Fated Surrender by Alanea Alder

  Kindred of Arkadia 6

  Fated Surrender

  Upon moving to Arkadia, Madison Claybourne, a high-power New York lawyer, discovers that she is mated to the diner’s busboy. No matter how downright sexy the man is, she has trouble seeing beyond his apron. Will she let perception cloud her judgment to the point where she may lose her mate?

  Connor Arkadion is on the brink of exhaustion, helping to track a serial killer. With his mind burdened with the terrible images of the killer’s aftermath, he’s not looking to find his mate. When Madison dismisses him easily he knows he will have to take drastic measures for his mate to see the man he is. The only problem is that the man he truly is, isn’t what Arkadia knows him to be.

  When evil once again begins to stalk Arkadia, Connor is suddenly on a timeline to find his missing mate before a maniac kills the one person to give him the solace he desperately craves.

  Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal., Shape-shifter

  Length: 41,229 words


  Kindred of Arkadia 6

  Alanea Alder


  Siren Publishing, Inc.


  ABOUT THE E-BOOK YOU HAVE PURCHASED: Your non-refundable purchase of this e-book allows you to only ONE LEGAL copy for your own personal reading on your own personal computer or device. You do not have resell or distribution rights without the prior written permission of both the publisher and the copyright owner of this book. This book cannot be copied in any format, sold, or otherwise transferred from your computer to another through upload to a file sharing peer to peer program, for free or for a fee, or as a prize in any contest. Such action is illegal and in violation of the U.S. Copyright Law. Distribution of this e-book, in whole or in part, online, offline, in print or in any way or any other method currently known or yet to be invented, is forbidden. If you do not want this book anymore, you must delete it from your computer.

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  IMPRINT: Erotic Romance


  Copyright © 2013 by Alanea Alder

  E-book ISBN: 978-1-62740-933-9

  First E-book Publication: December 2013

  Cover design by Harris Channing

  All art and logo copyright © 2013 by Siren Publishing, Inc.

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission.

  All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.


  Siren Publishing, Inc.


  Letter to Readers

  Dear Readers,

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  Regarding E-book Piracy

  This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.

  The author and the publisher work very hard to bring our paying readers high-quality reading entertainment.

  This is Alanea Alder’s livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Alder’s right to earn a living from her work.

  Amanda Hilton, Publisher




  To Pegster—Raaawwwwrrrrr

  April—Here’s another bear!

  To my wonderful readers in my Kindred of Arkadia group—hope you enjoy!

  And to my mom, who always listens, even when I stop making sense.

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page



  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10


  About the Author


  Kindred of Arkadia 6


  Copyright © 2013


  “Payne, I want updates around the clock as to what our little friend is up to. They are about to call the Arkadion, so it should be getting intriguing soon. It’s amazing that such depravity lurked just beneath the surface of such a mouse. He is such a surprising and random development, it would be a shame not to enjoy it.” The gentleman swirled his glass of dark-red liquid.

  “Oh can you also locate my puppy? I believe he owes me some hybrids. I would like to see what he comes up with this time.”

  The dark figure bowed and left the room.

  He took a sip and returned the glass to the desktop. Yes, things were about to heat up soon. His contact would ensure that Connor Arkadion was pulled into this case. He sipped the ruby liquid. He was eager to see who his little friend would kill next. He had a running bet with the torturer that the next victim would be a celebrity. He desperately hoped so.

  Chapter 1

  Connor Arkadion sighed, sat up, and turned to sit on the edge of the bed. He glared at his computer. Lately he had come to hate the damn thing. When he moved back to Arkadia he swore he would leave the past behind him. But given the current state of affairs in their world, he didn’t have a choice. His past was haunting his waking moments and disturbing the quiet life he had built for himself.

  He stood and let the sheet fall. Walking naked to the bathroom, he turned the shower on and let the steam fill the small room. It was already November and the weather had turned chilly. He was a bear shifter, but that didn’t mean he was immune to the cold in his human form.

  Once the small room had become heated by the steam, he stepped into the shower. Standing with both hands on the tiled wall he let the hot water run down his body in rivulets. With no thought to his actions, he quickly washed and stepped from the shower. Wrapping his robe around him, he walked into the kitchen. He opened up the refrigerator and stared at the contents. Same shit, different day. He decided to skip making himself breakfast and just head to the diner early. If he was going to cook, he might as well do it all at once.

  He went back to his room, opening his dresser, removed a black T-shirt and jeans from his dresser and got dressed. Heading toward the door he pulled on his thick fall jacket and grabbed his truck keys. He stepped out of his house and locked the door. Normally he wouldn’t worry about locking up, especially living on the Arkadion ranch, but lately Emmett and Duncan had been pulling pranks, and he saw no reason to make it any easier on them.

  He fired up his truck and headed into town. Lately even the relaxing drive into Arkadia did nothing to settle him. Shaking his head, he turned on the radio and blasted Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise.” Feeling his spirits lifting, he rolled his windows down and let the crisp fall air fill the cab of his truck. God how he loved the smells of fall! He pulled into his parking spot at the diner and turned off the engine. He hopped from the truck and unlocked the diner do
ors. It was still early if he had beat Ma to the diner. Shrugging, he started pulling out everything needed to start breakfast.

  He was just popping the biscuits in the oven when he heard the bell on the door chime. He looked up and was surprised to see Ashby standing in the doorway. Connor had always felt a particular closeness to Ashby since he was one of the first ones to meet the tiny fox when he first appeared in town. It wasn’t surprising to see Ashby early in the morning, as he often stopped by before opening the ice cream parlor, what was surprising was seeing him alone, without his overprotective mate.

  “Ashby, what can I get ya?” Connor asked, walking up to the counter and motioning to the barstool. Ashby gave a small smile and hopped up to sit across from Connor.

  “Just some coffee for right now,” Ashby said quietly. Connor nodded. People usually only asked for a cup of coffee if they needed to talk. Connor poured him a cup of fresh coffee and stood across from Ashby as he fixed his coffee the way he liked it. Connor could have made it for him. He knew that Ashby loved a little bit of coffee with his sugar and cream. He would gag if he ever tried to drink it that way.

  He leaned against the counter and let Ashby take his time. He knew better than to rush someone when they came to him for advice.

  “So, the pregnancy symptoms are getting better,” Ashby said, turning his mug in his hands.

  “That must be a relief to you and Gabriel,” Connor said, pouring himself a cup of coffee as well. If Ashby was talking about the pregnancies, it would probably take a while. Connor sipped his coffee the way he liked it, black.

  “He’s relieved that I’m not puking all over the place anymore,” Ashby said, giving Connor a grimacing smile.

  “I know that he was worried about you losing weight.” Connor watched Ashby’s features carefully. He knew most of the townspeople well enough to accurately read their body language.

  “He is always worrying about me.” Ashby stirred his coffee with the spoon. Connor watched and knew that these small nervous habits were huge red flags.

  “That’s because he loves you very much.”

  “I wish I deserved that love,” Ashby whispered so softly Connor almost missed it.

  “What makes you think you don’t deserve his love, Ashby?” Connor set his cup down and leaned forward. People usually whispered their deepest fears or greatest worries. It was as if speaking them out loud made them true.

  “I’m not like Sebastian or Felix. I can’t give him children,” Ashby confessed. Connor walked around and sat on a barstool next to Ashby.

  “Ashby, Sebastian, and Felix are extremely rare exceptions when it comes to gay male couples. It’s not the norm for two men to be able to have children together. Why would you think that Gabriel would hold this against you and withhold his love for you?” Connor asked, scared that this concern concealed a more deep-seated issue.

  “I’ve seen the way he looks at Rebecca and Sebastian and Kate. He gets this soft smile on his face when he is around them. I know he has to be regretting mating me.” Ashby sniffled and wiped his eyes.

  Connor pulled Ashby into a one-armed hug. Maybe Ashby had spoken up in time for this misunderstanding to be nipped in the bud.

  “Gabriel loves you so much, that sometimes, it’s almost painful to watch you two. Don’t sell him short, Ashby. If he truly wanted children, you have many options open to you, from surrogate mothers to adoption. Do me a favor. Call him. It will be easier to express your concerns over the phone when he’s not in front of you where you can see his expressions. Get it all out and see what he says.” Connor ruffled Ashby’s hair playfully.

  Small hands batted him away.

  “Do you really think he still loves me?” Ashby asked, looking up at him hopefully, his large eyes filled with tears. Connor nodded.

  “I think that maybe, just maybe, you might be projecting your own desires for a child onto him. You have experienced everything that goes along with a pregnancy, yet you know that you won’t have a child at the end of this experience. Maybe it’s affecting you more than you know,” Connor said and watched Ashby’s face.

  The small man’s lips began to tremble and his eyes filled.

  “Maybe you’re right. I’m going to call him now. Thanks, Connor, you’ve always been there for me. Your brothers are lucky to have you.” Ashby gave him a quick hug.

  “Anytime, runt,” Connor said, picking up both mugs and walking back behind the counter. Ashby waved and walked out of the diner.

  Connor shook his head. No mating was ever perfect, no matter what it looked like from the outside. He went back to the kitchen and pulled the biscuits out before putting a couple pounds of bacon on the grill. He heard the back door open, and soon he smelled his Ma’s perfume.

  “Good morning, baby boy,” his ma said and pulled him into a hug.

  “Morning, Ma,” Connor said, returning her hug. He breathed in the familiar scent that only belonged to his Ma and sent up another prayer of thanks to whoever was listening for giving them Doc Claybourne.

  “You got an early start today,” she said, stepping back. She turned and hung her coat up on the coat rack.

  “Couldn’t sleep,” Connor said, going back to the bacon.

  “You’ve been coming in early for the past couple weeks,” she said, checking on the biscuits. “Do you want to talk about it?” she asked. He shook his head.

  “I’m okay, Ma, really.” He smiled brightly at her before turning back to the grill. Seconds later his head jerked forward as his ma cuffed him upside the back of his head.

  “Ma!” he groaned.

  “Don’t ‘Ma’ me, Connor Christian Arkadion, and don’t lie to me either. I always know when something is wrong with my boys. If you can’t tell me just say so, but don’t lie,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest.

  He rubbed the back of his head, and he looked at his ma and smiled.

  “There are some things bothering me about a job that I took. I can’t go into the particulars, but I should have it wrapped up soon.”

  “That’s all you had to say, son. Now, head to the sheriff’s station. You’re not the only one with an early start. Your brother may need someone to talk to. It won’t add to your plate, will it?” She eyed him.

  Connor waved off her concerns. “I can handle these types of problems all day long. They soothe me.” He chuckled and grabbed his jacket.

  “Here take some biscuits, honey, and jam. He’ll open up more if you feed him,” she said, handing him a small, white paper bag.

  “You know us so well. Love ya, Ma.” Connor dropped a kiss on her cheek.

  “Of course, you’re my boys. Now get out of here before the breakfast rush hits and I change my mind about sending you out.” She patted him on the shoulder.

  “Bye, Ma,” Connor said and quickly headed out the door.

  Connor trotted down the street and headed to the sheriff’s station. He pushed open the door and walked in. Aleks sat in his chair staring blankly at his desktop. Concerned, Connor decided to lighten the mood.

  “Hey, bro, trying to escape Rebecca?” he asked teasingly, setting the bag of biscuits on the desk. Aleks’s head snapped up and a panicked expression haunted his face.

  “Whoa there, you know I didn’t mean anything by that. What’s wrong? Is Rebecca okay?” Connor asked, dragging a chair over to sit beside his big brother. Aleks nodded and looked away to stare out the window.

  “She’s fine. According to Doc, she and the baby are doing great,” Aleks said, sounding distracted.

  “Then why are you here at work at o’dark thirty?” Connor asked.

  “Couldn’t sleep,” Aleks mumbled.

  That seems to be going around.

  “If she and the baby are fine, then why can’t you sleep?”

  Aleks looked over at him and frowned.

  “Talk to me, big brother. Maybe I can help.” Connor bumped his shoulder.

  “I keep having dreams that I kill my son,” Aleks said. Connor sat back in his
chair shocked. Of all the things he thought might be wrong, it certainly wasn’t this.

  “Are you concerned about controlling your strength? Like with Rebecca?” Connor probed.

  “In my dream I mean to kill him. I murder my son.”

  “Aleks, you would never, ever kill your son. You are not a murderer,” Connor said firmly. Aleks shook his head.

  “When Rebecca was sick with that damn virus, before Doc figured out the cure, he said that there was a way to save Rebecca, if we aborted my son. I thought about it, Connor. I went there mentally. Before the cure was found, I was prepared to kill my own son.” Aleks buried his face in his hands.

  Fuck! How did I miss this for months?

  Connor pulled Aleks’s face into his shoulder and held on to his big brother.

  “Aleks, you’re dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. I thought I had identified most of the cases after the virus was cured. I can’t believe I missed my own brother.” Connor took a deep breath.

  “Aleks, what we all went through, thinking that we would lose the people we love, that was an extremely traumatic event. We were dealing with stress and grief, with little to no sleep or food. To say that our thought processes would be the same today as what they would have been then is impossible. It would be like judging the choices made by soldiers in the heat of battle in times of peace. They cannot be compared.” Connor rubbed Aleks’s back. “I never even made the connection to PTSD. I have seen guys on the force deal with it. I never thought it would hit me like this. I wonder if the others are doing okay.” Aleks sat up. He explained how each of the leaders had been prepared to die with their mates, with the exception of Caleb who would have been left behind.

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