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Sold as the Alpha King’s Breeder

Chapter 6: Double the Breeders, Double the Fun  

Rowan Mist was rolling over the muddy gray water of the inlet, the waves crashing into the rocky, seaweed-covered beach as I pulled on my socks and boots. The air was heavy with salt and an earthy smell of minerals and fish. The mountains beyond the inlet were cast in a soft pink glow as the sun began to rise, the soft violet-blue sky giving way to streaks of fuchsia and gold. My feet were sore as I walked up the beach toward the village. Running on the sharp, rock-laden sand always cut into my paws, but the snow was still too thick and rotten to run my wolf in the nearby mountain valleys. I reached the rock where I had left my backpack and shifted back to my human form, then pulled my sweatshirt over my head, the thick fabric a welcome warmth against my chilled skin. I finished getting dressed and, slinging the backpack over my shoulder, 1 climbed up the embankment and across the long field of brush, the village twinkling in the sunrise in the distance. “Morning, Rowan!” “Good Morning, Rowan. Out for a run?” “Can you bring this up to the house for me, darling? It‘s for your mother.” The village was bursting into life as I made my way through the narrow streets, passing countless villagers.. Everyone always said hello, or waved, as I passed by. I passed a woman hanging laundry and another tending to a smoker, the smell of honeyed smoked salmon blanketing the stretch of street as I walked. The house was beckoning to me as I approached, a large A-frame fortress tucked into an enclave of thick spruce trees that towered over the three-story building with ease. The village continued on into the woods, small cabins dappled here and there, their chimneys puffing smoke into the cloudless, violet sky. I could remember a time when the village was hidden amongst the spruce. Only recently had it spread to the coast, new gravel covered streets leading toward the dock my father had designed, the breakwater towering over the boats rocking in the low tide. The breakwater had made it possible for boats to reach the shore, as well as small seaplanes when the water was calm. Ethan may not have been the leader of the pack, but his tedious improvements to the village and his relentless pursuit of allies and trade had secured Winter Forest’s status as a powerful pack, and the village soon became the capital of the Northeast territory. “Hey!” I said as I entered the house, pulling my boots off and setting them on the mat next to the door. “I’m home. Mom! Someone gave me a package for you.” “Is it mail?” I could hear her footsteps on the floor above, and she nearly lost her balance as she thundered down the stairs. Her white hair was pulled back into a braid, but several long strands came loose as she slid to a stop in front of me. “What’s with all the racket?” my dad said as he stepped out of his office, which was situated off the entryway. I shrugged, turning my attention to Mom as she ripped open the package, her face falling as she pulled out a jar of blueberry jam. “Don’t worry about it, Rosalie—” “This isn‘t like her, Ethan! We haven’t received any letters from her in four weeks. Before that we had dozens of them every time the postal plane came in-” Dad turned on his heel and disappeared into his office. He returned holding a piece of paper above his head, handing it to her and pointing to a paragraph handwritten in neat scrawl. “Aaron made it to Mirage, see? His father says all is well there. There is nothing to worry about.” Mom looked defeated as she tucked the jam back into the box, giving me a sober, yet genuine smile. Please tell Mrs. Kratt thank you for this, Rowan,” she said softly, turning away from us as she walked toward the kitchen. Dad sighed, looking down at the letter before folding it up, giving me a knowing glance. “This is harder on her than I thought it would be.” “I thought she‘d appreciate the quiet around here, with Maeve away,” I replied, pulling my arms out of my jacket and hanging it on the hook near the door. I frowned at the empty hook that should have held my favorite flannel jacket. I‘d been looking for it 000% Chapter 6: Double the Breeders, Double the Fun

everywhere, with no luck. Dad scratched his beard, nodding in agreement. “I think it‘s too quiet. That‘s the problem.” It was damn near silent in the house without Maeve here to cause her usual chaos. Dad wasn‘t constantly pleading with her to get out of his office, and Mom wasn’t scolding her endlessly in her soft-spoken, gentle way. Even Gemma was gone. I hadn’t thought much about her absence at first. She was Maeve’s best friend, but Gemma also meant a great deal to me. We‘d grown up together, though she was several years older than me. There was never really a time in my life that she hadn’t been around. I missed them, truthfully. Winter Forest felt very small without them both. “Got a minute?” Dad motioned for me to follow him into his office. I sat in one of the wide leather chairs next to his desk.copy right hot novel pub

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