A Beta's Haven - Carrie Ann Ryan
Carrie Ann Ryan Carrie Ann Ryan
Carrie Ann Ryan Carrie Ann Ryan

A Beta’s Haven

Book 5.5 in the Redwood Pack Series

Being the Beta of the Redwood Pack isn’t an easy task, but Jasper has never complained. He’s spent his entire adult life dropping everything so he can take care of others. Now he’s a father, a husband…and tired. His mate, Willow, knows Jasper won’t let others know that he might need a break, even for a weekend, so that’s where she comes in.

Once Jasper lets go and allows his mate to call the shots, this Beta might just be in for the ride of a lifetime.

Author’s Note: This is a novella set between books 6 and 7 to give you a taste of Jasper and Willow. It is best that you have already immersed yourselves in the Redwood Pack world, however even new readers will enjoy a glimpse of one of the Redwood’s favorite couples.

read an excerpt

A Beta’s Haven is Book 5.5 in the Redwood Pack series

The story of Jasper Jamenson and Willow Delton began in A Taste for a Mate.

A Beta’s Haven


Chapter One

The warm, willing woman in his arms moaned, and Jasper Jamenson pulled her closer, loving the way she arched into him. She was soft, perfect. His. The delicate skin under his hands was familiar, and yet, with each touch, it was like finding something new, something precious, created only for him. His eyes were closed, but he knew he wasn’t dreaming, at least he hoped he wasn’t. He’d hate to have that happen. Again.

His mate, the love of his life, and his partner, Willow, wiggled her ass against his cock, and he moaned.

Loudly.

“Not so loud, Jasper, you’ll wake Brie,” Willow whispered, her voice heavy with sleep, gradually filling with need. He felt her body shaking—from holding back laughter or a moan of her own, he wasn’t sure. Well, he’d just have to make sure it was the latter. There would be no laughter from his mate while he had his cock pressed against her and when they were both ready to fuck, make love, connect…any of those words that would make them breathe heavy.

He nipped at her neck, and she tilted for him, giving him better access. He licked and sucked at her skin, the salty taste of her body from sleep mixed with the cinnamon that always danced on his tongue when he touched his mouth to her. He’d keep his moans down and try to be quiet, but only because he knew his daughter in the room next to theirs had hearing worthy of any wolf.

“You’re the loud one, darling,” he teased as he let his hand move to her breast. He plucked at her nipples, loving their reaction to him, pebbling in his palm as he cupped her breasts. He molded them in his hands, taking in their heavy weight. He trailed his hand from between her breasts down over her belly and below the shorts she wore, to the trimmed hair between her legs. He’d never tire of how soft his mate was. Oh, she might not have the full curves of other women, but she was perfect for him.

Willow spread for him, and he circled her clit, his cock hardening even more at the way she plumped for him with just one easy stroke. He’d make her come on his hand, and then, while she was still cascading down from her high, he’d slide his cock into her heat and pump into her until she came again, and he’d come with her.

Yes, that was a good morning he could live with.

He trailed one finger lower and froze as the door creaked open.

“Daddy! It’s breakfast time!” Brie squealed.

Jasper heard her little feet tap against the floor as she ran to his side of the bed. He quickly removed his hand from his wife’s pants and rolled to his other side so he could stop Brie from jumping into their bed. With just one look, she came to a stop, sliding a bit before regaining her footing. Jasper had his arm out to catch her, but he wasn’t needed.

This time.

“Morning, my baby girl,” he said, a smile on his face, even though he hadn’t gotten to finish what he’d started with his wife. Again. “What did we say about doors in this house, honey?”

She scrunched up her little face. Her brown hair tumbled in a mess around her head as if she hadn’t brushed it in weeks, though he knew Willow had put a braid in it before bed. Brie tended to sleep as wildly as she was when awake. Her braid never stayed in place.

His perfect little princess wanted to roughhouse with the boys, and Jasper was fine with it. Sure, she might carry a little more dirt than Willow would like, but at least, this way, Brie would learn to fight off the boys when they came knocking at his perfect little princess’s door.

Oh, and when they did, Jasper would be ready.

With his claws.

“Uh, don’t open it?”

Jasper rolled his eyes then sat up so he could tickle the little monster beside the bed when she moved closer. She giggled, the high-pitched sound grating on his nerves since he’d just woken up, but at least he knew his daughter was happy. He let her go, and she skipped to the door then looked back.

“Is Mommy making breakfast?” his little girl asked, her eyes dancing.

Willow let out a laugh beside him. He sensed her disappointment that they hadn’t finished what they’d started, but mixed with that was her amusement of their daughter, so he reached out and squeezed her hand.

“Yes, Brie dear. Or your daddy can make you cereal if you want.”

He looked over at his wife and said, tongue in cheek, “Cereal? That’s the best I can do? Is that a comment on my cooking, oh-mate-of-mine?”

Willow blinked up at him with those big hazel eyes he loved, the innocence act so not working.

“I have no idea what you mean, love.”

Jasper growled, though he couldn’t help the corners of his mouth lifting up. “I didn’t poison myself with my own cooking before I met you. I won’t poison our daughter.”

Willow raised a brow, sitting up to fold her arms under her breasts. “If you could find a way to poison anyone pouring a bowl of cereal, you’d be an extra special Beta, wouldn’t you?”

Brie giggled then shifted from side to side. Jasper narrowed his eyes. “Did you use your potty this morning?”

“Maybe,” was her reply. She scrunched her face, and he held back a curse.

With the rush of a man who was still learning the steps to this whole father-thing, he picked her up, ran her to her training potty, and let her get to work. She wiggled and smiled as she went about her business, and Jasper just leaned against the sink, wondering how the hell he’d ended up here—a place he loved but was drastically different.

He’d been a bachelor for almost a hundred years, the Beta to the Redwood pack, a Jamenson of royal werewolf blood. Now he was a husband, a mate, a father…and the Beta of a Pack who was being attacked on an almost daily basis from the Centrals—a Pack now run by a demon from hell rather than a wolf with a bent on ruling the world.

Yes. Things sure seemed to change in the blink of an eye.

And not all for the best.

He wouldn’t change who he was and who he’d become for anything in the world. He loved it all. He’d been there when his baby girl was born, even though Willow had kicked him out of the room a few times. He hadn’t been able to help it. He and his wolf had wanted to scream at his brother North for taking too long and letting his mate endure so much pain. He’d been there when his baby girl took her first steps, though he’d missed her first words because he’d been out on a call to fulfill his Beta responsibilities.

He’d been able to watch his wife and mate grow and find a rhythm with her wolf, even though the way she’d turned into one of his kind had been brutal and unyielding. He’d been able to watch his brothers fall in love, bond with their mates, and create the next generation of Jamensons.

Through all of that, he’d accepted his responsibility as the Beta, the one wolf who was bonded to the rest of the Pack in such a way that he knew what they needed, sometimes before they did. It was his job to ensure the needs of the Pack were taken care of so the others around him could function and move forward.

He loved his role in the Pack—even if he was so tired some nights the effort it took to breathe was almost too much.

With the Pack on the defense most days with battles and the threat of war, the health—emotional, physical, and functional—of their members needed to remain high, even if it wasn’t necessarily Jasper’s job to ensure it. Both he and his wolf knew when a Pack member needed something, such as time off or to focus on a new project, but that didn’t mean Jasper had to hold their hand to make it happen.

He did it because he wanted to.

Maddox, his twin brother, was the Omega, so he helped with emotional health of the Pack, much like Hannah, his sister-in-law, the Healer, helped with their physical health.

Jasper was the jack of all trades, doing what the moon goddess needed, even if he didn’t have a clear daily job these days. Between war meetings with the family, actual battles with the Centrals, and his duties as Beta, he didn’t spend as much time with Willow and Brie as he wanted to, and that hurt above all else. He could deal with the lack of sleep and barely scraping by his responsibilities, but he was missing so much with his family, and in that, he knew something had to change.

He just had no idea what.

If only the Beta could have an assistant or something.

“Daddy, I’m done.”

Jasper blinked and looked down at his little girl, who smiled up at him. He helped her wash her hands, took care of her training potty, washed his own hands twice more, and then carried Brie out of the bathroom upside down. He could have held her correctly, but he loved the way she squealed. He dodged a stray kick to the chin and kept moving.

As he moved, he caught a newer scent coming from his baby girl, one that had more to do with the magic within her ready to burst free than anything she might have rolled in. Knowing Brie, she could have rolled in just about anything.

His wolf nudged up against him, and he smiled. Yes, his little girl would be doing her shift soon. His own wolf could tell. All werewolves were born human, and usually, between the ages of two and three, they made their first shift into wolf pups. At that age, they had a little more control over their bodies to make the change, though all pups were a little rambunctious.

“Down, Daddy, down!” Brie giggled, the high-pitched sound not as grating now that he was awake, but damn, he needed coffee.

He set her down on her feet, and she scrambled to her chair in the dining room. Jasper followed his nose to the scent of fresh coffee then leaned against the archway so he could watch Willow in her element. No, he wasn’t being a chauvinistic ass. His Willow loved cooking and was freaking amazing at it. He still remembered the taste of the first omelet she’d made for him in this house and how he’d wanted to kneel at her feet and ask her to stay forever.

Okay, he might have done that anyway because his love and need for her wasn’t only for her omelets.

He licked his lips at the scent of the cinnamon from the rolls in the air blending with the sugar and cinnamon from his mate’s skin. He and his wolf loved the fact that his mate carried the scent of her famous cinnamon rolls on her skin.

Yep, she was totally perfect for him.

He came up from behind her and pulled her close. She laid her head back and sighed. “I’m almost done, then the rolls will have to bake for twenty minutes. I know Brie is hungry now, but I was in the mood for something extra sweet.”

He nibbled at her neck and hummed against her. “Me too, love.”

Willow laughed and wiggled away, the motion only making his cock stand more at attention. “Shoo. Go get Brie her yogurt so she at least has something nutritious. She can have half a roll when they’re done.”

He did as he was told and sat next to his daughter as she ate, laughing and telling him a story about her cousin Finn and how he’d turned into his wolf then tried to climb on a picnic table but had forgotten he had four paws instead of two feet.

He leaned back, sipping on his coffee, trying to ignore the long list of items he needed to get through and just listened to his daughter ramble. When she finished her story and ate more of her yogurt, she danced in her seat, unable to keep still for even a moment.

Jasper ran a hand through his hair, noticing it was again reaching his shoulders. His mother would scold him in that sweet way of hers, but Willow seemed to like it. Still, he needed to start taking better care of himself.

“Hey, Willow, what do you say the three of us go for a picnic or something today?”

Willow came out of the kitchen to the dining room, a frown on her face as she dried her hands. “Don’t you have to go to Isaiah’s house today then Ms. Clerk’s? They need your help with fixing something or other. After that, you have that meeting with Adam about patrols. You have to make sure that people are getting their shifts worked out, so they have a breather like they should, even though I think Adam knows that already.”

Jasper shook his head and stood up so he could bring her closer. “I think everyone can handle a day without me. Right?” Before the war, before he’d had his family, he’d been able to do just that. Now, though, things were different.

Willow smiled, her eyes bright. “I’d love it if you could do that. I have people coming into the bakery today to work. I was planning on taking the day off to play with Brie anyway. We’d love it if you could come with us.”

He grinned, his body relaxing for the first time in too long. He brought his lips to hers and sank against his mate.

His cell phone rang on the counter, and he cursed. “Let’s hope that’s something I can ignore.”

Willow gave a sad smile, patted his cheek, and then shook her head. “I know you love your job as Beta, Jasper. No, that’s not right… It’s not a job; it’s your calling, your duty. Do what you need to. Brie and I will be here. I promise.”

He kissed her forehead then picked up his cell. Of course it wasn’t something he could ignore, as it was one of the newly widowed witches in the Pack, Calista, who’d lost her husband during one of the Centrals’ attacks. Emotionally, she was a wreck, but she was maintaining with Maddox’s help. Jasper also had a duty to her, to be there to make sure she had all she needed to raise her kids, live her life, and try to find a way to move on.

After dressing for the day, and following a regretful kiss goodbye to his girls, he made his way to Calista’s. She was in a rare position in that she didn’t have any family within the den to help with things like a leaky pipe in her basement—the current job Jasper had to help with. Yes, his actual job in the human world, when he could get to it, was a contractor, but he barely remembered that world these days. Calista, however, didn’t have a job in the human realm. She’d been a stay-at-home wife to her mate and mom to her six children, something she loved.

Mateo, her late husband, had been one of the Alpha’s enforcers, a bodyguard to the Alpha, and had died protecting the Pack on patrol. Now Calista was alone, with no family except for Mateo’s great aunt who, at four hundred and twelve, was long past the age of wanting to help raise kids. She did it though. Calista wasn’t alone and was a strong enough woman that her kids were in a better place than they would have been if she hadn’t had such a steely backbone.

The woman couldn’t fix a leaky pipe though—something that pissed her off.

“I don’t understand it, Jasper,” she said as she soothed her four-year-old and brushed her six-year-old’s hair at the same time. “If it was just a normal leak, I could fix it, but this? This looks big.”

Well, she wasn’t wrong. The woman’s basement currently resembled a small lake. Since Calista wasn’t a wolf and didn’t have those extra senses, she hadn’t been able to hear the room filling with water. She’d caught it before it had gotten any worse only because one of her kids had noticed it.

“You could call it that,” Jasper answered easily. “I’m going to have to call Kade or someone else in to help me fix it.”

Calista sighed but nodded. “Is there something special I need to know about for cleanup?”

“Yeah, but I’ll bring people over to help. You’ve got enough on your plate to worry about mold.”

“Oh goddess. Mold?” Her voice rose to a squeak, and Jasper winced.

“We’ll take care of it. Don’t you worry.” He ran a hand over one of the little girls’ hair, missing his own Brie.

“I don’t know what I’d do without you, Jasper. I don’t know what the Pack would do you without you. You’re a great Beta.”

Jasper gave a tight smile and got to work. Yes, he might have been a great Beta, but he was a fucking tired one. He’d wanted to spend time with his girls, and now he was knee-deep in murky water.

Oh, the joys of duty and fate.

He loved his job, he really did. He just wanted to go back to a time when he had something else…something that was just about him.

Something gurgled behind him, and he turned, only to find himself drenched and dripping with sewage.

Fuck it.

He looked down at what he hoped was mud on his shirt.

He needed a vacation.

Or at least a towel.

Jasper let out a breath then bent to pick up his tool box from the steps. Seeing how he was mired in his own head and not paying attention like he should have been, he didn’t see the rusty pipe sticking out of the wall.

His head slammed into it, and he saw stars, swallowing back bile as he fell to his knees, the water now up to his chest.

He blinked a couple times, and then, just as the darkness slid over him, he heard shouts and his name.

At least he wouldn’t drown alone. He definitely needed a break.

end of excerpt

A Beta’s Haven

is available in the following formats:

Feb 18, 2014

ISBN-10: 1943123306

ISBN-13: 978-1943123308

Reviews of A Beta’s Haven

“A Romantic Little Story Perfect for Valentine’s Day!”

Emily's Book Reviews

“With screaming hot love scenes, hilarious scenes with little Brie, exhaustion and a fight with a Central, this short was packed!”

Rhonda's Book Reviews

“I truly enjoyed this look into Jasper and Willow’s life.”

SSLY Book Reviews