Maple's Strong Alpha, page 1part #1 of Denver Troubles Series
Maple’s Strong Alpha:
Bad Alpha Dads
Maple’s Strong Alpha: Bad Alpha Dads
Denver Troubles, Volume 1
Published by McKayla Schutt, 2018.
While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.
MAPLE’S STRONG ALPHA: BAD ALPHA DADS
First edition. June 12, 2018.
Copyright © 2018 McKayla Schutt.
Written by McKayla Schutt.
I would like to thank my husband Branden, giving me the push when I needed it I love him so much.
I also would like to thank my awesome editor for making me work hard.
Last, I would like to thank my fans, especially my street team for always supporting me even when I felt like quitting you guys were there to keep me going.
I hope everyone loves this story and make sure you review if you do. ;)
Sleep, such a sweet thing when it happened but lose too many hours of it, and it could make anyone go a little crazy. The rain had a calming effect hours ago but at two a.m. it annoyed the piss out of Raymand. The banging on the front door didn’t help the slow progression of the migraine forming behind his eyes as he pulled on a pair of sweatpants.
“I’m coming!” Raymand yelled as he stomped down the stairs. “It’s fucking two in the morning.” Raymand yanked the door open to find Cora, a little wolf completely drenched, standing next to his gloomy second in command, Drake. Did the hunter’s strike again? His wolf howled at the idea of more parents dying to protect their children.
“We have a problem, alpha.” Drake adjusted a hot pink suitcase next to him.
“Come in.” Raymand waved inside and Cora slowly made her way in, bringing the scent of blood with her. The girl cleared her face of the rain and tears. Cora shuffled into the living room and slumped onto the couch, creating a little trail of watery prints in her wake. He bit back a comment about getting a towel to clean up her own mess. His wolf growled at the sadness rolling off the pup and his human side liked it even less. Later he’d clean up, right now he had shit to do. Drake lifted the suitcase into the house and placed it next to Cora. He didn’t like Cora being here without her parents, it made his stomach turn with unease.
“What the hell is going on?” Raymand snapped. Drake pushed back his wet auburn hair.
“She came to my house crying. She said they’re gone.” Sadness took over Drake’s whiskey brown eyes.
“Did you go to her house?” Raymand glanced at Cora, the pup shook as tears rolled down her face. Hints of blood stained her hot-pink shirt beneath the black coat.
“Lia and Shriv are dead.” Drake lowered his voice even more. “A hunter’s short blade was still stuck in his heart.”
His heart dropped.
Drake confirmed his suspicions about what happened but somehow Cora had made it out. He hated losing pack mates, especially to the fucking hunters. Raymand wished they would get the large sticks out of their asses and accept the supernatural world instead of trying to annihilate every non-human.
“Fuck.” Raymand threw up his hands and looked at Cora. “This is the fourth time the hunters have attacked in the last few months.” It almost averaged to once every other week and he had no clue why the pups weren’t dead with their parents. Keeping the little pup on his couch just became priority one, along with finding the other kids. He could only hope the others were still alive when they did track them down. The bastards had kept their tracks covered too well for first time hunters. This shit had been planned and yet Cora managed to slip away. How?
“Tomorrow I think we need to put the pack on alert. It looks like they were trying to take Cora like they took the other pups.” Drake glanced over the couch before turning his gaze Raymand’s way. Raymand strolled over and kneeled in front of the small wolf with medium brown hair. He cared for every member of his pack and that meant asking the tough questions and most times being the bad alpha to keep them safe. Being the bad-ass alpha came in handy when others threatened to overthrow his pack but sometimes his own pack mates wouldn’t approach him. Instead of losing face and ground, he stayed the bad alpha and kept pushing forward.
“Cora, I need you to tell me what happened tonight.” Raymand didn’t want to traumatize the pup further but he needed more information.
“Do I have to, alpha?” Cora sniffled.
“So I can try to stop them, yes.” Raymand needed to know more. With two families dead and two pups missing, they needed answers from someone who had been there and managed to get away.
“Momma has been a little nervous because of the other kids goin’ missin’. She’s been tellin’ me over and over again if she yells purple, to run to Drake’s or your house.” Cora rocked in her spot and pulled at her hair. He wanted to soothe her racing heart so he grabbed her hands to keep her hair where it should be.
“So, you raced to Drake’s house then?” Raymand pushed back his wolf’s growing anger. If she did as her mother told her, they wouldn’t have much to go on. His thoughts bounced back on which outcome he wanted more.
“Not at first.” Cora lowered her gaze. “Momma yelled it when I was in the tree house Daddy made me.” More tears fell down her cheeks. “The hunters killed Momma and Daddy in the kitchen then they looked for me in the house. A cop car drove by when they were about to come up the tree. They ran, and I crawled down and tried to help Momma.” A sob left her lips and she pushed away at the tears. His heart twisted at the memory of seeing his own mother pass away and she wasn’t attacked.
“She talked to you after the attack?” Raymand glance at Drake. He didn’t understand why Lia didn’t heal if they didn’t end her right away.
“There was silver everywhere, I couldn’t touch her without burning myself.” Cora put out her hands, deep burns littered her small fingers. A growl vibrated through Raymand’s chest and Cora jumped back.
“It’s not toward you, Cora.” Raymand stood and disappeared to get bandages for her hands. He returned with alcohol and cleaned her fingers before putting a large bandage over both hands. “We will take them off in the morning.”
“Okay.” Cora nodded.
The need to find the hunters and put an end to them coursed through his body so strongly he almost shifted and bolted out the door. He had put more wolves on patrol around the neighborhood where families were living and yet the hunters kept finding ways through and attacking.
“Did they try and come back, Cora?” He reminded himself he had to keep Cora safe now. His silent house wouldn’t be back to normal till he found her family to take her.
“I don’t know. When Momma took her last breath, I ran.” She sniffed and curled into a ball on the couch. Raymand grabbed a pillow and moved her to lay down. Drake placed a blanket on Cora and pushed her hair from her face.
“Get some sleep.” Raymand patted her shoulder. He had no clue what he would do with a little pup in his house but soon she would be with her other family.
“What’s going to happen to me?” Cora met Raymand’s gaze, if an older wolf did this he would have seen it as a sign of disrespect, but Cora wasn’t a threat to him. His wolf surged forward wanting to comfort the little pack member in such distress but Raymand pushed him back from shifting. They needed to be strong if they wanted to find and eliminate the fucking hunters. But all the plans to track down the other kids taken had failed and brought them no new information.
Drake followed Raymand around the corner into his large office.
“We have a small problem Raymand, she doesn’t have any family I know of.” Drake leaned against the wall. The large oak desk still stood from when his grandfather built it many years ago. The legs had claw marks from his father and even himself when they had been pups. Raymand wondered if his son would create his own marks on the legs when he finally found a mate.
“What do you mean?” Raymand plopped down in his chair, his wolf yawned and fell in a heap. With the immediate threat of someone attacking his home nullified, his wolf wanted to pass out.
“I know Lia’s parents are dead and they only had her. Shriv might have some brothers or sisters but he moved here ten years ago and imprinted with Lia.” Drake took the chair on the other side of the desk.
“We need to find her a home. She can’t stay with me forever.” Raymand knew he had to keep her safe as the alpha of the pack but he didn’t know how to take care of a child for more than a few days.
“I can look before I have my meeting with a new wolf named Maple tomorrow.” Drake tapped his fingers on the chair, he normally did this when deep in thought.
“Who’s Maple?” The name rang a bell, but he couldn’t place where he knew it from.
“Her aunt Penny owned the bookstore over on the strip in Aurora.” When Drake brought up Penny, memories of the older woman filled his mind. Penny’s dark blue eyes always knew when pups were telling the truth or trying to pass some crap on her.
“Penny had a niece?” Raymand didn’t know her brother was still living.
“Yep, she gave the store to her niece even though she never talked to her brother after they left town. But there have been some problems with the lease owner not wanting to sign with a werewolf.”
“Well get it fucking fixed or I’ll talk to the guy.” Raymand hated fucking inbred hicks who thought they could get away with discriminating against his fucking pack.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get it figured out.” Drake grabbed his phone and smiled. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Anne is having issues getting Emily to bed.”
“Night.” Raymand walked him out and stared at Cora. After he double checked all the locks to his home, he shuffled back up to his room and collapsed onto the bed. His mind tried to come up with a new plan to protect his pack. The buddy system? No, they were killing two wolves at a time, that shit wouldn’t work. Upping patrols hadn’t done much to deter the fuckers. Enforcing a freaking curfew wouldn’t make a difference since it was happening in the family homes. He debated on giving up all the information about the hunters. After the second kidnapping, he had given a soft warning about keeping a close eye on each other.
As Raymand drifted off to sleep, he hoped Cora would find a home, but he also hoped to find the bastards messing with his pack. Images of hunters’ heads being torn from their bodies made his wolf grin.
Maple glanced around her aunt’s dusty bookshop, her eyes landed on a paperback near the cash register. A few months ago, Maple sent her the book and bookmark, now resting in the center of the story. Tears stung the corners of her eyes. Another unfinished thing, her aunt would never get to complete, like getting to know Maple better.
She pushed the tears back and glanced around her aunt’s store. Nope, this is my store now, my fresh start. Her father’s angry words rang out in her mind, the night she packed up to leave Florida had been eventful, to say the least. Her Aunt Penny had taken a liking to her even after her father moved Maple to Florida. Her old alpha didn’t care much about Maple’s lack of complete obedience, he had been all too happy to see her leave the pack.
Her wolf paced in the back of her mind, wanting to get out of the stale room. She dragged a finger over one of the wooden shelves, a thin layer of dust covered her finger and almost everything else in the place. There were so many spots not holding any books and the reading area smelled of mildew. Maple scrunched up her nose as she strolled by the old beanbag chairs. She barely managed to keep herself from gagging.
“This place needs a lot of freaking work before it reopens.” Maple sighed heavily. She grabbed the bags and took them to the trash. As she walked back in, she snatched up the book her aunt would never finish, shoved it in her purse, and headed out the front door. A month ago, she had received the heartbreaking news her aunt passed away, then a week later a lawyer named Drake called and told her about the store being transferred to her. Maple locked the front door and looked around the area. The fresh Denver air filled her lungs, settling her wolf. After an hour in the shop, her beast had wanted to get out and run but Maple pushed her down. She had a meeting she needed to get to with Drake, her new pack’s go-to lawyer.
The warm summer air reminded her of Florida, she shook away the memories of her last home as she climbed into her old burgundy pickup truck.
The engine roared to life and she drove to the brown building in downtown Denver. She knew the place had a technical name like plaza or court something or other but she couldn’t freaking remember to save her life. Names of places weren’t always her strong suit. The traffic had been a completely new thing she had to adjust to since her smaller town in Florida didn’t have any. Maple shoved a hand through her long dark hair trying to figure out a plan to save the little bookstore. The fucking strip-store owner was being a royal, prejudiced, pain in her ass.
Maple parked the truck next to a newer black pickup. When she climbed out an earthy alpha aroma filled her nose, every alpha had the masculine tint to their scent. Shit, I’m not ready to see the alpha! She looked down at her black sweatpants and sweatshirt with the Denver Broncos logo splashed across the front. Maple glanced around the packed parking lot but not a soul came out of the large building.
“Shit-freaking-tastic.” Maple let go of a few more curses as she leaned into her truck and searched for her spare set of clothes. The pants she found had tears and looked even worse than her current sweats. Maple dove into the back, her hand wrapped around the shirt she stashed in there months ago. She yanked it up and her hopes of finding a good shirt were dashed when it caught on a screw. The fabric gave, forming a large hole where her right breast would be.
“Dang it.” She tossed it back in and prayed she didn’t come face to face with the alpha. She didn’t want to give a bad first impression and had scheduled a time for tomorrow to go pledge her allegiance to him. Maple had planned on doing it sooner, but the store caused her more headaches than anything else.
She slammed the door closed and locked it. Please don’t be with the lawyer I’m seeing. Maple bit her lip while she crossed the parking lot. With a deep breath, she opened the door and strolled toward the first lady behind a sleek desk. Only a phone and a lone monitor rested off to the right.
“Hello. Who are you here to see?” Sharp nut-brown eyes studied Maple, making her a little too aware of her outfit choice this morning. What on earth was I thinking? Oh, that’s right, I wanted to be comfortable.
“Drake…um.” Maple tried to think of his last name, but it wasn’t coming to her.
“Drake Taylor?” she supplied. Her brown curls bounced as she slid closer to the computer.
“Yes, that’s it.” Maple smiled. She kept her head high not wanting to give the human receptionist the edge over her.
“Do you have an appointment?” She looked at her computer with a frown on her face.
“I don’t think so.” Maple licked her lips and tried to think of what to say.
“He’s currently with someone but you can wait in the room over there with the little girl. I’m sure he could squeeze you in for a consultation on your divorce.” The woman smiled brightly.
“Okay.” Maple didn’t want to correct her and say she wasn’t getting a divorce and get paired with someone she ha
“Are you okay, sweetheart?” Maple sat next to the pup with long medium-brown hair.
“I miss them.” The girl’s shoulders fell, and she looked up, tears covering her face.
“Come here, sweetheart.” She pulled the little girl into her lap and rubbed her back. “What’s your name?”
“Cora.” She cleared her face of tears, but new ones fell from her sky-blue eyes seconds later.
“I’m Maple.” She pushed back Cora’s hair and held her tight. The pain radiating off the pup made her wolf whimper.
“Is it because your scent is sweet?” Cora pressed against the orange logo and sniffed loudly.
“I think it’s why my mom picked it out.” She smiled. Cora’s tears slowed down, bringing Maple some peace.
“I like it.” She rubbed her cheek against Maple’s chest and her whole body relaxed.
“Do you want to tell me what happened?” Maple cleared off her face. Her wolf pushed toward the edge.
“Not really. I already had to tell the alpha right after it happened.” Cora shook her head.
“Okay. Don’t worry. You’re safe right here.” Maple couldn’t help but bond with the hurting pup. She rocked her from side to side the way her mother had done before she died. The memories of her mother made her heart tighten.
“Hunters killed my parents. Momma told me to run but I tried to save her instead. Burned my hands trying to help but I couldn’t…” Cora shook her head. Faint red scars covered her tiny fingers. This little pup deserves better.
“I’ll keep you safe, sweetheart.” Maple kissed the top of Cora’s head.
After a few minutes, she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep. The door opened behind Maple, her wolf surged forward, ready to defend the helpless pup. She turned, and the alpha scent filled her nose. The chestnut brown eyes narrowed in on Maple made her wolf cower but her human side wanted to keep helping Cora.
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