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Fated, Page 1

R. L. Mathewson

  Chapter 1

  Boston, MA

  “Come on!” the woman shouted, clearly frustrated.

  Not that Kara could blame her. She really couldn’t since the woman had probably spent the last three hours waiting in line just to get told that she wasn’t getting in.

  Mick, the six and a half foot tall bouncer and member of the Laymon Pack, gave a small barely noticeable shake of his head. That one move was the only thing that proved that he wasn’t a statue. He wasn’t big on sudden movements, but cross him or try getting past him into the Luna club, the hottest dance club for shifters and humans in Boston, without his permission and you’d be lucky if you remembered your own name in the morning, that and how to walk.

  “Do you know who I am?” the woman suddenly demanded, probably deciding that she needed to change her tactics from pathetic pleading to outright bitch if she had any chance of getting inside the club. Mick gave her a tired sigh and a small jerk of the chin, gesturing for her to step aside.

  “It’s freezing out here,” Maggie complained once again as they watched the scene unfold safely from across the street.

  “Well, you wouldn’t be freezing if you’d hurry up,” Kara pointed out as Maggie bent over to fix the straps on the pair of hooker-red high heels that she’d finally decided on over an hour ago. Maggie’s response of course was to stick her tongue out at her even as Kara shot her a wink and a smile.

  Kara wasn’t really in that much of a rush. Thanks to her shifter blood she was actually rather toasty right now. The fact that she could wear a cute little black cocktail dress that ended just above her knees and black high heels two days after a major snow storm was a definite plus. She hated trying to coordinate a coat with her outfit and then have to worry about paying for coat check and not losing that damn claim ticket. It was way too much hassle for a girl’s night out.

  She adjusted the two casserole dishes that she was holding so that she wouldn’t get anything on her dress as she waited for her good friend, maybe acquaintance was a better term, of two years to finish fixing the small clasp on her shoes. Once Maggie was done, Kara unceremoniously handed her back the dish that held the homemade apple crisp and started across the street. Maggie took the casserole with a grunt and a frown.

  “I still can’t believe that you think bringing dinner to a bouncer will get us in any quicker,” Maggie grumbled, clearly still not seeing the brilliance of this plan.

  Kara sighed. Humans. They really didn’t know how this world really worked. As much as Kara would love to explain to her friend the rules about shifters, she couldn’t. It would put Maggie at risk. Not to mention that Kara didn’t feel like taking two days off from work so that she could heal after the nearby Packs punished her with a good old fashioned ass whooping, especially since she’d just earned a killer promotion at work, hence the need for the girl’s night out.

  “Trust me,” Kara said as she headed across the street. She didn’t even bother with the line. She already knew that she was getting in.

  The annoying woman was still trying to get in, but this time by offering Mick a bribe of fifty dollars while he simply forgot that she even existed, and nodded to the pair of shifters behind her to enter. Kara ignored them as she zeroed in on Mick. She raised the glass lid off the chicken and rice casserole that she’d brought with her and waited for it.

  It didn’t take long before Mick was cocking his head to the side and focusing on her. His nostrils flared as his eyes zeroed in on the large casserole dish in her hands. Kara was barely three feet away from him when two large hands shot out and relieved her of the heavy casserole dish.

  Mick brought the dish up to his face and inhaled deeply with a look of utter rapture on his face. Mick being a man of few words kept his questions simple.


  Kara smiled at her cousin as he replaced the cover on the casserole almost reverently. The large man was madly in love with only two things in this world. Number one was his barely five foot tall mate, Amy. Second, was food and his absolute favorite food was his mate’s cooking. Not that Kara could blame him. Before she’d come here tonight she’d had three helpings of that very delicious casserole and had another two helpings waiting for her in her apartment when she was ready to call it a night.

  “Yes, and,” Kara said as she reached for the casserole dish that Maggie held and barely managed to turn around before Mick swiped it from her hands, “apple crisp.”

  Mick looked down at the dish and she could swear that he’d just whimpered. “Ice cream?” he mumbled, he asked sounding hopeful. Did his lip just tremble? Ah, wolves and their food. She placed a comforting hand on his arm only because he was a mated male so she didn’t have to fear getting a lovely little surprise that would just totally wreck her night and of course he was her cousin so the last part didn’t even matter because seriously, ew.

  “The ice cream would have melted,” she pointed out as gently as she could. He looked as though he was about to argue that point so she pulled out the small can of whip cream from her equally small purse and placed it in the pocket of his leather jacket. That seemed to please him, somewhat. She also knew that he was waiting to hear a little reassurance to help him get through the rest of his shift so she gave it to him.

  “Amy made an extra pan of chicken casserole and apple crisp just for you. She also said that there’s a gallon of French vanilla ice cream waiting for you in freezer and she promises that she will have it all ready for you by the time that you get home tonight.”

  He gave her a slight nod. That in Mick language meant that you’d made him very happy. It had taken her years to learn how to decipher her cousin’s gestures. He gave her another slight nod, this one in the direction of the club. She threw him a wink and proceeded to step around the cranky bitch, who was still trying to argue her way inside with another large bouncer, who'd come out probably because he’d smelled the casserole and knew that Mick would be taking his break now or killing someone.

  Kara grabbed Maggie’s arm and led her into the club, knowing that Mick was right behind them. As soon as they reached the inside of the club she looked back over her shoulder at Mick in time to catch the slight nod that meant thank you as well as the signal to come get him if anyone bothered her.

  “Wow, this place is really amazing!” Maggie gasped as they made their way to a small table near the dance floor.

  Kara had to agree that this was the best shifter oriented club in Boston. It had the best décor, best music, best DJs, best drinks; overall it had the best of the best. Then again, she could easily think of a hundred things to make it better and she would do those things once she finally had a club of her own.

  But for right now this was the perfect place to let her hair down after a grueling day at work. The only downside of course was the owner, Drew McNeil, also known as, “The Prick.” He was an annoying little toad whom she would gladly bitch slap only she couldn’t allow herself that pleasure, because the bastard was still unmated.

  She didn’t make physical contact with any male shifter outside of her family unless he was mated. That was a major rule for her and many other shifters who weren’t ready to get tied down with a mate just yet. In her opinion there was something seriously wrong when a simple handshake could ruin your life. Shifters didn’t get to choose their mates. Their reproductive compatibility made that choice for them. There was absolutely nothing worse than getting stuck with someone you absolutely hated, because your hormones just happened to be the perfect combination needed for reproducing. Hence why she hadn’t bitch slapped Drew yet, but oh, the day that he found his mate she was going to bitch slap him for a few minutes, hours, or whatever.

  She smiled at the idea of Drew getting stuck with a woman who refused to accept him. Granted, it wasn’t
a fate that she would normally wish on any male…other than him that is. Once a male found his mate he couldn’t have sex with anyone but her. Not that he would suddenly become desperately in love with his intended mate or anything. He wouldn’t. Yeah, he would become a bit possessive over her, but being mated didn’t mean that you’d suddenly found the love of your life.

  Shifters could only reproduce with their mates, which was the reason why the choice was forced upon them. It meant that they were perfectly compatible to have a child who was strong enough to survive childhood so that one day they could make the transition into their immortality.

  Nothing more.

  Unfortunately for the males it also meant that their equipment would never respond to another woman, except for his mate's. He could live for a thousand years with unbelievable sexual frustration simply because the mate that fate had given him didn’t want him. The females of course had no such problems. They could still have sex with others and even enjoy it. It was the one reason why a lot of unmated males either went for a mated female or settled for a human, because no shifter in his right mind would willingly subject himself to that kind of life.

  Personally, Kara only dated human males. At seventy-two years old she felt that she was still too young to deal with a mate.

  “Who’s that hunk?” Maggie asked as she pointed toward the middle of the dance floor.

  Kara placed her hand over Maggie’s and gently pushed her hand down before anyone could catch the gesture since it made shifters a little nervous when humans pointed at them. It probably had something to do with centuries of being hunted down and massacred.

  Go figure.

  She followed Maggie’s gaze to a tall man with short jet-black hair mused in that way that usually took men two hours and several hundred dollars to achieve. He had killer blue eyes, a handsome face with an expression that let everyone know that he knew exactly how hot he was and didn’t give a flying fuck about it. He had a nice build covered in designer clothes and he also had three women, human women, grinding all over him.

  “Well? Who is he?” Maggie asked even as she frantically touched up her makeup.

  Why did men like him have this effect on normally intelligent woman? Kara had to wonder with a snort of disgust.

  Sighing heavily, Kara gestured lazily towards the man in question, “The Prick,” she announced in a bored tone.

  As though she’d screamed her favorite nickname for the asshole over the PA system instead of just mumbling it, Drew’s head snapped up in their direction. His cold gaze locked on her before his “I don’t give a flying fuck,” expression shifted into something that could only be described as pure rage.

  There was no doubt in her mind that he wished that he could do a number of nasty things to her like kick her out of his club, but unfortunately for him, he’d lose Mick, the best shifter bouncer in the city, if he even tried. It must really bite his ass to be forced to let her in his club, especially since she didn’t have to pay the cover. Then again, it probably didn’t help that she also didn’t have to pay for her drinks since Mick had made sure that they were on the house years ago.

  She was a mature adult and would act like one no matter how tempted she was to screw with his head, knowing that it probably really bothered him to be forced to put up with her. Then again, she owed it to everyone out there with a mortal enemy to rub the fact that he couldn’t do anything about her being in his precious club in his face. She really did. It was her civic duty.

  With a saucy wink, she blew him a kiss. His eyes flashed silver the same time his lips pulled back into a snarl. She laughed when the girls around him stumbled back, startled. He ignored them as they returned to grinding against him as he mouthed a very lovely phrase to her with the word bitch and kill used several times in various combinations that actually impressed her.

  The only mature thing was to do the one thing that she knew that he absolutely hated. She pinched two fingers together in the universal sign indicating the size of a man’s penis. Of course she felt that she was being rather generous by indicating that he had at least a half-inch. Childish? Yes. Rewarding? Why yes, yes it was, especially since it looked like he was about to come over and rip her throat out. Biting back a smile, she stood up, deciding that it was probably the best time to join the crowd on the dance floor and give him a little space to cool off before he acted on his anger issues.


  He was going to fucking kill her

  He didn’t care if it cost him the best bouncer that he’d ever had. This shit was too fucking much to take. Nearly every week for the past five years he’d been forced to put up with that bitch. She came and went as she pleased, drank his booze and shook her ass for all the human males all the while taunting him in his own club!

  This was bullshit!

  No other male, especially an Alpha would put up with this shit. Why he had for all these years was beyond him. It was past time that she learned to submit to her betters. Normally he would give Mick a heads up over what he was about to do, but tonight he didn’t have a choice. Several members from enemy Packs were here and every single one of them had just witnessed more of her bullshit.

  If that wasn't bad enough, his Pack was starting to question his leadership. They were getting greedy and wanted to completely take over Boston and he didn’t see the need to do that, not with the way things were these days. The world had changed, providing them with more opportunities and more than half of his Pack was still stuck in the fucking Dark Ages, demanding more than they needed and risking their very existence every time they defied him.

  He also had other Packs trying to take over his territory and kick him out of Boston, terrified of his position and the possibility that one day he would use that position to take everything for himself. He knew that several of his enemies had just witnessed Kara’s act of defiance and were stupid enough to think that because she’d pulled that shit on him, that he was fucking weak and they would try to use it as an excuse to make a move against him.

  Any sign of weakness could set off another war and right now he wasn’t sure if his Pack would back him up or use this as an excuse