The Alpha’s Arrangement (A Paranormal Shifter Romance) Copyright © 2017 by Ryan Michele
Inhaling deeply, the crisp mountain air flows through my lungs, pure and refreshing. After living in the city for most of my life, coming here is an oasis. There are no sounds of cars, people yelling, or construction on buildings so high your neck aches to look up. Only the flit of a bird off in the distance and something wrestling in the trees can be heard. Peace. Calm.
I came to Spear to get away from the city. It’s the complete opposite and beyond perfect. This perfection came at a steep price, though. The old owners wanted to sell, but only for their full asking price. Even with my lawyers haggling, they wouldn’t budge, which I admire.
Seeing this place for the first time in person, it’s understandable why they didn’t want to give up this beauty. I’m not sure I ever could.
The home is large, much bigger than I truly need, but it screamed “home.” That’s what I need—a home of my own for once. Not moving from place to place, not seeing the world, but having some place steady.
With five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a full basement, cleaning will probably be my main activity for a while. The previous owners didn’t leave the place a mess, but they did leave their stamp on each room. One that needs to be thoroughly remodeled.
Sucking in one more deep breath, I enter my home, shutting the sliding glass door behind me. Cleaning supplies and food are the top two things on the agenda. The realtor gave me a brief lay of the land after handing over my keys, stating, “Main Street has everything you need—bakery, groceries, hardware, mechanic, and a couple of restaurants and bars. Not much, but it’s enough.” Main street is where I shall go first.
The winding roads from my home into the town make me thankful that I traded in my car for a Jeep four by four. One flick of a switch, and she’s ready to tackle whatever comes her way. With the winters, I have no doubt I’ll need it. Montana doesn’t have light snow normally, and I love that.
Several people walk down the sidewalks on either side of the street, almost giving it a city feel, except there are nowhere near as many people. Their eyes follow me as I move through town, no doubt wondering who the newbie is.
The realtor was definitely correct about the town having everything I would ever need. The grocery store looks quaint, with lit-up windows and people mingling around. Nothing like the supercenters—another great change of pace.
The sliding glass door opens as I enter before grabbing a cart. It isn’t lost on me that, as soon as I push my cart through the second door, all eyes are on me. It doesn’t bother me. Instead, a smile spreads across my face. I’ll never know the people here if there’s a scowl on my lips. This is my fresh start. My way of leaving the hustle and bustle behind and finding my happiness.
Coasting down aisle after aisle, I get a lay of the land, giving slight nods to those who stare. It would be nice if they would say hi or something, but that goes both ways.
Smiling, I go back to the canned soups, which I hate, and get the ingredients for my homemade chicken and noodles.
Each aisle goes by in a blur as I collect everything I’ll need for the next week or so. Some of my furniture will be delivered tomorrow, and I really want to be a house potato for a while.
I’ve introduced myself to several more people before I make it to the meat section, when my breath catches. Two mountains of men stand with their backs to me. One has inky black hair, while the other has a lighter brown.
No sooner do I stop the cart and see them, they turn to me in unison, and that’s when my lungs become deprived of oxygen.
Both men are gorgeous, but the one with the inky hair calls to me, with eyes that are a deep navy, looking almost black. Whoever his parents are gave him fantastic bone structure, a strong jaw, and a masculine nose. Not to mention his size that is only slightly bigger than the man next to him. The forest green, long-sleeved thermal he has on showcases each dip and valley of his muscular chest.
This town must have a gym, because there is no way these two men look like this without working out … a lot.
Inky man sniffs the air, and I instantly feel self-conscious, but I dismiss it just as fast. He can’t be sniffing me from that distance.
“Hi.” I give a soft wave.
“Well, hello there,” the brown-haired man says, taking a step my way, but inky man throws out his arm, holding the other man back.
Brown-haired man’s eyes snap to inky man.
“Mine,” inky man growls in a deep, sexy as all hell voice. And while I feel that rumble all the way to my core, his word makes no sense.
“Pardon?” I shake my head, dismissing the comment. “Sorry, hi, I’m Iso …” I stutter, making a quick decision. New life, new name. Isobel is going to stay back in the city. “Izzy. You can call me Izzy.”
“Owen,” the man with light brown hair says with a smirk, looking between inky man and myself.
I look to the sexy as sin male who is blatantly staring at me, not making any attempt to hide it. Something warm snakes up my body, causing me to let out a shiver.
Damn, girl, it hasn’t been that long since you got any.
“Carter,” he states firmly and with authority. “McCavitt house?” At least he proves my assumption about it being a small town where gossip is concerned.
“You get all your stuff moved in?” This question takes me a bit off guard, because it’s not one of the normal ones I’ve been getting. How do you like it here? Where are you from? Why did you move here? Those are the normal ones. My stuff, not so much.
His stance changes a bit. The once rigidness of his muscles relaxes, yet he carries himself with such authority that, if one wasn’t looking, I’m sure it would have been missed. Carter is casual, but very much on alert for some reason, making me a bit nervous. Somehow, he must sense this, because he inhales and some of that alertness disappears, setting me at ease.
“What time? My men and I will come help you.”
“That’s really nice of you, but the movers will take care of it.” Even if that is super sweet of him, there’s no way I’d accept that kind of help from a stranger. It’s too much.
“What time? We’ll be there to help,” Carter repeats, and Owen chuckles under his breath.
“What’s so funny?” I ask, instead of answering Carter.
“Nothing, Izzy. I’m just happy you came to Spear.”
Carter takes a step forward, moving to the side of my shopping cart so he’s mere inches from me.
It’s my turn to inhale him. The smells of wood, oak, a hint of leather, and testosterone-filled male come through loud and clear. It’s an absolutely intoxicating concoction.
“What time?” he repeats yet again, not backing down.
“Ten.” My response comes out before I can filter it, as if he’s putting a wicked spell on me and sucking me under.
His white teeth make an appearance, and I fully admit that I’m a teeth woman. Something about when they sparkle turns me on. They don’t need to be perfectly straight. It’s just the color.
“We’ll be at your place at nine thirty. Do you want us to bring coffee?” A sexy glint comes to his eye.
“Really, you don’t need to—”
“I insist. We help our own.”
“Thank you, but …” A single look from him cuts my words off. This one is different than the sexy one he gave me moments ago. This one is determined and leaves little room to no room to argue.
Carter brings his hand up and tucks a lock of hair behind my ear. All I can do is feel each featherlight touch and try my damnedest to continue breathing. Then he brings his fingers to my chin and holds me in place for a moment, almost like he is inspecting me. When he releases me, it’s on a sigh.
“We must be going. We’ll see you in the morning.”
“Ah … okay.”
Carter takes one more look at me before Owen grabs the cart and pushes it off. I note that the only thing inside of it is meat.