Wringing her hands tightly with nerves, R.J. looked at herself once more in her mirror pacing the floor again. It was 7:30 and she hadn't left home for the blind date. Not knowing how to dress, she donned a printed dress, a black cardigan, and black suede calf length boots. Never one to show off her curves or her natural beauty the outfit was perfect. Her long honey blonde hair flowed past her shoulders in natural waves, makeup was a no just a quick moisturizer to her face and that was it.
"Hey" someone called out from her bedroom door. "I'm coming" she called out grabbing the clutch on her vanity then walked out to meet her caller.
Jesse smiled at how simple yet beautiful his friend was, giving her his arm she clutched onto it tightly. She was nervous about it all. The past dates her father sent her on were failures, for all of them, at first sight, they both knew they weren't mates. Two of the eight were polite about it and proceeded with dinner, four were awfully rude to her and criticized her and the pack thoroughly, Kara was about to attack them all but her friends were there, to save them. The other two wanted her to be their mistress until they find their own mates. R.J was worried about how this one would turn out.
"From what little information your father gave us. He's blonde 6'2 blue eyes. Lives on his own. Have a very respectable job in the city." Jesse informed her.
"That's not much to go on. What's his name?"
Jesse shrugged leading her out the door, they both made their way to the car where Mark stood waiting. "Well aren't you the sexiest Alpha I know" Mark teased opening the door for her, rolling her eyes she entered the car. As they made their way into the city, her father called, "Are you dressed appropriately?" was his direct question. No hello how was your day. That was his greeting.
"Yes, dad I am. For your next question, I am on my way and I won't embarrass you," she replied with a clenched jaw.
"Finally you got something right" was his last statement before hanging up. "Goodbye to you too dad" she mumbled to the loud dial tone.
"Still no name?" Jesse asked.
"At least this one has taste, the restaurant is a whole five stars and Italian. Your fave." Mark offered.
"Well, two points for the mystery man," R.J said playfully. The two men chuckled, a feeling took over them after that, a feeling that this one may be someone special for their Alpha. She has been losing her self these past years and it's time the real Renae Josephine Macallister to return.
They reached the restaurant at exact eight, R.J rushed in flustered and approached the hostess. "Hello I'm R.J Macallister I am to meet with a dinner date. For eight," she said quickly.
"Oh hello Miss Macallister, you are right on time. Your date, however, hasn't arrived but left a message saying he would be here shortly." the young girl said with a smile.
"Thank Goddess" R.J breathed out before following the girl to her table. It was located at the corner of the restaurant away from prying eyes. The decor was rich and screamed Italy, all the servers were immaculately dressed and tended to the patrons like royalty. As she was seated, a glass of red wine was served, "Complimentary for every guest." the waiter said bowing then left.
"Well, I'll be damn. Don't mind if I do." she said taking a sip of the wine and waited on her blind date.
"Ah geez, I'm late" Stuck in traffic, Jacob thought back how easy William got him to go on this blind date. Everything was set up the only thing that was to be completed was for him to say yes. William had the girl, the restaurant and even a babysitter for Jasmine. It was a full-blown blind date because he didn't know the girl's name to look her up on Facebook or Google.
The traffic eased up and he was on his way to the Italian restaurant, his favorite on the strip, Giorgio's. Fixing his hair and the collar of his shirt he pulled up before the authentic Italian restaurant he discovered on his first date with Annabella when he was sixteen. It was bittersweet to be back here. A great unforgettable relationship started here, from awkward moments to joyous memories now he was moving on from her, somewhat. Giving the valet the keys he strode inside up to the hostess which had two couples before him.
Waiting his turn, he tried to get a peek inside to see if he can spot a nervous woman sitting by herself but the shrubbery behind the hostess and the couple ahead was blocking the entryway to the dining room. It made him much more nervous. He hasn't dated in years Jacob was only focused on Annabella even after her death. The reason why he agreed to this date was that of Jasmine; over the summer he saw the look she had in her eyes at the park. The look of sadness and want when she saw the other little girls playing with their mothers. She hid it behind her signature smile when she caught him looking at her.
Jacob knew if he can give his baby girl everything she ever needed just maybe he can give her a new mother.
"Welcome. How can I help you this evening?" the hostess greeted distractedly.
"Uh hi. Reservation under Kaiser for two," he said a bit flustered. "Your dinner companion is already here. Please follow me." she returned stepping away from the podium. As he followed her into the dining area, a smile formed on his face as he found the table he always requested, things have changed like the decor and wait staff but definitely not the seating arrangements. He was led to the corner area, near the window away from prying eyes it was suitable at best. "Here we are. Your server for the night will be here shortly to take your orders." the hostess explained leaving him on his own.
Releasing a deep breath, he looked at his dinner companion what he found wasn't what he expected.
"Good evening" a deep voice sang playfully. R.J looked away from the night view outside the bay windows to the owner of the deep playful voice. Blue eyes as the ocean and a dimpled smile greeted her, "Hi" she squeaked then mentally chastised her self for sounding like a perky teen. He chuckled and motioned for her to sit back down, she didn't realize she stood up. His blonde hair was curly, a few strands resting on his forehead, he was rocking a scruffy beard which looked great on him, model-like great. He cleared his throat and gave her a small smile.
"It's nice to finally meet the daughter of the infamous Alpha Raymond" he started. Her once happiness and confidence took a deep plunge at the mention of her father's name. It brought back the reason why she was here. For a moment she thought she was on a regular casual date not mate hunting and now once again. She struck out.
"I'm R.J and you? Sorry, my father was so excited for me to come on this date that he forgot to mention your name," she said through a fake smile. The blonde model simply nodded and fixed his jacket, "My name is Shane. Shane Dubois and as I can see by the disappointment in your eyes also on my part. We are not mates." he answered.
R.J simply nodded and took a sip of her wine, not feeling the sweet taste on her lips she found the glass empty. Releasing a deep sigh she looked up at Shane. " So what will it be?" she asked.
A confused look shadowed his features. "Are you going to judge my pack? be a dick? Or are you gonna ask me to be your mistress? I'm sort of hoping you can be neither and we can pretend we are on a casual date having a grand ole time" she rushed out with a straight face.
"Ummmm I kind of want option four? " he answered scratching his beard and laughing nervously. "Good." she returned motioning for the waiter to come to take her order.
"Excuse me?" she asked confused at his question.
"What number date is this that you are struck out?" Shane asked smiling at the beauty before him. He had to admit it to himself and his wolf did also that R.J would have made a great Luna. Not only was she beautiful, you can still see how innocent she was but that can be an illusion. When she just worded what was on her mind he knew she wasn't afraid to get things done.
"You, my dear sir are number nine."
"Pshhh sweetheart you need to catch up. You're number twelve" he teased. R.J laughed out loudly as he paired his words with a playful dismissal of his hand.
"Twelve you say? Why are you being tortured?"
"Dominant father. Worried mother. Only child and heir. One need to see the pack going somewhere while the other wants grandkids. You?"
She held his gaze, his blue eyes were warm and inviting she felt that he was someone she can trust other than her friends. It would be great to get a friend outside of Black Heart. With her head held high she told him why she endured this mate hunting, "My father wants a man to be Black Heart's Alpha."
He looked at her, stunned at the words that came from her mouth, his father was set in his ways but not that drastic. His parents saw their role as leaders of the pack as one of equality. " So who is the present Alpha?"
"I am since I was eighteen." she said in a monotone voice.
"Black Heart has been named the safest pack and most prosperous. The strongest warriors came from your pack."
She laughed drily, "Oh I have a response for that, 'Years of hard work and great leadership from my father'"
"No R.J these stats came from the Royals who scout each pack. That report came in two months ago under your rule."
She simply shrugged and smiled at the coming waiter. They both gave their orders in which their server left quickly to give to the chef. "How can you not know that? Every Alpha was impressed. Shit even my father was, he was boasting that I had a date with you." Shane looked at her for any kind of reaction. Didn't she know that her name was famous as her father's.
"What I do know is that it is all my father's doing. I am not that great as Raymond Macallister. So tell me about yourself" With that question R.J ended all talks about the pack, it was drilled into her that she would never be as good as him. Every word he put into her since she was sixteen was true, her friends even mother tried to prove her wrong but it was done. To Raymond, his daughter was a failure. Perfect example was right in front of her, another date with a suitable wolf and he wasn't her mate.
Jacob was ready to call it quits and they haven't made it to the main course. "Are you from around here because I am sure I would know" The woman whose name was Karrie with a K haven't stopped talking since he introduced himself. He was tempted to switch of his ear piece and go really deaf for the dinner but that would be rude. He learned that she had a super cute apartment three blocks away and had her own car which her last boyfriend got for her. She loves dogs and have terrier whose name was Muffy or Mutsy he couldn't recall because she was going so fast. Karrie with a K kept going on about her friends, her favorite shows. She asked what were his but he didn't answer in time before she continued.
"I'm from the other side of town. Malvain Estates."
Her eyes widen in shock, "Wow. That's like one of the richest area. You must be a doctor or lawyer. Maybe a model you surely can't waste your good looks."
"I'm a Junior partner at an Accounting firm what do you do?" he asked a big effort in trying to make it look like he was interested.
"Oh. I'm a yoga instructor." her excitement that Jacob may be filthy rich died as she heard the title accountant.
"Yoga. That's a lot of discipline and strength in body and mind" he commented and just like that she was off. It seem his comment about her love of Yoga triggered something. When it was time to order, it was a simple green salad no dressing and a water. She looked at him in disgust as he ordered the meaty lasagna with extra cheese and a side of stuffed bread sticks. "How do you keep in shape with all those calories?" she asked adjusting her dress for the millionth time.
"Morning work outs before I hit the office plus running around with my daughter helps." he said nonchalantly looking around the room.
"You have a kid?"
The word kid and the tone that accompanied it was the deal breaker. Jacob put up with her too tight and revealing dress, overly done makeup, excessive talking and judgemental attitude for the first thirty minutes of this already horrendous date but her not liking kids was a major thing.
"Yes. A six year old daughter." he said with his father of the year grin.
"William didn't tell me about you having a child. You're twenty seven right. Aren't you too young to be a father?" she asked condescendingly.
"Is there an age to have a child? Yes I had my daughter since I was twenty one which at that age I was and still am an adult. Do you have a problem with kids?" he asked waiting to hear the truth or a lie.
"I don't do kids. Never will." she said truthfully with a sneer.
"Ah. I see. Please excuse me." he said giving her a reassuring smile getting up from the table.
"Hurry back" she called after him before going to her phone. He redirected his path from the bathroom to the hostess.
Jacob quickly paid for her dinner and any dessert she may order, though he was ditching her he was still a gentleman. The drive back home was fast, a migraine was coming on and he just wanted to be home next to his daughter.
"Hey Lexie. How was she?" was the greeting Jacob gave the sitter who happened to be her god mother.
"Great as always. I just put her to bed. You are home awfully early." she replied helping him out of his jacket. Lexie was Annabella's best friend and he knew he can depend on her to be there and trust her to care for Jasmine but he was never really comfortable on being alone with her.
"Uh yeah. Date got sick so she bailed. Thanks for watching Jasmine, see you tomorrow. You can let yourself out" he said over his shoulder before climbing the stairs. Jacob stood outside his daughter's door listening for the front door to close then the starting of her car. After her leaving he finally went inside, to kiss her good night, "Daddy loves you so much. I promise that I will find you a new mommy who would love you as much as your real one."