Tuesday Teaser 9/1/15: Kit
Hello! Happy September. September is my favorite month. It always seems to me like a fresh start, a new season. Probably because school traditionally starts in September. Now that it’s September it’s time for me to get back into a regular writing schedule. But meanwhile, he’s the next snippet of Kit and Olivia’s story. And hey, don’t forget to check yesterday’s post to enter to win a $10.00 Amazon gift card.
Kit immediately winced. That wasn’t what he was supposed to say when he found his mate! Justin had told him over and over that when he found his mate he should first approach her father. Swallowing, Kit forced his gaze from his beautiful mate and looked around her father. He remembered that man. Tall, lanky, with a hard, narrow face and long white hair. Not white with age alone, although the man was probably sixty years old, but the blond so light in color that it appeared white. His gaze strayed again to Olivia, whose hair was nearly the same color, but much more beautiful. She was pressed against the clear glass of a door, half hidden behind a large man who scowled ferociously.
Again, he tore his attention from his mate and glanced around. Two young men stood near his mate. He tilted his head, studying them. He was sure he didn’t know them, but they were strangely familiar. Their faces were distorted into snarls that were almost cat-like. No, not almost. Could they be part of a pride here? He stared hard at them for a moment.
But they weren’t his mate’s kin. None of the men here were the ones he had seen that night so long ago. The one standing in front of Olivia was older than the others, his thick black braids streaked with gray. He must be the man in charge. Kit inhaled, preparing to deliver his memorized speech, but paused, trying to puzzle out which greeting was most appropriate for this time of day. Good morning wasn’t right, since it was noon, and good afternoon wasn’t right either, since it wasn’t after the noon hour yet. But he couldn’t stand here like an idiot. Several men had moved to surround him. He took another breath and spoke to the elder man.
“Good noon, sir. I am Christopher McQueen. I would like permission to court Olivia Stensrud. I would be greatly honored to win her for my wife.”
He didn’t take his gaze away from the man he addressed, but he heard several feminine gasps. He was sure one of them came from his mate. The man stared back, eyes narrowed.
“Olivia?” he ground out. “Do you know this pup?”
“I— I— Well, I…”
Since she was only a step behind the man, Kit risked a quick glance at his stuttering mate. Her face was pale, her eyes huge as they stared at him.
“Yes or no, Olivia?” the man demanded.
“Well, Uncle Hawk, um, I … No…Um,” she managed. “Sort of?”
Kit rushed to the next portion of his memorized speech. It wasn’t time for it yet, but his poor mate couldn’t seem to speak. “Sir, I met Miss Stensrud a year ago in Colorado. I must confess to you that I was young and since I was raised in strict seclusion, I was inexperienced with societal expectations.” Kit had practiced that tongue twisting sentence over and over so he could speak it clearly. He wasn’t sure exactly what it meant, but Justin had convinced him it was the proper thing to say. “In my ignorance, I made a terrible error. I took Olivia, I mean Miss Stensrud, home with me without courting her or obtaining her father’s permission first. I deeply regret that, and I hope that you will forgive my blunder.”
To one side, a very tall woman, as tall as he was himself, lifted one brow. “My, my,” she drawled. “You never said he was so handsome, Liv.”
The man slashed one hand out, eyes still glaring at Kit. “No.” The syllable was harsh and flat.
“No?” Kit echoed, heart sinking. “She’s my mate,” he insisted in a low, quiet voice.
The man leaned a little closer and sniffed deeply. “You don’t have a wolf. She’s not your mate.”
Kit put his shoulders back. “She is my mate. I’m not a wolf. I am mountain cat.”
One of the men beside Olivia spat, “I knew it!”
Kit went on to another bit of his memorized speech, and put as much humble sincerity into his voice as he could. “I know I did wrong. I’m sorry for it. I want Olivia to be my wife. I will love her for the rest of my life.”
“That’s gonna be short,” the man growled. “If you walk out that door right now, I’ll let you.”
His mate poked the man in the back. “Uncle Hawk, we live in the modern world! This is 2091, not 2021. It’s up to me who I marry. Within reason, of course,” she hurried to add. She glanced at him and his heart froze for a long moment while their gazes met and held.
“I don’t know about courting,” she said, still staring at him. “But I’d like to talk to him.”
The man she called uncle scowled even more darkly. “After supper is served and the kitchen and seating floor are cleaned,” he said, reluctantly.
Olivia’s smile trembled a bit. It did something to his stomach that Kit didn’t really understand, but it made him smile back. “The Plane Women’s Eatery,” she told him. “Supper is served from five o’clock until seven o’clock. Clean up takes about an hour. If you come at 8:15 we can sit and talk until nine o’clock.”
“And not a minute longer,” he uncle warned him. “And you won’t be alone either.”
“Yes, sir,” he said respectfully. He would see his mate tonight. They would talk then. He smiled at her, trying to keep the joy bubbling up inside him from taking him over. “Until tonight, Miss Stensrud.”