Amber turned away from his heated stare, deeply unsettled. Her heart rate sped up a little, as it always tended to do whenever he was in the vicinity. Why did he always have to stare at her like that? As cliché as it sounded, it looked as if he were peering into her very soul. What did he hope to see, exactly? It made her feel uncomfortable just thinking about it.
She gulped nervously and focused on peeling the bowls of potatoes in front of her. There were a lot that needed peeling. After all, it was a busy Friday night at Slider Nation and the orders just kept coming in. Not to mention that their specialty was homemade fries in all shapes, sizes and dips.
“Two Beef Sliders, two Cheese Loaded Chunky Fries, and two Cokes!” A waiter burst into the kitchen and loudly announced, followed by another who screamed, “Three Dynamite Fries and Five Commando Fries!”
Michael materialized before her, startling her out of her musings. “Hurry up, Omega! These potatoes aren’t enough for half these orders,” he growled, looking extremely annoyed. In response, she fixed him with a glare that would have set up a tree on fire. While she’d been diligently working in the kitchen, her fellow pack member had been parading around for the past hour as if he were a king, criticizing everyone’s work.
“Well, maybe if you helped me, I’d get more potatoes peeled faster! And aren’t there machines for this kind of thing, anyway?” Amber growled right back, equally annoyed. Her hands reflexively tightened on the sharp knife in her hand. What she’d give to be able to stab him with it without consequence.
The male werewolf glanced down at the knife she was holding and all his annoyance toward her seemed to deflate. Michael, in true Michael fashion, harrumphed and walked away without another word, no doubt to find someone else to harass.
Amber sighed wholeheartedly and then glanced from under her lashes at her Alpha, who was leaning against a wall next to the kitchen’s backdoor.
He was still watching her.
Just as usual, the mere sight of him stole her breath away and sent her heart galloping. He wore a buttoned-up black shirt that couldn’t hope to hide the muscular, chiseled chest beneath. The outline of his eight pack was unmistakable, and it begged every shewolf in the vicinity to caress it just to check if it really was as hard as it looked. Yes, Lucas was every shewolf's dream, an Adonis, and undoubtedly the strongest Alpha out there.
He didn’t even bother to conceal that he was openly staring. His watchful gaze disturbed her, but it didn’t seem to affect the rest of the other pack members present in the kitchen overly much. He wasn’t staring at them, though. He was staring at her. Anyone would be disconcerted and slightly disturbed to be stared at, but to have none other than the Alpha of the Shadow Hunters pack staring at her for a good thirty minutes now was frankly terrifying. After all, he was the most powerful and most important member of their pack.
Why was he watching her? That was the question that begged answering at present. What had she done to deserve such undivided attention from the werewolf who had never given her the time of day before, seeing that she was labelled the ‘Omega’ of the pack?
She glanced at the clock hanging on a wall. Fifteen minutes till her shift ended.
Would he approach her then?
She steeled her nerves and threw herself into the meagre task at hand, giving it all her undivided attention. Or at least she tried. It was simply impossible not to feel her Alpha’s heated gaze burning holes into her very flesh.
She was in trouble. She knew she was! Why else would he be watching her so closely as if he was afraid she’d make a run for it the moment he looked away?
She started sweating bullets.
Ten more minutes.
Amber tried to recall what she’d done that could have upset her Alpha so much. She couldn’t think of a single thing.
“Hey, get me another sack of potatoes!” she called to Michael, who was picking and eating French Fries right from the food warmer station.
He choked on a French Fry, coughed and then exclaimed, “But you just had about two sacks that needed peeling! How’d you finish peeling them so fast?”
I’m being motivated, that’s how.
Peeled potato after peeled potato filled the bowls to overflowing until she needed more bowls to put the rest of the potatoes in once peeled. “Get me some empty bowls, too!”
She raised her head and looked at the hanging clock, still peeling away.
Three minutes till she could hang up her apron, pack up and head home.
The knife sliced her thumb, instantly drawing blood. She jumped, more surprised than in pain. She put down the knife and threw the bloody potato in the trash, then inspected the small wound. Blood was seeping out of the small cut. The food inspector would have a field day if he saw this.
She brought her thumb to her mouth and sucked the blood away. Luckily, it wouldn’t be too long before the wound clotted and completely healed.
She had been careless again. These small accidents she’d been having these few days were getting annoying. But it was hardly her fault.
Her eyes met her Alpha’s.
The breath hitched in her throat. Slowly, she released the thumb from her mouth and lowered her hand to her side, but other than that she couldn’t move an inch. She didn’t dare. Amber was frozen in place.
Lucas outright glared at her. She was suddenly very afraid for her safety; it looked as if he would pounce at her at any moment. The intensity by which his dark eyes started to glow startled her. An unidentifiable sensation coursed through her. His gaze suddenly dropped to her mouth. Her heart stuttered.
Amber jumped when the phone in the pocket of her apron started ringing. She quickly fished her phone out and saw that the alarm she’d set had sounded, and that she was officially done for the day.
When Amber looked up again, Lucas was nowhere to be found.
Lucas wasn’t sure why he was suddenly interested in his pack’s Omega. Lately, he was starting to notice her more and more when he’d never taken notice of her before. It irritated him to no end. He’d spent an entire half an hour observing her in the hopes that he would uncover the reason behind his… interest. It had been in vain and a colossal waste of time.
Aside from being exceptionally beautiful when she wasn’t covered in potato peelings and cuts, she wasn’t anything special. He had seen and been with his fair share of beautiful women. More than that, she was an omega, someone who was not his equal and could never be.
He barely mustered the time to manage the pack’s affairs as it was. The last thing he needed right now was a distraction of any kind. Not with the mating ceremony so close at hand. His Destined Mate didn’t seem to want to show up, so he was being forced to choose a mate for himself.
The one chosen for him was the daughter of the Blue River pack’s Alpha, a powerful, neighboring pack and an ally. It would be an advantageous union. For him, it was a two-for-the-price-of-one bargain. Once Blue River’s Alpha passed away, the pack’s territory would automatically belong to him and his pack as per their agreement, since Alpha Oscar’s daughter was not a proper candidate for the position.
No, Lucas couldn’t afford any distractions.
Yet he couldn’t for the life of him erase the image of the omega’s tantalizing mouth from his mind.