Janey Hyde is fighting to keep her people alive in a Manhattan ravaged by zombies. Seamus, the leader of a werewolf pack also on the island is doing the same. Will an alliance between them be the salvation of their tribes? Or is the intense attraction they feel for each other going to be their downfall? Exploring love, lust, war, and politics, ALPHA is the debut novel from writer Molly Maddox. Seamus’s pack isn’t ready to accept a human in their midst, and attracted to him as she is, Janey isn’t sure she’s ready to submit to an alpha male when it could undermine her authority with her own people. But there is more at stake than her pride and his principles, and only by working together will they find a future.
About the Author: Molly Maddox is a graduate student in clinical psychology at the University of North Texas. In her spare time she writes, illustrates, and works a nine-to-five. Alpha is her first novel.
ALPHA: CHAPTER 1 (excerpt):
I woke to hear his breath. In the dark, it was the only piece of him I could find.
Slowly, the last twelve hours came back to me–the eater attack on the city; the fires; the assault rifles sparking from the rooftops; the wolfpeople waiting, panting, for the charge to begin; the eaters’ flesh-sucking masters licking their sharp teeth in the spires of Midtown while the human guerilla armies tramped the wasted lots of the East Village.
Finally, I could feel him. He crouched beside me on the floor. His name was Seamus, and he was the alpha of the Clinton Street wolfpeople. He was tall, hairy-chested, broad-shouldered, with muscular arms and a firm, broad pony keg against the belt of his jeans. His smell was leather, cigarettes, meat, sweat. He had thick black glossy hair he greased back, a meticulous goatee, and a Texas accent; his original pack was from the Hill Country, before he was made lone and forced to start his own as a young man.
Sea leaned over to sniff me and the thick whiskers of his sideburns flicked across my cheek.
The same genetic plague that had made the eaters how they were was what made Seamus, and his parents and grandparents before him, into medical monsters normal humans called the wolfpeople. Innumerable other types of monsters existed–some strangely close to the traditional monsters of human fable and nightmare–but it was the wolfpeople who survived when the mindless hordes of the eaters, and their slightly more sentient parent-minds, devoured city after city. It had been five years since the government formally toppled; now existence was a continuing parry of life and death, and you took your safety where you found it.
Mine was in Brooklyn, with my group, but that night–the shouts–the wordless screams of the running eaters–it was all so vague–
It all came back when I realized my arms were handcuffed behind me. Gramercy. The Midtown eaters were starving, choking at their bits. They had tried to take the Garment District as a slavering, stumbling, desperate army. My team, the 3rd Scooter Calvary, had laid a daisy chain up and down 1st Avenue. A few of us stayed back to cover the retreating scooters, who were taking the injured and the evacuated with them as they went out. A flash–
Shrapnel? I wiggled all my extremities, making sure all my important bits were still attached. I felt bandages here and there. Nothing stung, nothing ached.
The others? They had to be dead. Skinny and Addle and Guido, all those civilians…
Seamus’ people had obviously brought me in. They were my group’s grudging allies, but they didn’t trust regular humans. That would explain the handcuffs, and what appeared to be the subbasement of their Clinton Street stronghold around me.
Still crouching, Seamus checked my pulse. He was warm, and so close…I’d known him five years, had seen him injured and scowling and laughing and drunk and had watched his mates come and go. He was alone, now, mate-less, without an alpha female willing to put up with his devotion to the fight.
He’d once told me, over stolen, warm PBRs, that I was one of the only people he trusted. I was shocked. I was a soldier and ambassador from the DUMBO Mods. I was a typical. He wasn’t supposed to trust me. He wasn’t even supposed to like me.
He smelled my neck again, sighed, and my eyes fluttered open. Wolfpeople were affectionate only with each other, but now and again in the past few months he’d stolen a hug or a caress from me, even in front of his people, and he didn’t seem the least bit ashamed to be caught now. “You okay, baby?”
“Fine,” I didn’t move. His heat was so close it ached me. “The others–”
“Are you sure?” My throat felt full of ash.
“A few burns here and there. But you were the closest to the mines, honey. Ya’ just bled a lot. They thought it best to bring you here, it’s closer.”
“And the eaters?”
“Got pushed back to Murray Hill. The West Side MPs came finally, moved out the civilians. Your commander put about six Mod units up on 26th, and they got some punks comin’ in from Brooklyn Heights. One ‘a our alphas, Arpeggio from Houston Street, you met him, he’s rustling artillery from the line down on Center. We’ll try to work ‘em outta there.”
“Why aren’t you with him?”
“Dev and Kay went. They wanted to.”
He stroked my arm. “Stay here as long as you want. Recover. We’ll see to ya’.” He turned, reached for something. “Have some water, baby.”
As I sipped from a plastic bottle, I realized I wasn’t wearing any pants, only panties, a fatigue jacket, and an undershirt. My legs were tightly bandaged, but they didn’t hurt. I remembered shaving yesterday. Sweat started at my crotch and slicked my thighs.
He took the bottle away and resumed his close-but-not-too-close position at my side. I turned to look at him. He had a weird expression on his face. His thick brows were knit, his jaw set, but there was a gleam on his blue eyes. I’d never seen him look so…concerned?
“Are you okay?” I asked.
“I was worried,” he muttered, tossing his head. “You shouldn’t a been so close to those mines.”
“I was doing my job,” I said, stung. “Sorry I can’t stay in the kitchen like some girls–”
“You know what I mean: you’re a fuckin’ ambassador, Janey. You don’t have to rush the line like some limp-dick private–”
“We’re already short on soldiers, and those limp-dick privates were trying to keep your pups and bitches safe–”
He put a hand on my waist. “I’m thinking about keepin’ you safe, too, honey.”
There was a moment where nothing happened.
Then he put his arms around me from the back, pulled me to him, and held me like that. So warm, and tight. I felt him breathe against me, felt his chest shudder against my back. He nuzzled me and then, startling and strange and yet so right, he lightly bit my nape and licked my neck and ear.
“Sea…” I murmured.
He nipped me again. “This is okay?”
I nodded, slowly, stunned.
He traced my arms with his blunt claws, his calluses catching my skin. “And this?”
I felt lightheaded in a way that had nothing to do with the injuries. “Yes.”
He trailed his hands from my belly to my hips, my ass, then he reached between my legs and rubbed the crotch of my sopping panties. Rubbing turned to fingering, and a sweet, deep pang spread out from my clit and turned my pussy to butter. “And this is okay,” he whispered, “right?”
He had no idea how okay it was. He was the basis of all my major masturbation fantasies: him naked, him in nothing but tattered jeans, him working his family’s ranch, dappled with sweat, him fucking me in an alley. Thoughts of him alone could make me hot. I rolled toward him and spread my legs.
He let out a low groan and slid his fingers into my panties. His fingertips spread my vulva, his thumb flicked my clit, then laid against it flat. I gasped. Slowly, he rubbed his thumb right to left, and feelers of pleasure tickled my toes and nipples.
“You can’t–” he muttered, his voice husky, “You can’t know how much I wanted this… all this time, Janey…”
I shut my eyes. This had to be a dream. His mates and lovers were she-wolf babes, amazons, and modelesque warriors. I was a short freckled nearsighted typical with too many piercings and a penchant for ugly boots.
My wrists hurt where they were handcuffed behind me. He turned me over to undo them.
“No,” I said. “Keep ‘em.”
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Fighting to survive in zombie-ravaged Manhattan, Janey Hyde leads the humans, Seamus the werewolves. The two groups don't trust each other. Will an alliance be their salvation? Or will the erotic attraction between Janey and Seamus be their downfall? A paranormal erotic romance.