The choice

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7

I spent the entire day working on the Millers' wedding. I still had time of course, it was only due in three months but there was so much to do. I needed to help Lisa call the florists and see if they had all the flowers we needed. Then there was the questions of the room and how we should organise the tables and so on.

There was much to do.

Being busy allowed me not to think too much about my evening. I was nervous. Adam and I had been to restaurants together a lot but tonight it was different. We would not be going as friends but for a date.

I was both nervous and looking forward to it. Jackson did not take me out on dates a lot. We would only go out for our birthdays or on occasions. Not that I minded. I was a home lover. I loved to stay at home and enjoy the intimacy of watching a movie or cooking together. That was more my kind of date.

Of course, that was not suitable for a first date so dinner was a nice change of pace.

When I felt that I did all I could for the day, I walked to Adam's office and knocked. My heart was beating frantically in my chest as he said "come in". Damn it. It was just Adam. Calm down.

I walked inside the office and it was very neat. Adam was everything but messy. He was tidy and liked order. I suppose it would be normal when you were to be head of your clan and the boss of a company.

Adam sat behind a smooth wooden desk in a large black leather chair. Behind him stood shelves full of binders. He was in charge of the paperwork so it would be normal but not a paper was poking out.

He lifted his head from his computer to look at me and he smiled. I walked closer to the desk and said.

"We can go if you're ready."

"Sure. Let me turn this off and we can go."

"Take your time." I said smiling.

"Sit down please."

I nodded and took one of the black chairs facing his desk.

"Did you reach Lisa?" He asked.

"I did. She loved the idea and she will be talking about it with the bride. She will be calling me tomorrow to give me the ok."

"Great. I'm sure it will be a pretty wedding."

"Me too. Do... Shifters have weddings as well?" I asked.

He landed his green eyes on me and they sparkled. He really liked it that I was interested in his culture. Good. Because I liked that too.

"Yes. Although we call them mating ceremony."

"So the marking is real too?" I asked.

"Yes. The marking is the first step. We leave a mark on the other to claim them, then we mate and finally comes the ceremony so the entire community will know that the couple is united for life."

"Sounds... Fascinating." I said thinking about it.

Humans were used to divorce and such things but it seemed that divorce was not an option in the lycanthropes' world. Did they really love each other forever? Was such a thing even possible?

"I know you Mia. I know you don't believe in true love but it's real for us. It's the only way for us to have lots of kids too. You can have children with your chosen mate but it's not as... easy."

"Reproducing must be really important to you guys."

"It is. That's in our blood. We love kids. They show how prosperous a clan is. Of course, love is also a huge perk of having a mate. You will never need to ask yourself if the other loves you."

"So no unfaithful people among the lycanthropes?"

"I didn't say that. Sadly, some will lose their mates and the bond is not as strong with a chosen."

"I see."

"It'll never be your case though."

I thought about it while Adam stood up. I followed suit and we walked together out of the building.

That actually had some perks to be mates. I knew how painful being cheated on felt. It happened to me at least once. What would you do if you could be certain that would never happen? Of course you would choose such a relationship. It did not mean that you would never get hurt though. After all, Jackson had succeeded in it.

"What's on your mind?" Adam asked as we walked to our favourite restaurant.

It was an Italian restaurant that served the best Italian dishes in the city. It was not fancy but it was not fast food either. It was cosy and perfect to me. The chef was an Italian-French and I loved to talk to him when I felt homesick. Adam could have not picked a better place to go for our first official date.

"Thinking about what you said about mates. It doesn't mean that no one gets hurt though."

"Love is tough no matter what you are." Adam said. "It wouldn't be fun too if everything was always perfect."

I could not help a smile.

"I agree. Love should always be rough so you won't get bored." I nodded.

Adam laughed a deep rumble and I turned to look at him. Did I say something that funny? Or did I make an English mistake? It still happened.

"Mia sometimes I forget that English is not your mother tongue. That was a nice inuendo though."

"What do you mean?" I asked puzzled. Did I say something sexual without meaning it?

"Well basically... You told me that you liked it rough. Not that I mind." He said smiling.

Oh boy. Really?

"You're not teasing me right?" I asked blushing. I did like it rough truthfully but that was not the way I wanted to tell him. Oh well.

"I'm teasing a bit but it sounded like that to me."

I chuckled and looked at the tiger.

"That's not nice." I pouted. "But I'm glad to hear that it's not an issue for you."

"It depends on what you really like. I won't hit you or insult you."

Oh boy. I blushed furiously as I pictured just that. No. I was not into that kind of rough sex.

"No I don't like that either." I said shaking my head. "Let's save this conversation for later all right?"

"Sure."

He took my hand in his big one and I leaned into the feeling. It felt so nice to have his big warm hand around mine. It was both comforting and exciting.

We entered the restaurant hand in hand and the waiter came to us. We knew all the waiters here and this one was the son of the chef. His name was Michelangelo but we called him Mitch. He was a tall young man of 21 with short black hair and dark brown eyes, legacy of his Italian origins. He looked naturally tanned and he had a big smile on as he spotted us.

"Mia and Adam." He said. "Nice to see you again. The usual?"

"We're here on a date this time." Adam said smiling. "Let's try something new."

I could not help a smile and I noticed that Mitch was smiling too.

"Took you long enough." He said mischievously. "We had a bet going on with Pa for how long it would take you Adam to ask Mia out."

I arched a brow at that. Really? We were that obvious to the others? I never noticed. Maybe Adam truly was right. I was dense. Huh. Here I thought that I was a sharp person. My ego did not like this a bit.

Mitch took us to our usual table but this time, he brought us the menus. I could not help a smile. I had not seen these in years. We would usually always eat the same thing each time we would come here.

"It feels strange right?" Adam asked.

I looked above my menu to my date for the evening. It still felt weird to call him that but something inside me liked it very much.

"Yes but strange in a good way." I answered.

He beamed at me and opened his hand on the table so I would take it. I did not even hesitate.

"I think so too. It feels... Right to be with you."

Geez. He knew how to talk to women that was for sure.
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