The Alpha's Temporary MateBy: Victoria Davies
The words were true enough. He’d never been one to take second best. He decided on a target and pursued his goal until it reached fruition. The tactic had served him well in both his professional and private life, and he saw no reason to change now.
Not even for the witch fuming before him.
He supposed he should give her credit for doing her best. She had, after all, come up with a handful of potential candidates to introduce him to. They’d made each one sign a non-disclosure agreement before explaining his plan, and much to his matchmaker’s obvious annoyance, not one of the women he’d met had been put off by the proposed ruse. And why would they be? In his experience, few women would turn down an all expenses paid girlfriend vacation and a month spent on his arm.
“Hopefully your candidate today will be a more viable option than your previous attempts,” he said, flipping open the file to stare at a photo of an icy blonde beauty.
“Your dreamboat quotient takes a serious beating every time we speak,” Chloe grumbled.
His lips twitched. Usually he wasn’t one to tolerate the slightest disrespect, particularly from those in his employ, but there was something oddly charming about the little witch and her moral outrage.
It probably helped that her disapproval came encased in a sexy bombshell of a body. He’d known the second he’d stepped into her office the first time that she was going to be trouble. She’d been at her desk, dressed in a prim black business suit that did nothing to highlight the fairness of her coloring. Then she’d looked up at him, and he’d fallen into a green gaze that made him think of cool glades and spring forests. Her golden hair had been pulled back into a loose bun that had allowed a few stubborn locks to pull free to frame her heart-shaped face. His fingers had itched to brush those tresses away from her creamy skin.
When she’d stood to come toward him, his wolf had whined in its need to touch her. A firm handshake had been nowhere near enough contact, especially not after she turned back to her desk, giving him a chance to rake his gaze over her curvy body. He’d never understood modern sentiment that said women had to be all skin and bones. Chloe was anything but, and for that he was grateful. He’d far rather roll through the sheets with his hands full of generous curves than be on guard for pointy bones.
“You’ll need to be on your best behavior today,” she said, oblivious to the salacious trail of his thoughts.
Chloe stopped rifling through her papers and pinned him with an annoyed stare. “The woman you are going to meet is one of the fey. Aoife is perfect for you. She’s powerful in her own right and would never consider a mate binding other than the traditional ritual her people use, which plays perfectly into your plan. But one thing sure to have her walking out the door is rudeness. You know how prickly the fey can be.”
“So you’d like me to rein myself in and be a charming rogue?”
“I’d prefer a professional gentleman.” Her eyes scanned over him before she added, “Or as close as you can get.”
His inner wolf let out a yip of pleasure. It had taken a liking to Chloe’s personal brand of spunk.
“Let’s hope this woman is worth the effort. Not that the last two were.”
“They were perfect,” she said defensively. “You, on the other hand, are just too choosey.”
“The dryad was as flighty as a feather. Could you imagine me taking her into the woods? She’d spend the time talking to trees and sleeping under bushes.”
“She was lovely and kind.”
“And I need strong and deadly. My people aren’t exactly cuddly, Chloe, and the woman I bring into the pack will be tested and scrutinized. They won’t want to believe a non-wolf is good enough for their alpha.” Whomever he took into the woods needed to be strong enough to handle his overly protective pack. It would take a special woman to make his plan a success.
“That’s just narrow-minded prejudice,” Chloe said with a wave of her hand.
A grin crossed his face. “Fair enough. But you have to admit, not every species is up to competing with werewolves. We tend to be more…demanding of our lovers.”