The Alpha Won't Be Denied

By: Georgette St. Clair

Chapter One

It was feeding-frenzy time at The Zoo. Techno music pumped through speakers hung from the rafters, women in tiny dresses gyrated on stage, and the dance floor was packed. Hormones were so thick they fogged the air, almost visible to the naked eye.

“They’re a bunch of animals in here tonight,” Sally Reynolds said. She had to raise her voice to be heard over the music and the din of the crowd. She was correct, both figuratively and literally; every species of shifter came to The Zoo on Saturday nights.

“Oh, I don’t know, I like that one.” Virginia Battle pointed at the muscular wolf shifter who was leaning against the far wall and watching her. He had thick, dark hair and wore a motorcycle vest over his T-shirt.

Sally looked him up and down doubtfully. “If you like them tall, dark, and stupid, he’s perfect.”

“That’s exactly what I’m looking for!” Virginia leaned close to Sally and yelled into her ear as a particularly loud song blared over the speakers. “Someone I’d never be tempted to go out with more than once. I’m not looking for anything permanent.” She deliberately met the shifter’s gaze across the crowded room, then returned her attention to her friend. From the corner of her eye, she could see him nursing his beer andchecking her out. Working his way up to coming over and asking her for a dance.

She glanced down at her outfit. She was wearing black silk slacks that flowed over her long legs, high-heeled boots, and a scoop-neck top. She’d spent some time on her makeup, something she neverdid at work, , and had even added a pair of big hoop earrings to the mix.

Sally, who was crabby tonight, wore an adorable flowered halter dress that showed off her great figure, but was ruining the effect by standing with her arms crossed defensively over her chest and her shoulders hunched, with a scowl on her face.

The wolf looked at Virginia again, and took another sip of his beer.

“He’s interested. I’d say your chances of success are a hundred percent,” Sally said. “I mean, as long as nobody from your family, or Mr. Hot Stuff, shows up tonight.”

Virginia’s gaze swept the crowd. “I don’t see any of them here yet. Maybe we got here early enough. I’ll dance with him once and give him my number and leave. Then we could meet up somewhere else. Preferably out of town.”

“Good thinking!” Sally nodded, looking over the crowd again with an obvious lack of enthusiasm. A while ago she’d told Virginia that she liked her brother Pierce, but she never had worked up the courage to tell him. Now she seemed like she was in a funk, no longer interested in the men who came to the Zoo. Or any other men, for that matter.

“I have to use strategy to get around my brothers. And him.” Virginia said the word “him” with particular venom, and there was no need to explain who she was talking about.

Carver Lawrence. The man had been the bane of her existence ever since she’d met him – and even more so since he’d moved to Timber Valley a few months ago. Just thinking about him made her pulse quicken and her palms grow sweaty. Whenever he came near her, he had an unfortunate physical effect on her, and he knew it. And he always made sure she knew that he knew it.

His gaze would sweep over her body and deliberately rest on her swollen nipples as they strained against the fabric of her shirt. Or he’d sniff the air and smile, letting her know that his wolf was scenting her arousal.

Virginia looked around one more time, just to be sure. If any of her brothers was there, or Carver, there would be no point in dancing with the man. Or any other member of the male species, for that matter.

“I am so sick of this,” she muttered to herself. “Next thing you know my brothers will be trying to give me a curfew.”

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