I hadn’t really taken Becky seriously when she called my next appointment gorgeous. This isn’t a very big town, and Becky’s dated most of the single guys between 18 and 30. So I don’t trust her opinion of men. But when I walked out of the backroom and called out to him, I suddenly had a new respect for her taste. Because damn.
I’m pretty sure my panties got wet. I had to suppress a full-body shiver as those cobalt/azure eyes raked over my body. I know I’m not much to look at, at least not dressed like this. My hair was probably a mess. I’d just thrown it into a low-side ponytail while I was working.
And as much as I love the turquoise blue smock with the gold logo on the chest, I know it does nothing for my figure. Nor does it hide the basic white tee and dark wash jeans I was wearing. I knew I was meeting with a client, but someone… Becky… spilled her coffee on my brand new cobalt pintuck shirt dress, so I had to change into what I had on hand.
I really wish I had been wearing that dress about now. It was at least figure-flattering and even matched his eyes. Fuck, what is wrong with me? He’s the groom. I reminded myself. Where is the bride? I didn’t see anyone else here. And he wasn’t answering me. But when he finally did speak, I clenched my thighs. Can you orgasm just from hearing a man’s voice? Because if he keeps talking, I just might.
Bad. Bad. Bad Sarael. I berated myself. He’s the groom. Or apparently not. Thankfully he’s not the groom, just the groom’s brother. When our hands touched, I felt electricity jolt through me. I quickly covered up what happened by calling it static. But I’m not an idiot. I was raised knowing all about the supernatural. And I know there is a huge difference between static and what supernatural creatures call the mate bond.
Now granted as a human, we have no such thing. But humans can sometimes, very rarely, be the mate of a supernatural creature. If my family hadn’t already disowned me for past events that I refuse to think about right now, they would come in a heartbeat if they learned about this. But what kind of supernatural creature is he? Vampire? Demon? Angel? Werewolf?
“Right, static.” he nodded. “So, this is certainly different. Often if I’m not meeting with the couple, it’s a wedding planner or the mother of the bride.” I commented while still assessing him, trying to determine what kind of supernatural creature I’m dealing with. “Yes, well, my brother and his bride were supposed to be here. However, she has been sick, and he’s making her see the doctor. So as best man and big brother, they sent me. I do have this as reference.” his rich voice fills my ears. I clench my jaw, trying not to let the allure of him pull me closer. “Oh, well, I hope that she is well and nothing major is wrong.” I nodded.
I looked at the binder he was holding, stepping closer to take it from him. “May I?” I gestured to the binder. When my eyes looked from the binder back up at his handsome face, I sucked in a breath. His nostrils had flared, not in anger. No, I don’t think it was anger. He smelled me, which eliminates demon and angel from the list. They only recognize their mates by touch.
Werewolves and vampires go by smell and touch. It’s said that the smell of their mate can drive either of those species wild with desire. I gulped as my eyes connected with his, and I saw they’d darkened—a golden ring forming at their edges. I gasped softly, taking a half step back as I realized what I’m dealing with.
Deep in those hypnotizing eyes, I saw it. I saw a near-black wolf watching me with curiosity and desire. He’s a werewolf. I’m being hired to handle the floral arrangements for a werewolf wedding, which was odd. Werewolves don’t generally do human marriages. They mate and call it a day.
Unless his brother’s mate is a human-like me, does she know what she’s marrying? No, of course, she’d have to know. A werewolf would mark their mate. Most mark on sight with or without their mate’s consent. Of all the supernatural creatures, werewolves were the ones my family loathed the most. Hypocrites, but that’s not the point right now. The point right now is that apparently, John is a werewolf, and fate loves irony since I’m his mate.
He cleared his throat, ending our staring contest but not before I saw a flash of hurt in his eyes that I’d stepped back from him. “Yes, of course. Aurelia has been using this to keep tabs on wedding plans, and there’s a whole section regarding the floral arrangements. Everything from the flowers she wants at the ceremony to the table centerpieces for the reception.” he explained, offering the binder in a way to ensure we didn’t touch.
“Here, we can talk in my office.” I offered, gesturing for him to follow me as I flipped through the binder. This bride is well organized. I'll give her that. She had color-coded tabs for each segment of wedding planning. I flipped to the green section to find various scrapbook-style images of flowers, vases, and other examples of what she’s looking for. There were also images of the venue for the ceremony and the reception and the tables, table cloths, and table settings they intended to use.
I was so engrossed with the details I hadn’t looked to see if he was following me. But as I stopped to open my office door, I felt like eyes on me. Sneaking a glance behind me, I saw his eyes darkened, that gold ring back as his eyes were directed at my ass. Maybe I should be glad I had to change into jeans. They certainly accent my ass, or at least enough that he’s unable to look away.
I pressed my lips together to not smile. I shouldn’t be smiling about this. He’s a werewolf. No good can come of this. Look at my sister and all that happened when she let herself be lured in by one. “If you are done checking out my ass, Mister… I didn’t catch your last name.” I called him out. His eyes slowly moved up from my ass, taking in my curves before meeting mine.
This man held no shame in what he’d just done. Though was it the man or the beast within that held no shame? Hard to say as that ring of gold was still present. However, the gold seemed to fade in and out. Like he and his wolf were arguing over control. Eventually, the gold was gone, and I saw the wolf recede to the far reaches of his eyes.
“That would be because I didn’t offer it, Miss Adio.” he answered smoothly like he hadn’t just been checking me out. I sucked in a breath as his long arm reached around him and twisted the knob to the door. “Shall we continue with the appointment?” he asked, gesturing his hand to my now open door. His chest was millimeters from my back, and I could feel the heat radiating off him.
Oh, I am in so much trouble. I nodded curtly, turning my head away, and walked into my office. The room was small, with a solidarity window offering sunshine to the room filtered through a sheer white roman shade. I'd painted the room in an airy light blue to make it feel bigger, putting a cherry blossom wallpaper with a similar color blue background on the far wall as a focal point. The room was anchored by my grey desk that sat in front of the window.
I slipped into my chair, wanting to have the desk act as a barrier between us, and gestured to the two chairs across from me. “Well, since you aren’t Mister Christian and you seem to prefer to keep your surname a secret, I’ll have to call you Mister John.” I shrugged a little. “Now to business, Mister John. The bride did provide a very organized view of what she’s looking for. Based on what I’ve seen and the brief conversation I had with her when she scheduled the appointment, this will be a fall wedding on a horse ranch. So keeping with fall colors and a rustic theme.” I commented.
“Yes. So reds, yellows, and oranges. I know we need about a dozen centerpieces, flowers for the arch at the ceremony, and a dozen hanging arrangements to set at the end of each row of chairs along the aisle.” he nodded as he sat. If he sat any straighter, I’d have to wonder if his back was actually a steel pipe. Though for how properly he was seated, it seemed to suit him. It matched the air of confidence and refinement he had.
I nodded along, looking back at the binder so I would stop staring at him. If I did it much longer, he was going to find me weird. But I couldn’t help but want to stare. He was certainly the best-looking man I’ve seen. His facial structure was perfect—especially that strong chin and jawline that I wanted to reach out and trace with my fingers. I want to feel that five o’clock shadow I see darkening and highlighting his cheekbones.
“Yes. And I see she favors roses and dahlias for the arrangements. I can certainly put what she wants together, including the cascading bouquet she referenced.” I nodded, focusing on the binder. I need to focus on the job and not him. “How many bridesmaids and groomsmen?” I asked, making some notes. “Three of each. Though one of the bridesmaids is a boy.” he shrugged.
I arched an eyebrow and looked up at him. “A male bridesmaid? I suppose to each their own. Will he need a bouquet or a boutonniere?” I asked, barely managing to keep a straight face. Though I know my lips were twitching, wanting to smile, wanting to laugh. “Depends who you are asking.” his lips twitched just a little as I saw a glimpse of a smile.
“Meaning?” I asked, cocking my head. “My brother would obviously say to give her male maid of honor a bouquet like the rest of the women. Then again, if my brother had his way, he’d make him wear a dress like the others.” that smile was more pronounced now, and I saw it in his eyes. He thought it was funny too. “And I’ll assume the bride feels otherwise.” I nodded.
“Yes, she would like him to have a boutonniere and not be treated like a girl.” he shrugged those broad shoulders. Fuck, now I’m picturing digging my nails into them while in his lap or under him, having what I’m sure would be the most intense orgasm of my life. Though who’s to say the credit for that is because he’d actually be that good or just that my previous experiences were trash. Not that I’m going to admit it, but based on his looks, I would wager it’s him, and every other man would pale in comparison.
I shook my head a little, forcing away the lustful images and focused on the task at hand. “Then I’ll adhere to the bride’s wishes. As the saying goes, a happy wife makes a happy life. Your brother should learn it and live it.” I nodded while making more notes. “If we must.” he sighed, nodding his head. “Was there anything else you needed to proceed with finalizing? Logan hadn’t specified if payment was due today or a down payment.” he questioned.
“I will get a quote typed up, and you can either make the deposit today or wait and have the happy couple review the quote and go from there. Full payment won’t be due till the delivery is completed.” I outlined as I started typing quickly on my laptop. “I suppose it would be best to let them review your quote. Though she’s adamant about wanting you as the florist for the event.” he nodded.
I didn’t need to look to know he was watching me. My brain was split into pieces as I tried to focus on getting the quote put together while suppressing the shiver his gaze sent through me and trying to keep myself rooted in place to not throw myself wantonly at him.
Fuck is this seriously what it feels like when you find your soulmate? Do you have to fight the urge to touch, kiss, and, to put it bluntly, screw the other person’s brains out? Daring to glance at him, he didn’t seem bothered at all. Well, that’s not true every so often that gold ring would flicker in his eyes, and his nostrils would flare. Maybe he wasn’t as immune as he was letting on.
I am going to maim, I can’t kill him, but I can maim my brother when I get home. Of all the places in the world to send me. He had to send me to the one place that apparently has been hiding my mate. And fuck, this is not good. ‘Shut up! We have wanted our mate for years. You and I both know you are tired of being a mateless virgin.’ Irving scoffs as he eyes her ass while we follow her to her office.‘Stop looking at her ass. The hell, Irving? She’s going to catch us, and I’m not dealing with that.’ I scolded him. And, of course, as we were arguing about the ramifications of checking out our mate’s ass, she looked back and caught us. Damn it, Irving.And crap, now we are in an even small space with her. At least out in the show, the scents of all the flowers and her employee Becky helped counter her deliciou
I’m proud of myself. I managed to stay in control while in his presence, and after he left, things went without issue. But at the end of the night, as I was counting out the register, I spotted the copy of his card transaction. My eyes went wide, and I dropped it as my eyes saw his name. “John A Kinsley Jr.” I gulped as I dared even speak his name. THE John Kinsley was in my shop. THE John Kinsley is my soulmate!! I’m arranging flowers for a KINSLEY wedding! I was trying to wrap my head around that when another thought hit me. The Kinsley’s are werewolves! My breathing was erratic, but hey, it at least matched my heart. I wonder how my family would feel if they knew. The Kinsley family has funded archeological digs for my family for a while. I don’t know if the Kinsley family knows they are funding hunters in their search for ancient artifacts to u
Logan had apparently walked to the cemetery, so I gave him a ride back with me. I should have let him walk. “I understand your concern that she’s a human, but it doesn’t change that she’s your mate, brother.” he shook his head. “No, I don’t think you do. And you should. You brought Suzu and Hana into our world. And it got Suzu killed, and Siegfried nearly killed Hana two years ago.” I pointed out.My knuckles were turning white as I was gripping the wheel so tightly. “I will not place her in unnecessary danger.” I growled. I know Irving agrees, even if all he wants is to have her by our side. “Do not use Suzu and Hana as your fucking excuse to be a damn purest coward!” Logan roared. Even after all this time, Suzu is a sore subject for him. I know it, but he has to see where I’m coming from. I tried to sleep. I was tired. I mean, it was a long and eventful day after all. But knowing John was out there in his wolf, I couldn’t sleep. Was it because it unnerved me to have a werewolf watching my house, stalking me like his prey? Or was it because of this urge to open my back door and call him inside? I groaned and angrily fluffed my pillow. “Stupid mate bond.” I grumbled. “Merow!” Shu cried, annoyed, giving me the side-eye from his spot on my bed. “Sorry, Shu. I’m trying to sleep, but I… I can’t. He might still be out there. I know it’s not going to be cold, and even if it was, he’s a wolf they run hot anyway. I wonder how hot his skin would feel to touch. “No bad, Sarael.” I shook my head, wanting the thoughts to go away. I sighed and flopped onto my back, and looked up at my ceiling. I closed my eyes, trying to force myself to go to sleep, wh
Beta's Surprise Mate Chapter 6 - Sarael
I tried to sleep. I was tired. I mean, it was a long and eventful day after all. But knowing John was out there in his wolf, I couldn’t sleep. Was it because it unnerved me to have a werewolf watching my house, stalking me like his prey? Or was it because of this urge to open my back door and call him inside? I groaned and angrily fluffed my pillow. “Stupid mate bond.” I grumbled. “Merow!” Shu cried, annoyed, giving me the side-eye from his spot on my bed. “Sorry, Shu. I’m trying to sleep, but I… I can’t. He might still be out there. I know it’s not going to be cold, and even if it was, he’s a wolf they run hot anyway. I wonder how hot his skin would feel to touch. “No bad, Sarael.” I shook my head, wanting the thoughts to go away. I sighed and flopped onto my back, and looked up at my ceiling. I closed my eyes, trying to force myself to go to sleep, wh
‘We should go, Irving. I know she’s our mate, and you want to be near her, but this is getting ridiculous. We are sitting in her rose bushes when we should be home in our bed.’ I sighed. I’ve been repeating myself, yet my wolf doesn’t want to listen. Damn mate bond. He’s lost all sense because of it and her. ‘Don’t say mean things about our mate.’ Irving growled. I sighed, rolling my eyes from my spot in the back of my own mind. Irving was not willing to give back control so we could go home. And since he ran us here, I don’t even have a change of clothes to force him to shift. He knows well that I’m the modest sort and wouldn’t risk even at this late hour being seen walking around naked. ‘A storm is coming.’ I commented, able to smell the rain on the breeze and hear thunder in the distance. ‘We really should go home. We are not sitting out here all night, least of all in a storm.’ I said firmly.
I blame the mate bond. I also blame him. I am not the sort of woman that throws herself wantonly at any man. And I’ve seen my share of good-looking men. Human and supernatural alike. But John Kinsley… takes the cake. It took all I had to not throw myself at him when he walked out in just those basketball shorts. And this kiss! I don’t want to contemplate how he’s this good at kissing. I know if I do, that little green monster known as jealousy will rear its ugly head. I have no right to be jealous. He’s not mine. Or rather, he wasn’t mine. No, he isn’t mine. Fuck this mate bond shit is messing with my head. I had no idea it could affect a human like this. Am I getting hit double time because, unlike a werewolf, I only have one spirit inside me? That’s a thought for another time. For when I’m not in his arms, tasting him, touching him, and basicall
I’ve been off since leaving Sarael’s house. This damn mate bond was weighing on me. Irving was angry at me for what happened. Not the whole kissing her part, no that he fully supported. No, he was angry because I apologized for it and got us essentially kicked out of her house. He can be mad all he likes. I’m mad at him too. He’s the one that pushed me to kiss her. And then forcing me into the back of my own mind to speak through me. He said too much to her. Telling her, I wanted to kiss her since the moment I laid eyes on her. Even if it’s true, he shouldn’t have told her that. There is a reason we werewolves have two spirits, a human and a wolf. We balance each other and are only at our best when wolf and human are in sync with each other. So Irving and I being mad at each other have me thrown out of balance. Add that to being away from my mate, and l
I had it up to my chin with this pintsized alpha. I am in no mood for anyone’s bullshit, least of all his. Maybe if he wasn’t John’s brother, maybe if he wasn’t a shorter mountain man version of him, and maybe if he weren’t an alpha, who are notorious for getting their way, I’d feel differently. But he is an alpha, he does look like John, and he is John’s brother. For all these reasons, I wish I kept some weapons on hand here at the store. I get that he’s upset. As a younger sibling myself, I understand being protective. But it’s not his business. It’s between John and me. I didn’t get involved in my sister’s relationship troubles. Well, not to this degree. And for what meddling I did, I regret to this day. As our argument was starting to get heated and I worried Becky would hear us, the door burst open. I was ready to reprimand Becky only to see John’s