Thea didn’t want to run into the triplets back at the pack house, so she sprinted to school and went to the girls’ locker room to shower.
What was wrong with her? She had never gotten aroused while training before. She was always professional. She saved that for her alone time.
Yes, ever since the triplets hit puberty, they were getting more muscular and could pin her now, and yes, she secretly liked it. She wanted her future Alphas to get more powerful. She also wanted them on top of her. That was the real reason they were sometimes able to pin her. She let them. They weren’t supposed to know any of that. No one was.
She was supposed to be the next Beta. Their Beta. She’d never get the position if she acted like a lovesick puppy around them or if she smelled of arousal whenever they were near. Once they found their mates, the Lunas would want her replaced. That’s why most Betas were male. Aside from the fact that males were usually stronger.
Thea had Alpha blood, though. Her father was the Beta of their pack—New Dawn, the biggest werewolf pack on the west coast—but he was the fourth son of an Alpha from the east coast. His pack didn’t need him, and he wanted to be useful, so he came out here to be Beta. Thea's mother was the daughter of an Alpha too.
Thea was strong. Tall, strong, and she trained harder than anybody.
The triplets’ father, Alpha Ulric, had included her in his sons’ training since day one. The unspoken expectation was that she would take over her father’s position just like the triplets would take over theirs.
Now it was all jeopardized. She had demonstrated why a female shouldn’t be Beta. She thought she had her attraction to them under control, but when they nipped her marking spot, that moan was as involuntary as it was embarrassing. One second she was fighting them. The next, she was limp and wanting.
She was about to tilt her hips and grind herself against Kai when they all froze. They must have been horrified at the sound of her moan. Then they sniffed the air and smelled how turned on she was! How could she ever look at any of them again? She shouldn’t have stopped running at the school. She needed to leave town. The state. The country. Who was she kidding? The planet.
She got out of the shower and changed into some spare clothes she kept there. Maybe her uncle’s pack on the east coast would take her in. She would call her parents and apologize for shaming the family after she settled.
She left the locker room and ran straight into the triplets. Alaric had Thea’s backpack on his shoulder and a peach in his hand. She abruptly turned and ran in the opposite direction.
“Hey!” Kai called out.
“Thea, stop!” Conri said.
Alaric caught up to her first. He grabbed her arm and turned her to face him. “Thea, what are you doing?”
“I’m running away,” she said. Conri and Kai caught up. The three of them formed a circle around her.
“Why?” Conri said.
“Why do you think? I'm humiliated,” Thea said.
“You don’t need to be embarrassed. It's okay,” Kai said.
“No, it's not, and it'll never happen again,” Thea said.
Kai grabbed her waist, pulled her over, and pinned her against the wall. Thea’s heart nearly beat out of her chest. His hand trailed up her side. He leaned down and brushed his lips across her collar bone.
“Are you saying if I kissed your neck, it wouldn’t turn you on?” Kai said soft and low. It sent shivers through her body.
He brought his nose to her neck and breathed in. It took every ounce of willpower she had not to moan. She clenched her legs together, trying to temper the building heat. Kai’s hand moved down, snuck under her shirt, and his fingers grazed inside the waistband of her pants.
“If I reached in and touched you, you wouldn’t be wet?”
Anger built inside Thea—not at Kai, but herself. Kai was testing her, and she was failing. It was too obvious how badly she wanted him to do just that. She wasn’t Beta material. She steeled herself and shoved Kai.
“You’ll never find out, Kaiser,” she said, using his full name. She only did that when she was mad.
She ran, waiting until she rounded the corner to wipe the tears from her eyes.
“Way to go, idiot,” Thea heard Alaric say to Kai.
“I can smell her. Why is she fighting it?” Conri said.
She made it to her locker before Alaric caught up with her. He offered her backpack to her.
“I figured you’d need this since you didn’t come back to the pack house,” he said. “I put a change of clothes in there.”
“Thanks.” She took her bag from him. He offered the peach to her.
“Figured you didn’t get breakfast either.”
She wanted to hug him. Instead, she took the peach. “Thanks,” she said. She could always count on Alaric to take care of her and make her feel better, but even he couldn’t fix this.
“I’m sorry about Kai. Are you okay?” Alaric said.
“I can’t stay here after that,” Thea said.
“What do you mean? Where would you go?”
“My uncle’s pack? Anywhere else, really.”
“Thea, you’re not going anywhere. We’ll track you down and drag you back. You’re not leaving.”
“You don’t get it.”
“Don’t let his immaturity scare you off. Come on. You’ve handled worse.”
“It’s not him. He was testing me. I’m the problem.”
“What problem?” Alaric said.
Kai and Conri turned the corner and slowly approached. Thea grabbed her stuff and closed her locker.
“If I can’t control myself around you guys, my future in the pack is over. Isn’t that why Kai was testing me? If you didn’t notice, I failed.” She wiped the tears she couldn’t stop and walked away.
Kai and Conri joined Alaric at Thea’s locker, and they watched her walk away.
“We have to fix this,” Alaric said.
“Fast,” Kai said.
School was awkward. Thea had all but one class with the triplets, and she did her best to avoid them all day. Everyone could tell something was wrong. Typically, they were inseparable. Kai usually had his arm draped over her shoulders. Alaric always offered her his arm when they walked because she often didn’t pay attention to where she was going. Conri held onto the hem of her shirt to keep her close. Today, she ignored them, left each class as the bell rang, didn’t walk with them anywhere, and made sure there was plenty of space between them. Instead of eating lunch at their usual table, she went to the library to be alone and think. Could she be blamed for being attracted to the triplets? Everyone wanted them. They were Alphas. They exuded power and sexiness: tall, dark hair, crystal blue eyes, beautiful chiseled faces, strong jaws, de
Alaric was still holding Thea when she woke up. “You ready for early morning training?” Alaric’s voice, rough with sleep, rumbled through her body, waking her up in the sweetest way. She wished she could wake up like this every morning. Then his words registered. “I don’t want to go. I can’t.” “Thea, you can, and there’s no reason not to.” “Please don't make me—” “Thea, you’re coming. I’ll see you outside in fifteen, okay?” She knew she had to obey him. “Yes, Alpha.” “Hey, that’s not—I don’t mean it like that,” Alaric said. “You know you can say no to us, right? Thea, please. I don’t want you to feel like you have to do anything you don’t want to.” “Then why are you making me go train?” “Because you love training. I’m not going to let you throw it away over a misunderstanding. Come on. This isn’t like you. Where’s my fearless Thea?” “Back on the training field where she died of mortificatio
The triplets and Thea went to their rooms to shower and change. As soon as she was alone, Thea freaked out. She wasn’t sure what had just happened. Maybe she dreamed it. It wouldn’t be the first time. The triplets were waiting for her when she left her room. They were all showered and in fresh clothes. Thea admired the view for a moment. The way their jeans hung from their hips. The way their T-shirts stretched across their broad, muscular chests. The way their identical faces lit up when they saw her. She could always tell who was who, but their hair was the only thing most people could use to tell them apart. With his long crew cut freshly styled, Alaric leaned in for a quick kiss. She blushed, and he took her hand. It wasn’t a dream. Conri ran hi
After school, the triplets and Thea went out to the field to lead pack training. They split into four different groups and ran drills. When they came back together for conditioning, the triplets hugged and kissed Thea, ignoring everyone else on the field.“Woah,” one of the junior boys said. “Is this a new part of training?” He pulled his girlfriend to him and kissed her. Other people started making comments and asking questions. “Are they finally together?” “What does this mean?”Kai reluctantly let her go but grabbed her hand. Conri had his hand around her waist, and Alaric held her other hand.“Thea’s ours,” the triplets said in unison. She blushed. “And we’re hers. Anything you want to add?” They looked at her. She shook her head
Morning training turned into a makeout session. They made it out to the field, but Kai took her to the ground, and they didn’t do any training after that. “We may as well have just stayed in bed,” Thea said. Another day at school, people still whispered. Thea loved the feeling of the triplets holding and kissing her, but she was terrified it wouldn’t last. She didn’t want to let herself fall in love with them just to have them ripped away. After the final bell, the triplets surrounded her at her locker and tried to make out with her. “I have to go to dress rehearsal for the Talent Show,” she said, pushing them away. They pouted. “I’ll see you later.” She ran off before they could stop her. Thea met up with all the senior girls from her pack. They were doing a number together. Thea always went out of her way to befriend and include everyone in her pack. She made sure no one felt left out. She always said, “these are the people who will stand next to you in war. Make sure you tr
Kai slid Thea off his shoulder, caught her legs, and wrapped them around his waist. Conri tossed the red jumpsuit into Thea’s closet, then lifted her T-shirt off her. The triplets breathed in her growing arousal. Kai’s hands dug into her waist. Her fingers slid into his hair and pulled him closer. She pressed her lips against his, directing his movements with her hands in his hair, tongues battling for dominance. Impatient, Alaric wrapped his hands around Thea’s waist and pulled her off Kai. He gently tossed her on her bed, climbed over her, kissed her, then hooked his fingers inside the top of her track pants. He pulled them off, along with her shoes, leaving her in her nude-colored rhinestone-covered pants. “Let us look at you without other prying eyes,” he said. She leaned up on her elbows and crossed her legs at her ankles. That earned three growls. She smiled. “What?” “Uncross,” Kai said. His usual messy pompadour was extra messy. Thea bit her lip, knowing she had made it l
The following day, the triplets tried to respect Thea’s boundaries, so they trained in the morning without trying to kiss her.Once they were at school, they couldn’t keep their hands off her. Before first period they were making out—two on her neck, one on her mouth. Six hands on her body, rubbing their scents on her. Their Alpha blood made them need to show everyone she belonged to them, especially after last night’s Talent Show.“We’re going to be late,” she said, pushing them away.She retrieved the books she needed from her locker, then let them each take a hand, Conri with his hand on her hip. They heard snippets of conversations throughout the day coming in and out of classes. Everyone was talking about the Talent Show. Specifically about Thea and he
The triplets took Thea to Dr. Boman, the pack doctor, in the west wing of the pack house. He was a kind but serious middle-aged wolf with short brown hair and brown eyes. He relocated her shoulder and put her arm in a sling.“You’ll need to wear this for a few days to immobilize the area so it can heal,” Dr. Boman said. “Stay close to them. You’ll heal faster.”Being close to your mate helped you heal faster. Did everyone think they were mates?“You’ll heal faster once you shift, but since that’s still a few months away, you have to take it easy. You have a concussion. Head injuries are serious. No training until I say so. No strenuous activity.” He looked at the triplets. “Future Alphas, did you hear that? No strenuous activity. That mean