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Chapter 6

I pick up my phone and dial Dad.

“Ah, Keller, my baby boy. Jensen said you hooked one already.” I can hear the pride in his voice when he picks up.

“Two actually. They’re twins.” I correct him, feeling good about the acquisition. “Keep them together if you can. I sort of promised them.”

“Twins!” He exclaims. “Haha! They’re way more valuable together than separate. Definitely keeping them together. Good job, son.”

“Thanks, Dad.” I can’t help but smile at the rare compliment from my old man, even if I feel like a slimeball.

“I’m putting a little extra in your account as we speak, and I want you to take the rest of the day off." He starts off happy, but his tone quickly changes. "But first, I have other things to discuss with you.”

“What’s up, Dad?” There’s always a catch with my dad.

“Mom and I have been talking. We decided it’s a good time for me to think about retirement.” He sounds serious now. “That means I’m most likely going to be handing the business over to Jensen if he can get his shit together. Ideally, I’d put you in charge, but we want you to keep focusing on looking for your mate.”

“Dad, can you please let it go already? If my mate was out there somewhere, I would have found her by now.” I let my head fall onto the headrest. “Please don’t make me work for Jensen. You’ve worked hard and his dumb ass is going to run your business into the ground.”

“Well, unless by some miracle you find her by the new year, I already decided." He sounds defeated. “See you at Sunday dinner, Keller. Enjoy the rest of your day off.”

He hangs up the phone before I can protest. I look at the dark screen and consider calling Mom, but Dad just said she’s the one that wants him to retire, so I won’t get anywhere trying to talk to her.

“You smell like shit. The sigma smell is disgusting.” My wolf, Rocky, snarls. He’s not great with words, but you work with what the Moon Goddess deals you.

“They smell like that because they’re homeless, Rocky. You can’t be mad at them. They can’t help it.” I try to stop him from judging these poor girls. He huffs at me, but doesn’t argue.

Normally, I spend warm Saturday nights rounding up sigmas. The sigmas who work as prostitutes are easier to find on Saturday after the sun goes down.

Now that I have the night off, it seems like a good time to get away from homeless, drug addict werewolves. I should spend time with my best friends who are human. That means it’s a strip club night… maybe a human bar after. Human bar means a good chance of hooking up with a couple of human females. Staying away from werewolves sounds like a perfect night, the more I think about it.

I pull out my phone and send a group chat message.

Keller: Angel’s Club in two hours. My treat.

Jasper: You don’t have work?

Keller: I got the night off.

Sam: Don’t have to ask me twice. See you there.

Keller: Jas, you in?

Jasper: I’m in.

I message the manager of our favorite strip club to secure a VIP spot and a few girls for us. I know it won’t be a problem. Our family names get us in the door anywhere we want to go and our wallets are more than welcome once we get there.

“Dude, how’d you get out of work on a Saturday?” My best friend, Jasper, asks when I hand the valet my keys.

“Met my quota. There’s only so many homeless girls a guy can pick up off the streets in a day without looking like a creeper.” I say, trying not to get into too many details.

“Your parents must be so freakin’ proud of you, man.” Sam shakes his head. “How many other families can help as many girls as you do?”

“Not too many, Sam.” I smile at his innocence. “Come on. I have a night off. I don’t want to think about depressing shit when there’s a VIP room with our names on it.”

Sam and Jasper don’t know I’m a werewolf. They think my family runs a program for homeless girls, trying to give them a new life. Which, technically, we do. They don’t know we actually run a brokerage. The girls we pick up are sigma werewolves who get sold to the richest werewolf families in the world to do with as they please. 

I try to remember Mom’s outlook on things when I get in my head about the business. If we didn’t help these girls get off the streets, it would only be a matter of time before they go into heat and get killed by frenzied male wolves or overdose on ketamine. Hell, we even find some that get into really heavy shit and start dosing on wolfbane.

Sigmas don’t have mates, their packs have rejected or banished them, forcing them to live on their own as rogues, and they are not smart enough to survive on their own for long. If a male wolf catches a whiff of a sigma’s scent when she goes into heat, he’s likely to go into a frenzied state, and hunt down the sigma to have sex with her, whether or not she wants to. There are plenty of times where sigmas end up dead because of it. 

Sigmas try to hide, but eventually they come out before their heat finishes, even though they know how dangerous it is. I asked a girl one time why she would risk it. She told me she would rather die than go through the pain of being in heat. Having sex is the only way she had ever found to ease the pain. 

My brothers and I went through months of training to learn how to control ourselves before being allowed to work for our dad. I’m not convinced my brothers aren’t having sex with sigmas when they are alone with them, but there’s nothing I can do about it. That’s between them and their mates.

With all things considered, we’re helping these girls. Most of the sigmas we broker go to decent homes. They’ll still be sex slaves, but they will have a rich family to take care of them. It’s better than being a rogue turning tricks on the street.

Does working for the family business make me a shitty werewolf? Maybe. Actually, yes, it does. But does it pay the bills? Yeah, in spades. 

Jasper, Sam and I make our way into the club and lose track of time with some of our favorite strippers. A couple are werewolves, a couple are human. They are all willing to do a lot of dirty things for good tips in the private rooms of the club.

“Cozy Up before the bar?” Jasper asks when we stumble out of the strip club. “I need to soak up the liquor with a burger before I drink more.”

“Cozy Up it is!” I laugh, helping him into the passenger side of the Range Rover. I rarely drink enough to get drunk. My metabolism is too fast. I would say I have a decent buzz tonight, though. Meatloaf and bowl of mac and cheese from our favorite all-night diner sounds like a pretty good idea.

“Keller, you drive. I’ll get bottle service reserved at the bar.” Sam says, throwing himself into the back seat and pulling out his phone, as if I don’t always drive when we go out.

“You do that, Sam.” I shake my head at him as I pull out of the parking lot.

The entire way to the diner, we listen to Jasper rave about a girl he met at one of his parent’s charity events as if he wasn’t just having his way with a leggy platinum blonde at Angel’s. The conversation turns to sports as the hostess at Cozy Up shows us to the back corner booth.

While we are waiting for our food, I hear the bell chime at the front door. A sickly sweet smell that’s difficult to ignore wafts in the air. I hear the manager talking to someone when Rocky interrupts.

“Don’t be rude. Say hello!” He huffs at me.

“Hello? Who am I saying hello to?” I feel confused. “What are you talking about?”

“She’s here. Our mate.” He whines at me with frustration. “Say hello.”

Over the distinctive sweet smell of a sigma’s heat, the scent of roses and chamomile fills my nose. I feel my heart beat harder and my eyes widen. There’s no way. Now? She’s here now? After over three years of waiting, there must be a mistake.

I peek my head out the side of the booth and see a scrawny, barefoot girl in a dirty, torn blue dress. She has a black eye, dried blood coming from her nose, and a cut on her lip. Her long, disheveled, blonde hair has some twigs sticking out of it. Her scared, blue eyes look at me and she whispers the word I was hoping to never hear someone say to me.

“Mate?” Her voice barely whispers as she accepts me.

I hear Rocky celebrating cheerfully in my mind, but when I speak, the words are not what he is hoping for. “What the fuck?”

Comments (4)
goodnovel comment avatar
Bella Jersey
Did she kick ass already
goodnovel comment avatar
Lori Archer
this is a good book so far.
goodnovel comment avatar
Kymberli Tengelitsch
good read so far.
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