Black Friday is here and we’re discussing the season with Paige Tyler’s Becker from In The Company of Wolves.
He opened his mouth to order her to drop the MP5 she had aimed at him, but nothing would come out. It was like she’d robbed him of the ability to speak. Shooting her wasn’t an option, though. And the idea of arresting her didn’t make him feel any better.
There’s a new gang of criminals in town who are organized and ruthless in the extreme. When Eric Becker, along with the rest of the Dallas SWAT team, ends up in the middle of a shootout, he immediately senses werewolves-a lot of them. Turns out, the new bad guys are a pack of wolf shifters.
In a spray of gunfire, Becker comes face-to-face with the most gorgeous woman he’s ever seen. Becker does the logical thing. He hides her and leaves the scene with the rest of his team.
Jayna Winston has no idea why that SWAT guy helped her, but she’s glad he did. Ever since she and her pack mates got mixed up with those Eastern European mobsters, everything had pretty much fallen apart.
So what’s a street-savvy thief like Jayna going to do with a hot alpha-male wolf who’s a police officer?
Danger at the Black Friday Super Sale
Thank you so much for asking me to participate in the Black Friday Event again! These stories are so much fun to write! Mine features the hunky werewolf/SWAT officer Eric Becker, the hero from my newest release in my Special Wolf Alpha Team (SWAT) Series,In The Company of Wolves!
“You seriously think they need all three of us here for security—with weapons?” Eric Becker asked doubtfully as he looked at fellow werewolves/SWAT officers Landry Cooper and Remy Boudreaux. None of them had on all the tactical gear they normally wore, like the bulletproof vests and gear-laden pouches, but they were wearing their dark blue uniform consisting of cargo pants, T-shirts, boots, and standard-issue police belt with sidearm. They even had handcuffs and their Tasers.
Not that Becker was complaining about earning a few extra bucks doing off-duty security. Now that he was living with his mate Jayna Winston and her beta pack, he could use all the money he could get. While he hadn’t done as much moonlighting as Cooper or Remy, all this show of authority still seemed like overkill to him. It was crazy enough that the big box value store where they were had hired three of the largest, most muscle-bound cops in the Dallas police department to stand around and look intimidating during the middle of their huge Black Friday sale, but the weapons and Tasers too? Becker couldn’t understand why it was necessary.
He expected Cooper to say something snarky when he asked his friend as much—that was how the SWAT team’s demolition expert answered every question—but instead he walked over to Becker, grabbed him by the shoulder, and spun him around to face the big row of glass windows at the front of the store.
That’s when Becker got his first look at the mob of shoppers waiting to get in the doors when they opened precisely at two A.M. And what he saw made him flinch.
Becker was a werewolf. He’d gone up against hundreds of armed and dangerous murderers, lowlifes who abused women, gang members, drug dealers, and every other kind of bad guy out there. He’d been shot, threatened with knives, and had someone come at his head with a baseball bat like it was the start of spring training. In all that time, he’d never felt even a quiver of concern for his safety. But one look out that window and the sea of zombie-like faces pressed up against the glass like a horde of brain-eaters waiting for the official start of the apocalypse and Becker suddenly decided that he, Cooper, and Remy might be in trouble.
“How many people are out there, do you think?” he asked.
Cooper shrugged as he looked out at the crowd. “Maybe two thousand, give or take a couple hundred.”
“And they’re all here to save a few bucks on a big screen TV or a pair of Hello Kitty bedroom slippers?”
Cooper chuckled. “Some of them are here for the sales, but I think most are just drawn to the spectacle of it all—the lights, the crowds, the mindless energy. I doubt they even know why they’re here.”
Damn, Becker mused. They’re even more like zombies than I thought.
“So, what’s the play here?” Remy asked. “If you pop the first few in the head, will the others run or just slow down long enough to eat the fallen?”
Cooper gave the team’s resident Cajun werewolf a disapproving look, but Becker figured it was only because the more senior cop hadn’t come up with the line first. It’d been a really good one.
“Our job is to be a calming presence,” Cooper told them patiently. “Remember, we’re not here to arrest peoples. We’re here to de-escalate the situation when things get tense.”
Becker did a double take. Who was this guy, and who the hell had kidnapped his best friend? Cooper was smart as hell, and his instincts were better than any other werewolf’s on the team, but he’d never exactly been the most mature guy in the pack. Hell, he usually cracked jokes in the middle of a firefight. Now, here he was talking about keeping people calm and de-escalating situations. It was all very intelligent and probably fit this situation perfectly, but at the same time it was weird hearing it come out of Cooper’s mouth. It was like a very grown-up, serious alien had taken over his friend’s mind and was making him behave like a supervisor. Becker could imagine poor Cooper trapped in there somewhere shouting to be let out so he could say something inappropriate and snarky.
He would have said as much to his friend—and suggested a good dose of shock therapy to snap him out of the condition—when a harried looking store employee rushed past them and headed toward the front doors with a set of keys in his hands. The sea of zombie shoppers immediately perked up and started surging for the door, signaling that the time for fun and games was over. Stuff was about to get real.
Cooper glanced at him and Remy. “Get in there with the first wave of people. Use your size and strength to slow down the rush. If you see someone go down, get them up fast before they get trampled. Make eye contact with anyone you see pushing and shoving and intimidate the hell out of them if you have to.”
Becker moved to follow Cooper’s lead, Remy right beside him. Crap, it felt like they were going into battle. If Cooper said anything about waiting until they saw the whites of their eyes, Becker was going to say the hell with this security gig and go home to climb back in bed with Jayna.
The moment the store employee unlocked the doors, the horde rushed in like they were being chased by a bull. Becker stared. Maybe he should have worn his riot gear. These people were insane. Some of them were practically foaming at the mouth at the idea of buying an item they probably hadn’t even realized they wanted before tonight.
While there was some pushing and shoving to be sure—and more running around on the customers’ parts than Becker would have liked—it wasn’t as crazy as Cooper had made it out to be. Most of the early shoppers were interested in the big screen TVs that were on sale. He used his six-foot-four-inch body to slow them down—sort of like a werewolf speedbump—and successfully prevented a complete stampede.
“Well, no one got crushed or trampled. Let’s consider that a win,” Cooper muttered as the big push at the doors subsided. “Becker, you head for electronics and keep things calm over there. Remy, you’ve got the toy section.”
Remy gave him an affronted look. “Why do I have to hang out in the toy section and Becker gets the cool electronic stuff?”
“Because the toy department will be filled mostly with women. I’ve seen them get more violent than men when they’re on the hunt for a bargain, and that accent of yours tends to make anything of the female persuasion go all doe-eyed and goofy,” Cooper said. “Now get over there and charm the ladies so they don’t try to kill each other over the Avengers action figures.”
When Remy looked at Becker, he only shrugged. He couldn’t really argue with logic like that. Remy’s Cajun accent did have a way of turning completely adult women into giggling teenage girls. Might as well make use of it.
Becker was just heading for the land of the big TV when Cooper’s voice turned him around. “Hey! If either of you hear a voice come over the loud speaker announcing a Black Friday Super Sale item, get your butts to that location ASAP.”
Becker had no idea what a Super Sale item was, but Cooper made it sound a little scary. Keeping his friend’s word in mind, he weaved his way through the crowd and headed for the electronics section. And not a moment too soon. Two guys were already arguing over a 52-inch LED unit with free wall mount. The crazy thing was that there were at least four more of the same TV sitting right there in a stack on the floor. But the two big cowboys seemed more interested in getting into a fight over the one they were holding than in simply turning around to get another.
“What’s the problem here?” Becker asked, putting a hand on each of the men’s shoulders to get their undivided attention.
Both guys quickly turned around, as if willing to forget their beef with each other now that there was someone else to focus their ire on. That was until they saw that Becker towered over them. Hell, they were barely eyelevel with the SWAT insignia on his chest. Plus, he had about forty pounds on each the guys, not to mention biceps bigger than their necks. The men took one look at him and decided they didn’t even want the damn TV to begin with.
That was okay. Within seconds of the two grumbling men walking away, three more people rushed in to take their place. Becker shook his head as they eagerly grabbed the boxes on the stack.
The next two hours were more of the same, stopping fights before they started, helping people pick up boxes that were way too big for them to move, and calming down anyone who got upset when something they’d supposedly wanted had already sold out. While some muttered their disgust whenever that happened, most of the shoppers didn’t make a fuss. Well, all except for one idiot who refused to believe the store didn’t have any more of a particular item in stock. He tried to get some of the other nearby customers riled up and convinced that they should storm the warehouse part of the building.
“That’s where all the best stuff is kept in reserve for store employees,” the guys added.
It didn’t look like anyone was buying the guy’s crap, but Becker didn’t intend to take any chances. Stepping forward, he put a heavy hand on the man’s shoulder.
“Would you like me to take you into the back?” he asked softly, giving the man a smile that no one on the planet would mistake as pleasant. “I can give you a private tour and show you everything you have coming to you.”
The guy’s eyes widened. “Um, no… That’s okay. I’m good.”
“I insist. Come back to the warehouse with me. It’s sorta dark back there. Kind of spooky, too. But trust me, I won’t let anything bad happen to you.”
The guy was gone in a flash. Becker didn’t have time to enjoy the momentary reprieve because a voice came over the store’s intercom announcing a Black Friday Super Sale item in the Christmas decor area of the store.
“Hurry over to our Christmas shop near the outdoor living area and get your hands on the hottest Santa decoration of the year at the lowest price of the year,” the voice on the loudspeaker said excitedly. “It’s a Black Friday Super Sale. Buy now while supplies last!”
Becker was on his way to the outdoor area before the announcer’s voice even finished, but he was still too slow. Herds of people were already heading for the sales location well ahead of him, and they were moving fast. He got there just in time to see the first swing being thrown. He had no idea what the hell the people were fighting over, but whatever it was, they wanted it really badly. Cooper was already at the scene, trying to keep people from crushing each other. Remy showed up a few moments after Becker.
There were a few fights in progress. Cooper quickly moved to break up one of them, while Remy did the same with another. That left Becker with a gray-haired lady who was swinging her fists at a skinny teenaged girl holding onto a red box with a picture of Saint Nick on it while insisting that was her “Super Sale Santa.”
“Enough!” Cooper ordered in a growl loud enough to echo around the whole store like it was the Grand Canyon.
Everyone in the entire store—and probably the parking lot too—froze in place.
Becker used the distraction to grab one of the Super Sale items off the top of the rapidly disappearing stack and gave it to the old woman. The lady smiled her thanks, called him a “sweet boy,” then tucked the box in the crook of her arm like a football player and lunged through the crowd of bodies around them like she was a running back fighting for the goal line.
It wasn’t until the woman had disappeared that Becker had a chance to see what the heck she and the rest of the crowd was going so crazy over. When he finally did, he cursed under his breath. It was a Santa wearing long johns with the back flap was hanging down. Oh, and apparently he wiggled his naked butt in time with some really obnoxious Christmas song.
Who the hell would want one of those things, even if it was on sale?
The answer was everyone. Hoping to keep the crazy shoppers at bay, he, Cooper, and Remy handed out the entire stack of dancing dolls. When they were gone, Becker thought they might have to break up another fight as people began grousing, but luckily the store had another whole pallet load of the silly things. He and the other guys handed them out in a blur. The crowd was ravenous, and not just for the sale items. More than once Becker felt hands on his bicep, thighs, and butt—and the touches weren’t incidental. He was pretty sure the women—and maybe a few men—were testing out the merchandise to see if it was worth buying.
Since no one ever made an offer, he could only guess that his price tag must have been too high.
“I can’t believe anyone would want these things,” Remy muttered, looking at the display dancing Santa after the crowd had moved off to the next item of interest. “It’s ugly.”
Cooper picked it up and studied it. “I don’t know. His face kinds of grows on you, don’t you think?”
“No,” Becker and Remy said at the same time.
Cooper shrugged. “You two have a right to your opinion, even if it’s wrong.”
Becker was about to ask if Cooper was being serious when a high-pitched scream came from the far end of the store. He took off in that direction, leaping over carts and weaving in and out of the crowd, Cooper and Remy right behind him.
“Stop him!” a woman shouted somewhere on their left. “He stole my purse!”
Remy ran over to her while Becker headed for the front of the store. If someone had stolen something that was where the thief would go.
He was right. A scrawny guy in blue jeans and a denim jacket was sprinting for the doors, clutching a huge purse that definitely didn’t go with what he was wearing.
Becker had to remind himself not to run too fast—or let his fangs and claws out—but he still sailed over the checkout counter at a dead run, hit the floor on the other side in a roll, and came up moving fast. He cut off the purse snatcher just before the guy reached the doors, then stood in front of them. He didn’t pull his sidearm or Taser, but instead stood there, arms folded over his chest.
The thief must have figured that since Becker didn’t pull his weapon, he wasn’t serious about stopping him because the guy kept coming. He slammed into Becker at full speed and promptly bounced off like he was made of rubber. To his credit, the purse snatcher jumped right back up and ran for the doors again, around Becker this time. Becker darted sideways, blocking his way.
“Drop the purse and you can just walk out of here,” Becker said.
He couldn’t believe those words were even coming out of his mouth, but Cooper had said they were simply here to de-escalate the situation, and arresting this guy would be anything but that. On top of the official paperwork, it’d be in news too. Besides, unless there was over fifteen-hundred dollars in that purse, it’d end up being petty theft anyway and the guy would be back on the streets before Becker could even fill out the aforementioned paperwork.
Unfortunately, the thief didn’t cooperate. Muttering an obscenity, he took a swing at Becker, then tried to scurry past him. Becker ducked the punch and planted his open hand in the center of the man’s chest, shoving him back ten feet. Amazingly, the guy kept his feet. He probably would have rushed Becker again, but by then Cooper and Remy showed up. Remy grabbed the lowlife by the back of the jacket and picked up the man so that his feet dangled a foot above the floor. The thief swore and struggled, but it did no good. He wasn’t going anywhere.
Cooper took the purse from him and handed it to the woman he’d stolen it from. Glaring at the thief, she opened it and quickly checked to make sure everything was still inside. Store security got there just as she finished up her inspection.
Remy cuffed the guy, then handed him over to the two security guards while Cooper called for patrol to come pick up the thief. As security led the purse snatcher away to a holding area, the crowd who had gathered to watch the whole thing broke into applause. While Becker and Remy grinned and took their bows, Cooper just shook his head and walked away.
“Any chance you boys are on sale?” the owner of the purse asked with a smile. “Maybe a buy-two-get-one-free deal?”
Becker chuckled. “I’m taken, but Officer Boudreaux is available.”
Clapping Remy on the shoulder, Becker left him with the women and caught up to Cooper as he headed toward the back of the store. “How much longer are we on the clock?”
Cooper glanced at his watch. “An hour or so until the day shift comes on. Unless you want to pull a double?”
Becker snorted. “No way. This Black Friday shopping crap is exhausting. I don’t know how these people do it. And I don’t know how you come back here year after year.”
Cooper laughed. “The money’s good. Besides, you never know where or when a werewolf might meet The One for him. Maybe I’ll stumble over my soulmate in the Christmas decor section.”
While Becker had to admit he never thought he’d meet his one-in-a-billion mate in the way he had, something told him that Cooper wasn’t destined to run across his One in the middle of a big box store during a Black Friday sale. The demolition expert was way more likely to meet a girl in the middle of some crazy explosive situation.
But as he glanced back at Remy and saw him chatting with the woman whose purse had been stolen, Becker admitted he might be wrong. Maybe Cooper would finally be the one werewolf in the Pack to finally meet his true mate without a lot of drama—and bloodshed involved.
Meet Paige Tyler!
Paige Tyler is a USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them.
Contact Info: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Tsu | GoodReads | Amazon | Pinterest | Newsletter
Want to purchase Paige’s novels?
- Her Perfect Mate
- Her Lone Wolf
- Her Secret Agent
- Her Wild Hero
- Her Special Alpha
- Her Fierce Warrior (Mar 1, 2016)
- Her Proud Warrior (Sep 6, 2016)
Animal Attraction (Alaskan Werewolf #1)
Vampire 101 (Modern Day Vampires #1)
Animal Instinct (Men of Alaska #1)
Spank Me, Maybe
Rekindled (Dallas Fire & Rescue #1)
Hot SEALs: Her Special Alpha
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Thanks so much for having me! :)
I love Paige Tyler’s books!
Thank you so much Kay! :)
I have several of these books and need to put the first on my kindle to read
Yay! Let me know how you like it! :)
Had tried to comment yesterday but it didn’t take. Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. It was a great beginning for my day. I too think of the mass of Black Friday shoppers with some alarm.