New Alpha - New RulesBy: K.S. Martin
Harper was mated to Bronson Thibodaux. He was from the Mountain View pack in Virginia. Their territory bordered her pack’s territory to the north. They met as preteens and mated when she was sixteen. It was never a fairy tale romance by any means but he was Alpha to her and she respected that, his position as her mate and protector but in the end, she’d lost all respect for him. He’d died suddenly on a hunting trip and the circumstances of his death were never clear to her. She wasn’t sure if the pack Alpha Max Sommers was keeping it from her or if he really didn’t know. No one claimed responsibility when Bronson disappeared. Then some of his friends found his mangled body later while they were hunting.
She began to piece together the last three years of their life when she started looking for the insurance policy. Things were happening under her nose that she never saw. Things he’d done, things that… were terrible. Harper found the history in his computer, porn, and voyeur viewing. He’d spent endless hours watching that trash while she worked two jobs to keep them afloat. Hours that he’d claimed to be looking for work. Then she’d found the chats with another woman in town. A mated woman. A mated woman that he had met with, slept with, and had given money to. He’d given her money to another mated woman, money that she worked two jobs to get. He’d paid for online pornography with her money. He’d let her work while he screwed and looked at other women. He could rot in hell where he belonged. Harper printed those chats and everything else she’d found and mailed it to that bitch’s mate. She hoped to save him from working two jobs to support an unfaithful mate. It made Harper feel better.
Bronson was not who she’d thought. He was not the man she thought she mated and it tore her to pieces to find the evidence of his complete lack of love for her. She knew that they had problems. She knew that they hadn’t gotten along for a while but she thought that they were just in a rough spot. How could someone lie like that for so long? He had lied though, and he’d done it for years. Well, no more. That was it. That was the last straw. She would not mourn a wolf that behaved the way he had. It didn’t matter that they were married ten years. She was thankful now for the pups that she never had. The ones that she’d craved. Thank God they never came. She wasn’t sure that she would be able to look into their faces if they’d reminded her of him. Not after everything she found out.
Harper spat on his grave. She shoved her hands deep into her coat pockets and turned away from the headstone she’d bought as a mourning grieving mate and wanted her money back. She lifted her chin into the breeze and looked at her beat up little yellow subcompact. The one they’d never been able to afford to replace. They couldn’t afford it because of his drug habit. She’d learned about that two days ago as she was leaving for work. His dealer showed up demanding a final payment. How would she pay her rent now? She’d given him almost everything she had, except her last twenty dollars. She’d fill her tank first, and then buy some peanut butter in case the hunt failed. Bronson hadn’t brought in game in months and she was a lousy hunter. Her cell rang and she pulled it from her purse as she got in the car and shut the door.
“Harpo!” She rolled her eyes and laughed. “We’re going out. You don’t have to work and I have an extra fifty bucks. You need a stiff drink and stiff one between your legs. It’s been years.”
“I know that.” She whispered even though she was alone in the graveyard and the windows were almost all of the way up. Still no one else needed to know that it was just her taking care of her needs. She and Sidney had a heart to heart yesterday. She’d told her about everything, the porn, the drugs, the affair, the lying, and the relationship. That was the hardest thing she’d ever had to speak about but it was cathartic. She’d admitted that she and Bronson had not been together in three years. She’d cried and got it out of her system because it occurred to her that she hadn’t missed it much. He hadn’t kissed her in twice as long. She still didn’t understand how it had all fallen apart. What could she have done differently to save him, them? “Okay. I know this is a pity date but I’ll take it. Where are we going and what should I wear?”