D. L. Biranen
Copyright 2017 by D. L. Biranen
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
BOOK JACKET DESCRIPTION
When Alpha shows up at Bethany’s house in a car only a millionaire can afford, she realizes he is anything but the middleclass boy she thought him to be, and is concerned about what other secrets he holds.
Series of frontal attacks inform her of an unknown enemy. To make things even worse, Alpha who should be by her side deserts her and returns to being his old self, the lone Alpha. Bethany finds herself unknowing the Alpha she has tried so hard to know.
Will she accept the end of their relationship, or will she struggle to unmask the secrets behind his distance?
It all feels like Déjà vu. Alpha sits alone at his table, reading one of his many books. And I, I’m on my side of the cafeteria, with Liam and Paisley beside me, chattering about a gist I don’t care to catch. Sat in front of me is my barely touched pizza.
“It’s a new month, Beth,” Paisley says. “I can’t believe you’re still drooling over some guy who doesn’t even know you exist.”
I smirk. If only she knew. “It’s Beta,” I say, loving the sound of my new nickname. Soon, news of the newly birthed Alpha and Beta love story will be the hottest news. How cliché.
“Beta?” Liam asks. “Beta as in Beta wolf? The hell did that come from?”
“You’ll see,” I say. I rise to my feet and stroll towards Alpha. I can hear my friends call my name, trying to revive me from what seems to be the death of me.
Memories of my first encounter with Alpha flicker in my head, and from the way everyone stares at me, I can tell the ‘coke’ drama is still fresh in their memories. They’re probably expecting him to give me the cold shoulder once again. Well, watch this, suckers.
Alpha looks up at me as I halt at his table. His eyes glitter in a way they never have. For a few moments, I lose myself in his mesmeric brown eyes, paying no mind to the nosy pupils gawking at me.
“Take a picture?” Alpha suggests with a sly smile that turns my legs into a messy puddle.
Still staring, I slide onto the seat opposite him. What words can I use to describe how supernaturally beautiful he looks this morning? There’s a smile on his face that’s never been there before. I can only hope I’m the reason behind his smile.
His eyes return to the book he’s been reading, making me snap back into reality. Envy takes the best of me, turning me red-hot. I should be the object of his undivided attention, not some stupid book.
“I read these books too,” I say, hoping to regain his attention. “Suspense and action. They’re great.”
Alpha looks away from his book. I should be proud of myself for achieving this in a split second, but I can’t get past the unimpressed look on his face.
“It’s mystery,” he says.
Mystery. I give myself a mental kick for letting it slip my mind. “Yeah, what I mean is, it’s a really fast paced mystery novel. That’s why I said action.”
He stares at me with that look in his eyes that makes me feel like I drank a cup of stupid before heading to his table.
“So, mystery is your thing?” he asks.
Not even close. I have better things to do than tangle my brain in the name of solving some pointless mystery. But what’s the harm in making him believe we have something in common?
“Yes,” I say. “Totally. It’s one of the many things we have in common.”
Punctuating my sentence with a sheepish smile, I look away and curl my fingers in my hair.
He stares at me for a second too long. I hold my breath and pray he doesn’t see through my lie. Smirking, he closes his book and trains his eyes on me.
My eyes twinkle with an excitement I don’t attempt to conceal. In barely even one minute, I succeeded in capturing his attention. This doesn’t come as a surprise, though. I know just how hot I am. And Alpha Jordan is not immune to hotness.
My smug smile melts away as Alpha hands me his book. “Here, I’m sure the mystery girl you are is dying to consume it.”
My face pales. I’m sure there’s a misunderstanding somewhere, because the only thing I’m dying to do is watch a raging fire consume it. There is no way in hell I’m reading it.
“No way,” I say.
Hiding my disgust behind a simper, I push the book toward him. “It’s not that I don’t want to read it, but…”
He raises a brow, making unsaid words die on my lips. I lean back in my seat and draw in a deep breath. Wide eyed and unblinking, I stare at the priceless work of art before me. Holy cursed goodness, why does he have to be so hopelessly cute?
He says a word or two, but I’m hopelessly gawking at his pink lips, and the words don’t make it to my ears.
“What?” I ask.
Hitting me with a killer smile, he points at me and touches his lips. I blink. Once. Twice. Everything is still in place, so I know I’m not dreaming.
Holy fudgemonkey cow! Alpha Jordan has just asked me to kiss him. And in public. I sweep my eyes around the room. Everyone is staring. They are just as surprised as I am.
I look back at Alpha. We’ve shared a kiss already, but I could never have guessed he was one for public displays of affection. It’s not that I’m complaining or anything, but…
“You might want to close your mouth,” he says. “People are starting to stare.”
“What?” I ask. A sudden whoosh of self consciousness steals me over as I realize my mouth is agape.
A familiar, blood boiling laughter dances to my hearing. Liam. I glare at him. He claps his right palm over his mouth to suppress his laughter, but fails at it. The other witnesses of my shame are in what seems to be a laughing competition. My cheeks turn a demeaning shade of tomato. I hope they all die laughing.
Alpha chuckles. “That look on your face when you thought I asked you to kiss me.”
“I didn’t…” I seek to hide my perverted mind behind an excuse, but words fail me.
“Yes you did,” he says. “That explains why you were gawking at me like an…” Trailing off, he shakes his head.
“Go on,” I say.
I’m no fool. I know he meant to say I was gawking at him like an idiot. Okay, it’s official. I’m a love struck moron. That explains why I’m such a hopeless puddle around him.
“Back to why I can’t take the book,” I say, in a bid to restore my dignity. “Since you’re already reading it, it wouldn’t be fair to just interrupt the flow, you know.”
“I don’t mind,” he says. “It’s my forth time.”
“Are you kidding?” I ask. He’s read this book four solid times and it still looks like an unsold book in a book store? How on earth did he achieve this?
I pick up the book to have a closer look. My mistake.
“It’s yours for a week,” Alpha says. “I need you to leave an honest review on the author’s webpage once you’re done. It would mean a lot to him.”
Unable to conceal my disgust, I roll my eyes. “Do I have to do this?”
“Aren’t you the one trying hard to impress me? Well, here’s your chance, and not your spoilt rich girl act.”
Winking at me, he vacates his seat and swaggers out of the canteen. I stare at the book before me. I should go dig myself a grave, because I will definitely die of boredom before I even make it past the first chapter.
I make a mental note to never approach him when he’s with a boring mystery novel. This is going to be the most boring week of the century.
Grunting my frustration, I roll over in bed and reach for my ringing phone. My groggy eyes find an unknown number on the screen.
I answer the call. “Hey?”
Silence greets me from the other end.
“Brad?” I ask. Getting no answer, I try again, “Henry? Uhm…Justin?”
“Sleep well?” the caller asks.
Oh my gosh! Alpha! With a hopeless grin, I bolt upright in bed and clear my throat to scratch out the remnant of my grogginess.
“Hi,” I say. “I mean, how did you get my number?” Once the question slips out of my mouth, I realize there is no greater fool than Bethany Howell. Not every girl wakes up to a call from Alpha Jordan. Hell, he doesn’t even have their numbers. But here I am, giving him the impression that he’s bothering me. We’re supposed to be an item, so technically we should be done playing hard to get. How frustrating can I get?
“Am I interrupting something?” he asks.
Although I should still be in bed, I’d be plain stupid to tell him he interrupted my sleep. What would he think of me if he knew I stayed asleep till 10am? I don’t want to find out.
“No,” I say. “Good morning, Alpha.”
I double check my voice, making sure it hovers between normal and sugar coated. I don’t want to scare him off with an overly artificial voice.
His next words cut through my thoughts. “Do you have any plans for today?”
My mouth goes dry as I grope for an answer. I bite my lower lip to interrupt a blossoming grin. Is this him yearning to spend a day with me?
My relationship with Alpha is too good to be true. When reality is too good to be true, it only means things are about to get bad. I’ve seen this in tons of movies.
“I’m free,” I say, although Brad and I already made plans to go out today. But that was B.A.E – Before Alpha Era.
“Why do I have a feeling you have a date with Brad or some other guy?” he asks, but doesn’t wait for me to answer. “Scratch that.”
“Is this a date?” I ask.
“What does it matter?” he asks. “We are going out. Why be so interested about adding a tag to it just yet?”
Alpha’s words translate as: Yes, this is definitely a date. But I want us to take this slow.
A grin spreads across my face. “Uhm…I’ll go get ready.”
“Okay.” He hangs up.
I punch the air and squeal like the love struck teenager that I am. Alpha and I are going on a date. Here comes the best day of the rest of my life.
Finding the right outfit eats up my time like a virus eating up memory space. If only I had a clue where we’re going, I’d be able to choose the perfect outfit.
Leaving a pile of clothes on my bed, I settle for a denim jacket, a white camisole, and skinny blue jeans. I stare at my under-dressed self in the mirror. My eyes droop, baring my displeasure.
Light makeup has never been my thing, but Alpha loves to have an undisturbed view of an underdressed girl’s freckles. And since I’m out to impress him, oh well.
I move to open my windows just in time to see a car steering toward our house. My heart does a flip turn, but a second look at the beast of a car steals the jitters from my stomach.
How is it possible he drives a car that’s a million times the price of mine? He obviously rented it, which is what worries me. Where did he get the money to rent it? Not even if he saves for a millennium can be afford a car like this. So how is it possible he’s in this car?
Placing my questions on hold, I exit the house and step in toward the car to have a closer look. Alpha is really in a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S.
The driver’s door gives way, letting him climb out of the SUV. He looks hotter than he’s ever been, if that’s any possible, considering that he’s always drop dead gorgeous. The glittering black car behind him gives him a billionaire look I can’t get past.
My gaze stays fixated on the car. “Is this real?”
“Real as your crush on me,” he says, smiling.
Cheeks burning, I say, “Alpha, I don’t understand. Where did you get the money to rent this? We should have just used mine.”
A giggle escapes me. Since when did dogs have wings? My bank account would groan if I bought a car like this. And Alpha? With his social class, I doubt he can even afford the rear view mirror.
“Alpha, I know you’re trying so hard to impress me,” I say, touching his arm. “But you really didn’t have to go this far. I still don’t understand how you’re able to rent this. Did you rob a bank? Did you…”
You Assume Too Much
Two minutes of enjoying a ride in Alpha’s SUV, and no words have made it past my lips. Alpha’s words keep resounding in my head. ‘It’s mine.’
“What do you mean it’s yours?” I finally ask. Watching him command the steering wheel with a composure that none other than a car owner can possess, I am even more terrified.
When he doesn’t answer, I ask a more disturbing question. “Who are you?”
“Now this is laughable,” he says, although I find no amusement in his voice. “You don’t know a thing about me and yet you’re so bent on being my girlfriend. Who does that?”
“I know the basic things about you,” I say. “That’s something.”
“Indeed,” he says, a hint of mockery in his voice. “I doubt you know past my name.”
This is the most life-draining conversation I’ve ever had. I can already feel my blood boiling. “I know past your name, okay?”
“You are Alpha Jordan!”
“Are you kidding? How should I know your middle name? You don’t even know mine, so don’t even go there.”
“Marie,” he blurts out. My blood runs cold at the sound of the name. “Bethany Marie Howell.”
“How do you know?”
“Unlike you, I do my research before embarking on any project.”
Why does Alpha always find a way to make me feel worthless? I blink to expel the beat up look in my eyes.
“So, what’s your middle name?” I ask.
He grins at me, and although I’m offended by his last words, I can’t ignore the flutter of butterflies in my stomach. He returns his attention to the road, and for the next few moments, he drives in quietude.
“None,” he says. He gives me a moment to realize that he’d just humiliated me over nothing. “So, what else do you know about me?”
To be honest, the only thing I know other than his name is that he’s drop dead gorgeous, he’s my classmate, and he’s middleclass. But how can I reconcile his middleclass status to the fact that he’s driving one of the most expensive SUVS, and that he bought me the expensive piece of jewelry hanging down my neck?
“You should just admit you don’t know past my name,” he says.
“You don’t know past my name either,” I shoot back.
“Bethany Marie Howell,” he says. “Only child of Katherine and Chester Howell. Your father owns a three star hotel he inherited from his…”
“Five star hotel,” I say.
He turns to look at me. “I wouldn’t call that a five star hotel.”
“Chester’s Castle is a five star hotel.”
“I have a thousand and one reasons why it doesn’t qualify as a five star hotel,” he says. “Should I start?”
I make no attempt to answer.
“I always hear that empty shells make the loudest noise,” he says. “Being with you just proves this to me a thousand times in a split second.”
I scoff. “If this was coming from someone like Miller Jordan’s son, it wouldn’t be completely meaningless. But coming from a middle class like you…”
“Would it kill you to think before you spoke?”
I think for a moment. “No. Why?”
“Because, trust me, not everyone wants to hear your assumptions.”
“Well at least they’re not complaining.”
“You assume too much.”
“And most of the time I’m correct,” I say. “Wait, why are we having this conversation? You should be explaining how you got this car.”
“You’re probably assuming I stole it,” he says.
I don’t attempt to deny. I can’t stop thinking he stole this car, and the last thing I want is getting my name associated with a stolen property.
He goes on, “And like I already told you, it’s mine.”
“Miller Jordan is my father,” he says.
The news hits me like a hammer blow. Miller Jordan is one of the well known billionaire in town. He owns a football club and a couple other businesses, which includes a motor shop recently called AJ motors. It performs a number of services ranging from car repairs, rentals and sale.
It was rumored that he handed over his motor shop to his son on his 17th birthday. Now that I think of it, I find myself believing Alpha. If Alpha is Miller’s son, then AJ in the company name stands for Alpha Jordan.
I blurt out the next words that pop into my head. “You walk to school.”
He smiles. “I love reminding my legs they’re important. And, unlike some people, I’m not a show off.”
“Says the boy who goes around driving a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S,” I say.
“This is me testing it out before returning it to the garage,” he explains. “The brakes were faulty. I spent all morning fixing them.”
“Didn’t you say you owned the place?” I ask. I don’t know why, but I’m super eager to find some loopholes in his claims about being a billionaire.
“I’m sure if you were in my shoes you’d rather go around barking out orders to your employees,” he says. “I, on the other hand, love to make myself feel useful. Getting my hands dirty once in a while doesn’t hurt.”
Don’t Touch Me
“Where are we going?” I ask for the umpteenth time. Alpha stays silent.
He spent the past few minutes trying to make me understand he can’t disclose our destination because it’s a so-called surprise. Being the great researcher he claims to be, he should know by now that I’m not a fan of surprises.
I snap my fingers in his face. “Earth to Alpha?”
He hums his attention. This puts me at ease. For a moment I thought he was sleep-driving.
“Where does this road lead?” I ask.
“Curious much?” he asks.
“It’s always best to know where we’re going.” I whip my hair back.
“Do you trust me?”
Trust? Does anyone deserve another’s trust? I doubt that emotion even exists. Hell, I don’t even trust my own mother.
I return my attention to Alpha. His question resounds in my head. Trust is just far off from me. I’m not even sure what I feel for him. I like him, and I can’t deny the giddiness I feel when he stares at me. But that’s just it. Should I feel something more?
“I take that as no,” Alpha says. He doesn’t sound pleased.
“It’s not that I don’t trust you,” I say in an attempt to make things right.
He waves off my transparent lie. “It’s fine. I don’t trust you either.”
His honesty cuts through me like a blade. I never thought anyone would tell me to my face that I am unworthy of their trust. Everyone else would tell me what I want to hear. But not Alpha. Can we never have one decent conversation?
“So what are we doing together?” I ask.
I want to believe he’s with me because he likes me. He’s been my secret admirer for a period long enough to start a dozen new relationships. This can’t be all for nothing.
“Passing time.” He brakes the car in a desolate road.
“Passing time?” I echo. “You spent quite a lifetime writing me love notes and sketching photos of me. Did you ever like me, or was that just you passing time?”
Alpha turns to face me. “There are plenty of fish, Miss Howell. What makes you think I’d choose you?”
Rage swirls within me, clouding my senses. My right palm lashes out and slams into his cheek. A stinging pain spreads around my palm.
My eyes burn with tears. I turn towards the exit, but Alpha holds me in place.
“Don’t touch me,” I yell, when in reality I don’t want him to let go. I can’t help how frustrating I am.
He doesn’t let go. “Sorry, I only listen to your heart.”
He leans in for what I know to be a kiss. Like heated butter, my rage melts away. I stare endlessly into his eyes, an enchanting pool of emotions.
My eyelids fall over my eyes. But his voice yanks me out of my trance. “We’re here.”
The first thing I notice as my eyes fly open is the wry smirk on his face. The look that says he knows he’s got me wrapped around his fingers.
“Where are we?” I ask. My eyes adjust to the woods on either side of the road. They stretch out into eternity. “Why are we in the middle of nowhere?”
“Here is my sanctuary,” he says. All smiles, he steps out of the car and walks around it to open my door, but I’m quick to lock the door. No way in hell will I be spending my day in the woods.
Apparently frustrated, Alpha raps his fingers on my window, but I don’t turn to look at him. I cross my legs and fold my arms.
Sticking out my chin in defiance, I stare straight ahead. “If you delight in the thought of being food for wild animals, I don’t.”
“There are no wild animals here,” he says. “I assure you. This has been my sanctuary for no less than five years. I just want to show you the beauty of nature is all…”
His ringing phone steals away his attention. He turns away to answer the call.
Sweat breaks out on my forehead and streaks down the sides of my face. Cursing my life, I fan my face with both hands. Once Alpha has his back to me, I open my door and smuggle in a little bit of fresh air.
“Mum?” Alpha calls in a terrified voice. “Mum? Hello? Shit!”
He ends the call and hurries into the car. Without a word, he starts the engine and spins the car into a life threatening reverse that makes me jerk forward. I grip the edges of my seat and fight to regain control of my pacing heart, but nothing helps. Trees blur past, and all I can see are vanishing green walls on either sides of the road.
I want to scream at him to stop, but I can’t. I can tell from the way he acted after the call that his mum is in some sort of danger.
“Alpha, what’s wrong?” I ask.
His cold silence forces me to bottle up my curiosity. I spend the next few minutes praying I live though this hell of a ride.
And I do.
Alpha brakes the car in front of a mansion that can easily pass for a castle. The look on his face hardens as he stares at a girl standing in front of the house. Her hair, black as midnight and straight as a ruler, spills onto her delicate frame encased in a sleeveless white gown. She brings to mind those ghosts in Japanese horror movies.
Her eyes are devoid of emotions. Squinting to block out light, she hits me with her cold gaze. Bare feet kiss the ground as she makes for the car.
“Wait here,” Alpha says, stepping out of the car. The slam of the door makes me tremble.
The mysterious girl halts beside Alpha. Her eyes never leave mine. And for some reason, I shrink under the intensity of her gaze. But then she smiles and waves at me. Her eyes are aglow with an emotion too intense to be excitement.
A million and one questions crowd my mind as I watch her lead Alpha toward the house. Who is she? Is it just me, or does Alpha look disturbed to see her? And why did he ask me to wait in the car as though his house’s stuffed with unsettling secrets?
These are just three questions, but they are already driving me mad with curiosity. And I won’t leave till I find the answers. Curiosity kills the cat, but I don’t mind playing the cat just this once.
Turning off the engine, I climb out of the car and head for the house.
Torn between going in and staying back, I pace around the front door. Ten minutes have sauntered past and still no word from Alpha. He should know by now that patience is not one of my strong points.
My mind finally decided, I reach for the front door, and simultaneously, someone pulls it open from the other side. Alpha.
He clenches his jaw and glares at me, his eyes spewing fire.
“I wanted to check if everything was fine over here is all,” I say. “How’s your mum? When the call came in, you sounded really terrified.”
“Mum is fine,” he says.
“Can I see her?”
“She’s at work. The call was a misunderstanding.” He grabs my arm and turns me away from the house. He’s obviously angry about something, but I can’t place a finger on it. Bipolar much? “Next time I ask you to stay put, just do so.”
“The fact that you’re Miller Jordan’s son doesn’t mean you can order me around,” I snap.
The words have barely left my lips when my eyes meet a cold pair of eyes boring a hole through me from the bottom of the stairs. I don’t know why, but the way she stares makes me feel like we’re starring in a horror movie where I’m a poor unfortunate soul haunted by a ghost.
I try to ignore the feeling of a dark cloud hovering over me, but it’s no use. “Who is she?”
Playing deaf to my question, Alpha nudges me forward. He obviously wants to get me away from her line of sight.
“Hold it right there, Logan Paxton,” the girl says.
I turn around to look at Logan, there’s no one other than the three of us. It takes a moment to realize the girl had referred to Alpha.
“Logan?” I ask, my gaze darting between Alpha and the confused girl. “He’s Alpha.”
“I am talking to Logan,” she says, advancing toward us.
Alpha’s grip slackens just enough for me to retrieve my hand.
“Alpha, what’s going on?” I ask. “Who is she?”
Once again, Alpha grips my hand. “Let’s go.”
Seething, I snatch back my hand. “I am not moving an inch. Not until I know what’s going on here. Who is she and why does she call you Logan Paxton?”
Alpha stays silent.
“Alpha, I need answers!” I say.
“Beta I don’t have time for this,” he says, sounding pissed off. What game is he playing? If anyone here has the right to feel pissed off, it’s me.
“Neither do I!” I say. “So start taking.”
The girl closes the gap between her body and Alpha’s. The back of her palm kisses his forehead, and then his neck. Pulling down his lower eyelids, she stares for a moment or two.
“You look fine,” she says. “What then is this nonsense about you being Alpha? What the hell is that anyway? An alphabet?”
We both stare at Alpha (or Logan?), but he doesn’t attempt to speak.
“I need an answer, Logan Paxton!” she yells. “And now!”
“Alpha, what’s going on?” I ask.
The girl jabs her left pointer toward me. “I am talking to Logan. You best not interfere.”
Turning to Alpha, she grabs his upper arms and shakes him with a strength I never saw coming. “I have told you a million times to answer me when I speak to you, because you make me look crazy, and it’s not funny anymore.”
“It’s not funny?” I ask. “Says who? Oh, and you sure don’t look crazy. You are crazy. Did you escape from an asylum, because you pretty much reek of madness.”
Clinging to Alpha, she turns to look at me. A dirty smile spreading across her face, she rocks her head sideways. “And you are?”
I return her smile. “A sane person. Pleased to meet you.”
She tugs at Alpha’s collar, her eyes wide as though with fear. “Logan, who is she? Why did you bring her here?”
“Camille, please not now,” Alpha says. “Can we do this later?”
“You are going to tell me who she is and why she’s here,” she yells.
Alpha scratches his head. “She’s…”
“We’re together,” I say.
“Ah, together,” Camille says. Biting her lower lip, she nods. “I see.”
“Do you have a problem with me?” I ask.
“On the contrary.” Tearing away from Alpha, she gives me a firm handshake. “I’m Camille Paxton. I’m his…”
“Camille,” Alpha warns.
It’s official. The Jordans’ mansion is a box of secrets.
Moments of disgruntling silence tells me not to expect an answer. Shaking my head in fury, I glare at Alpha and storm out of his sight. I listen for his footsteps, but he makes no attempt to come after me. I should have known such things only happened in Hollywood. I turn fifty shades of ‘I’m so disgusted’.
Don’t Shit With Me
I squint at the rays of sunlight peeking in through the blinds. The clock on my phone says I overslept. What did I expect anyway? I spent the whole night thinking of Camille Paxton and her relationship with Alpha, or should I say Logan?
It’s plain as day he’s hiding something from me. And try as I might, I can’t decipher what it is. I can feel myself unknowing the Alpha I struggled to know.
Flinging off my blanket, I step out of bed. An object smashes its way through my window, making my heart sink.
“What the hell!” I shriek. Heart pounding, I approach the window and find a fist-sized stone on the floor.
Paralyzed with fear, I toss my gaze out of the window and sweep my eyes around, but there is no one in sight. I shove off my fear, throw on my pajamas jacket and exit the house.
Cautious as a serpent, I circle the house in search of anything questionable. Finding nothing out of place, I conclude a juvenile kid had thrown the stone. There’s nothing to worry about
My worry subsides as I return to my room and prepare for school. Damn whoever wants to ruin my day. Mum and dad are out on vacation, reliving their honeymoon for the eighteenth time.
Once upon a time, I thought my being alone would be fun. But mum and dad are barely even one day away and I’m starting to wish they never left.
Done preparing for school, I strap on my backpack and exit the house. My face pales at the sight before me. With each faltering step I take toward the object of my terror, I pray this is just a dream.
But it’s not.
Fragments of glass camp around my mustang, leaving empty spaces where windows should be. A bitter taste spreads around the back of my throat. Eyes glistening, I halt a few steps away from my ruined car and try not to cry.
It’s just a car. I was starting to get tired of it anyway. Daddy will let me drive his, or get me a new one.
But how did this happen? Wasn’t I here while ago, just before preparing for school? Who could have done this?
Someone’s after me. The stone was no carelessness from a child, but a threat from whoever is after me. He’d hanged around and destroyed my car while I showered.
A chill shoots up my spine, freezing everything in its path. Goose bumps litter my otherwise smooth skin. I know this is cliché, but I know this feeling all too well. I am being watched.
Although there’s no one in sight, I know better than to stay a minute longer, leaving myself vulnerable to my attacker. I dash inside the house and shut the door. My footsteps pound the floor as I race to my room. Grabbing my phone, I dial dad’s number. I know it’s probably switched off, but what’s the harm in trying?
“Congratulations,” dad’s voicemail greeting says. “You’ve reached the right person. But unfortunately, you got me at a wrong time. Be sure to leave a message after the beep.”
Although I’d seen this coming, I scream out in frustration.
I sob into the phone. “Dad, please come home. Someone is trying to kill me.”
I stiffen as I end the call. I could have sworn I heard the footsteps of a surreptitious intruder. I cock an ear at the door, and there the footsteps are.
Chest heaving, I wrap my fingers around the thing nearest to me; a flower vase. Grabbing it with both hands, I glue my body to the wall and wait for the intruder.
It doesn’t take long for the door to fling open. I pounce, smashing his head with the vase. Prying open the eyes I didn’t realize were squeezed shut, I attempt to flee, but the person before me stops me cold.
Alpha. Or is it Logan?
Fresh blood tickles down the side of his face, thanks to you-know-who. But why is he here?
I could never have thought my day would be so eventful. Just great. I can’t help the glister in my eyes as I gawk at Alpha.
He drives casually as though the girl sitting beside him didn’t burst his head with a vase a few moments ago. He’s calm and unaffected as though he’d already planned to start his day with a bandage around his head.
“Alpha, you should just let me drive.” It hurts to look at him. Although he tries to hide it, I can see he’s in pain.
“I’m in one piece,” he says. “Unlike the vase.”
“I’m sorry,” I say. “I just wasn’t expecting you.”
“Remind me to never come uninvited,” he says. “Next time, who knows, it could be a knife.”
He smiles. “I could never have guessed I had a kickass Beta.”
“Why did you come over?” I ask. “I wasn’t expecting you.”
He shrugs. “I just had a crazy feeling to check on you.”
“Thank you,” I say.
He nods. Grunting, he shuts his eyes. When he reopens them, I see the raw pain he tries to hide.
“You’re in a very bad state,” I say. “We should go to the hospital. School can wait.”
He stays silent.
“Alpha, are you listening to me? Your health is more important.”
“Your life is,” he says. “I need to know what happened. Who was at your place this morning?”
“I don’t know,” I say. “I didn’t see him. When I got out of bed, a stone came flying through the window. And then the damage on my car. I’m just so scared. I don’t know what to do.”
“Please stay calm,” he says “Everything will be fine.”
I nod. I want to share his faith, but I can’t look past the threat hovering in the air around me. “I don’t understand why anyone would want to hurt me.”
“It could be some juvenile kids, some random psycho, or someone you’ve offended in a way.”
I scowl at him. “I don’t go around offending people.”
“I’m not saying you do,” he says. It’s great to know my ears no longer function properly. “If you had a crazy ex, I’d assume this was his doing.”
I roll my eyes at his insinuation. None of the guys I’ve been with are crazy enough to want to hurt me.
“Talking about exes,” I say. “How many girlfriends have you had?”
Alpha seems offended. “Why does this come up?”
“Well, because if I’m dating someone, I should at least know a thing or two about him. So how many are they?”
He doesn’t speak.
“Five? Ten? Twen…”
Clenching his teeth, he squeezes the steering wheel. I make a mental note to work on his anger issues once I live through this.
“None,” he says.
“Don’t shit with me,” I say. Only a fool would believe that a heartthrob like Alpha has never had a girlfriend.
“None,” he repeats, his voice rising like the waves of the sea.
“And Camille? Who is she? Why does she call you Logan? Is that your name and not Alpha? What secrets do you hide from me, Alpha Jordan? Who really are you?”
“I promise to answer your questions, Beta. But not now. When the time comes, I’ll tell you every…”
“Now’s the time, Alpha,” I say. “I demand to know everything. Hell! I feel like I don’t even know you at all. Who the heck is Camille?”
Leaving my questions unanswered, he pulls over in the lot.
“What exactly are you hiding, Logan Paxton?” I ask.
“Don’t call me that.”
“Why? You were fine with it when Camille called you Logan.”
“But you know that’s not…”
I shake my head. “No. Truth is I don’t even know you anymore.”
I know without a doubt that I’m slowly losing him, and what hurts the most is he’s not even trying to save our relationship. It’s barely even three days and this is happening. I should never have followed my heart.
I climb out of the car and slam the door. As expected, he makes no attempt to come after me. Dejectedly, I storm off into the building.
The Feeling’s Mutual
I’m an empty shell, present in Trig class, but truly absent. Watching Mr. Smith solve pointless problems on the board is like watching a Chinese movie without subtitles.
His lips move as he explains the random figures he conjured, but I can’t hear past the chaos in my head. For all I know, Mr. Smith is a magician. Even in my best mood, I could never understand his teaching.
I look over to Alpha. Watching him brings me pangs of distress. I can’t get past the fact that I’m the devil behind his pain.
Paisley taps my arm. “Are you alright?”
I nod. Although she’s been my friend for years, I’m not one to speak of my problems so easily.
“Nice try,” Liam says. “Really, what’s wrong?”
Class goes on forever, and not even once does Alpha turn to look at me. Although I try not to dwell on this, I can’t get past the fact my Alpha is sliding back into ‘stranger zone’ and all I can do is watch.
After forever, the closing bell rings, and with it comes a lump in my throat. I would have to return home, where a psycho most likely awaits me. I flip out my cell phone, hoping to see a call from either of my parents. Finding nothing, I sigh. Do they have to leave their phones turned off during their stay there? I have never felt so helpless.
It seems I’m not the only one in a dilemma. Just like me, Alpha stays glued to his seat. Had he not heard the bell?
Thirty minutes rush past, and he remains motionless. Concluding he’s asleep, I walk over to him. But he’s wide awake, staring at the blank board. His oblivion to my presence makes me question my visibility.
“Hey,” I say.
The stern look on his face keeps me at arm’s length. A million thoughts weigh down my mind, but they’re too heavy for my lips.
Moments of silence tells me not to expect a response from Alpha. I try again. “How are you?”
He shrugs. There, the confirmation I needed. I am losing him.
“About how I acted earlier,” I say. “I shouldn’t have overreacted like that.”
Saying sorry always finds a way to make me feel worthless. But what can I do?
“You’re sorry?” he asks, still looking away. “What makes you think your apology changes anything?”
I’m taken aback by his thoughtless question. “What?”
“What I simply mean, Miss Howell, is that it’s a little too late to be sorry. It means nothing. Changes nothing.”
Sighing, he meets my gaze. “Look, this can’t work.”
His words resound in my head. I want to believe he’s kidding, but I know better. The Alpha before me is not the same one who smiled at me these past few days. This one is in a hurry to get rid of me, his supposed Beta.
“This supposed relationship is weighing me down,” he says.
I resist an urge to ask why. I know there’s more to this, but demanding an explanation would only paint me as a desperate teen girl, and that’s not the image I want for myself.
“The feeling is mutual, Mr. Jordan,” I say. “Or should I say Paxton?”
With a pathetic smile, I unclasp my necklace and hold it out to him. If he wants nothing to do with me, then I want nothing of his. Cautious to avoid any contact with me, he snatches the necklace by the dangling end. The same boy who spent a lifetime writing me love notes now avoids me like I were a plague. This brings a painful lump to my throat.
Without a word, he walks away, leaving me at the mercy of my shattering heart. I stare endlessly at his now vacant seat. Feelings of regret weigh me down. I wish I’d asked why he didn’t want me anymore. Knowing why would not make me feel less worthless, but at least it’d bring my curiosity to nothing.
I was wrong to see Alpha as different from other guys. I should never have let him come close to me. When you let someone become the reason behind your smile, he breaks you beyond imaginable.
Disappointment overwhelms me, dulling out other emotions. I’ve never been such a fool. Seething, I strap on my backpack and storm out of the class. Tears sting my eyes, but I hold them back, preserving the thin slice of dignity I have left. Choosing to be discrete about my relationship with Alpha is a decision I’ll always be proud of. At least, no third party knows of my shame.
I dismount the stairs and head for the road, but a prickling sensation on my skin tells me I’m being watched, and worse, followed. Alerted by my echoing footsteps, I whirl around and find an unfamiliar woman staring at me. Though her eyes hide behind dark glasses, I can tell she’s in her mid thirties.
A troubling thought overwhelms me. What if I’m standing right in front of the person who wants me dead? Although I doubt she’d dare attack me in public, I take a step back.
“I swear I’ll scream,” I say.
She smiles sternly. “That won’t be necessary.”
“Who are you and why are you after me?”
“I am Linda Hopkins.” She pauses for a second or two. “Your bodyguard.”
“Bodyguard?” I take a moment to process my new reality. It’s weird to have a female posing as my bodyguard. She doesn’t even look intimidating. “What happened to the macho men?”
“You are more comfortable with a man?” she asks.
To be honest, yes. I don’t feel she has what it takes to protect me. Then again, I could be wrong. But what do I care?
“Mr. Jordan seemed convinced you’d be more comfortable with a female,” she says.
“Wait. My dad didn’t hire you?”
She shakes her head. “Alpha Jordan did.”
“Then I do not need your services,” I say, walking away.
I don’t understand anything anymore. Alpha obviously doesn’t care, else he wouldn’t have broken up with me at a time like this. After avoiding me like a plague, he begrudgingly sends me a nasty female bodyguard and expects me to accept it? What mockery of me.
The bodyguard walks beside me, matching my pace. “If I understand correctly, your life is under threat, and…”
I glare at her. “I’d rather die than accept his help. Tell him to shove his help up his ass.”
“I don’t run such errands.”
“Then what are you good for?”I turn to leave, but she yanks my arm.
“I don’t know what relationship you have or had with Alpha Jordan,” she says. “But you must put away your foolishness and cooperate or I will have to make you. I’m here to do my job, so as long as your life is still under threat, you’re gonna have to put up with me.”
She gestures at a car behind us. “I’m taking you home.”
Died in a fire
It’s late at night and I should be sound asleep, but hours ago, sleep took a cowardly sprint and hasn’t returned ever since.
Thoughts of Alpha litter my mind. It’s impossible not to think of him, especially now that I’m forced to live with an impossible bodyguard. Although I hate to admit it, Linda’s presence makes me feel safe.
Alpha’s personality is a puzzle I can’t unravel. He’d acted like he cared nothing about me, but then he’d sent a bodyguard to keep me safe. This only means he cares. Why then does he force himself to stay away from me? Is this about the secrets he keep?
I have a hunch the key to solving the mystery lies in his relationship with Camille Paxton. A crazy idea lights up my head. Welcoming it, I log into my Facebook and type ‘Camille Paxton’ in the search box.
Several Camille Paxtons show up in the search results, but an eternity of visiting each profile and scrolling through photos in search of the Camille of interest proves fruitless. Giving up, I search for Logan Paxton instead.
Amongst the many Logan Paxtons, a profile picture catches my eye. I click on it and find Camille staring at me from the screen. Her eyes aren’t the haunted ones I saw in Alpha’s house, but are filled with innocence and a happiness that makes me slightly envious.
I scroll for more photos but Logan’s privacy settings restrict me. I’m about to give up when a mutual friend catches my eye. Liam. A spontaneous Plan B comes to mind.
I need you to do something for me, I text Liam.
It takes a moment for him to reply. Break the legs of the guy who broke your heart? Lol.
Liam is a jerk sometimes, but his accurate guesses always baffle me. A chat session ensues between us:
Me: You are mutual friends with Logan Paxton. Who is he?
Liam: Smh at your question.
Liam: Did you wash your pills before taking them?
Liam: I don’t know no Logan Paxton. I have 5k friends on here, you know. So I don’t know everyone. :-P
Liam: I don’t think you’d understand. You only have 112 friends. :-D :-D
Me: Can you stop being a jerk and help a friend out?
Liam: God, Beth, I swear you sound like a pregnant cow.
Me: I need you to dig up some information about Logan Paxton. And if you can, fetch me news about Camille Paxton too. Good night.
Once I hit the send button, sleep finds me.
It doesn’t take long for my ringing phone to awaken me. I grab my phone, hoping Alpha is calling to tell me that life without me is a nightmare.
I grimace at Liam’s name. But my grimace melts into a hopeful smile. Obviously, he has news.
I answer the call. “Liam.”
“I have some news that’ll blow your mind,” he says.
“Not so fast. First, tell me what this is about. I want to know why you had me snoop around people’s lives, Beth. When a girl turns into a detective, it’s mostly because she wants to know if there’s another woman in her love interest’s life.”
It’s no secret Liam has a crush on me. But he’s too scared to tell me. Had I not set my eyes on Alpha, I would definitely have given him a chance sometime. But with Alpha on my mind, not happening.
“Beth?” he asks.
“Alpha and I were an item,” I say.
“Were? Beth, you were in a relationship with him and you didn’t even tell me. Aren’t you a bag of secrets? Does Paisley know about this?”
“I don’t go around broadcasting a relationship till it’s stable,” I say. “If there’s nothing else you need to know, can you tell me what you found out about them?”
“Logan died two years ago,” he says.
I’m too stunned to react. I definitely never saw this coming. “Dead?”
“Yep,” he says. “Hey, if you’re into dead men, you should tell me so I can kill myself, you know.”
I fake a yawn. “What else did you find out?”
“He was twenty four years old, worked as a mechanic, died in a fire.”
I can’t help how frustrated I am right now. I thought knowing about Logan would unravel the mystery, but it only complicated matters. Why does Alpha let Camille call him the name of a dead man?
“Did you find out anything else?” I ask. “About his family?”
“He had a wife. Camille Paxton.”
I Love You
With Liam’s help, it’s easy connecting the dots. Devastated by her husband’s death, Camille Paxton had broken down mentally. She’d probably spent the past few months in a psychiatric home.
I don’t know how, but she sees her husband in Alpha. And in me she sees an enemy who seeks to take away her ‘husband’ a second time.
This explains why Alpha broke up with me. Camille had probably threatened him with my life.
These thoughts run through my mind as I alight Linda’s bike and advance to Alpha’s house. Linda catches up with me, but like a shadow she stays quiet.
I rap my fingers on the door. Barely a second later I’m about to knock again, but my ringing phone cuts me off. Tentatively I answer dad’s call.
“Bethany?” mum asks. “Oh my God. Are you alright? We just got your voicemail. We are already on our way to the airport. We informed the police. They’ll send a bodyguard over at once. Where are you? Are you alright, honey?”
“I died,” I say. “This is me speaking to you from the grave.”
They’ve been away for three days and not once did they try to contact me. I’m sure there’s one flimsy excuse or the other, but I don’t want to hear it. I’m certain mum’s phone fell in water. Maybe dad’s phone dived in to play hero.
“Bethany I know you’re mad at us,” dad says. “And you have every right to be…”
I tune out his voice as the door gives way, letting out a middle aged woman. I don’t need an introduction to know she’s Alpha’s mum. She looks between Linda and I. Her moist, puffy eyes tell me she’s been crying.
“Talk later, dad.” Ending the call, I smile at Mrs. Jordan. “Good morning.”
She doesn’t smile back. “Good morning. Who are you?”
“I’m Bethany, Alpha’s classmate.”
“Alpha is unable to see anyone right now.”
Something is wrong, but I can’t place a finger on it. “Why?”
Mrs. Jordan is just about to close the door when a painfully familiar voice cries out.
I gasp. “That’s Alpha! I need to see him. Please.”
Mrs. Jordan considers my request for a moment. She turns away, letting me into the house.
Although I’m relieved I don’t find Camille by the corner, glaring at me, the sickening feeling that something is wrong doesn’t go away.
My eyes roam the house as I follow Mrs. Jordan to the stairs. That’s when I see three bullet holes marring the wall.
“What happened?” I ask.
Playing deaf to my question, Mrs. Jordan mounts the stairs and disappears into a room I’m certain is Alpha’s. Curious as a cat, I step in after her.
A shirtless Alpha sits on his king-sized bed with his back to the door. A man sits opposite him, attending to something on Alpha’s torso. And beside the bed, Mrs. Jordan melts into the arms of someone I recognize to be Miller Jordan.
Grunting, Alpha grabs a fistful of his mattress. Although an urge to go around him and see the source of his pain steals me over, the fear of seeing him in pain roots me to the spot.
Another grunt from him forces me to face my fears. I go around him and find the man (obviously a doctor) tending to a gaping wound on his arm. Alpha squeezes his eyes and clenches his teeth in pain.
My eyes adjust to the bloody cotton sandwiched between his shoulder and the palm he rests on it. Unable to restrain myself, I burst into tears.
“Mum I’ve told you already, stop crying,” Alpha says. “These wounds are nothing I can’t recover from.”
He opens his eyes and freezes at the sight of me. “Beta?”
“What happened?” I ask. “When did this happen? Why didn’t you tell me you were hurt? Who did this?”
He holds out his hand toward me. Sniffling, I grasp it and let him pull me close.
“It doesn’t matter who did this,” he says. “What matters is no one will ever try to harm you again.”
More tears escape my eyes as I watch blood streak along his shoulder blade. “We need to take you to the hospital.”
“That won’t be necessary,” he says. “I’m already receiving treatment.”
I wince as I watch the doctor stitch Alpha’s skin like it were a piece of cloth. Alpha bites his lower lip in an obvious attempt to stifle a scream.
“I know Camille did this to you,” I say. “I know everything. Why didn’t you tell me about her?”
“She was going to hurt you if I told you about her mental illness,” he says. “I’d never forgive myself if anything happened to you. I don’t know how, but her eyes were everywhere. That’s why I had to stay away. I was going to explain everything once I returned her to the mental home. She’s receiving treatment now. Hopefully, she’ll be able to get over her husband’s death.”
“I don’t care if she’s unwell,” Mrs. Jordan says. “She will have to pay for what she did to my son.”
Alpha sighs. “Mum, there is no need for that.”
“If you enjoy getting stabbed multiple times, that’s you. But I don’t enjoy seeing my son in pain.”
“Mum…” Alpha says, but Mrs. Jordan doesn’t give him a chance to speak. She storms out of sight, with her husband trailing after her.
“And I don’t enjoy seeing my Alpha in pain,” I say.
Done dressing Alpha’s wounds, the doctor turns away to arrange his tools in his first aid box. Alpha pulls me to his lap and wraps an arm around me.
“Pain is when an Alpha is forced to stay away from his Beta.” He plants a kiss on my lips.
“I love you,” I hear myself say.
He smiles wryly. “If it wasn’t too soon to use the L-word, I’d say I love you too, Beta.”
Alpha seriously knows how to make me smile like a fool. But hey, it’s not like I’m complaining. If being with him would turn me into a fool, then I’d happily be the queen of fools.
Thank you so much for checking out ‘Unknowing Alpha’, the second and last book in the Alpha And Beta duology. A very huge thank you goes to fans of the first book who didn’t stop asking for the second book. This book wouldn’t have been possible without your helpful mails. The love shown to the first book was amazing. Thank you so much for blowing up my mailbox with quality feedback. You’re the best.
If you enjoyed reading Unknowing Alpha (and I really hope you did), please take a moment to leave me a review at your favorite retailer.
D. L. Biranen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
D. L. Biranen is the last of four children. Inspired by her brother, she has had an undying love for fiction from an age she can barely remember.
Though she abstains from magic and enchantment, some of her books contain elements that most fantasy readers would love. She also abstains from explicit contents.
Her genres of interest are Young/New Adult Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, Sci-fi Romance, and Mystery/Detective/Police Procedural books.
She lives in her country, Nigeria. When she’s not writing, she can be found listening to rock music, surfing the web for e-books to fill her library with, or surfing the web for skincare products.
OTHER BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR
If you enjoyed this book, there is a 99.9% chance you’ll enjoy my other books. And if for some reason you didn’t enjoy this book, the chances of enjoying my other books remain the same.
A Chance for Love
A Twisted Tale Novel Inspired By Cinderella
Synopsis: The loss of Victoria Brown’s father leaves her at the mercy of her stepfamily who are bent on making her life miserable. Turning her into a pitiful maid, they force her to live a modern day reenactment of Cinderella. But they don’t know that where there’s a Cinderella, there’s a Fairy Godmother and a Prince Charming who would do anything to bandage the damage in her life.
When an arrogant new student shows up in class, Victoria hates him at first sight. She seeks to avoid him, but finds herself partnering with him in solving a mystery revolving around a ghost. And against her will, sparks fly.
Life takes a turn that rips Victoria off her innocence and places her stepmother as her footstool. Once, she’d wanted a chance for love, but all she wants now is revenge. And not even her Prince Charming can stand in her way.
Will she follow her heart and let love win, or will she follow her head and be a slave of vengeance?
An Alpha and Beta Short Story, Book 1
Synopsis: Bethany Howell, aka Daddy’s Little Princess, is your typical spoilt rich girl. For the first time, she notices Alpha Jordan, a classmate, and craves his attention. But trying to get close to him always leaves her with a broken heart.
An unknown secret admirer, nicknamed Mr. Anonymous, writes her letters every day. These letters always mend her heart after Alpha breaks it like it’s made of glass.
Although Alpha’s attitude toward her makes it clear he dislikes her, she refuses defeat and sets out to win his heart. Will Alpha ever give her a chance to know him?
CONTACT THE AUTHOR
When Alpha shows up at Bethany’s house in a car only a millionaire can afford, she realizes he is anything but the middleclass boy she thought him to be, and is concerned about what other secrets he holds. Series of frontal attacks inform her of an unknown enemy. To make things even worse, Alpha who should be by her side deserts her and returns to being his old self, the lone Alpha. Bethany finds herself unknowing the Alpha she has tried so hard to know. Will she accept the end of their relationship, or will she struggle to unmask the secrets behind his distance?