“You can sit,” he says, nodding toward the chair beside me. I stare at it like it will come alive and bite my ass. He clears his throat and I scramble to sit on the edge, my leg bouncing as I clasp my hands in my lap, unable to keep still. I glance back toward the door where my parents are waiting before turning my attention away.
The room is vast, befitting of an Alpha. Though I am surprised to see the bookshelves lining the walls. He had more books than our old Pack library. My fingers itch to grab one and see what kind of person he was through the things he reads. His desk sits in the center and it makes him even more imposing.
Turning back to face the Alpha, I find him watching me again. “Your name is Katya?” He says, pronouncing it correctly. Most people don’t the first time or they just didn’t care to.
“You can call me Ezra,” he corrects quickly, and I nod. “How old are you?”
“Seventeen,” I reply, and he nods, looking at some documents, which I notice are my mother’s and father’s paperwork, along with my birth certificate. He picks it up while studying it.
“You turn eighteen soon? You will be able to find your mate. That’s exciting,” he states, his eyes flicking back to me.
I say nothing. No one will want me; I was little more than a defect with heightened senses.
“You go to school; I take it?”
I nod, chewing on my thumbnail.
“Yes, I finish this year, well, I am meant to,” I am so not looking forward to going to another school, especially so late in the year. I don’t know what bullies this school will have, but I’d attract them. It was practically a guarantee.
“You’ll be finishing school,” he states, leaving no room for argument.
I press my lips together, knowing better than to argue.
“You don’t like school?” he questions.
“Does anyone like school?” I snap back and he smiles.
“I liked school. I am surprised you don’t since you are a Beta’s daughter,” he says.
Yeah, school was great until they found out I was a freak.
“Your parents have already explained your reason for leaving. You had a run-in with the Alpha’s daughter, and your mother hit her?” He asks.
My mother is taking the blame. I keep my mouth shut to stop the risk of being caught in a lie, although technically, that was true, just not the reason we left. I nod.
“Good enough for me; I can’t stand Alpha Jackson. The prick should be put down,” Alpha Ezra scoffs, not even trying to hide his dislike for my old Alpha.
“Come here,” he orders, standing up and moving around to the front of his desk, where he stops beside me. I jump out of my seat and take a step back, nearly stumbling over my own feet. His eyes snap to mine at my abrupt movement.
He holds his hand out to me, and I look at it, feeling a little wary of the intimidating man, wondering how he has the reputation he has because he doesn’t seem as bad as the rumors I have heard. “I won’t hurt you; I will never hurt you,” I hesitate before I place mine in his. Tingles spread across my palm, and I jerk my hand back, staring at it.
“Sorry, must be static,” he apologizes, and his eyes flicker black. He grabs my hand again with a smile playing on his lips, his thumb tracing circles over the back of my hand, making me look at him. The Alpha’s lips tug in the corners as he urges me closer. When I don’t immediately move, he pulls me toward him.
His hand is warm, yet the strange tingling sensation doesn’t stop. I look up at him thinking it is odd, only to find he is watching me again. He is tall, I only come up to the center of his chest, and he is wide too, all hard muscle as he towers over me.
He bites his wrist, offering it to me, and I stare. My eyes dart back to his desk and I see two glasses stained with his blood sitting on the edge. So why is he offering me his wrist? Surely he doesn’t want me to drink his blood from him like some vampire, does he?
“Times ticking, little one, hurry up,” he orders, pulling me closer and wrapping his arm around my waist before bringing his wrist to my lips. I grab his wrist and I can taste his lingering saliva there. His blood, surprisingly, doesn’t taste bad as it floods into my mouth. Not something I will go out looking to drink; and I would suck it if I were a vampire, but not really my thing. It was sweet tasting though, or maybe that is the taste of his skin? I’m not sure.
He pulls his wrist away, but doesn’t let go, holding me close to him. His arm tightens around my waist when he dips his head just enough so his face is next to mine, his lips grazing my ear as he speaks.
“Pledge to me,” he whispers, and I nod. The heat from his hard chest is pressing against my back, his warmth seeping into me and I suck in a nervous breath.
“I, Katya Hartley, pledge my loyalty and my life to Alpha Ezra,” I stop, not knowing his last name. I glance over my shoulder at him. And for a few seconds, I am stunned by the combined strong aroma wafting from him. Sandalwood is one of the fragrances as for the other, the spicy scent of cinnamon is unmistakable. It is an intoxicating blend and I inhale deeply. My eyes flutter shut so I can lose myself in the moment.
“Pierce,” he whispers, his lips almost brushing mine, and my eyes fly open as I wonder what came over me. He is so close and my face heats at what I did, he pulls back and I think I saw the ghost of a smile dancing on his lips. I quickly turn my face away, my weird reaction to him shocks me.
“Alpha Ezra Pierce of Black Creek Pack.” As the last word leaves my lips, a searing pain explodes in my head, making me drop as I clutch it. His grip tightens around me and is the only thing stopping me from hitting the floor in a heap. The chattering of my old Pack, every word I ever heard flits through my head loudly, making my ears ring, and a scream leaves my lips. The pressure of the Pack link breaking as the new one forges makes my head feel like someone is crushing it in their grip and that any moment now it will explode all over his carpet.
Just as suddenly as it comes, it stops like the snap of a rubber band, only for a dull ache to take its place. “You’re okay. It’s over now,” Alpha Ezra’s voice filters through my head, making me look up at him.
He smiles at me as I blink back the tears that had sprung to my eyes.
“Are you good for me to let you go?” He asks. I look down to see his arms wrapped around me, just under my breasts. My face heats with embarrassment as I realize he is the only reason I am upright before quickly becoming aware of his hands on my body.
Great, I was crushing on my Alpha.
I step away, and he lets go. His eyes glaze over, and seconds later, my parents rush into the room, he must have been talking to them through the Pack link.
“See, you’re fine. I told you it wouldn’t be so bad,” my father says, fussing over me. I slap their hands away. I wasn’t a baby. Sometimes they could be a little embarrassing.
“Tonight you stay in the Packhouse. Tomorrow I will show you to your new home. May I ask why you requested one so far from everyone?” He asks curiously, looking at my father.
“Kat doesn’t get along well with others. She prefers being by herself,” my mother answers. The Alpha seems shocked for a second, his head tilting to the side as he looks at me.
“And why is that?” He questions, staring down at me, I nervously look at my parents before returning the Alpha’s gaze.
“I just like being alone,” I shrug, which is true, I’m not a social butterfly that is for sure. He presses his lips in a line before looking back at my parents.
“I have already enrolled Katya in school. She can start on Monday. You can skip the Pack run on Friday and meet me here Monday morning for your work details.”
“Pack run?” I ask, and my mother nudges me with her elbow to be quiet, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the Alpha.
“Pack runs are compulsory. Why? Is that a problem?” He asks, and I duck my head down, looking at my shoes.
“No problem at all,” my father replies, throwing one arm over my shoulder and holding out his other hand to the Alpha.
“How are you with training teenage students?” The Alpha suddenly asks my mother.
“I trained my daughter mostly and older she-wolves, but I would give it a go,” she answers.
“Interesting. We do need an extra hand at the high school, so you can keep an eye on Katya as well,” he decides.
My mother seems excited about the idea. “That would be lovely, thank you, Alpha.”
He nods, staring at me again before looking at my father.
“My Beta will show you where you are staying for the night,” he says before walking around to sit back at his desk.