“Antonio.” Dominic walked to the table and plunked down a bottle of cheap champagne. “I’ve
decided to name him Antonio.”
Malcolm sipped his beer as a chorus of “good choice” rose up from the others. Wally and
Raymond Santos glanced Malcolm’s way, as if seeking permission to congratulate Dominic, but
Malcolm just kept drinking, and let them make up their own minds. After a moment, Wally
joined in with a raised glass to the new father, while sixteen-year-old Raymond busied himself
cleaning out a thumbnail.
Dominic paused behind the head chair. Billy Koenig scrambled out of it, making a quick
joke about keeping it warm for him. Dominic thudded into the chair and dropped his burly arms
onto the table so hard Malcolm’s beer sloshed. Typical Dominic—always throwing his weight
around, letting no one forget that he was Pack Alpha heir apparent.
“A drink for Antonio,” Dominic thundered, his voice reverberating through the dingy bar.
He turned to the owner, across the room, counting bottles. “Vinnie! Glasses!”
Waiting tables certainly wasn’t Vincent’s job, but he hopped to it. As Vincent approached,
Malcolm held up his empty mug. Vincent paused, but only for a second, then took Malcolm’s
glass. Dominic allowed himself only a split-second scowl, but it was enough for Malcolm. It
was easy to establish dominance when you were bigger than everyone else. Doing it without
that advantage was the real accomplishment.
Once the glasses were filled and distributed, Dominic lifted his. “To fatherhood.”
Everyone clinked glasses, even Malcolm. He knew how far he could push the future Alpha,
straddling the border of insolence, but never dropping over into insult.
“Now, how about a wager?” Dominic boomed. “Take bets on who’ll be the new father
sitting here next. I’ll pick Malcolm.” A quick grin. “God knows, he’s been trying hard enough.”
Malcolm gritted his teeth as the others laughed and called out good-natured jabs. It was his
own damned fault. Malcolm had meant to keep his hopes secret until he could