The choice

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I was still searching for something to say when Adam kissed my forehead. He was still smiling fondly at me as he added.

"I know humans are not like that Mia so relax. I know especially you don't believe in true love and love at first sight even though you read all those romance novels." He said amused. "I'm a very patient hunter. I'll wait for as long as it takes."

"I do love you Adam. You know that I love you and I know that it's starting to feel like more because you make me happy. I know that I can trust you and rely on you. You've always proved me that but... I don't know if it's love love yet. It's getting there but not quite yet. It's too soon for me." I said honestly pouring all my feelings into my words.

"I know honey. I do. I know you and I know that you don't usually desire your friends like you desire me so I'll wait until you're sure." He said softly.

"Thank you." I breathed in relief. I truly felt grateful because he was not pressuring me to reciprocate his feelings so soon. His reaction was exactly what I wanted. He was not offended that I did not declare undying love right away but if he had been, I would never have been friends with him to begin with.

"Don't thank me." He chuckled. "I knew what I was getting myself into with you and I don't regret it. You're worth every trouble."

"Hey." I said falsely hurt. "I think that I took everything pretty well considering that I did not know about lycanthropes being real a week ago."

"It's true that you adapted quickly." He nodded. "There's still so much you need to learn but we can take it slow. I'll tell you everything you need to know about the shifters and the tigers. I'm not going to hide anything."

"You better or there'll be Hell to pay mister." I said showing him that I meant it. I did not want to feel rejected again as I did with Jackson. Either I was a part of his world completely or I was not. There would be no in between anymore. It hurt too much.

I kissed his cheek and offered him a small smile. I needed to get back to work and we would have time tonight to talk about it.

"I'll see you later. I need to help Lisa find the perfect napkins to present to our client."

"This is serious matter." He whistled. "You need to get to it right away."

"You say that because it's not your wedding." I chuckled. "It's really important."

"Anything that's important to my bride will be important to me." He said serious again.

Oh dear. That was a bit too much for me. I kissed his cheek again and made my exit. He could not tell how talking about weddings made me nervous right? He probably could but he did not comment so that was good for me.

I worked until late again and Adam came to fetch me so we could go to my place. I could not help a smile at seeing him walk to me. He was breath-taking. That was just his natural talent. He was charismatic and a true leader.

"Shall we?" He said his voice the normal deep rumble that I loved.

"Yes. Let's go."

I took my stuff and we left the building together. He drove to my place and we were lucky to find a spot not so far from my building.

"So what are you cooking tonight?" He asked while we walked to my apartment.

"I thought you would like something French from my region so I'm cooking duck confit with Sarladaise potatoes. The duck was actually made by my grand-mother so it's perfect." I said.

"How is she doing? I know you guys still call." He said.

True. I did not talk to my parents anymore since my dad went to prison but my grandparents raised me so yeah. I called as often as I could and they sent me packages from time to time and I would as well.

I loved my grandmother. She was a tough woman and a great chef. She taught me all I knew about cooking.

My grandparents still lived in the South of France on their little farm. They tended to their garden and raised a few animals just for their benefit. Their life was simple but honestly that was all I desired as well.

"She's fine. She practically yelled "about time" when I told her we were dating." I chuckled.

She hated Jackson for what he was putting me through but she loved Adam. Always did. He even met her through Skype when she called. She told me that he was as beautiful as he was sweet and I agreed with her so far.

"I can imagine that. She had been telling me often that I just should take you from Jackson." He said.

That shocked me. I did not know they had been talking behind my back. Huh. I would need to talk to her about that.

"She did huh..."

"Are you mad that we have been talking without you? She's not very good at English but we manage and I'm improving my French thanks to her."

I looked at him as I opened the door to my apartment. He was smiling fondly thinking about my grandmother. My heart throbbed just at the sight. When I dated Jackson, I knew that my grandmother did not like him. I almost convinced myself that it was ok as long as we loved each other but seeing how she liked Adam and he seemed to like her as well... That was like a dream come true. I felt warm all over again.

"I'm not mad." I said my heart in my throat. "I like it."

"You do?" He chuckled.

"Yes. I never thought I would like it that much but it makes me feel happy that you two are getting along."

He beamed at me and held me tight. I embraced him back and my heart swelled in my chest. I wanted to stay like this a bit more but I needed to take care of dinner.

"You go ahead and take a shower." I told him while parting slowly. "I'll get on with the food."

"You don't need help?" He asked with a smile.

"Nah. I'll be fine. You go first."

He kissed me softly and left the room to go to my bathroom. It was smaller than his but hey I lived in an apartment not a house. I started to peel and cut the potatoes and took out the duck. I used the fat to cook the potatoes and then cooked the duck. I seasoned my potatoes and was ready by the time Adam came out of the bathroom.

He padded to me wearing a white polo shirt with navy jeans. He was smiling as I turned around to look at him. He grabbed two glasses and poured the red wine I had selected. He handed me the glass and I could not help a smile.

"Thank you." I said while we cheered. "You know how to please a woman."

He chuckled before taking a sip of the wine. I knew it was good because it was French, curtosy of my grandparents. He looked at it surprised that it would taste so good.

"I sure hope so." He said smirking. "You know how to select wine. You're the perfect wife material Mia."

There it was again. The talk about wedding. I knew we were old enough to have that talk after all I was almost 30 and he was 33. It would be normal at our age when in a serious relationship to mention marriage. It still scared me though. He knew that I was not very comfortable with it when I had the example of my parents.

He noticed that I was getting lost in my thoughts and he pulled me closer to him. His hand traced small circles on my back to soothe me back to the present.

"You're not like her and we're not like them." He said softly. "We still have time. I want you to know more about the tigers before I officially ask you for my mark."

I looked into his concerned green eyes and tilted my head. Officially?

"What does that mean? There's a ceremony or something?" I asked.

"Not a ceremony. I will ask you if you want my mark when you're ready and if you say yes, I will mark you. If you choose not to accept my mark, then our courting ends and I'll leave you alone."

They had to ask before marking. That was interesting. It meant that the marking had to be mutual. Right?

"Does that mean that you need my consent to mark me?" I asked just to be sure.

"No. I could mark you right now and there would be nothing you could do about it but... Both parties have to be marked for the bond to settle between us so it's normal to ask." He explained.

"So you could mark me but the bond would not be complete as long as I don't mark you back?"

"Yes. But you see, if I marked you, you'd be compelled to complete the bond. The magic is that strong and it's hard to resist. Of course, if you could refrain for a few weeks, then my mark would fade on its own."

"Can someone erase your mark by marking me?"

"If the bond is not complete, yes. If we are both marked then no one can erase it."

Interesting. I found that I was not scared to belong completely to Adam and that no one could take him from me once we did. I guess divorce is not an option for lycanthropes but I could live with that.
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