Halloween is the perfect time for these three alphas to give their omega a treat…
When Claire fell in love with Bryce, Joshua and Kaidan, she thought she’d found her happily ever after, but her life seems more trick than treat these days. A year after having their daughter, Claire barely recognizes her own mates. Between their new roles as parents, their exhaustion as they raise a child and Claire’s fears about how her body has changed, they’ve become little more than roommates.
Hoping to give them all a break, Claire throws a Halloween Party for the alphas and omegas of their group. The tension between Claire, Bryce, Joshua and Kaidan is on display, and their friends are willing to intervene for the good of the foursome, even if that means risqué clothing, a bag of toys and more than a little manipulation.
Claire and her alphas finally get some time alone…but they’ll have to risk taking off the masks they’ve been hiding behind if they hope to turn their scary story into a Halloween treat.
Reader advisory: This book is linked to The Omega's Alphas series.
General Release Date: 26th October 2021
Claire picked up a piece of orange candy from one of the large open cauldrons and unwrapped it. She should have had more self-control, but who could blame her?
Setting up the party had taken hours—hell, weeks of planning—and she’d had nothing but copious amounts of coffee since the night before. It meant the Halloween candy posed more temptation than she could resist.
Besides, her diet could start on Monday.
Or, start again, as was the theme of Mondays. She sighed as she looked at it before popping it into her mouth.
It had been easier to lose weight when she had been in her twenties, before having a kid. She recalled her mother complaining about the same thing, when Claire had rolled her eyes because she hadn’t believed it. Karma had kicked her in the ass, because the stubborn weight refused to shed anymore, like an unwelcome squatter she just couldn’t get to leave. It meant she’d gone from wearing form-fitting clothes to loose shirts long enough to cover her ass.
“Everything turned out perfect.” Tiffany slid her arm through the crook of Claire’s, the younger omega dressed like a schoolgirl. She’d gone with a short plaid skirt, knee-high socks, and a shirt tied beneath her chest. She’d put her long blonde hair into pigtails, and Claire doubted Kieran would take to the outfit well.
Tiffany’s alphas were as possessive as any, but Kieran was by far the worst. Marshall would have laughed, and Kane would simply have castrated any man who looked at her, but Kieran? He’d take it up directly with the omega herself.
Claire moved past the costume—not my problem—and instead looked around the large house they’d leased for the get-together. The lights were turned low with plenty of horror decorations. The usual skulls and spiders adorned shelves and tables, and an assortment of colorful images were projected onto the large, flat walls. Graveyards, spooky forests—they had it all to set the mood. “Yeah, it’s come together pretty well. Hopefully people actually show up.”
“It’s a Halloween party. Why wouldn’t anyone show up?”
“Because we’re all busy.” Claire thought about her own daughter, Amy, and how life passed so quickly. The things that had seemed important just a year before had drifted out of reach. She didn’t see the other omegas as much as she wanted to.
Not that she blamed them.
Tiffany was trying to conceive, Tracy was busy with her daughter, Alison was pregnant with twins, Ashley worked for her mate’s company and Kara was…well, Kara. They all had busy lives and mates of their own to keep them occupied.
Claire hadn’t expected that when she’d gotten pregnant things would change so much, that she’d be so isolated. Maybe that was the big secret—no one realized just how much they’d lose when they had kids.
“That’s exactly why we needed this,” Tiffany said. “Because no one slows down enough. We just keep saying we’ll get together, and before we know it, months have passed, and I haven’t even seen you.”
Claire paused in front of one of the snack tables, taking a moment to straighten the plates. All the food was decorated on point for the theme—meatballs with pretzel legs for spiders, a skull-shaped bread bowl full of a spaghetti dip. None of it was appetizing for Claire, but it set the mood she’d wanted. If she were going to throw a Halloween party, it would damn well be festive.
“Is Marshall coming?” she asked to change the subject.
“He had to trade some shifts, but he got someone to cover him at the hospital. Kieran tried to get out of it, but Kane warned him he wouldn’t want to miss my costume, so I’m sure he’ll show.”
Claire laughed softly. “You know you’re going to be in trouble, right?”
Pink colored Tiffany’s cheeks, the look of a woman who was aiming for that very thing. It forced Claire to remember that, despite Tiffany being younger, she wasn’t some child. She was an adult woman with mates. “Oh, I’m counting on it.”
Jealousy hit Claire hard, and she knew it was a damn ugly feeling and entirely unfair. She wanted Tiffany to have everything the girl wanted—she deserved that.
Seeing Tiffany happy with her mates, seeing them dote on her, thrilled Claire. How long had Claire worried about her friend? Had looked out for her and tried to protect her? Claire had risked everything to take care of Tiffany, to make sure she could be at this very spot—happy and safe.
Still, that other small part of her wanted it for herself.
Claire thought she’d found it, and yeah, she’d found love. There was no doubt she loved her alphas, that Bryce, Joshua and Kaidan had her heart, and that they felt the same about her.
Love was one thing—happily ever after was quite another, and as it turned out, it hadn’t seemed to last nearly as long as she’d expected it to.
It wasn’t that they fought or that things were bad—they just were different. The men worked, and Claire spent her time caring for Amy, their one-year-old daughter, and running her bookstore. When Amy had been born, Claire had crashed in the baby room for the nighttime feedings. What had started as a necessity had turned into normal, and now she always slept in Amy’s room rather than with any of her men.
Which didn’t give time or space for anything intimate. In fact, they hadn’t gone down that road since before Amy had been born…
It all meant life felt different. Not bad, but hard to swallow after how happy she’d been at first.
Tiffany bumped Claire. “What’s wrong?”
Claire painted a strained smile over her lips, not wanting to bring down the mood or put her problems on Tiffany. “Nothing. Just tired, I think. It’s been a long day.”
Tiffany narrowed her eyes, an expression that said she didn’t believe her. Even so, she shrugged. “Okay. Why don’t you get upstairs and get dressed? I’ll keep an eye on things here and play hostess till you’re back.”
Claire wasn’t looking forward to the idea of dressing up, but she couldn’t exactly tell everyone else to do it if she didn’t. Leaders lead by example, right? If that meant she put on a stupid hat, well, she’d done worse in the past.
“Thanks,” Claire said and left the party in Tiffany’s hands.
They still had a lot more guests to arrive. All the omegas and their alphas who Claire knew were slated to attend, the people who had become like family to her. In addition to that, they’d reached out to friends and acquaintances to invite any other alpha or omega who wished to come.
The importance of those connections couldn’t be understated, and Claire wanted to build that community for others. It had become a passion for her, a desire to give to the next generation something she hadn’t had.
Bryce hadn’t been on board with the idea at first, worried about the security risks of such a thing. Even with all the work Claire and the others had done, omegas were a target, and inviting multiple to a single event could prove tricky.
Still, he’d given in, as he often did, once she’d agreed to allow him to run security. He’d brought in his company, using betas he knew to handle the actual work. In fact, Claire was pretty sure the party was better protected than the White House at that particular moment.
Kaidan and Joshua had agreed, and no doubt helped with the plans, but Bryce was always the one to push the envelope when it came to actually keeping her safe. She almost smiled at the memory of him trying to talk her into a bracelet with a GPS tracker inside. He’d laid out the case so well, even buying a beautiful silver bracelet engraved with intricate lines that looked like the fanciest piece of jewelry she’d ever seen.
She’d said no of course—I’m not a dog to be tagged—but his annoyed huff at the end had warmed her.
That had been back when they’d worked off the disagreement in bed afterward, when she’d soothed his worries with her body and he’d spent hours reminding her of a few of the reasons why she loved him.
Claire sighed, the pain of loss sharp since that wasn’t who they were anymore, it seemed.
It was time to go put on her costume, to smile and act as if everything was okay.
Of course, if there were ever a night to pretend, Halloween seemed a good one.