Amelia couldn’t believe what was happening internally with her wolf. The second their eyes connected, her wolf began whining.
He is our mate! I can sense it!
How is that possible? He is a prince, and I am a commoner. She argued, but how could she argue with her wolf? All her life she had been told her wolf would know when she was near her mate. Instantly, she felt devastated. There would be no way she could be with the crown prince. She was a pastry chef who made cookies for a living, came from a foster home with no parents. Not even the orphanage could tell her about her family, she had been left on their doorstep as a two-year-old. There was no note, only her dropped on the front step with a suitcase containing her clothing, name, birthday, and a stuffed wolf wearing a tiara.
“Have a seat,” he told her, she sat in a plush chair in front of his desk. He leaned against his desk, crossing one leg over the other, his hands propping him up. She took him in, he was tall for a wolf shifter, at least a head and a half taller than her five feet five inches. His hazel eyes were sharp and took in everything. His dark blond hair had a slight wave to it, he kept it long across the top and shaved around the sides. His shoulders filled out his gray dress shirt, it pulled taut over his chest and arms. Every time he moved, the fabric pulled and showed off his impressive muscles. He looked the very picture of a prince, dressed in a gray button-up shirt, black slacks, and shiny black dress shoes. He wore a black vest with a light blue tie tucked inside, his jacket had been discarded on the back of his chair. Mentally, she thanked Kylie for forcing her to wear her dress. She would have felt ridiculous in her normal attire of jeans and a blouse.
“I don’t want to come off as rude, especially to the crown prince, but why did you call me here Your Highness?” she asked, her hands clenched in her lap to hide her nervousness. He asked her to come to his office, the conversation couldn’t be anything good if he wanted privacy.
“Do you remember how we met?” he asked, she nodded.
“Your family came to visit the orphanage and tried to help some of us older ones find foster homes. You played soccer with the boys and me,” she replied.
“Do you remember anything else?” he asked. She tilted her head to the side and tried to think hard. Those years at the orphanage were twenty years ago. She didn’t remember much, other than being unwanted by the woman who ran the place and the foster family they had placed her with.
“I’m sorry I don’t. I remember I was eight, and you were eleven. About a week after your visit I was placed with a foster family until I turned eighteen,” she answered. She wouldn’t tell him how horrible her time with the family had been. The family had fostered her and two other girls, Kylie was one of them and Trish had been the other. She still kept in touch with Trish. She was currently in the Aubrun Kingdom, run by the bear shifters. Trish was a bear shifter, but her family had lived in the West Woods Kingdom until terrorists killed them.
“I would like to spend some time with you,” he explained. She stared at him as if he’d lost his mind.
“Why?” she asked, before clapping a hand over her mouth.
“I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to sound rude,” she apologized and bowed her head.
“My sister is using your services for her gender reveal party. I would like you to hand deliver the cookies. Savannah is in a delicate condition and her husband is away on business, I don’t want anything to stress her out,” he shared. His hazel eyes held hers and she tried to keep her blush from spreading further across her body. She wanted him. Lightning was racing down her spine, settling in her core. She knew she would have to change her underwear after this conversation.
“I can do that, when is the party?” she asked, taking a slow breath to hide her reaction to him.
“Two days,” he told her and she gaped at him.
“I don’t know if I can get a whole order of cookies done in two days.” Her mind raced as she thought about how much time she put into making each of the cookies.
“She already put the order in, and it was supposed to be delivered today,” he explained.
“She didn’t happen to order stork cookies with reveal blankets did she?” she asked, the cookies she’d worked on the night before sprang to mind.
“Those sound like the ones she showed me. Do you have a picture?” She nodded and pulled out her phone to show him the picture of the cookies she’d finished late last night.
“Those are the ones,” he replied. His breath brushed her face, and when she looked up his lips were level with her eyes. She looked up further and their eyes connected, she saw his pupils dilate and the next thing she knew, his lips were on hers. Closing her eyes, she leaned into the kiss. This might be the only time she ever got kissed and she was going to enjoy it. His tongue darted against the seam of her lips, and she let him in. The kiss consumed her, and soon a fire burned in her belly. Using her tongue, she danced with his, turning the kiss even more intimate. He pulled away far too soon for her liking. Looking up, she saw him grimace. Pulling away she quickly stood up and moved away from him, bowing her head.
“I am so sorry,” she whispered and fled his office. She couldn’t believe she had kissed Prince Daniel! What was she thinking? She ran out of the castle and onto the busy streets, not caring about cars driving or people walking. She raced to where her car had been parked several blocks away and dove into the driver’s seat. Revving the engine, she drove like a madwoman home.
As soon as she was inside her small apartment, she slammed the door and leaned against it. She had kissed Prince Daniel! Her wolf was wrong, they couldn’t be mates, he’d looked so disappointed after he kissed her. Pausing, she took a deep breath and packed up the cookies for Princess Savannah, taking care not to break a single one. Pulling out her phone, she called Tom, her delivery driver and told him she had a special order that needed to be hand delivered.
“Under no circumstance are you allowed to break even one! These are very important,” she told him.
“I’ve never broken a cookie. Why are you scolding me?” Tom asked she sighed into the phone.
“They are for Princess Savannah, we cannot chance a single cookie looking less than perfect,” she explained.
“Why don’t you take them then?” he asked.
“I have several other orders I need to fill. Please come by as soon as you can and pick up the cookies,” she replied.
“I’ll be over in ten minutes,” he answered and hung up. Prince Daniel had asked for her to personally bring them, but after the forbidden kiss they shared, she couldn’t face him. He did not feel the same way about her as she had him. Her wolf was wrong and now she knew she would be mateless forever.
Opening her computer she found she had three more orders, one a set of Harry Potter house crests. Those were very detailed and would take her mind off everything that had happened with Prince Daniel. Going into the kitchen, she pulled out butter to soften and then went into her bedroom to change. Putting on a pair of yoga pants and a long tunic shirt, she pulled her hair into a messy bun on top of her head. Now she felt like herself again. She enjoyed dressing up but much preferred less form-fitting clothing.
“How was your meeting?” Kylie asked coming out of her bedroom, she looked exhausted. Her hair was mussed, and she had smudged mascara under her eyes.
“Fine, he wanted to see to his sister’s gender reveal cookies,” she shared only half of the truth with her best friend. She didn’t want to think about their heated kiss or the way he looked disgusted when they parted.
“Wait, you know the gender of Princess Savannah’s baby and you didn’t tell me?” Kylie demanded. Amelia shrugged and made her way into the kitchen.
“The order clarified that I was to tell no one. I won’t go back on my word and break the confidence of a client. You must wait like everyone else,” she replied and set about pulling her three stand mixers out. If her next few orders went well, she would buy a fourth stand mixer. She would need to make four different flavored cookies for the crests. She’d experimented with flavor combinations until she had one for each house. Chocolate for Hufflepuff, a lemon sugar cookie for Slytherin, cinnamon swirl for Gryffindor, and an earl gray cookie for Ravenclaw. Secretly she had an obsession with Harry Potter and reread the books frequently. They were her escape into a world where the main character and she had similar home lives. Hated by the people who took you in, treated like scum and always wore second-hand clothes. That had been how Kylie learned to sew. She would take their second-hand clothes and tweak them until they were fashionable.
“Did anything else happen? I remember him coming to visit and then you, Trish and I were placed with the Naustin’s and survived ten miserable years with them.”
“He asked if I remembered meeting him. I told him about playing soccer together,” she answered, going about putting the dry ingredients in separate bowls. Each cookie dough would need to firm up in the fridge after it had been mixed.
“Anything else?” Kylie probed Amelia, shook her head and didn’t look her friend in the eyes. She was a terrible liar and didn’t want to talk about anything else.
“So you got dolled up for nothing?” Kylie seemed more upset than she should have.
“No, he was dressed in a suit with a vest and matching jacket. I would have felt ridiculous in my normal clothing. Thank you for insisting I dress up,” she told her friend. Kylie beamed at her and gasped at the clock.
“Damn I have a meeting with a new fabric vendor in half an hour. I won’t be home for dinner, I rescheduled with Nick for tonight,” Kylie shared and rushed back into her bedroom. Amelia laughed and turned on some music to listen to while she made dough. Testing the butter it wasn’t soft enough, so she set about checking the other two orders, giving her butter time to properly soften. One was for an assortment of flower-shaped cookies for a garden party and the other a set of her tea time cookies. Neither order was due to mail out until next week. It gave her time to go through her ingredients and make a list of what she needed.