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The Alpha's Temporary Mate (Fated Match)(87)

By:Victoria Davies

“It’s a long story,” she said.

Jessica shrugged out of her coat and tossed her purse on a chair. “I’m all ears.”

With a sigh, Chloe launched into her escapades with the world’s sexiest wolf. She left nothing out. Not the relationship lies. Not the fact that she’d fallen hard, and definitely not the reality of Lisette’s return.

When she finished, both their coffees were cold, and Jessica was silent.

“Say something,” Chloe tried.

“Processing,” Jessica replied. “On the one hand, I want to chew you out for lying to me for weeks.”

She winced at the accusation.

“On the other hand, I want to hug you and tell you things will get better.”

“Can we say the two cancel out?”

“I can’t believe Vivian allowed this to happen.”

“Kieran can be persuasive when he wants to be.”

Jessica rolled her eyes. “His bank account can be.” She leaned forward on the table. “One thing I don’t understand.”


“You said you loved him.”

Chloe looked down at her drink. “I do.”

“Not much.”

Her head snapped up. “How dare you?”

Jessica shrugged. “The Chloe I know is a force of nature. She never gives up on those she cares about. Do you remember when we first met, and I found you annoying? You freaking wore me down until I admitted defeat and liked you.”

She smiled at the memory. No way she was going to let her new co-worker keep her at arm’s length.

“You fight, Chloe. That’s one of the reasons your wolf picked you, is it not? So why aren’t you fighting for him?”

“I don’t fight battles I can’t win. Lisette spent forty years with him.”

“And that went down in flames. Did he say he was going back to her?”

“Of course he is.”

Jessica just leveled a stare at her.

“He might not have stated it explicitly.”

“What did he say when you told him you love him?”

She squirmed in her seat.

“Good God,” Jessica muttered, rubbing the bridge of her nose. “You’re a moron.”


“A loveable one. Listen up, witch. You are dealing with a man who was burned badly by love. Not only that, he’s an alpha. A be-in-control-at-all-times wolf. If he did fall a second time you can bet he wouldn’t go easily. Might not even be aware it was happening. He’s certainly not going to say the words first.”

“So what do you want me to do? Crash the retreat and declare my undying devotion to him?”

Jessica said nothing.

“He’s not going to say it back.”

“If that’s true, then at least you know you tried every option. When you get back, I’ll come over and bring you all the chocolate ice cream you can handle. But you’re not allowed to fall apart until you try everything.”

Chloe ran a hand through her hair. “When did you get so pushy?”

“I’m trying to channel what you would say to me if the positions were reversed. You always see the best in people, Chloe. It’s your gift. Give him a chance to meet you halfway before you toss in the towel.”

“The mating moon is tonight,” she said. “For all I know he and Lisette will be officially declaring their relationship.”

“Then I suggest you drive fast.” Jessica’s gaze flicked over her, and she added, “Maybe take five minutes and wash your face first.”

She rolled her eyes even as she headed for the washroom. Was she really going to do this? The odds were sky high that she’d make a fool of herself.

Her reflection stared back at her from the bathroom mirror. Raccoon eyes aside, the witch looking back at her appeared as uncertain as she’d ever been.

Because nothing had ever mattered as much as this decision. If it worked the way she wished, she could end up with a mate. If it didn’t…

“Chocolate ice cream is always there,” she whispered to her reflection. “Men like Kieran don’t come around very often.”

One in a lifetime in fact.

She needed to make it count.

It had been easy to surf Jessica’s enthusiasm until she was in the car. The drive to Clearwater lands had even been smoother than she’d anticipated, the hours filled with her talking to herself as she practiced how to make a last ditched effort to get him to love her.

But when she parked at the edge of the campsite, her courage deserted her.

The whole pack would be there tonight. Everyone would see if Kieran turned away from her and picked Lisette. Her heart would break all over again.

Already the full moon was rising overhead. If she was going to crash this party, it needed to be now before Kieran promised himself to another woman.