Mark looked her over. Her smile could light up a room. She could do so much better than him. “Why would someone as beautiful as you want to marry me?”
Chloe laughed. “You are not so bad looking. I could do worse.”
“Don’t you want to marry for love?”
“Honey, Vampires don’t get that choice. It’s better to be part of this alliance than to be stuck with some ugly politician.”
As the situation sunk in, his Wolf growled over the fact that it wouldn’t mate with another wolf. “This isn’t how I expected to find a mate.”
Her eyes went wide. “What? Is there something wrong with me? Am I too athletic or not beautiful enough?”
He could hear her heart beat faster. She was in the same situation as him and he’d made her upset. He couldn’t look her in the eye. “I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to insult you. It’s like they read my mind and found my dream woman.”
He could feel her gaze on him.
“Then what’s the problem?”
Mark blurted out, “I always imagined I would mate for love. Are you even old enough to do this?”
Chloe laughed. “What? Is twenty-five not old enough for you?”
Mark stared in wonder. “You hardly look eighteen.”
“Vampire bodies age much slower than Humans. I bet you could never guess Greta’s age.”
“She about forty-five?”
“Maybe if you add a couple hundred years to that number, you would be close.”
He looked her in the eye. “Shapeshifters also live longer lives. If you were thinking this would be a short assignment, you might want to reconsider.”
She grinned and nodded. “I will keep that in mind, but it doesn’t change anything. You just need time to get used to the idea of me being your mate.”
She turned his head and kissed him. A warmth flowed through him that he had never experienced with any other woman. It was a primal feeling that excited his inner Wolf and made him hunger for her touch. He wouldn’t give in to his Wolf. Lusting after was one thing, but he wanted to love her too.
He pulled away. “I think we should slow down. When is our union supposed to take place?”
She grinned again. “Why? Did you need time to kick a girlfriend out of your bed? Can I watch?”
“I don’t have a girlfriend right now.”
She smiled. “So, no boyfriend. Then what is the problem?”
“No problem, I want to get to know you better first.”
She put her hand on his knee. “We can fix that. Your place or mine?”
“No … I mean I want to get to know you as a person.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll have many years for that. Why not have fun for now?”
His wolf growled. The women he knew in the Pack wouldn’t be so forward. “You must learn to respect my wishes.”
“I think you will learn to respect mine as well.” She smiled and added, “I’ll kick your ass if you don’t.”
Mark smiled at the thought. “You can try.”
“I can do more than try. I would be a mixed martial arts fighting champion if I was allowed to show off my skills. I had to stop training with Humans or they would have discovered I wasn’t one of them.”
Mark looked at her with new eyes. This could be interesting! “We should spar sometime; I would love to get in the ring with someone that isn’t family. But you should know I have been sparring with Wolves, not Humans, and it won’t be so easy.”
“See, you know something more about me already! As a child, I was also a gymnast and am very flexible, if you know what I mean. I would be happy to demonstrate that as well.”
Mark looked down at his feet as he blushed. She really knew how to push his buttons. Chloe was every man’s dream girl. So, what was his problem? It was all hitting him too fast. Most men would think he’d won the lottery and should get right to unwrapping his prize, but in the pit of his stomach, it didn’t feel right. He should be with the love of his life, not be forced to be with an outsider, no matter how attractive the package was. Father would expect him to follow orders, and by rights he had no choice in the matter. Following the chain of command was part of his being. No matter what he felt, he couldn’t go against the Alpha’s will.
“We should go back. My father must be wondering where I am.”
Chloe stood. “Let’s get back and set his mind at ease.”
Chloe led him back to the Second Circle, where everyone was waiting.
She shook Alastair’s hand. “It was nice meeting you, Mr. Blackthorn. I look forward to spending more time with Mark soon.”
Chloe bowed her head and left.
“Mark, it’s time to leave. I hope your time with Ms. Price was productive.”
Mark would hold his questions until he could get his brother alone.