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’s name and then building the company based around them had endeared him to all but the most staunch adversaries.
To find out of his sister in laws new threat had enraged him. When they finally stepped into their apartment at the end of the day there were no words as she shoved him against the door. She had griped his shirt, practically tearing it as they met in a heated, angry mess.
“If she wasn’t my sister,” Celeste growled against him, “I would have torn her in two.”
“I know,” he hissed as her nails dug in through the shirt.
“We can’t tell anyone about Sally yet.”
“I know,” another mauling kiss as she pressed him further into the door. Her anger pulsed hot through the mate bond, followed quickly by passion as he gripped her hips, pulling her against him.
“I’m going to take you to the bedroom,” her growls continued as her lips found the pulse in his neck, “and I’m going to fuck the living crap out of both of us.”
She ripped his shirt down the middle, making him moan. “Oh yes please, Love.”
Sally was beyond prompt the next morning. At quarter to 8 when he had come out of the office on hunt for a coffee, he found her and Kyra’s heads bent together over something on the computer screen. The fact she was so keen delighted him.
Your mate is looking rather fetching today.
He could feel Celeste’s purr through the bond, making him smirk. She was so easy to work up.
They had decided that morning Celeste would have a lie in, giving Hunter a little more time to bond with the girl. At least before steamrolled in. Having a human mate was going to be hard work, neither of them had had to let a human know about their world before. Taking things slow was not really in Celeste’s vocabulary, it was all going to be very interesting.
“Good morning Ladies,” he said as he came closer.
“Mornin’ Boss,” Kyra twittered, shooting him an easy grin.
“Mr North,” Sally stood suddenly, though her eyes remained mostly on the floor. Her hands squeezed together, all nerves. “Thank you again for the job, Sir.”
Hunter groaned, a cheeky smile crossing his face. “Mr North is Celeste’s father, please don’t make me older then I am.” Those beautiful eyes goggled at him. “I would prefer Hunter, but will settle for ‘Boss’ if you have Kyra’s inclinations.”
Walking passed the women he headed towards the kitchen on this floor before looking back at Sally, catching her eye. “Though I wouldn’t be opposed to ’Sir’.”
Hunter chuckled at the look on her face and went in search of coffee.
If he wasn’t the boss, Hunter knew someone would have wondered about his productivity levels today. As it was Kyra had started eyeing him strangely when he had come out of the office the third time on an unnecessary errand. He couldn’t help it though; Sally was remarkably bewitching.
Her suit was navy today, with long pants rather then a skirt. He could see a white blouse beneath the jacket and her red curls were braided loosely and fell to the top of her hips. She had this blush that seemed to be permanently on her cheeks whenever they spoke.
She asked questions, which Hunter loved, rather then trying to understand on her own. He could see she struggled with some of the newer concepts, but he could also see her valiantly trying to take everything in.
Celeste had asked some time ago that he stop feeding her updates. Soon she would be able to learn everything Sally wanted to share, for now she was content to be delighted by the things she would learn on her own.
On his sixth trip out of the office Kyra was gone, leaving Sally at the desk alone.
“How goes your first day, Sally?” She smiled up at him and his fingers itched to push a free strand of her hair back behind her ear.
“It goes well, Sir.” She chirped. He hadn’t been able to convince her to call him Hunter yet, but still, the ’Sir’ did things to him he didn’t want to admit. “There’s a lot to learn, but I’m sure I’ll have it under control before Kyra leaves.”
“Just remember you don’t have to do this alone,” Hunter nodded. “Please remember to ask Celeste or myself if you need clarification on anything.”
There was a pregnant pause before Sally spoke softly. “And will Mrs North be in today?”
Hunter breathed deep, the spice that was Sally’s arousal filling him. Whether she felt it or not, just the mention of her mate brought her to the edge. The smell alone was enough to make him pulse with need. They might not be mates, but the echo of the bond between her and Celeste affected him more then he expected.
Leaning his hip against her desk he looked down at her while she fidgeted, trying not to show how much she wanted to hear the answer.
“Unfortunately no,” the soft sigh of disappointment was almost his undoing. “Tyler has her stuck in HR today. But perhaps I can help?”
Sally looked up at him quizzically.
“I could take you out on a date.”
As soon as he said it, Hunter realised it had been the wrong thing to propose. Sally was out of her seat like lightening had struck her and was as far away from him as the space would allow. Hunter was startled at the reaction, and at the anger simmering in her eyes.
“Just what are you suggesting Mr North?” She asked frostily. “You have a wife. It is not appropriate for you to ask your PA out.”
He stared at her. She was right of course. She couldn’t know that Celeste wanted them to go out. And she was absolutely furious that he was treating his wife like that.
Goddess Celeste, she is glorious. She’s defending you against your cheating husband.
I bet she is, she chuckled. Remember, we’re taking this slow.
You need to talk to her. I might not be able to control this much longer.
You WILL control yourself, Hunter.
Hunter nodded, both to Celeste’s order and Sally’s reaction. He stood straight, heading back to his office as she glared daggers at his back.
“You should know Sally, Celeste would be delighted if you went on a date with me.”
“That, Mr North, is just what a cheater would tell the ‘home wrecker’,” she turned from him, sitting back in her seat, ignoring him as he shook his head and entered his office.
This had just gotten a whole lot more intriguing.
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
It had been a most amusing day.At some point around lunch Kyra pulled him aside. “Do we need to worry about her mental health?” She’d hissed and Hunter only managed to not laugh by shear force of will.He could understand Kyra’s point. Sally had been walking around in a daze for most of the morning, yesterday she had been competent and fun till Hunter had asked her out, and then she had been short and cool with everyone. Without any context, Kyra must have been getting whiplash from the changes.“I’m sure it’s just new job jitters, the retail position she was in did not let her reach her full potential.” That had been painfully obvious when Hunter had contacted them Monday after the interview. While they were quick to be angry about him poaching their worker, they were quicker to accept compensation. If nothing else came of a relationship between the two of them, he was happy to get her out of there.
Sally certainly hadn’t expected their night to be as fun as it was. Hunter was attentive and interesting. She could hear his passion for environmental architecture and understood instantly why north industries had flourished so.The pub was cozy even if Hunter was a dirty fish eater she hadn’t had a date like this in a while.The underlining current of what was to come couldn’t be denied and Sally realised she wanted to be with both of them. It felt surreal to her. Maybe in her wildest dreams had she thought of having two lovers at once. But here she was, actually contemplating a relationship with a married couple.It was something so far out of her comfort zone that she probably should be worried. Instead she was excited.“Would it be too early to ask for one kiss?”Fucken Hell, the man was sin on legs. Her knees practically went to jelly and she had to close her eyes to get some form of cohere
As Sally lived close to the office, Celeste decided she would catch up on some work while Hunter had his date.After the day they’d all had, Celeste had no doubt that they would hit it off. Sally had even appeared excited at the prospect of a date with Hunter this afternoon and she knew the fucker could be charming.“Will you mind if I kiss her?” He’d asked before he left.She’d given him an eye roll, bumping his shoulder with her own. “If you don’t I might divorce you.”His smile was delightful and she could feel his love pulse through their bond. He’d slung an arm around her shoulder in half a hug. “Promises, promises,” he’d teased.Celeste smiles and hoped they’d had a good night. She wanted to take Sally to the Clan’s house this weekend. Maybe have a picnic near the bush land and show her their powers. Celeste wanted to take things slow,
This was not supposed to happen.Hunter was still furious with members of the Clan interfering with this. And he knew Celeste’s Nona would not have stood for it. He couldn’t hold her leaving against her though. The Clan would never have accepted them if she hadn’t left; he just wished she was here to give Celeste a chance to be with her mate.As it was, they sat in the small living room, in nervous silence while Hunter made them a hot chocolate. He didn’t feel like there was much else he could do, but he needed to do something.Giving Celeste hers she offered him a pained smile that tugged at his heart. He tried to hand Sally hers but she wouldn’t unwrap her arms from around her body. He sighed, placing it on the coffee table in front of her and sitting on the arm of the chair Celeste had sunk into.“What’s going on?” Sally whispered. She wouldn’t even look at Celeste and his ma
“Oi, sweet cheeks!” Yuki called through Sally’s closed door, “you’re gonna be late to work, move your butt.”Sally buried herself further under her blankets.“I’m sick,” she managed loud enough for Yuki too hear. “I’m not going in today.”The lack of sleep and constant tears lent realism to her fib. Sally’s voice was croaky and dry, and her exhaustion filled each word. She felt bad lying to her best friend, but not bad enough to tell the truth and have to talk about it. At least she’d had the forethought to send a text to Kyra. It wouldn’t look good, it being her first week, but there wasn’t much else she could do.“Do you need anything, hun?” Yuki’s voice was instantly softer, worried. Sally wallowed in her guilt.“Just gonna sleep,” she managed, grateful for the soft ‘kay’ as her friend left her to it.&nb
After a night of tears and numbness, Celeste was ready to kick some arse.She’d showered, dressed in comfortable sweats and hoodie and stood waiting for Hunter at the door. After slipping into pants he’d chuckled, kissed her lightly on the nose and ushered her out the door.“I have a few loose ends to tie up here,” he’d murmured against her lips, “I’ll meet you at the Clan house just before lunch.”Hunter rarely got involved in Clan workings. It was something they had worked out many years ago. Hyena’s were a proud and stubborn lot, and a male Lion trying to lead had rubbed most of the Clan the wrong way at the start. After the first few bouts of in-fighting they had decided together it was best if Hunter ran the company and Celeste settle Clan business.They still came together when needed, but things always appeared to run smoothest this way. She still wished beyond all else that Hunter was with her