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Missing Half

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NICK -- Prologue

July 2012

Nightshade Pack

It had quickly become evident to Nick that Optimo did not plan to give his daughter to him as promised. Optimo was stringing him along. Nick would know.

Now that he actually thought about it, Nick wondered if this Priscilla alpha chick even existed. He’d never seen or heard of her, and Optimo refused to give him any details. He thought of asking one of the Pack House’s many servants, but these servants were not the most talkative lot. The place was crawling with a bunch of retarded mutes. No one said anything to him. They just pointed and motioned.

Nick reached the hard conclusion that he was getting nothing out of his arrangement with Optimo. The idea that he was being used was quite a revelation. It was a very unpleasant new experience he didn't like.

He made his way out of the Nightshade Pack House, a structure that looked ridiculously like a medieval castle. It even had a moat for fuck’s sake. Who the hell builds a moat nowadays?

Optimo, that’s who, the snobby little bitch. He probably thought Nick wasn’t good enough for his daughter. He’d seen it in his shifty eyes. If he had a daughter at all, that is.

Nick was almost down to the main foyer when he bumped into a pregnant she-wolf.

“Watch where you’re going!” The she-wolf’s older female companion yelled. “Don’t you see that the Luna is pregnant?!”

Nick blinked. Someone had actually spoken to him.

“I apologize—” He stared at a tired-looking young woman. “You’re the Luna?” He glanced at her swollen belly and frowned. “How far along are you?”

“I’m eight months along,” she said proudly.

“How many runts do you have so far?” Nick asked.

The Luna looked indignant. “This is the Alpha’s and my first-born pup. I’m only twenty and he’s only twenty-five!”

“M’lady,” the servant said urgently, “don’t talk to this man! Not until Alpha tells us he allows it. He could be an enemy.”

But Nick’s head was already spinning. He staggered backward and away from the she-wolves. They looked at him as if he had a problem.

And Nick really did have a problem now.

It was just as he had suspected. There was no fucking way Optimo had a daughter his age to give him as his mate. At least not in the near future.

Fucking hell.

He started to laugh as he continued to make his way out of the damn castle. “Well, played asshole,” Nick muttered as he laughed.

Optimo had played him well, something else he had suspected but had refused to believe even though Nick had done the same thing in the past. First, he did it to Nadine when she wanted Nick to Mark her at eighteen, but Nick wanted to make sure his Fated Mate wasn’t of better lineage. He told Nadine and his Alpha that he wanted to wait and meet his mate so that he could reject her first, but that wasn't entirely true. It was not rare for Betas to get a female of strong Alpha stock, and Nadine’s line was not very pure or very strong.

But even Nadine was better than a fucking omega, which is what Nick’s mate turned out to be. But he strung Blade along, too, waiting for his Alpha and Nadine’s brother to approve the match before officially rejecting her. But his supposed best friend said it was best for Nadine’s Fated Mate to show up so she could reject him first. In the end, both bitches left Nick high and dry. And mateless. At least Nadine dumped him for an Alpha. Good on her. She moved up. It’s exactly what Nick would’ve done, even if he hated that she did it to him first. Blade, on the other hand, just ran away like the sniveling coward that she was.

But now that his Alpha and supposed best friend insisted Nick needed a mate or else give up his position as Beta, and knowing what he now knew, Nick was glad he had not ended Blade as Optimo had commissioned. His only regret was not ending the runt’s life or selling him to Optimo for a hefty sum. That would’ve been a brilliant move on Nick’s part.

His Alpha had given Nick six months to either find Blade or another she-wolf, but that was four months ago. He had squandered so much time serving Optimo for a boon he would never get. And time was running out.

Nick got into his car. He took out the piece of paper with the name of the pack his mate was hiding in.

But nothing was lost.

Blade was probably laying low as a single mother of that little runt, likely working as a distillery worker to throw off suspicion even though she was flushed in cash. She was sneaky like that.

There was really no need to worry.

Blade would happily take Nick back as soon as he told her that he had dumped Nadine. That he had been looking for Blade all this time because she was the only she-wolf that could only complete him. That she was his missing half—blah, blah, blah.

That’s good! Marcus said. It’s a good start at least. Don’t forget to take flowers. Bitches love flowers.

She’d take him back, but even if she didn’t, it wouldn’t matter.

As her Fated Mate, Nick had rights, after all.

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