Shall We, Dear?
I stare at my reflection in the mirror, taking in my olive complexion and my thick manicured eyebrows. Zoya just finished with my makeup and it’s immaculate. She’s working on my hair now, the curling iron moving with precision. I watch as a long, wavy tendril falls across my shoulder. The dark brown color is a stark contrast to my dress; a lacy white body-con with a built-in flowing skirt.
I look across the salon at my mother. She’s stunning—petite, blonde, beautiful green eyes, and a figure to die for. She’s the complete opposite of me… in more ways than one.
“I think this is Mila Isa’s year to find a mate,” she gushes to Anya, her stylist. She is so enthusiastic that I almost wish that I shared the sentiment—but I don’t.
My mother is the perfect Luna, housewife, and mother. It’s what she’s always dreamed of, ever since she was a little girl; the Beta’s daughter with big dreams. When she found my father, she said that everything fell into place for her—she loved him instantly, and he loved her too. He was the Alpha’s son, and she was excited to be his future Luna. They married and marked each other and they became the Alpha and Luna of the Cold Stone Pack.
A fairytale romance.
However, that’s not what I want. I’ve never had big dreams to do anything in particular. Finding a mate doesn’t interest me, being a housewife sounds tiresome, and being a Luna sounds scary. On the other hand, I’ve never wanted to go to school, or travel. I’ve never wanted to be a musician, or a chef. In a world full of possibilities, I’m completely lost.
“Oh, Mila, honey, are you excited?” Anya coos.
“Of course,” I lie, gritting my teeth. I love my parents, but the pressure to be perfect can eat away at you.
My mother gives me a knowing look and smirks. “Maybe you’ll find him tonight, Amelia. There will be plenty of eligible bachelors there—maybe your mate will be the Alpha of the Year.” She winks at me.
I work hard to keep the fake smile plastered to my face. “Oh, I doubt I’ll get that lucky.”
“You look so gorgeous!” Anya shrieks now, effectively changing the subject. She leaves my mother’s chair and comes to stand behind me, pulling her fingers through my curls.
I smile politely at her—I’ve never been good at accepting compliments.
My mother moves to stand behind me as well, a look of pride on her face that warms my heart. “She’s right, my love,” she murmurs softly, her hand resting on my shoulder. “You are gorgeous.”
“Come, come,” Anya fusses as she shoos my mother back to her chair. “I’m only halfway done with your head, we have to hurry.”
I slide on my heels and grab mine and my mother’s sweaters while they finish up, with Zoya now helping them hurry things along. I can’t help the feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. Something feels different tonight, and I pray to the Goddess that my mother’s intuition about me finding a mate is wrong.
“Ladies!” My father’s voice booms from outside the door. “Are we ready? The car is waiting outside to take us to the jet.”
“We’re ready, Isaac, would you give us a minute, please, darling?” My mother calls back sweetly.
I can hear him huff impatiently, but he otherwise obliges her request. She smooths her hair down, checking her appearance once more before linking her arm through mine.
“Shall we, dear?”
Unfortunately, we shall.
The ride to the pack’s private jet is quick—almost too quick. My nerves are a jumbled mess. I sip on a glass of champagne to calm my nerves.
“Pregaming already?” Augustus, one of my father’s guards, teases as he sits next to me in the jet’s lounge. His hand grazes my thigh discreetly and I smile.
“You know me so well,” I joke back.
“I know that parties like this make you nervous,” he says, leaning in close. “Meet me in the office in a minute and maybe we can calm those nerves of yours,” he whispers into my ear, and in the blink of an eye he’s out of the seat and walking away from me.
Augustus is cocky and controlling. We fool around from time to time, but he’s more possessive of me than I like. I’ve made it abundantly clear that I’m not looking for a relationship, but he doesn’t seem to care.
Right now I don’t seem to care either, because five minutes later I find myself wandering to the jet’s office space, my panties already soaked in anticipation.
He’s leaning on the desk when I walk in, locking the door behind me. He has a sly grin on his lips.
“Come here, beautiful,” he says as he pulls me to him, kissing me deeply. I return his kisses, encouraging him when I deepen them, running my tongue along his bottom lip.
He groans and grabs me by my hips, pressing his hard cock against my thigh. His lips travel to my neck, and then further to my cleavage. He sucks and nips at my skin there and I moan.
“Stop,” I force myself to say.
“Why?” He questions me, his teeth grazing my skin. “I want everyone to know that you belong to me.”
I’m about to remind him that I don’t belong to him when he rubs his fingers against me through my dress. I gasp, and he chuckles, leaning down and lifting my dress up. He lifts me up onto the desk and then spreads my legs, pushing my panties aside. His mouth immediately finds me, and I lean back as his tongue circles my clit. His fingers enter me slowly, one at a time, and I moan, bucking my hips. He explores me with his tongue expertly as his fingers move rhythmically, increasing with speed just enough to get me to the edge before he slows dramatically.
He repeats this cycle a few more times before I can’t take it anymore. I’m a writhing mess.
“Please,” I beg.
“Please what?” Augustus asks slyly, his hot breath on my pussy.
“Make me cum,” I command, lacing my fingers into his hair and pulling his face between my legs once more. This time he does as I say, and he sucks my clit while his fingers move with intensity. I reach my climax in no time, stifling a scream. He chuckles, placing a kiss to my thigh before standing up. He presses his lips against mine.
“You better get cleaned up,” he tells me. “We’ll be landing soon.” He unlocks the door and lets himself out, and I stand there wishing, not for the first time, that I hadn’t gotten myself caught up with him.
I head to the bathroom to do as he suggested, feeling dirty for reasons I can’t comprehend. I’ve never felt this guilty before after fooling around with him.
I rejoin my parents as we land, ready to get off of this sexually charged metal deathtrap. We exit, Augustus and three other guards following closely behind. We approach Black Moon’s mansion of a pack house, and we’re greeted by a few guests who join us on our trek inside.
We check our coats and enter a huge ballroom, set up with large tables adorned with immaculate centerpieces, endless buffets of food, and a live band on the stage playing soft, slow music.
“Isaac and Danica Vesta!” Someone calls and we turn to find a gray haired man, his arm proudly around his much younger mate.
“Theodus!” My father exclaims happily, clapping the man on the back. “I’d heard you found your mate after all these years!” He laughs, and we all turn our attention to the young girl who probably hasn’t even hit her thirties yet. She smiles boldly, unashamed.
“Well, aren’t you lovely!” My mother coos. “I’m Danica Vesta, and this is my mate and Alpha of the Cold Stone Pack, Isaac Vesta. And of course our daughter, Amelia Isa Vesta.” She introduces us in a way that shows our position in the werewolf world. I shrink away from the look of awe on the young woman’s face.
“I’m Zara Bolden,” she tells us. “It’s lovely to meet you all.”
As they continue chatting I slip away and head towards the booze, grabbing a glass of wine and a cheese skewer. I sit at the bar, swiveling in my chair so that I can watch the other guests. I feel very out of place. I may look the part, but I’ve never been comfortable at social gatherings, especially ones as big as this.
“Well, hello, beautiful,” someone says to me and I turn to find a handsome man, a little older than me probably—maybe early thirties—smiling at me seductively. I give him a small smile and turn back to people watching.
“I’m Antione,” he introduces himself, not taking the hint. “What’s a girl like you sitting all alone for?”
“Oh, knock it off,” a new voice says just as I’m about to tell Antoine that I am not at all interested. “This pretty lady doesn’t want to be bothered by the likes of you,” he says, winking at me. “Scott,” he informs me, holding out his hand.
I don’t take it. “I’m taken,” I tell them.
“I figured,” Antione sighs, gesturing at the light bite mark on my cleavage. I can feel my cheeks flame. “Looked like you were having fun with someone—just thought maybe it could be me.”
With that, both guys stand and leave me alone at the bar. I relax a little now that they’re gone, but I’m still angry with myself for giving in to Augustus again. Do I have no self control? He’s an arrogant jerk—definitely not my type.
Not that I have a type.
Honestly, emotions and attachments scare me. The thought of having a mate and being tied to someone for the rest of my life makes me sick to my stomach. I’m so afraid of commitment that I don’t think I’d ever accept a mate even if I found him. It might seem silly, and I don’t know where this phobia stems from, but something about me isn’t right. It’s like I’m a puzzle and there’s a piece missing. How can I possibly complete someone in the way a mate does, when I’m not even whole myself?
A loud crash and feral growls pull me from my reverie. My head snaps towards the sounds, ready to watch the drama unfold, but unfortunately I can’t find where it’s coming from.
I don’t even see the chaos until it’s right on top of me.