Tuesday Teaser 9/22/15: Olivia’s Mate
This last week or so has been a crazy one for me. Last Tuesday through Thursday I was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota having testing done in regards to my Samter Triad/AERD to determine if I was a good candidate for aspirin desensitization. That’s why there was no teaser last week. I had expected to be done with all of that by now, but it turns out the inflammation in my sinuses (along with new, bigger and badder polyps and worsening asthma) meant that we couldn’t do the Aspirin Desensitization right away. Instead I’m home with 5 different medications to tame the sinus troubles to a level where the procedure wouldn’t be as risky. The doctor called it a Polypectomy without surgery. Hmm. I have Prednisone, Budesonide rinses, Flo Vent, Singulair and an antibiotic. I will go back down to Mayo next Monday and be there through Thursday, and possibly Friday.
There, was that TMI? I didn’t even tell you about the urine samples I have to collect over the next 36 hours and mail back to Mayo. No, we definitely don’t need to discuss that! Instead, let me crow for a minute about Wolf’s Princess! It got a Top Pick from Night Owl Reviews! You can read it here
And now, here is the snip from Olivia’s story.
At ten minutes before eight o’clock, Olivia finished her work in the Eatery. She rushed upstairs to wash her face and comb her hair. When she had first come to the Plane Women’s House, Hawk and Renee had put both their adult sons into one bedroom and offering her the newly vacant one. They had become her surrogate parents. By the way he’d treated Kit, Uncle Hawk was taking his position far too seriously. She hoped he wouldn’t round up every man in the pack to guard her while Kit visited.
She had just finished combing her hair when Victoria poked her head in. Her older cousin watched with a knowing eye. Olivia wished she could tell her to go away, but this was Victoria’s room too. She lifted an eyebrow at her older cousin.
Vic laughed. “Getting all dolled up for your date?”
“Don’t start,” she warned.
The laugh gentled to a smile. “Okay, sorry. I like him.”
Olivia’s eyebrows pulled together in dubious questioning.
“No, really,” Vic insisted. “I like your cat. He has guts. And he must think of a lot of you. He came all this way to find you, and he stood up to Uncle Hawk, but not arrogantly. His little speech was precious.”
“Precious? He’s not a puppy.”
“No. Miaow.” Victoria curled her fingers into claws and slashed at the air. “He’s a yummy little kitty.”
Instead of replying —and what she would have said, she wasn’t sure—Olivia pushed past her cousin to hall to the living room. As she went by, Vic murmured, “Prepare for the gauntlet.”
As soon as Olivia entered the living room she understood Vic’s comment. Uncle Hawk stood in before the apartment’s front door with his arms crossed. His elder son, Sharp Tooth, was on his right, and his younger son, He Charges, was on his left. All three men stood in identical stances of spread legs and arms folded over their chests. She sighed and walked to the door, only pausing when Hawk placed his hand on the door to keep her from opening it.
“We won’t stop this man from seeing you,” he said in his low, slow voice. “But you will be careful.”
“Of course I will,” she said with patience. They were only doing what all the men of the Clan did, and at least they weren’t forcing her to stay in her room while they sent Kit away. And only the three of them standing guard over her wasn’t too bad. “I promise.”
He opened the door and led the way out. Charges and Sharp followed behind her. At the foot of the stairs stood Uncle Des, the Alpha of the House, with his two sons behind him. She faltered when Des nodded at Hawk and said the thief hadn’t arrived yet.
“Maybe he won’t show up,” Des’ younger son, Gray Shirt, suggested in a hopeful tone.
His brother, Broken Rock, gave him a glare. “We should be so lucky.”
Des raised one hand. “Boys, go down and make sure there’s wood enough for the stoves. We don’t want our guest to be cold.” His voice suggested the opposite. Rock and Gray turned and went toward the restaurant. “Charges, you take your brother and keep watch at the door for the caller.”
That left her alone with Uncle Des and Uncle Hawk. Des wore his habitual grim expression, but it was just as little darker than usual. The light hanging above them glinted in the silver wings at his temples in his long black hair.
“Olivia,” he said sternly. “You won’t be alone with him. If he does one thing to make you uncomfortable, just raise your hand and we’ll escort him out.”
Yes, but will he be alive when you do? She didn’t say it out loud, but knowing her male relatives it was a valid question. And really, who knew what Kit would do? He was practically a wild animal. “Thanks, Uncle Des,” she said. “I’m sure it will be okay, but I’m glad you’ll be there. Where are we meeting? In the kitchen? Or the family dining room?”
“In the restaurant. Renee is still in the kitchen and he’s not family, so he doesn’t come in to the family areas.”
She nodded. That was fair. And six of her menfolk as guards wasn’t too bad. Actually, everyone seemed to be behaving pretty reasonably. For wolves.
When she entered the restaurant she saw why they were being so unusually reasonable. Another dozen men of the House and Taye’s den were there, seated at the scattered tables and drinking coffee or hot cider. Colby raised his mug to her with a fierce smile.
“Oh, no,” she groaned. She turned to the men behind her. “Uncle Des, this is ridiculous.”
“It’s just caution,” he said mildly.
Colby stood with a scrape of his chair over the wood floor. “I don’t trust him,” he said flatly. “He stole you before. He’d like to do it again. He won’t get the chance.”
There was no sense trying to argue with them. “Fine,” she growled. She moved to a small table that seated two. Des took her arm in a gentle but firm grasp and led her to the longest table in the room, the one reserved for groups of twelve.
“You sit here on this side facing the door,” he said. “When the young man arrives. He’ll sit opposite you.”
“But we’ll be ten feet apart!”
“Exactly.” There was satisfaction in his growl. “You’ll be alone at the table, so that’s nice, right?”
Alone at a table with eighteen of her dearest male relatives in the room. Lovely. She took the chair Des indicated. What did she expect? And maybe it didn’t matter anyway. Like Gray said, he might not even show up.
But he did, and with his silky caramel colored hair lying in shiny waves over the shoulders of a perfectly fitted dark brown corduroy suit coat, he was amazingly handsome.