Defended by a Jaguar (Mate Me book 4)

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Chapter 3

Pulling into his apartment complex, Jordan looked over his shoulder to see Daisy fast asleep. Now she falls asleep! He groaned and knew tonight was going to be a long one. Good thing he had tomorrow off. Getting out of the car, he took Daisy inside before coming back for the groceries. Marcus and Ellie would come over in about an hour. He needed to start on the mac and cheese, then fry up the chicken. He enjoyed caring for Daisy. She was sweet, adventurous, and almost always willing to try new foods. At the daycare, she was making friends and coming out of her shell. When he’d taken custody of her at two, she’d refused to talk to anyone. Now she was crying because he wasn’t spending enough time with her.

Jordan was frantically rushing around his apartment an hour later, trying to get dinner on the table before Ellie, Marcus and baby Ava showed up. He pulled the mac and cheese out of the oven along with the fried chicken and steamed broccoli. He’d put together a cheese sauce to encourage Daisy to eat her vegetables.

“Uncle Jordan,” Daisy called, and he went into her room to see her sitting up and rubbing her eyes.

“Perfect timing. Ellie, Marcus, and Ava should be here any minute. Will you help me set the table?” he asked, picking her up and carrying her into the living room.

“Yes!” she cheered and bounced in his arms, he set her down and she ran off to get out the forks.

Knock, knock.

“That’s Mrs. Ellie, go answer the door while I pour water,” Jordan told Daisy.

“Okay, Uncle Jordan.” Daisy skipped to the door.

“Hi!” she called excitedly, Jordan turned to see Ellie and Marcus carrying Ava’s baby seat. Any time they went around together, Marcus always carried Ava in her baby seat. Jordan admired and envied their relationship and hoped to have one like theirs. Georgia popped into his head. Her light blond hair and gray eyes made him smile.

“Jordan,” Ellie called and waved her hand in his face.

“Sorry just thinking,” he replied, and she gave him a knowing smile.

“Who is she?” Ellie asked, placing her coat and Marcus’s on the back of the couch. Marcus put Ava’s seat down and pulled the cover off. Ava was fast asleep. Daisy crouched and smiled.

“She is so cute.”

“Thank you, Daisy, how was school?” Ellie asked, taking her hand and walking her to the dinner table.

“Uncle Jordan is letting me stay home for a long weekend,” Daisy answered, climbing into her chair. She’d refused her booster seat several months ago.

“Is he?” Ellie gave him a questioning look.

“She needs a break and I’ve been crazy busy. We both needed a break and your case is almost settled,” he explained passing out dinner.

“When do we go to trial?” Marcus asked, speaking for the first time.

“Next week we present our case and the jury decides William’s fate. He has no more appeals and this will be the end,” Jordan answered.

“Thank goodness,” Ellie sighed and bit into the fried chicken.

“Ooh, this is good Jordan. You will make a woman very happy one day,” Ellie remarked, taking another bite. Jordan smiled and felt a warmth pass through him.

“Thank you.”

“You never answered who you were thinking about,” she pointed out and he knew she wouldn’t let him go.

“No one,” he lied.

“Georgia, we met her at the grocery store. She is new,” Daisy ratted him out, and he groaned.

“Blond with gray eyes?” Ellie asked, and he gave her a confused look.

“Do you know her?”

“No, but I have a hunch she is Caroline Jefferson’s sister. Caroline mentioned one of her sisters was moving into town. Her name is Georgia,” Ellie explained, and Jordan felt hope. If Georgia knew Caroline there was a chance he would meet her at a Mate Me event.

“Ellie leave the poor man alone. I swear you all latch onto any single soul and want them mated,” Marcus laughed.

“Just because Rob hasn’t taken my advice doesn’t mean Jordan won’t,” Ellie persisted.

“Thanks, Ellie, but with your court case and Daisy to care for, I’m busy. If Georgia and I are meant to be, then we will find each other again.” Jordan nudged Daisy’s broccoli over at her and she speared one with her fork.

“Thank you,” he told her when she ate it.

“Ellie, are you still open to taking Daisy on your breaks?” Jordan asked after finishing his dinner.

“Sure, I have Adam so she will have someone to play with her,” Ellie replied and Daisy bounced in her seat.

“Yes! I love hanging out with Mrs. Ellie. She does the best voices for the characters in our books,” Daisy announced and Jordan chuckled.

“Glad to hear. Behave or I’ll send you back to daycare instead,” he threatened with a smile on his face.

“I promise,” Daisy replied and finished her dinner.

“Do you want more?” he asked her and she shook her head.

“I’m going to play with my barbies.” She put her plate in the sink and went over to her play chest. When he was able Jordan would hunt for a house, Daisy deserved a sizeable place for her to play. With how small their apartment was, he couldn’t let her have too many toys and her scooter sat in a corner. Plus, when she was thirteen she would shift for the first time and the cover of the woods would be the best place.

“Let’s talk over your case and then we can have dessert,” Jordan said, turning the conversation to why they were together in the first place.

“Okay,” Ellie replied and felt her nerves heighten.

“I’ll deliver opening remarks and so will the defense. Then I will have you come to the stand and share what happened. I want you to start from your time in high school. The notes you kept will be given as evidence. After you talk, the defense will be able to ask you questions. Answer truthfully. Then I’ll have Sheila come up and talk about her role. Willam has been trying to blame her. He’d been spouting that she wanted Marcus and used him to take care of you,” he shared. He could see the looks of anger on both their faces.

“Seriously?” Ellie asked, and Jordan nodded.

“Sheila was being blackmailed!” Ellie yelled, and Marcus patted her arm to calm her down.

“Jordan knows that he’s trying to prove William was behind everything.” Marcus calmed her down by kissing her temple.

“I know Ellie. I will do my best to help Sheila. I can’t promise she won’t have some jail time. She was an accomplice to your kidnapping,” Jordan explained.

“I know and she lost her job as principal because of it. Vice Principal Mathers is now principal until the board can hire another one,” Ellie replied. Jordan nodded and pulled out his notepad.

“Anything you want to add to what you’ve told me? Any additional information?”

“No. I told you everything multiple times. I just want this to end.”

“It will Ellie. Next week it will be over,” Jordan promised.

“Good, now I need dessert. I brought an apple pie.” Ellie switched gears and took out the pie she made.

“Yum!” Daisy came over to the table carrying one of her favorite princess barbies to stare at the pie.

“I remember you saying it was your favorite at Christmas time,” Ellie told Daisy bopping her on the nose. Jordan watched the two of them and knew he needed to find a mate. He wanted one. His jaguar was craving a mate. After meeting Georgia, she was the one he had been waiting for. Daisy clicked with her, and that was the most important thing to him. Watching Daisy, he smiled. His niece was his world.

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