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The Alpha's Temporary Mate (Fated Match)(12)

By:Victoria Davies

Pausing, Chloe eyed the upper landing from whence she’d come. Kieran was no doubt surrounded by impeccably dressed females during his usual life. While she didn’t think she looked like a train wreck, she was certain she didn’t match her predecessors’ elegance. Shrugging, she continued down the stairs. If they were going to live together for weeks he’d better get used to the fact that she was a jeans and a T-shirt sort of girl.

Stepping off the black spiral stairs, she followed her nose through one of the large archways. The kitchen came into view, complete with all the latest stainless steel appliances and what looked like a living wall of herbs.

“Hope you’re hungry,” Kieran said, glancing at her over his shoulder from his position by the stove.

“Starved,” she replied, and meant it. Too nervous about how this day would play out, she’d only snacked on a power bar for lunch.

Hopping into one of the high chairs pulled up to the large marble island, she rested her chin in her hand while she watched Kieran shake some spices into a pot of spaghetti sauce.

“I didn’t realize you could cook,” she said.

“Love it,” he replied. “Prepare to be spoiled this month.”

“Between the balcony’s view, and the way that sauce smells, I think it will be an easy task to accomplish.”

“So simply? Where have you been all my life, Chloe?”

She huffed a laugh. “I think I’ve made my view on your usual type of women pretty clear. You’ve just been dating the wrong people.”

He looked away from his sauce to pin his dark gaze on her. “Perhaps.”

A shiver ran down her spine, and she reached for the plate of sliced baguette on the island to give herself something to do.

“So where did you learn to cook,” she asked, trying to change the track of the conversation.

“I did quite a lot of traveling in my younger years,” he replied. “My pasta skills come from the time I spent in a small Italian village south of Rome.”

“Wow,” she breathed.

“I can also whip up a red curry so good you’d swear you were sitting in Bangkok.”

“That sounds amazing.”

He glanced her way as he strained the spaghetti. “Haven’t you traveled?”

She shook her head, knowing it was an unusual response for an immortal being. Most supernaturals tended to move around the globe on a whim. For one thing, it was safer never to stay in one place too long. Humans might notice their neighbor never seemed to age. For another, the older a supernatural creature became, the more easily they became bored. Traveling was often a quest for a new experience or flavor to drive away the monotony that developed with age.

“Why not?” Kieran asked, pouring the sauce into the pasta.

She shrugged. “I was born just before the Great Depression. Much of my first decade or two was simply trying to survive.”

“I thought witches had covens the way my people have packs?” He brought the pasta over to the table and set it before her before taking the seat to her side.

“Most do,” she acknowledged as she spooned some spaghetti onto her plate. “I didn’t.”

He paused, reaching for the wineglass at his place setting.

She understood why he hesitated. Few supernaturals enjoyed talking about their pasts, especially those who had been originally born human and later turned, like the vampires. Though witches didn’t fall into that category, it was a good rule of thumb not to ask about another’s past without first being invited.

“Do you want me to change the subject?” he asked.

She thought about it before shrugging. “I’m not touchy about my history. Probably not old enough to care yet. I was in my early twenties when World War II ended. You know as well as I that those years were not ideal for anyone.”

“Particularly a young immortal still growing into her powers,” he guessed. “Where were your people?”

“Don’t know.” She took a bite of her food and made appreciative sounds. “I was raised an orphan. Tried to track them when the technological age exploded but never had much luck. Besides, by then I had a good life. I was working with Vivian and loved New York City. I didn’t have much reason to go questing off after random witch covens. I always figured if I actually had blood-kin they’d have been looking for me with far more success.”

Kieran tipped his head in acknowledgement. It was well known witches tended to take blood bonds very seriously. If she’d had family left, they would not have given up on her easily.

“Still, figuring out everything on my own meant I didn’t always have the capabilities to travel.”