Alpha

Rachel lives and breathes the world of magic. As an heir to the throne of a secret werewolf culture, she stands in the doorway to the spirit world, staring in the face of things her pack can only imagine. That is the way. Her parents understand, as does the next Alpha, Andrew, her predestined soulmate. But when the scale is tipped out of balance, they're both placed in a race against time to save their pack and everything they have ever known, plagued by a question of morality: What is right? Or, more importantly, what's wrong?

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4. Andrew

 

I had stood through three Choosings before this. Every one, someone tried to Choose me, and I would simply turn my gaze upward, neglecting them as any Alpha could while being kind. Now, I looked Rachel in the eye, refusing to look away from the green I saw there, hidden at her center behind the richest textures of brown. This was it.

“Since the Ancient Times when Luna Chose the sun as her mate, we her children have done as our mother has shown, standing where she could see and approve our match with love and care,” said Dad with the ritual, smiling at both Rachel and I. “Let us hope that this season, as any season, she blesses each Choice with the kindness and joy of any mother. For the young mothers of our future, I present to you your men.”

And the girls all stood still for a moment before they remembered that it was their turn now—to move and claim a man for theirs to keep. One girl followed Rachel to stand in front of me, a lean red-haired girl. As soon as Rachel spotted her, she scampered off to find another man, one two years younger than me and half my size. My smiled returned to Rachel.

She smiled and eyed me, and I felt a shiver of anxiety. “What do you have to offer, for me and my future?”

I took her hands in mine and replied quietly but firmly, “I offer you my home, my strength and my bite. My fur when you need comfort, and my kills when you bear young. My breath is yours to take.”

She blushed and deliberated. She must have known that I was holding my breath, my next heartbeat hanging on her answer. Slowly, she began to nod, as if my offering would just barely suffice to her standards.

“I accept.”

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