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“Original, edgy, dangerously dark, and captivating. Addison Cain has a twisted mind that makes me stand back in awe. Do not miss this series!” - Alta Hensley, USA Today bestselling author

A broken, vicious, affectionate, and evil man.

Main Tropes

  • Omegaverse
  • Dubious Consent
  • Knotting, Heat Cycles
  • Abduction, Blackmail
  • An Unrelenting Antihero
  • Age Gap
  • Possessive, Obsessive Male
  • Virginal Heroine. Resistance
  • Forced Pair-Bond


“Original, edgy, dangerously dark, and captivating. Addison Cain has a twisted mind that makes me stand back in awe. Do not miss this series!” - Alta Hensley, USA Today bestselling author

A broken, vicious, affectionate, and evil man. 

My monster. My captor. My mate.

How will I ever forgive myself for falling in love with someone so cruel? Someone who loves me so deeply, so completely, that he will never let me go.

The third book in Addison Cain's exciting, raw, and suspense-filled Paranormal series is an addictive Dark Romance that will keep you up long past your bedtime.

Intro into Chapter 1

Collar of his coat flipped up to protect his neck from the
growing cold of the halls, Shepherd returned at last from being called away by
his soldiers. He found his mate nervous, the acrid scent of Omega fear spoiling
the air. But, mostly she was expectant and blissfully unaware of just what was
going on above ground.

And he would never tell her.

Shepherd made no move to approach the panicky woman, he
simply stood as Claire looked him over from boots to skull. The Omega searched
out any hint of what had called him from her, looking for blood splatter, or
the swelling of his knuckles, relieved when she found nothing out of the

His Claire was angry, but far more reassured that he’d
returned seemingly normal.

When the Omega stepped forward to touch him, to initiate
what had to be done to seal their bargain, Shepherd spoke. “You are hungry,
little one. We will eat first.”

We will eat first?

Shepherd did not go to the door to fetch food. Instead, he
went to where he stored his clothing and began pulling off his coat, armor, and
boots. Bunched muscles flexing, he pulled his shirt over his head, handing it
to her. Unthinkingly, Claire took it and put it, as he expected, in her nest.

Distracted by the task, the Omega chewed her lip, taking time
to arrange the scented fabric and remove something old to be washed.

A knock sounded, Shepherd barking for the visitor to enter.

Jules came in with their food, set it down and left in
seconds—the trivial familiarity he shared with Claire completely concealed by
his indifference. She found it minorly amusing, especially the way Shepherd
shifted to put his body between her and the Beta.

When the door closed, Claire found it very difficult to
suppress a snort.

“What is funny?” the male growled, narrowing his eyes.

You are funny, Shepherd.” Claire arranged herself at
the table. “That man has brought me meals dozens of times when you are not
here—so you must trust him. Yet there you are, glaring at him as if he were not
your friend. You have serious issues...”

Shepherd only grunted in answer. Dressed only in trousers,
he came to the table. “It is a natural reaction for an Alpha to guard his Omega
from dangerous men.”

But not dangerous women...

Glancing at the food, Claire felt wholly disillusioned. She
began to comprehend what was going on, what he had arranged for himself. This,
the meal, was a show—a show where she was not spectator, but entertainer. She
was expected to perform for the man lowering himself into the seat across from
her. Reminding herself their agreement only required she initiate sex, nothing
more, she picked up her fork and chose not to argue. Instead, Claire focused on
the beautiful dinner, the male mirroring her movements and tasting the food.

It seemed awkward, the silence, and out of habit and good
manners, Claire found herself wanting to make small talk, knowing it would be
both pointless and something Shepherd would not respond to.

Except, he began it. “I have been told this is one of your
chef’s most famous dishes.”

Cocking a brow, Claire looked up from the steamed fish and
nodded, momentarily confused. “My chef? You do not eat his cooking?”

“Her cooking, and no.”

That seemed strange. “What do you normally eat?”

“What my men eat. Communal food amongst those who’ve endured
the Undercroft bears an importance I do not expect you to understand or submit

There were a great many things about the man she didn’t

Seeing that the woman was puzzled and still tense, Shepherd
offered a modicum of explanation. “After years subsisting off mold, our
digestive tracts have altered. Followers’ diets must be bland, and the
required nutritional additives have an unpleasant taste and smell. The bulk of
my meal was consumed before I returned to you. This is… supplementary.”

Was that why he never ate in her presence? She looked at the
beautifully arranged plate. “Well, considering all your other physical
attributes, I think it’s only fair you have one restriction.”

The male smirked, gratified. “Physical attributes?”

“You are very tall,” Claire quipped flatly, taking another
bite, not at all interested in padding the Alpha’s ego.

His foot bumped hers under the table. “List another

Dodging Alpha pride was something Claire had years of
experience with. “You are bald. It must save time not combing your hair.”

Narrowed eyes matched his agitated reply. “I shave my head.”

Claire sneered, pleased her slight had pricked him, and took
another bite of dinner.

“You are playing with me, little one,” he added, intrigued,
once he saw her mischievous expression.

Gesturing with her fork, Claire explained. “You’re arrogant
enough. I am not going to feed that beast.”

Shepherd countered, his own evil smirk appearing. “You will
later. When I move inside you tonight, you will hum about my prowess and
strength… You will want to say all those things and more.”

The self-satisfied expression, the fact she knew what was
coming—worse still, the fact he could inspire such a declaration—made Claire’s
cheeks flame. She would cry out for him, admire him physically with her hands
and tongue, but she would keep her words to herself. “We shall see.”

The grin that spread his scarred lips, the absolute hunger
in his expression, only added to the Alpha’s excitement. “A challenge from the
coy, little Omega...”

For a second, Claire believed he might reach across the
table and devour her. Even the way Shepherd breathed as he watched her eat
implied his exercise of control warred with his impulse to mount her.

“You seem like you are in an awfully good mood.” Claire
thought back to how he had left her earlier, lingering anxiety matching the
disapproval in her voice. “What did you do today?”

“Nothing of importance, aside from wondering what would be
waiting for me in this room when I returned,” Shepherd purred, charmed by her
attempted interrogation. “I think of you often when we are parted.”

Gods, even his scent was dripping sex.

The whole secret lies in confusing the enemy, so that he
cannot fathom our real intent. -Sun Tzu

Sucking her lower lip into her mouth, Claire tried to figure
out if he was trying to distract her, or mislead her. Looking at him, at the
exposed musculature of his chest and arms, she found Shepherd sat with
arrogance and authority, as if her regard were his due. Claire cocked her head,
she tested. “If you were so eager for the remainder of our bargain, then why
are we eating together?”

“Out of respect for my mate. I had fine food prepared and we
are engaging in conversation, as you stated you desired... and as Dome culture

Claire understood at once, this was not just a shared meal.
It was Shepherd’s attempt at another courtship custom—like the foam flowers in
her coffee. Pushing her hair behind her ear, her nervous blush deepened.

He exercised the softer expression he saved for the kill. Claire
saw it, and knew at once her assessment was correct. Shepherd was, in his way,
trying to woo her.

Unsure, Claire murmured, “This is to relax me.”


“So I perform better for you?”

He gave her a long look that said yes, no, and a thousand
other things. Unsmiling, his head just a tick to the side, Shepherd grunted.
“You do not appreciate the effort?”

There was definitely a wrong answer, and that was the only
one she wanted to blurt out. Biting her tongue, she looked at the shirtless man
and said, “You are courting me.”

“According to your customs, yes.”

She was not sure what made her curious, but Claire had to
ask, “Wouldn’t they also be your courtship customs?”

The man seemed momentarily at a loss for an easy answer.
“There was no concept of courtship in the Undercroft. Men just took what they
wanted. Violently.”

All too familiar anger bubbled under her skin, Claire aware
that was exactly what he had done to her. “So that is the culture you choose to
identify with?”

It seemed like such a simple question, but Shepherd took his
time measuring his reply, as if tailoring it in his head first. “I choose to
identify with military culture.”

The corner of her lips curled, Claire took another bite,
wondering how on earth the crazy man across the table existed.

Shepherd disliked her reaction. “You find my answer

Waving her fork, she stated blandly, “I find it unique. Very


Claire leaned forward and met his eyes with a harsh look in
her own. “You have strong opinions on my culture, have made several
claims of our failings and vices... but you do not have a culture of your own.
Considering the aspersions you cast, it seems your personal experience with
real society is negligible.”

The male straightened in his chair. “I have extensively
studied Dome life for many years. I lived above ground and below. I watched,
learned, followed, and remembered.”

The man was completely missing her point, or he was
redirecting her on purpose. “Have you participated in my society before you
tried to ruin it? Only watching doesn’t count. Your military culture, the ethos
you created for your Followers, is just Undercroft society tailored to
conveniently meet your manifesto.”

Shepherd warned, “We have our own traditions and an
honorable philosophy, little one.”

“That’s right, a whole army of honorable monsters who
probably roast humans on a spit for fun.”

The man answered with a very droll, “We only do that on high

Claire almost choked when Shepherd actually made a joke.
Coughing into her hand, chuckling despite herself, she found the male very
pleased with himself for rousing her amusement.

She could feel the wheels in his mind turning, understood he
had tried to banter in the same manner he’d witnessed between her and Maryanne.
It was very strange to witness the way Shepherd’s mind processed and adapted.
He was like a sponge that absorbed interaction but didn’t quite know how to
apply it. So he practiced, usually falling short. Except that time... that time
had been perfect.

Taking another bite so she could hide her smirk, Claire
asked, “Enlighten me, Shepherd. Where do Omegas fit into military culture?”

Shepherd began to consider. It seemed like such a human
gesture, the way he sucked his plump lower lip into his mouth, so totally normal,
Claire could not look away. A moment later, Shepherd offered, “Napoleon was an

Claire blinked, cocked her head, and argued. “No he wasn’t.”

Shepherd grinned, leaning closer. “It is a well-documented
fact, little one. A fact pointedly removed from the Dome’s retained version of
history. Unlike you, I am not afraid to read forbidden books.”

If such a thing were true, then why was it considered
dangerous to know?

Claire did not believe him. “Are you telling me an Omega
pillaged through Europe’s monarchies and created an empire?”

Self-righteous to the core, Shepherd nodded. “That is
exactly what I am telling you.”

The idea he might be right, made Claire doubt herself. “Why
would that knowledge be forbidden?”

“Because it did not fall into line with the Callas family’s
crafted society all those living under the Dome are slave to.”

“Or maybe it was because that man was a megalomaniac and a
monster. Napoleon was insane and not the best role model for Omegas.” Even as
Claire disagreed, she didn’t support her own bad argument. It was obvious in
her uncertain tone and disappointed expression.

“Napoleon’s rule, even his ultimate defeat, led to
enlightenment, art, and the emancipation of the slaves in Britain. Napoleon
changed the world through his violent actions and commitment. He was a very
clever tactician devoted to his cause.” Shepherd offered what he perceived as a
compliment. “Would such an outcome not please you, little Napoleon?”

Her soft breath conveyed trepidation. “Is this where you try
to convince me he was a good man despite all the terrible things he did? That
you are a good man?”


Claire ran a hand through her hair, a nervous habit, and
offered, “You could be a good man, Shepherd.”

He leaned towards her, expression soft and voice natural.
“We are not so different in the absoluteness of our dedication to change the
world for the better. You gave up your very sense of self to the mob,
reprimanding the city with your flyer—exposing who you were, trying to inspire.
I do what must be done, because I am strong enough to do it, and I understand
truly evil men in a way I pray you will never know. So you must grasp that I
cannot be, in my duty, what you define as good—just as you could never
safely live amongst Thólos society as Claire O’Donnell ever again. We both
sacrificed our lives for the greater good.”

She didn’t know why she felt compelled to ask, but the
question came before she could stop herself. “What was your reaction to my

His entire expression darkened. “I was afraid for you,
little one.”

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