Salvatore Tower, New York
“If this is your idea of me living my best life, Fate, then you’ve clearly not done your homework well enough, so I award you a D minus. Please return to the drawing board, rip it up, start again and resubmit a suitable ending before Saturday. Or maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt? Maybe you’ve now got it bang on, but your filing system’s so pants you’ve simply misplaced my ending, or allocated it to somebody else by mistake.”
I’ve just started my daily rant when there’s a knock on my office door.
“Come in,” I say professionally, rolling my eyes before affixing a fake smile to my face.
Ana, my best friend, enters my office, her stiletto heels clicking across the expensive marble floor. Beautiful, vibrant, and decorative Ana. Tall, slim, and stunning in every way, her long dark hair shines with health and vitality, framing her heart-shaped olive-skinned face and her large doe brown eyes that radiate love and warmth. Ana and I are the same age, and we’ve been best friends our entire lives. Her father, Luca, is the Beta of our pack and is my father’s right-hand man.
You see as well as owning Salvatore Hotels, where I’m Head of Legal, my father’s also the Alpha of the Pack of New York, and the family’s concern is at twenty-five years old, I still haven’t found my mate. An unmated she-wolf at my age is practically unheard of, like left on the shelf material.
“How are you, Ana?” I ask, addressing her warmly while taking in the concerned look on her beautiful face.
She ignores me completely. She doesn’t mean to be rude. She’s just distracted.
“Selene, we need to go for our final dress fittings today,” she starts, her voice verging on an intolerable whine.
“We’ve got the Ball on Saturday,” she announces the obvious in a state of near panic, reminding me like I don’t already know while sitting on the edge of my desk. I find it mildly irritating when she does that, especially when there are two perfectly good chairs opposite.
“Yes, I’m aware of that, Ana,” I reply, smiling up at her reassuringly.
“There are going to be so many eligible Alphas attending, Selene. We’ll find our mates for sure.” Ana continues, her excitement almost tangible.”
My family insists I need a Luna role. All my life, I’ve been dreaming of a Luna role. So, with that in mind, my parents have organised a Ball to try to find my Prince Alpha Charming like I’m Cinder ‘fucking’ rella.
Now, this Ball isn’t going to be just any old Ball. Good Goddess no, any old Ball would never do. It’s gearing up to be one of the most spectacular social events in the annual wolf calendar. An extravagant and lavish affair, and a golden opportunity for my parents to display our family wealth and good breeding to entice and attract only the very worthiest of suitors.
“If you give me ten minutes, Ana, I’ll be right with you, babe. I’ll meet you downstairs in the lobby,” I add, squeezing her hand to try to calm her almost borderline hysteria. It works.
Ana nods, a broad smile now spreading across her perfect face. She practically floats out the room, her excitement surrounding her like an almost visible cloud. She looks back before she closes the door.
“Ten minutes, right?” she asks, concern threatening to write itself all over her lovely face again should I suggest stretching it to eleven or maybe even twelve minutes as, Goddess forbid, that would never do.
I nod. “Yes ten minutes Ana, I promise, cross my heart and all that,” I reply, smiling at her through gritted teeth.
Finally, she closes the door, and I breathe a sigh of relief.
I proceed to sit on my expensive black leather executive chair, in my expensive hand made suit rolling up pieces of paper into ball shapes, and throwing them expertly into my expensive leather waste bin like a professional fucking basketball player. I sigh. Again.
She interrupted me during the daily one-sided conversation I have with the immortal Fate. Yup, even on weekends. I know, I’m a vile, evil person for not allowing his overworked ears even one day off.
I always refer to Fate in the masculine as he’s clearly a male. A female couldn’t possibly fuck my life up with such aplomb.
“Should I direct my conversation at the floor as directing it at the ceiling isn’t getting me anywhere, Fate? You either can’t hear me, or you’re choosing to ignore me, and if you’re doing the latter, then that’s just plain rude. I’m easily offended, so you know,” I say flippantly but making a mental note to switch my vocal endeavours to the floor moving forward just in case it makes a difference.
I’ve no idea where the immortals live, so I’ve no idea if Fate’s above me or below me. When it comes to immortals, is Fate one of the good guys or one of the bad guys? Does that determine where he hangs out? Good guys above, bad guys below? I mean, I wouldn’t like to assume which category Fate falls under as I wouldn’t want to offend the most powerful immortal of them all. Maybe he’s striving to be the best Fate 2020 he can be, or perhaps he’s a ruthless dictator and totally badass.
Regardless of good or bad, Fate’s the only one who can help me. He’s in control of my future, right? He makes the decisions on my behalf, right?
“If you think you’re doing a good job so far, Fate, then I may have no option but to ask to see your credentials!” I continue with my tirade, my voice now directed at the floor. Fingers crossed.
Then again, Fate probably doesn’t even exist. Like the Moon Goddess, he’ll be just another manufactured supreme being, another false idol us mere mortals run to for help and guidance in blind faith, someone to vent at to make us believe that someone’s actually listening or that someone actually gives a toss.
I sit and contemplate my life while continuing to stare out the window. I had the lightbulb moment on my twenty-fifth birthday. A vision compelled me to drag my unwilling hands from my eyes and look at my current existence to show me that I wasn’t, in fact, living my best life after all. I needed to do more to satisfy the demands of my inner wolf, and the traditional Luna role wouldn’t enable me to achieve that apparently, so I have no choice but to change my ending with immediate effect.
I’ve been trying to make contact with Fate for four months to explain just that.
Time is ticking.
If my path’s not altered and it’s still set to my current ending, then there’s the potential catastrophe that I could meet an Alpha mate at the Ball who will want me to be his perfect traditional Luna and, after my epiphany, it’s likely I’d now have to reject him.
The only possible way to avoid this likely disaster is if I can convince Fate to intervene and change my course beforehand, hence my numerous one-sided conversations with the main man himself.
Not that he ever seems to listen or pay any attention to my daily rants. Typical bloke.
The problem is I need to change my ending before Saturday as that’s when the bloody Ball is.
“No pressure Fate but Time himself waits for no man, not even an immortal,” I shout out loud.
I roll the unused paper balls into my desk drawer, then stand up and straighten my suit. Leaning my backside against the desk I take in the impressive New York skyline then, letting out a sigh, I head for the door.
“Let’s get this over with.”
I turn off the lights in my office, and I’m about to close the door behind me when I’m sure I feel a presence. The hair on the back of my neck is standing on end, and there’s tangible electricity in the air. I can feel it crackle. I push open the door, but the office is empty. Marble flooring, white walls, sizeable Italian leather desk, with original pieces of modern art, draped from the walls —but no person or thing to be seen anywhere.
Shit am I imagining things now?
I close the door of my office, which is on the 60th floor, and head for the elevator bank. Stepping into the first available lift, I look at myself in the mirror.
I’m tall at around five foot ten, and slim with long silver hair that goes halfway down my back. My heart-shaped face is pale, I’ve got an almost translucent complexion, and my eyes are silver. I look like my mother. By all accounts, we’re descended from the Moon Goddess, although I’m not sure how true that is as I’m not sure she even exists. Likely not.
I make a mental note to speak to my mother about our ancestors as maybe that’ll shed some light on why I need more, why I need a different kind of fulfilment from my life.
I press the illuminated blue button for reception, my mind now contemplating the upcoming, dreaded Ball. I sigh and roll my eyes.
Just as the lift doors are closing, the landing button’s pressed from the outside, and the doors reopen. I move over to create space for the new passenger, and I almost gasp out loud when I take in the dark, brooding man facing me.
My eyes instinctively wander over every single flawless inch of him. He looks Italian. He surely must be, with all that black wavy hair going on and with those incredible looking full lips, perfectly emphasised by his neatly trimmed facial hair.
He’s immaculately dressed wearing black trousers, and a long black overcoat and the white shirt underneath has way, way too many of the top buttons undone, displaying his black chest hair magnificently. My eyes instantly drop and feast on the mouth-watering visual regardless of my several attempts to stop them from doing so.
The stranger’s tall, easily over six feet, and muscular but not too large, he’s just perfect. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone so fucking perfect in my entire life.
Realising I’m staring, I drag my reluctant eyes away from his sublime chest to his breath-taking face, and they instantly fall into his which are black, endless pools of obsidian black.
He looks back at me, and I now can’t tear my eyes away from his hypnotic dark gaze.
He gets in the elevator and stands beside me so close we’re almost touching. Is he standing that close deliberately?
The air crackles between us with such an intensity I consider moving further away, but I hold my ground. We both face forward staring at the lift doors, and I can feel the sexual energy flow between us, so potent, it’s almost tangible.
I’m usually a confident and outgoing person, but I find myself utterly stunned with the embarrassment I’m feeling crushing on this random stranger in the elevator.
I pray to the Goddess he doesn’t attempt to strike up a conversation.
Who is he? Does he work here? Is he visiting someone?
I close my eyes, and when I open them, he’s looking across at me, a small smile playing on his lips. Is he laughing at my obvious reaction to him? I feel myself blush, thinking he likely is.
My eyes are instantly drawn to his mouth, and I find myself captivated by his full bottom lip, my staring causing his obsidian eyes to darken further.
Suddenly the lift shudders to a stop, and the lights go out. Shit. I’m stuck in an elevator with the fucking gorgeous stranger.
It’s silent apart from my embarrassing heavy breathing. He must be looking at me as I can feel his hot breath on my ear while his unique, intoxicating scent is engulfing my senses due to his indecently close proximity. His breath moves from my ear to my mouth, and I groan out loud as I feel it’s heat brush over my lips. Please kiss me. I silently beg.
I literally can’t breathe, and desire’s now coursing through my veins at the thought of his mouth claiming mine. My nipples pebble in readiness, tingling and screaming for his touch. I try to stifle another shameless groan, but it escapes my mouth before I can.
My cheeks flush with humiliation. What the fuck’s happening to me? My heart’s now pounding in my chest my body literally crying out for this total stranger’s attention.
Suddenly the lights flicker on, and the elevator springs back to life and starts to move, both of us standing exactly where we were before the lights went off like nothing happened.
Did I dream that? Is my under-stimulated and bored little mind now creating sexual fantasies with complete strangers?
The elevator pings to alert us that we’ve reached reception.
“After you,” he says, his voice as smooth as silk, his accent Italian as I’d suspected it would be. He motions for me to leave the lift, his eyes dark and seductive, making my belly fill with heat.
“Thank you,” I reply in a breathless whisper my cheeks still flushed with shame at my body’s wanton reaction to him.
I exit into the reception area with its black and white checked marble floor, and the onyx topped reception desk. All of the fittings are in gold leaf, and it screams loudly of wealth and extravagance.
I watch as the stranger writes in the visitor’s book before leaving through the revolving glass doors then I quickly walk over to check for a name.
My eyes and mouth widen in shock and surprise as I read it. I quickly glance towards the doors, and he’s standing on the sidewalk watching me, then he vanishes into thin air.
I turn my attention to the book once more to double-check I’m not imagining things, that I’ve not finally gone out of my small mind, but it’s there in black and white.
I’ve just met the immortal Fate in the elevator.