that had been tailing her.

She had no choice but to fight back, as four brawny men all tried to grab her. At that moment, for the first time in a very long time, the girl had felt complete and utter fear.

She had one advantage: she knew the layout of the city like the back of her hand.

She had lived in the run-down outskirts of London for four years; she knew the ins and outs of the sorry excuse of an area.

She ducked into a small alleyway, flipping over a trash-can with ease, knocking them over as she ran away. The decision to make noise proved fatal.

Instead of help, she was rewarded with the loud thudding of heavy booted feet as they followed the sound.

Her legs were screaming out in protest as they began to slow down, panic filling her.

She didn’t want to stop because the moment she did, it could be her last. Living in such a dangerous place she knew never to let her guard down unless she was behind closed doors.

Anything could be out there, if you let your guard down for even a second, it could be your downfall.

That was how she lost her best friend. She wouldn’t make the same mistake.

“Come on, love, I really don’t appreciate you taking us on a tour around this shit-hole,” a man called out, his voice deep and gravelly.

It was scary yet somehow inviting.

She trembled as she could hear them approaching.

Turning down another alley, she kept her gaze locked behind her trying to spy her pursuers. But she had already made her mistake.

She soon found herself backed against a cold brick wall. She tried to think where she made the wrong turn and what was on the other side of the wall.

The thick barrier of fear clouding her mind made it impossible for her to think straight.

She could only think about how the sound of footsteps echoed around her. Or how her shallow breaths formed around her in white clouds, like screams in the eerie midnight air.

By the time she realized that she was in the alley behind Giovanni’s pizza place, connected to the intersection, one block away from her apartment; it was too late.

The man grabbed her wrists trapping her, and she tried to pull away yelling at him to let go.

Deep down she knew her resisting was futile. In this neighborhood everyone looked out for themselves.

No one would come to her aid, even if they could hear her cries.

They dragged her to the dark car on the corner, she could feel a foreign feeling invade her body. It was like her stomach dropped to the floor.

Any light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel was becoming dimmer with each passing second.

There was the resonating sound of a door slamming and then silence. She could feel warm wetness on her face.

The silence was broken by her gasping for air as more broken sobs left her mouth. The car was completely silent apart from her sobbing.

She was overwhelmed with the onslaught of emotion that she felt. She hadn’t felt such raw emotions in so long, she had learned to block it all out.

But now all at once, she could not stop the liquid feelings that were running down her face, no matter how hard she tried.

She had not cried this hard, not when her real home was turned to ash.

Not when the orphanage gave her to that monster.

Not when her best friend was murdered right before her eyes.

Not once in her nineteen years of life had she let her emotions so out of control.

One of the men in the car picked her up and placed her on his lap cuddling her to his body. The warmth and comfort she felt from him startled her a whole lot.

Although her body craved his comfort, she pushed him away. Gritting her teeth as she fought to get away from his arms which caged her in.

This was the man who took her away from her home.

It wasn’t the best home, but it was the best life had been in some time and now because of him she had lost it all.

The life that she had begun here would mean nothing. And knowing the neighborhood nobody would notice or report her absence.

“Get your fucking hands off me!” She growled out through her tears, her voice was strong and commanding.

You would never believe she was crying if you couldn’t see her face. The man smiled at her; he was proud of her.

She will make a perfect Luna, he thought.

“But you are crying my love, let me hold you,” he whispered into her hair.

The girl was taken aback by his answer.

Did he not realize that he had caused her pain? This was a strange man; he had kidnapped her and now he wanted to hold and comfort her?

“I’m crying because of you!” she cried out in disbelief and anger.

The mysterious man seemed hurt by her outburst; his face turned stormy. He was angry.

He held her even tighter in his arms, her crying face buried in his chest. He sniffed her hair, the sweet scent seemed to relax him.

He whispered sweet nothings and false apologies in her ears in an attempt to soothe her. If he meant any of it then he would take me back, she thought sourly.

“You should sleep.” His voice was no longer soft as he spoke, it was dominant but somehow still enticing.

She glanced at him, scowling.

She resisted, unwilling to bend at his command, but her eyes disagreed with her protests. Her fight had drained her energy leaving her exhausted. Her eyelids were heavy with tiredness, on the brink of sleep.

There was a warm feeling surrounding her; she had never felt anything like it before.

As much as she hated to admit it, this strange man who had abducted her was holding her and it felt okay.

***

When she awoke, she was partially relieved to see that she was alone.

Her body was under a black comforter. It decorated a four-poster bed lined with black satin sheets. She felt so out of place in the regal room.

The bed was in the center of the room, two shady oak bedside tables adorned the sides.

At the foot of the bed was a beautiful white chaise lounge. The floor was decorated with a white rug that lay spread eagle in front of the stone fireplace.

Off to the left were two double doors, which led to a humongous walk-in closet.

Next to this was another door that led to the blinding white bathroom. The beautifully clean counters and rainfall shower only made the girl feel more out of her depth.

She was brought back to the present when a man came into the room, he looked to be in his early twenties from what she could see.

He was tall standing at six-foot-four, which towered over her measly five-foot frame. He had slight stubble on his face and his piercing gray eyes burned with a fierce intensity as he stared at her.

He was alluring with his beautiful sun-kissed skin.

The girl held his gaze with a challenging glint in her eyes, he was the man from the car last night…

Her head spun with possibilities: would he kill her? Use her? Sell her?

Her mind wandered to the worst possibilities. Growing up in chaos could have that effect- she only expected the worst in life - from an early age she had learned to do so.

She had not noticed that the man had spoken to her, asking her name, or if she had noticed she chose to ignore him.

“What do you want from me? Are you going to kill me?” She looked back into his eyes defiantly, both gazes strong and unflinching. Green to gray.

“I will never hurt you nor do I want anything from you, my love.” The man said, he had a deep masculine voice that made her stomach flutter.

It was an unfamiliar feeling, though she didn’t understand why.

“I only wantyou.~”~

She stepped back unsure of what he meant. “I don’t even know you.”

She didn’t understand why she somehow wanted to be near him, or how since she woke up her body had been craving his touch. She liked it when he touched her and when he held her, she wanted more.

She wanted to touch him too, and not in any way other than being innocent. She cleared her mind of such things, disappointed with herself.

“Please, I just want to go home!” she said, looking away from his beautiful face.

He chuckled. “My name is Phoenix, and you are now mine.”

He could see the instant alarm on her face as he said those words, he had just frightened her. It didn’t help that he was walking closer, caging her in.

She looked around like a cornered animal, but found no possible escape routes.

“I belong to no one,” she whispered, her green eyes burned with a fierceness, the will to survive.

Her knee shot out like lightning aiming straight for the space between his legs.

He had no time to react, he fell to the ground holding his groin while a pained groan escaped him. She dashed out of the room, not once looking back.

She heard a loud roar, which sent fear dancing up her spine, only pushing her to move faster.

On the landing, she could either go left or right, both options led to a staircase from what she could tell.

Turning right, she hurried down the stairs brushing past a woman and almost knocking her over.

She had no time to apologize as she kept moving fearing what would happen if the man caught up to her.

She found herself racing down another grand staircase. Turning corners into various corridors to escape, but she only made herself more lost.

She came to a dark wooden door; it was massive and intimidating in how regal it looked.

Could this be her way out? There was only one way to find out.

She pushed open the door, glancing over her shoulder briefly to make sure that no one was around. She stepped inside only to be met with nearly a dozen pairs of eyes on her.

She felt so intimidated with so many men staring at her, but she never let it show. Her gaze was firm but desperate as she looked at them.

“Please—”

The word died in her throat as she felt a presence behind her.

His presence.

He walked around her body to behind the large oak desk that sat on the other side of the room.

“Leave.” His voice was commanding, she found herself unconsciously flinching at the sound.

She watched as all the men in the room quickly dispersed, their heads down, leaving them alone.

She stood gripping at the familiar sleeves of her worn-out hoodie. Besides that, she was no longer clad in her ratty old jeans but in a pair of boxers.

It was definitely his boxers.

She could smell his enticing scent covering the material, which oddly comforted her. Although she would never admit that she liked it so much.

“Come here.”

His voice was no longer like when he spoke to her before, but it was that same commanding tone he used on those men.

She decided it was unwise to fight him anymore, he was still reeling in anger from her outburst. She complied, walking carefully toward him until she was in front of his desk.

She was nervous, she had made him angry and she didn’t know how he would react, would he slap her?

She could probably take it; it wouldn’t be the first time.

He made a come-hither motion with his finger, she walked around his desk even slower.

When she was an arm’s length away, he grabbed her and pulled her onto his lap. One hand went to her hip as he raised his other hand to her face to push back her hair.

Startled and expecting a blow she flinched away as much as she could while trapped in his embrace.

“I told you I would never hurt you, my love,” he murmured gruffly to her, pushing her brown tendrils behind her ear.

She gulped. Her face tingled in response to his fingers which brushed against her soft skin.

“Now love, tell me, what’s your name?”

“Arabella.”

Her voice was barely louder than a whisper as she looked up at him. Her green eyes wide, his steel-gray eyes staring back at her, capturing her in a heated gaze.

She felt a small tug in her stomach as he looked at her.

Something about that gaze told her that she would not be leaving this man’s side.

“Arabella.” He whispered in wonder, like whispering a prayer. “Well, Arabella, I’ve been waiting for you for a long time, and now that I have you, I’m not going to let you go.”

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