Alpha Province: Puppet Strings(4)

By: Becca Van

“What the fuck is that?” Daxon asked before stumbling forward a couple of steps.

Bladen hurried over to him, gripped him on the shoulder to steady him, but when he breathed in through his nose, his tiger lunged forward impatiently. He began to salivate as the fragrance grew stronger on the cool morning breeze. It was a tantalizing mix of warm freshly baked bread, strawberries, and cream. He’d never been a food connoisseur, but in that moment all he wanted to do was stuff himself until his belly was full.

He didn’t even think about taking a step, but each time his feet landed on the ground, his pace increased. His brothers were right by his side, and in the next moment all three of them were jogging toward the bed-and-breakfast.

It was time to find out just where that smell was coming from.

* * * *

Sage couldn’t believe how many people had shown up for breakfast. Thankfully, she’d prepared enough food to feed an army, or she might have ended up embarrassed. As soon as she placed a platter of bacon, eggs, sausages, toast, hash browns, and pancakes on the table, it was passed around until there was nothing left. She was working on the ninth, or was that the tenth platter, when all conversation ceased.

She turned to see what was going on, but when she saw that everyone was staring at the doorway, she spun around and ended up staring, as well. The three biggest, handsomest men she’d ever seen stood just inside the doorway to the massive kitchen/dining room, and they were gazing at her.

Sage swallowed audibly, nervously, quickly turning back to the stove in time to save the bacon from being burnt to a crisp. She cursed under her breath as she reached for the tongs and another empty platter. What the hell is in the water in this town? All the men she’d met were extremely muscular and handsome. She’d never seen so many good-looking men in one small area and wondered what the draw was. Why are there so many handsome men living in and around the surrounding county of Ambrose, North Dakota? Is there something wrong with them that they have to hide away? Why aren’t they all living in big cities like other males? And why the hell are they sharing a woman between them?

Sage mentally shrugged as she used the tongs to lift the bacon from the grill plate and put them onto the platter to drain on the paper towel. When she’d finished with that task, she hurried to the microwave to get the large bowl of cheese scrambled eggs out and finally took the rest of the pancakes, hash browns, and warming toast from the oven. After placing the food on the massive platter in an artful display, she lifted the heavy dish and turned.

“Let me help you with that.”

Sage gazed at the massive chest in front of her, gulped, sucked in a deep breath, and lifted her eyes up and up and up some more. As soon as she looked into those intense green eyes, she knew she was in trouble. Her traitorous body responded to the sexy masculinity standing right in front of her. She didn’t protest when the heavy serving plate was taken out of her hands, and when he turned away from her, she stood there like a frozen statue as she gazed after him.

“Come and have a seat, Sage,” Elsa called out as she shoved to her feet. “You’ve been cooking for ages and haven’t eaten yet.”

When she went to open her mouth to speak, heat crept into her cheeks when she realized it was already open. She quickly closed it before licking her lips and nodding as she slowly walked toward the dining area. The timber table was extendable and right now was pulled out to its fullest length. There were enough chairs to seat fifty people, but only half of the spaces were filled.

“Here, sit next to me,” Elsa said as she patted the cushion of the chair next to her.

Sage glanced at Preston Louis, one of Elsa’s men, nodding her thanks to him. The last time she’d carried food to the table, Preston had been sitting next to his woman. He’d obviously been ordered to move so Sage could take his seat. Normally she would have protested, but right now, she was relieved to have another woman sitting beside her. She sank into the seat gratefully with a tired sigh, trying to ignore the three handsome newcomers.

“Sage, this is Bladen, Cason, and Daxon Fox. Guys, this is Sage Garland, our new chef.”

“Hi, Sage.” Bladen smiled at her.