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The Professor’s Second Chance Mate

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Lara is on a mission to live her own life, free from the rules and expectations of pack life. It’s not like she ever fit in there anyway. She doesn’t trust the mate bond and isn’t interested in a mate some mystical bond arbitrarily assigns her. Any lingered doubts she had about rejecting her mate immediately vanish when she meets him. Tony Giles is exactly the condescending, immature, ignorant, jerk she expected a young alpha to be. What she didn’t expect was to meet her second chance mate not long after. And this one couldn’t be more different from the first, more perfect, or more complicated.

Romance / Mystery
Vicki Castle
4.9 21 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Life is hard when you don’t quite know where you fit. Something had been off about me for a long time though I couldn’t quite figure out what it was. Or maybe there was nothing off with me, maybe it was just the world I lived in that didn’t fit me.

Lately my determination to forge my own path, free of the opinions that restricted me, had me planning. I had been thinking about the future for years now, but more so recently. My birthday rapidly approached. Each birthday I reassessed my life. Each year I chose to suck it up for another year. This year was different. This year I would be 18. I’d officially be an adult. That was my personal deadline.

Mentally checking the list, I reviewed my packed items for what was probably the hundredth time. Phone, charger, favorite books, favorite clothes, essential toiletries, a few photos…. Then my mind floated to the past and lingered there just a bit too long. Everything started well for me, but somewhere along the way something changed.

In spite of the inevitable disappointment I knew would accompanied this specific memory, I smiled as it popped up in my head anyway.

**Start of flashback***

It was my birthday. I’d slipped through the kitchen, quiet as a mouse, graceful as a cat, to steal a few treats before the party. At least my 9 year old self had thought I was swift and silent like a jaguar.

“Gotcha!” My older brother, Kiren, seized me around the middle. I squealed, kicking and giggling, while he tickled me mercilessly. I haven’t smiled that big or that genuinely since that moment.

“So what did you steal this time?” He asked when he relented and set little me free. He wasn’t mad, just teasingly curious.

“Nothing,” I said, shaking my head at the same time as I glanced at the plastic bag I’d dropped when my big brother had snatched me up in his arms.

“Really?” He sang, sauntering toward the evidence bag.

“Fine,” I huffed angrily. Though it wasn’t Kiren I was mad at really. It was just that he always caught me. “Cookies,” I admitted.

“Mom will be furious,” my brother sang in an amused voice while he playfully ruffled my hair.

I snorted and ducked away. I hated when he rubbed my head like that, like I was a baby. It was so condescending and made me feel small and insignificant. Now I miss it.

“She’s always furious with me. Sometimes I wish I was born a boy so she’d like me like she likes you.” I remember the pain that pierced my heart at that thought at the time, and several times since. Even then it didn’t seem fair that my mother didn’t like me and I had no idea what I’d done wrong, so how could I possibly fix it. The only thing I could think of was that I was a girl. Back then I’d have done anything to earn her love. Now, of course I knew that just wasn’t possible. I’d stopped trying long ago.

“Aww… don’t worry about it kiddo. She’s only tough on you because she wants you to grow up strong. Like me,” Kiren had responded that day. He struck a body builder pose and I laughed. At only two years older than me Kiren didn’t exactly have muscles yet. He had just had a growth spurt though. He looked like a tall, lanky spaghetti man. But that was then, now at 20 he had no shortage of muscles, honed and sculpted by hours of daily training, and Alpha genes of course. He’d also grown as tall as our father now and almost as filled out. Back then he always made an effort to make me laugh, to make me feel loved.

“I reckon I can grow up strong without her being cruel to me all the time.” Little me had sulked that day. I remember crossing my arms over my chest and huffing like the big bad wolf I knew I would one day be. I’d be a big strong wolf shifter like my dad and the brother I had adored. But that was then. This is now. Now I’d be happy to be a normal human, completely ignorant of the supernatural world and is hypocrisy.

“I know but I’m sure she loves you. And so what if she doesn’t! I love you. And dad loves you. You’re his favorite. You’re my favorite person too. You’re the sweetest, smartest, bestest little sister I could I ever have asked for. And I’ll always protect you. Even from her,” he’d replied that day, hugging me tightly before adding a little tickle to my ribs to lighted my mood.

“Kiren!” Mom’s irritated voice broke the moment that day as well as the memory now.
***end of flashback ***

“Kiren! Get that girl down stairs now. We have guests arriving and we need to greet them as a family.” Urgh, back to the present, back the this lonely reality.

That’s the way my mother had always been, with me anyway. I was only useful when she needed to act like family in front of outsiders. When the show of the perfect Alpha family mattered so no one would spot the dissention in our pack. She didn’t give a shit about me otherwise and after my 9th birthday she stopped giving shit what our pack thought too. That’s some epic level postpartum depression.

No, actually when I think about it, it hadn’t always been that way. She had once loved me. I had distinct, yet distant, memories of that. I must have been 6 or 7 when she decided she no longer loved me. I do remember her hugging me, her telling she loved me. But I don’t remember what I did to change her. It was only me she had a problem with.


“I’m coming,” I shouted. I did not want Kiren to have to come searching for me.

“She’s coming, mom,” Kiren shouted down to mom without bothering to come and actually talk to me. He rarely did these days unless it was a snide comment of course. He’d mastered those long ago. I did my best to avoid is surly, snippy nature. Now I’d give anything for him to ruffle my hair and tickle my sides like he had when I was little.

Once again my mind drifted back to that day. That day he told me he’d always love me and I’d always have him. That evaporated the instant he answered my mother’s call that very same day. She hissed at him for a few tense minutes and that was it. I’d lost my brother.

Just like that.

He never again spoke to me with love or affection. He never played with me again. He never talked to me unless it was to insult me, and he never treated me like his sister again. Instead, he treated me like a hated rival. What had I done wrong? What could she possibly have said to him? For months I’d begged him to tell me why. But he never did. The closest I got to an answer was when I was 13 and he hissed at me that he hates me because I exist. I was born. That was my big offense.

That day, my 9th birthday, was also the day my father gave me the ring that I was mindlessly twiddling now.

After hastily shoving the bag I was packing under my bed, I dashed downstairs. Really, I was lucky. I wouldn’t be starting out with nothing when I left. I’d have my clothes, my car, an education, and I had somewhere to go. As a wealthy Alpha’s daughter I’d been given a hefty allowance my whole life. The Beta handled that, not my mom or she’d probably have cut it long ago. Since I completely lacked a social life - thank you Kiren - I’d saved every cent I’d ever been given. My car had been a gift from my father for my 17th birthday. A brand new Jeep Wrangler, my dream car. Extravagant but definitely appreciated. That baby represented my freedom. She was my ticket out of here.

My father had also paid for the online college classes I’d already knocked out and I had a hefty trust fund that would cover any future expenses. I had though to put some of that toward an apartment to get started in my new life. My father had promised to cover any future education costs. He’d tried to talk me into taking a job with one our companies, a good job too. He argues that I could continue studying online while building my career. But I needed a break from all things pack. Eventually he accepted my decision to complete my MBA at a human college in person. Though he couldn’t see the point in it. “ A useless degree,” he’d called it. “Since I have access to first hand experience within our companies,” he’d argued. I could see his point. But I needed to take a big step out on my own.

All in all I was very lucky. I knew that. I been denied affection from my family but I was denied nothing else. Nothing material or financial anyway. There were people far worse off in the world than me so really I couldn’t complain. I was an introvert anyway I didn’t need physical or emotional affection. I didnt need friends. Hugs were over-rated. At least that’s what I kept telling myself. I’d probably be one of the wealthiest teenage runaways in history. Yay, me.

The visitors we were scheduled to greet were an Alpha and his Luna from pack not too far from us. I wasn’t always dragged out for these things. Usually my mother made an appointment or planned some unfortunate conflicting schedule issue. That way she wouldn’t have to deal with pretending she cared. These visitors had come to talk to my father about the recent uptake in supernatural activities affecting our communities. Strange monsters had been attacking young werewolf’s across the country. The weird thing was that they only attacked young woman. There was even an occasion where an androgynous looking woman was apparently was harassed. That seemed to prove they were targeting women and that their criteria was traditional and visual. Odd.

These attacks have apparently been happening on and off for years but they are so few and far between that no one had connected the link until recently. The most bizarre thing is that these young woman are briefly kidnapped and then returned completely unharmed however they have no memory of the incident. Weird.

The fact that Alpha Denzel already had a Luna is probably the reason my mom allowed my attendance here today. On the occasions that unmated Alpha’s or Beta’s visited she’d had me confined to my room telling her guests that her beloved daughter was unfortunately on a school trip or having a sleepover. What a shame, perhaps they could meet me next time….

Or it could be that since I fit the description of those attacked, that my parents didn’t want the visiting Alpha to think they didn’t care about me by hiding this. Who knew who my mother’s mind worked.

Since I was on display tonight, my mother had chosen and ordered a dress for me, a very pretty thing. I actually loved it. What I didn’t love was how she’d chosen it and had it sent to my room with an order to wear it. Still, I was surprised that she picked something that actually suited my taste and looked amazing on me.

I couldn’t help but wonder what she was buttering me for. Had she dressed me up for a reason? Was she planning on selling me off to another pack? This gesture can’t have been out of the goodness of her heart.


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