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The Lonely Alpha (A Werey Merry Christmas Series Book 1)

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In the small, snow-covered town of Evergreen, Christmas preparations are in full swing, but far up in the surrounding mountains, a heartbreaking discovery is made forcing Melanie to return to the town that her parents called home. Amidst the festive cheer, Morgan, a lonely Alpha with a difficult past, struggles with the weight of his loneliness. He yearns for companionship and family, watching enviously as others come together during the holidays yet he refuses to allow any of the humans that inhabit the town to get close to him, instead, watching from a distance. After a second tragedy strikes as Melanie travels back to her parent's home, she finds herself trapped in a snowstorm with the lonely Alpha, forced to hole up in his isolated Cabin to wait out the storm. As they find themselves growing closer, Morgan faces a difficult decision with the woman who refuses to let anything dampen her spirit and seems determined to bring a ray of sunshine back into his life. Will he keep her at a distance or will he finally allow her to break down the barriers he constructed around his heart long ago?

Chapter 1 A Grizzly Discovery

Morgan's PoV

The mountain trails lay before me, a never-ending labyrinth of pristine white beauty. Its rugged terrain was notorious for its unforgiving nature towards any soul fool enough to wander without caution.

Snow blanketed the earth in a suffocating silence, each step I took was muffled on the carpet of white. Towering pines stood guard along the barren tracks, their branches heavy with the weight of winter. These are the remote pathways of my exile, my kingdom of solitude where the wind whispers secrets only to those who dare listen.

"D*mn," I mutter under my breath as my boot catches on a hidden tree root, buried beneath the fresh snowfall and I stagger, the sled bumping painfully against the back of my shins, a reminder that even I am not immune to nature's subtle traps.

It is then that I see them and I freeze momentarily at the unexpected anomaly in the desolate landscape that I call my home.

Two figures lie sprawled on the ground, their bodies contorted in unnatural positions. The snow around them is undisturbed which tells me that they've been here, unnoticed, undisturbed, and unmissed. for at least a few days.

"Well f*ck," I mutter out loud as my heart clenches at the sight, a rare flicker of concern seeping through my hardened exterior. They're pale and waxy skin is covered in frost and their lips are a deadly shade of blue. Little crystals of ice had claimed their eyelashes, giving them an almost ethereal appearance but in reality it was a cruel mimicry of the tears that they might have shed in their final moments.

"Can you hear me?"

With a grim expression I crouch down, knowing full well there will be no answer. My breath forms clouds in the frigid air as I inspect them for signs of life but there's no mistaking the signs of hypothermia. I had been out here long enough to know the warning signs and these poor folks were well beyond any help that I, or anyone else could get them.

"What on earth brought you all the way out here?" I murmur more to myself than to them, my voice a low growl lost to the indifferent wilderness. Their presence here is an unwelcome puzzle piece in my isolated existence- a painful reminder of the world that I tried to ignore beyond my snowy borders.

I scanned the horizon hoping to see some sign of where they came from, perhaps the wreckage of a car that had rolled off one of the few badly maintained trails here but I had no such luck.

I sighed heavily as the weight of duty anchored itself in my chest and a sudden scent enveloped me and infiltrated my senses as the wind gusted past.

I frowned.

There was no mistaking it, a storm brewed in the distance somewhere and it was making its way towards me. At least I had found them before the storm hit. They would have been buried under six feet of snow if I hadn't chosen to visit this trail in my search for more logs for the winter.

"I should've stayed away from mankind in the first place and settled elsewhere," I snarled to myself, irritated that I would now be forced to interact with the people of the nearest town, but still regret washes over me, "But no, old habits die hard, don't they, Morgan?"

I shake my head, pushing back against the loneliness clawing at my insides and forcing myself to face the reality before me.

I was sure that these people didn't ask to meet this end, no one in their right mind would, and I knew deep down that I had to push against my own issues for the sake of the people before me, their lives extinguished too soon, and the silent plea for dignity in their last journey.

"The Mayor of Evergreen will need to know." I muttered to myself, "I may hate the majority of the bastards down there, but I'm not without honor. The least I can do is return these people to their own kind."

With a deep breath, I steeled myself against the biting cold in preparation to face the repercussions of my good deed. If there's one thing I haven't lost, it's the power to protect- to care- even when it's the last thing I want.

I move towards the bodies and hear a low growl coming from under the trees and my eyes flick in their direction as I freeze, my lips pulled back in a snarl of challenge against any would-be attacker.

There, nestled under the boughs of a pine tree was a large dog, its fur encrusted in snow and he watched me cautiously through the biting curtain of snowflakes that fell relentlessly.

"Stay put, boy," I growled warningly as the dog returned the sound with gusto, rising to its feet as I slowly approached the closest body to me.

I crouched beside the frozen figure of the man and pushed away the uneasy feeling that washed over me as I took in the eerie stillness of the death mask that had settled on his features.

"I'm going to get them out of here," I said, turning my head towards the dog slightly.

As I wrapped my arms around the corpse, preparing to hoist it onto the sled, a sharp snarl followed by an aggressive bark sliced through the air. I gritted my teeth as I locked eyes with the dog, knowing full well that his protective instinct had most likely been roused by my actions.

Without warning it leaped forward, its lips pulled back in a terrifying snarl...

"Easy!" My voice is firm, brokering no argument even as the growl rumbles through the dog's chest. "I assume these are your owners. I mean no disrespect. I'm trying to help."

I don't really know why I'm trying to reason with the animal, but something inside of me can't bring myself to force the dog to submit.

In reality, all he was doing was protecting his people, his pack that he had now lost. Being without family was something that I was now used to but I remember how confusing and lonely it had been at first.

The dog doesn't back down immediately, its hackles raised and its eyes locked onto mine. It's a standoff born not just of aggression, but of grief and mistrust.

I wish that somehow, I could make him understand that we both wanted the same thing, to protect these people and see them home safely.

"Trust me." I command, pushing my aura behind my words and finally, after a few tense moments, reluctantly, the dog's stance seems to soften. His growl subsides into a pitiful, grief stricken whine, the fight seeping out of him as slumps down onto the ground and resumes his watchful position beneath the tree.

I move slowly, and my muscles tense as I lift the body once more, the strain evident in the tight set of my jaw.

"Death is a heavy burden, in more ways than one." I snort as the dog watches me carefully.

As I place the man onto the sled, I can't help but think of my mother, Eleanor's, words, spoken in a time that seems a lifetime away:

"Each life is precious, Morgan. Guard them well and protect those that are not able to defend themselves. We are only as strong as our weakest link always remember that."

I smile sadly down at the bodies in front of me.

Chapter 2 Two Hikers

Morgan's PoV

"That's what I'm doing, Mother. Even if it's these strangers' last rites, I will see them to their final destination safely and protect them with everything I have."

With the bodies loaded and secured to the sled, I turn back to the dog who looks at me with eyes full of sadness.

I wonder briefly when he last ate and fished around in the backpack for a few seconds, retrieving a bag of Jerky I had cured before winter set in.

At the sound of the packet opening, the dog's ears perk up and he cocks his head at me. I suppress a smile as I take a piece and squat down, hoping to make myself seem a little less imposing.

"Are you hungry? Come here doggo!" I called, lifting my voice an octave in the hopes of enticing him over and much to my surprise, it worked.

It stood and trotted over cautiously, stopping a short distance from me as it sniffed the air tentatively, its eyes focused on the strip of meat in my outstretched hand.

"Here," I s


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