The Alpha's Captive Book 1 - Taken (Chapter Two, page 1 of 4)

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Harper was thirty miles from the Maryland border in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania, when her right front tire exploded.

The sound, as loud as a rifle going off, drowned out the top-fifty station. The car jerked to the side, yanking the wheel out of her hands as it lunged across the center stripe.

She slammed on the brakes, pulling hard to the right, and came to a rest on the muddy shoulder. For several seconds, she sat frozen behind the steering wheel as the panicked tempo of her heart slowed while Pharrell Williams' "Happy" blared and crackled in her speakers.

And then she started to curse.

It had been a bad day. A very, very bad day, which had started off with a call from her shift manager, who had wanted to fire her even though she'd arranged for her absence with the diner owner a week before.

It had gotten worse when the big party for her grandmother's eightieth birthday had devolved into a shouting match between her sister Christina and her cousin-and worse still when the cops arrived just as Harper stepped between the two and was rewarded for her efforts with her sister's punch, which missed their cousin by a mile to land squarely against Harper's cheek with enough force to leave her with a tender eye.

Harper had managed to talk herself out of a charge of disorderly conduct and had left the party in a furious black mood, damning her entire family-okay, except her grandmother-as she tore out of the drive.

And now this.

"Why'd you have to go and crap out on me now?" she asked her car.

But she couldn't be mad at it. The '68 Buick Skylark was her baby, and she spoiled, petted, and coddled it.

And in return, it broke down, seized up, smoked, and just now, tried to kill her by throwing her into oncoming traffic.

Harper sighed. Well, the tire really was her fault. She was flat broke after helping out her deadbeat ex-boyfriend-which she'd done for a month before she'd realized that he really never was going to try to get another job as long as he had her to mooch off of. So she hadn't had the money to replace her tires even though she knew they were getting bald. Anyway, she didn't want any old cheap tires for her Baby. It deserved only the best. And she couldn't afford the best, yet, so she hadn't gotten any at all.

She just couldn't resist a bad boy, even when the 'boy' in question was her car….

Harper put the parking brake on and killed the engine but left the radio blaring. She leaned across the wide bench seat to crank down the passenger window so she could to listen to the music as she changed the tire, then popped the trunk. She got out of the car, pausing to squint up and down the two-lane county road hopefully, wondering if there might not be some helpful guy in a pickup who might want to lend a hand.

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