Caught by the Wolves (Alpha Claimed #1) by Milly Taiden

Chapter One





Jade Candy glanced at her appletini and grimaced. That was so not her drink, but she felt bad telling her new co-worker, Adina, that she wasn’t much of a drinker. Adina had been so sweet, getting her trained and teaching her about working for the company.

Even though Jade had yet to meet the big bosses, she was ready to take on whatever type of work they gave her. After all, this job was paying for her nephew’s after-school camps and possibly college. Not to mention food. And that little thirteen-year-old could eat her out of house and home.

“Stop looking at it like it’s made of poison.” Adina grinned. “With a last name like Candy, you’d think you loved all things sweet.”

Jade scrunched up her nose. “I’m more of a mojito type of girl.”

“Oh, honey, aren’t we all. I love me something smooth and Latin.” Adina winked at the waiter passing by.

“So, tell me more about the job. Should I be worried? Are they going to demand I stay crazy hours?” She thought about little Ben and how she’d work her schedule to pick him up from school camp.

“Nah, they’re very laid back. Just don’t make mistakes. Mr. Nash and Mr. Felid hate that. They’re picky about having to wait too.” Adina bobbed her head to the music. “I wish this place had a dance floor.” She grinned and sipped her cosmopolitan. “I could totally get jiggy with it.”

Jade laughed and shook her head. “I’m not much of a dancer, but I love music. All types. Although I’m not fond of the noise my nephew calls music. Too many bad words and I barely understand what’s being said.”

Adina sighed. “Yeah. That’s why I like this place. Good drinks. Decent food. But most of all, I love how they play 80s freestyle on Thursdays. They have 70s music on Saturdays. You should see all the Saturday Night Fever folks showing up in outfits and everything.”

Jade didn’t really go out much unless it was with Ben. She’d stopped dating the moment her brother had shown up for a visit and left her nephew, court papers and all, in her care. Apparently, Ben’s mom had passed away. He didn’t go into detail. He’d disappeared after that.

Jade still didn’t know where Frank had gone or where he was. There was an open missing person’s case on him. Thankfully, Ben had adapted pretty quickly to living with Jade.

“I should be going,” Jade said, taking a sip of her drink. She glanced at her cell phone and saw Ben had messaged.

Can I stay over at Elias’s house tonight? I already did all my homework and I studied for one whole hour. It was hell. We’re playing games and his dad is doing barbecue. His mom said she’ll make sure I go to bed on time and drop me off tomorrow at school with Elias. Please say yes.

Please?

??

Aunt Jade? Can I go?

Talk about spamming her. She grinned and sighed.

Yes. Okay. Make sure you go to bed on time and if I hear from one of your teachers that you didn’t turn in or do your homework, you won’t be allowed to hang out with Elias for two weeks. Got it?

Yes! Thanks so much, Aunt Jade. I’ll make sure my teachers get my homework in the morning.

Jade glanced up from her phone. “I guess I don’t have to go just yet.”

“Awesome!” Adina ordered a second round of drinks and Jade took a gulp of hers.

Good thing she’d taken a taxi to the office on the first day. Her car was in the shop and she didn’t have the money to get it. Thankfully, her friend Carl owned the shop and didn’t rush her to pay or charge her for keeping the car an extra few days. He would let her take it and pay in installments, but she knew he wanted to get involved with her and she really didn’t see him in that light. He was nice guy, but there was just no chemistry there.

“Drink up!” Adina told her. “Our next round is coming soon.”

She sipped on her drink and frowned. “Should you be drinking this much? I mean, I’m taking a taxi, but what about you?”

Adina waved her concern away with her hand. “I’m good. My neighbor’s coming to pick me up. He’s pretty cool and has a shop nearby.”

Jade raised her brows. “No boyfriend?”

“Nah. Too much work. The last guy I was in a relationship with wanted me to be his mother. I wasn’t ready to have kids.” She gulped on her drink and picked up the next. “So I divorced him.”

“Wow. That sucks.”