Story Excerpt
Too Much To bear

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Randal Kersey sighed as he held the curtain back and looked out through the window. He'd been holed up in this hotel room for almost two days. He was slowly going out of his mind, but it wasn't like he could argue very much. He'd kidnapped the mate of one of the enforcers of the clan. To top it off, the man was part of the alpha's inner circle and a close personal friend.

Randal should be dead.

He wasn't, so that was a plus. But he also wasn't free to come and go as he chose. At least not until the new alpha of the Silver Lake Clan decided what to do with him. Alpha Rob Colton could still have him killed or banished and he'd be within his rights to do so.

Randal had fucked up and he knew it. But he had also known he had no other choice. It was kidnap the alpha's mate or be beaten or killed by his father and brother. He had kidnapped someone, but it hadn't been the alpha's mate. He'd rather take death from his father and brother than face an enraged alpha with a kidnapped alpha mate.

Randal dropped the curtain and walked back across the room to sit on the edge of his bed. The door was locked and a guard had been placed in the hallway, so he knew he couldn't leave, but they had also taken the phone out of the room so he couldn't call anyone.

He wasn't sure why they had done that and he was too afraid to ask. He was too afraid to try and escape, too. His life literally hung in the balance right now.

The odd thing was that he had hope for the first time in a very long time. His father and older brother had been banished and escorted out of the territory and he'd been allowed to stay. He could only pray that he never saw them again.

Randal jumped when he heard a key in the lock. He quickly stood. His throat welled with emotion as the door opened and Alpha Colton walked in followed closely by the mate of the man he'd kidnapped.

Oh man, he was going to die.

Randal swallowed tightly before bowing his head respectfully. "Sir."

"Come have a seat, Randal," the alpha said as he walked to the small sitting area by the windows. "We need to talk."

"Yes, sir." Randal tried to appear not terrified as he hurried across the room and took a seat. It wasn't easy.

"Why did you kidnap Erik?"

Oh, they were getting right to it then.

"My father ordered me to, sir."

The alpha's eyebrows lifted. "He ordered you to kidnap my enforcer's mate?"

"Uh, no, sir. He ordered me to kidnap your mate, but I couldn't do that, sir."

"But you could kidnap Jeb's mate?"

Randal winced. "I didn't know he was Enforcer Jeb's mate, sir. I didn't know he was anyone's mate. I thought he was just one of the pack members that came with you."

There was a bark of anger in the alpha's voice when he asked, "And that made it okay?"

"No, sir." Randal dropped his eyes down to his hands, twisting his fingers together. "I knew what I was doing was wrong when I did it."

"Then why did you do it?"

Randal raised his head so he could look his alpha in the eyes. "Because if I didn't, my father would have sent my older brother to do it. I knew if I did it, I could help Erik escape after they left the house." Which was exactly what he had done. "If Raymond had kidnapped him, not only would he have made sure he kidnapped your mate, but we wouldn't be having this conversation right now because your mate would be dead."

Fear flooded Randal when the alpha growled.

Yeah, he was going to die.

Alpha Colton seemed to stare for the longest time. Randal tried not to fidget under his harsh gaze, but it wasn't easy. There was a steel strength in his eyes that told Randal the outcome of this talk could go either way if he lied about anything.

"Erik seems to think you have a mate somewhere," Alpha Colton said. "A human mate."

Randal stiffened. He would rather die than admit that.

When he didn't say anything, the alpha cocked an eyebrow. "Well?"

"I can't answer that, sir."

"I could kill you."

Randal swallowed again. "I know that, sir." He'd been able to think of nothing else. He didn't want to die, but he would if it meant keeping his heart safe.

Alpha Colton's hard stare bored into him like a razor sharp nail. Randal wanted to look away, but he couldn't. Some force he was unfamiliar with kept him seated right there where he was, with his gaze locked with the alpha's.

"Did you know I thought my mate was human when I claimed him?"

Randal's jaw dropped.

"He was raised human and he's never shifted." The alpha chuckled. "Hell, he thought he was human. It wasn't until he was attacked by the son of the alpha of our former clan that we learned he was a shifter."

Randal didn't know what to think of that, or what to say. "You said he was attacked?"

The alpha nodded.

"He's okay though, right?"

"He is, thank god. My men and I were able to get to him and save him before he was hurt too badly."

Randal cocked his head and frowned. "Is that why you guys were looking for a clan?"

"It was, actually. I attacked the alpha's son for kidnapping my mate. Alpha Barker didn't kill me, as was his right, but he did banish me and Casey. My men decided to come with us on their own."

Randal felt a little more brave after hearing the alpha's story. "And how do you feel about humans?"

"They taste good with honey."