Omega Shadow - Chapter 1

Blurb for Omega Sacrifice: One is accused. One is betrayed. One is a killer.

Midwife-apprentice, Kyle’s sheltered world is shattered when a patient’s mate flies into a murderous rage and attacks him. Kyle is rescued by a handsome alpha visitor, but as attraction blazes between the two men, and they fall into each other’s dreams, what starts as lust becomes something impossible. Kyle is a beta. He can’t be an alpha’s true mate. And yet, what else explains their connection?

Pine Creek Lake alpha, Shadow isn’t looking for his true mate when he stumbles across a beta being attacked in the middle of the night. But when a simple rescue reveals a chain of possible murders, Shadow must learn the truth about the man in his dreams before it’s too late. Something is driving alphas in the Blackcreek pack to rage and die young. Is Kyle as ignorant as he pretends, or is he hiding a dangerous secret?

As Kyle and Shadow work together to discover the truth, both men are forced to question their deepest assumptions about themselves and each other. Are they fated mates? Is Kyle living a lie? And when the truth is revealed, will Kyle have the courage to face it before Shadow suffers the same death as the others?

Find out in Omega Shadow, Book 3 of the Pine Creek Lake Den series, an action-packed Mpreg romance with a happily ever after to melt your heart. Omega Shadow is an mpreg romance novel of 52,000 words.

Fast paced. Steamy. No Cliffhanger.

Omega Shadow Chapter 1

Kyle held his hand against Ron’s front door in case the omega decided to slam it. The midwife’s bag bumped against Kyle’s hip as he bent his knees to settle his weight. “You told Artie this afternoon you were feeling those pains again.”

“And I told her not to come over.” Ron had the door open enough to show half of his face and the partial profile of a narrow shoulder. The tips of his fingers rested on his very pregnant belly. “Chaz’s going to be home any minute.”

“It’s a quick exam.” Kyle tried to keep his disgust from showing. Ron was two weeks from delivery, and his no-good mate was as useless as a sack of rocks. And as dangerous when he got into the wrong mood, which was too often. Kyle said, “This won’t take long. I just want to make sure everything’s okay with the babies. Twins are a challenge. Especially when the bearer’s a man.”

Finally, Ron stepped back and pulled the door open. “Okay. Let’s go upstairs to the nursery. It’ll be better in the nursery.”

Probably because Chaz wouldn’t bother to go in there. He was a lousy mate, and he’d be a lousy father. Ron had to have figured it out for himself, but his parents had arranged the match and with twins on the way, both Chaz and Ron were stuck.

Kyle shut the door behind him and followed Ron up the stairs. The nursery was the second door on the right. Ron flipped a light on and settled himself on the chair by the window next to a pair of cribs. “My grandfather bore twins and the labor killed him,” Ron said, leaning back in the chair.

Kyle nodded sympathetically. The nursery was painted bright green, and Ron had finished the mobile since the last time Kyle had been there. Animals made of delicately carved wood spun slowly above the empty cribs. Ron had a talent for carving wood, and as they rotated, a rabbit was frozen mid-leap as a young fawn dipped its head, nibbling at invisible grass below.

“It looks great,” Kyle said, with true enthusiasm, and Ron smiled.

“The little ones are going to be predators, and I wanted to give them a little motivation.”

“It’s too cute. They’ll be bringing their prey home as pets,” Kyle said with a laugh.

Ron shifted in his chair. He wore a large terrycloth robe that was tied in a knot at his waist, just below his growing teats. It was open at the neck, and Kyle caught a glimpse of a mottled bruise across the omega's left collarbone.

“The broom handle,” Ron said, fiddling with the ties to his robe. “Tripped right into it. Moving around with this belly is a challenge.”

Last week it had been an aggressive doorframe, and the week before a jar had tumbled off the top shelf and blackened Ron’s eye. Kyle wasn't an idiot. Ron's mate had a temper, and even though Chaz said he had sworn off the booze for the duration of Ron's pregnancy, he hadn't seen fit to lay off the fists.

“I'm sorry,” Kyle said. He was grateful that as a beta, he didn’t have to deal with mating to an alpha. And yet a part of Kyle envied Ron's swollen belly and the infant twins growing inside. Kyle would never have that. He wasn't even sure why he wanted it. None of his other male beta packmates had ever expressed interest in bearing a child. Kyle put it up to a childhood in the shadow of his grandmother Artie, the pack's omega midwife.

“I’m just going to palpate your abdomen to see how the babies are sitting, check and make sure the birth canal isn’t starting to form, and Artie made a new preparation to help you sleep.”

“Did she give you something to keep them from kicking my bladder?” Ron laughed. “I'm just glad the babies will be born human. They already kick like soccer players, and I can’t imagine what it would be like if I had to deal with eight legs instead of four.”

“Well, everything looked good on the last ultrasound, and Artie has brought eight sets of twins into the world, alive and healthy. Doctor Havisham knows her stuff too. She trained with bear shifters, and had some human medical training too.” Kyle wasn't sure what had brought Dr. Havisham to the Blackcreek pack. Kyle was grateful to have the new doctor, though he wouldn't put it so plainly to his grandmother. Artie didn't like new technologies intruding in her domain.

“I know! And things have been really good here since Devon came back. Even Chaz… He can be a good man…and things have been better.”

“That's good to hear,” Kyle said. Ron sounded delusional, but if it helped him to believe Chaz was on an upswing, then more power to Ron. “I'm just going to palpate your abdomen, get a feel for what direction the babies are turned, and will take things from there. Okay?”

“That sounds good.” Ron leaned back on the chair and closed his eyes. He untied his robe, baring the expanse of his massive belly. Kyle rubbed his hands together, making sure that his fingers weren't too cold before he started.

Ron said, “They've been kind of sleepy tonight.”

“That's got to be a relief,” Kyle said as he saw an area next to Ron’s belly button pushed out briefly where a tiny fist or foot had hit it from the inside.

Ron laughed. “Except now. I think you woke them up.”

As Kyle worked his way through the examination, he couldn't help but agree. The babies felt healthy and very active. “Both sets of feet seem to still be pointed down, which would be a problem if we were closer to your delivery date, but it's probably just a sign that they aren't ready to come yet. You've been taking the doctor’s vitamins and the herbs Artie gave you?”

“In a tea. It's bitter like raw cauliflower mixed with sage, and my tongue tastes like chalk afterward, but I choke it down.”

Kyle laughed. “My grandma's teas are like that.”

Kyle had a lifetime’s experience with them. He’d drunk one every morning since Artie had rescued Kyle as a toddler from the fire that had killed the rest of Kyle's immediate family. “They're good for you though. Nobody knows more about medicinal herbs than Artie. Or more about babies, especially when it comes to male omega births.”

The packs that bordered Blackcreek, provided they weren't actively at war with Kyle's pack, would send their own omega and beta midwives to learn from her. Kyle was proud to have learned from the best, though he also wanted to expand his own medical knowledge beyond midwifery.

“So they were false labor pains then, right?”

“That's what it looks like.”

“I shouldn’t have said anything. Chaz will be back soon.”

“You can always come stay with us,” Kyle said. “If things get to be too much.” That was as close as he could come to referencing the real situation with Chaz. “Artie's got an extra room. And my old crib. Just in case.”

Ron blinked rapidly and then squeezed his eyes shut for a couple of seconds before shaking his head. “We're going to be just fine. It's just a rough patch.”

Artie didn't think it was a rough patch, and she had said it more than once when Kyle came back and reported what Ron had hinted at during Kyle's visits. But neither Artie nor Kyle had the authority to come between an alpha and his mate. Even if Ron chose to leave, if Chaz followed, he would have the ultimate authority to drag his mate home, whether Ron liked it or not.

Only if the pack alpha intervened could Ron stand a chance of living apart from his mate. Not that pack alphas usually intervened in personal household matters. Kyle thought that Devon might, especially since he had mated with an outsider and brought with him a whole slew of outsider wolves on some kind of mission of cultural exchange. Kyle didn't really get it, but Devon at least wasn’t mean like his father or grandfather who everyone had done their best to avoid.

“You should go,” Ron said.

“Are you sure? If there's anything you need…”

“No. And I don't want you here when Chaz gets back. Not this late. Chaz has been grouchy lately.”

Grouchy? A stab of fear ran through Kyle.

“Don't look at me like that.” Ron closed his robe and tied it back up. “It’s just because he's quitting cold turkey. That's all. Now go.”

Kyle didn't like it, but beyond taking care of the twins’ health, he couldn’t do much else. Besides, Ron deserved to have as much control over his own life as he could.

They hugged—an awkward side-by-side embrace. Though Kyle was a beta, he was only a couple of inches taller than Ron, with fine bone structure; no matter how hard he worked out, he never really managed to bulk up. It was frustrating, just one more way that Kyle didn't quite fit in.

As always, when Kyle made house calls, with or without Artie, he carried a leather satchel with the basic emergency supplies: clean bandages, sterilizing wipes, blood sugar equipment, clamps, suture, and medicines.

Kyle slung the bag over his shoulder and with a final goodbye to Ron, headed down the hallway and outside. It was a cold night, and clear, the sky above a velvet tapestry with pinprick stars broken only by the sliver of the crescent moon. At almost midnight, the chill spring air put a layer of frost on the ground. It crunched beneath Kyle's boots as he walked toward the main path that ran through the center of the Blackcreek settlement.

“You!”

Kyle whirled toward the voice, clutching the handle of his bag. Chaz stepped off the main path and stalked toward Kyle, weaving a little as if he was drunk. But as he got closer, Kyle didn't smell booze on him.

“Are you okay, Chaz?” Kyle asked. Chaz was a large alpha, a little over thirty-years-old with thinning hair and a paunch. He was big, even for an alpha, and though he tended toward fat, it was draped over a thick slab of muscle.

Chaz shouted, “What were you doing with my mate? Fucking him?”

“I was checking on the twins. Your babies.”

“Likely story.”

Kyle took a step back. Chaz was between him and the main path, but Kyle could run for the space between the two houses at his right. Still, it would be better to talk his way out. The last thing he wanted was to send this furious alpha to Ron like this. “Ron’s having those pains again. He spoke with Artie. It's Kyle, remember, Artie’s grandson?” Even if Chaz didn't smell like booze, he had taken something. His hands were shaking, and in the faint moonlight, a faint sheen of sweat glimmered on his forehead.

“Artie's a bitch. She keeps giving Ron ideas.”

Ron needed ideas, and a shotgun to enforce them if Kyle had anything to say about it, but an argument wouldn't do either of them any good right now. Kyle was grateful to be a beta. Omegas had it a lot harder. Artie reminded him of this almost every day. Kyle held his hands open in front of him. Luckily he was small. Nonthreatening. “The twins are looking very good. And Ron is doing well. He was worried they might be coming early, but when I palpated—”

“You had your hands on him?” Chaz bared his teeth.

Something was wrong. Chaz was usually a dick, but his irrational anger at Kyle for performing a basic examination was over-the-top. He closed the distance between them while Kyle was trying to explain, and like a striking snake, Chaz grabbed at Kyle's throat.

Kyle jumped back.

Chaz’s beefy hand was shifting, the tips of his fingers tapering into claws. He swayed on his feet. “The twins. My twins.” His forearms sprouted fur in odd patches. “The twins are mine. Ron is mine. Mine!”

“Of course they're yours. Maybe we should sit down on the steps for a while. Did one of the other alphas…give you something?”

“If you're not fucking him, then you need to fuck off.”

Kyle wanted to run, but with how Chaz was acting, he didn't trust the alpha alone with his mate. “How about I come in with you?” Kyle suggested. “I can make up a tea. It'll cool you off.” With the amount of sweating that Chaz was doing, he had to be hot. Maybe he had gotten in to some of the human opioids in town. Usually they didn't affect shifters like this though. Leave it to Chaz to be the exception.

Chaz scratched his cheek, and the tip of his claw dug in, drawing blood. “Ow!” He let out a string of curses.

“It’s your hand. I think there might be something going on with your shifting,” Kyle said as calmly as he could. As if he were talking to a child. He got along well with children and babies. Unfortunately, the tone of voice didn't work as well on tripping werewolves. Chaz, with another burst of inhuman speed, grabbed Kyle by the shoulders and squeezed. “What did you do?”

“I didn't do anything.” Kyle's voice shook with something between fear and rage. How did Ron stand this? Chaz and Ron had been arranged to mate eight months ago, well before Jeff had died and Devon, his son, had left to avenge him and returned not with the eyeteeth of his enemy, but with a mate from the other pack.

Now Devon wanted to change how things were done in Blackcreek, and seeing Chaz now, Kyle's support for this new way of doing things only grew.

Chaz towered over Kyle. His jaw elongated, and when he growled, it was a wolf growl.

Kyle planted his feet and with bent knees shoved the midwife bag into Chaz’s stomach with all of his strength. It wasn't enough. Chaz growled again, and his clawed hands pierced the thick leather of Kyle's jacket to push through his shirt and into his skin.

“Hey!” someone shouted from behind him.

Kyle didn’t recognize the voice, but the distraction was enough to loosen Chaz’s grip.

“Get help,” Kyle shouted. Chaz’s face and body was shifting back and forth between human and wolf. Kyle had never seen anything like this. “Get Doctor Havisham!”

Chaz lifted Kyle as if he weighed nothing.

“Put him down,” the stranger said. His voice was closer, though Kyle hadn’t heard him move.

“Pine Creek Lake bastards,” Chaz said, and spat. The glob of spittle barely missed Kyle’s cheek as it passed over his shoulder.

Pine Creek Lake? It must have been one of the visitors. Kyle had only seen them from afar, having been pushed to the back of the crowd when Devon had returned with his mate. The visitors were focused on alpha and omega relations. Kyle, as a beta, hadn’t had much reason to concern himself with them, and though he’d been curious, he’d been too busy with his own duties to go out of his way to talk to them.

What was this Pine Creek Lake werewolf doing here in the middle of the night?

“Please, put me down,” Kyle said to Chaz.

“Fine,” Chaz said, and threw him, hard, at the wall of the neighboring cabin. The only saving grace was that whatever Chaz had taken, it affected his balance. He stumbled, and Kyle landed short, skidding across the hard dirt.

Kyle lay on the ground trying to catch his breath. His arm hurt, but he could wiggle his fingers, so it wasn't broken. The stranger, a tall, wide-shouldered man with hair like ink tied at the base of his neck, dark clothes, and dusky skin, moved quickly and silently to place himself between Chaz and Kyle.

The stranger was unmistakably an alpha, though he was leaner than Chaz. Kyle knew he should get up and run to get help, but even as he regained his breath, he couldn't tear his eyes away from the stranger. The alpha. His scent, a mix of damp pine needles and sweat, filled Kyle's nose.

Bizarrely, Kyle felt aroused. Maybe Chaz hadn't taken something. Maybe there was some kind of pollen or poison in the air. Kyle's skin flushed. It was like one of the hot flashes that Artie had suffered with when Kyle was a child. Beta women, and omegas too, got them when they reached the end of their fertile years. Maybe Kyle was having an allergic reaction? Whatever was going on, it was getting worse. Sweat trickled slick between Kyle's ass cheeks, his cock hardened, and he had the strangest urge to rub himself against the new alpha and mark ownership.

Chaz lashed out again, his arm a blur as he swung, claws bared, at the stranger. Chaz shouted an incoherent mix of curses and growls. The stranger ducked, his movement so efficient it didn't seem so much like speed and more a casual lowering of his head, and then with another precise and powerful burst, he slammed his fist into Chaz's chest.

Chaz dropped like a stone.

Kyle expected Chaz to try and get back up on his feet, but he was still. Kyle couldn't even see him breathing. The stranger knelt beside Chaz's body and after a few seconds, pressed his fingers to the pulse point on Chaz's neck.

Kyle got himself to his feet, and straightening out the strap on his bag, walked hesitantly toward his rescuer.

“Are you okay?” Kyle asked. His mouth felt dry, and a sudden urge to touch the alpha washed over him.

The stranger looked up. His eyes were a perfect shade of amber. As they met Kyle's gaze, the alpha’s pupils expanded and Kyle smelled desire. Then he blinked, and quickly turned his head back toward Chaz.

“Do you know CPR?”

“Why?” Kyle squinted down at Chaz. He wasn't moving.

“I don't think he's breathing.”

He wasn't.

“What's going on?” Ron waddled out onto the porch. “Is that—? Chaz!”

You've been reading Omega Shadow

One is accused. One is betrayed. One is a killer.

Midwife-apprentice, Kyle’s sheltered world is shattered when a patient’s mate flies into a murderous rage and attacks him. Kyle is rescued by a handsome alpha visitor, but as attraction blazes between the two men, and they fall into each other’s dreams, what starts as lust becomes something impossible. Kyle is a beta. He can’t be an alpha’s true mate. And yet, what else explains their connection?

Pine Creek Lake alpha, Shadow isn’t looking for his true mate when he stumbles across a beta being attacked in the middle of the night. But when a simple rescue reveals a chain of possible murders, Shadow must learn the truth about the man in his dreams before it’s too late. Something is driving alphas in the Blackcreek pack to rage and die young. Is Kyle as ignorant as he pretends, or is he hiding a dangerous secret?

As Kyle and Shadow work together to discover the truth, both men are forced to question their deepest assumptions about themselves and each other. Are they fated mates? Is Kyle living a lie? And when the truth is revealed, will Kyle have the courage to face it before Shadow suffers the same death as the others?

Find out in Omega Shadow, Book 3 of the Pine Creek Lake Den series, an action-packed Mpreg romance with a happily ever after to melt your heart. Omega Shadow is an mpreg romance novel of 52,000 words.

Fast paced. Steamy. No Cliffhanger.

Get this book and 3+ additional Mpreg romances at:

Amazon.com

Omega Shadow is coming to Nook, iBooks & Kobo and be available for direct purchase via Gumroad by July 7th, 2018.

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