I'VE MADE BETTER FIRST IMPRESSIONS
RORY, I’VE MADE BETTER FIRST IMPRESSIONS
I’ve been around shifters long enough to know what that means. Being the only new person in the room, I know I’m in trouble. I just graduated college with my Bachelors and now I’m taking a break for some practical experience before I go back for my Doctorate in Mythology and Folklore. How better than to immerse myself in the very society and culture I’m studying for a year? The ‘human’ world doesn’t need to know I’ll be writing from real-world experience and I’m only going to use my time to fill in any holes I’m missing from my regular research. I’m going to be able to ask questions and witness what I always thought was make-believe come to life and I can’t believe it.
I am both humbled and honoured.
Becoming some shifter’s mate is not part of my future plans so I wasn’t looking forward to the next few minutes. This was going to be awkward, painful and embarrassing – and who knows how I’m going to feel!
“You’re my mate,” a fantastic specimen of man says when he stops in front of me. I’ve heard enough about the Douglas family to know this has to be one of the sons. Anyone who likes a good ‘pickle tickle’ now and again knows who these guys are – they’re legends and I don’t mean that in a good way. Yes, he’s gorgeous, but so are a lot of people. I also know he has slept – hah! Pounded his way through the eastern seaboard like a power hammer.
The man is a pig - my apologies to all swine everywhere.
“If you say so,” I shrug, not sure how I’m supposed to respond. There are gasps in the room, but I never broke eye contact with the man in front of me. I’m sure they were horrified I didn’t drop to the floor in front of him and beg him to make me his, but they were going to be extremely disappointed. There was now a scowl on the man’s face and suddenly I hoped the whole mates can’t hurt mates thing was true because he is scary looking when he’s pissed.
“You’re human.” His voice was harsh and full of anger, like he was accusing me of a crime - who the fuck does this guy think he is? Being human doesn’t make me any less ‘valuable’ and if he thinks otherwise, I’ll be incredibly pleased to educate him. We were standing toe to toe and despite knowing we’re surrounded by people; it was only me and him now.
“Yeah? So? What’s it to you?” His already miserable face gets even more furious which in turn fires me up further – perfect. My Dad is a lawyer and my Mom is a Municipal Court Judge, I can argue all day buddy so bring it on – believe me, I learned from the best.
“Do you have any idea who you’re talking to?” He gets right into my face and snarls at me. Now that is just rude! If I weren’t so opposed to violence, I’d be torn between punching him in the eye or kicking him between the legs… damn my gentle nature.
“Nope, not a clue,” I chirp back casually, placing my hands into my pants pocket like I haven’t a care in the world. “All I know is some lunatic came in here shouting at me, getting into my face and being the worst host ever – you really should work on that you know,” I smugly throw at him while looking at what I hope is his Mom and my travelling companion. “All set?” I ask her, knowing full well my conversation with Grumpy-Pants isn’t over. He grabs my arm to hold me in place and I freeze in place before turning back to him. If I could knock him down with my eyes alone, I’d be stepping over him right now.
I haven’t had a bad childhood, any traumatic moments or tragedies in my past – I’ve been blessed with an incredible life. Two parents who love me deeply and support me in everything I do and fortunately are able and willing to financially support me while I’m on the chase for my dreams. Despite all that, or maybe because of it – I know who I am as a person and what my value is. My Mom raised me to believe that being a strong woman is a good thing and any partner who doesn’t support that can go fuck themselves.
My Dad also agrees.
In the justice system my Mom ranks higher but only because she worked hard to get there, and Dad worked hard to ensure she had the opportunity. Mom has a brilliant mind – she has the ability to see both sides of an argument and to keep her own life or opinion out of whatever case she is adjudicating on – the ideal judge. Dad is the emotional one which makes him a wonderfully successful lawyer but not cut out for the bench. The two of them together are the perfect team and I hope to be half as lucky in love as they are.
And being tied down by some primal instinct I don’t even feel is not the way to do it.
“Let. Go. Of. Me.” I’ll tell you once nicely but that’s all you get. No one should ever put their hands on anyone else uninvited – ever. Man to woman or vice versa, doesn’t matter - it is a violation and I hate it.
I’ll also only tolerate it for so long.
“I need you to stay long enough so I can do this,” the man says. Before he says anything more the room erupts into chaos as people start shouting at him ‘no!’ and ‘don’t do it!’… I don’t have to be a shifter to know what’s coming next – he’s going to reject me.
Son of a bitch.
“I, Killian Douglas and Rune, Alpha for the Erie Waters Pack, reject you –“ he pauses and looks at me, suddenly realizing he doesn’t even know my name. What an asshole – it takes a real piece of work to dislike someone based on something they can’t control or change. I couldn’t be happier than I was right than to be human because I knew the mate bond breaking wasn’t going to hurt me like it would him and selfishly, I wanted it to be excruciating.
“Rory Clark,” I smirk while crossing my arms. His pissed off face gets even angrier as he sets me free.
“Reject you, Rory Clark as my mate and future Luna.” His angry face turns into a horrific grimace and glancing around the room I see many of them shudder with pain. Part of me wants to laugh in his face as he – or his wolf, whimpers in pain because I feel no different than I did before he spoke. I don’t though because I want to stay with part of his family for the next year and I don’t think spitting on their society is the way to do it.
Instead I reach forward and shake his hand.
“Ok, uhhh, sounds good. I accept your rejection or whatever so good luck in life,” our hands break apart and he’s staring at me with a look of sheer incredulity on his face. I’m guessing most women break into hysterics when he breaks up with them, not get into their cars and start rocking out to Motley Crue. What can I say? I’m not most women, I’m me.
I turn back to the woman I was speaking to before we were so rudely interrupted by Captain Rejection and see she is ready to leave. I give her my brightest smile and turn toward the door – I am about to go on a road trip with Emery Douglas, former Luna of this pack and mother of the moron who just rejected me.