Maybe pouting wasn’t the most mature choice, but Emily could think of no better reaction when faced with her three new—and far too hot to be fair—alpha bodyguards.
Her father had discovered she’d been skipping out on her last protection detail. Not that it had been the first time she’d taken her security less than seriously. Men were easy to manipulate and convince to do whatever she wanted. It hadn’t taken more than a week or two of work for her before a new bodyguard would start turning a blind eye to whatever she wanted. Not to mention, getting her way had never been hard, not with her classical good looks. Long blonde hair, bright blue eyes and a figure she spent plenty of hours of cardio keeping slim meant it didn’t take much to tempt men.
Besides, her father hovered over her as though she were still a child. As an alpha, he couldn’t help it, but that didn’t mean she’d just put up with it. He’d been overprotective all her life, ever since her mother had been murdered when Emily had hardly been old enough to walk. Why should Emily suffer just because her mother had ended up the target of some deranged alpha?
Life as an omega had enough problems without factoring in a father who wouldn’t let her go to the store alone.
“Miss Pitch,” Levi, the head bodyguard, said with that professional, distant politeness she loathed as he gestured toward the waiting limo. He was dressed in one of the all-black suits that seemed obligatory in his line of work. Not that she’d complain with how he filled out that suit. Levi had that no-nonsense attitude, paired with dark green eyes and dark hair. His stern expression was the sort of thing that could melt panties, at least if he hadn’t been such a buzz kill. Still, it made her want to see how far she could press him before she got a reaction.
Emily scowled, lifted her chin and walked ahead with the haughty “I’m better than you” attitude she’d learned at an early age. Arguing any more now wouldn’t do a thing.
She’d argued for hours with her father when he’d told her about the additional security and it hadn’t changed anything. It hadn’t been the first time they’d had this fight, and it wouldn’t be the last. Because she was his only child, her father liked to keep her wrapped up and away from any potential danger, and Emily? She liked pushing her luck.
Maddox moved in front of her to open the door, which put her beside the very large alpha. He’d unnerved her more than the other two from the moment she’d first seen him, when he’d stood, his height having to be six-four at least. Add to that a shaved head, serious eyes and the broadest chest she’d ever seen, and it was no wonder she’d taken an automatic step backward.
The third alpha, Grant, lacked the outwardly vicious edges of the others. Instead, he smiled like a lure, like the prettiest, most tempting trap in the world. Eyes so dark a brown they were nearly black had peered at her, coaxing her to fall into them, and all of it wrapped up in flawless dark skin.
Were all alphas so tempting, or was it just those three? Or, maybe her lack of exposure meant any alpha at all would draw her in.
As an unclaimed omega, Emily had plenty of eyes on her. No shortage of alphas would have loved a shot at her, since the possibility of mating into the Pitch family would tempt even saints. Money, power, prestige—her bloodline could offer them all to the lucky alpha who landed her as a mate. Her father knew that fact well, which meant his protection kept her both safe and away from any alphas.
Emily slid in and to the front of the limo, as far as she could away from them. Levi, Grant and Maddox got in afterward, showing no reaction to her distance. Maddox and Grant had their focus moving from place to place, not darting but a slow perusal. Neither appeared worried, just alert. Meanwhile, Levi had his gaze pinned to his phone, his finger scrolling through whatever he read on his screen.
“I have spin class tonight.” Emily crossed her arms and leaned back in the seat. Being ignored never failed to make her want to act out.
Levi lifted his gaze from his phone, a bored expression across his features. “I think we can miss that. The threat against you is credible, and tomorrow we will take you to the airport. At that point—”
“I’ll be safe again. Right. Since you’re new, I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m never safe. After this, Dad will come up with another reason why I’m in danger, another reason why I need an escort.” She threw the words out there like bait, waiting for one of the alphas to respond.
That was how it worked. Throw out tiny barbs, little complaints, and play up the “poor girl who just needs a little help” card. One of the alphas would tell her it wasn’t so bad, and she’d squeeze out a few tears about how hard it was to be trapped all the time, how she just needed a little freedom, and before she knew it, she’d be off to spin class.
Instead, Levi cocked a dark eyebrow before dismissing her and returning to his phone as if she hadn’t spoken.
The gall… Emily’s mouth dropped open. She was the only daughter of business mogul Samson Pitch. She was a damn legend. She had mating requests from no less than fifty different alphas, and those were just the ones who had passed the first level of rejections. How dare some hired help ignore her like she were a petulant kid?
“This is all just overreacting,” she pressed, wanting him to engage.
Levi placed his phone on his thigh, then set his arm over the back of the seat, finally giving her his full attention. “The threat against you is serious enough for your father to have hired us. You’ve had too many close calls, recently.”
“It’s not the first time someone has threatened me. It wasn’t the first time my house security was tampered with, or the first time someone thought they could make a few quick bucks by planning to abduct me. You know what, though? Nothing has ever actually happened.”
“And it won’t happen this time, either.” Levi leveled her with a steady gaze, and Emily saw that his eyes were green. Not a light green, but an emerald that didn’t seem to fit with his all-work, stick-up-the-ass personality. Eyes like those belonged on writers who recited sweet-but-terrible poetry on the beach. They certainly did not fit on an alpha like Levi.
Worse than those eyes, though? The thing Emily tried her hardest to ignore? The alphas smelled good. No, not just good—they smelled delicious. The scent of all three filled the limo, which suddenly didn’t seem nearly large enough. Emily had spent so little time around alphas, she’d never gotten such a powerful whiff of that heavenly scent. She’d had no idea that the potent, masculine smell would have her body reacting, her pussy growing wet without any help from her at all.
So they smell good. So what? They’re still assholes. Pizza smells divine, but I’m not about to fuck it.
“Come on. You can’t uproot my whole life just because of one little threat.” She tried to ignore the effect the small space was having on her, the way her panties had dampened.
Maddox snorted, his gaze out of the window as though he wasn’t listening. Still, his curled lips said he’d heard every word.
Grant answered. “Don’t tell me that works with the betas?”
“It must, given they did such a terrible job with her protection,” Levi said. “Hard to believe some batted eyelashes could sway someone.”
Batted eyelashes? Emily sat up straight, feeling the need to defend her skills, skills which went far beyond just some fluttering lashes.
“Betas are easier to manipulate,” Levi continued. “They are often looking to prove themselves, and a pretty, bratty omega can get whatever she wants from them.”
“She does seem like a brat, doesn’t she? Saw that a mile away when we got her files,” Grant said.
“Excuse me,” Emily interrupted, “but you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.”
Levi looked in her direction. “So you haven’t been manipulating your bodyguards? You haven’t been slipping your security details when they can’t be manipulated? You haven’t been sleeping with them?”
The last accusation hit her the hardest, like a punch to the gut.
She hadn’t thought anyone knew about that, at least no one but her father, and he only had suspicions.
I won’t feel guilty about it. I have to spend all my time with these bodyguards. I’m never allowed to meet anyone else. Fuck him for trying to make me feel bad for having sex with the only men I’m around. Even as she told herself all the reasons why she shouldn’t worry…she did.
Men wanted her for what she could give them, for what a future mating with her could do for them. It meant all those alphas her father had approved, the ones who sent expensive gifts, were the enemy at best. Sleeping with her bodyguards was her fuck you to expectations. Even if no one else knew, each was her own little rebellion that made her feel more in control of a life she had no real control over.
“You don’t know anything,” Emily repeated.
“Of course, Miss Pitch.” Levi maintained the uninterested tone which implied he didn’t care who she had slept with or why, though in the same breath, he managed to call her a liar. “We will go to your residence for the evening. No spin class, no stops. Maddox can pick up food for us should you have nothing to eat at your home. Tomorrow, you will pack, and we will go to the airstrip. Your plane leaves at four tomorrow afternoon. We’ll transfer your protection to the team who will go with you to Europe.”
Her father had already said the move was temporary. She’d spend the summer there while those her father had hired worked to ferret out the danger to her. Her father had promised she could come home by winter, that he’d have everything settled.
“So I only have to put up with you for twenty-four hours?”
Grant released a laugh, sitting back. “So, the stories of your brattiness are pretty much on point.”
Levi shot him a hard look before returning his gaze to Emily. “Yes. In only twenty-four hours, you will be someone else’s problem.”
Emily opened her mouth to say something back, something sharp, and to remind them they were not at all on the same level. Instead, a crash silenced her.
As soon as it happened, Levi was beside her, his large, strong hand grasping the back of her neck and pressing her face down near her knees. The limo swerved, but nothing could shake Levi’s solid grip.
Another sound, so loud it made her ears ring, filled the space along with something raining down on her. It took a moment for her to realize it was glass.
The alphas shouted, but her ears couldn’t make out the words over the ringing in her ears. The limo swerved and shook, like it had gone off the road, and Levi yanked her seatbelt on, managing to hook it before the loud snap of twisting metal filled the limo and everything went black.