The Alpha's Search (The Craven Trilogy, #1)

By: Natalie Shaw

Part 1 - Year: 2014





Chapter 1


“Jackie! Jackie! Wake up!”

I moved deeper into the cave. Something or someone was ahead of me in the dark—I'd heard their footsteps. I knew I should turn back, but something was driving me forward.

“Jackie! Wake Up!”

The footsteps were louder now. Whatever or whoever was in there with me, was heading my way. The doubts began to surface. I glanced back the way I'd come, but I could see only blackness.

Two spots of light appeared directly in front of me. No, wait—they weren't lights—they were eyes.

“Jackie wake up! You're having a nightmare! Jackie!”

I opened my eyes to find a familiar face only inches from mine.

“Are you okay?” It was Alison—my flatmate.

I pulled myself up into a sitting position.

“Jeez Jackie. You scared me half to death.”

“Sorry.” I looked around the bedroom—half expecting to see someone or something else. To my relief, we were alone.

“I could hear you from in the kitchen,” Alison said. “I thought someone was killing you.”

“I'm okay.” I checked the room again.

“Are you sure? You don't look okay and you certainly didn't sound it.”

“It was just a nightmare.”

“Same one?”

“Pretty much.”

“Did you get a good look at it this time?”

I shook my head. “Only its eyes.”

“You need to stop reading that shit! Alison nodded towards the book on my bedside cabinet.

After she'd gone back to the kitchen, I took another look around the bedroom—just to be on the safe side. I was all alone except for Bobby. Unlike Alison, I didn't have a huge collection of soft toys—just the one. Bobby the bear was on the bedside table. Next to him was the book, or as Alison had so delicately put it: 'that shit', which I'd been reading the previous evening. The bookcase was full of similar titles. I loved to read and rarely watched TV. Three of the four shelves of the bookcase were filled with my books. The other shelf had a handful belonging to Alison although I'd never actually seen her read anything—unless you counted celebrity magazines. I'd chosen my current book, which was entitled 'Fated', on the strength of its beautiful cover. Ninety per cent of my reading was in the same genre. I loved stories about shifters. As far back as I could remember which admittedly wasn't that far, I always had. Needless to say, Alison didn't share my passion. I'd tried several times to convert her to the genre, but she thought the stories were ludicrous.

“Coffee's up!” Alison called from the next room.

“Thanks.” I had to give Alison her due—she made great coffee.

“Are you okay now?” She'd painted the toe nails on her left foot pink, and was now painting those on her right foot red.

When I didn't reply, she looked up to find me staring at her feet. “What's up?”

“Different colours?”

“Yeah. Looks great eh?”

“Hmmm?”

“You wait. Everyone will be doing it soon.”

“Hmmm? Not so sure about that.”

Alison didn't need my approval. She was the most self-assured person I'd ever known.

“Are you seeing Tom today?” I asked.

“Don't mention his name.”

“Whoops. Sorry. What happened this time?”

“I dumped him.”

“Again?”

“This time I mean it.”

“You meant it last time and the time before and...”

“All right! This time it's different.”

“What's he done?”

“I was late getting to Destiny last night.”

Alison was always late—it was her forte.”

“When I got there, he was all over Katie Wells.”

“Who?”

“You don't know her. She used to be at college with me. She's a slapper.”

“What happened?”

“I told her to sling her hook before I rearranged her teeth.”

Not one for subtlety is Alison.

“Then I told Tom to go fuck himself.”

Like I said. Subtlety—not Alison's thing.

“Maybe he was just talking to her?”

“He was eye fucking her. The bastard!”

“So it's over?”

“It will be if he isn't here by this afternoon. And he better be on his hands and knees begging for my forgiveness.”

I'd never understand Alison and her love life.

*********

As I stared at the computer screen, I tried to remember why I'd thought working at a travel agency would be an interesting career. Autumn was traditionally the slow season. So far that day, we'd had less than a dozen people through the door, and it was almost lunch time. Half of those had been brochure collectors who'd refused my offer of assistance.

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