Chapter 05 - Future Mrs. Black
There was always something about how he dropped me off at the University. Despite how he looked, I knew he had taken his time deciding what to wear – something casual, expensive and attractive, like he was putting his best foot forward. The way he sped into the drop off zone and parked his car, quickly jumping out and opened my door for me, helping me out of the car. The way he adjusted my laptop bag on my shoulder and brushed my hair out from under the strap.
The way his eyes lingered up my neck, glistening with something wicked – like I was the secret mistress, like I was the biggest, most important thrill of his life. The way he slipped his hand to cup my face and kiss me before I walked away. The way he leaned against his car and watched me until I was in the building, even despite the cold wind that ripped across the campus, sending student and staff alike running for shelter.
The way he looked; dressed in a black tee-shirt and pants, the way his eyes matched the green scarf that was draped loosely on his shoulders, the way his stare followed me as he crossed his arms, flexing his biceps under the nice grey coat. This man –
“Alice,” Anna said as she stood waiting in my office, arms on her waist, and her scowl telling me I’d been neglecting our friendship.
“Hey,” I sighed, already exhausted from the early start to my morning.
“When were you going to tell me?” she hissed, snatching my hand and ripped off my leather glove, to look at the diamond ring that was hidden underneath.
The air in the room grew heavy as she stared at the diamond, small but flawless, simple but perfect, she screamed. She let out a high pitched squeal, the type of squeal that could make a dog bark or glass shatter, the type of squeal that makes a werewolf with better hearing that a human, cover their ears.
“What the hell was that?” I hissed when she stopped.
“You’re engaged!” she yelled, “you’re engaged, and I had to find out on the news!” she continued, pulling out her phone and pulling up a news article that she had ready.
“It’s on the News?” I asked, taking her phone and looking at the article.
“2017’s Richest Bachelor no.1 now engaged to University Professor after three years of on and off dating,” Anna said, snatching her phone back and reading the article out to me as I unpacked my laptop. “The couple met in the 2018 Spring and while little is known about the private couple, those around the two have said they have never seen a couple with so much chemistry and adoration for the other. While the rich bachelor list has lost one of its longest running contenders, Nathaniel Black’s mystery fiancé has said to more handsome than her future husband and just as much as catch as the world-famous CEO.”
“What a puff piece,” I scoffed, flopping down in my chair.
“Is this why you dropped off the grid for a couple months and are now only working part time? Are you being turned into a CEO’s princess wife?” Anna said, leaning over my desk and maintaining an intense level of eye contact.
“No, I just went through a bit of a rough patch, I’ve told you this,” I sighed, continuing to set up.
“Well have you thought about a date? Has everything been planned? Is it a location wedding? Am I even invited or is it just strictly rich CEO family and friends? O-M-G, can you set me up with some rich single friends of Nathaniel’s? He does have friends yeah?” Anna blabbed, bombarding me with endless questions as I walked to the staff kitchen to make a coffee.
Turning, I blocked her entrance into the kitchen, “let me just silence you by saying – we haven’t talked about the wedding at all, we only got engaged like two days ago, I haven’t even told my father or my friends back in Portland. Secondly, I have no idea when, where or what the wedding will be, to be honest, I’ve been too busy to think about it, and finally, while Nate is rich, it’s not like he lives in some penthouse in the city, our house is in the mountains.”
Anna blinked at me, “our house?” she repeated, her eyes growing to the size of saucers and a cheesy grin plastering itself on her face, “our house!?”
Regret – I should have said his house. Even if it was lying.
* * * * * * * * * *
The group of girls swarmed me, “Dr. Forrest, is it true that you’re engaged to Nathaniel Black?” one of my students asked.
“Of course, it’s true,” another one said smacking her lightly, “look at the ring Jo, I mean really.”
Joanne rolled her eyes, “I’m pretty sure if she was engaged to a millionaire, it would be bigger,” she countered.
“Dr. Forrest is at no liberty to answer your questions about her personal life,” Christian said, inserting himself into the conversation that was capturing the attention of all those in ear shot.
“Mr. Matthews, do you know then?” Joanne asked, crossing her arms and standing against him.
Christian shrugged and pulled his phone from his pocket, “I am not at liberty to discuss the personal matters of my co-workers,” he smirked, revealing a news article with my picture plastered on the top ‘Gold-digger or True Love?’.
The image was old, taken of me at the Luna ceremony and my acceptance into the pack – now over two years ago. The photo was of me and Nate, he had just come to my rescue and saved me from being swarmed by over eager pack members, who had showered us with compliments and adoration. I knew, no, I could tell this photo had been chosen because of the lavished lifestyle it projected, the fine and simple jewellery I wore, the deep V-neckline in a custom dress, Nate in a black suit and tie and well-dressed people around us.
This photo had been used to project me as a blonde bimbo, to make it look like I was only dating Nate for his money, for the rich lifestyle, for the benefits. But the one problem with this picture was taking around the exact moment, I realised I was madly in love with my mate. I had not yet admitted it to myself, and I didn’t say those three words back to him. But it was written across every inch of my face, that I was whole heartedly in love with Nathaniel Black.
“That article is just designed to be eye catching, I mean just look at how they’re looking at each other,” Joanne’s friend said, dismissing Christian’s insinuation.
I smirked as they continued to fight about my relationship status, in front of my none the less and I turned the page on the book I was currently flicking through, I had just planned to let them wear themselves out.
I was too relaxed, and court up being amused by their argument to notice he arrived, that he had walking into the library and was loosening the tie around his next as he walked directly towards us, eyes on me, glowing with domination and determination. “Well, are we engaged, Alice?” he purred, making me jump and the conversation in front of me silence.
I could feel the willingness to live drain out of Joanne and her friend as they stood between myself and Nate. The power that he exerted was often very overwhelming for werewolves, let along humans and I could see their knees buckle as they looked at the intense gaze that he had locked on me.