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Mate Saved: Alpha Marked


  Mate Saved

  Alpha Marked

  Celia Kyle

  Contents

  Blurb

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Epilogue

  About the Author

  Blurb

  Thirty and single? Well, getcha butt to the Gathering! Wait… what?

  Paisley Twynham is over the whole werewolf thing. It’d been a shock to be magically kidnapped and plopped in the middle of a werewolf gathering. Then she got kidnapped a second time, had the crap beat out of her, escaped, and then met two men who are supposed to be her mates. Yup, all kinds of “over” the Gathering. Her only salvations are her sisters and… the two men she can’t help but drool over. Tall, muscular, sexy as hell, and for some reason, they want her fluffy ass. Maybe she doesn’t hate werewolves as much as she thought…

  Chance and Hawkins don’t quite have a solid Warden bond. Hawkins is holding back while Chance is slowly reaching the end of his patience after ten years of partnership. The only woman who might save them is Paisley. Seductive, curvaceous, vivacious Paisley Twynham. She’s their Warden Born mate and Chance refuses to let Hawkins’ past stand in the way of their future.

  But something else hides in their path that threatens to end their mating before it begins. Or rather, someone.

  Chapter One

  Text message sent by Ruling Alpha Mate Scarlet Wickham on July 23, 2:03 a.m.…

  My cousin Paisley has been taken hostage by a total asshat. Find her. Bring that YOLO juice back and hunt her down. You only live once, right? Violence is encouraged, drawing the dickhead’s blood is celebrated. I want a wolf skin rug here, people.

  ~~≈~~

  Blog post by Ruling Alpha Mate Scarlet Wickham on July 23, 7:31 a.m.…

  Day Three!

  As an FYI, I am still wearing my rage-y hat. As a second FYI, I will kill y’all if you don’t find Paisley. Scratch that, the whole fam-damn-ly will kill you. A big old ball of death and destruction.

  In other news, fifteen Alpha Pairs and twenty-three Warden Pairs found their mates yesterday. Yay! Now go hunt Paisley. Even better! We’ll conduct Tests of Proximity on the fly. As in, while you’re searching for Paisley.

  Have I mentioned you should find Paisley?*

  Have a wonderful weekend and may you all find your mates!

  Scarlet Wickham

  Ruling Alpha Mate and HBIC**

  *Disclaimer: Activities associated with the Gathering can at times involve substantial risk of injury, property damage, and other dangers. Dangers particular to such activities include, but are not limited to: hypothermia, drowning, broken bones, strains, sprains, bruises, concussion, heart attack, heat exhaustion, cuts, abrasions, burns, electrical shock, poisoning, and blunt trauma. By participating in and attending the Gathering, you agree not to hold the Gathering organizers or other attendants liable for such damage including, but not limited to, the above. You break it, but we still ain’t buying it.

  **HBIC: Head Bitch In Charge

  ~~≈~~

  Blog post by Ruling Alpha Mate Scarlet Wickham on July 23, 7:39 a.m.…

  P.S. to Day Three!

  First wolf (or pair) to find Paisley gets free deer burgers 4 lyfe.

  Have a wonderful weekend and may you all find your mates!*

  Scarlet Wickham

  Ruling Alpha Mate and HBIC**

  *Disclaimer: You may die if you don’t find my cousin. Peace out.

  **HBIC: Head Bitch In Charge

  ~~≈~~

  Text message sent by Ruling Alpha Mate Scarlet Wickham on July 23, 8:17 a.m.…

  Seriously, people? You have one job: find Paisley. One. Job. Because you can’t find her, I have to actually run during the search. Run.

  ~~≈~~

  Reply text from Ruling Alpha Madden Harris on July 23, 8:18 a.m.…

  You can do a job on my knob, baby.

  ~~≈~~

  Text message sent by Ruling Alpha Mate Scarlet Wickham on July 23, 8:19 a.m.…

  Disregard the last message. The “reply” button has been deactivated on Madden’s phone. Carry on. Nothing to read here.

  Chapter Two

  Paisley was kinda wishing she’d taken self-defense lessons with Lorelei rather than yoga. Downward dog wasn’t gonna save her. Neither was upward dog. There was no bendy doggy pose that would get her battered, bloody, and stinky body free of these cuff-ish things.

  Heh. Cuff-ish was right.

  Kidnapped by a black hurricane, deposited in a fabu hotel, kidnapped again by some sexy looking wolf, and now she was shoved in the corner of a run down, disease-infested hotel room.

  Run down was a given, but the disease-infested was more of a guess. She’d seen more than one cockroach—okay, a dozen—and she coulda swore she saw a pair of rats getting busy on the other side of the room.

  The AC kicked on, rumbling and rattling to life before sending more of the putrid aroma of the room toward her. It smelled so bad she was sure more than one person had died in the place. What’d they do, clean with Windex and call it good?

  That had her remembering this movie where the old guy sprayed Windex on everything and then…

  Paisley almost snorted at the memory, recalling she’d watched the film with her two sisters Rebecca and Lorelei. They’d laughed and laughed and laughed.

  Now wasn’t a time for laughing. No, she shouldn’t make a single sound. Which was why she suppressed the desire to chuckle. She’d already learned what happened when she brought attention to herself.

  She gently stroked her face, fingers carefully prodding the swelling around her eye. Mouthing off to her kidnappers wasn’t a good idea. She’d been snatched, and the first time she called one of them a fuckhole, she’d been cold cocked and didn’t wake up until they tossed her on the hotel room’s dingy floor.

  Gah, she’d need a million antibiotic shots when she finally got away. After three days, she wasn’t optimistic anyone would find her. Hell, were they even looking?

  She swallowed her sigh.

  The big guy, the main guy, was pacing across the small room, his booted feet pounding against the grime-caked carpet. It was near black but she imagined it’d once been a generic brown. He stomped toward the bathroom, cell phone plastered against his ear, and then spun and came toward her. The glare on his features was unmistakable. As was the gray hair—no, fur—that coated his cheeks.

  Wolf fur. The unhinged giggle that threatened nearly burst into the air, but she slammed the lid on the urge just in time.

  Kidnap. Nice hotel. Kidnap. Unconscious. And… werewolves.

  She wondered if she’d passed out in the middle of her Bikram yoga class. Had the heat and humidity finally gotten to her?

  A lingering ache in her wrist reminded her this was real. Werewolves and magic were real.

  The snarling male still holding her captive was proof of that fact.

  The four men who’d been with him were proof of that fact.

  Thankfully, the other four were gone. Gone and they hadn’t contacted the main guy. No, they hadn’t contacted Maxim. Growling asshole had a name and she needed to remember it if she managed to escape. She’d get free and sic Lorelei on him. Her oldest sister had the whole kung-fu-gun-toting-bad-ass thing going on.

  Of course, that all assumed Paisley got away.

  Maxim spun and glared at her, his yellowed eyes narrowing to slits. He stomped toward her, cell phone in one hand and… He dug into his pocket and tugged a familiar pocket knife free.

  Paisley remem
bered that blade all too well. It wasn’t bad enough that she’d been punched and kicked, but he enjoyed cutting her as well.

  The other three men had enjoyed wearing her blood on their hands, hadn’t they? They’d painted their bodies red, Maxim read a few words from a very old book, and then they disappeared. They still hadn’t returned and each passing second annoyed the man more.

  Apparently it was time to play Cut Paisley to Pieces again.

  The only good thing about the ordeal was that after he cut into her, made her scream, he’d take what he wanted and then heal her. She wouldn’t be scarred.

  Paisley didn’t risk asking him why she still sported a shiner if he cared about her so much.

  Maxim slowly flicked the pocket knife open, exposing the burgundy stained blade. The coated metal dimly gleamed in the room’s yellow light, and ghosts of her other injuries pushed forward. They reminded her of what was to come. Last time she’d received two deep cuts for each wolf. Six in all.

  Maxim squatted before her, his stained jeans stretching taut and molding to his legs while his shirt strained beneath the pressure of his chest. Any other time, she’d think the large man was hotter than hot. Now that she knew the truth, that he was a sadistic bastard, sexytime fantasies no longer filled her head.

  Homicidal thoughts, though…

  “I’m gonna make this quick.”

  Paisley’s eyes widened and she found her voice. “This?”

  “It’s time.” He jerked his head in a quick nod and reached for her, fisting her hair and jerking her head back to expose her throat.

  Fuck being quiet. “No.” She yanked against his hold. “No!”

  “Be still. The harder you fight, the longer this will last.” He snarled at her, fangs bared and yellow eyes glowing with an eerie light.

  “You don’t have to do this. I don’t wanna die. I won’t tell anyone about you or that I saw who you are or that I know anything about werewolves.” She didn’t give a damn she was rambling and vomiting words. “No one will hear a word from me.”

  Maxim chuckled, evil filling the sound. “You think it’s because I don’t want to be caught?” He shook his head. “No, baby, I’m not gonna let your family ruin us anymore.” The cool metal pricked her skin, the tip resting beneath her ear. “Nice and quick. I’ll take care of you and then it’s time to go.”

  Take care of her. As if she were nothing more than a simple chore to be completed before moving on. Fucker. Wait until she got free. She would so pull a… something. Dammit, why couldn’t yoga be more violent?

  “No.” She pulled again, straining against his grip.

  No, no, and no again.

  Paisley’s heart raced, thumping and banging against her lungs as if it fought to gain its freedom. Adrenaline joined the rapid pump of her blood, filling her veins and pushing that fight or flight response forward. Well, she was all for flighting right about then, but there wasn’t much she could do about it.

  She burned with the sensations, skin crawling and pinpricks coating her flesh as if a million ants ate at her in a giant wave of growing ache. They pierced and plucked her body, and a new burn joined the party.

  Burn. Right. Burn seemed too tame. Searing heat wasn’t even strong enough. She was suddenly engulfed in an inferno, liquid fire coating her from head to toe. Still, that blade at her neck didn’t move, didn’t sink into her flesh and end her life. This pain was something else. Something stronger than the cuts, the bruises and damaged bones. It was hot and cold, pain and pleasure, joy and hatred in one. And it wouldn’t stop. No, with every breath it grew, expanded and stretched against her skin.

  A glow gradually filled the room, increased and grew to bathe the room in the light. It crept forward, sliding over the ground. But that wasn’t what concerned her. She’d experienced their magic hadn’t she? The white sparks that flew from Maxim awed her at first and then they simply scared the shit out of her.

  That wasn’t what she was seeing. Nope, not at all. Mainly because Maxim looked like he was about to shit himself and that night light show wasn’t coming from him. Paisley let her gaze flick to her body, looking past the purple hues of her bruises and straight at the pure white that emanated.

  Right. He wasn’t the walking asshole nightlight. She was. Well, the nightlight. Not the asshole. He still had that honor.

  “No,” he whispered, his face stricken and eyes wide. “No.” Maxim shook his head and focused on her once again. “That’s not happening.”

  She didn’t know what he didn’t want to happen, but if he was against it, she was all for it.

  He pressed the blade harder against her, the teasing pressure turning into a determined thrust. The initial sting struck her, shards of pain ricocheting against her nerves. Yes, it hit her, but then something else struck him.

  Smashed into him and sent him flying across the room. The blade tumbled to the ground as he went tearing away from her, the method of her death now resting on the dingy carpet mere inches from her knee.

  Paisley immediately sought the person who’d saved her, the man—or werewolf—that’d come to her rescue. Looked for them and also prayed they wouldn’t be worse than Maxim. She could only take so much fear and torture.

  So, yeah, she scanned the room with her gaze and found no one. Not another soul filled the space.

  There was a now unconscious Maxim and… her.

  Well, a bruised and kinda crispy Maxim. She wasn’t going to think about how that happened. Because now she had a glow emanating from her skin. It throbbed, sending a fluttering ache through her. The light was like Maxim’s, yet it wasn’t. Where his was a twirling mass of yellow with hints of brown, hers was bright, startling white.

  There was no stranger, no savior. There was only her, Paisley Twynham.

  “Take that Krav Maga. Glowing yoga for the win.”

  * * *

  Something inside Hawkins drove him to take that next step, to turn that next corner, to ignore his friend and push on. Dawn had come and gone, and the Alpha Mate’s cousin was still missing.

  Scarlet¬—not to mention Gabriella, Whitney, Rebecca, and Lorelei¬—was beyond pissed. Not necessarily at the searchers, but furious just the same. Paisley Twynham had been missing since the first day of the annual Gathering. She’d been taken right under their wolfy noses, and now all and sundry knew she was in the clutches of one badass wolf.

  Clutches, he almost snorted, like they were in a bad suspense novel. Not that he read them.

  “Hawk, man, what are we doing?” Chance whispered, his voice barely audible over the wind.

  If he were honest, he wasn’t sure what the fuck brought him down some grungy alley. Or what urged him to glare at the ten foot chain link fence barring his path. Something inside him urged him to tear down the woven metal. Not climb over it, but destroy the thing.

  “Dunno.” He shrugged and stepped closer, sending a quiet call to the magic that lurked.

  Chance came to stand beside him, but Hawkins didn’t give his partner another thought.

  Not when his energies flared to life, hungry and anxious to push forward. It was filled with… anticipation. Anticipation of what?

  It didn’t matter because the normally docile tendrils of power whipped at the steel, slicing through the links without hesitation, destroying the fence. It didn’t simply cut a hole for him and his partner. No, the barricade evaporated. Poof. One second it was there, the next, gone.

  Chance cringed and cursed. “Dammit. What the fuck?”

  Yeah, he was thinking the same thing. As werewolves, they were subject to the laws of their kind. They weren’t to reveal themselves to humans. As Wardens—wolves who also wielded magic—that was doubly important. It was why Wardens went through rigorous training on control. His control had obviously taken a vacation.

  But he didn’t have time to worry about discovery. No, whatever encouraged his magic to flare out of control for the briefest moment also beckoned him forward.

  A buzz filled him, vibra
ting his bones, his flesh, and his skin. Each step jarred him, sending jolts of power and… something else along his nerves. He itched inside and out and was desperate to rub away the sensation.

  He’d never felt this way. Not even when he’d come into his power. That’d been a pleasurable blossom of joy. Elation filled him that day, the time when he fully embraced that part of him.

  This was different, but yet the same. The magic urged him to embrace something. Someone?

  Hawkins gave his partner a sidelong glance. He sure as hell wasn’t embracing Chance. The power could go fuck itself. He didn’t mind sharing a woman occasionally. Especially since it was discovered that Warden Pairs could find mates when they’d always thought they’d be alone. But each other? Yeah, no. Hard pass.

  He continued down the alley, feet sinking into sludge and sliding on God only knew what. “I have no idea. I need to… go there. Wherever that is.” Chance rubbed his arms, palms sliding over his biceps and he wondered… “You itch, too? Like ants on your spine?”

  Chance shot him a wide-eyed look. “Yeah?”

  Hawkins nodded. “Yeah. It started a block back.”

  “I thought—”

  “You can’t think when it comes to that part of you. If it wants something, it’s gonna get it.” He turned his head and stared at his partner. “Got it?”

  “I’m not a pup, Hawk,” Chance snapped and he sensed his friend’s energies nudging forward.

  No, his partner wasn’t a pup, but he sure as hell wasn’t as old as Hawkins. Times like this, when his power was dragging him through some disgusting hell, he really felt his age.

 
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