Tuesday Teaser 10/27/15: Olivia’s Mate
Wow, what a week and it’s only Monday! My tire picked up a screw, and I’ve taken it top the shop twice and they couldn’t fit it in either time! Then this morning I was brushing my teeth and a tooth broke! It’s not like I was scrubbing my teeth with a wire brush; I use a soft toothbrush. oh, well. At least it doesn’t hurt. I’ve called the dentist and have an appointment tomorrow around noon. My fingers are crossed that the screw doesn’t come out of the tire and the tire goes flat. See what a mean? What a week!
But poor Kit is about to have a harder week than mine! Enjoy!
The kitchen door swung open and Marissa appeared carrying a tray. She set down plates loaded with steaks and baked potatoes and long green beans. “Here you go,” she said cheerfully. “Need more bread? Butter?”
Olivia inhaled the scent of perfectly seasoned and grilled beef. “I’m good. This is terrific. Please tell Renee thank you.”
Kit nodded enthusiastically and Marissa laughed. “Save room for dessert. We have apple pie and cinnamon vanilla ice cream.”
After she left, Kit spoke in a low voice. “Ice cream is good, but I know what I’d like for dessert.”
Something in the way he stared at her made her blush. “Kit,” she began, darting a look around the restaurant to be sure no one had heard. Oh, crap, there at a table near the front of the restaurant were Colby and his little brother Little Feather— No, he was Howling Wolf now. Both of them seemed absorbed by their food, but knowing how sharp wolf hearing was, and seeing Colby’s brows pulled low, Olivia guessed they had heard.
Kit held up a hand. “Sorry. I wasn’t supposed to say that. That wasn’t what a civilized man should say.”
Although the tables in the restaurant were filling with diners, no one seemed to be paying any attention to them. Even Colby and Howling Wolf were doing a good job of pretending not to hear. Olivia went back to cutting her steak into small pieces. Maybe it wasn’t civilized, but his obvious hunger for her sparked an answering hunger in her. She only hoped none of the pack could smell her desire. That could get Kit into serious trouble. She concentrated on her meal in an effort to cool down, but she snuck quick peeks at him. He was cutting his steak and eating with perfect table manners. Every move he made with his fork and knife was elegant. It made her aware that she wasn’t eating as neatly as he. She was almost embarrassed.
Kit caught her eye during one of her peeks and gave her a slow, hot smile before eating another bite of steak. That smile didn’t help her cool down. They ate in silence. She was surprised it wasn’t uncomfortable. Kit was like most of the men in the Clan. When he was eating, he paid attention to his food and didn’t bother with small talk. That was fine. She liked looking at him. When they had finished, he balanced his knife and fork on the edge of his empty plate.
“It’s warmer today,” he said. “Would you like to go for a walk?”
Through the window she could see it was clear, with the sun bright in a vivid blue sky. “I’ll need to get my coat and hat.”
“I’ll go talk to your uncle while you get them. He’ll probably want to know where we’ll go.”
“He’ll probably send a chaperone,” she said on a sigh.
He reached across the table as if to touch her hand, but drew back. “That’s okay. I’m doing this right. You go get your coat. I’ll go talk to your uncle.”
When she came back downstairs, Kit sat on one of the benches in the area Aunt Connie had set aside for those who were waiting for a table to open up. Standing opposite him, arms folded over their chests, were Colby and Howling Wolf. She smiled at her cousins to prevent her lips taking on a sour curve.
“You’re going to escort us?” she said a little too brightly.
Colby nodded brusquely, but Howling Wolf smiled sweetly. He was still young, only twenty, and he was much less aggressive than most of his kin. Instead of inky black hair, he had brown hair that he wore in a ponytail that fell to mid back. “Uncle Hawk said to stay back so you and your cat can have some privacy.”
“Thank you,” said Kit gravely.
They stepped out into the bright winter day and Olivia’s foot slipped on a patch of ice. Kit neatly caught her before she fell. He lifted his voice slightly. “I’m going to tuck her hand in my arm,” he said. “So she won’t fall.”
“Okay,” said Howling Wolf cheerfully. Olivia thought Colby growled, but he didn’t speak.
With her hand tucked in the crook of Kit’s elbow, Olivia walked at a sedate pace to the gate in the fence around the Plane Women’s House. Red Wing gave them a steely stare, nodded at Colby, and opened the gate for them. Colby and his brother allowed them to put some distance between them, but Olivia was sure it would be obvious to anyone that her cousins weren’t strolling for their health. They were there as bodyguards. Whatever. They were half a block behind, so she and Kit could talk quietly.
“Thank you for walking with me,” he said, pressing his bare hand over her gloved one. “Are you cold?”
“No. There’s no wind. You were right, it’s a nice day. What do you want to talk about?”
“Us. Our future. I want you to be my mate. What do you need to make that happen?”
“Um… Well, there are things I need to know.”
“Like what? Ask me anything.”
She walked in silence for a minute, watching the sidewalk. “Okay. If I do accept you, how would you support me and any children we have?”
He nodded. “That’s a good question. Justin and Teresa taught me a lot of things besides good manners. I’m good with numbers, so I could be an accountant. I’m better with horses. I could be a cowboy. There’s still a lot of land unclaimed. We could start our own ranch.”
She shot a sideways glance at him. He didn’t look like an accountant. Maybe a cowboy. A start up would be a lot of work. A ranch took years to become profitable. “Do you have money to buy cattle and horses?”
“No. Maybe I could work somewhere and make enough money to buy what we need.”
Maybe. But how long would it take to get enough money? “I know there’s some land not far from my parents’ ranch. They might give us a few cows and loan us a bull to help us get started.”
He slowed his steps to look down into her eyes. “Would you like to live close to your parents?”
He was so handsome. And so earnest. And so sweet. “Yes,” she whispered. “I would.”
His eyes glowed turquoise in the cold winter sun. He stopped walking and put his hand, warm in spite of the cold winter air, on her cheek. “If you want to live close to your parents, then we will.”
She was drowning in his eyes. They were so beautiful. He was so beautiful. “Thank you.”
His head bent, and his lips touched hers. Without actually meaning to, she opened her mouth under his, inviting him in. His arms went round her, pulling her close.
And then she heard Colby’s snarl, and a heavy weight leapt onto Kit and tore them apart.