For Her Protection:An Alpha Romance

By: Amber Bardan


The tequila burned a path of blazing hell-fire down her esophagus.

Charlie gasped and slammed the shot glass down on the bar. “Holy shit, why can’t we drink wine?”

Melanie gave the kind of dark seductive laugh that only a person with one-hundred-and-ninety-percent unapologetic self-confidence can muster. “Because tonight you’re a boss-bitch who just acquired a top Telco, and you can handle your damned liquor.”

“Not sure I’d put it quite that way.” Charlie wiped her mouth on her wrist. Halifax Communications made the acquisition. She’d simply done the grunt work.

And what grunt work there’d been.

Despite her preference for a crisp white wine, a little tequila might be the thing to hit the spot.

Melanie tapped the bar, then held up two fingers. The bartender refilled the glasses as promptly as if the two of them were the only ones there—despite it being a teeming Friday night with dozens of other patrons waiting to be served. But then Melanie had that effect on men in the service industry.

And that effect on men in general.

Lucky Melanie. Everyone should have a superpower. Melanie’s was man-mustering, and hers was well…

Did the ability to reason calmly with crazy people count?

Because these days that seemed to be the only thing dominating her schedule. Meeting with disgruntled person one. Meeting with disgruntled person two.

Pacify, mollify, apologize.


If only she could reason with the hundreds of people emailing abuse daily, for nothing more than doing the job she’d been ordered to do. She downed the next tequila, this time prepared for the lung-punch it caused.

“See, you didn’t even flinch that time.” Melanie winked one of her bright chocolate eyes, her whole face curling in mischief. “Now we can have some fun.”

“Aren’t we already?”

Melanie features morphed from wink to arched brow. “Not yet, we aren’t.”

She reached out and plucked at Charlie’s blouse.

Charlie glanced down at her gaping collar and newly viable cleavage. “What did you just do?”

Melanie held up the button she’d stealthily removed. “I knew you’d just do it up again.”

“That’s because I like my clothes on properly.” She yanked together the sides of the collar. If she hadn’t gained a few pounds the last few months with over-working and under-exercising, it might be fine. But those pounds went right to her bra.

Her bra which was now over capacity.

So it wasn’t fine—so not fine, she may get thrown out of the bar for indecency.

“I warned you when you decided to come directly from work you’d better not arrive in nun-habit.” She smirked and tossed the button over her shoulder.

“Excuse me, but there were nun’s at my high-school and none of them wore pencil skirts.”

Melanie’s gaze flicked to Charlie’s thighs. “Actually I like the skirt just fine. Points for that. If I had an ass like yours I’d wear pencil skirts every damned day.”

Charlie laughed. “Glad my ass at least has your approval.”

What Melanie didn’t need to know was about the navy high necked sweater she’d left at the office to avoid just this kind of conversation. It wasn’t as though she didn’t like nice clothes, just that when you work fourteen hours a day, you dress for comfort.

And practicality.

And if she were being completely honest, none of the prettier things in her wardrobe were fitting presentably, or at all…so there was that.

Melanie glanced over her shoulder. “You remember the signals?”

“Yeah, I remember.” Single girls in a bar signals. Standard safety precaution. Scratch your nose if you’re fine. Double scratch if you’re so fine you won’t be sharing a cab ride home.

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