Amelia couldn’t believe what Daniel said, he knew she was his mate and didn’t care that she was a foster kid. He was giving her time to get to know him and not pressure her into instantly jumping into court life. His kisses were driving her wild, all she wanted to do was wrap her legs around him and let him sink inside of her. Never had she had such a strong reaction to a man. Slowly Daniel released her and sat up, helping Amelia to sit up.
“We are in public,” Daniel whispered and she blushed a deep red.
“I forgot,” she replied, straightening out her dress and dusting off any sand on her legs.
“Me too. You make me forget myself. I want to take you out again, will you come to the capital?” he asked, and she looked up at him.
“I have a few orders to fill. When do you want to go out again?” she asked, pulling her hair up into a ponytail. She wasn’t a fan of wearing her hair down, she preferred it off her neck and away from her ears.
“Would it be presumptuous to ask you to come to me tomorrow?” he asked, and she gave him a small smile.
“Don’t you have a gender reveal to be at?” she asked and his eyes widened.
“I forgot. I won’t ask you to come because that would be announcing you to the world,” he replied, and she smiled. She understood for the time being she was being kept a secret. The minute people found out about her, she would get no privacy.
“I understand. I’m going to give you my phone number and you can call me with your next proposed date.” She leaned over and gave him a small kiss on the cheek before he helped her up and walked her back to the car. She suspected he had people to clean up the picnic behind them.
“Let me take you home and we will go from there,” he answered, pulling her close, wrapping his arm around her waist. Her wolf rumbled in her chest, loving the feel of him near her. He helped her into the car and drove her home, his hand on her thigh the whole time. Her body tingled with awareness. The spot his hand touched was on fire. Pulling into her parking lot, she caught a frown on his face.
“What is it?” she asked, touching his hand gently with her own. She sensed his unease and wondered what could cause it.
“I don’t like you living around here. Last night when Alex and I came to see you I was worried about your safety. Promise me you won’t go out at night, this place is not well lit and I want nothing to happen to you,” he told her and she smiled. He was already worrying about her, her mate wanted her to be safe.
“I try not to go out if I can help it,” she assured him.
“Good, I’ll text you tonight to set up our next date. I’m sad to see you go.” He reached over and slipped a hand behind her neck and pulled her mouth toward his. Closing her eyes, she leaned into the kiss. This kiss was gentle and loving. He let go, and she opened her eyes to see a small smile on his face.
“Expect to be moving soon Amelia. I don’t want to be away from you for long,” he warned, and she shivered at the look of passion in his eyes.
“Cool your jets. We may be mates, but I have a life and Kylie to think about. We live in this apartment because we don’t make a ton of money. She won’t be able to afford the apartment on her own,” she replied, placing a small hand on his chest. He frowned at her. She could see him thinking through his reply.
“I’ll do my best to respect your wants, but we are mates. Mates need to be together or their wolves get depressed.”
“Is it true? Kylie said the same thing, but I’ve never heard of it happening.” She was wondering if people just said that to make finding your mate easier to jump in without thinking.
“Yes, Nick’s father went into a massive depression after his wife and daughter died in a car chase. It took him finding Lady Valerie to be happy again,” he shared, and she gasped.
“How awful, but he didn’t die. I want to take this slow,” she replied, wanting some control over her life.
“I will try. Let me walk you to your door,” he answered and turned off the car. She could tell he was trying to control his reaction to her and wasn’t happy she wouldn’t go along with his wants. Opening the car door, Amelia saw Nick jump out of his car and run up to her apartment door.
“Third time’s the charm for those two,” she commented, and he laughed.
“Us too,” he replied, taking her hand in his.
“True,” she answered, thinking through their meetings.
“I’m glad you gave us a chance. Let me give you my phone number.” He held out his hand for her phone. She gave it to him, and he put in his number. Smiling when he handed it back she saw he put his name in as ‘Just Daniel’.
“Cute. I’ll send you a text with my number.” Shooting him a text, she watched him pull his phone out to see her text.
“I had fun today too.” Bending down, he kissed her gently and took her hand. Walking up to the apartment, she noticed her front door was open and Nick was passionately kissing Kylie in the hallway.
“Nick,” Daniel called in a tone that brokered no argument. Nick released Kylie and gave them a bewildered look.
“Amelia needs to get inside,” Daniel commented motioning for them to move. Nick kept a hold of Kylie but shifted so she could get into the apartment.
“Thank you for an amazing day,” she told him and he bent to kiss her softly.
“I’ll talk to you tonight,” he promised and left. Turning, she saw Nick and Kylie were back to making out. Smiling, she went to change and bake cookies.
Today she needed to bake her Harry Potter cookies. Last night she made all four doughs, now she needed to roll them out, cut out the shapes and bake. She started with the chocolate cookie dough, rolling it out in cocoa powder to keep the dark rich color. Baking was therapeutic for Amelia, so she took this time to think about her first date with Prince Daniel. He’d been so sweet to buy her those trays-- the trays! He still had them in his back seat. Dusting off her hands, she grabbed her phone, jumping when it rang in her hands. Seeing it was Daniel, she answered.
“Amelia, I have your trays. I’m on my way back with them,” he told her.
“You don’t have to do that. I could have gotten them back when we saw each other again,” she replied, not wanting him to feel obligated to bring them right away.
“Tomorrow is Saturday, I’ve heard many farmers' markets are open Saturday mornings. I want to make sure you have them for your display,” he explained, and she felt a smile light up her face.
“That is very sweet of you. Yes, I have a farmers' market I need to be at tomorrow.”
“I’m about five minutes away, see you soon.” He hung up, and she plugged her phone into her charger. Recently her phone was losing charge quickly, she knew she needed it replaced but didn’t have extra funds to buy a new one. Working from home had its advantages. She just kept it plugged in when it wasn’t being used.
Satisfied with the thickness of her dough, she pulled out a scalloped cutter to use for her crest shapes.
Ding dong. Dusting off her hands, she went to open the door. It looked like Kylie, and Nick left for their date. Opening the door, she shrieked when Daniel scooped her up for a hug, spinning her around.
“Daniel!” she laughed when he put her down.
“Driving away felt wrong,” he shared leaning down to kiss her.
“You are so sweet.” Amelia took the trays he had in one hand, hoping he would follow her to the kitchen. Her wish came true when she heard him shut and lock the door.
“What are you making?” he asked sitting at the small table they had shoved in one corner. The women rarely used the table, most of the time they ate on the couch.
“I am cutting out the shapes of the cookies I am making. I need to bake them and let them cool before I can decorate,” she explained, using a spatula to slide under each cutout and place it on a baking tray. She needed twenty-four of each crest. The rest of the dough would be used for other shaped cookies to sell tomorrow.
“What do they look like?” he inquired. She looked up to see his eyes intently watching her work.
“The four Harry Potter house crests,” she replied, showing him the model she would be using.
“Wow, those are very intricate,” he remarked, and she smiled.
“They are the most time consuming of my cookies, but also my best seller,” she answered, scraping the dough off her counter and placing it back in the fridge. She pulled out the next batch and started her process all over.
“Do you only do decorated cookies?”
“No, I make drop cookies too. I worked on some yesterday while making the dough for these,” she answered, pointing to containers with sealed cookies.
“How do you package them?” Daniel stood and opened one box to reveal sets of cookies sealed.
“I have a machine that seals the packages and keeps the cookies fresh.”
“This is quite the setup,” he remarked, opening another container to find flower-shaped cookies.
“It has taken me several years to perfect my process, but I’ve found this works best for me,” she shared pulling the first batch of cookies out of the oven and putting in the second tray.
“Can I help?” She smiled up at him and saw he was closing the boxes and turning to help.
“Sure, can you use the flat spatula to slide the cookies off the tray and onto the cooling rack?” she asked, pointing to the equipment.
“Okay,” he replied and set about moving the first dozen cookies to a cooling rack with care. Leaving him to it, she finished cutting out the second dough placing them on cookie trays.
“How long does it take to bake everything?” he asked when she pulled the second tray out and put in the third.
"It takes a few hours. Only having one oven, I don’t do more than one tray because the cookies bake unevenly."