The choice

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11

I had trouble sleeping last night after what Adam said. I fantasisied about it often enough to get excited. So naturally, I was beat when I arrived at the gym.

Haven was already there and he chuckled at my sight when I greeted him. He was lifting weight that were heavier than a car but now I knew how he did it. Must be nice to be a strong lion.

"Nice to see you back Frenchy." He said. "Didn't see you yesterday."

"Well I needed to sleep on it a bit." I said picking up some weights.

"Did Adam help? I heard that he claimed you as his." His voice was careful as he stated the fact.

"Yes. I'm thankful for him explaining things to me but I don't... Feel things like you guys. There's still a lot I need to learn."

"More than you think." He chuckled. "I'm happy for you. Adam is a great guy."

"He is. That's why he's my favourite boss. He showed me... his other side."

"That's good. Were you scared?"

"Fascinated you mean. Tigers are a lot bigger than I thought."

Haven laughed a deep full throated laugh. I did not know I was that funny but I guess a novice always is.

"Natural tigers aren't." He finally said. "We're just a lot bigger than our cousins."

"Will you show me too? Not now but one day?"

"Sure. We're friends and that might be useful to you to recognise us."

Why would that be? I looked at the big man quizzically but he did not answer my tacit question. I knew better than to press the matter. He would not answer anyway.

We worked out until it was time for me to go to the office. I still had a wedding to plan. I was sure that there were also other things to do but we tended to focus only on one project at a time.

I picked up the coffees as usual and walked to the office. I was the first to arrive I thought until I heard movement in Adam's office. I could not help a small giddy smile to come up my face. We had finally kissed. You're at work girl, stop it.

I turned on my computer and sat at my desk tipping my nails on the hard surface. I was not a very patient person but I worked on it usually.

The computer finally lit up and I started going through my emails. As I thought, there was a message from Lisa. Even when she was writing an email, you could feel her energy. It only said: 'she loves it!! :)' but I could hear her shrill from here. I was chuckling when I heard a rumble behind me.

"Even via email, Ms. Fox is energetic." Adam said as he took a sip from my coffee. He frowned and I smirked.

"That's mine. Here is yours." I said handing him the double espresso cup.

"I don't know how you can drink this. It's too sweet." He said taking a sip from his bitter coffee.

"That's because I'm sugar myself." I smirked.

"That you are honey." He grinned.

"We're at work guys." Ismael sighed as he walked in. "Don't rub it in boss."

Adam put a hand on my shoulder and smiled at the demon. I could not believe I knew a real demon and Ismael did not look like what I imagined a demon should look like but he told me he was using glamour. It was on point truly.

"Sorry Ismael but you're right." Adam said still amused. "We will have time to flirt tonight."

Ismael irked and Adam could not help a laugh. As did I actually. Ismael could be overdramatic sometimes but I suppose demons are playful critters. I only knew Ismael but he was plenty playful.

"Will you replace Laurel soon?" Ismael asked as he sat at his desk.

"I will have to. We can't afford to be short on hands." Adam answered as if it was a valid question.

"When did you fire Laurel?" I asked him.

"Last night." He looked at me as if I was acting weird and it finally dawned on him. "When I said I didn't want to see her face again, it also meant work. When you're bannished it's from everywhere."

My jaw dropped at his statement. Ok, Laurel went a bit overboard when she tried to cheat but... He bannished her? Was that not a bit too extreme?

"He was right to do so." Ismael said. "What kind of coward uses fangs and claws on a human? Plus, if he didn't bannish her, her tribe would have killed her."

"Yes. The leader of her litter could have killed her for being weak. Better be a rogue than dead in my opinion." Adam said. "Being rogue allows you to redeem yourself."

"That's... Ok. That's extreme but I understand." I said.

I tried really but I could not think of a human analogy. Except if you were a pedophile, a murderer or a rapist no human would bannish you from society. Although rapists got away sometimes... I never thought the offence of fighting with your claws and fangs when you said you would not was that big. Apparently it was for the supes.

"If she had been a demon, we would have hunted her down and thrown holy water. That's shameful for a demon to fight so low as to try to eliminate a human like this... No offence of course Mia but humans are so weak that there is no need to cheat." Ismael said.

"None taken. I never would have imagined that it was such a great offence."

"It is." Adam nodded. "Fighting is what we do we weres. Disrespecting an opponent in the way she did is serious. We don't accept such behaviour in our community."

So they were honorable. More than humans I thought. Humans would cheat if cornered so maybe that was the reason why I did not think it was such a great offence. Shifters tended to think differently and even demons. That was an interesting thought.

"No supes would see that as honorable." Ismael confirmed. "Issuing a challenge meant that she respected you and she betrayed the very essence of the challenge. We don't do that. Challenges have powerful magic surrounding them."

"Too true." Said another male voice. This one was cold so I immediately recognised Gabriel the angel. "Challenges have their own magic and I don't know what the consequences would have been to the lynx if she managed to kill you acting like a coward."

"I would never have let her kill Mia." Adam said his jaw tense as he looked at the other man.

"I know boss." Gabriel answered laying his cold eyes on the tiger behind me. "But it could have been ugly."

"No one plays with magic without paying the price." Said a man with a heavy Irish accent.

I looked at the flamboyant red head as he passed the door. Peter was a middle sized man with clear hazels and bright red hair. He was always cheerful and woman tended to turn to look at him. He just had that magnet capacity. He was good looking no doubt about that. He was shaped like a stripper and had a dimple on his left cheek when he smiled. I wondered what kind of supe he was.

"The fey would know." Gabriel nodded. "They do use magic for anything."

"You're a fey Pete?" I asked my eyes round. I knew they were real since everyone told me but I would never have guessed.

He smiled brightly at me and I could see perfect little white teeth. He looked like the star of a toothpaste commercial.

"I'm púca to be exact lass." He said. "A shape-shifting fey."

My knowledge of feys was very limited. I supposed it was some kind of great fey considering that everyone was looking at Peter reverantly but I had no idea what a púca was.

"I'm sorry Pete but I don't know what that means." I said admitting my lack of knowledge. Sometimes it is better to be honest. Always worked for me.

The red head smiled at me and looked at Adam who nodded slightly. Why did he need permission to tell me? Then I remembered Adam saying I was his. I felt like a piece of property right now.

"It means that I'm one of the upper feys. I'm neither good nor evil and my main form is usually a black horse although I do have a humanoid form involving black horse's ears and tail." He said smiling.

"Why are your hair red then?" I asked. Ok that was lame but that was truly bothering me.

He laughed a hearty laugh and said something in Irish before he turned his mirthful hazels on me.

"Only you could ask that question. You always throw me off Mia. I chose that glamour because that was what Americans expected when they heard my accent."

"Makes sense." I nodded. "They expected me to wear a beret and to snuggle bread."

Everyone in the office laughed and I only shrugged. The custom officer at the airport was truly disappointed when he searched my luggage and found no bread in it. Funny what clichés could do.
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