Authors: Michelle Turner
By Michelle Turner
Copyright © 2014 Michelle Turner
Cover photo by Eden Crane Design
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental
Chapter 1 – Bloom
It’s been a week since Rose sprung the news on us about my great-aunt. I wanted to leave right away but Pike (he always has to be the rational one) reminded me we had things we needed to do before we could take off again. The item at the top of his to-do list is why I am now standing in Bonnie’s suite watching my white dress swish back and forth in front of her full length mirror.
Yep, he’s making me go through with the mating ceremony before we take off. Okay, maybe he’s not
me, but still you get the idea. He even used his Alpha voice when he informed me,
“We will not be going anywhere until you and I are completely bound.”
Which, in case you don’t know, in Alpha shifter speak means not only does he plan on marking me with his bite; he also plans on putting his ring on my finger and making me his wife. Now, I wouldn’t be totally against this idea, but the way he went about the proposal pissed me off. Instead of getting down on one knee like a normal person to
for my hand, I woke up one morning with the engagement ring already on my damn finger.
As you can see he’s got a little controlling since I was kidnapped by Trace. But still he should’ve asked! And that’s exactly what I yelled at him when I pushed his butt out of bed that morning. We had words. Mostly me yelling. Him smiling. Then he pulled me down on the floor with him and used that smooth southern accent to talk me around to his way of thinking. After I gave in and agreed he asked on a shit eating grin, “So do you like the ring?”
The ring in question has a thin white gold band with diamonds running up each side until they meet a large tear drop shaped diamond at the top. He informed me he picked the tear drop shape to remind us both of the tear lined path that led us to each other. So instead of throwing the ring in his face, like I should’ve done, I leaned in and kissed him.
Yep, I’m a sucker!
Anyways, that’s why I’m standing here looking at my reflection. Bonnie fixed my hair into loose curls and she pinned the sides back so it’s all hanging freely down my back exposing my neck and shoulders. Pike wants easy access to my neck, and who am I to deny him when I love how it feels when he kisses me there.
Emily did my make-up since I’m a hopeless case when it comes to the stuff. She kept it simple with mascara, a light eye shadow and blush, and a soft peach lipstick and lip gloss. I’m starting to think she’s a miracle worker, because I’ve never felt more feminine and beautiful.
“Blu, stop looking at yourself in the mirror and get over here to put your shoes on.” Bonnie tries to reprimand me, but I can hear the smile in her voice.
I take one more, long look at myself in the mirror to admire the beautiful dress I’m wearing. My white dress falls just below my knees. The bodice is made of satin and has a sweetheart neckline with a flowery bead design at my waist. The skirt flares out in to a bell shape and is covered in a flower patterned lace. Instead of the traditional pearls I’m wearing the diamond cross that my father gave me on my thirteenth birthday.
“I love you both.” I say spinning around to face Bonnie and Emily.
“We love you too.” They say in unison with matching smiles on their faces.
I run at them throwing an arm around each of their necks to pull them close. They both squeeze me tightly. Once we’ve all wrangled in the tears that are threatening to spill down our cheeks we pull back.
“Here you go.” Bonnie shakes her head, holding up my old brown cowboy boots. She cleaned the dirt and mud off and they almost look new. For about a day Emily and her tried to talk me into high heels, but I wouldn’t give in. I wanted my boots, and being the new Alpha female I got my boots.
I pull them both on, look down at myself, and then back up at them.
“You’re right. They’re perfect.” Emily concedes. Bonnie rolls her eyes, but since she’s smiling while she does it I know she agrees.
“Here, let’s finish the look.” Bonnie says as she hands me my small bouquet of blue hydrangeas and white roses.
As I take the bouquet there’s a knock on the door.
“Come in.” Emily calls.
“Is the bride ready?” Billy asks peaking his head around the door. Billy flew in so he could walk me down the aisle. The ceremony is going to be relatively small consisting of the pack, Billy, and Bonnie’s parents.
Holding my hand out I tell him. “I’m ready.”
“You look beautiful, doll.” He says coming in the rest of the way and taking my hand. A few weeks ago I would’ve been sad that my dad isn’t here too, but since Pike’s come into my life I’ve learned to live without that sadness hanging around. I know my father’s in heaven watching me and he’s happy that Billy is walking me down the aisle.
“Thanks, Billy.” I kiss his cheek leaving my lipstick print behind.
“Does Pike look nervous at all?” I ask, using my thumb to rub my lip print off his cheek. We decided to block each other’s thoughts until I come down the aisle and I’m missing the feel of his presence in my mind.
“Not at all. Though if we don’t get you out there, there’s a good chance he’ll come barreling up here to get you.” Billy chuckles.
Pike must be missing our connection too.
“Then we better not keep him waiting any longer.” I laugh at the visual of my mate barreling up the stairs to get to me.
Billy holds his arm out for me and I place my hand in the crook of his elbow. The four of us walk out of the room and make our way down to the first floor. The wedding is being held outside of the pack cabin where the back deck overlooks the woods. Bonnie and Emily exit through the door before us, and then the doors are closed leaving Billy and me alone.
“Your Daddy would be happy for you.” He whispers when he leans in to place a kiss against my temple.
“I love you, Billy.” I say in response.
“I love you too, doll.” He says patting the hand that’s holding onto his arm.
The doors in front of us opens and the sound of
“Only You Can Love Me This Way”
floats in from outside.
“Take me to my mate.” I say smiling at Billy.
He guides me out on to the deck that wraps around the back half of the cabin. The wedding is set up on the right side of the massive cabin because it has the best view. He leads me around the corner that leads to our guests, and my future. I stop us at the back row of seats so I can search out Pike’s eyes.
They’re locked on me and he’s smiling. We both open up our connection at the same moment.
“So worth the wait,” he whispers through our bond.
Chapter 2 – Pike
“I didn’t take that long, Tennessee.”
“Darlin’, I’ve been waiting on you for twenty-five years. Now get your beautiful self down this aisle so I can officially make you mine.”
She continues her walk towards me, never once breaking eye contact. When Bloom and Billy finally make it to me, I take her hand pulling her into my arms, and press my lips to hers. I hear the guests hooting and hollering behind us, but I’m not ready to break away from her.
“You’re skipping the steps.” Elder Cathal Burke chides me. He’s the one proceeding over our wedding. It would traditionally be the Alpha’s responsibility, but I can’t proceed over my own ceremony so the responsibility fell to an Elder.
I pull away from the kiss, but I don’t look anywhere but at Bloom when I reply. “Ok, you can start now.”
“Today is a joyous day for our pack. Our Alpha is here to complete his mating bond and has invited all of us help them celebrate. Not only does he want to be bound to his mate by our ways; he also wants the outside world to know they belong to each other, so they’ll also be reciting the human vows to become husband and wife.” Cathal’s voice booms over the wedding party. “Our couple is going to first recite the traditional wedding vows, and then they’ll read their mating vows they personally wrote. Pike, will you please go first?”
I smile at my mate as I recite the vows that will connect us together in the human world. “I, Pike Lukas Masterson, take you Bloom Michael Daniels, to be my wife, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part.” Finishing the last line I stick my hand out palm up to Tucker and he places Bloom’s wedding band there. I take Bloom’s left hand and slip the band into place on her ring finger.
“Bloom, it’s your turn.” Cathal guides.
“I, Bloom Michael Daniels, take you Pike Lukas Masterson, to be my husband, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part.” She holds her hand out palm up until Bonnie places my ring into her palm. On a shaky hand she slips the band onto my ring finger.
“Pike, please recite your mating vows now.” Cathal tells me.
Placing my palm to Bloom’s jaw I use my thumb to trace her cheek bone as I recite my vows from memory. “Bloom, I was very young when I found out about mates. My father told me that a shifter’s mate is made for him and him alone, and that one day I’d find mine. Since that day I’ve been dreaming about you. Then I found you and I knew the real you completely surpassed the dream I had in my head all these years. You’re more beautiful than a sunrise over a fall forest and sweeter than a berry picked ripe off the vine. But as beautiful as you are on the outside you’re a million time more beautiful on the inside. You’ve shown me how much you care for the people around you, even when they haven’t earned it, and you’ve shown strength when most people would’ve had their spirit crushed. For all of this I promise I will always stand by your side to protect you, to support you, and to love you as my true mate.”
I won’t mark her until we’re alone, but at this moment I feel the need to lean in and kiss her neck, right where my mark will be tonight. A shiver runs through her body and when I pull back I’m grinning. Bloom rolls her eyes at my grin and I chuckle so quietly I know only she will hear it.
“Bloom, it’s your turn.” Cathal tells her.
Taking my face in both of her hands she begins. “Pike, I never knew the world held love like this. If someone would’ve told me it did I would’ve laughed in their face, but from the moment you came running into my life I’ve seen it everywhere. In the way you love and guide your pack, in the way you love and care for your sister, and in the way you love and protect me. For opening my eyes to this kind of world I promise to always stand by your side, to always care for you, and most of all I promise to always love you as my one true mate.”
As she finishes her words she tugs my face closer and plants her lips on mine. The wedding guests begin whooping and hollering, again.
“I’m pleased to introduce your newly mated Alpha pair, Mr. and Mrs. Pike Masterson.” Cathal shouts over the celebrating guests.
I pick Bloom up and spin her around, never letting our lips disconnect. Once I have her firmly back on her boot covered feet I throw my fist in the air to join in with the celebration. Out of the corner of my eye I see my beautiful mate shaking her head at me, but I know through our bond she’s smiling while she does it.
I guide Bloom back up the aisle through the confetti our guests are raining down on us and back into the house. We stop just inside the door and I pull her into me for another kiss.
“Are you ready for the party, Mrs. Masterson?” I ask against her lips.
“Can’t we skip the big party and go straight to the more intimate one, Mr. Masterson?” She whispers her question back.
“Don’t tempt me.” I rumble nuzzling into her neck, placing light kisses there.
“Mmmm, if you don’t stop, Tennessee, we’ll never make it to the reception.”
“Is there something wrong with that?” I ask, pulling her tighter against my body.
“Down boy,” She laughs as she attempts to push me away.
“Your husband is not a dog.” I playfully growl at her.
“Wolf shifter. Dog. Same thing.” She teases.
Scooping her up, I throw her over my shoulder, and swat her butt.
“For that I’m making you go to your reception,” I tell her carrying her back outside where our guests are waiting under the tent that’s set-up.
“Pike Masterson! Drop. Me. Now.” She half scolds, half giggles as she wiggles around on my shoulder.
“Fine if that’s what you want.” I tell her as I slip her off my shoulder and smoothly maneuver her backwards into a dip. “Are you sure you want me to drop you?”
Gripping my arms she pouts. “No Tennessee, don’t drop me. It’ll hurt.”
I scoop her back up into my arms and holding her close to my chest I promise. “Darlin’, hurting you is the last thing I’ll ever do.”
She rewards my promise with a deep kiss. One that’s more suited for the bedroom than a tent full of guests, but I’m definitely not complaining.
The sound of Tucker coughing pulls us apart. “Are you two ever going to come up for air long enough for us to congratulate you?”
Bloom pulls back enough that we can look at each other, and then turning to look at Tucker we both say in unison. “No.”
I bury my face in her neck to plant kisses, causing her to giggle. In front of us Tucker turns to the rest of our guests, and throwing up his arms announces. “Someone go get a crowbar. The love bird’s lips have fused together and we need to get them apart so we can start this party.”