Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Trials of Tam by Amber Kell


Tam's genius IQ has let him have his way in most everything in life. That all comes to a halt when his family petitions to join a new pack and the Alpha's price of admission is a chance to call Tam his own.

Tam is willing to play by the Alpha's rules, but he won't be pushed. Valko has some strong opinions about who's in charge. And it's not Tam.

Not about to roll over and show his belly for any man, Tam soon learns he might be the smartest person in the pack, but sometimes it's the sneakiest wolf who wins in the end.


Tam Larson stood behind his brothers as they approached their new pack leader. At least the family hoped he'd be their leader. After a great deal of research, Tam's father had decided Alpha Valko Dachev would be a good match for them. A new job opportunity had moved the family across the state, making it imperative they find a new pack. Unaffiliated wolves were unhappy wolves and unwelcome on pack territory. The family needed to get in with a pack, soon, or they wouldn't have a place to hunt during the upcoming full moon. And Tam didn't think Seattle was ready for eight werewolves prancing through Pioneer Square all wolfed out.

Although Tam didn't officially live with his family any more, the Alpha had demanded the presence of the entire Larson clan to determine if they could join. Apparently Alpha Valko had had an unpleasant experience before and now insisted on meeting the whole family to make sure there weren't any bad apples in the bunch.

Tam hated taking time away from his studies. He needed to wrap up his thesis in order to receive his doctorate. His stress could be higher, but his advisor told him, confidentially, that as soon as Tam turned his thesis in, the doctorate committee would immediately sign off on it. After all, he'd brought millions to the college with his software inventions. Tam didn't know where he'd go next, but he didn't plan to stick around with his family. He loved each and every one of them, but he still hadn't told them he was gay.

Tam wanted to explore his sexuality a bit more before confessing his preference for men over women. He doubted they would take it badly, but his brothers were big and he didn't want to have to fight over something that wasn't under his control. Especially if they shifted and Tam had to use his extra abilities to harm those he loved. Tam liked to avoid confrontation, unless, of course, the other person deserved a smack down.

Fortunately, his computer skills were well regarded, which gave him several options. He'd already been contacted by six technology companies and his biggest decision would be to figure out which one would fit the best with his future goals.

"Greetings, Larson family."

The Alpha's deep voice rolled across the crowd and sent tingles all through Tam. Unwanted attraction ripped through him and he hadn't even seen the bastard yet.

"Greetings, Alpha," Tam's father replied. As the patriarch he spoke for the entire family.

Tam still couldn't see the Alpha from where he stood behind his huge brothers. As the last and smallest of his litter of six, Tam was the runt. He had always thought the moon goddess made up for it by giving him all the brains and his super wolf, an extra bit of genetics giving him the edge over shifters who on the surface were stronger than him.

His back pocket vibrated.


Luckily no eyes were on him. Hiding behind his brothers, Tam soundlessly pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and checked the screen. John Lesley's name popped up. Lesley was one of the men trying to recruit Tam for a job. Damn. He'd missed the call. The only downside to Lesley's job offer was it would keep him in Seattle. The position in Lesley's company, however, sounded perfect.

"Important call?" a rich voice asked.

"Job offer." Tam answered automatically.

He froze as he realized who stood before him. Swallowing the nervous lump in his throat, Tam dropped the phone back into his cargo pants' pocket and looked up into a pair of feral green eyes. Energy poured off the large man who towered well over Tam's five-foot-ten frame. If they were both in bare feet, Tam knew he'd only come to the nape of the other man's neck. Black hair fell in riotous curls around the man's head and curled at the tips of his ears in a vivid contrast to his olive skin.

Tam had no doubt of the identity of the other man. He oozed Alpha power, making introductions unnecessary. Tam's wolf yipped its interest, wanting to play with the bigger wolf. Stupid wolf had no sense of self-protection. Didn't it know the man before them wasn't a new playmate, but a potential adversary? Too bad the guy smelled so damn delicious. Unable to help himself, Tam leaned forward and took a long sniff, the smell of rich earth and piney forests coming off Valko's skin in puffs of tempting clouds.

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