Tuesday Teaser 2/2/16: Olivia’s Mate
Hey, look! It’s February. That means I get to turn to a new month in my The Walking Dead wall calendar. And who do we have this month? Why, it’s Glenn and Maggie! I liked Glenn right from the start, and Maggie has grown on me. Less than two weeks until TWD is on again!
The overtime at the day job continues. *yawn* It will go through the end of February. I bet I’ll be happy about it when I get my pay check, but for right now I’m kind of grumpy. I hate it when my job gets in the way of my writing! LOL It will slow me down, but it won’t stop me from giving Kit and Olivia their happily ever after. Y’all might have to be patient with me for a week or so. 🙁
Here is the next bit in Olivia’s Mate. Enjoy!
“So.” Her dad looked Kit over with cool thoroughness. “You want to marry my daughter.”
Olivia watched Kit swallow. “Yes, sir,” he said.
After a long moment of silence her dad looked back at her mom. She stood up and came toward them. Her brothers stood up too, but her dad shot a hard look at them and shook his head minutely. Dissatisfaction and anger all over their faces, they sat down again.
“I guess we should take this somewhere more private.” Her dad jerked his chin at the door. “There’s a little dining area back way, if I recall.”
Yes there was. Olivia turned to lead the way, but her father put a hand on her arm. “No, Livvy.” His voice was more gentle than the look he’d given her brothers, but firm. “You stay here.”
“But, Dad,” she began.
“No, go sit down with Taylor and Parker.” Dry humor colored his tone. “I think they still have something to say to you.”
She turned to Kit and squeezed his hand. She wished she dared kiss him, but it wasn’t a good idea to rile dad right now, so she just smiled. “I’ll see you in a little while. I’ll be waiting right here for you.”
This was a moment Tracker should have expected. Any father of a young woman would have to deal with her suitors requesting permission to marry his daughter. Olivia was plenty old enough for courting, but somehow he still thought she was a child. He stalked into the smaller room with its one table and half a dozen chairs.
“Sit,” he growled at the cat.
The cat, looking ridiculously young, took off his coat and hung it carefully on the back of a chair before sitting. Tracker remained standing, arms folded over his chest. Tami came to stand beside him so they were both standing in front of the cat. He let the silence stretch, waiting for the cat to break. He didn’t, just keeping his hands on his thighs and his eyes turned up at them. Tracker gave him a sliver of respect for his composure. He leaned slightly toward the cat and inhaled. He couldn’t tell truth from lies like Stone, but he could scent emotions. Nervous? Yeah, this cat smelled of nerves, but there were other things too, like determination and hope.
“What’s your name, boy?” Tracker didn’t bother to gentle his voice or even try to sound civil. If the cat could be scared off by words or tone alone, he couldn’t keep Olivia safe. Any man who wanted to be Olivia’s husband had to be strong.
“I’m Christopher McQueen. Most people call me Kit.”
“All right. Why do you want to marry my daughter, Mr. McQueen?” he said quietly.
“She’s my mate.” That was quick and definite. “And I love her.”
That’s what Stone had said. Tracker slid a quick look at his mate and saw Tami lift a single eyebrow in an expression of doubt. Once again the young man kept still, only watching them without speaking more.
“Do you think you’re good enough for my daughter?”
For the first time he looked away, studying his fingers spread over his knees. After a moment he looked back up. “Maybe not, but I’ll do anything I can to make her happy.”
“What do you have to offer her?”
Tracker watched as Kit’s jaw squared. There was softness in the youth of the face, but there was character there too. “I don’t have land. I don’t have money. I know those things are important to humans. I’m strong and willing to work. I’m a good hunter. But the most important thing I have to offer Olivia is a heart that has never loved another woman and never will love another woman. Only her.”
Tami shifted an inch closer to him. Tracker was sent back to that moment so long ago in the dark corner of the den’s rec room when Tami had asked him to marry her. In that moment he hadn’t been sure that he was good enough for a woman like Tami or that he had anything to offer her. His life had been lived on the road, always roaming from one place to another, with no home to take her to. They had somehow managed to make each other happy for the past two and half decades. There had been some hard times over those years, but they had remained united. He wondered if this young man could possibly understand that love wasn’t just a feeling. Sometimes it was hard work. There were times when a man had to put his own plans aside and let his mate have her way, because that was what love did. It was worth it. He looked down into Tami’s eyes and knew she was thinking along the same lines. Her lips curled into a faint smile and she gave a slight nod.
Tracker gave Kit a hard stare. “My daughter tells me you’d like to take land near our place, raise cattle. You got any cows to start a herd?”
Tami spoke for the first time. “I think six cows would make a nice wedding present.”
Wild hope sprang into Kit’s eyes, tempered immediately into caution. “That would be very nice.”
Tracker hid an inner sigh. “Six cows ain’t enough to start a herd. You’ll need a bull. You work for me for one year and you’ll earn yourself wages and a bull. You can’t earn our daughter, no matter how hard you work. But she wants you.” He extended his hand to shake. “You have our blessing to marry Olivia.”