I stand at the window, my hands in my pockets, my shoulders heavy. Students mill about in the square below, biding time before their next lecture starts. Some of them play ball games, some sit on their phones, some chat. I sigh for the millionth time and take a seat at my desk chair.
My eyes itch with the contacts we have to wear. Orange and yellow eyes would freak out the students and break the department dress code. We have to wear brown contacts on campus.
“Don’t lose faith, brother.”
Ezekiel’s rich voice reverberates across the office, reassuring me.
“It’s been eight years since we took over the pack,” I tell him tiredly. “I really thought she’d be in this cohort.”
“I know, so did I. I had a feeling,” he replies, equally as despondently. He runs his hand down his face. “I was convinced that my dream was a sign from the Moon Goddess.”
Two weeks ago, he had a dream that we met our mate. She was faceless in the dream and he couldn’t remember much about her, it was more the way he felt in the dream.
I had been so excited when he told me. I thought it was a sign too, especially as he had it the night before we came back to university for the start of the academic year. But alas, it’s been two weeks and there’s no sign of her.
The shrill ringing of the bell penetrates the thick door of our office and I grimace. After taking our undergraduate’s degree at this university, we did our masters. After that, we took our PHD to become lecturers. Due to our knowledge on the subject and Alpha status, we got to pull some strings and skip a few years. We got our PHD’s by the time we were twenty-four, which is almost unheard of.
This is our second-year teaching at the university. We love being Alphas and we love our pack, but it isn’t a full-time job. Three days a week, we teach at this university.
We teach postgrads and master’s only, not undergrads, we both prefer it that way. It means there are less absences from drinking and such. Also, the postgrad/Master’s students tend to be more dedicated to their studies.
I grab my briefcase and stand up. “Right, I’ll see you at lunch?”
“Yeah. We’ll treat ourselves to the burger vendor, cheer us up a bit,” Ez suggests.
“Good idea. See you, brother.”
“See you later.”
I make my way down the corridor, trying to ignore the stares of students as I walk past. It’s worse when I leave the building and enter other departments. At least in this department, students are used to seeing me. In other departments, where I’m not known, students actually stop to stare unashamedly at me. Humans. They’re so obvious with their attraction.
Ezekiel and I have strict rules with ourselves, we will never become involved with a student. Despite it not being against the rules, we don’t think it is appropriate. Unless, of course, the student is our mate.
With a heavy heart, I enter my classroom and start setting up. There’s a few students already in the bleacher-style lecture seats, the eager ones. I click open the locks on my briefcase and pull out some notes. I log into the computer and pull up the PowerPoint for today’s lecture. Once everything is sorted, I take a seat and wait.
The second bell rings and the room starts filling with students. The class quickly fills up. Monday’s lectures are my largest, I have around fifty-five students in this lecture. I drum my fingers methodically against the desk, waiting the final three minutes for it to hit 11 o’clock.
I look up to see Oya, one of my students, in front of my desk. In our first lecture, each of the students had to tell us something about themselves. Her family is from Turkey and Oya means ‘lace’ in Turkish.
“Were you informed that my friend Rosemary is supposed to be joining the class today?” She asks me politely. “Today is her first day.”
I glance at the register sheet on my desk and scan for the name. “There’s no Rosemary on this list,” I reply.
Then, I remember the Dean mentioning something about a new student last week. This must be her. “What’s her full name?” I ask her.
The sweetest voice reaches my ears. Breathy yet velvety. It’s like music. My head snaps up and I lock eyes with Miss Moore, who has just walked up to the desk and recited her full name to me.
She’s not very tall, perhaps 5”3 or 5”4. She has Asian facial features. Her almond shaped eyes are dark brown, almost black, and have hooded eyelids made for seduction. She has a heart-shaped face, with a small chin and plump, pouty lips. Her hair is a rich, chocolate brown and falls to her elbows in a few too many waves to be considered straight hair.
She’s perfect. And she’s mine.
Slowly, I regain control of my body. I lean forwards and smile at the beauty stood in front of my desk.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Moore,” I reply smoothly.
A faint pink colour spreads over her cheekbones, only adding to her beauty.
“Rosemary,” she corrects softly.
“Come on, Rose,” Oya says. “Let’s take a seat.”
I watch the two friends head to the stairs. Rosemary looks at me over her shoulder and blushes again. She’s a shifter, I can smell her sweet honeysuckle scent. She knows I’m her mate, I can see the excited glint shining in her eyes.
I write her name on the register and hand it to one of the students on the front row to sign in and pass around. Once back at my desk, I pull out my phone behind my laptop and text my twin.
MATE IS NEW STUDENT. ROSEMARY MOORE. STOP BY LECTURE HALL IF YOU CAN—SHE’S PERFECT.
That should do.
I smile and stand up, putting my hands in my pockets as I turn to face the crowd.
Time to teach my mate a thing or two about Greek mythology.
Lecturing with your mate in the audience is not as fun as I thought it would be. It’s incredibly hard to concentrate. She sits right in the centre of the middle row, next to Oya. I try not to sexualise her, I really do, but it’s fucking difficult when she chews and sucks on the end of her pen lid every time she concentrates.
She gets absorbed in the information and regards my slides with earnest interest. She rolls the lid of that damn pen back and forth on her bottom lip and I summon every bit of control I have to hold myself back from throwing her over my shoulder and charging out of here.
Towards the end of the lecture, as I’m going through my concluding slides, I spot Ezekiel out in the hallway. He looks through the glass panels in the door and scans the seats for our mate.
The bell rings, signalling the end of our time and disappointment fills me. Students start filing out of the lecture hall, but Oya and Rosemary stay behind.
I’m assuming she has told her friend about me being her mate. Oya is a shifter, too. Her family contacted Ezekiel and I and requested that we keep an eye on their daughter whilst she is at university. Oya is a good student, so they wanted us to protect her and keep her safe, not keep her grades on track, Oya can do that herself.
She is still unaware of Ezekiel. I can’t wait for her to find out that she has two of us.
All of the students leave the hall, with only Oya and Rosemary remaining. They gather up their things and make their way along the row and down the stairs.
I nod at Ezekiel and he strides into the room. He comes to stand next to me and his eyes lock with Rosemary’s. Happiness fills me at seeing the joy on Ez’s face. We have waited so long for this moment. Eight years we have been preparing for her and now, she is finally here. Everything we’ve be planning can finally be put into action. We can love her, spoil her, pleasure her…
The look of shock on Rosemary’s face snaps me out of my dreamland. Her lips are parted, and her eyes are wide. She’s frozen a few metres away from us, Oya awkwardly hovering at her side.
“Rose?” She whispers. “Are you alright?”
“I can’t have two mates,” Rosemary murmurs, her voice is barely above a whisper, but Ez and I hear it.
Anger and confusion pierce through me.
Is she denying us? Rejecting us?
“No,” she says, her voice breaking. “It’s not right!”
She runs out of the room, taking my heart with her. I inhale sharply and wince at the pain. It feels like someone has just reached into my chest and squeezed my heart. I stumble forwards, ready to go after her, but Ez places his hand over my chest and shakes his head.
“I’ll talk to her, don’t worry,” Oya says and hurries out of the room.
“She needs some time to absorb this,” Ezekiel tells me. “It was obviously a shock. Most shifters would never expect two mates.”
“I know that,” I reply quietly. “But why did she look…disgusted? That wasn’t just shock, Ez. She said it wasn’t right.”
He grimaces and runs his hand through his hair.
“I know. Hopefully, Oya will speak to her.” He sighs. “For now, we should just be grateful that we have met her. Come, let’s have something to eat and you can tell me everything you’ve learned about her.”
Ezekiel and I purchase our burgers from the van that is situated in the main square of campus. We find a bench and take a seat, eating our food.
“There isn’t much to tell,” I explain. “All I know is her name and that today is her first day, that’s why we haven’t seen her before. Oya and her are close though, I think. Perhaps she can tell us more about our mate.”
“I hope so. She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” Ezekiel says, his expression soft at the thought of our mate.
“Yes, she is. I wonder what her background is, I thought she looks Asian?”
“She does. Goddess, everything about her was perfect. I hope Oya hurries up and talks to her, I want to introduce myself properly.”
I wince at his comment. “I didn’t even get to introduce myself, either. She only knows me as Professor Blake.”
“Don’t worry, brother, she’ll come round.”
“I know, I just hope it’s quickly.”