The Alpha's Temporary Mate(7)

By: Victoria Davies


Her long-suffering sigh filled the air. “What’s the problem this time? Aoife is incredibly professional. She’ll follow your requirements to the letter. Plus she is beautiful and powerful enough to put any wolf in their place. She’s perfect for you.”

“If that woman is what you think I’m attracted to, you don’t know the slightest thing about me.”

She leaned forward on the desk. “This isn’t about attraction. This is about finding someone to help you avoid an arranged mating.”

“Everything is about attraction,” he replied, shifting in his chair. “My people will be watching me like hawks, and if they see me touching my supposed mate-to-be without any fire they will know immediately it’s a trick.”

“So act the part,” she snapped. “I can’t find a woman to meet all your needs and turn you on. Handle that part yourself.”

“Aoife is beautiful, to be sure, but I would never willingly touch her. She’s too cold, too controlled. She makes my wolf want to bare its teeth and howl.”

“Your plan is cold,” Chloe said bluntly. “Aoife is exactly what you need. Someone who won’t let her emotions enter into the equation.”

He pushed away from the desk to prowl her office. One hand ran through his dark curls as he paced the confines of the room.

“I don’t understand the problem,” Chloe said, rising to her feet. “The dryad was too flighty. The sorceress before her, too clingy. You turned down my wolf candidates based on their heritage, and now Aoife is too cold when she offers you everything you’ve been looking for. What do you want?”

“I want someone my pack can believe I would love.” An impossible task.

Chloe snorted as she moved around the desk. “From what I’ve seen of you, that woman doesn’t exist. You’re not exactly the lasting relationship type.”

A growl vibrated in his throat as he rounded on the witch. She was not going to dismiss his words so easily once again. Time she learned it was never wise to poke a wolf.

Chloe had only a second to see the ring of gold shining around Kieran’s irises before he wrapped a powerful arm around her and swung her back against the wall.

Her breath left her as the wolf crowded closer, pressing his hard body along hers. The gold in his gaze was a sign of his rising wolf. Like vampires, any time a werewolf was gripped by strong emotions like rage, frustration, or lust, their eyes would change to reflect their inner beast creeping toward the surface.

But it wasn’t the sight of his slip in control that had her heart racing. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had stood so close, a sad fact in itself. Perhaps she needed to take some of the advice she spouted to her clients and put herself back in the game. After all, if she hadn’t had such a dry spell, it wouldn’t feel so good to be held this close to a werewolf on the edge.

Kieran looked down at her with his glimmering eyes. The hand at her waist seemed to burn through her pencil skirt and imprint on the skin beneath. Werewolves ran warmer than the average human temperature, and Chloe tried to believe that was the only reason her body was on fire. Surely the pounding of her heart was just to do with being this close to a predator, and not to the nearness of a man who could easily play out every single one of her fantasies.

“You know nothing about me,” he told her, his voice rough.

No, she didn’t. But at that moment, she wished she knew more, wished she knew why a man capable of looking at a woman the way he was right now would have to stoop to buying a girlfriend.

But when his gaze drifted downward toward her chest, Chloe decided it didn’t matter. He was a client, and she wasn’t a woman one pushed around with impunity.

Lifting her hand, she released a drop of her magic. Lightning crackled from her fingertips as she waved them in front of his face.

“You don’t know me either, wolf, so let me make something clear. You try to intimidate me, and I light you up like a Christmas tree.” She met his gaze without flinching. “Take your hands off me.”

For a moment he didn’t move. Chloe wondered if she’d have to follow through on her threat and blast the alpha across the room, but just when she was about to unleash her attack, Kieran moved.

His hands left her body as he shifted backward, and Chloe told herself she didn’t mourn the loss of his touch.

Straightening, she smoothed a hand over her unwrinkled skirt. “Now,” she said, back to business, “are you sure Aoife is out of the question?”

“Completely,” he replied.

“Then it’s back to the drawing board.” She stepped around him, intending to search through her files for another viable candidate.

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