Maple's Strong Alpha, page 5part #1 of Denver Troubles Series
She grabbed Cora’s hand and they marched out of the house leaving Raymand in a state of shock. Even though she didn’t complete the bond with the sexy alpha she needed to fight for the little pup. It may have been too soon to press her luck, but she couldn’t help it. She needed to keep Cora safe. It would break her heart if she was hurt on Maple’s watch.
Raymand jumped out of the shower and shook his head. He couldn’t believe how ballistic Maple became when they talked about Cora’s after school routine. The first time they were alone he would take the chance and complete the bond with Maple.
“I need to get Cora out of this house before Maple completely bonds with her.” Raymand yanked up his boxers then jeans on before grabbing a shirt. On his way to Drake’s office, his wolf slowly pushed little images of what Maple might look like in the throes of passion. Each new scene grew hotter leaving him with a freaking hard on.
“How could this day get any fucking worse?” Raymand growled as shut of the truck. He took in a breath trying to calm himself and get rid of his arousal. When he climbed out Maple’s faded scent still lingered in the parking lot making his hard dick press against his jeans. He rolled his shoulders and strolled into the building. Raymand needed to get a couple to agree to take Cora today before Maple demanded she stayed forever.
He made himself a promise not to force someone to take Cora in, he didn’t want to be that kind of alpha. The front reception lady kept her head down as Raymand headed straight for Drake’s office. Even without completing the bond he trusted Maple enough to keep Cora safe. The fire in his mate grew bright, especially for the pup.
“Hey, alpha.” Drake glanced up from his computer and met Raymand’s gaze for a second.
“Do you have anyone for me?”
“Yes, there are two couples for you.” Drake continued to type on his keyboard. Raymand’s aggravation grew with every tap of the keys.
“Where are they?” He growled and Drake’s head snapped up.
“Sorry, I have a client coming later today and she sent, oh never mind. They’re in the conference rooms down the hall. Bry is with Michelle then there is Ace and Lori-anne. Michelle hasn’t ever been fertile, so they seem pretty desperate. Lori-anne has one kid but there were complications during delivery making her infertile after.” Drake handed Raymand two files. A wolf should heal from any delivery wounds but he didn’t mention it.
“Thank you.” Raymand opened one and found Michelle’s photo with all her stats on where she lives and how long they had been mated. “Where the hell did you get all of this information?”
“The Wolfbase.” Drake shrugged like the answer would be obvious. He tapped on the computer again.
“Right.” The Wolfbase was a database for alpha eyes only but bigger packs the alpha could give the second in command access. Just last week Drake’s older brother, Ash asked to get information about a witch and her family. As long as it didn’t endanger anyone he had no problem reuniting a witch with her werewolf family. Some coven information had been put on the database about a year ago.
Raymand flipped open the second file on Lori-anne before leaving the office. He easily found both couples in different rooms. He chose to talk to Michelle and Bry first since they had never had children like Drake suggested.
“Hello,” Raymand spoke after he opened the door. He closed the file before shutting the door. His wolf pushed more images of Maple into his mind. Are you freaking kidding me right now?
“Is there some kind of problem?” Bry adjusted in his seat and wrapped an arm around his mate.
“Not exactly. As the alpha, I’m in charge of taking any orphan children of the pack if they don’t have family who can take them.” Raymand sat across from them to get the best view of their reactions to his questions.
“It’s so sad,” Michelle whispered.
“Yes. It’s now my job to find her a good home and it’s why you’re here.” He opened the file again and glanced at Michelle’s profile.
“Oh, okay.” Bry relaxed in his seat.
“So, you’ve never had a heat cycle before?” Raymand glanced down at the file then looked over to Michelle. Her face turned red.
“I had one but when I had an accident at seventeen some glass cut so deep even my wolf couldn’t heal me completely.” Michelle nibbled on her lower lip.
“I see. Bry are you ready to have a child in your home?” Raymand turned to the older male, they had about a five-year difference between the couple. But when you imprint there is no turning back.
His mind wandered to his own fiery mate and her explosion this morning. I can’t wait to fucking complete this freaking bond. He only had less than three freaking days to mate with her or he would lose his wolf and his pack. His whole life would be fucked if he lost his beast. Everything he cared about would be completely lost to him.
“Yes. I would like to have a chance at being a father.” Bry nodded.
“Is this child a boy or girl?” Michelle asked.
“Girl. She will turn eight in a few months.” Raymand had made a mental note of this fact after Drake had dropped her off.
“Wait are you talking about the little girl who lost their parents to the hunters?” Michelle glanced at Bry. Raymand’s back stiffened but he tried not to show any signs of worry.
“Why?” Raymand didn’t like where this was headed. Cora was a sweet little girl, someone must want to take her in.
“I’m sorry but we couldn’t take her. Especially since the woman who went to get her things got attacked.” Michelle shook her head.
“How do you know about it?” Raymand growled. He didn’t like how the news had traveled through the wolfvine so fucking quickly.
“My brother is over there doing a patrol and told me about it.” Michelle kept her gaze on the table in front of them.
“Well, I will let you go then.” Raymand stood and he stormed out. He wanted to punch the wall but barely resisted. How could a couple that seemed so desperate pass up a chance to be a parent? Being a parent required protection and nurturing and yet they completely gave up on Cora before even meeting her. After he took in a shaky breath, he stepped into the other room but Lori-anne shook her head violently.
“No way. I’m not endangering my only child to take Cora in.” Her eyes were wide with fear as she stared at Raymand’s chest.
“Yesterday was a fucking fluke and if it would make you feel better we can have more wolves to patrol your street.”
“No. Little Tim doesn’t need a sister that bad.” Lori-anne shook her head violently again. Anger spiked toward the two couples. A pack should support each other and all he saw were selfish people.
Raymand slammed the door behind him and marched back to Drake’s office. Keeping his own promise to himself might be harder than he thought. I love my pack, I freaking love it. He repeated the words to help remind himself, as the alpha he had to protect them. Not have them bend to his will twenty-four seven. A human with long blonde hair sat across from Drake when Raymand slipped in. Her eyes widened and hints of arousal mixed with her scent.
“They were a fucking bust. I’m going to the morgue to get the lady’s final notes. You need to do better than this.” Raymand turned and stormed off. He had hoped Cora would have been out of his house by tonight, but it didn’t look fucking possible. If she had the damn nightmares again, his chances of completing the bond with Maple would be freaking slim.
He would have to neutralize the fucking problem of the hunters taking children before he could get rid of her. After the morgue, he would go to Maple’s store and check on her. Ideas of taking her in the back zipped through his mind as he crossed the parking lot to his truck.
When he climbed into the truck, an odd sensation someone watched him rolled down his spine. He turned around but didn’t catch any eyes right on him. Raymand jammed his finger onto the window button. The glass inched down he scented the air. He wished he had a better nose like Zac, w
He pushed down the worry and turned the engine on.
“I will get my home back.” Raymand’s anger simmered under his flesh.
After packing a weeks’ worth of clothes from her cramped apartment Maple moved them over to Raymand’s house. Dealing with some issues at the store constantly mixed with thoughts of the alpha. She wanted the stubborn alpha so bad she could barely focus on anything else.
Maple picked up Cora without incident and took her back to the bookstore, so she could deal with the man trying to close down her store. She scanned the place hoping for her fresh start to finally come together. Ideas of Cora running around when she became ten or even when she hit her teenage years and wanting to read romance books flittered through her mind.
She placed her hand on her lips remembering the hot kiss from the night before. She hoped tonight Cora slept better so she could complete the bond with the alpha. If they waited too much longer she would be getting a completely different fresh start as a werewolf with no wolf side. She pushed the idea back and determination coursed through her body to complete the bond tonight.
Images of Raymand dirtying up the whole place consumed her thoughts. She licked her lips and tried to calm her racing heart.
Cora skipped around the kid section of books while Maple forced herself to take inventory off the newest books she ordered when she first arrived. She had to open soon, or she could face other problems.
“Cora, how was school?” Maple slid into the kids’ area, glancing at the shelves.
“Okay, I guess. My wolf friends are avoiding me.” Cora’s foot rapped the wood shelf.
“Why is that?” Maple put her clipboard down and studied the little girl. She didn’t like the idea of other kids being mean to her sweet Cora. Crap, I’m really attached to her now. Maple took a second while Cora stared at the floor. I need to get Raymand to keep Cora with us.
“One said I might put a target on them. Another said her mom told her to stay away.” Cora sniffled. Maple pulled Cora into a hug. The pain pulsing from Cora broke Maple’s heart.
“They will come around once we get these hunters.” Maple hugged her tighter. The front door opened and closed quickly putting Maple on edge, instantly her wolf lurched forward ready to shift.
“Excuse me, are you the owner?” A timid voice came from the front of the store. Maple stood and pushed Cora behind her. Her wolf paced at the edge of her mind.
“Who’s asking?” Maple hated being on her guard all the time, but she needed to keep Cora safe no matter what.
“I’m the lease owner of this strip, Don Douglas.” He cleared his throat. His shaggy blonde hair gave Maple the stoner impression. And the scent of weed lingered in the air didn’t help his cause. You have to be kidding me, now the store will stink for days. Her wolf growled inside her mind.
“I see. Well then, we’ll be open tomorrow, so we aren’t in violation of our contract.” Maple inched over to face him better. His dress shirt clashed with his cargo black pants. He scratched the back of his head. The motion made Maple’s stomach tighten.
“We have another issue I’m afraid.” He stepped closer but had the door to his back like he wanted to be prepared for a quick escape. Maple wondered how the man could give her aunt the lease in the first place but not want to deal with her. I mean what the ever-loving hell happened?
“What now?” Maple folded her arms in front of her chest. She didn’t like where this headed one bit.
“Well, there have been threats to me if you reopen the store.” His eyes bounced around the room and never fully met her gaze. Cora shuffled around some of the books and the man’s eyes glanced to Maple’s side.
“What threats? And why now?” Maple glanced back to make sure Cora couldn’t be seen.
“When I gave the contract to your aunt, most didn’t know she had a wolf and now they do.” He paused and rolled his shoulders. “Now they’re threatening to not shop on the whole strip if it’s reopened by another werewolf.” He lifted his hands up like he’d never received a threat before in his life.
“Sounds like a personal problem. I can’t help you there.” Maple shrugged. She didn’t give two shits about wolf haters and she didn’t need their business either.
“But I can terminate the contract.” His voice gained some confidence as he took one more step toward Maple. The front door could fully swing open if someone else decided to come in.
“You can’t do that without my consent. I need to keep this store open or I won’t have any money. I spent the last of my savings on inventory.” Maple pointed toward the boxes on the main counter. And her fresh start on her own would go up in freaking flames.
“Sounds like a personal problem.” He shrugged back. Anger simmered under her skin, Maple struggled to keep it down and not explode on the man making her life hell.
“I’m going to call my lawyer.” Maple pulled out her phone.
“You mean the divorce attorney?” He laughed making Maple’s skin crawl. She resisted the urge to run across the store and punch the fucker in the face.
“It’s illegal to discriminate against werewolves and these threats are minor compared to the backlash you’ll have on your hands when the werewolf community hears about it.” Maple clenched her fist at her side, she barely managed to not crush her phone in the other hand.
“Are you threatening me now?” He gained even more confidence in his voice.
“I don’t make threats. I make promises.” Maple took a calculated step toward him, and his eyes flashed with hints of fear.
“And what promises can you make? You’re a low-level wolf trying to open a bookstore. Can your species even read?” He tilted his head. Cora growled low from Maple’s side.
“Go grab a book or play over there, sweetheart.” Maple pointed to back where she had been before. Cora nodded and glared at the man while listening to Maple. Hints of relief filled her that Cora actually listened to her.
“For your information, I imprinted the alpha last night,” Maple said once Cora sat down with her book. She lied through her teeth. Maple needed this freaking store to open tomorrow and if a little lie did the trick she would use it.
“Which means?” He shrugged and grinned like a fucking idiot. Maple stepped toward him while keeping Cora in her line of sight.
“Which means I’m in charge of the pack myself only second to the alpha.” Maple growled. Images of punching the man’s teeth out were placed there by her wolf. Her human side itched to do just that.
“So, because you fucked the boss it means you can rule the other wolves. It sounds a little wrong don’t you think?” He rubbed his chin. Maple took in a deep breath. The scent of weed grew stronger, and her wolf winced, but Maple pushed through it.
“You need to get out of my store. Unless you have papers telling me to leave, I’m not going anywhere.” Maple pointed toward the door.
“Oh, my lawyer is bringing them right now.” He pulled out a tape measure with two large Ds and an A on the side. “I would like to do a few measurements while I wait.” He tapped on the metal cover while his brown eyes glanced around the room again.
“You can go sit over there until he arrives then.” Maple pointed to the chairs to her left. He glared at Maple then shuffled over to the seating area. Maple grabbed her phone and dialed Drake while she checked on Cora.
“Sweetheart, can you come here and help me?” Maple motioned for Cora to come with her.
“What’s up, Maple?” Drake answered after a few rings while Cora followed Maple.
“We have a problem.” She hissed over the phone and placed her hand on Cora’s back leading her to the back room. The window gave her a good view of the fucker while giving her privacy.
“No, the lease owner is threatening to terminate the contract because he is receiving threats.” Maple held back her growl. The man peeked through the curtains and then glanced around the shop.
“Are you fucking kidding?” Drake shuffled around on his end.
“No, he said his lawyer is coming over now.” Maple glanced at the door, but it didn’t open.
“I can’t leave for another ten minutes but Raymand just left. Maybe he can help.” Drake sounded unsure at the idea of Raymand being able to help.
“How can he help me right now?” Maple didn’t like all this shit. She had wanted an easy fresh start, but everything turned into a freaking fight. A fight to keep the store, a battle to keep Cora and a struggle to find her place by Raymand’s side. Her shoulders fell when the man stood.
“Well he is the alpha,” Drake reminded her. She swallowed hard as she remembered the lie she told the lease owner. If Raymand contradicted her, then she would look like an idiot. Yet the damage had been done.
“Well I told him I’m the alpha’s mate, it didn’t faze him.” Maple growled. The door chimed making Maple’s heart fall. Another male in a full black suit slipped into the store.
“Try and stall. I’m almost done here.” Drake ended the call leaving Maple in a slight panic.
“You can do this.” Cora smiled, giving her a small boost. Maple pulled her into a quick hug and kissed her head.
“Thank you, sweetheart. I need you to stay quiet over in the kid area okay?”
“I can do that for you.” Cora’s grin brightened. Maple kissed her head again before stepping back out. The ass hat stoner measured the door before turning around.
“Shall we begin?” he asked. Don’t punch him in the face. She repeated the words as she headed into the battle.
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