Celeste North liked to get up early. She was sure it was part of growing up with a large extended family around her; the only time to get any peace was either late at night or early in the morning.
For her, there was something primal about watching the sun rise. It was certainly her main reason for choosing this apartment five years ago she mused, sipping on her coffee. They had needed a place closer to the office as the business started to expand faster then anticipated and this one had balcony facing east with huge glass wall connecting to the kitchen with a breakfast bar. When she found herself waking before Hunter it was her favourite spot to watch the sun rise over the harbour.
Her thoughts drifted to her mate and husband, as they often did. He was nothing like she had expected growing up but she had had no doubt that he would come waltzing into her life and turn it upside down. He had already owned the architect firm, Savannah Dreams when they had met. It hadn’t taken long for it to balloon into the the mammoth industry it now was when Celeste had joined forces with him.
It hadn’t been all sunshine and roses she mused, between hers and Hunter’s family plus the business had meant 10 years of sweat and tears. But she felt like they had turned a corner, the Clan was content and most of them worked within North Industries, keeping them all where they wanted to be. When Nona had stepped down she had named Celeste as her successor. It had been a hard road to gain everyone’s approval, especially where Hunter was concerned, but Celeste was here, 32 and owner of one of the best companies in the business. And married to a man who rightfully worshiped her.
She grinned into her coffee. He would never say it like that, but she knew he worshiped her.
As if summoned by her thoughts her keen hearing picked up a thud from the bedroom, followed by a series of curses. She tried not to snicker. Whilst the man slept like the dead, he roamed around the bed most of the night. The only way Celeste had found to keep him from pushing her or himself out of the bed was to basically smoother his body with her own.
His sisters had taken a certain level of glee letting her know just how often he had fallen out of his bed before they had met. It still happened occasionally when she was out of bed before him.
When he stopped in the doorway to the kitchen Celeste was delighted to see he hadn’t bothered to dress. Her eyes raked over his lithe dark honey form before meeting his drowsy golden eyes with a smirk from behind her coffee cup.
“Celeste,” he growled, his voice still smudged with sleep and she was unable to help the purr that came with the sound of her name on his lips. “I don’t suppose you remembered we had to be up early this morning.”
She rose an eyebrow, still smirking, and gestured to the fact she was already dressed for work. She was not the one who had trouble waking in the morning, a fact he already knew but often tried to blame on her.
He scowled at her for a moment then sighed and ran a frustrated hand through his long golden hair. Turning on his heel he headed back to their bedroom. She could hear him sulking and grumbling about alarm clocks and his own inability to remember to set them. His tight ass drew her gaze as it disappeared and she flicked her eyes to the clock by the counter. Standing Celeste stretched then let her sand coloured jacket slip from her shoulders and hung it on the back of the chair. She sauntered towards the bedroom. What point was there being the owner’s of their own company if you couldn’t be late occasionally?
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
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