THE DESERT ALPHA

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CHAPTER 4 - LUNA

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I was kneeled on the dark wood floor in the Meeting Hall of our neighboring Pack, head bowed in submission. Before me were two large Alphas, side by side, their power and energy of natural competition radiating so thickly that the room seemed to grow smaller by the moment. They were seated on a raised platform the same dark wood as the floor, in two matching wooden chairs.

To my left - Bennet. I had seen him a few times before, at events both of our Packs had attended together. He was the youngest son of the Alpha before him, one of three. I knew he was about my age, but nothing else.

My father arranged this meeting, hoping to gain favor with our Alpha by
offering me up in a trade agreement with the neighbor Alpha. I bit the inside of my cheek to keep the tears away, hardening my resolve before the Alphas decided to speak. I knew my Alpha would speak first, giving me away in exchange for whatever he could gain from our neighbor Pack.

“This female is the only
daughter of one of my highest ranking Pack members. Her pedigree is of the best quality and she is nearing her first Haze, the perfect timing for a quick Mating to your son.” My Alpha had never been one for graceful speeches, but hearing him describe me in this way filled my stomach with the worst kind of bile. I waited for Bennet’s father to respond, trying to keep my breath calm and steady.

“I have heard of this female already, Alpha, though I’m not certain her pedigree is as pure as you are suggesting. Didn’t the girl's mother pass before providing any other pups?” The mention of my mother brought tears to my eyes, tears I couldn't help but let drip out of my downcast eyes onto the floor.

Bennet heard them fall and turned his face to me slightly. He did not bow his head as I did, his status and familiarity with Alphas of great power absolving him of the compulsion to cower in their presence.

“Look at me, female,” demanded his father. I raised my head but did not meet his eyes, allowing him to look at me.

“The girl’s mother had a sickness that ravaged our pack,” my Alpha conceded. “I know your pack did not emerge from the sickness unscathed either. Though unfortunate she provided no further heirs, it was not an indication of her pedigree.” I gasped against the lump in my throat and silently willed the tears freely flowing to retreat back into my eyes.

“Stand, let me look at you.” I stood quickly, glad to be off my knees. The soft, snug and almost-translucent white dress my father had insisted on fell gently against my calves. I knew that he picked it on purpose, as it left little to the imagination in terms of my burgeoning womanly figure. My breasts and rear had filled in considerably since the last Haze season a year ago, meaning my first Haze
would be upon me in a matter of days. This embarrassed me greatly, and even more now knowing I was being taken in by every male in the room.

“She seems like a fair specimen, easy to look at anyway.” The Alpha paused, and I retreated to my knees. Beside me I could feel the heat of Bennet’s blush from seeing my almost-naked form, and responded in turn by blushing even harder. Both of us were inexperienced, that much was clear. The Alpha sighed heavily. “Very well. I’ll hear your terms.”

I tried to tune them out as they haggled back and forth over my price - what my Mating to Bennet would award our Pack, what the expectations of this agreement would entail. I had convinced myself that this sacrifice would be a good thing - it would help my pack, my father, everyone I loved and cared about. And Bennet, well, I could do a lot worse.

There was talk that he wasn’t the most attractive of the Alpha brothers, but he certainly wasn’t unattractive. If he were to stand now, I knew he would tower over me. All three of the brothers looked much like their father, tall and broad like tree trunks and handsome in the face. I remembered his brothers some, but they were older and rarely around anymore.

There was talk that the oldest brother would challenge his father for Alpha soon, a deadly battle for power our Wolves demand to keep the Pack at its strongest. I had no stomach for these duals - luckily, the last challenge of our Alpha was when I was a very young girl. Our Alpha had no living heirs - hence the importance of my Mating into this Pack. My father believed that once the Alpha began to show signs of weakness, our pack would be absorbed into Bennet’s. That would make my father’s status even greater, and certainly grow his wealth.

My thoughts were interrupted by the sudden silence in the room. I glanced up at my Alpha, who was staring intently at me. “Female, you will move into the Pack house by the end of this week. At the occasion of your first Haze, you will be Mated to the son of the Alpha. Once the Mating is complete, you will both be provided with a home on Pack property.”

I cleared my throat a little bit, keeping my eyes diverted. “Alpha, I -”

“That is all. No questions.” My Alpha stood, nodded to Bennet and his father, and left the room quickly.

“Bennet,” the Alpha boomed, “Show the female to her new accommodations so she can plan her belongings accordingly.” He too stood, and exited the room in a similar fashion.

The floor felt like it was falling out from under me. I could feel myself getting to my feet, which were as numb as my face now felt. Bennet extended a hand to me, which I took to steady myself. I looked at his face finally, but couldn't seem to focus my eyes on him. He said something that sounded a million miles away and started to lead me out into the hallway.

I had been this way before our meeting, the long corridor separating the Meeting Hall from the rest of the Pack House. The same dark wood lined the floor, with heavy tapestries draping the walls. We walked in silence for what seemed like years until we found ourselves in the main lobby. The receptionist I had spoken to earlier was preoccupied with a gaggle of large men, unable to come to my aide. Bennet noticed the group as well and stiffened, fists clenching at his sides.

“Draven,” he sounded curt, like he was stating something rude. “I wasn’t expecting you back so soon.” The group of men all turned our way, with the older and hotter version of Bennet in the middle of them.

If I hadn't already been feeling faint before, I certainly was now. The something that had been building in me for weeks now bubbles up in my chest at the sight of him. I hadn’t really noticed men before in my life - most males I had interacted with were just boys. But Draven - he was a type of hot I hadn’t ever seen before. His bright blue eyes locked in on mine, then raked down my body in a not so subtle manner.

The others with him chortled and shoved each other around, but Draven stepped away from them towards me. Bennet tensed at my side, visibly stiffening and angling his shoulders as if to separate me from his approach. Draven took no notice, not stopping until he was standing directly in front of me. His big body was so close I had to stare up at him now, my heart stuttering and mind completely lost in his presence and absorbed by his masculine aura.

I knew he could feel me dampen and smell my arousal growing. In the back of my mind, I realized Bennet can probably scent me too. My vision felt red, like my Wolf was about to burst through and run wild right here in the lobby. “Bennet, introduce me to your friend here.” The grumble in his voice sounded like hands sliding down my breasts. I could see his prominent chest through his fitted t-shirt, which did nothing to calm me. My breathing felt ragged, and I tried desperately not to pant beneath him. Bennet cleared his throat, but I barely registered the sound.

“Draven,” he spit through gritted teeth, “this is Luna. She is to be my Mate. I am showing her to her temporary accommodations here.” His arms were crossed, but he had stepped away from us. Draven might be his brother, but he wasn't about to challenge the Alpha in succession.

“Mate, huh?” He grinned, his teeth the most perfect and straight I had ever noticed. I imagined them on my skin, piercing into my flesh, and felt my nipples harden against my dress. Surely he could tell, surely everyone was witnessing my shame. I couldn't bring myself to care. “Well then, wouldn't it be rude of me not to show her around, since she’s joining the pack? I can help Miss Luna find her room.” It didn't feel like a suggestion, instead an order from an Alpha. Bennet bowed his head and stepped aside to allow us past, knowing no dissent would make any difference.

Draven gestured for me to step ahead of him, down the hall opposite from our place in the lobby. It led towards the living portion of the House, the layout the same as most Pack Houses in the area. As we passed by rooms, I noticed that the place seemed mostly empty, as if every single Wolf in the house was out on a run. We made a right at the end of the corridor, passing more and more doors until we reached the end of the hall.

“Luna,” he purred, his voice low, “this is one of our empty rooms. You’ll notice that it is a bit more…” he pushed the door open around me, engulfing me even more in his presence. Our chests were almost touching. “...private.”

The door swung open to reveal a modest room, with a window on the wall ahead of us, a bed in the far right corner, and a tall dresser opposite the bed. The walls were mostly grey, and the floor was worn, but it looked clean and tidy. Had my attention not been so fully directed at the statue of a man beside me, I might have cried at the dramatic difference between this space and my room back home at my father’s estate, but all I could think about as I stepped into the room was the way his hands would feel gripping my waist. I made myself turn around slowly, taking in the room for his benefit, until I was once again facing him. He was leaning against the doorway, which his frame seemed to fill completely. “What do you think?”

His gaze was so intense that I couldn't help but look down at my hands, clasped in front of my waist. I could hear him move towards me until his chest brushed against mine. “Uh, um. It’s - uh - nice. I think it will be...” Firm yet gentle fingers lifted my chin to meet his eyes, and it felt as if a bomb detonated inside me. Hot, raging fire spread through every inch of me, and my lips instinctively parted. I was so locked in on his gaze that I felt like I was spilling my guts to him, as if every dark and dirty thought I had ever had was painted on my face. My nipples were pressing through my thin dress, so hard they ached, and my slit was so wet that I could feel it against my thigh.

In a second, his expression changed from one of flirtation to that of pure, unhinged desire. “Oh, Luna...” I knew he could scent my blatant arousal, and I couldn't stand it. If I didn't leave this room right now, I might spontaneously combust.

“Th-thank you. I - uh - should really go now -” I tried to step around him but he kicked the door shut. He grabbed me by my shoulders and spun me abruptly, walking me backward so my shoulders were pressed flat against the wooden panels. He placed his hands on either side of my face, leaning towards me until his eyes were level with mine.

“Is that really what you want?” His lips were a breath away, and I dropped my eyes to them shamelessly. Somewhere in the back of my brain, I tried to think of Bennet, tried to think of the fact that I was just given away by my father moments ago, tried to think of the fact that the man in front of me was an absolute stranger. But the pulsing between my legs and throbbing of my breasts took over every rational part of me.

“No…” I barely breathed, but that was all the permission he needed. He crushed his lips into mine, not able to hold back as his hands found my breasts, my waist, my ass. He was all over me, consuming me, gripping me by the neck, biting my bottom lip, our breath mingling as we panted through our impassioned kissing.

I didn’t really know what to expect from my first Haze. I had heard whispers from
the estate staff over the years, giggling over the different Wolves they would match with for the Season and the different things they might do with them. But never could I have imagined that it would feel like...this. Never could I have imagined that I would be so devoured by need. My Wolf raged inside me, begging to be satisfied.

Draven gripped me firmly and hoisted
me up onto him, and I could feel his hard length against my pelvis. He carried me to the bed and tossed me against the mattress, only a split second passing before he was on me again, his weight positioned carefully over me as he ripped my fragile dress to pieces. My underwear followed quickly and with one hand, he massaged my clit, the other grasping my newly freed breast. I knew immediately that he must have had way more experience than me from the way he moved, the way he touched my body.

“Draven…” I managed between kisses, gasping as he moved his mouth to one of my nipples. “Draven - I’ve never - this is - it’s my…”

“First Haze,” he growled against me. He remov
ed his hands and sat up over me for a moment. “I know. I’ll be as gentle as you want.” Slowly, he slipped a finger into my core, gently spreading my wetness against my lips. He unbuckled his pants with his other hand and pulled his shirt over his head, revealing his muscled chest. My breath caught in a gasp, completely in awe of the creature before me. I could see just a peek of his Wolf in his eyes, just as full of lust as mine.

In one swift movement, Draven pulled his cock from his underwear and lined it up against my entrance. Acting on instinct, I spread my legs wide for him, pushing my hips up with anticipation. As he pushed into me, I gasped out loud, clutching his broad shoulders tightly and wincing at the bit of pain. He leaned over me and began to thrust into me, slowly at first, reclaiming my lips with his. “Just like that, little wolf,” he murmured.

I could feel my nails shifting into claws, but I couldn't stop the change. I could feel myself scratching
his back, possibly enough to draw blood, but couldn't bring myself to care as I struggled to quiet my moans despite my inner walls quaking. The only thing that existed in this moment was our sex - not the Pack, not any sense of duty, and certainly not the sound of the mattress creaking beneath us.

Just as I was about to find my release, he pulled
back and flipped me over onto my knees, yanking me to the edge of the bed before entering me again. “Not yet, Luna,” he commanded, his voice a growl in my ear. My gasping and keening couldn't be contained as he pounded into me, now merciless with his thrusts. My arms felt weak, barely supporting me against his force. He slapped my ass, hard, before reaching around my waist to tease my clit between his fingers, driving me over the edge. Before I could think to hold back, I came apart hard, a crescendo stronger and sweeter and more intense than I could have ever considered. Draven growled and palmed my ass, quickly finishing inside me and slowing his thrusts with a groan.

Eventually he removed himself from me, and I was left with a sudden emptiness in my core. He jerked me up to him, back against his front, where his hand found my throat. Behind me his panting chest was heaving and falling in rhythm with mine, as he angled my head to the side to expose the side of my neck. Heart pounding, I felt him roughly kiss his way down from my ear to my shoulder, his hint of scruff raw against my sensitive flesh. In a flash, he bit into me, his Wolf canines driving deep into my skin. He pulled away, still holding me by my throat, and moved his mouth against my ear with a nip.

A small bead of blood ran down between my breasts as he murmured, “You’re mine now.”

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