Muscles rippled as the fighters tore into each other. Gio watched from his private box as the underground wolves placed bets on their favorites, his lips set in a hard line as he surveyed his empire. He had long ago lost count of the years, knowing only that due to some freak genetics that his father wouldn't explain, Gio hadn't aged like the other wolves. Con was in his seventies now, and although that was still considered young in shifter terms, the wrinkles were slowly making themselves known. Gio didn't look a day over twenty. It was as though someone took a snapshot of him in his prime and built an alternate reality around it—a reality where the Alpha never grew old.

Frederico Lupo had succumbed to the rigors of age a year ago. Leaving the underground empire and all it's interests to Gio-and that was the day his young adulthood officially ended. He had to be more ruthless than his father ever was, dominating the fight ring and becoming a boogeyman to his peers. Gio needed to be untouchable to rule the cutthroats deferring to him.

"Gio!" Con called from downstairs, "you're needed, boss."  

'When aren't we needed?' His wolf Alphonso growled in the recesses of his mind. But although he was wary, the Alpha stood up, carrying his powerful body with grace as he moved quickly to the door that would see him downstairs.

"Talk to me, Con," he murmured as they walked through the crowds baying for blood. Con walked with a limp thanks to the dragon hoards last breach attempt- but the wolves had prevailed, taking the victory as they breathed in fresh air from the topside before risking a trip to the human grocers for supplies.

"The patrol has captured a human in the fourth quarter down by the dock entrance-pretty wee thing- but she says she got lost. I thought you should deal with it."

Gio nodded. It was rare for a human to venture so far out from the city, but it occasionally happened. Put bluntly; they were a pain in the arse.

It wasn't until they were heading along the railway tracks using the shortcut to Gio's office that the Alpha noticed the sweet smell of wildflowers. "Mmm, how did you manage to get flowers to grow in this godforsaken place Con?" Gio asked, and his friend looked at him in confusion, "Aye? What are you on about? I don't smell anything." The scent only grew more pronounced as he got closer to his office, and by the time he reached the door, it was overwhelming, "Can you seriously not smell that?"

"Gio, seriously, smell what?" His best friend countered as he opened the door for the boss. Before Gio even entered the room, his wolf howled so loudly he shook from the intensity, but the words that spilled from Alphonso's mouth was the last thing the Mafia kingpin expected. Alphonso puffed out his chest and yelled..."MATE!"


Charlotte took a wrong turn somewhere. At twenty-two, having lived here all of her life, she should've known her way around. But Delgaard industries had its labs on the other side of the city, and somewhere along the way, she'd become horribly disorientated. Not a good start to the first day in a new job. In a further case of bad luck when she'd gone to check her phone, Charlotte had been jostled from behind and watched as it sailed over the dock into the water. The man who'd caused her to drop it apologized profusely and insisted she meet his boss to come to some arrangement about compensation. So here she sat.

Charlotte could hear voices coming down the hall, and self-consciously smoothed her pencil skirt and made sure her buttons were neatly aligned before the door opened.

"Gio, seriously, what smell?"

An older gentleman walked in first, and she was reminded of one of the wiseguys in those gangster movies. He carried himself well, no signs of Osteoporosis, and had all his teeth when he smiled, as he was doing now.

"Sorry to keep you waiting," He started, "But Mr. Lupo was engaged in other business, and it took me a while to find him."


"That would be me," A deep voice said smoothly, and when Charlotte located the source of that voice, her whole world was rocked on its hinges.

The word gorgeous seemed inadequate to describe the specimen framed in the doorway. He was tall, maybe just over six foot, with dark silky hair and hazel eyes. Charlotte's mouth watered at the clear outline of his broad shoulders, filling out his suit in all the right places, and the way his waist tapered in, providing a tantalizing insight to how wide his back must be. It wasn't until she managed to rake her eyes back up to the man's face that Charlotte realized she'd been caught staring.

His eyes were blazing with a carnal hunger as he ushered the older gentleman out of the room and made sure to close the door after him. Then he smiled, and Charlotte's heart went crazy.

"I'm Giovanni Lupo, Gio for short, and you are?"

Flustered, that's what she was, but somehow Charlotte managed to respond like a normal human being. "Hello, Mr. Lupo. My name is Charlotte Ren."  Christ, kill me now! she thought privately as Gio's lips twitched in amusement. As the man casually walked behind his desk, Charlotte felt the sheer power of his magnetism. He walked like a predator, seductive and sure of himself, and that drew Charlotte in immediately. She'd always been a sucker for a dominant man.

"How can I help you today, Charlotte?" Gio asked as he sat in his chair, steepling his fingers while his hungry eyes beckoned her. And Charlotte gave her libido a quick talking to before she replied. "One of your workers accidentally bumped me this morning and knocked my phone into the water. He insisted I come down here and mentioned that his boss might be able to help me with my phone- his name was Henry."

Gio grinned, and Charlotte's ovaries sighed lustfully. She really needed to get laid-her trusty silver bullet was no longer cutting the mustard.

"Of course," his husky voice answered before opening a drawer and withdrawing a cash box, "How much was your phone worth?"

Charlotte couldn't seem to answer. Something strange was happening, and as a scientist, the burning need to know why was causing her problems. There was a connection to Gio that she hadn't felt with any other man, and her brain was short-circuiting while other parts of her anatomy grew wetter with each passing minute. When Gio looked up with a puzzled frown and seemed to sniff the air, the game changed completely.

He rose from his desk abruptly, and she could've sworn she head Gio growl, then he was closing the blinds, a primal hunger causing his physique to tremble. Charlotte's brain documented all of this and saved it to memory as he stalked up to her, yanking her up from her own chair.

"I can smell your arousal, woman, and it's driving me insane."

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