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The Alpha's Mate

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"What's your name, princess?" Princess. It sent a shiver down my spine, and my entire body seemed to catch fire. "Angelique," I managed to respond in a hushed tone, uncertain if he caught my name amid the chaotic beating of my heart. "Angelique," he purred, his voice a sensuous melody, "a perfect name for someone as enchantingly beautiful as you are." My name rolled off his tongue like velvet, each syllable caressing the air. Holy sh*t, was it hot in here, or was it just me? "Uh, thanks. What's yours?" I inquired, capturing my bottom lip between my teeth. His gaze fixated on the subtle movement, and he moistened his lips with a slow, deliberate flick of his tongue, sending heat straight to my core. "Dante Greene. I'm surprised you haven't heard about me," he said, his eyes dancing with amusement, as if he could sense the effect he had on me. Could you imagine? I would literally die right now if he knew why I kept shifting in my seat. Gushes of heat were currently pooling in my underwear like a relentless waterfall, and the more he spoke and stared at me like a predator locked on its prey, the more intense it got... *** 17-year-old Angelique Baker is forced to move to a new town under mysterious circumstances. Starting a new school at the end of her senior year has already turned her world upside down, but just wait until she finds out she's mated to a werewolf and discovers the secrets her dad has been keeping from her since her mom's disappearance.

Chapter 1

Through the dark, eerie woods, I walked. The scent of pine and earth enveloped my senses, almost overwhelming, yet strangely comforting and familiar. Despite my unfamiliarity with this place, I pressed on with a confidence that felt innate, as though these woods were my home.

"Mommy?" I cried out.

Mommy? Why were we once again looking for my deadbeat egg donor?

Entering the clearing, a wolf with red fur appeared, as if anticipating my return. Its piercing, yellow eyes locked onto mine. "There you are, Mommy!" I exclaimed.

In a futile attempt to resist, I found myself wrapping my arms around the wolf's neck, burying my face in its soft fur. However, a sudden, menacing growl disrupted the moment. I turned to witness an even larger wolf emerging from the dark shadows of the trees, its yellow eyes fixated on us with a predator's unwavering attention.

"Mommy, we have to run!" I screamed, desperately urging the wolf to its feet. We bolted into the woods, the ominous wolf in pursuit. My blood pounded in my ears as I sprinted, my legs carrying me swiftly through the labyrinth of branches and vegetation.

The red wolf, my supposed mother, surged ahead, paying no attention to my desperate pleas. "Mommy, come back! I need you!" My outstretched hand grasped at emptiness as she vanished into the distance.

Glancing back, I discovered the gray wolf dangerously close, its sharp canines dripping with drool, ready to devour me.

"Ughh, please just kill me so I can wake up from this nightmare!" I pleaded with my subconscious as I ran. Each step felt like an eternity. My sprint abruptly ended when I tripped over a massive branch. I twisted around just in time to watch the wolf lunge at me.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

With a start, I jolted awake, breathless and bathed in sweat, the persistent beep of the alarm filling the room. "Okay, that's it. I really need to see a fucking therapist," I groaned, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. This marked the sixth dream of my mom, consistently ending with her leaving me for dead. I hadn't seen her since I was three years old, but since our move, my subconscious had been obsessed with her.

Exhaustion gripped me after a night of tossing and turning, anxiety about my first day at the new school weighing heavily on my mind. The nightmare only exacerbated the situation, contributing to the bags underneath my eyes.

"Angel, are you up? I hope you didn't snooze your alarm to go back to sleep!" a gruff voice shouted from the other side of my securely locked bedroom door.

Rolling my eyes, I responded, "Yeah, Dad, I'm getting up now."

"Good, you don't want to be late for your first day," he continued. "I made breakfast, so come down and eat before you leave!"

"Kay," I shouted back, watching the shadow of his feet disappear from under the door.

I rose from my bed and retrieved a green turtleneck dress from my closet. Heading into the hallway bathroom, I tamed my typically curly, golden-brown hair. With precision, I applied eyeliner, mascara, and a touch of green eyeshadow. Dressing up wasn't my usual style, but I aimed to reinvent myself for this new school.

I grabbed my backpack and hurried downstairs into the kitchen. Dad sat at the table, devouring a plate of scrambled eggs. He was a tall, stocky man with chestnut-colored skin, a square face, and big, dark-brown eyes. His head was shiny-bald, adorned with thick, bushy eyebrows, and a smooth goatee.

The plate of eggs and toast he prepared for me sat on the counter. I grabbed it and plopped down at the other end of the table. After a silent prayer, I shoved a forkful of eggs into my mouth; they were rubbery and bland but edible. I refused to even touch the scorched piece of toast. It was likely his first time using the toaster, and he must have cranked the knobs to the longest and darkest settings.

Forcing a smile, I remarked, "Wow, Dad, I can't believe you cooked. Thank you; I really appreciate it."

The corners of his lips curled in response. "No problem, baby girl. I just wanted to make you a special breakfast on your first day," he continued, "I know it's hard starting a new school, especially since this is your senior year. This is a new beginning for both of us, and I know we can make the best of it."

I simply nodded. Yeah, a new beginning that I didn't get to have a say in. I remembered him coming home from work one day in a panic. He told me that he was let go from his job to cut costs, but he had another one lined up in a small town south of Bryson City, North Carolina called WinterCrest Woods. We literally packed up and left that same night. If I didn't know my dad like the back of my hand, I would have assumed that he planned this on purpose for whatever reason, but it was safe to assume that this move was just another on the long list of stupid, impulsive decisions that he has made since my mom left.

I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that it was the end of my senior year, and I couldn't finish high school in my hometown because he didn't stop for a second to think about how this decision would mess up my life. I was still disappointed, hurt…but most of all, pissed off. He was so insistent that this move would be an amazing new start for us, but was it really a new start for himself? I was on the verge of turning eighteen in a week, and I was on track to graduate in three months with no clue about what I wanted to do with my life. How could I possibly find a purpose in this small town?

Chapter 2

I wolfed down the remaining eggs, more to avoid the taste than out of enjoyment. Grabbing my bag, I rose and headed to my little, beat-up burgundy car parked in the driveway.

Dad hurriedly stood up as I passed him. "Wait, I can take you to school if you want," he suggested, retrieving his keys from the silver hook on the wall.

I shook my head. "Oh no, that's really okay Dad. I need to learn how to get there myself anyway."

He narrowed his eyes. "C'mon, you can do that tomorrow. Let your old man drop you off on your first day." His insistence cut through the air, making it clear this wasn't just a suggestion anymore.

I rolled my eyes. "Ughhh, Dad, haven't you done enough? You've already dragged us to this hellhole, and now you can't even trust me to get to school by myself? I'm not a little kid anymore, Dad. I just need some space—five minutes where it doesn't feel like you're breathing down my fucking neck!" I exclaimed in frustration.

A shade of disapp


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