Alpha's Surprise Baby by Kellan Larkin by Kellan Larkin - Read Online

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Alpha's Surprise Baby - Kellan Larkin

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Larkin

1

Kade

Honestly, man, I’m feeling a little bummed, and even thinking about this tour isn’t helping, I said, lugging my guitar as we walked down the city streets. "I don’t know how we’re going to save the band after

the

tour

."

Jareo put a comforting hand on my shoulder. We can do it, Kade, we just have to get through this. Who knows what’ll happen?

I know, you can’t predict the future and all that. But I feel overwhelmed, even with this bodyguard search. Like, why bother? I frowned.

It wasn’t a good month for Ignis Lupus. We had become too used to the success that we enjoyed after the release of our debut album, Flames. The tour had been a hit, the energy explosive, and with gusto, we had plunged into the production of our second album, Cinders, putting our heart and soul

into

it

.

It hadn’t sold half

as

well

.

And on top of that, critics had panned it. They absolutely loathed it. It was thoroughly shitty to have put so much time, effort, and love into an album that the critics hated. Of course, the fans still carried us, but the overwhelmingly bad reviews had hurt sales considerably.

But still, because of our contract, we had to go on the Cinders tour, which was scheduled to start soon. And before I could do that, I had to hire a new bodyguard. It was pretty cool to think that I was famous enough to need one. But I wasn’t going to be famous much longer, not at

this

rate

.

Jareo, my rhythm guitarist, was accompanying me to my manager’s office, where we were going to interview bodyguards. We needed a big, burly guy, one who wouldn’t think twice about booting out any

crazy

fans

.

I had plenty of those.

In fact, it had gotten to the point where I was a little nervous about walking around backstage during shows. I could hold my own—especially because I was a shifter—but when I was finished with a set, practically drunk with exhaustion, I did not want to deal with defending myself. On top of that, I was a smallish guy. As much as I hated to admit it, I could get jostled around in crowds.

So I needed a guy who didn’t take any shit from fans, even the innocuous teenage girls. I loved my fans, but I needed my space. The right guy would be utterly steadfast about

maintaining

that

.

We finally came to Michael’s office. Michael was a stern guy, all business. He liked music well enough, but his primary concern was the operation of the band. He had to be serious so that we could let loose when we played at shows and crafted our songs. For that, I was thankful. But it did make him a bit of a downer.

The candidates are waiting in the hallway, he said. "Just let my new intern, Tania, know when we want to bring the first

one

in

."

After Jareo and I took our seats next to Michael, I nodded to the star-struck young woman standing at the door. She kept glancing at me, drinking me in because I was a celebrity. It was cute sometimes, but when I just wanted to get things done, it could be annoying.

Tania peeped her head out and hollered for the first candidate to come in. He looked a little scary, but then, I wasn’t surprised. He had to be scary to frighten off even the most daring fans. The scars on his face and forearms, as well as his broad, muscular chest, would do that nicely.

So, you’re Mikhail Nostman, said Michael, shuffling through his papers.

That’s right, said Mikhail.

And why would you like to be a bodyguard for my client? Michael straightened the glasses on his nose, tattoos showing as his shirt sleeve

slipped

down

.

I am up for the challenge, said Mikhail. I know it is difficult, keeping a celebrity safe, but I am capable and adaptable.

Very good, said Michael. Now let’s talk about your experience…

I ended up zoning out, truth be told. Mikhail seemed like a perfectly good, experienced candidate. So did the next guy. And the next guy. Michael was making detailed notes, I could see, but I didn’t really think any of them stood out to me. Michael had done a great job of picking out the very best for interviews, and at this point, I would have been happy with any

of

them

.

The questions all blurred together in my mind, reminding me of job interviews I had to sit through in undergrad, for internships that had never panned out. Working in an office just wasn’t for me. By some stroke of luck, Altador Records had decided that they liked the sound of my demos, and they decided to

sign

me

.

The rest was history.

I looked up from my thoughts to see the current candidate, an equally burly guy named Norris. His close-cropped hair and anchor tattoos made it easy to peg him as an ex-Marine.

My experience in the Marine Corps taught me the value of teamwork, he said, so that’s my best attribute. I’m willing to work on a team, plus, I’m adaptable and quick on the uptake.

Those are very good attributes indeed, Mr. Colton, said Michael, scribbling away in his notebook. "Thank you for

your

time

."

Norris nodded and got up to leave. The door thudded shut

behind

him

.

We have just one more guy left, said Tania.

Bring him in, said Michael. I could tell he was getting weary; his glasses kept slipping down his nose and he didn’t even bother to

fix

them

.

A strange smell reached my nose. I took a deep whiff of it, allowing my excellent shifter senses to analyze it. No way, I thought. I wasn’t smelling an Alpha, was I? I kept sniffing the intoxicating scent like a madman; Jareo and Michael probably thought I was acting strangely, but I didn’t care. It was the best thing I had ever smelled.

The next candidate walked in. Like the other guys, he had a ripped body, with bulging biceps and a barrel chest. But his face was gorgeous, too. He seemed younger than many of the others, and his eyes were sparkling with something, perhaps a sense of mischief.

This man was not like the rest. Not only because of his verve, but also because he was an Alpha male shifter. A wildly attractive one,

at

that

.

I must have piqued his interest because he threw me a glance, slightly bewildered. In that moment, we recognized each other for what

we

were

.

Alexander Sorrel, is that right? said Michael, his voice monotonous.

That’s right, though you can call me Xander, said the Alpha, walking up and shaking each of our hands in turn. "I’m glad to

meet

you

."

This Xander was a vital man. I felt like some of his enthusiasm was rubbing off on me. Or maybe that was just my reaction to an Alpha in his prime.

As an Omega wolf in his mating peak, I was especially attuned to potential mates. If I didn’t find one by the time my mating peak ended, I’d have a hard time later in life. I could even end up alone, forever. My job made it difficult, but I did always keep my eyes peeled for potential candidates.

I couldn’t just settle for any guy, though. I was destined to find my fated mate. Every shifter knew that. I could date any guy I wanted, and I had, but one day, I’d find the guy I was destined to be with forever. That’s just how

it

was

.

And I had the sneaking suspicion that Xander was

that

man

.

I knew because of the compulsion. That’s how it had been described to me. When a wolf found his fated mate, he’d be drawn to him, inexplicably. That’s how I felt about Xander now. I had the urge to get up out of my chair, walk over to him, and ask him all about

his

life

.

My body was responding, too. I was intensely sexually attracted to him. We had seen a lot of buff guys during these interviews, but somehow, the curves of Xander’s muscles just seemed more erotic. I wanted to see what he looked like underneath the carefully tailored, form-fitting suit. I wanted to rip

it

off

.

I looked up at Xander again. His eyes were dark and brown, like his hair, giving him a more intense look. He was answering all of Michael’s questions with such enthusiasm. I hadn’t seen anyone before who was so excited to be a bodyguard. I could tell he wanted to talk to me, also, but Michael was dominating the conversation. Xander kept glancing

my

way

.

He felt the

compulsion

too

.

Do you have any questions for us? asked Michael.

No, not right now, said Xander.

"Very good. Tania will see you out. We’ll be in touch soon

either

way

."

I watched Xander as he left, intoxicated. His ass was perky and perfect, utterly squeezable. I saw that Tania was watching him go, too. That wasn’t surprising—Alpha and Omega shifters in their mating peak had a bit of an effect on humans. I often wondered whether it was the cause of my success, at least partially.

Nah, that wasn’t it. I was a damn good musician, and proud of it. My tapes had gotten my foot in the door, and my passion and hard work had carried me the rest of the way. Sure, the Omega sex appeal added to the star power, but it was just the cherry

on

top

.

So, Kade, what do you think? asked Michael. "We should make a decision soon, so the paperwork can get through

in

time

."

Oh, right, I said, shaking my head. Umm. What about Xander?

You’re just saying that ‘cause he was hot, said Tania, who had sat down with us at the table.

He was hot, yeah, but I felt comfortable with him. And that’s important too, right? He’s going to be my personal bodyguard, after all. I raised an eyebrow.

True, said Michael, skimming over his notes. "But you didn’t feel that way about any