pine forest & spearmint
AIDA STOOD ACROSS FROM her floor length mirror, staring at her reflection. She felt beautiful. The white satin one shoulder dress brought in her already narrow waist, a small train and a very deep split on the right side. Her gloves were made from the same material as the dress and went up to her sharp elbows. Gold shoes, earrings, and an elegant choker adorned her body. Her nails, though they were hidden by her elbow length gloves, were painted in a shimmery gold color. According to Talia, when Aida goes home with a hunk tonight, she simply cannot have bare nails, it would ruin the entire look. Heels clicked on the floor, as she made her way to her living room, waiting patiently for her friend.
“Damn if I wasn’t with Jason I would take you home myself,” Talia winked causing Aida to shake her head. Pulling the keys out of her clutch, Aida walked towards the car with Talia in tow. “Do you think you’ll find your mate today?”
Aida pursed her lips, her hands tightening around the steering wheel. She had neglected to tell Talia about finding her mate two days ago. “I don’t think so,” but that was a lie. The entire purpose of this gala was so their Alpha could find his mate who he apparently saw days ago.
Talia was quiet. Out of their entire friend group Aida was the only one who wasn’t mated and although she said it didn’t bother her, Talia knew she was lying.
The ball had begun, only moments before Aida and Talia arrived and it was already packed. No one wanted to miss the chance to see their Alpha King, who was rarely around. “Want to get a drink?” With a nod, the two lycans squeezed their way through the crowd of people and towards the bar. “Martini and champagne, please.”
“You look,” Jason’s face flushed, “wow...just wow.” Talia giggled, happy to make her mate speechless. “You look wonderful Aida,” he tipped his scotch in her direction.
“Thanks Jason.” A small smile was sent her way, before he turned his attention back to Talia. Aida’s eyes floated around the group and landed on Jackson’s mate Chris who only rolled his eyes and went back to engaging in a conversation with Jackson. She grunted slightly, still unsure of why he hates her so much. Her eyes swiveled around the room as she sipped her martini, surveying the pack. She was never fond of social gatherings, she felt too exposed and without a gun or dagger she felt even more vulnerable. “Verity stop bouncing around, please, you’re causing me a headache.”
“He’s here. Mate is here.”
Aida’s breath hitched, her orbs once again scanning the crowd, but this time for the one she shared a soul with, however, he was nowhere to be found. She wasn’t even sure what he looked like in human form, and the mystery seemed to excite her even more. “Ladies and gentlemen!” Jason’s voice instantly quieted the bustling ballroom. “King Draco Rivers.” A thunderous applause exploded from the crowd as they waited for his appearance.
The King stepped out from behind the curtain, his piercing silver eyes looking for the girl he had stalked in the woods, but it was hard when the entire pack had fallen to one knee. Arms hanging by his side, Draco’s long strides echoed throughout the room as he looked for the one who could calm the beast inside of him. His nostrils flared at the smell of coconut and salt water, and the wolf inside his head laid belly up, absolutely drunk on the smell.
From the ground Aida could feel him getting closer, and she looked up. She wasn’t supposed to look at him from her position, eye contact often translated as a challenge, but she couldn’t help herself. The King’s dark curly hair pulled into a bun on top of his head. His eyes were a cold sterling silver, but there was a hidden look of love in the background. He was tall, towering over her like a skyscraper, even in the heels that made her 5′10—five inches taller than her usual, 5′5. Black ink appeared on his neck and hands and she wondered if his torso was fully tatted or not.
Draco could see the little freckles splattered across her cheeks, her two tone eyes that stared at him with such love. Her parted lips were plump and painted with a soft pink. Long wavy honey colored hair framing her face. To him, she was perfect. A surge of energy rushed through his body and he held a large hand out for her to use to stand up and when she took it, they gasped. He had heard about the sparks you get when you touch your mate, but he never thought he would experience them. The back of his hand brushed the hair behind her ear, “mate.” In a matter of seconds, his lips were covering her own, igniting a fire across her body everywhere he touched.
When they broke apart, She buried her face in his chest, the smell of pine forest and spearmint overwhelming.
The King had found his Queen.
When Aida woke up her body was surrounded by more pillows and softer sheets than she was used to. Warm breath on her forehead startled her, causing last night’s events to come rushing back. She trailed a manicured finger across his face, memorizing every part of him: his sharp jawline, the little dimple on his left cheek that showed even when he wasn’t smiling, the scar that ran down his face, everything. The only word that came to mind when she stared at him some more was gorgeous.
“You’re staring Celeste,” her heart fluttered at the sound of her middle name on his lips, a small blush covering her freckled cheeks. Last night he had taken it upon himself to call her by a name no one else did, hence her second middle name, Celeste.
“I thought you were still asleep,” she bowed her head silently out of embarrassment.
He brought his tattooed fingers underneath her chin—“you bow to no one, especially not me. As Luna Queen, your command will always overrule my own. I will always bow down to you.” Kissing her on the lips, she let out a small gasp at the sparks that felt even more intense than yesterday. “Most supernatural relationships move along fairly quickly, but I want to give you the opportunity to choose how fast we go.”
“Quickly how?” She murmured, her hand continuing to trace his tattoos.
“Typically, mates will mark and mate on the first night.” Aida’s face flushed pink. “You will have your heat once a month until we mate, after that it’ll only be twice a year.”
No one had ever given Aida a choice before. If she hadn’t been blessed by the Moon Goddess, there was no doubt that Aida would live the life her parents designed for her. Straight As, business school, the mafia, there would have been no freedom for her to live her life. So when Draco surprised her with the choice, it took every muscle in her body not to cry. “I don’t want to mate right away,” she said with her head down. “If that’s okay with you?”
Draco smiled and nodded. “I want whatever you want Sweetheart.” There was a knock on the bedroom door and Draco yelled, “enter.”
A young woman poked her head in. Her skin was brown and her hair was artificially blonde, but there was a wide smile on her face as she took a look at the two mates. “Good morning, Your Majesty, My Lady,” she bowed lowly and then looked up. “Breakfast has been prepared when you are both ready.”
“Thank you Isabella.”
She nodded and turned to walk out the door before stopping with a gasp. “Oh sir, I forgot to tell you that your mother sent a letter early this morning.” Draco raised an eyebrow as he slid out of bed, his sweats hanging low on his waist. “She heard about My Lady Aida and has taken it upon herself to come and visit in a few days.”
Draco rolled his eyes and ran a hand through his hair. “Tell her to at least text me when she decides to come and visit, rather than just popping in.”
“Of course, Your Majesty.” Isabella bowed once more and then walked away.
“Where does your mother live?” Aida asked carefully as she stared at the muscular yet tense back of her mate.
“Greece,” he murmured with a sigh as he felt her hand trail up his back. Just the feeling of her skin on his, caused the tension in his body to release. “With my father and siblings.”
Though he could not see her, Aida nodded. “Let’s get breakfast,” she said quietly, her lips moving against his skin.
His laugh caused her face to flush red and then she was being led out of the bedroom and down the stairs.
Aida’s eyes fleeted over the interior design of the palace as they walked towards the kitchen. “I love this place,” she stated in awe.
“This place is your new home when you’re ready.”
Her eyes widened.
“I intend for the both of us to live here together, maybe even raise a family.”
A squeal left her mouth as she jumped onto him and kissed his inviting lips firmly.
“I take it you like the idea?”
She blushed and nodded, before her stomach ruined the moment and rumbled loudly.
“Let’s get you some food then, we’ll talk more later.”
Aida walked past Draco’s home office, her fingertips gliding across the off white wall. She could hear him on the phone talking to someone, a female to be exact, but she didn’t mind. She trusted him.
She gasped and turned back to the office door she had passed moments ago, but it was still closed.
“I’m in your head,” he said with a bit of a laugh. “Come to my office.”
Slowly turning on her heel she peaked her head through his office door and he beckoned her over with two fingers. He was still on the phone, so she wasn’t exactly sure why he needed her there but she stood by his desk anyway.
Draco leaned back in his chair. Although he was listening to the King & Queen of South America, his eyes stayed trained on his mate. Whipping an arm out, he snaked it around her waist and tugged her onto his lap. He took a deep breath as she rested her head against the crook of his neck. His fingers traced small patterns on her hip before he kissed her temple.
“Who are you talking to?” Aida whispered in his left ear.
Draco shivered at the feeling of her lips against his ear. “Higher Council members from South America.” Aida made a small ‘o’ with her mouth and continued to play with the curls on the back of his neck. “We’ll need to find time for my mother to come and visit.” Draco murmured the moment he hung up the phone and pulled Aida higher onto his lap so she straddled his waist.
She wrapped both arms around the back of his neck and tucked a curl behind his ear. “Won’t your father be coming as well?”
Draco’s chest rumbled with laughter. “I’m not entirely sure, Sweetheart. Would you like me to ask?”
She nodded shyly, to which the King just responded with a quick kiss.
“Come, I want to take a nap.”