The Alpha Claims A Mate:Loch And Ginger

By: Georgette St. Clair

Chapter One

“Well, doesn’t he just think he’s all that and a bag of chips,” Ginger Colby grumbled, watching Loch Armstrong, the sheriff of Blue Moon County, gyrating on the dance floor of the Hoot Owl Hoedown.

“Of course he does. Because he is all that and a bag of chips. And I’d like to eat his chips. Sloooowly. I’d lick the salt off them, and…” her room-mate and best friend Marigold picked up a french fry from her plate and swirled her tongue around it to demonstrate.

“Marigold, you hussy, stop molesting that French fry with your mouth. You’ll give these guys ideas.”

“I know,” Marigold smiled wickedly, and sucked the French fry into her mouth.

There were a number of reasons why the sheriff annoyed Ginger, even though she had not yet been formally introduced to him.

The reasons were, in no particular order: he was ridiculously handsome and had muscles on top of his muscles, he had women dripping all over him, and he walked with the typical Alpha werewolf swagger that said “I can get any woman to fall into bed with me, any time, and leave her panting for more.” The fact that it was true didn’t make it any less irritating.

Oh, and the most annoying thing of all: he hadn’t even glanced her way from the moment she’d walked into the bar.

Of course he hadn’t. Why would the handsomest man in the county spare a second look at a fat half-breed werewolf?

As if she’d even be interested anyway. Her tastes ran to more refined men, she told herself firmly. Men like Ashmont Warburton, the very refined financial advisor who she’d left behind back in New York, who’d taken her to the opera and museum galas and who, unlike the sheriff, never strutted. He probably didn’t even know how to strut. Of course, Ashmont had dated her for five years and then dumped her by text for a skinny blonde socialite, but the point was…that was her type. Except for the cheating and inability to commit.

She looked over at the sheriff again. The Gray wolves were the largest wolf species, and in human form, he towered over other men and other members of his pack. He had thick curly brown hair, tanned skin, and cheekbones that spoke of Native American heritage. He was slow-dancing with a slender, pretty bleached blonde with perfectly arched eyebrows and painted on size 2 jeans, and she was rubbing her body against him and staring up into his eyes.

When the song ended, he spun away from the blonde, bowed to her gallantly, and then walked away to the bar, pushing his way through the crowd. The blonde looked crestfallen and tried to follow him, but he didn’t look back, and the crowd closed behind him, with clusters of women pushing and jostling to get close. The blonde stared for a minute, sour-faced, and then stalked off and grabbed the first man she saw, a tall lanky beanpole of a human, and they began dancing together to the sounds of Carrie Underwood.

The sheriff leaned up against the bar and ordered a drink. Ginger found herself openly staring. He was wearing a t shirt and blue jeans which perfectly molded to the muscular half-globes of each butt cheek. From behind, she could see the broad spread of his shoulders, and the swell of his rounded biceps.

The bartender put a tequila shot in front of him and another in front of the woman next to him, a beautiful brunette with carefully waved hair. Ginger watched with rising indignation as the sheriff poured salt onto the woman’s neck and licked it off. The woman threw her head back in pure pleasure as the sheriff licked, and Ginger noticed that he took his sweet time about it, running his tongue slowly up the curve.

Man-whore, Ginger thought self-righteously.

Then the sheriff bit his wedge of lime and slammed his tequila shot, and the people crowded around him roared in approval.

“Caught you looking,” Marigold said.

“Oh, whatever,” Ginger said. “Just passing the time.” She tore her gaze away and turning back to face her friend. Marigold looked like an elf, right down to the blonde pixie haircut streaked with black, an adorable, giggling little elf who always had mischief on her mind. It was part of the fun of hanging out with her.

Except on a night like tonight, when Ginger was still nursing the bruises on her heart and Marigold, as usual, was bouncing around like a bottle of soda that someone had just shaken, just looking for a way to stir things up.

Ginger wasn’t quite ready to dip her foot back in the dating pool just yet. She’d agreed to go out to the Hoot Owl just to observe from afar, and also so she could tell her friends back in New York she’d been to a real live honky tonk. She, Marigold, and their new friend Winifred were sitting at a small table in the back of the room eating burgers and fries and drinking frosty mugs of beer.

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