Alpha Squad: Boot Camp
Alpha Squad #1
by Lorelei Moone
Publication Date: December 23, 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Bear Shifters
It has only been a few months since humanity has found out about the shifters that live in their midst. When the New Alliance leadership asks Eric King to join Alpha Squad, a joint taskforce supposed to promote cooperation between the shifters and human authorities, his loyalty to the cause doesn’t give him any choice but to agree. But is the squad actually supposed to be relevant, or is it just an eyewash, set up by the new Secretary for Shifter Affairs to make himself look good? And how is he going to concentrate on his training, when his inner bear is insisting that the squad leader is his true mate?
Major Janine Williams is not at all pleased when she is ordered to set up Alpha Squad. The initiative is just a gimmick, meant to pacify the shifter community, plus none of her male colleagues had wanted the job. But when she starts getting to know her team, especially tough East London bear shifter, Eric, she starts to wonder if perhaps it will be possible to make this task force a success, so long as everyone works together. And so long as she can manage to keep her relationship with Eric strictly professional...
"I'll be back shortly," she mumbled as she fumbled with the tent's opening and staggered out.
The sky was clear, which was unusual for this part of the world. Countless stars lit up the tent site and surrounding rocks and shrubbery. Janine would have to walk downhill a bit for cover.
She took a deep breath and wrapped her warm jacket around herself. It was only late September, but the nights were already chilly in these hills. With the help of the star and moon light, Janine found the most gradual path down into some larger shrubs about thirty or so feet away from the summit.
She did not waste time, and soon after started her climb back up. That was when it all went wrong. A loose rock escaped from underneath her foot and sent her sliding down the side of the hill. She let out a low whimper as her hip hit a sharp protrusion on the way, all the while flailing and reaching out for whatever vegetation she could find to stop her fall.
This seemed to go on forever, until finally, she stopped slipping. But it wasn't a small tree or shrub that had broken her momentum, it was a firm hand around her wrist.
Janine looked up and found a pair of familiar eyes staring down at her. Eric King.
How in the world had he come to her rescue so quickly? There had been no activity around the camp as far as Janine saw. Perhaps he had been out and about as well.
"Gotcha," he said. "Terrain's treacherous around these hills." He glanced up at the summit, which was a good hundred feet away now.
God, that voice. Janine did not say a word as he lifted her back onto her feet; she could not find the words. Of course, it was not just his voice, it was his whole being that had affected her so. After trying so hard to do the best job she could, no matter what the assignment, at this moment, she wanted nothing more than to throw it all away.
You're mine. The same low growl entered her mind. This was totally the wrong time for her overactive imagination to kick in.
Am I? Am I yours? she thought.
I knew that you were from the moment I first saw you.
Janine was frozen in place, communicating with whatever that voice was—a figment of her own imagination perhaps—when Eric's eyes began to glow in the dark. In this light, it should not have been possible to make out their color, but they had very clearly turned warm amber.
"How are you doing this?" she stammered.
"Wait, you can actually hear me?" he asked, looking about as shocked as she felt.
Janine opened her mouth to say something, then closed it again and frowned.
I don't understand. I have my orders. I have a job to do. Why are you in my head?
A smile broke through Eric's formerly serious expression. Because I am meant to be in your head. For whatever reason, we are meant to be in each other's lives.
Janine shook her head. That does not make any sense. And anyway, I never knew shifters could read minds.
We can't. Only when we find our true mate can we hear their thoughts, and they can hear ours.
That was too much. Janine freed her wrist from Eric's grasp and started to walk away, still shaking her head. She could not accept this.
"Thanks for saving me," she mumbled as she fought the pain resulting from her fall and marched back toward camp. "I need some time to think."
About Lorelei Moone