Happy Birthday to Me by Stephanie Burke

Happy Birthday to Me by Stephanie Burke

Happy Birthday to Me

by Stephanie Burke

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 06931-02233

After ditching one a puffed-up alpha, the ex-stripper-turned-business-owner focuses his attention to Mason, an alpha with a small submissive streak.

But this is just a one-night stand… or is it?

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Chapter One

“Well, it’s not going to suck itself.”
Clancy Maxwell looked over at his club companion and fought the urge to vomit in the alpha’s face. Ever since Marco had strolled over, rose in hand and domineering attitude on display, Maxie had been wondering what the hell he was doing with this ass.
When Maxie had allowed Tink to set him up on a date for his birthday, he figured someone with such a sterling reputation for matchmaking would understand that money, patrician looks, and a modicum of alpha scent did not a wonderful relationship make.
Marco was a beautiful alpha, there was no denying that, but his beauty was clearly only skin deep. Since he’d taken a seat at Maxie’s table, he had been rude to the servers, nasty toward the other customers, and just a fucking idiot to Maxie, pushing out alpha scent like Maxie was supposed to fall on his knees and present his ass for the taking.
Sure, Maxie was short and looked unassuming, but that was no reason to treat him like a little bitch. He was a dominant omega, something not every beta or alpha could handle, and he was damn proud of it.
“Excuse me?” Maxie narrowed his eyes as he glared at the alpha, who was slowly but surely digging himself a deeper grave.
“Come on, Clancy.” Marco grinned at him, his chocolate-brown eyes gleaming, his tan skin looking like golden sand in the candlelight. “You know I was kidding.” He tried to send out enough alpha scent to make Maxie agreeable. Maxie only arched an eyebrow and gave Marco the coldest stare he could muster.
“Look, we’re getting off track here, Clancy.” Marco leaned in close, pushing aside a six-hundred-dollar bottle of wine he’d insisted they share — and sent back five times because it wasn’t the right temperature. “How about you come back to my place and we, you know, get a little loose.” He pushed more scent that only served to make Maxie more irritated.
“Loose, huh?” Maxie asked, his voice all but devoid of emotion. What the hell was this idiot talking about?
“Back in Brazil…”
Marco was dropping places now? God, he had already dropped the names of several Vegas businessmen who really didn’t impress Maxie, so now he was moving on to countries? Hell, most of the names he’d dropped were men Maxie had personally set up for private lap dances with his omega dancers. No matter how powerful they were in the real world, once you’ve seen an alpha trying to keep it in his boxers and not develop an embarrassing uncontrolled knot, there was something a tad less powerful about his name.
“Yes?” Maxie leaned forward. “Brazil?” Maybe he could get a good laugh out of this poor excuse for a birthday pickup. For all the fun he was having, he could have stayed back at his strip club and washed dirty thongs.
“In Brazil, we alphas have a few secrets to help us relax.”
“Go on,” Maxie urged. Only his strong sense of proper omega etiquette was preventing him from rolling his eyes and walking away from the huge lout.
“I have a guy who brings me — some fun treats.” He grinned and plucked a red rose from the arrangement on the table, reaching out to stroke it over Maxie’s face. “That’s what you pretty boys like.”
Maxie stared at the red roses and wanted to strangle the grabby bastard with his own tie. This alpha was too much to be believed. “No, I don’t like to trip the light fantastic, pop a pill, do a line, or pop bottles like it’s going out of style.” Maxie’s left eye was twitching.
“Aw, babe –”
“Clancy,” he returned, his patience coming to an end. “My friends call me Maxie. You may call me Clancy.”
“Don’t cop an attitude with me, omega,” Marco growled, narrowing his eyes as he tried to stare Maxie down.
“Copping an attitude requires that I give enough of a shit about you to actually pay attention,” Maxie growled, his muscles tensing as he recognized the symptoms of an attack brewing.
Marco was glaring, his respiration increasing, one hand fisting around the wine glass as the other snapped the stem of the rose in half. “You’ll fucking care when I’m done with you –”
“You would do well to sit your ass down or get out of my way.” Maxie slowly rose to his feet, all systems ready to repel attack. Maxie was no fool. He had dealt with enough alpha assholes during his short-lived modeling career and as a beginning omega dancer to know when things were going to get physical.
Just as the asshole was rising to his feet, Maxie preparing to punch him in the fucking throat, a large, dark hand landed on Marco’s shoulder, shoving him back into his seat. “What seems to be the problem, gentlemen?” a gravelly voice rumbled.
Maxie turned and his mouth dropped open. The sheer scope of the new alpha in front of him stole the words before they formed.
“My date and I –”
Marco’s words snapped Maxie out of his shock and right back into the fray. “Oh, I don’t think so, jackass. Either you or I are leaving this club, and we won’t be leaving together.”
Marco narrowed his eyes as Marco turned to face the huge man who was looming over them both. “You know how the little ones get — wanting attention and all,” he clarified to the stranger.
“Little –”
“Oh, I see.” The stranger snorted before turning to Maxie.
Maxie expected a glib comment about controlling the pushy omega bottom, but the man surprised him. He looked over at Marco and the two exchanged some sort of big man secret eye fuck before he offered a polite smile. “I think you’ve had enough, and it’s time for you to go.”
Maxie blinked as he realized that those delicious-sounding words were not directed at him.
“What?” Marco stammered, and tried to rear up, uber-masculine style, but the man merely crossed his arms, his aura enough to knock the toughest of alphas on their ass. Marco stifled his own power play and shrank in on himself when the arms of the man’s expertly tailored suit jacket began to strain to confine his biceps. This new male was pushing out alpha pheromones that easily overcame the small scent of defiance Maxie’s stupid alpha date had managed to muster.
But Marco was a troll for a good reason. He visibly pushed down his fear and exchanged his blush of embarrassment for one of anger. “This is a private conversation.”
“Which is about to lose one of its parties.” This new alpha leaned forward and growled… and Maxie felt his spine tingle with a telltale burst of arousal.
The alpha was beautiful in that rough way that never failed to get Maxie’s dick harder than a rock and send his common sense fleeing along with intelligent thought. The alpha’s skin was a rich, even brown, and creamy as only alpha skin managed to be. His hair was twisted into hundreds of tiny locks, a few deep red ones peeking through the dark fall. He was a fucking giant, at least six feet five, and was built to scale. Every flex of his body proved just how powerful and tightly muscled he really was.
The alpha’s eyes glinted a golden brown in the muted light of the VIP area, intelligent and totally sober, eyes that went beyond bedroom and leapt straight into a sexual dungeon.
Maxie could picture those eyes glistening with unshed tears as their owner stared up at him in supplication. He shifted and tried to discreetly adjust his swelling cock, wondering if tall, dark and handsome would take note… almost wishing he would.
Marco tried to rally once more, but in the face of the bigger, stronger alpha’s growing agitation, he had to back down. He opened his mouth to speak, probably to deliver some scathing comment about short redheads or drop a name no one really cared about, but the big guy lifted his hand and pointed. Within seconds another large, though not as intimidating man, an obvious beta, stepped forward and got a good grip on Marco’s arm.
“Unhand me,” Marco hissed, but the new guy, dressed in a black T-shirt and dress pants, leaned down to speak. “You don’t know who you’re fucking with,” Marco snapped at him. “I’ll have your job –”
“Listen, buddy. You’re causing a scene. If Mason says you have to go, you’re out. No questions asked.” Before he could cause a bigger scene, Marco was spun around and smartly toe-walked to the front door.
“I love a man with power,” Maxie muttered, trailing off as he realized he was speaking out loud. He turned to offer an apology as sincere as he could make it, but the mirth growing in the big guy was plain enough to see. Maybe Maxie could salvage something out of this night after all.
“And I love a man who knows what he wants.” The alpha shot him a toothpaste-commercial grin and uncrossed his arms. “Mason Klien. And you would be?”
“Incredibly turned on,” Maxie flirted.
“Oh, I could tell.” Mason’s eyes dropped to the bulging crotch of Maxie’s pants. “It shows.”
“Clancy Maxwell — and yes, my parents wanted me to be a priest or a monk with a name like that.” He chuckled, his cock jumping as Mason’s low laugh rolled over him like thunder. “But you can call me Maxie.”
“Well, it was a pleasure meeting you, Maxie.”
Mason’s gaze trailed over him, and Maxie shivered as if it were an actual caress. This alpha was hitting all his switches. “And you as well, Mason.” He let his eyes travel over the massive body once more. “A pleasure I don’t want to end…”
Mason tilted his head as if considering Maxie’s small stature and his commanding words. “You don’t, do you?”
Mason’s dark, deep drawl tore Maxie up inside. It had been years since he had to work for dick, but Mason was making him want to get back into the game. “No, I don’t. Join me, please.” He batted his gray eyes, knowing they looked almost otherworldly in this light and were one of his best features.
“Mason.” The beta bouncer returned, clapping Mason on the shoulder. “I got him out and I’ll start on the report. Hell of a way to spend your day off, man.”
“Thanks, Jason.” Mason offered the other man a smile before Jason melted back into the shadows of the VIP room. Then Mason turned to face Maxie once more. He raised one eyebrow. “Still want that drink?”
Maxie realized that the man had to be the head bouncer, the cooler, in this place. “The beta implied you work here?”
“Mind sharing the rest of your night with the help?”
“Depends,” Maxie drawled. “Are you off duty, or was he trying to help you save face?”
“Day off.” Mason’s full lips were pulling into a grin, showing just a hint of the mating fangs all alphas were born with.
Maxie knew when an alpha was ready to mark his mate, those teeth would descend and clamp onto the mate gland of a willing omega or beta. With the size of this alpha, Maxie reasoned, it would have to be an omega. A beta male or female would not be able to stretch wide enough to take his alpha knot nor rest comfortably while they were tied for however long it took for the knot to go down.
“Here for a quick pick-up?” Maxie had to force the urge to use his omega scent to make the man capitulate to him faster. No alpha could resist when an interested omega sent out the mating call, but Maxie wanted Mason to desire him for different reasons than a quirk of biology.
“Here out of boredom, and… other things,” Mason drawled. “But I am open to…” His gaze trailed over Maxie’s body, pausing at his crotch, before meeting Maxie’s eyes once more. “Offers.”
The heady alpha scent dissipated, and he realized maybe he and Mason were on the same page. Biology would not be used by either of them in his mating dance.
“Have we done enough innuendo now?” Maxie asked, relaxing in the face of the other man’s good humor. He couldn’t really believe that tall, dark, and handsome was chatting him up. Maxie’s show of defiance earlier would usually make most alphas back away. It seemed only betas could and would tolerate such an outspoken partner.
“Enough to keep me interested.” Mason stepped closer, looming over him. “Drink or walk?”
“Both, so long as it’s not a walk down some dark alley.” When Mason arched an eyebrow, Maxie added, “Not on the first date.”
Mason’s laugh was booming and Maxie felt himself more than intrigued. Mason was hitting all the right buttons for him. His voice was deep, he was big, and there was something that screamed spank me, Daddy in his stance. “You do know I’m after your body, right?” Maxie had to ask. The alpha seemed so honest in his reactions that he felt the need to do the same.
“I’m the head of security in a gay bar usually used by alphas and betas to pick up willing omegas. What do you think?”
“I think I’d like a rum and coke.”
“Then shall we?” Mason offered his arm and, almost as if he had been compelled by magic, said, “To the bar?”
“And maybe more,” Maxie agreed, taking Mason’s arm and biting back the urge to moan in submission as he felt the solid flesh beneath his hands.
With a grunt of approval, Mason turned and guided him toward the exit to VIP. If the other omegas there were watching, Maxie paid them no heed. He knew he had scored the attention of the biggest, baddest alpha there. Let the other bastards imagine what being on his arm felt like. Maxie was enjoying the rush.

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