Tempted by a Tiger (Mate Me Book 3)

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Chapter 23

Monday evening Anderson walked into O’Sullivan’s the local pub and spotted his dad sitting at the bar. It had become a tradition to meet up once a month to try to repair the damage to their relationship. The first time they met, neither one spoke for the first hour. They ordered beers and dinner and sat watching a baseball game. Anderson loved baseball, and it was at the peak of its season. He and his dad always rooted for the Washington Nationals, they were their home team. He remembered when the team built their franchise, he and his dad hadn’t spoken in years. It took him yelling about a strike that should have been called a ball for them to talk.

“Anderson!” his dad called, and he gave him a smile. He’d been back on speaking terms with his father for almost a year. They did not talk about his time traveling for Xander and how he made it through college. He figured his dad didn’t want to be reminded of how much of an ass he had been letting Meredith throw him out at eighteen.

“Hi, Dad. How was your weekend?” he asked sitting next to him and flagged down the bartender. Her name was Molly O’Sullivan, and her dad ran the pub.

“Your usual Anderson?” she asked, and he smiled.

“You know me so well Molly.”

“Not hard when a handsome man comes to my bar every week,” she flirted back and his tiger growled. Anderson had to grip the edge of the bar and plaster a fake smile on his face. She walked away, and his dad leaned over.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes,” he replied.

“What was with your tiger?”

“Molly isn’t our mate,” he explained.

“Who is?” his dad asked and Anderson knew he had an inkling of who it was.

“Evelyn,” he replied.

“Evelyn Tate. Roxie’s best friend?” His dad gave him a big smile, and Anderson groaned.

“Yes.”

“Is there a problem?”

“She is dating Preston Reese,” he replied. His dad let out a roar of laughter and clapped him on the shoulder.

“Of course she is dating Preston Reese. What are you going to do about it?” His dad took a gulp of his beer.

“I’m going totry and ask her to take me back,” he answered, and his dad gave him a skeptical look.

“Just like that? You are going to ask her to take you back?” he asked and Anderson knew his plan wasn’t sound.

“I am going to apologize and explain that I was a royal idiot and to ask her to try again,” he shared and sipped his own beer.

“You might want to grovel,” his dad suggested.

“I plan on doing anything I can to get her to take me back. When I was in Arizona, my tiger couldn’t hunt. He was pining away for Evelyn, and since we’d stopped being intimate. She threw me out about a month ago,” he explained.

“You mean to tell me you two were still sleeping together even after she broke up with you?” his dad asked and Anderson cringed.

“Yes. She broke up with me in October, but by December I may have offered a friend with benefits situation. She agreed until suddenly after she went to a girl’s night with her friends she told me it was over. Then she was dating Preston, and my tiger wanted to come out and kill him. He showed up at the art show last week and she changed her perfume to one he liked,” he told his dad.

“And you don’t like that she changed her perfume for him?”

“No!” Anderson banged his fist onto the bar and his father chuckled.

“Think of what you will say to get Evelyn to leave Preston. If she is willing to change her perfume for the man, maybe they are serious about each other?” his dad suggested, and Anderson shook his head.

“She is my mate. That means she isn’t Preston’s. He is just dating her to get a rise out of me,” he replied.

“You sure it isn’t her dating him to get you to come to your senses?” his dad offered and Anderson stopped to think.

“You don’t think she would do that, would she?” To his surprise, his dad nodded.

“Evelyn has known you two were mates and for some unknown reason, you chose to run away from her. You didn’t want her back until you saw her with Preston, think about it.” His dad downed his beer.

“That sneaky, woman,” he growled and his dad laughed again.

“Don’t underestimate a woman in love. I think you have your hands full with Evelyn. She won’t make it easy for you to get her back. She is a proud woman and even if she wants you she won’t cave,” his dad explained and he nodded his agreement.

“I know you are right. Evelyn isn’t going to make life easy even if she takes me back. That is one thing I love about her. I love how she knows what she wants and doesn’t shy away from asking for it. I watched her deal with our last artist Evan Matthews, and she kept her cool with him. He was allowed to be a spoiled rotten brat, and she handled him like a professional. The artists that have worked with Evelyn since she took over being the manager have had nothing but wonderful things to say about her. I hope I can be just as good with the artists,” he said and his dad smiled.

“You are going to be fine at it. You will make the position your own,” his dad assured him.

“Thanks, Dad.” Anderson finished his beer just as Molly came back over.

“You two eating tonight?” she asked, leaning on the bar and showing her breasts. Normally Anderson would have enjoyed the view, but today his tiger was adamant no one would touch them unless it was Evelyn.

“I’ll have a burger and fries,” Anderson replied.

“Make mine a bacon cheeseburger,” his dad announced and Molly nodding walking off to put in their orders.

“So how has everything been going with the divorce?” Anderson asked watching the baseball game in front of him.

“Jordan has been a great help. He is making sure Meredith doesn’t take everything. I will have to pay alimony until she gets married again.”

“Is she getting married again? You two haven’t been separated for the year needed to complete your divorce,” he pointed out.

“She moved to New York and is living with some mob boss,” his dad replied and Anderson gaped at him.

“And you are okay with that?” It shocked him his dad wasn’t more upset about Meredith leaving him for the mob boss.

“Yes. She and I stopped loving each other years ago. We stayed together because I was content on letting her have affairs and she needed my money. After watching Roxie find her mate in Xander, I knew I couldn’t stay with Meredith. If she wants to try to get back into New York’s high society more power to her. I like my life in Green Falls and my job as an accountant. September everything will be complete and I will be a free man. Who knows, maybe I’ll fall in love again,” he shared and Anderson clapped him on the shoulder.

“That’s the spirit.” The two fell into a companionable silence as they watched the baseball game and waited for their dinners. Anderson didn’t know how to bring up the subject of his dad dealing with the birth of Elizabeth and Roxie. He wanted the conversation to be more natural, not him asking straight out. The night passed, and they cheered and yelled at the game enjoying an evening together as father and son. Walking out to the parking lot two hours later Anderson turned to his dad.

“Let me know if you need my help with anything,” he told his dad.

“Thanks, the same goes for you with Evelyn. I wish you the best of luck,” his dad replied and giving him a wave walked over to his car. Anderson climbed into his truck and drove home, he spent the drive thinking about Evelyn and how amazing she had looked at the art show. He hoped her trip to Philadelphia had gone well, and she was home safe. Shooting her his customary text, he wrote,

I hope you had a fun time at Luke’s engagement party. Good night beautiful!

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