Molten: Bayou Bear Chronicles #5 is almost done and will be released on June 1!
Here's the first chapter (unedited).
With Aspen gone with Acacia to school,
I knew it was only a matter of time before Hawke called me in. I’d been on
temporary beta duty for a couple of months, but the Alpha might have not liked
what he saw in me.
Either way, Rev would have me pulling
The man couldn’t help himself—he had
to be in charge of something, even if what he was in charge of was that asinine
When the Alpha called that morning to
ask me to come into his office on a Saturday, I knew something was up. Usually
the weekends were for him and Echo and their now almost one-year old Colt to privately
enjoy their family time.
I passed by the cypress tree that held
the clipboard in place and checked the schedule for next week, but as I
approached it, I saw only the last week’s schedule in place.
Rev must’ve been off his game.
I knocked on the door to the Alpha’s
home and heard him from inside beckon me to come in. I walked in slowly and
tried to shut the door quietly in case Colt was taking a nap. Our alpha was
fierce, but the Coeur would rip you a new asshole if you dared wake up her
sleeping babe from his nap.
I didn’t blame her. She went to school
along with helping to run this pack and now she was a mother. That nap time was
probably sacred shit.
I had let go of the doorknob as
silently as possible when the Alpha’s voice boomed, making me jump. “Pine, we
are all awake!”
“Oh, I see that.” I said, turning
around to see the three of them on the couch reading a book together.
I had to admit, I was envious of
Hawke. He had it all.
“Come to my office. Let’s let Colt
finish his reading time.” I nodded my head at Echo, our Coeur, and ruffled
Colt’s hair. He was our future alpha.
“Good luck, Pine,” Echo called out to
me before I entered the office.
A wave of nervousness plowed through
me. I hoped I wasn’t in trouble. I immediately shuffled through my thoughts
wondering what I’d done wrong but came up with nothing.
I did so at my Alpha’s bidding.
“You’ve been fulfilling Aspen’s duties
well. And before that have acted as a beta when I’ve needed you to. You were
there when Martha was kidnapped as well.”
I had been. Rev didn’t even know my
name at that point, but my loyalty to the pack was unweilding.
“Yes, Alpha. It was my honor.”
Hawke sat down in the faded leather
chair and with his elbows on the top of the desk leaned forward and smiled.
“I’m glad you feel that way. I would like to know what your plans are—for the
I scoffed. I’d love to know those too.
“What’s funny?” He pressed, the line
across his forehead now more pronounced.
“I’m working hard and running patrols.
Not much of anything.”
He sighed heavy and long. “Waiting on
The word mate sent a sword right
through my heart. Fuck yeah, I was waiting on my mate. I’d been waiting on her
since I hit puberty. Sounded stupid to admit it, even to myself, but it was
true. I needed her like my next breath, but yet, I didn’t even know her name.
“Yes, Alpha. Always waiting.”
He nodded. “She will come when the
Creator decides it is time.”
I pushed back on the arms of the chair
I sat in and blew out a long breath. “But where, Alpha? Let’s be honest. Aspen
and Tarrow found their mates off pack lands. Other than that, there’s no
females around my age. Not in this pack.”
Hawke mimicked my action and leaned
back in his chair. “I don’t know, Pine. I really don’t. What I do know is that
the Creator has a mate for you. She’s out there somewhere.” His eyes lied to me
while his mouth poured truth. I knew my mate as somewhere in the world, but
waiting for that chance meeting shredded my insides day by day.
I didn’t even think Hawke believed
“Did you call me in here to talk about
my mate, Alpha?” I hated to be so abrupt but wringing my heart out like a
washcloth wasn’t getting anything done.
“Right to the point. Well, I’m sure
you’re not surprised that I’d like you to be my beta.”
I shook my head.
“Good, do you accept the position?” I
opened my mouth and then shut it. I should’ve been grateful to accept without
saying another word. “What? Just say it.”
“Is this temporary? I mean, are you
simply needing a beta because Aspen is at school or do you really choose me to
be your beta?”
Hawke stared me down. Shit, now I’d
really done it.
“Pine, when I choose a beta, I do so
because he has proved his worth. No beta is ever just a placeholder. A beta
holds this pack’s life and my family’s life in their hands every single day.
Yes, Aspen is gone and when he comes back he will choose if he wants to be a
beta, but there is no set number of beta slots to be filled. I expect you to be
beta for as long as you are able or willing.”
Just as I was about to answer and
accept my place as a beta, Echo, opened the door to the office and was
breathless. Hawke and I both jumped and asked her what was wrong. A beaming
smile crept up on her face.
“Your son just walked his first steps.
Come and see, my love.”
Hawke didn’t waste a second and I
followed after him. Colt was our beloved future alpha and precious to every
member of the pack.
“I can’t believe I missed it,” Hawke
“I got it on video. And watch,” Echo
reached out to touch the Alpha’s arm to soothe him the way only mates could do.
I’d seen it plenty of times with the mated couples in the pack. “Come on, now,
walk to Daddy.”
She stood the black-haired toddler
with one turquoise eye and one brown eye on his feet. Hawke crouched down and
held his hands out. I felt like I should leave this intimate family moment and
made a move to do so when Hawk ticked his gaze to me. “Stay, beta.”
I hadn’t even accepted. Oh, who the
fuck was I kidding? I would have already accepted had we not been interrupted
I heeded my Alpha’s words, but took a
few steps back to let them have their space. Hawke called to his son and the
toddler giggled but didn’t move until Hawke crept a little closer like a crab.
And then I got to witness a tiny
Colt, with pinked cheeks, took one
step, still holding onto his mother’s pinkies, then two and let go, and then
three and four and five, more like running to his father.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
“Alpha, I would take my leave now.
Thank you for allowing me to stay.”
He waved me off , enthralled with his
son and his mate, now in his arms.