Sharon’s note: In most romance, werewolf alphas are pictured as broody power-tripping jerks. I’m not a huge fan of the dark and troubled romance option at the best of time. I like a guy who can make me laugh. Besides, true alphas are caretakers. Warning: Author is really tiered of the same old romantic interest.
Every Saturday morning, Sam had informed me, he and his brood invaded the park across from my Dad’s house. He’d invited me along, which worked great, because Baskerville seriously needed to go for a walk. The fat old hound was wheezing after only a few yards, so going on a jog with him was out of the question.
Sam was sitting at a picnic table, helping a little boy tie his shoe. “You gotta learn to do this yourself, you know.”
“Nah, I’m gonna get a pair of cowboy boots.” The boy hooked his thumbs into the band of his shorts and stuck out his chest. “They’re going to look super cool.”
I put a hand to my mouth to hold in my laugh as Sam rolled his eyes and sent the boy on his way. “Is he a relative?”
Sam sighed, then chuckled as I sat down next to him. “Honestly? I’m not really sure. He’s Micheal’s kid, and he might be my cousin.”
“I thought you spent a lot of time with family.” I raised an eyebrow.
He waved his hand in a circle. “Yeah, but you have to understand, it’s a really extended family, and we tend to adopt people in.”
I shook my head. “It sounds, um, friendly, I guess. My family consists of my dad, and that’s it. I guess you could count my step-mother now, but I don’t really know her.”
“I don’t know what I’d do without my family.” Sam leaned over to pet Baskerville, who had collapsed on his side and whined like he was dying. “They tend to look to me, and can be a pain and sometimes be a little needy, but I love them.”
“Sounds like a lot of work.” I gazed over the dozen or so children playing tag. Double that many adults hung around, chatting, occasionally glancing at us. They weren’t unfriendly looks, but they seemed as interested in Sam and me as his aunt had been.
“Sometimes,” he agreed. “So, I was wondering if you wanted to go to dinner tonight. There’s this really awesome Mexican food place that does tableside guacamole. You like guacamole, right?”
I smiled, pushing the nosy nancies out of my mind. “Yeah, but the most important question is, how is their salsa?”
Sam brightened with a boying enthusiasm that was adorable. “Oh, it’s amazing. When they bring out the chips they bring out three different ones. There’s a green one with tomatillos and this cold one that’s only a little spicy and . . .”
As he went on and on about the virtues of different salsas, my heart melted a little. I loved his energy, and his devotion to people was cute. I didn’t really understand, since I wasn’t the biggest people person, but his way with them almost made me jealous. Finally, he finished expounding on the virtues of salsa and shot me a shy smile.
“So, what do you think? You willing to give me a second date? This one without sucky cake?”
Really, there had to be a law against being that adorable in addition to being hot. “Sure thing.”