Romance

The Alpha's Runt

Dalila Rivera

In the world of werewolves, strength is everything. When runts are born, they’re still loved by their families, but they aren’t allowed to mate. As a result, their lives are short, with the oldest runt only living to twenty-two. A runt has been born within Alpha James and Luna Jenna’s litter of triplets. While Aqua and Misty are both 6’2, Mira is only 5’6—tiny for a werewolf. But she still manages to attract the attention of the visiting Alpha Phoenix Black… Can their love conquer tradition?

Age Rating: 18+

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The Alpha's Runt - Book cover
Romance

The Alpha's Runt

Dalila Rivera

In the world of werewolves, strength is everything. When runts are born, they’re still loved by their families, but they aren’t allowed to mate. As a result, their lives are short, with the oldest runt only living to twenty-two. A runt has been born within Alpha James and Luna Jenna’s litter of triplets. While Aqua and Misty are both 6’2, Mira is only 5’6—tiny for a werewolf. But she still manages to attract the attention of the visiting Alpha Phoenix Black… Can their love conquer tradition?

Age Rating: 18+

1: Prologue

In the world of werewolves, all are born with massive strength to fight, to build, to farm. They have high intelligence to solve problems, help those in need, and mastermind wars.

The average male werewolf is no less than seven foot and the average female no less than six foot five.

An Alpha’s children are born the strongest, but every once in a while a runt is born into the litter of the family. They aren’t shamed, killed, or locked up.

They’re still loved by their families, but they’re never mated for fear of producing more runts—which, in a werewolf’s view, can weaken the pack.

Because they aren’t allowed to mate, the runts tend to die young. The oldest runt to ever live was twenty-two years old. The youngest to die was thirteen.

Alpha James and Luna Jenna bear a runt within their litter. They have triplet daughters, the third being a runt. Their names are Aqua, Misty, and the runt Mira.

When the girls turn five, a son, Destan, is born.

As the girls grow up, they become very close and do everything together. By the time Aqua and Misty turn fourteen, they’re an impressive five foot ten while Mira is only five foot two.

By the age of nineteen, both Aqua and Misty stop growing at six foot five, while Mira stops growing at five foot six. Destan is an impressive six feet at the age of thirteen and built like a warrior.

One day, the Alpha and Luna receive a letter informing them Alpha Phoenix Black—an impressive seven feet with anger issues—from the Crystal Moon Pack will be visiting to look for his Luna.

His sights are set on Alpha James and Luna Jenna’s daughters.

Once he picks his Luna, she will be marked in front of the entire pack and taken away.

What will happen when his eyes fall on the beautiful Mira, the runt, the forbidden she-wolf . . . the object of his desires?

***

THE LETTER

19 Years Ago . . .

“Push, baby, push.” Alpha James held his wife Luna Jenna’s hand as she leaned over to push one of their babies out. “You’re doing great, baby,” he encouraged her.

Luna Jenna sat back to catch her breath. The pack doctor and three midwives spoke words of encouragement. One of the midwives wiped the sweat off Luna Jenna’s forehead.

Her hair was up in a messy, sweaty bun. She leaned forward again when the labor pains hit her hard. She squeezed Alpha James hand as she pushed.

“I see the head, Luna. You’re doing amazing,” the doctor informed her.

She pushed again and out came out the first baby. The doctor quickly cut the umbilical cord.

“It’s a girl.” He handed the newborn to Midwife Jackie, who took the baby girl to clean up.

“Okay, baby, that’s the first one. One more to go.” Alpha James kissed Luna Jenna’s forehead. She only nodded as she prepared herself to push again.

Jenna leaned forward once more and began to push.

“I see a head, Luna. Keep pushing!” the pack doctor urged her on.

Luna Jenna screamed as she pushed with all she had, and out came out her second baby.

“It’s another girl.” The pack doctor cut the umbilical cord and handed the baby over to the second midwife, Susan.

“Congratulations, Alpha and Luna, on your twin dau—” He stopped talking when Luna Jenna started to breathe heavily again.

“What is it? Doctor!” Alpha James held his wife’s hand as she leaned forward again and began to push.

“I believe she’s pushing a third child.”

Alpha James’s eyebrows went up in surprise. During all the sonogram visits, they’d only seen two girls. Not a third.

“I see a head.” The pack doctor called for the third midwife, Carrie, to stay by his side.

Luna Jenna gave one final push and out came another girl.

Both the pack doctor and Midwife Carrie looked at each other after he cut the umbilical cord. She quickly wrapped up the baby and took her to clean her up.

Luna Jenna finally fell back against her bed, relieved of giving birth.

“My babies . . .” she whispered with exhaustion.

Midwives Jackie and Susan came back with the first two girls all cleaned up and wrapped in pink striped blankets and a white hat decorated with pink owls.

Alpha James held both his daughters as tears flowed down his cheeks. He was so happy to be a father.

“Where’s my third daughter, Doctor Pryce?” Alpha James looked at the doctor.

“Alpha, Luna . . . Your third daughter . . . she’s a runt.”

James and Jenna looked at each other then back at the doctor.

Luna Jenna spoke. “Bring me my baby. I want to hold her.”

Doctor Pryce nodded. “I’ll have Midwife Carrie bring her to you, but only for a short while. She needs to be in an incubator for at least a month.”

Jenna’s tears ran down her face at the thought of not having her baby with her for an entire month.

“I’ll be back, okay?” Doctor Pryce turned to the new parents. “Congratulations on your new family.” He smiled and walked out.

“James,” Jenna whispered.

“Everything is going to be all right, my love.” He smiled at his wife. “We still need to name these two right here.”

Jenna smiled and pointed to her baby nestled in James’s right arm. “Aqua.”

James nodded then looked at the baby he lovingly held in his left arm. “And your name will be Misty.” His eyes were full of love and admiration as he stared at his wife. “I’m so proud of you, babe.”

She smiled tiredly at him.

The door opened and Nurse Carrie walked in with their youngest daughter. Jenna held out her arms, and Nurse Carrie carefully placed the tiny girl in her mother’s arms.

Jenna smiled at the black hair on top of her baby’s head. She held her close to her heart, inhaling her new baby scent that was now engraved in her heart forever.

She bent her head down slightly to kiss her forehead. As she did, the baby opened her eyes, making Jenna gasp.

“What is it? Is she okay?” James quickly voiced his concern.

Jenna only smiled, shaking her head. “Her eyes are the color of lavender.”

James’s eyebrows went up in surprise.

“My beautiful baby girl.” Jenna softly kissed her baby’s forehead. “My beautiful Mira.”

***

Present Day

Alpha James sat in his office holding the letter he’d received from Alpha Phoenix Black indicating that he was looking for a mate to make his Luna and raise a family with.

One of James’s daughters.

He placed the letter open on the desk as he rubbed his temples.

Luna Jenna walked in, sensing her mate’s distress. She walked up behind him and rubbed his shoulders. James leaned his head back against her breast.

“What’s troubling you, my love?”

He sighed then gave her the letter to read. Jenna took it and sat down as she read it.

Her light green eyes looked at him, not liking what she’d just finished reading. “Shit!” Jenna walked toward a sofa and sat shaking her head.

“We can’t let that giant brute marry Aqua or Misty.” She shook her head again. “The man is . . . massive . . . scary . . . massive.”

James laughed through his nose. “You said ‘massive’ twice.”

“I did, didn’t I?” Jenna softly laughed with him. “I have to contact the Council to officiate once he makes his choice . . . if he makes a choice.”

James ran his fingers through his thick black hair.

Jenna got up and sat on James’s lap. Both his arms wrapped around her waist. He felt her sudden sadness.

“What’s wrong, honey?”

Jenna slowly shook her head, taking a deep breath. “It’s Mira . . . She’s been weak for the past two weeks.”

“I have noticed.” James’s eyebrows furrowed. “Just this morning I caught her because she lost her balance going down the stairs.”

Jenna turned in his arms to look at him. “Why didn’t you tell me, James?” she scolded.

“I didn’t want to worry you, honey.” He sighed, knowing it was a bad decision from the glare in her eyes. “I’m sorry,” he quickly apologized. “Where is Mira now?”

“With Destan.” Jenna smiled. “He loves Mira so much. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his sister.”

“Well, he can keep Mira company while Alpha Black is here looking for a Luna,” James stated.

“Please. Destan won’t allow anyone within a foot near Mira, and Alpha Black is no different.” She stood up as she flipped her light honey-colored hair.

“Well, I’ve got some preparations to do, and you have a call to make.” Jenna walked out of his office to have a chat with her girls.

James reached for his cell phone in his pocket and dialed the number of the wolf council. On the fourth ring, someone finally picked up.

“Hello? This Alpha James.” He pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Hello, Alpha James. How can I help you?” the soft female voice on the other line asked.

“Uh, yeah, I need to speak to one of the councilmen.”

“And what is the reason for your call?”

James rubbed his forehead, frustration starting to surface. “To officiate a possible mating.”

The lady cleared her throat. “One moment, please.”

Alpha James sat back as he waited for one of the councilmen to speak to him. After a couple of minutes, he heard someone greet him.

“Hello, Alpha James, this is Councilman Gregory. I understand one of your daughters may be picked for a mate.” He was so cheery. “Who is the lucky Alpha?”

Alpha James took a deep breath. “Alpha Phoenix Black.”

The other line remained silent.

***

Mira was in the garden picking fresh flowers for her room. She picked violets, putting them up to her nose to smell them.

“Hey, what are you doing?”

Mira didn’t need to turn to know it was her little brother, Destan. He sat next to her, leaning against his palms with his long legs stretched out.

“I’m picking new flowers for my room.” She smiled up at him.

“Would you like some help?”

Mira looked at her loving brother. His green eyes were always warm and loving when he looked at her.

He had messy dark brown hair like his sisters—except Mira, who had dark black hair. He was the exact image of their father while the girls looked like their mother.

Aqua and Misty had gray eyes like their father while Mira had lavender eyes. How that color was even possible was beyond her comprehension.

Mira didn’t mind though. Her big lavender eyes made her stand out, especially with her dark black hair.

She remembered when Destan was born and how she’d helped their mother to care for him. By the time he was seven years old, he’d already passed her, but she still treated him like her baby.

They were very attached, even now.

It broke her heart how much he would suffer when she passed away. Which would be very soon. Mira knew what happened to runts like her.

The fact she’d lasted this long with her family was a blessing in itself.

Mira had been feeling the symptoms of her life draining for the past two weeks. She’d been losing her appetite and had lost some weight.

She knew Destan had noticed, and he’d been hanging around her much more than usual.

“Mira? Are you okay?”

She looked into his concerned eyes and smiled. “I’m fine, Destan.” She stood up as she held her flowers. “I’m ready to go inside now.”

Destan got up, grabbing her hand as they walked together back home. “Mom has an announcement to make.”

“Oh, okay. Let’s not keep her waiting.”

They both walked into the family room, where Luna Jenna sat waiting for their arrival along with Aqua and Misty.

“Ah, there you both are. Have a seat.” She waved toward the two empty seats. Once she had everyone’s attention, she cleared her throat.

“Your father and I have received a letter from Alpha Black of the Crystal Moon Pack informing us that he will be coming here to find a Luna among you ladies.” She pointed to Aqua and Misty only.

Both ladies looked at her unamused and not happy with this information at all.

Misty was the first to voice her irritation. “Mom.” She sighed in frustration. “I don’t want to be his or any other Alpha’s Luna.” She clenched her teeth.

“I do, but not with him.” Aqua voiced her irritation as well.

“Ladies, listen . . .” Luna Jenna began, but she was cut off.

“No, Mom. That’s my answer.” Misty angrily rose to her feet. She was an immaculate she-wolf. Misty was built with sexy muscles and was an excellent fighter.

Aqua, on the other hand, was curvier like Mira.

“Aqua and I should have a say in this. Just because some big bad wolf wants to visit us looking for a Luna doesn’t mean we have to accept him.” She was about to storm off when Luna Jenna agreed.

“I know, and you are right, Misty.”

“So call Alpha Black and tell him not to waste his time visiting us,” Aqua suggested.

“I wish I could, but he’s already on his way and will arrive here by tomorrow night.” Luna Jenna got up from her seat and dusted off her jeans.

“I have to speak to your dad.” She walked off to speak to Alpha James.

“Looks like you dodged a big bullet there, Mira.” Aqua smiled at her.

“Oh, he can’t be that bad.” Mira chuckled. “You didn’t even give him a chance.”

“He doesn’t need a chance when he’s not wanted,” Destan chimed in.

“I agree with Destan,” Misty deadpanned. “Besides, I’m training to be a warrior. Playing a devoted Luna and raising kids is not my ideal fascinating future.”

Mira looked down at her fingers, feeling sad. She would never get to experience something she longed to have.

Misty, seeing Mira’s expression, felt bad for expressing what she felt out loud. She was willingly throwing away what Mira wanted more than anything.

“I’m so sorry, Mira . . . I wasn’t thinking . . .”

“It’s okay, Misty. You shouldn’t have to keep how you feel locked inside just for me.”

Destan gave Misty a warning look, as did Aqua. Mira, noticing the exchange, quickly interrupted by asking Aqua for her reason.

“I understand why Misty doesn’t want to meet him, but what is your reason, Aqua?”

“My heart already belongs to someone else,” she said in a dreamy voice with a matching look on her face.

“Does Dad know?” Destan questioned with an eyebrow up.

“And who is it?” Misty waggled her eyebrows.

Aqua turned her attention to Destan, giving him that “you’re an annoying little brother” look. “No.” She rolled her eyes.

“But don’t you go saying anything either.” She pointed her finger at him. “He and I want to be the ones to sit Mom and Dad down and discuss our wanting to mate.”

“Eww . . . when you say it like that, well, it just sounds . . . gross.” Destan scrunched up his nose.

“Oh, shut up, Destan.” Aqua threw a pillow at him, laughing, but he caught it before it hit his face.

“Whaaaaat?” He laughed. “Oh shit!” He ran as Aqua chased him, leaving Mira and Misty to laugh, shaking their heads at their siblings.

***

Mira sniffed the violets she’d placed into the vase Destan had filled with fresh water. It was already late at night when she got into bed to sleep.

She opened the draw to her nightstand and pulled out five envelopes. Each one had a letter for each member of her family. She would make sure that they got her letters before she passed away.

Mira held the letters close to her chest as a single tear slid down her rosy cheek. She prayed out loud to the Moon Goddess. “Hello, Moon Goddess. It’s me, the runt, Mira.

“I just want to say thank you for allowing me to live for as long as I have. Thank you for the wonderful loving and caring family I was born into.

“All I ask is for my family not to hurt for too long when I die. I want them to be happy. And please look out for my little brother, Destan. He’s still young, and . . . well, you know already.”

Mira shut off her lamp and slid under her covers. Her big lavender eyes watched the moon as its light flooded into her dark room.

Her eyes began to flutter shut until she was fast asleep.

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