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An Alpha for Christmas

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Blurb

Dolly's the ninth wheel in her Christmas-obsessed family. Her three siblings all have their mates and her parents have each other. All Dolly wants is to have someone of her own so she drunkenly cuts the line, sits on Santa's lap and asks him for an Alpha for Christmas? Will she get her Christmas Wish?

An Alpha for Christmas (a novella or novelette) by Joanna J

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Chapter 1: Dolly Jolly Christmas
An Alpha For Christmas A Novella/Novelette by Joanna J Author's Message: This is a short novel (novella or novelette) to say Merry Christmas to my readers. Thanks for reading! xoxo Love Joanna J Chapter 1: Dolly Jolly Christmas Dolly Call me the Grinch but I dreaded Christmastime. For twenty-five year old perennially broke and single me, Christmastime was an onslaught of pressure to spend money I didn’t have coupled with responding to intrusive questions and rude comments from family members. My favourites included: Why aren’t you married yet? Did you find your mate yet? Can’t you hear your biological clock ticking? Are you being nice to the guys you’re dating? Are you even dating any guys? Why don’t you dress up more? Guys like that. Why don’t you dress more casually? Guys like that. Why are you wearing so much makeup? Men hate that. Why aren’t you wearing any makeup? Don’t you want men to notice you? You’re not being too picky, are you? Are you sure you’re not too picky? And my personal favourite: You’re a lesbian, aren’t you? I had no issue with lesbians but I wasn’t one. I liked guys but they didn’t like me and it wasn’t because I was mean or picky or plastered in makeup or not plastered in enough makeup. I was shy. I was a homebody. I worked and came home immediately after to spend time with my cat, Rudolph. She was my child as far as I was concerned. She didn’t have a red nose but it was very pink and her fur was white as snow. Despite her cheerful name, she was as grumpy as the Grinch, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. “Dolly!” Called my Mom, Carol, knocking on the door. “Yeah, Mom!” I yelled. I was rushing to get ready for Uncle Frosty’s Annual Christmas Party. His name wasn’t Frosty. It was Bill but he owned a popular ice cream parlour which he had grown into a chain of ice cream parlours all called Uncle Frosty. Thus, he went by that name, the name of his ice cream parlour persona. Uncle Frosty was known for his really unique flavours and his hearty deep laugh that shook his whole belly. His cheeks and nose were always red! He drank but he wasn’t a mean drunk. He was even more cheerful when he was inebriated. He had been our pack’s Mall Santa every year dating back to before I was born. “Holly!” Squawked my mother, banging on the door. “Mom! Please! Give me a minute!” I screamed, feeling exasperated already. I was trying to look presentable. I had put on a red puff-sleeved mini dress with black stockings and black ankle boots. I was contemplating changing. Red was so bright. Maybe I should wear all black. I looked at myself in the mirror. My jet-black hair wavy hair fell to my mid-back and my eyes were a very deep green that wasn’t noticeable unless one looked closely. My skin was a medium olive complexion. My mom had named me Dolly because of my pink cheeks. They had always been pink from my birth to this very moment. I had been checked for many different deficiencies but the tests had all been normal. I didn’t mind the name Dolly. I was actually glad to be the only one in the family who didn’t have a Christmas name. If I didn’t love the members of my family so much, I’d find them all so annoying. (Okay, I’m lying, I still found them a bit annoying despite my love for them.) Mom was named Carol and she loved to sing. She headed the Christmas Carolling group who harassed…I mean entertained the pack by going door-to-door each year. My Dad was named Ebenezer though he was certainly no Scrooge. He was very generous and passionate about charity work including his Toys for All Girls and Boys Charity where they made sure every child in the pack got a Christmas present regardless of their family’s finances. My eldest sister was named Fern and Ginger was the middle sister. Our brother was named Noel which he disliked for some reason, making everyone call him Nole instead. Mom and Dad refused to sign the form for him to have it legally changed when he was younger but they had agreed to verbally call him Nole. They spelled his name Noel in Christmas cards though. I sighed and came out of my room. It was December 23rd. Only two days till Christmas. I jumped as I ran right into Fern. She was dressed in all brown and what she called “sensible shoes.” She had rectangular rimmed glasses and a constantly serious expression. She loved peace and quiet so she had subsequently become a librarian. She had dark brown hair and an olive complexion with deep brown eyes. She was tall and slender. She was five years old than me at age thirty. Her mate, Christian, was the total opposite, flashy and fun. He was an award-winning solo figure skater. He was a few inches shorter than Fern, always in red, yellow or his signature, lime green. He had warm amber eyes and a pale, freckled face with bright red hair. Fern and her husband, Christian, seemed to have a pretty harmonious marriage despite their differences. Fern and I watched Christian disco-dance down the hallway towards us, singing a Christmas Carol. “Mom’s fuming!” Said Fern to me in her usual dead-pan voice. “Ok,” I mumbled, grabbing my coat. “Come on, Dolly! Cheer up! Have a Dolly Jolly Christmas!” Christian joked. Fern and I groaned at her mate’s corniness. “You’re supposed to wait until you are a Dad before you start making Dad jokes,” grumbled Ginger, my other sister, meeting us in the hallway. She was in a tiny red sequin dress with sparkly green tights and gold boots. She was actually pulling it off. Her long curly black hair was up in a high ponytail. Her red lipstick was perfectly applied as it should be. She was a makeup artist after all, the best one in our town of Swintersville. Like most packs in Wolf Country, the town and pack were named the same thing so we were the Swintersville Pack. Not the most intimidating name. Especially when two of the nearest packs were called Viper Moon and Ghost Moon. I could only imagine what they thought of us. Christian chuckled. “Just two more days thereabouts!” He said, rubbing Fern’s protruding belly. Fern was heavily pregnant and her due date was Christmas Day. I’d promised to be the one to deliver her baby at home because she wanted a home birth and Ginger had refused to take the Doula training. I, being a people pleaser, had taken the classes so I could support Fern during the home birth but we had a doctor on speed dial just in case. I sighed. My new job at an Event Planning Company was extremely busy this time of year and I wasn’t permanent there yet. My Scrooge of a boss was giving me a hard time. He didn’t even want me to get Christmas Eve or Christmas Day off. My boss, Alpha Nicholas Saint of the Swintersville Pack, was anything but saintly. He was a tyrannical egomaniac who was determined to look better than “that low-life Alpha Blitzen Comet” who was his biggest competitor business-wise and ran another neighbouring pack, the Spring Equinox Pack. Alpha Blitzen was actually a really sweet person and a beloved Alpha and Boss at his Events Planning Company, Surprise Surprise. Our company was called Sunrise Sunset and our motto was “Between sunrise and sunset and sunset and sunrise, we got you covered party-wise.” I had to say that every single time I answered the office phone. People often hung up before I was done. Unfortunately for me, Alpha Nicholas would be at my Uncle Frosty’s party. Ginger’s mate, Klaus, was letting us use his six-door jeep for the trip to the party. Klaus was a tall man with pale blond hair and clear blue eyes. He was a hiking instructor and therefore had a large off-roading vehicle. It could fit all of us including my brother Nole and his mate, Joy. Nole was wearing a brightly coloured itchy-looking knitted Christmas sweater Joy had forced him to wear. She had a matching one. Unlike Alpha Nicholas Saint, Joy was well-suited to her name. She was cheery one hundred and one percent of the time and she loved Christmas. Every year, without fail, come snow, sleet, scorching sunshine, rain or hail, she would knit Christmas sweaters, bake gingerbread men, make gingerbread houses, decorate the tree, hang the new curtains, cook a huge feast, give presents to the pack’s less privileged children and give lectures on giving to the pack’s more privileged children. She did it all. She was a kindergarten teacher so she was good with kids. She was a bit of a newbie at her current job as she had recently transferred schools so she was very enthusiastic about winning over her new batch of students. Joy came hurtling towards us, a huge grin plastered on her face. Her flawless deep brown skin was glistening. She was sweating despite the extremely cold weather and the fact that wolves rarely broke a sweat. She was definitely overworking herself. She was prone to being a bit of a workaholic. “What have you been up to?” Asked Ginger, raising her eyebrows inquisitively at Joy. Joy giggled. She tied her tousled dark curls up in a effortless bun that suited her. She had a cocoa complexion with dark eyes. She was five-foot-zero standing on tip-toe. Nole, her mate and my younger brother, was six foot six, making him exactly a foot and a half taller than she was. He was pale and muscular with black hair and green eyes. He wore a sullen expression though he’d never explicitly say no to Joy. He was folding his arms in such a way so as to hide the dorky sweater. “Noel and I were picking out a Christmas Tree!” She said gleefully. She was the only one allowed to call him Noel instead of Nole. “We already have one,” I said. “This one’s bigger! We can put this one in the living room. The other one is for the entrance room,” she said breathlessly. Had she been trying to lift that tree herself? She was a wolf with super strength like the rest of us but she was admittedly tiny. I would be kinda pissed if Nole hadn’t offered to bring in this huge tree. “She insisted on trying to carry the tree herself,”grumbled Nole. “No matter how much I tried to stop her.” Oh. “Kids!” Screeched Mom despite the fact we were all between the ages of twenty-three and thirty-three with Nole being the youngest present and my brother-in-law, Christian, being the eldest. My Mom looked exactly like an older version of Ginger and dressed just as loudly but managed to make it look good. Our father, Ebenezer, was so similar in looks to Nole, he looked like Nole from the future. His personality, however, was much more upbeat than his son. “Ready or not, kids, here we go!” Dad called. We piled into the six-door car. All ten of us fit. My parents often borrowed this car from Klaus specifically for family trips so they were always saying how much they wanted to get one themselves. It was more of a mini-van or a tiny bus than a car and it was sporting antlers that lit up. “Okay head check!” Announced Dad despite everyone in this car being an adult. “Good thinking, Honey! No Tree left behind!” Said Mom brightly, giving Dad a quick peck. Yes, our last name was Tree. I failed to mention it earlier because I was trying to leave it out of this story completely but Mom had just ruined that. Mom still used that joke even though my two elder sisters had taken on their husbands’ surnames after their nuptials “Fern and Christian?” Said Dad. “Here!” Exclaimed Christian. “Present,” said Fern, even less amused than I was. “Ginger and Klaus?” Called Mom. “Present!” They said in perfect unison. “Nole and Joy?” Asked Dad. “Here,” said Nole. Silence. “Joy?” Said Dad. Joy was wrapping presents in the backseat next to Nole who had a lap-full of huge floppy bows waiting to be stuck on freshly wrapped boxes. “Babe!” Said Nole, getting Joy’s attention. “Oh, here, sorry,” she said. “And last but not least,” announced Dad. I sighed internally. “Our girl, Dolly!” Squealed Mom. “Spiritually, I’m not here. I’m at home with Rudolph,” I said. For the record, I had named her that back when I was seventeen and still liked Christmastime. “To Uncle Frosty’s we go!” Yelled Dad, pulling out of the driveway. Mom, Christian and Joy cheered. Joy nudged Nole who then joined in on the cheering. Fern gave Christian a warning look before he dared to try to make her cheer. Ginger had her compact and makeup brushes out and was working on building her contour for a more dramatic look. Klaus was watching Ginger intently. I tried not to feel lonely but I did. Uncle Frosty would be doing his Santa gig for the kids at his party. Maybe I should sit on the Santa’s lap and ask him for a mate for Christmas.

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