Treyton shifters of timb.., p.1
Treyton: Shifters of Timber Rock, page 1
SHIFTERS OF TIMBER ROCK
AMBER ELLA MONROE
Other Paranormal Romance Titles
About the Author
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For contemporary romance novels, visit Ambrielle Kirk on the web at http://booksbyambrielle.com
OTHER PARANORMAL ROMANCE TITLES
Wolf’s Kingdom (COBRA Coalition)
Mate & Kingdom (COBRA Coalition)
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The Dresdan Coven Trilogy
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ASPEN VALLEY WOLF PACK
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Breaking the Wolf's Rules
What the Wolf Wants
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SHIFTERS OF TIMBER ROCK
TREYTON: SHIFTERS OF TIMBER ROCK
As soon as I walk into the bar, I know the redhead is mine.
She’s beautiful. Innocent. Pure.
My inner wolf does what comes naturally to him. Declare we claim her as our own.
* * *
But my pack is on the brink of war, and dangerous forces lurk in plain sight.
As much as I want to get close to her, I think twice about bringing her into a world that seems to be falling apart at the seams.
But I can barely control my urges.
* * *
In a twist of events I couldn’t predict, her fate collides with mine.
We are interchangeably connected in more ways than one.
When she offers me her body, I fall to my knees.
When I learn that she wears my mark, I vow to keep her and protect her forever.
“Who are you? And who are you looking for?”
I let my gaze wander up to the middle-aged woman standing behind the bar. She had her arms crossed over her chest while giving me a cold stare. Pinned to her black buttoned-down collared blouse was a name-tag. Betty.
I was already nervous as hell about this, and I could tell right away that Betty was judging me on the spot. Betty frowned and put her hand on her hip. “Well?”
“Um…I’m here to see Mr. Abrams,” I said, nervously wringing my hands together on my lap. “For an interview,” I added.
“We ain’t got no more openings. We filled the last position this morning,” Betty said gruffly.
“I spoke to Mr. Abrams this afternoon,” I stated, firmly this time. “He said he would interview me personally for a new door greeter position.”
The girl who directed me to Betty when I arrived came back behind the counter with a tray of dirty plates. “Hey Betty, I know you don’t know this, but Mr. Abrams just posted about the new position earlier today. Said he needed someone at the doors when we have large crowds. I don’t know about you, but we could use some help there. I can’t bus tables and man the reception area at the same time.”
“Well, as I said, he ain’t here.” Betty whipped out a bar towel and began cleaning up the countertop.
I cleared my throat. “I’m a little early. So, I’ll wait here if you ladies don’t mind.”
Betty shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
“He’s usually here by nine. Would you like to order something to eat while you wait?” the younger girl asked.
I shook my head. “No, I’m fine. If you’d let me know when Mr. Abrams gets here, I’d appreciate it.”
The girl shrugged and then disappeared through the swinging doors where the cooks were working diligently in the kitchen. Besides the two in the back bringing orders to the little window for the waitresses to pick up and the nosy Betty eyeing me like a hawk from the other side of the bar, Donnie’s Bar & Billiards was rather crowded. For a small town, I didn’t expect such a busy establishment.
I’d only been here for two weeks and had spent most of it in my motel room circling Help Wanted ads from the newspaper. I came across some really weird jobs. Farm helper. Vineyard worker. Flea market groundskeeper. And the strangest of all? Wife for hire. I was used to titles like Secretary…Cashier…Housekeeper. This town seemed weird on the surface, but I found something inviting about its old-fashioned charm and the fantastic mountain views.
After going on nearly a dozen interviews and getting the standard not a good fit, I decided to take the advice of the clerk I befriended at the motel. Which was to start in a lower-paying position in the town, gain some trust from the residents, and then work my way up from there. I didn’t have many choices. No one knew me here. No one knew me anywhere…
Arrow Lake’s population was only a small fraction of what it was in Little Rock, Arkansas. But I left my prior life behind. For good reasons. Mostly for my safety. I was going to start over, and I was going to do the right thing this time.
I glanced at my wristwatch and realized there were only ten minutes left until my scheduled interview with Mr. Abrams. I hoped I wasn’t wasting my time again. And I sincerely hoped that the guy showed up.
I sighed heavily and then turned my attention to the chaos around me. I was trying so hard to ignore the noise but realized if I was going to work at the busiest diner in town, I had to get used to it. It would take some time for me to get adjusted to having a boss. A real boss.
In Little Rock, I was just left to my own devices to figure it all out myself. And I did. And I would do it again. Only this time, I wasn’t going to work for bad people.
But as I let my gaze roam around the room to the rowdy group of teenagers and then to two members of a biker gang arguing over a game of pool, I knew this was going to take some getting used to. At the least, I saw this for what it was. When I was working for the Kozlov family, I knew very little. And what I did find o
I jumped when the door chimed. A cold chill spilled inside and spread across my face.
Another group of men filed into the diner. They branched off into different directions, but most of them ended up in the billiards room where the action was taking place. Someone must have diffused the argument between the bikers. There was no more shouting over the music, just the sound of their sticks hitting the balls.
Something changed in the air around me. I didn’t know how to explain the feeling other than some weird moment of déjà vu. I spun around on the stool to find that a man had taken the seat next to me.
When I looked up at his face, we made eye contact immediately. His eyes were a mystic green color with speckles of gold around the irises. Odd, but beautiful. But that wasn’t all. The guy was fine as hell. Sun-touched skin. A perfectly contoured face with a five o’clock shadow. He was a whole other level of handsome.
His eyes narrowed into slits, and then his face clouded over in recognition, but he couldn’t have known who I was or anything about me. I was sure of it. But I got lost in our connection.
He was tall. His shoulders were broad, and his arms were thick—like tree trunks. His hair was dark, the color of chestnut. His lips were full, almost too perfect.
His mouth turned up into a grin.
I blushed and turned away.
“You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said.
I was at a loss for words. Usually, I steered clear of bars, of nightclubs, of parties…of men. I limited my connections always. I never had time for dating or all the false promises that men usually delivered. Something felt different about this man’s compliment, especially with the way he delivered it.
“Thank you,” I said.
“You don’t come here often,” he stated.
“No,” I said, almost in a whisper.
Somehow, he heard me over the noises.
“I don’t either. A friend needed a ride to work. Promised me a plate of food in return. I haven’t eaten all day, and I really like food.”
I looked up. “Your friend works here?”
“Yeah. Young guy. Has freckles. About this high.” He demonstrated with his hand. “The fry cook. Talks a lot of trash. Thinks he knows everything. Gets into a whole lot of trouble.”
I smiled. “Never seen him. This is my first time coming out this way. It’s quieter, that’s for sure. Where I’m at, all I can hear are the trains every night. I really don’t know anyone here.”
“Well, we should change that. I’m Treyton.” He held out his hand.
“Tatia.” Our hand met in the middle. His palm was surprisingly warm.
He smiled. “Nice to meet you, Tatia. I detect an accent. Beautiful though. Were you uh…waiting on someone?”
“I’m here for an interview.”
I wasn’t nervous anymore. All the tension had left me. Treyton’s voice was like magic. Of all the unfamiliar faces in this place, he was a godsend.
“An interview? Really?”
I nodded. “It’s so hard trying to find work here, but I think I have a good chance tonight. The owner, Mr. Abrams, said he was impressed with my experience. He seemed nice over the phone.”
A troubled expression flooded the guy’s face, and he cleared his throat. “Sometimes things aren’t what they seem.”
“What do you mean?”
His eyes were sharp and assessing. “You should be careful.”
Treyton looked up, and his attention went straight to the swinging doors. Two seconds passed, and the doors flopped open and out walked a stout man with a mop of stark, white hair.
The man came right up to the counter. “Are you Ms. Tatia? Are you here to talk about the greeter position?”
“I am Tatia.”
His gaze traveled from me to Treyton. There was a silent but brief exchange between the men, and then Mr. Abrams stepped back and said, “Come with me, Tatia. In my office, please.”
I swallowed, not sure what to say to the friendly stranger I’d just met. I felt inclined to continue our conversation. It just felt like Treyton and I had unresolved business between each other.
“I hope to see you here again,” I said.
He grinned. “We will meet again.”
I got up and followed Mr. Abrams toward a hallway but not before turning around to get another glimpse of Treyton. He was still seated at the bar, staring in my direction. Even if he was telling a lie about coming here again, I would never forget those eyes of his.
Mr. Abrams opened the door. “Sorry about my lateness.”
“That’s no problem. I’m glad you’re able to interview me.”
He closed the door and directed me to a round table with two folding chairs. I sat down in one, and Mr. Abrams plopped down in the other.
“Before we begin, would you mind telling me what you’re doing talking to the likes of that one?” he asked.
“Excuse me, sir?”
“The man at the bar. You shouldn’t be hanging around them. A girl like you shouldn’t get caught up with the wrong folk around here. You don’t want to be ruined for life.”
I shook my head. What was he talking about? “Um…I don’t really know him. He just started talking to me.”
“Well, that’s good. I have nothing against his kind. They come in here all the time. Their money spends the same, so I allow it. So, as long as they ain’t causing problems, I don’t say nothing to ‘em.”
“Okay,” I replied nervously.
“Now, tell me again, sweetheart. You said you’ve worked at a restaurant before. In Illinois, right? Tell me what you did there.”
I swallowed and folded my hands together on top of the desk. For now, I couldn’t let anyone know that I was actually from Arkansas. The events that caused me to flee Little Rock were still current, and the investigation was ongoing. The cops had warned me that I should leave there. The Kozlovs had enemies, and the last thing I wanted was for anyone to connect me to them. I was here to start anew.
“Yes, Mr. Abrams. I worked in a restaurant for a year…”
The interview went on, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get the green-eyed hunk off my mind.
Tatia was in my presence for less than ten minutes, but I already wanted to jump off the stool and follow her to the ends of the earth.
I wasn’t bluffing when I told her she was the most beautiful woman in the world. I’d never met anyone like her. She was perfect. Auburn hair with undertones of chestnut. Flawless face. A body to die for. The voice of an angel. Her scent lingered around me. She smelled of ginger and honey. I would never forget that enticing combination.
Beneath my skin, I felt my wolf come alive. He wanted to break free. Find her. Protect her. Keep her. On any other night, I would ignore these cravings, but this was one thing that my inner animal and I both agreed on. She was mine.
I ran my tongue along the top row of my teeth to make sure that my canines hadn’t dropped. The last thing I needed was for someone to point me out as the animal that I was.
“Hey Treyton!” Laura came up to the bar and put a plate and a beer down in front of me. “I haven’t seen you around in a while. What have you been up to?”
“Working.” I looked down at the piping hot plate of fish and chips and wanted to dive in head first. I literally hadn’t eaten since five this morning. On top of that, my new cravings were sending my wolf pheromones into overdrive. I needed to get some food in me before both of us couldn’t handle ourselves around these humans.
“Oh. Well, it’s good seeing you. By the way, the plates from Trip. He already took care of the tab for you.” She smiled sweetly and marched from behind the counter, balancing a tray of platters on her right shoulder.
I unrolled the linen cloth and grabbed the fork. I had just stabbed the beer-battered cod when my phone rang and vibrated
“Yes, Draven. To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“Where are you, Treyton?”
“In a bar. In town.” There was no lying to my alpha. He could detect a fib even over the phone. Even though Draven was my blood relative—my cousin—I still had to follow his orders.
“You’ve gotta get out of there,” he warned. “The Black Ridge rogues are back in Arrow Lake causing problems.”
“What!” I looked around the bar, but everyone else seemed oblivious to the news. Was I the last to know?
“I need you to go check on Jayce. The rogues attacked a woman in the forest tonight and he brought her home.”
I frowned. “I’m in town right now, Draven. At Donnie’s. I haven’t seen any rogues.”
“Are you sure? The attack happened right across the border.”
“I’m sure…but I’m not on foot. I drove,” I replied, cautiously.
“What are you doing in town anyway? Things are still up in the air about us being there. Some of those townspeople will use anything against us to shoot on-sight.”
“Look, I’m minding my business. I gave Trip a ride to work. Wait. Is Jayce alright?” I asked.
“Yes, he’s fine. He killed some of the rogues. This won’t end well. I have a bad feeling about it. You need to get back on Timber Rock territory. Right now,” the Alpha demanded.
“If you see any of my wolves, you deliver the message. I’m at a regional Alpha’s meeting, but I’m heading back. See you soon.”
“Yeah.” I looked down at the food. Suddenly I wasn’t hungry anymore.
“I know how you are. Don’t engage. Just leave. If you see anything else, give me a call. We’ll figure it out when we see each other.”
by Amber Ella Monroe / Paranormal / Shapeshifters have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes