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Her Viking Wolves(8)

By:Theodora Taylor

Even if you’re his daughter.

Case in point: “Turn off the game.”

My thumbs keep going as I try to remain the child, ignoring the call to come down to dinner.

“You heard what I said, girl. You don’t want to see what happens if I have to ask you twice.”

No, I suppose I don’t. The mark on my back feels like it’s sizzling. A permanent reminder of who I belong to, even when I’m holed up in my own wing of the house.

I pause the game.

“Stand up. Look at me.”

One order I obey immediately. The other—well, I do the best I can. My eyes go to Dad’s Italian leather vest, which is covered in patches, meant to tell a tale of his many feats as the Dark Wolf Alpha of Detroit. I keep my gaze pinned to the red and black “President” patch just below his left shoulder and paste an “I’m listening” look on my face.

“What’s this all about?” he asks into my waiting silence.

“The engagement is off—”

“Yeah, I heard that part,” Dad drawls, his inherited Arkansas accent becoming more pronounced with his anger. “What I’m looking to find out is how the hell you think I’m going to let you just call off this engagement?”

“It’s not a matter of let. It’s done, Dad. We broke up, because…” I stop, my jaw setting.

This is where I’m supposed to throw Clyde under the bus. But he’s my twin. I’ve never known a moment in life when I didn’t love him. Plus, our pack is basically a motorcycle gang. They wouldn’t just refuse to let him be king if they ever found out about this. They’d kill him.

So I settle for, “Kyle and I figured out we weren’t a match. So we broke it off.”

That sounded more than a little plausible, and I’m sure no one in our pack will find it hard to believe the handsome blond prince broke up with my awkward ass.

That will probably be even easier for them to believe than him proposing to me in the first place.

“Stop being so dramatic, Tee,” Dad says. He shifts his tall body, planting two fists into his sides. “Nothing’s broken off yet.”

“Dad, yes it is,” I answer, rubbing my temple. “Believe me. We’re not getting back together again.”

“Why? Because your brother bottom-bitched him?”

I freeze.

And Dad says, “Yeah, Clyde told me all about it. Your brother was stupid to do what he did. Especially here at your party.” He lets out an irritated sigh. “But come back downstairs. We can still save this deal with the Prince of Dakota.”

I shake my head, not understanding. “But how? Kyle’s obviously not into me—or any other she-wolf, for that matter. And Clyde—”

“Clyde will be fine. He’ll take over the Detroit kingdom when he comes of age this spring, and then hand it down to your future son. I’ve already discussed this with him.”#p#分页标题#e#

“What do you mean you…?”

I trail off, the other shoe finally dropping.

He knew. He knew all along my brother was gay, and moreover, that my fiancé was his…what did he call it? Bottom bitch. It’s quite possible Aunt Evelyn also knew. And maybe even Dad’s beta, Yancey, since there seems to be very little my dad and his enforcer don’t share.

Holy shit, I think, my heart sinking with the realization. No wonder Kyle’s parents had been so eager to approve this marriage even though they’d never met me. They probably knew, too. In fact it looks like everyone knew except me. The idiot they’d planned to saddle with a closeted gay alpha prince.

“Wow,” I say on a short breath. Then because I can’t think of anything else to say, I say it again, blinking hard. “Wow…”

“There are ways to get around this sort of thing,” Dad explains in the wake of my shocked-as-hell blinking. “They got science and shit…the North Dakota royals told me all about it. And their kingdom doc says it wouldn’t be any problem to put a baby in you, just like the humans do with their IVF. We can even make sure it’s a boy! Get a future king for Detroit and North Dakota, since that faggot prince of theirs is an only child.”

My stomach turns like there’s a meat grinder inside it at the thought of being used as an incubator for not one, but possibly two kingdoms.

“And what about when I go into heat?” I ask him, morbidly curious. “What would you do then?”

“Evelyn and me think there’s a good chance you ain’t ever going to go into heat. I mean you past thirty, Tee. You spend all your time in this damn room with them video games. And if you ain’t doing that, you hanging out with that pothead, Iggle. For all we know, you just like your brother—”