Chapter One

Trent stared at the alpha sitting behind the desk. The man was talking, but Trent wasn't paying attention. His attention was on the scent still lingering in his nose. As soon as the young female turned to run, Trent was moving forward. The only thing that stopped him from catching her was the firm grip on his arm.

That was when Smith dragged him into his office and started yelling at him. "Can I go to my room now? Where will I be staying?" Trent interrupted.

"Have you listened to a word I've said?" Smith asked. When Trent didn't answer, Smith cursed and hit his desk with his hand. "Damn it, boy. I mean it when I say stay away from my daughter."

"What's her name?" Trent asked.

"None of your business. You will be staying at my friend Jim's house. He's single and has some extra rooms. You can have your pick." Smith got up and Trent followed suit. He followed Smith to the office door, but stopped when Smith did.

"What?" Trent sighed. He was tired. It had been a long day. The stress had been enough to make anyone exhausted. Finding out his mate was his new alpha's daughter was just another thing to add to his exhaustion.

"Stay away from her or you're out of here. I don't care about what Riven said. I will not allow my daughter to end up with you," Smith sneered. He opened the door and led Trent down the hallway to the front porch. Jim was standing there, arms crossed, and a cigarette between his lips.

"How's it going boss?" Jim asked, removing the cigarette and flicking it into the grass.

"I hate when you do that. It could catch my house on fire," Smith growled. Jim just grinned and put his arms around Trent's shoulders. "He's all yours. Keep him out of trouble."

"Will do," Jim replied and then led Trent toward a cabin tucked back in the woods.

"You back here by yourself?" Trent asked.

"Yep. I like the privacy," Jim shrugged. "So what's your deal?"

"What do you mean?" Trent tensed.

"Why did Smith look like he wanted to rip your throat out?" Jim asked, laughing.

"Oh, that. Well his daughter is my mate. He told me to stay away from her." Trent saw Jim stop out of the corner of his eye.

"What?" Jim asked, his eyes wide.

"His daughter is my mate," Trent repeated. Jim coughed and then straightened.

"Which one?" Jim eyed him warily.

"He has more than one?" Trent asked.

"Yes, you idiot. The girls are twins," he growled.

"What are their names?" Trent asked.

By this time they reached the cabin door and Jim opened it to let Trent in. Trent leaned against the back of the couch and crossed his arms. Jim did the same, but used the wall for support.

"Abeline is the wild one. You gotta watch her. Mabel is the sweet, quiet one. She's a daddy's girl." Trent smiled.

"Mabel." He liked the way that sounded. He said it again and watched Jim's eyes narrow.

"You better be careful boy. Like I said, she's a daddy's girl. Smith would tan your hide if you so much as looked at her funny. She's been hurt in the past and he won't let it happen again. You better make damned sure she's the one before you even think about going near her." Jim took a step forward. "I mean it boy. This ain't your old pack. We take care of each other and won't hesitate to protect our own."

"I understand," Trent said. He kept his emotions hidden, though he was furious. Who hurt his mate? Was it someone in the pack? He'd kill them. He barely refrained from snapping his teeth at the air.

"I'll show you to your room," Jim said, walking toward a set of steps. He walked up four steps and down a hallway. Trent followed, studying his surroundings. There were pictures on the wall of two young girls with Smith and Jim smiling as they had them on their shoulders. Then there were pictures of Jim teaching one of the girls how to fish while the other sat on the bank with a book in her lap.

"That one's Mabel," Jim said, startling Trent. He was pointing at the girl with the book on her lap. "Like I said before, she's the quiet one."

Jim turned and started walking away. Trent reached forward and touched his fingers to the picture. Then he turned and followed Jim to the last door on the left. Jim opened the door and stepped into the room. A soft plush carpet covered the floor that smelled like it had recently been cleaned. The queen sized bed was covered with a blue quilt with blue throw pillows resting against the headboard. It was definitely a man's room.

"Thank you," Trent said, dropping his bag on the floor.

"I'll see you in the morning," Jim said, closing the door. Trent heard his footsteps walk down the hall and stop. "The bathroom is the second door on the right."

"Okay," Trent called. He listened until Jim stopped walking and a TV clicked on. He sighed and threw himself face first on the bed. He laid there for what seemed like an eternity.

"Mabel," he said her name. She was beautiful. Her eyes had been a soft grey and he could imagine them darkening with passion. His cock hardened and he imagined what her red full lips would feel like as she took him into her mouth. He groaned and slammed his fist into the bed. "Stop."

Getting to his feet, Trent pulled his shirt over his head and threw it on the ground. He unbuttoned his jeans and threw them on top of his shirt. He'd deal with them in the morning. He set his shoes by the door and then turned off the light. He walked over to his bed and lay down. Before long he was dead to the world as he succumbed to his exhaustion.

"May." Someone was saying her name, but May couldn't open her eyes. She rolled over, away from the persistent nagging voice. Her body was sweating and her head was pounding. "Mabel Claire Roberts, you open your eyes right now."

"What?" May said, her voice sounding scratchy even to her own ears. She opened her eyes and glared at her sister.

"It's time to take more. You're heat's acting up," Abeline handed May a glass.

"I don't want it," May said, pushing Abeline's hand away.

"You have to, honey. You know the pain is only going to get worse. Why must you always fight with me over this?" Abeline sounded angry.

"It's not natural. We are meant to bare the pain. It makes us stronger," May argued, using the same argument she always had.

"You have to drink this. We have that new wolf in the pack and he won't be used to your scent. Please do this so Papa won't have to kill him," Abeline pressured. May sighed.

May grew quiet and played with the blanket. She was sitting up now and her back was leaning against the headboard. "I think he's the one, sis."

"He can't be. Papa told me to keep you away from him. He must be bad news. Though why Papa brought him here, I have no idea," Abeline sighed.

"I felt it," May argued.

"Felt what?" Abeline asked, frustrated.

"The sparks Papa always talked about when meeting Mom." May looked her sister in the eye. "What if he is?"

"If he is, then he's going to have to prove it. You know what happened last time," Abeline said. As soon as she saw May's eyes tear up, she regretted her comment. "I'm sorry honey, I didn't mean it." She pulled her sister into a hug.

"I was so stupid then. I don't know how I couldn't see it," May said, holding the tears back.

"You weren't stupid. We were all fooled." Abeline got an idea. "Let's go get some hot cocoa. That always helps my heat cramps."

May smiled. "Okay."

Abeline grabbed her wrist and pulled her out of bed. If her sister wasn't going to help her heat, the least Abeline could do was help her. She would find a way to dull the pain. Maybe even slip something into her sister's cocoa. She'd done it before and would do it again.

"You're quiet. What are you thinking?" Abeline asked her sister after handing her the cup of hot cocoa. She had slipped some of what the girls called 'medicine' into her cup. It was a concoction that took away the effects of the heat and made it bearable. It would only last for a few hours and then May would have to take more. If she would have drunk the whole cup earlier, it would've lasted a whole day.

May took a sip of her drink before responding. "I can't help it sis."

"What do you mean?"

"My thoughts keep going to him and what he said. He called me his mate, for all to hear. Papa looked shocked at first, but then he freaked out. What could be so bad about this male that he is keeping him away from me? I need to know if he's my mate. I want what Mom and Papa had. I need to feel that strong connection." May's eyes filled with tears. "You and Papa are always tiptoeing around me. I'm not going to break. I want someone to treat me with respect. Love me for who I am; flaws and all."

"I'm sorry honey. I didn't know you felt like this. Why haven't you told us sooner?" Abeline was shocked at her sister's outburst. Did she really feel that way?

"I was going to tell you the night Papa left. I heard him tell you to watch after me. I wasn't really asleep when you found me lying on the couch. I need people to stop thinking I'm weak." Abeline could tell her sister meant it because her eyes were reflecting her wolf. She sighed and put her hands on the counter.

"I slipped some of our medicine into your drink," Abeline admitted.

"I know."

"You do?" Abeline was shocked. "Why did you drink it then?"

"I knew you didn't get the full dosage in the cup or it would have tasted too strongly of the medicine. I know most of your tricks, sister." May smiled.

"You're not mad?"

"No. I know I need to take it, but my wolf hates it." May looked toward the door, her thoughts quickly shifting back to the strange male. She didn't even know his name.

"His name is Trent." May was so shocked she about fell off the stool.

"How did you know what I was thinking?" she asked, her gaze questioning her sister.

"You said it out loud. You said 'I don't even know his name'." Abeline drank the rest of her cocoa and watched her sister do the same. They sat in silence for a long time. When both were finished, they placed their cups in the sink and then started walking back to their rooms. Abeline's room was across the hall from May's.

"Do you think he thought of me after Papa led him away?" May sounded so unsure that Abeline's heart broke.

"I'm sure he did. No one could resist those eyes and your smile." Abeline knew what she was going to have to do. She had to find out this guy's story. She had to make sure he was right for her sister.

Trent woke the next day feeling sluggish and sore. He was so used to sleeping on a floor that it had been almost impossible to sleep on the mattress. By halfway through the night, he was on the floor. He woke this morning, feeling the consequences.

He had just finished getting out of the shower and dressing when a thump came on his bedroom door. He sniffed the air and sighed. "Yes?" he called.

"Time for breakfast, kid."

"Are you cooking, Jim?"

The man laughed. "No kid. The boss's daughters always cook. They know we need the nutrition to help us through the long day. Today's the day you start working."

"What am I required to do?" Trent asked, opening the door and looking Jim in the eye. Trent was used to being taller than everyone else. He got it from his father. What he wasn't used to was meeting someone the same height as him. Jim was also twice his age and twice his weight. He would be one mean wolf in a fight.

"If you're done checking me out, we can go eat," Jim teased. Trent's face went blank.

"I was not checking you out."

"Whatever you say. Maybe you swing for the other team. Would put the boss at ease seeing you wouldn't want that daughter of his." Trent growled and Jim smiled. It was easy to rile the kid up.

"Just show me where to get breakfast and then where I need to go help out at." Trent started walking. He pushed past Jim and jumped over the steps. He opened the front door and stepped out onto the porch. He took a deep breath in and stretched. He loved the smell of the forest this early in the morning.

"Hope you're used to getting up early. We'll be heading to breakfast the same time every day and then work after. Are you used to working?" Jim asked.

Trent thought about lying, but knew the man would be able to smell the lie. "No. We just patrolled and wrestled with each other to pass the time." That sounded sad even to Trent's ears. He'd never realized how lazy his pack was. No wonder Anthony had thought he could easily take it over.

"Wow kid. That's sad." Jim shook his head. "Let's go eat."

May wiped the sweat off her forehead and stood back from the stove. She was burning up, and it had nothing to do with the stove. Her heat was starting to show and she hoped Abeline was too busy to notice. After checking the time, she flipped the bacon over. This was the last thing everyone was waiting for. It was also their favorite. She made sure that the paper towel was still over the four plates of bacon she had already cooked.

"Almost done?" Abeline called.

"Yes. Just a minute more," May called back. She prayed her sister wouldn't come back in the kitchen. As soon as she took the meat outside, she'd go lay down. It wasn't that strong yet. The pain was bearable and she believed her scent would be hidden by the food.

After a minute or so it was time to take the bacon out. She stuck the spatula under the first two and placed them on the plate. She grabbed the rest and put them on the plate also. She reached back around to turn the stove off but miscalculated the distance and burnt her finger. She gasped and stuck the digit in her mouth. She jumped up and down and then raced over to the sink. She turned on the water and stuck her finger underneath.

"I have the worst luck," she mumbled. When she felt her finger was ready to be removed, she pulled it back and turned off the water. She carefully turned off the stove and grabbed the plates of bacon. They were stacked high enough in her arms to almost cover her face. She had to poke her head out the side to see where she was going.

"May, hurry up," Abeline called from the back yard. May rolled her eyes and picked up her pace. She could hear some of the men asking where the bacon was. She strained to hear if she could pick up Trent's voice. She longed to hear it again and see if her body responded the same as last time.

She was on the back porch, finally. "The bacon's here, guys." She stepped down the first step. She couldn't see the two men standing directly in her path. She tripped over the last step and went flying forward. She turned so the bacon wouldn't land on the ground. Strong arms grabbed her and she felt someone grab the plates of bacon from her.

"May, are you okay?" Timothy asked. May opened her eyes, just then realizing she'd closed them.

"That last step was a doozy," she replied, smiling. Timothy helped her get steady on her feet. He had his arms on her shoulders when his face changed. He leaned in and sniffed. His face went carefully blank.

"May, you need to go back in the house," Timothy said. The pack was acting like nothing happened. She glanced around to see what was wrong.

"What's wrong?" she asked, her voice shaking slightly. Timothy's arms tightened as he took another breath.

"You're in heat," he groaned, his eyes closing. May froze. Was it really that strong? If Timothy, the bashful brainiac of the pack was acting like this, then she knew it was serious.

"You can let me go now, Timothy," she said quietly. Instead of releasing her, Timothy's grip tightened and he pulled her closer. May gasped, shocked at the sudden movement. She opened her mouth to call for her Papa or Abeline when she heard a terrifying growl. The pack grew quiet and all eyes turned to Trent who had just walked around the house. His eyes were completely black and his fingers were claws. She could tell that he was pushing the change back. His eyes were on her.

"Let her go," Trent growled. May shivered at the sound and Timothy mistook that for fear. He jerked May behind him.

"Who are you?" Timothy growled, his eyes going black as his wolf recognized Trent as a threat. Timothy's hand was still on May's arm and she struggled to free herself. She needed to stop this.

"Timothy, let me go, please." May didn't know the effect her words would have on Trent. He roared and then shifted. He darted forward, his wolf intent on the kill. Timothy released May but it was too late. Trent tackled Timothy and he pulled May with him. She screamed as she went flying backwards.

When she hit the ground she looked around to see what was happening. Timothy was in his wolf form and trying to hold Trent back. Trent was intent on getting to her, she could tell by the way his eyes kept shifting toward her. She heard others in her pack start to growl and get to their feet. If they decided to attack Trent, he would be outnumbered.

"Timothy, let him pass." May realized that she had been the one to speak when all eyes jerked to her. She ignored them and watched to see what would happen. Timothy must have been too shocked to dodge the next attempt because Trent came flying toward her. His wolf was beautiful. He stopped just inches from her face, his legs straddling hers. She held still. She watched Trent look her up and down and then he inhaled her scent. She saw his wolf tense and then he growled. He shifted and stood to his feet. He reached his hand down and helped May to her feet. She looked behind him to see Jim and Abeline walking toward them. She shook her head and but they kept coming.

"May, come here," Abeline called, reaching her hand out. Trent growled and turned to face away from her. May felt the heat from his body creeping into hers as she stepped closer to him. She put her hand on his back and he tensed.

"Don't touch me," Trent growled. May jerked her hand back and felt tears prick in her eyes. Maybe Abeline was right. This man wasn't really her mate. She felt the first tear fall and knew she was about to break down. She darted out from behind Trent. She was almost to Abeline when she saw Abeline's eyes widen.

May felt an arm go around her waist and then she was brought to a stop. Trent's mouth brushed over her neck and down to the juncture between her shoulder and neck. He bit down gently and May shivered.

May knew the moment her father appeared. His presence was one of power. He surveyed the scene and then his gaze landed on May. She looked at him and saw him snap. Her father jumped over the railing on the back porch and stalked toward Trent and May.

"Let my daughter go," Smith growled, his voice holding the power of an alpha demanding to be obeyed.

"Mine," Trent growled back, pulling May even closer against him.

"Don't argue with me pup," Smith growled. He reached for his daughter. "Let her go."

"I'll be fine. My father will protect me," May said softly for only Trent's ears. She honestly didn't want to move, but knew her father would kill Trent. She felt him tense and then a sense of anger flooded her senses. Before she could ask what was wrong Trent shoved her forward into Smith's arms.