Monday, January 12, 2015

Accidental Alpha by Poppy Dennison

Because accidents happen but fate marks its own territory.


A quiet life. A break from the dangers of being a cop. Yep, Lex Tompkins has his future all worked out. That is, until fate—or rather the stray toddler from the house across the street—bites those plans in the ass. Well, technically Lex’s neck. Suddenly, he’s transformed into the Alpha of the secret werewolf clan hiding in the perfect, out of the way neighborhood of Lex’s dreams.

Now Lex is the unlikely leader of a dysfunctional pack… except for Spencer Robinson, the one shifter Lex can’t seem to keep his paws off. Will Spencer be able to teach Lex how to embrace who he has truly become?


Lex stared at the parking lot across the street. Well, technically, he looked down the hill in front of his house at his neighbor's yard, but with the half dozen cars parked in the grass and the three he could see in the driveway, it might as well be an asphalt slab. Damn neighbors. He'd bought this place because he wanted to be alone. One neighbor, the real estate agent had assured him. He's very quiet, she'd promised. Bullshit. Spencer Robinson must have a horde of family.

Lex had only met the man once, when they'd both been stopped at the end of their driveways picking up mail. He'd noticed Spencer looking him up and down and then the blush that had appeared on his cheeks. Spencer had even stumbled over his own name when he'd tried to introduce himself. Lex had pretended not to notice. Spencer was a good-looking guy but not Lex's type at all. He preferred his men to be big, beefy bears like himself. Nothing about Spencer was bear-like at all. The guy was lean to the point of being too skinny, and his baggy clothes didn't appear to be hiding any muscles at all. Besides, shy and blushing didn't exactly get Lex's engine running.

After opening the back of his Suburban, Lex gathered his bags of groceries with a scowl. Spencer was probably having another one of his stupid parties, and Lex wouldn't have any peace and quiet. Again. His side spasmed when he lifted more bags than he should have.

"Fuck," he muttered and released some of the weight. The scar tissue on his side had been giving him hell lately. Nothing like being stabbed between the ribs and having a collapsed lung to make a man learn to value his own life.

He waited for the twinges of pain to pass, and then lifted a couple of the bags. A year ago, he'd have been able to wrangle all the groceries in one trip. With one hand. Those days were far behind him. The doctors promised him he'd regain his strength but warned him that it could take years.

Years meant retirement and disability. Cops couldn't perform their duties with half a body not working correctly. He could have ridden a desk job for a few years, but apparently, the shrinks didn't think he was even up for that much of a challenge. They'd put him out to pasture, and he'd taken them literally. Seven acres of land out in the country made a mighty nice pasture for a guy who was sick and tired of people.
Except for the damn loud neighbor.

Lex made two trips into the house with his groceries and got them all put away. Weekly task complete, Lex thought over the self-imposed list of chores he'd made to keep himself busy.

"Fuck it. I'm taking the day off."

He pulled the steak out that he'd tossed into the freezer moments before and set it on the counter. Steak, baked potato, and a nice cold beer. Sounded like the perfect afternoon. He'd find a game on television and ignore everything. Satisfied with his plan, Lex went out onto his deck to start the grill and came knee to face with a kid.

"You've got to be kidding me."

The little guy looked up at him with a grin. Lex grimaced in return.

The tyke wasn't much more than a baby, maybe a couple of years old. He had dark hair, brown eyes, and a suspicious grape jelly looking smear across his cheek. Lex cocked his ear to see if he heard any shouting coming from across the street that might indicate they already knew the little guy was missing. Apparently not.

"You're going to make me go over there, aren't you?"

The kid babbled something that Lex couldn't understand. He held his hands up to Lex, and with another grumble of discontent, Lex lifted the kid into his arms.


With a sweet pat to Lex's cheek, the little boy lowered his head to Lex's shoulder. "Don't be cute, 'cause I don't like kids and I'm not going to like you."

Another babble and the kid snuggled his face into Lex's neck.

"Seriously. This is my life." He carried the kid around the side of the house and headed the couple hundred yards to Spencer's. 

The good thing about having one neighbor was that there was only one likely place where the kid could have come from.

They reached the bottom of the hill, and the kid raised his face and showed off a toothy grin. Lex rolled his eyes and kept walking. The next thing he knew, the kid had buried his face back against Lex's neck. Then the brat bit the ever-living hell out of him.


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