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BETA: Her Alpha

By:C.M. Steele

Chapter 1

God, it feels good to have the wind hit my face. I’d spent the past week in California wheeling and dealing. Most of my time, I was locked away in an office with no time to run outside. One thing I know for sure is I’m not cut out for city life. The fresh air and hidden paths of Wolfe Creek are perfect for me. Nothing could ever make me leave.

I’m on the last leg of my morning run when I approach my brother’s cabin. I see the squad car and a man in a sheriff’s uniform talking to my brother Hunter. I got back from California last night, so I didn’t get to meet our new sheriff like everyone else did.

I don’t even get to catch my breath before Hunter makes the introduction. “Chloe, I want you to meet the new sheriff. This is Sheriff Erik Smith.” My big brother turns to the tall, attractive shifter next to him and says, “Erik, this is my little sister, and the president of our family company, Grey Corp.”

He gives me a sweet smile that throws me off kilter, then with a smooth, deep voice he says, “Hi, Chloe. It’s nice to meet you.” I have a guilty pleasure for romantic dramas on TV, and right now, I feel like one of those girls. I’m all blushing, and smiling nervously. He probably thinks the Alpha’s sister is a total spaz. “So how many miles did you get in?”

“Five,” I breathily say, trying to calm my racing heart before either them realize that it’s not from running. It’s from looking at Erik Smith. He’s the same size as my brother with dark brown hair. It’s cut short, and clean like a typical cop, but he’s rocking a trimmed. I have the sudden urge to run my fingers along his cheeks and along his jaw.

“Come on in for some coffee before you go home. Sheriff, are you going to have a cup, too?” Hunter asks him, shaking me out of my lengthy perusal.

“Coffee? You don’t have to ask me twice,” he says cheerfully, and I smile involuntarily.

Hunter leads us into the house. Sheriff Smith is behind me, and I’m self-conscious for some reason. Since we’re wolf shifters, our sense of smell is enhanced, and I’m sweating profusely. I must smell funky to him and I want to crawl in a hole. I can hear him take a sniff, so I apologize. “I’m sorry, I didn’t expect anyone to be visiting Hunter this early.”

Understanding my reasoning, he answers with a flush of embarrassment. “That’s fine. Actually, it’s your bath wash I can smell. It’s nice and sweet.”

“Thank you, Sheriff,” I mutter with a nervous blush.

“It’s Erik.” He says his name with such authority a shiver of unexplained pleasure tingles my flesh.

Hunter looks at us strangely but dismisses our conversation. The one thing about us wolf shifters is that we can’t mate with anyone that isn’t our mate. And when we scent our mate, there’s no stopping the carnal desire we need to fulfill. The fact that neither of us are going berserk is an indicator to him that we’re not mates and just being friendly.

They start talking shop. Nothing too serious because in this town, all of us are shifters. Wolfe Creek isn’t that large, so there’s not a lot of issues with our people. Occasionally we’ll get an outsider from another pack or a loner like our dear sheriff here, so it stays relatively peaceful. Somehow, though, the sheriff has managed to disrupt my peace.

“Chloe, do you need a ride back to your apartment, or do you have clothes here?” Hunter asks, taking me out of my thoughts.

“Actually, Hunter, I can shower and change here and you can give me a ride to the office.”

“Okay.” Turning to the sheriff, he hands him a cup of black coffee. Making mine the way I like, with vanilla creamer, Hunter passes my cup to me.

I inhale deeply into my mug and smile. Feeling Erik’s eyes on me, I look up, and he’s staring at me in confusion. Needing to break our eye contact, I take a sip, then ask, “So, Sheriff, how do you like our small town?”

“It’s very different from what I’m used to. I came from Seattle P.D. It’s rough there, and it made it hard to stay in my human form. Dealing with disrespectful little punks pisses me off, and you know how we can be. Three weeks ago, my cousin informed me of an opening, so I jumped on the offer.”

Unable to hold my cup steady, I set it down and look to make my exit. “Well, we’re glad you’re here. Fellas, please excuse me. I need to shower and get ready for work.”

My brother has a room here for both my brother Gage and me. I walk into the bedroom and drop softly onto the bed. I can hear them talking, but I can’t make out what they’re saying. It really doesn’t matter anyway because my thoughts are bundled in a swirling mess. I want to talk to Erik more than I’ve ever wanted to talk to anyone before. I want to catch that faint scent of his aftershave, and to feel those strong muscles I can see through his uniform. He’s big and strong, and confident.

It doesn’t make sense, because we’re not mates. Could we be becoming best friends? It’s not normal in our world, but it’s possible. Something about that idea doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t want to watch him find his mate. It’s nuts to have such a response, but I do.

We’re both in our mating age, so it’s not a matter of waiting until we reach maturity. We just aren’t fated to mate. That concept leaves me with a dull ache inside.

There’s a knock on the door, and it’s Hunter. I let him into the room with a little trepidation. My pulse is off, and I hope Hunter doesn’t notice.

“Is something wrong, Chloe?” he asks, giving me a strange look since I’m not in the shower yet.

“No, Hunter. Just checking my phone,” I lie because I can’t explain what’s going on. Besides, I doubt my brother would want to hear about a crush I have on the sheriff or any man for that matter.

“Well, I just got a call from Rex. He needs to meet me as soon as possible. Erik says he can take you to the office.”

Knitting my brow, I ask nervously, "Um…you can’t wait?” I sound pathetic and I can tell Hunter’s not in the mood to deal with me.

“No. I can’t. He’s the sheriff. You’re safe with him. I hired him because I can trust him.”

“Hunter, I’m fine. I just don’t want to put him out. He’s not my personal driver.” What a fucking liar.

“Oh, so I am?” He chuckles.

“No, but we’re going to the same place, so it’s convenient,” I counter.

“Well, now I have to go to the construction site. Erik will drive you. I’ll call you later.” He leaves me in the room, shaking his head.

Holy hell. How is she not my mate? Chloe Grey is so beautiful. Her scent is calling to me, but not like it should. My wolf isn’t responding to her, but the man in me is very interested. Now, I’m standing in the middle of Hunter’s kitchen wishing I had my mating abilities so I could fuck his sister right here on the counter. What is wrong with me? She’s not my mate.

She’s not in the shower yet, and Hunter has to leave, so I volunteer to take her to work. As much as I want to walk away from her, I really want to talk to her. I want to see why I want to hold her and do things to body.

As I wait for her to be ready, I start thinking about her running alone. I know that Wolfe Creek isn’t Seattle, but I still don’t like the idea that she goes alone. Then again, thinking of her hanging around another male wolf doesn’t sit well with me either. I shake my head because I’m being a fool. She’s not mine and I have no right to be jealous of any other wolf.

The moment the shower turns off, I polish off my coffee and wash out my cup in the sink.

“You don’t have to do that, you know,” Chloe remarks from the door.

I turn my head slightly and reply, “I know, but your brother left, and you’re getting ready. I tend to be a little too neat.” Placing the cup in the strainer, I look at her reluctantly. She is pretty, too pretty. Her blonde locks hang down her slender shoulders in waves and rest on the tops of her large breasts. I continue to take stock because I can’t stop myself. She’s got a sexy body that any regular man would try to possess. It ticks me off, but she can’t be with any of them anyway. I normally don’t notice woman because it’s pointless, but she’s different. I knew it the moment she ran up the steps.

“Really? Then you can’t see my place. Clothes and shoes everywhere.” She opens her pretty eyes wide in mock horror and I smirk before giving her my own fearful look.

“Dirty dishes?” I ask, wondering how bad she is at cleaning, not that it mattered because I didn’t mind cleaning.

“No. I hardly eat at home, but when I do, I clean up right away.”

“Good. I’m glad—leaving dishes in the sink overnight is a deal breaker.”

Chloe gives me a confused look and asks, “A deal breaker?”

I want to kick myself for saying something like that. “Yeah, we couldn’t be friends if you did.”

“Well, thankfully we can.” She smiles at me and it’s making my pulse race, but my wolf has no reaction. Right now my wolf was being a little bitch and it was pissing me off. I want my wolf to break through and so the lovely Chloe Grey who she belongs with. “Did you want another cup?” I ask her.