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The Alpha’s Mate (Necklace Chronicles Book Four)

Bad Alpha Dads

By R. E. Butler

Copyright 2018

The Alpha Wolf’s Mate (The Necklace Chronicles Book Four)

~ A Bad Alpha Dads Story ~

By R. E. Butler

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of the author.

Cover by CT Cover Creations

This ebook is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination and not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locations is coincidental.

Disclaimer: The material in this book is for mature audiences only and contains graphic sexual content and is intended for those older than the age of 18 only.

* * *

Editing by Hot Tree Editing

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Thanks to Joyce & Shelley for beta reading

Much thanks to Gwen Knight & CE Black for inviting me to write a Bad Alpha Dad!

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For Bonnie. You are dearly missed.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Coming Soon

More Bad Alpha Dads Stories

Contact the Author

Other Books by R. E. Butler

Jilly’s Wyked Fate (Coming April 2, 2018)

The Alpha Wolf’s Mate (The Necklace Chronicles Book Four)

By R. E. Butler

Ryde Mitchell, alpha of the largest wolf pack on the Eastern seaboard, has no time for anything but ruling his pack. The only bright spot in his life is his daughter, Brigelle, who at age seven has managed to wrap him entirely around her pink-polished fingers. He knows that Bri should have a mother, but he can’t spare the time to even consider choosing a female from his pack to mate, and assures his sweet daughter that he’ll have time for her as soon as pack tensions settle down. When Bri decides to cast a spell on her father’s behalf to bring him the perfect mate, she has no idea the storm of trouble she’s bringing their way. All she wanted was for her dad to have a mate and for her to have a mom. She didn’t want to put her father’s life, or her own, on the line.

As the sister of the vampire mistress of the city of Arbor, Dominique Tremaine has seen her share of weird. Born into a powerful family, she spends her time dealing with the vampires in their large kiss and helping keep their city safe from encroaching shifters, who would just as soon stake them as form alliances. When she finds a beautiful necklace hanging from her vanity mirror, she assumes it’s a gift from her sister and puts it on. The instant the medallion touches her skin, she passes out and wakes up in the most unlikely of places – an alpha wolf’s bed.

Ryde is furious that his daughter went behind his back and spelled for his mate. Not only does he have zero time to woo the utterly sexy blood drinker, but with all the pack unrest, the last thing he needs is to mate with his people’s mortal enemy. If he keeps Dominique, he could lose his pack and his life, but he doesn’t know if he can walk away. Especially not when he witnesses how connected his daughter and his mate are. If he takes a stand for Dominique, he could lose everything, but he’s not sure he can let her go.

Chapter 1

Ryde Mitchell ran his hand through his hair and put down the pen he’d been using to jot notes in the pack law books. Things were changing for their people, and the laws had to change with them. Generally speaking, he enjoyed being alpha of the largest pack on the East Coast. He could snap his fingers and have any number of females in his bed at a moment’s notice. Which he’d enjoyed a hell of a lot more when he was younger. Now that he was thirty, and he had a seven-year-old daughter in the house, he didn’t tumble in the sheets as often as he used to. He pretty much only fucked on the full moon, when his libido would ramp up until he assuaged it with a willing female.

There was a knock at the door to his office. “You’re still up?” Finn, his second-in-command, asked.

Ryde settled back in the chair and looked at him. “Just finishing. What’s up?”

“Broke up a fight tonight.”

Ryde’s brows rose. “Between who?”

“The Tanners and Pohlens.”

Ryde rubbed the space between his eyes with his thumb. Family units within the packs were always at war with each other. One group thought they were getting the shaft over another, or thought they were favored more than another. Although they were all part of one pack, and he was alpha, it was really almost like there were a hundred small packs that he was managing.

“Why were they fighting this time?”

“A fence on the Tanners’ property was broken overnight, and they were certain it was the older boys from the other family. I couldn’t get anyone to confess, so I just threw both of the elder males into the cage.”

The cage was essentially a jail that had been created in Ryde’s forefathers’ time out of a barn. When he took over as alpha five years earlier, he’d renovated and staffed it appropriately. He would prefer it if he never had anyone in the cells, but the truth was that wolves were volatile and shit happened.

“I’ll stop in tonight.”

“I can take a message on your behalf.”

“Why would you do that?”

“It’s late.” Finn’s gaze darted to the framed picture on Ryde’s desk.

Brigelle, his seven-year-old daughter. The apple of his eye. The only bright spot in his life.

“She’s in bed already.”

He assumed. He actually had no idea. He’d been dealing with pack shit so much lately that he couldn’t even remember when he’d done more than just kiss her cheek in passing or stuck his head in her room to see her sleeping. She-wolves from his pack took care of her for him. He hadn’t been in love with her mother, and they weren’t truemates, but she’d wanted a pup and he’d decided it was a good time in his life. That was before he’d become alpha, and he hadn’t known how busy he would be once he took over.

Unfortunately, when the pup turned out to be female, her mother decided she was better off with a male from another pack and had dropped Bri off on his doorstep when she was only a few weeks old. Ryde’s mother had raised her on his behalf until she died two years before, and he’d eagerly passed her off to the pack females at that point. He knew it wasn’t fair, but there really wasn’t anything he could do about it until he settled the unrest within the pack. If his people would quit fighting internally and realize the real threat to their borders were the vampires, then they could focus where they needed to – on securing their borders against the bloodsuckers and ensuring their next generation survived to take over.

Finn cleared his throat. “Ah. Okay. I’ll leave you to it. If there’s nothing else?”

He shook his head. “See you tomorrow.”

“It already is tomorrow.”

With a snort, Ryde dismissed his second. He glanced at the clock and closed the book. He’d deal with the males in the cage, and then he’d check in on Bri.

Leaving a note to himself to draft a letter to the family group leaders about focusing on the vampires and not their own petty squabbles, he left the office on the first floor of the mansion he called home and walked the hundred yards to the cage. He glanced behind him and saw his daughter’s bedroom window on the second floor of the three-story home was dark, save for the pale blue glow of her nightlight.

Turning his attention back to his duties, he entered the code to unlock the building and walked inside, a growl in his throat and his fangs at the ready.

Chapter 2

Dominique Tremaine stood to the side of her sister’s throne and watched as she slowly ate a green apple in front of a group of vampires. She supposed it looked terrifying to the males on their knees waiting for Natasha to render her verdict, but all Dominique saw was her sister exaggeratedly eating an apple. With her fangs.

Natasha let the core drop to the floor, and then she dabbed at the corner of her mouth with a silk napkin. Straightening her shoulders, she slipped her manicured fingers through her pale gold hair and said, “We’re fighting with each other when we should be fighting against the wolves, who threaten to stake us at every turn. Every day I mete out punishments for those vampires who fight each other, and I’m weary of it.”

Natasha cast her silver gaze to Dominique. “Make an example of them.”

She opened her mouth to ask how she wanted that done, then snapped her teeth together with a click. Natasha didn’t like being questioned in public. Or ever.

Nodding, Dominique gestured to the guards. “Take them to the courtyard and chain them. I’ll be along shortly.”

The males on their knees begged for mercy as they were dragged away from the throne by the guards, burly vampires who had vowed themselves to Natasha’s service when she killed the previous mistress of the city of Arbor twenty years earlier.

“You could have just punished them yourself, or killed them outright,” Dominique said as she faced her sister.

“It’s easier when you do it for me. Plus it’ll be good for your reputation for the upcoming ball.”

She tried not to roll her eyes. Her sister was forever trying to get her to mate with a master of another city so she could have more allies. Natasha wouldn’t mate with a male herself because she’d have to share her rule with him, and male vampires didn’t like playing second fiddle to females, especially publicly.

Not that Dominique was looking for a mate, either. The masters of the cities around Arbor were either old or assholes. Of course, being immortal meant they didn’t age once they reached maturity, but some of them were so old that they had super-outdated ideas of a female’s place in the home. The last thing Dominique wanted was to be mated to a male who wanted to take her independence and make her a broodmare. She was Natasha’s chief advisor, the one person in the entire coven who was closest to her. She’d earned her place by learning about coven politics and studying their laws when she was young. She’d always known her sister would become mistress of a city someday, and she’d wanted to be there to help her.

Their father had been a renowned warrior who had died in the great wolf-vampire war of 1993. Their mother had returned to the coven of her birth and married another male. Neither of them had spoken to her in years, even though technology was so much further along now than it had been decades before.

Dominique turned to her sister. “Do you think Father would be proud of us?”

Her pale brows rose. “Of course. He’d be even prouder after you take a powerful male as your mate and join our cities together.”

“I suppose you have someone in mind?” she asked dryly, not bothering to hide her irritation.

She looked somewhat aghast at the notion, but Dominique wasn’t fooled. “Jahnpaul is powerful, and handsome.”

“If you say so.” Actually, he wasn’t. Dominique and her sister clearly had different ideas of what handsome meant.

“The ball is in two weeks. You’ll need to find a mate. It’s time.”

“Are you saying this as my loving sister or my mistress?”

Natasha adjusted the enormous diamond on her index finger and smiled sweetly, flashing her fangs. “As your sister. For now.”

Which meant Dominique had about two weeks to figure out how to change her sister’s mind before she did something irreparable, like make it a decree that she had to be mated. Or chose the male for Dominique herself.

And no thanks on that.

She bowed to her sister, left the throne room, and headed to the courtyard to punish the males who had annoyed the mistress.

Natasha only looked at power. She didn’t care if Dominique loved a male or found him attractive – she just wanted to use her to elevate herself. Dominique was thirty, although she didn’t look like she was out of college thanks to her immortality. She did think about finding a male to mate and start a family with, and she would certainly like her mate to be a powerful male who wouldn’t be threatened by her independence. But what she didn’t want, was for Natasha to choose a mate on her behalf.

Entering the courtyard of the mansion, she saw the four males were chained on their knees on the raised stone dais. A small crowd had gathered at the commotion. The moon shone overhead, and torches lit the area with flickering golds and reds.

“These males are being punished for fighting among themselves when the real threat is outside our gates – the shifters who would kill us and take our land for themselves. Make no mistake, the mistress sees and knows all, and any in our city who choose to fight each other over petty things will be punished as these are.” Dominique turned to the guards. “Remove their fangs.”

The crowd gasped. It was a harsh punishment. It would take two decades for the fangs to grow back, which meant the males would have to use a blade to feed from a live donor or drink a manufactured blood substitute. But it was better than staking them or cutting off their heads, which was a far more permanent punishment.

She watched as the guards pulled their fangs, then collected the bloody teeth and brought them to her. “Take them to the mistress,” she said, “and leave the males until just before dawn. They’re on house arrest for thirty days and are not allowed to attend the ball.”

Spinning on her heels, she walked down the steps of the dais and headed back into the mansion to the east wing she called home. It was on the opposite side of her sister’s opulent quarters, and she liked it that way. Her suite had a beautiful view of the city. She could see the security wall that ran the perimeter, and just beyond that, the fields that were neutral territory as decreed by the previous mistress of Arbor and a wolf leader. Beyond that space was the territory of a wolf pack. Every now and then they’d push into the neutral territory and draw close to Arbor, but only when vampires happened to move into the pack’s territory did they attack, staking them and sending their bodies back to the castle in warning.


If only their people weren’t always at war. It would be nice if there was peace, but the only way vampires thought there would be peace was if the wolves were wiped out.

And she was sure the wolves felt the same way.

Chapter 3

Brigelle sat at the dinner table, her feet swinging, wearing her prettiest dress and her new favorite shoes, the shiny black ones with a strap. Mary Janes, her playmate Elsa’s mother said they were called. Bri didn’t care what they were called; they were pretty and shiny, and they made wonderful clickety noises whenever she walked on hard floors. She thought she could even tap dance with them because they sounded so cool.

Elsa’s mother, Debbie, glanced at her watch. She tried to do it in a way that Bri wouldn’t notice, but she always noticed. It was after seven, and that meant Daddy wasn’t coming to dinner. Again. And after he’d promised he would be there when she’d begged Debbie to take her to his office earlier that morning.

Poor Daddy. So busy. Being alpha was hard.

But poor her. She just wanted her dad. Why did he have to be the dumb old alpha anyway?

“We should eat,” Debbie said. “Everything’s going to get cold.”

Elsa made a face. “It’s already cold.”

“You don’t eat without the alpha at his own table,” Debbie said as she began to serve them the pot roast and vegetables their cook had made for them. Daddy only liked red meat, so on nights when he was going to eat dinner with them, that’s what they had. He said wolves should only eat red meat. But Bri preferred other things like chicken and ham.

“You need a mommy,” Elsa said. “Then it wouldn’t matter if Alpha was busy, because you’d still get to eat with someone in your family.”

“Shush!” Debbie said severely.

“What?” Elsa said. “It’s true. My daddy’s busy, but you and I eat together all the time. Bri’s sad because her daddy’s in the office and not at dinner like he promised. You don’t let Daddy break promises to me.”

Debbie let out a short growl and Elsa dropped her head. “First of all, it’s not nice to talk about the alpha or what he chooses to do with his time. And second, your dad is my mate and I can’t make him do anything he doesn’t want to do. He wants to be with you as much as he can, and he makes time for it.”

“Sorry, Mommy.”

Bri tilted her head. “How did you find your mate?”

“We met at a gathering of packs during a full moon.”

“Do we have those?”

“Not like we used to. Now we’re concerned with keeping our borders safe from the vampires, and there are skirmishes within our own pack that keep the alpha busy.”

Elsa shivered. “Vampires are gross and scary.”

“Thankfully we don’t have to worry about them.” Debbie lifted her head and looked out the large window. “They’re all the way beyond the neutral territory and trapped behind their big wall. As long as they stay there, there’s nothing to worry about.”

Bri wasn’t worried about vampires. She was worried about being alone. “I wish Daddy had a mate.”

“He will, when the time is right,” Debbie said.

When the meal was over, Debbie sent her and Elsa off to play. Bri sat down on her bed with her favorite stuffed wolf and said, “You’re lucky you have a dad at home.”

“I heard there’s a magic spell you can cast for a mate. Your dad should do that.” Elsa opened the lid to the toy box and pulled a doll from the depths.

“What?” Her ears twitched. Spells were real?

“Yeah, I heard Mommy talking to Seya last week about not finding her mate, and Mommy said she should spell for him. I guess all the wolves have a necklace of some kind in a box.”

Bri thought real hard and remembered seeing a wooden box in her dad’s closet when she’d gone in his room to get a long-sleeved shirt to use as a paint smock. Which he hadn’t appreciated since it was an expensive shirt.

“What kind of box?”

“I dunno. Can I have this doll? You don’t play with her anymore.”

“Sure,” Bri said.

As they played, her mind spun over the possibilities. Was there a necklace in that box? And could she use it to bring a mate for her dad, a female who would be a mommy for her?

Smiling to herself, she couldn’t wait for Elsa and Debbie to leave so she could find that box and change her world.

* * *

Ryde opened the door to Bri’s bedroom and looked in. She was asleep, a sweet smile on her face. Another day had come and gone. It was past 1 a.m., and he knew he’d broken another promise to her. But the perimeter alarms had gone off in the afternoon, and he’d spent the entire day scouting with his best hunters, trying to discover who had breached their borders. Whoever the intruder was, they’d avoided the cameras.

It was daylight, so he knew it wasn’t the vampires because they couldn’t handle the sunlight. It had to be a wolf or another shifter. Humans didn’t mess with territories; it was foolhardy and even if they were weak, they usually weren’t stupid enough to traipse into predator territory. The logical suspect was a rival pack testing the borders for weaknesses, and there was only one pack strong enough to potentially come against him: the Falherron Pack, led by Alpha Rodrick. He was a giant asshat who’d been part of Ryde’s pack at one time and had tried to take over. Ryde had nearly killed him, and he’d scooted out of the pack with his tail firmly between his legs.

He’d amassed a large pack in the years since his expulsion, but they were a roaming pack without a home territory. Two years earlier, Rodrick attempted to come in and challenge Ryde, but they’d been pushed back at the border and defeated. The perimeters were being tested once again, and it made sense to assume that Rodrick was the one doing so.

He so fucking didn’t need this right now. Between the in-fighting of the pack and this new threat, he couldn’t forget about the vampires, either. There were a lot of reasons to be wary of vampires, chief among them that they kidnapped wolves for their blood, which was more sustaining than human blood. Since a wolf of any sense wouldn’t volunteer to become a blood donor to a vampire, they had to abduct them, and that always ended in death for the wolf. Their blood was too rich and too irresistible, and the vampire would kill them in a frenzy. He’d seen the bodies of wolves dumped along the pack border when he was a pup. The great war had ended in a stalemate, each side agreeing to stay in their own territory, but from time to time a rogue vampire would go looking for a meal, or a wolf would want to hunt a blood drinker for sport.

His mood darkened as he stared at his innocent daughter. Debbie had left a note for him on top of the plate of food from the dinner he’d missed, saying Bri had been upset once more by his absence. He knew she didn’t understand, but he had to ensure her safety. The borders were being monitored, and he’d stepped up security around the homes. If someone did come into their territory, he would know it. During the daylight, they only had to worry about wolves, but at night, they also had to worry about vampires. Someday, maybe the vampires would all be wiped out and he could cross that off his list of things to worry about when it came to Bri’s safety.

Closing the door silently, he headed upstairs to his suite on the third floor. As he stared at the empty bed, he considered calling for some company, but his wolf wasn’t interested in random tail. Once more, he thought about finding a mate. He could use the help with Bri. Eventually Debbie was going to want to stop spending her days at his home to be with her own mate, and he’d have to find someone else to raise his daughter. Unless there was suddenly peace in his world, which seemed unlikely.

Stripping, he climbed into bed and turned off the lights, burying his face in the pillow. He drifted off to sleep, his mind on his and his daughter’s future.

* * *

Dominique woke at sunset and stretched with a yawn. She’d slept fitfully, not finding her usual rest as the sun rose and ended the day for her kind. Her mind had turned often to the ball and the thought of her sister forcing her to mate. Being in power like her sister, she could pretty much do whatever she wished with her people. Natasha ruled through fear and intimidation, and had the staff to carry out her desires. If Dominique balked against taking a mate, it wouldn’t surprise her if Natasha chained her up until she agreed.

She slipped from her bed and pulled open the curtains that covered the large picture window. The sky was a glorious sight, turning from peaches and pinks to navy blue. Stars sparkled in the darkness above the setting sun, and the three-quarters moon was visible. For a moment, she considered leaving. Packing a bag and heading out of her sister’s territory. Just as swiftly as she thought of it, she dismissed it. Natasha would never let her go. She’d send hunters for her – the best of the vampire guards – and they would find her, no matter where she hid. Then she’d really be in trouble.

The only choice she really had was to pick a male of her own before the ball. Someone who was strong and powerful, and wouldn’t mind that she could handle a blade and take care of herself. It would be helpful if he was sexy, too. If he marked her before the ball, then her sister would have no choice but to accept it. Even a mistress as powerful as her sister couldn’t break a mating.

She dressed and ate her meal in the dining hall, then spent several hours working in her office and dealing with coven issues. There was a knock on the door, and a young female walked in and handed Dominique a note requesting her to dress for their last meal of the day.

Dominique looked at the female.

“What does she mean ‘dress for the last meal’?”

Erica said, “The mistress is wearing one of her ball gowns.”

“Good grief, whatever for?”

“I’m not certain.”

“Are there guests?”

Erica shrugged.

“Well, damn. Thank you.”

Erica left and Dominique looked at the note and then crumpled it and tossed it into the trash. She left her office and headed to the throne room, where she found Natasha sitting on the throne and staring at her phone.

“Is there something special happening that I need to dress for? And why did you handwrite the letter instead of texting me?”

“It’s very gauche to invite people to special meals over text,” Natasha said, glancing over her phone.

“Says who?”


Dominique ignored the urge to roll her eyes. “Anyway, is something special happening? Are there guests?”

Natasha lowered the phone, her mouth turned down. “You don’t know what today is?”

Dominique’s mind blanked. “No. What is it?”

“The anniversary of Father’s death.”

“We’ve never had a special meal on the anniversary of his death.”

“It’s been twenty-five years. You reminded me of him last night when you asked if he’d be proud of us, so I checked the date with the archives and it’s today. You’ll attend the meal in our father’s memory in our dining hall, along with the coven’s top advisors.” Natasha gave Dominique a look of superiority. “You always were a little self-absorbed. I suppose I’m not surprised that you don’t know the date of our father’s passing.”

Dominique bit back the snarl at the insult, not pointing out that Natasha had needed to research the date herself. “What time?”

“4 a.m.”

“I’ll be there.”

“Of course you will.”

Turning on her heels, Dominique walked back to her office and closed up for the evening. Although it was only 1 a.m., Dominique needed to take the time do her hair and makeup, and choose a dress, because Natasha’s special meals were always an over-the-top affair.

Once she was in her room, she stripped from her clothes and headed into the bathroom. After a long, hot shower, Dominique dried herself off and then plugged in her hair dryer. Running her brush through her long blonde locks as the hot air dried it, her mind turned once more to Dominique’s insistence that she be mated soon. She wondered how she could tell if a male wanted to mate her because he liked her or because he liked the idea of how close she was to her sister. Granted, she and Natasha weren’t besties, but she was her chief advisor, and along with being her right hand for many matters, she had her sister’s ear.

A decade before, Dominique had seen a little girl in the mansion courtyard who had bruises on her arm. When she’d asked her what happened, the girl confessed that her father had hit her and her mother. Dominique had gone to Natasha immediately and asked her to set the mother and daughter up in one of the mansion’s small homes that they used for their staff, to allow them to heal and feel safe again, while the father was dealt with. Natasha didn’t usually do things that didn’t benefit her in some way, but she’d seen how much it meant to Dominique, and had allowed her to punish the male severely and protect the girl and her mother.

But no matter that she had the ear of her sister, Dominique couldn’t seem to dissuade Natasha from forcing her to take a mate.

She hung up her towel and strode to the vanity in the corner of the bathroom. As she sat on the padded stool to brush her hair, something glinted at the top of the ornate mirror. She reached for it, finding a beautiful necklace with an emerald medallion. It was heavy and warm in her hand. The gem was the same deep green as her own eyes.

She smiled as she unhooked the clasp, thinking it must be a gift from Natasha. Leave it to her sister to say “sorry” with a piece of jewelry. Dominique had a bracelet and several rings that Natasha had given her after arguments in the past, but this necklace far outweighed anything she’d been given before. It was stunning.

Lifting it to her neck, she smiled at her reflection as she closed the clasp and pressed her hand to the medallion that hung several inches below her collarbone. Her whole body jolted suddenly, her heart pounding and her fangs descending as a strange howling wind rushed around her. Her vision sparked and dimmed, and she felt herself falling. She opened her mouth to scream for help when everything went dark. Her last thought was that perhaps the necklace hadn’t come from her sister.

Chapter 4

Ryde rolled over with a growl, his wolf clamoring under his skin. As he turned in the big bed, he felt something warm next to him. He opened his eyes and found himself staring at the most beautiful face he’d ever seen in his life. The female was stunning on a hundred different levels, from her perfect bow-shaped lips to the emerald eyes that blinked at him in confusion. She smelled like wild flowers and sunshine, and his wolf let out a happy growl. The instant connection he felt to her, as if he’d been missing a limb and suddenly found it, meant she was his true mate.

I must be dreaming.

Or dead.

Because he was very certain that he’d gone to bed alone. And he sure as hell wouldn’t have gone to sleep with this sexy female next to him. He’d have stayed up until dawn to make sure they were both sated.

He opened his mouth to say something when she purred like a damn tigress and pressed her lips to his. It took only a heartbeat for him to slide his arms around her and draw her closer, delving his tongue into her mouth. He ran one hand down her back and she arched with his touch, her responsiveness making him crazy. He cupped her ass, taking only a second to appreciate that she was naked, then slid his hand between her legs.

She moaned, her nails scratching their way down his back as she writhed in his hold. He sank a finger into her, marveling at how wet she was as he ran his tongue along hers and sucked on it. His tongue hit something sharp in her mouth and he jerked back from the kiss, tasting blood.

It was then that he saw sharp, pointed fangs in her mouth. He snarled and rolled from the bed, his claws unsheathing from his fingertips.

“Who the hell are you?” he demanded, his beast urging him to climb back into her embrace.

She rose to her elbows, her long blonde hair falling over her shoulders and cascading onto his pillow.

“I could ask you the same thing. And where am I?”

As her gaze moved around the room, his was riveted to her breasts. He hadn’t even gotten to kiss her nipples.

Damn it. Focus!

“You’re a vampire. How did you get into my room?”

He slashed the air with his claws and let out a low growl. He felt positively torn in half. Part of him wanted to throw her out of the house, but the larger part of him – the roaring, demanding wolf – wanted her to stay right where she was, in his bed.

Then he noticed the necklace.

Straightening from his defensive crouch, which he was chagrined to realize hadn’t worried her a bit, he stared hard at the medallion. It was his mating necklace.

“Where did you get that?” He pointed at her chest, his claws receding as a strange rightness settled over him.

Her fingertips grazed the surface of the medallion, a beautiful, natural emerald pendant that had been given to him when he shifted for the first time. All wolves were given a necklace when they shifted to be used on the off-chance that they didn’t find their true mate among their own people. The spell, which was carved into the inside lid of the wooden box the necklace was stored in, was supposed to be used by the male or female when they were ready to settle down.

He hadn’t cast a spell. And even if he had, he certainly wouldn’t have thought the spell would bring him a vampire – a wolf’s natural enemy – for a mate.

“Well,” she said as she sat up, seemingly unconcerned that she was naked, “I thought my sister gave it to me because we had an argument. It was hanging from my vanity, and the stone is the same color as my eyes.” She looked around the room again. “You’re a wolf?”

“I’m alpha. And that’s my mating necklace.”

“How did I get it?” She tilted her head and looked so sexy. He wanted to do lots of dirty, wonderful things to her.

“That’s a good question. I’m Ryde Mitchell, and you’re in my home, in my pack’s territory.”

She licked her lips slowly and rose to her knees. Her body was spectacular. Free of hair, her bare sex was visible and so damn enticing. Her ivory skin was lustrous, and she was curved in all the right places. She fit against him so perfectly, her softness to his hard planes.

“My name is Dominique Tremaine. My sister is the mistress of the city of Arbor. Where is your territory?”

He stalked to the window and drew back the curtains. In the distance, he could see the walled vampire city. “Just outside of the neutral territory.”

“Ryde.” She said his name softly, like a whispered promise, and his wolf rioted, wanting to return to bed. “How did I get here?”

“The necklace brought you here, but it shouldn’t have. I didn’t cast a spell for you.” He arched a brow. “Why aren’t you scared?”

She hummed. “I don’t know. When I passed out in my bathroom, I woke up here in bed with you. I felt safe. I don’t know how to explain why I’m not afraid, except that I feel connected to you. You’re my true mate.”

“You can’t be my true mate.”

“Why not?”

“Because you’re immortal and I’m not.”

She hummed again. “That’s easily fixed.”

He blinked and shook his head. “No, it’s not. This is not how my night was supposed to go.” He stormed to the closet and pulled out a pair of jeans, which he jerked on. Stuffing his erection into his pants, he tried not to groan at how uncomfortable he was. He knew a great way to relieve the tension, and it involved the sexy vampire in his bed.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“Stay the fuck put. If you leave this room, my people will kill you.”

Her eyes narrowed, the green eclipsed by silver that made her look entirely too tempting in her fury. “Don’t threaten me.”

“It’s not a threat, it’s the truth. You’re in our territory. My people kill yours on sight for this. And yours return the favor.”

“I didn’t ask to be brought here!”

“I didn’t ask for you either, bloodsucker. Don’t leave.”

He stomped away and slammed the door behind him. His wolf wasn’t interested in him leaving, but he needed to get some space between him and the tempting vampire. His instincts were roaring at him to return to the room and claim her, but there was a problem with that.

They’d both wind up dead.

* * *

Dominique was a little pissed. Well, that was an understatement. She was as pissed as she’d ever been in her life. Just who the hell did that alpha wolf think he was? She’d put on a necklace and woken up in his bed. She was the one who should be upset. But with her mating instincts flaring, all she wanted to do was consummate their joining. Then they could talk. She was willing to overlook the fact that he wasn’t a vampire, so why couldn’t he overlook her immortality? Sure, she’d have to share blood with him, transforming him into a hybrid, but it would only make him immortal; he’d still get to keep his wolf and he’d live forever. Which, hello – she was a catch. He’d be lucky to have her by his side for all eternity.

Sitting back on the comfy bed, she let out a long sigh and rolled her neck. The bed smelled way too good, all male and heat and sexy dreams. The double doors that Ryde had just shut clicked as they were locked. She snorted to herself. As if a lock on a standard door would keep her in somewhere she didn’t want to be. But she wasn’t interested in tempting fate, believing what he’d told her about it being dangerous outside of his room.

A little surge of anger swept through her.

He’d called her a bloodsucker. What a terrible, outdated term.

She hardly ever drank real blood anymore. Her sister did, of course – it was expected of a vampire of her status – but the blood she drank was collected from donors at labs, processed and cleaned the way human blood was collected for use in their hospitals. Dominique had been drinking manufactured blood for ten years now, ever since a team of scientists had created it, and it had the added bonus of her not having to pay exorbitant rates for real blood, or having to seduce a human into giving up a vein.

Her stomach rumbled and she glanced at the clock on his nightstand. Although she’d changed locations, she hadn’t lost much time. It was one thirty, and she was feeling a little peckish since she hadn’t eaten lunch. She inhaled slowly, sifting through the scents in the room and hoping she might find something to eat, but she picked up nothing but the overwhelming scent of her mate. How rude of him to not stash some candy or snacks around the room! If he’d transported to her room with some magical necklace, he’d have found a stash of dark chocolate candy bars in her jewelry box, plus a bag of caramel corn in her nightstand.

She heard talking outside of the room. Ryde was ordering someone to guard the doors and not let anyone out or in. She was tempted to call out and ask for some food but decided against it. Instead, she walked to the closet and ran her fingers over his clothes. One side was clearly for dress clothes; she found silk shirts and dress slacks, all of them either black or dark gray. The casual side of the closet was full of flannel shirts, T-shirts, and a shelf of folded jeans. He didn’t strike her as the homemaking sort, so someone must do his laundry for him.

Which pissed her off a little. Did he like the female? Was she special?

Not as if it mattered anymore. Vampires were monogamous, and she’d heard wolves were, too. And if he had ideas of not being loyal to her, then she’d make sure he understood her feelings on the matter. Assuming he came back to the room anytime soon.

Deciding she’d like to be dressed when he came back, since he’d insisted on stuffing his magnificent body into a pair of tight jeans, she pulled a green flannel shirt off a hanger and slipped it on. The worn fabric was soft and long enough to hit the middle of her thighs. She buttoned it swiftly and then turned to face the room. Spying his phone on the nightstand, she walked over to it, picking it up.

“Damn,” she whispered, disappointed that it was passcode protected.

“It’s my birthday,” a soft, feminine voice said.

Dominique spun with a snarl, her fangs descending. She faced a little girl with long dark hair, wearing a cartoon princess nightgown and holding a stuffed wolf. Straightening, Dominique relaxed and arched a brow.

“What’s your birthday?”

“The code.”

“And that would be?”

She rolled her eyes. “Where did you come from? You’re in my daddy’s room.”

“Ryde is your father?”

She nodded. “I’m Brigelle. Everyone calls me Bri, though. Are you going to be my mommy?”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re wearing my daddy’s mating necklace. I did the spell for you.” She looked around, rocking back and forth on her bare feet. “Where is he?”

“I don’t know, but he’s not happy. Did he ask you to do the spell?”

“No. But he’s lonely and I want a mommy. All my friends have mommies, and I think it’s only fair that I have one, too. Daddy’s not around a lot because of pack stuff. Business.” She blew out a breath and hugged her wolf. “This is Comet.”

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