Hunter North, CEO and co-owner of North Industries, hummed slightly as he read over the proposal again. It needed a few more tweaks, but he was sure they would be ready to present it early next week. He also had no doubt that they would get the contract.
Anything ‘Green’ was a buzz word right now, and many companies wanted to appear to do their part whilst spending the least amount of money possible. Hunter and Celeste had ensured early that their business was as eco-friendly as possible. They kept up with the newest research and took the time to ensure that they’re practices met the highest standard. While Hunter was an architect at heart, he had a degree in environmental science. Celeste had been a thorough task master and between them they had been able to take the company to places even he hadn’t dreamed of.
With a wistful smile he knew there was a reason for that; Celeste was everything he hadn’t known he’d needed in his life at 28. She had waltzed in, taken him by the hand and together they had pushed for a future that was everything to them.
The amazing sex didn’t hurt either, he smirked, remembering the shower this morning and her delighted noises as he took her against the wall.
There was a knock at the door as Hunter’s hand hovered over the phone, ready to call Cel and see if she had time to visit. It was probably for the best, if her day was busy she was just as likely to rip him a new one instead. Moving his hand back to the laptop keyboard he promised himself he would call her up later.
“Enter,” he called, his voice just loud enough to be heard on the other side of the door.
Tyler walked in, carrying a tablet with his eyes trained on the screen. He was Celeste’s cousin and worked in HR, but was relatively laid back. He looked like he worked on a Green peace ship rather then a massive corporation. It suited him just fine and Hunter didn’t care as long as he did his job and didn’t smell.
“Mornin’ boss,” he murmured, dancing around the office furniture without any issue. His long sleeves were rolled up over his elbows, showing off his bronze skin covered in heavily inked tattoos. He stopped at the desk without looking up from the tablet, swiping across the screen with practiced ease. “Your new PA is being interviewed today.”
Ah, that explained Cel’s early morning wake up. She always kept a hand in on interviews with non-clan members, especially those who would work on the top floor with them. It made things just that little bit easier if they knew what they were dealing with prior to hiring.
Hunter nodded, “forward me through the shortlist once the interviews are finished. The sooner we process this, the better. When Kyra goes on Maternity leave we’ll be close to helpless.”
Hunter went back to his work before realising Tyler had neither answered nor left. When he looked back to him he looked awkward. As Celeste’s younger cousin, Hunter had known him for years both inside and outside of work. It was strange to see him as anything other then forthright.
“Was there something else?”
Tyler’s head cocked to the side like a puppy and Hunter had to refrain from smirking. “Cel has been... off today.”
That made Hunter turn in his chair, watching the younger man shift uncertainly. “Off?” He asked carefully, trying to keep the growl out of his voice. He wasn’t sure where this might be going, but he would stand for any disrespect to his wife.
Tyler rubbed the back of his neck. “Not angry, but she seems high strung. Like somethings got her heckles raised.” He shrugged, “just real weird for her.”
Hunter frowned. After this mornings workout she’d usually be calm and content. And she was usually too professional to be ‘high strung’ at the office, she reserved that for when they went off the grid, or in the comfort of their own home at least.
“I don’t think any of the juniors or standard staff would notice,” Tyler grinned ruefully, “she’s too put together for that. But the family, they’re going to notice pretty quick. Thought you’d better know if you didn’t already.”
He nodded. “I’ll book her in to have lunch with me, I’ll get to the bottom of it. Can’t have her going all St Patrick’s day on us again.”
Hunter laughed at the look of only half put on terror on Tyler’s face. It was the last time Cel’s infamous temper had reared it’s head at a work function. No one wanted to be near by if that happened again.
The young man grinned. “Thanks for taking one for the team, Boss.” He waved as he left, “I’ll let you know what I find out about the interviewees, I’ve got a good feeling about today.”
Hunter was already pulling up Cel’s schedule, for some reason he had the same feeling.
Sally made triple sure she was up early Monday morning. The interview wasn’t till 11, but she was leaving nothing to chance. She showered and shaved, did every skin care regiment known to man and took the time to tease her curls into stunning locks that she pulled into a high ponytail. After her pampering she ironed her favourite interview clothes before dressing carefully.Her skirt and jacket were a matching dark charcoal grey, tight against her hips but flaring a little at her knees. The button up shirt was jade green, offsetting her red hair and complimenting the green flecks in her eyes. For today she had black heels on, but if she did get the job she’d be checking the dress code, she didn’t want to be stuck wearing heels all day if she could help it.Sally kept her makeup lite, she didn’t like what it did to her skin when she wore too much. Makeup made her feel uncomfortable so she made use of mascara and lipstick and hop
Celeste wished she could figure out what had her all pissed off. It felt like someone was rubbing her against the grain and all it did was make her want to run. She had no idea where but if she didn't figure this out soon she'd probably end up biting someone. And not in the fun way."You gotta get this together, Cuz!" Tyler muttered after the last applicant left shaken and perplexed.To be fair on the woman, Celeste had not said a word to her all interview. She'd sat there, arms and legs crossed and ground her teeth. Not exactly the kind of impression one of the owners should leave an applicant, but Celeste couldn't help it. What ever was riding her had her patience thinner then usual."She was ok, wasn't she?" Kyra asked, scratching her head. "Her references are pretty amazing.""I didn't like her," Celeste growled, offering no tangible reason because there wasn't any. She just wasn't right to work with Hunter."Maybe it'd help,"
“I see.”When Celeste had stalked in Hunter wasn’t sure what was wrong. Part of him hadn’t known what Tyler had meant earlier, what 'off' could have really meant. Walking in to the office she had been wild, her golden eyes flashing in a way he hadn’t seen in years. He couldn’t even imagine what might have caused his wife to shake with so much pent up energy. But now he understood.Another Mate. Hunter wondered what they might be like.“That’s it?” Celeste was distressed and confused, he could see that she her body trembling with the energy that pulsed through her. “I tell you I have a second mate and you say ‘I see’?”Hunter stood and came around to her side of the desk. Her foot tapped with nerves but she paused as he pulled the chair closer to him. From here he could reach out and take her hand. He felt her still instantly, which made him smile, he could still calm
When the beautiful woman left, Sally couldn’t quite explain the sudden sadness that filled her. It was like the light went out of the room. She also had no idea what it meant in the context of her job. Was it an automatic disqualification if one of the interviewers took one look at her and left the room?Probably, she thought, even more downhearted. She had thought it had been going well till now.Tyler and Kyra looked alarmed and surprised as well, so she thought that was a better sign then straight up pity. For a moment they appeared to flounder before Tyler turned to her.“Could you give us a second, Sally?” The two stood without waiting for answer. She watched in surprise as they moved away from her, whispering in hisses that, try as she might, Sally couldn’t make out. Finally Kyra shot her a short wave before shuffling out of the room to the hallway Sally started in with the other applicants.Tyler moved his seat around
Celeste was glad she’d decided to take a run before trying to head back to try and do work. Even though she couldn’t get out of the city, parts of it were still green enough for her. Coupled with some decent headphones she was able to zone out and clear her head.Being away from Sally’s scent helped too.One day soon she would take all three of them out of the city, somewhere on a walkabout. It’d make her mother insanely happy if they went up to her sheep ranch for a while and just be for a bit.Between North Industries and Clan business she was becoming run down. Now the addition of a new mate added it’s own level of stress to her exhausted body.Yes, once Sally was hers they would take some down time and she would show her the bushland she had grown up in.With her mind calmer she headed back towards the building. She had run far, but less then she thought she’d need to to calm it all down.She
Hunter was furious with Luna, but it was really nothing new. It didn’t matter that it might be the 20th century, some people would always treat it like they were still tribal. The shear intimacy that came with Clans, Packs or Prides made things worse of course.Celeste and Luna’s mother didn’t live with the clan for a reason. Her and Celeste’s father owned their shearing ranch and were happy away from the politics. But when Celeste’s Nona had left, the Matriarch was always a direct descendant. Either Celeste or Luna had to take her place. Celeste had won every challenge thrown her way. The Clan was her everything.It hadn’t stopped those who didn’t like Celeste’s changes though. To mate with someone out side of the clan had been a sticking point, as if she had chosen her fated partner to spite them.North Industries was another, though they were hard pressed to argue that. In fact, Hunter taking the Clan&rsqu
Sally was exceptionally grateful that her apartment was just far enough away that she could comfortably angry walk home. Cause she was so, so very angry.Kyra had been confused at her change after returning from her toilet break. Sally had been tight lipped, she still had a lot to learn about the politics of the place before she would feel comfortable ragging on the boss.Thankfully Mr North stayed in his office all afternoon, only paging through to Kyra when he needed anything. It made Sally mortified to realise he’d only been visiting them all those times before to scope her out.As such Sally gave him no extra reason to spend time with her. At 4:20 on the dot she picked up her bag, said thank you to Kyra, and stalked home.How DARE he do that. She didn’t care how young, pretty and seemingly unattached someone was. He was married. His wife was one of her bosses. She worked at the same fucken building as they did. What had he thou
Even if she hadn’t been able to smell her, Celeste would have known the moment Sally stepped into the office space. She could feel her presence all the way down to her bones.Hunter was enamoured with her; he had spun the tale of Sally defending her virtue into a story of epic proportions. After the roller coaster of the last few days, Celeste was delighted to see the joy Hunter got out of this, even if it painted him as the bad guy in Sally’s eyes.Celeste wondered what the girl would tell her when they finally got a moment to talk. As she approached her, Celeste smiled to herself. Her little mate was brave considering the conversation she’d had with Hunter yesterday,“Mrs North?”Celeste bit back a groan. The light, warm way she said her name was addictive, Celeste could listen to her all day. She turned from the photocopier, taking in her black pants and turquoise, long sleeved top as well as the waves of red curls falling