Cole (Alpha's Reign Book One) comes out this Wednesday, April 29th! After a bunch of crappy setbacks last week (broken computer and a sick kitty), I'm back on track! Also, my computer is fixed and the sick kitty is doing better. *wipes brow*
Here's a picture of naked Makoto just because. It's Makoto. Naked. You're welcome.
And here's a look at the first chapter! If you want a sneak peek of chapter 2, join my mailing list here. Enjoy!!!
An alpha was only as strong as his pack, and Trent Yagami’s pack was weak at the moment.
It consisted of Trent himself, an alpha, and Akito, a human he had yet to turn into an omega. Trent needed a beta, and he’d fix that tonight.
He pinched the unlit cigarette between his lips and frowned at the misty rain. It dotted his new leather shoes and his black trench coat, but it wasn’t enough to get anything properly wet unless you stood in it for hours. The neon lights reflected off the slick streets and made the city look like it was aglow. With the cover of darkness, the parts of the city that were in ruins didn’t show. They were great black smudges in between the bursts of light. Lucky for them, some infrastructure of Neo-Tokyo remained intact even after the virus wiped out most of the humans who lived there more than a hundred years before.
There’d never be that many humans again.
Trent’s prey sauntered down the street in a thin crowd of other humans. The flash of pale blond hair (highly unusual in Neo-Tokyo), gave him away. His blue eyes were lined and weary, though they held a light Trent recognized – the spark of a man with something to fight for. His face was angular and smooth, and his hair was cut crudely short. Still, he was a flash of light in the darkness that surrounded him. Trent watched as his prey ducked into Enigma – one of the biggest clubs in Sari’s territory – Shinjuku.
“Back again tonight,” Trent said, his voice a low growl.
His prey had been going to Enigma for the last few months even after Sari set him free. Not that it was an act of kindness. Far from it. Releasing a Level L, like Cole, meant that human was fucked.
Akito, Trent’s omega in training, snorted. “If you found him in his prime, he’d be worth it. But he’s broken now. Sari tossed him out when he couldn’t perform and you want to pick up her dirty laundry. Why?”
Trent smiled, showing the sharp points of his fangs. “You were broken, and I fixed you. I can fix him. And it’s not your place to question my decisions when I choose a pack. I thought he was an old friend of yours, Aki?”
Akito let out a breath just short of a sigh. “We were in the pens together, but that was over ten years ago. And I do follow your orders, but this might get you killed,” he said, his voice clipped and lined with razors. He shivered in the rain. Humans couldn’t handle the elements the same way wolves could. “And if you get killed. . . .”
Pragmatic as always. If Trent got killed, Akito would be out of luck. Left to rot in the ruins with the other homeless humans, the ones that reverted to gangs and acted like animals. Akito would be alone on the streets like he was when Trent found him, hungry and beaten. Used up and tossed out, like most of the human slaves who angered their masters. Humans with omega tendencies weren’t valued among most alphas. Why would they want a wolf designed to be weak?
Well, Trent knew better. Omegas weren’t weak – they were special. Even if they weren’t as physically powerful as other wolves, omegas had a purpose. Just like betas.
Trent took Akito in despite the injuries. Despite the fact that his old master thought Akito was useless. It had nothing to do with pity. Trent didn’t feel sorry for every homeless human on the street, but Akito’s scent called to him. It meant Akito could be changed, and not all humans possessed that ability. It’s why wolves, and Level Ls, humans with the latent potential to become wolves, were superior to their fellows.
And, if Trent really thought about it, Akito’s defiant eyes and pretty mouth didn’t hurt the decision any.
If Trent wanted a strong pack to rule his territory, he needed all his wolves to be strong as well. And strong wolves weren’t drones. Powerful wolves followed their alpha because they wanted to. They obeyed, but not without question. Akito proved he was powerful enough for Trent’s pack even if he was still a human.
Trent would change his omega soon. However, first he needed a beta to round out his new pack and defend his territory. The only places in Neo-Tokyo that were safe for humans and wolves alike were territories run by alphas. The rest of the city – the rest of the world – was a wasteland of overgrown rubble – the Wilds.
Alphas were the only chance at human survival, even if that survival meant conceding control to the monsters they created.
Trent chose the blond, the man named Cole, to be his beta.
While wolves ruled the continent from Petersburg to Neo-Tokyo, only alphas like Trent could incite the change. It kept the wolf population from exploding. Good thing, since the in fighting between packs would lead to problems. There wouldn’t be enough territory, and alphas were very particular about their territory.
“Sari didn’t see what I see. She’s shortsighted. You know what to do?” Trent asked.
Akito nodded. “Of course, but it’s not going to be easy to get him out of there. I’m not even sure if my charm will work. He might not remember me. It’s not too late to try the pens.”
Trent scoffed. “I’m not buying a pack.”
The traders picked up Level Ls and sold them to alphas looking to expand their packs, but it never sat right with Trent. That wasn’t the way to choose a pack – from the dirty faces of people plucked from their homes. From the desperation of humans who sold their own children for another meal. He’d rather use his own instincts to find those who would join his crusade – humans with a bone to pick with the alphas of Neo-Tokyo, just like Trent himself.
“Oh no. You want a bargain pack. Picked up from the streets,” Akito said and rolled his eyes.
“It worked with you. Cole’s the one. I can feel it.” Trent pulled a little plastic bag from his pocket. A bright blue pill was the only thing inside of it. “If he doesn’t go with you willingly, slip him this and drag him out. He won’t be able to fight.”
“That’s kidnapping,” Akito said blandly.
“He’s a human without a master. It doesn’t matter what you call it—he’s free game. The only reason Sari’s pack will even give a shit is because I’m the one behind it.”
Akito smiled and pocketed the pill. “Alphas. Why can’t you get along?”
“We weren’t made to get along,” Trent said and leaned against the alley’s wall. The cold stone bit through his coat and chilled his skin. He motioned for Akito to go inside and get it over with.
Akito did, and Trent waited.
He could do nothing but wait. In fact, even with the small crowds of huddled human workers headed home after a long day or dipping into a shop or bar for a moment of respite from their miserable lives, Trent shouldn’t have been out amongst them. Not in another alpha’s territory trying to poach one of her failed Level Ls. Even if he tried, his scent wouldn’t blend with the humans.
Other wolves could sense him straight off. The part of them that was pure animal picked that up. It’s one reason their kind were so dangerous, never mind the strength and ability to shift—those traits all came with time. But the animal senses started immediately.
Even the youngest initiates had them.
But Trent wasn’t going to sit safely in his own territory and wait for Akito to get back.
If one of Sari’s pack members spotted him, Trent could defend himself. He’d won his own chunk of territory that way, scraped and clawed to be the alpha he was, and he wasn’t going to let it go for anything.
Even if it brought him Sari’s wrath.
Even if this Level L didn’t want to join Trent’s pack.
He’d make Cole his beta.