“Hold the door!” I yell, but this couple is too busy making out to notice me.
The doors of the 7 are closing fast and I need to be on that train. I’m running late, of course.
“Hey!” I shout...still nothing.
With less than a second to spare I jump through the shrinking gap, slipping inside right at the last moment. The subway train lurches forward before I’ve even found my balance.
“Thanks,” I mutter but the couple doesn’t hear me. They’re preoccupied, going at it like they’re the only people in the world. Like, full-on lip-smacking, nausea-inducing tonsil hockey.
From their scents I know they’re human but seriously, they’re making out like a pair of freshly mated werewolves.
Like, totally get a room!
It’s only two stops from Grand Central to Times Square, but after an hour on a stuffy train from Stony Point, the last thing I want is to watch two hipsters eat each other’s faces off. And to top it all off I’m, like, super late to meet Katie.
I lean against a subway map, tapping my foot, and try to distract myself by scrolling my fave Tiktokker’s feed. But it’s no use. I can hear their tongues slapping over my headphones.
And I thought wolves were mate-obsessed.
These humans would give an Elite Pack wolf couple a run for their money.
Is everyone in the whole world obsessed with finding their soulmate?
I know it’s a cliché. I’m not like the other werewolves.
But for me sketching boulders in Central Park is way more appealing than picking out wedding china.
If only every other wolf in my pack felt the same way. If only these love birds did.
We pull into 42nd and Bryant Park and I stare at the couple, hoping this is their stop.
Passengers of the love train, this service terminates here!
They’re too neck-deep to even look up.
The train takes off again, rolling out of the station, and I glance at the time.
Crap. I was supposed to meet Katie on the red steps in Times Square at 2. I’m nearly a whole hour late and my excuse is totally lame. Why can I never wake up before midday on the weekend?
Mom always says I’m going to sleep my life away. I always tell her if that means I don’t have to bother finding a mate I don’t care.
By the time we pull in at 42nd and Times Square, I’m bouncing out of my sneakers ready to get off this stinking train.
The doors slide open and I take off like lightning. Get me away from that ridiculous PDA!
I dodge and weave through the crowds on the platform, heading for the exit, bounding up the steps two at a time.
This isn’t the first time I’ve overslept and kept Katie waiting.
We’ve been besties since we were pups, so she’s pretty used to the mess that is my life.
But she’s also my favorite person in the universe and I hate letting her down.
The blazing summer sun hits my face when I finally emerge at street level.
Outside the station, the streets of Manhattan are packed, as usual. For a second I’m overwhelmed by the sounds of the traffic and the smells of the pretzel wagons.
Heightened wolf senses can be a blessing. Like when you’re trying to have some alone time in your room, but it’s laundry day and Mom is on the way to empty your hamper. You can usually sense her approach with enough time to slam your laptop shut and clutch onto a pillow. Usually.
But sometimes, especially in the city, the world can seem like a lot. Want to know what three-day-old hotdog water smells like? Ask a New York wolf.
I pause for a second to readjust.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Eventually, the honking of car horns, the sirens, the constant chatter from all around becomes a dull hum in the back of my mind.
Finally, I feel ready. I open my eyes.
I squint through the glare and take off down 43rd St. If I’m fast I’m only a minute away.
My phone is buzzing in my pocket so I try to pull it out while I run.
Katie: Where are you?
Katie: Did you oversleep again???
I continue to run, trying to type a panicked reply when…
I hit what feels like a brick wall and stumble backward.
My feet catch on each other and, in spectacular fashion, I trip, toppling toward the pavement. My phone slips from my hand and––as my ass hits the floor––it shatters.
Pain radiates in my butt and spine as I squint up at the thing I ran into...only it’s not a thing. It’s a person. A guy.
“Watch where you’re going, bonehead.”
“I’m...I’m sorry,” I say, grimacing. The sun is backlighting the guy, which makes it hard to see his face. But he’s tall, wearing a black blazer with a white t-shirt underneath, black skinny jeans, and shiny boots.
He doesn’t sound that much older than me.
“You should be more careful.”
“I said sorry.” This dude is starting to annoy me. He doesn’t even offer to help as I collect the pieces of my smashed-up phone.
The least he could do is apologize too.
“Here,” the guy says and sticks out his hand to help me up.
I give him a dirty side-eye but accept his offer.
The second we touch time slows down, seconds stretch into eternities. Birds hang frozen in midair. The pedestrian clogged sidewalks are a blur.
The guy pulls me to my feet like I weigh practically nothing. I stand face to face with him and his features come into view. My breath catches in my throat.
His eyes are piercing emerald green, offset by dark, angular brows. His face is narrow and symmetrical, black hair swoops across his forehead framing his devastatingly handsome features. He has cheekbones that could cut steel and just the faintest hint of freckles across his cheeks. His lips are the perfect shade of peach…
He looks like an Abercrombie model.
And his scent…his scent hits me like a tidal wave.
My olfactory senses are overwhelmed by his intoxicating mix of mint, lemon, and something else...is that cherry blossom?
The backs of my knees are tingling, my legs wobbling like pudding in a cup.
I’ve never felt this way before. What is this? This feeling...what is it?
Is it because of...of him?
“You okay, bonehead?”
Suddenly, the world snaps back into real-time. People push past us, the traffic roars like the ocean, the sun is bright and blaring.
And this jerk just called me a bonehead! For the second time!
“Don’t call me bonehead.”
“You broke my phone!”
“You ran into me.”
“Doesn’t seem like I did too much damage. I’m the one who ended up on my ass!”
Whoever this jerk thinks he is, it doesn’t give him the right to speak to anyone like that. No matter how clumsy they are.
He looks like he’s about to say something else when he’s distracted by a gust of wind, blowing up through the grates from the subway.
A dark, questioning look colors his expression.
For a moment we stand silently and he stares daggers in my direction.
And then without saying another word he steps past me, as if I wasn’t even there, and continues walking.
“Hey! You jerk, you can’t just walk away! What about my phone?”
“Whatever,” he says, without turning back.
He doesn’t wait and he doesn’t respond either.
He keeps walking.
When he finally disappears into the crowd, it dawns on me.
His scent...that weird feeling. Something else… Was he...a werewolf?
“Ouch,” I say as a broken piece of glass pricks the skin on my palm. I was clenching my fist harder than I thought.
My broken phone reminds me…
The longer I stand here the later I become.
Down the street, I can’t even see the ridiculously good-looking––possibly a werewolf––but totally a jerk anymore.
I turn and start running again.
Who was that guy? Why does he think he can act like such an asshole!?
And why has a jerk like that made me feel all...tingly?
Thank you for reading the first chapter of The Alpha's Son, I'm so happy to say the book has now been published by indie publisher Tiny Ghost Press. To keep reading you can find the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, the Book Depository, and Indie Bound. May the moon gods light the path between souls.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Penny JessupWrite a Review