The Alpha's Temporary MateBy: Victoria Davies
Chloe’s jaw dropped.
“As long as she’s not a wolf, I can use the excuse of our cultural differences to avoid any announcement,” Kieran said. “We’ll part ways after the danger is past, a tragic case of insurmountable barriers tearing us apart.”
“And you came here because…?”
He shrugged. “I can’t use any of the women among my current acquaintances, or the charade would never hold up. I need a stranger who will play a part and then disappear. You are a dating agency. Surely you can find a woman to fit my needs.”
“You want to buy a temporary lover.”
His sharp eyes flicked to her. “I want to buy a temporary girlfriend. I have no need to pay for sex. Write that into the contract if you wish. Along with an ironclad non-disclosure agreement.”
“This is so not happening,” she replied. “You need to leave.”
Kieran heaved a long sigh. “Then, my apologies, but you’ve wasted enough of my time.” He stood, his chair scraping against the tiled floor.
He crossed to her door and stepped out into the hall.
“Who is in charge of this agency?” he bellowed.
Chloe gasped, surging to her feet.
“You cannot simply roar your way into getting what you want!” she declared, tugging him by the arm back into her office. Glancing down the hall she saw shocked faces looking their way from the agency’s waiting room. “Did you misplace your manners along with your sense when you came in here?”
Amusement colored his expression as he stared down at her. “You might be cute, little witch, but I’m a busy man. I need your supervisor immediately.”
Chloe’s brain was still trying to catch up with the unexpected compliment when Vivian appeared in the doorway.
“I believe someone was trying to get my attention,” the siren said.
Her tough as nails boss was not usually a figure that inspired comfort, but at the moment, Chloe didn’t think she’d ever been happier to see the slender woman. Like most of her race, she possessed a beauty that would drive men to their doom. Long silver hair cascaded to her waist, though today it was pulled back into a tight braid. As always, Vivian chose clothes of silver and white to cover her lithe form. Designer, of course. The image she presented was as striking as it was ethereal. There was a reason sirens were much sought after.
Of course, desired or not, you still had to be careful about their voices. Chloe had once made the mistake of taking Vivian to karaoke and she, along with the rest of the bar, had spent the remainder of the night worshiping the ground her boss walked on.
But even though Vivian was driven to succeed no matter the cost, the woman still had some tightly held morals, and Kieran buying a woman would cross all her lines.
“Vivian Sands,” she said to Kieran, holding out her hand.
Vivian’s eyes widened at the easily recognizable name. Chloe tried not to flinch at the accusation in her blue gaze when it turned her way. A client of Kieran’s standing should have been passed along to Vivian herself, but she’d been busy and Chloe had made the call to handle the intake herself.
Not a mistake she’d repeat again.
“I’ve come to your agency with a unique set of requirements,” Kieran said. Before Chloe could jump in, he laid out the same information he’d just finished telling her.
Chloe listened to the story once more, still having a hard time believing he wanted them to find some poor woman to be his beard for the next month.
“I’ve already told him it’s out of the question,” Chloe said when he finished.
Vivian nodded. “I’m inclined to agree. This agency has been matching mates since 1704. We have a reputation to uphold, and this sort of request goes against our mission. Now, should you wish to locate your mate for real, we’d be more than happy to assist you.”
Instead of looking discouraged, Kieran merely took a piece of paper from the inside pocket of his jacket and handed it to Vivian.
Chloe leaned closer to her boss as she unfolded the offering.
“That’s a lot of zeros,” she breathed as she stared at the check.
“I am serious when I say I want to avoid being mated to someone of my pack’s choosing, and that’s the way tensions are headed,” Kieran said. “That check represents your agency’s payment. On top of that amount, I’m happy to pay whatever the woman you find for me wishes, to compensate her for her time and trouble.”