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The Alpha's Temporary Mate

By:Victoria Davies

The Alpha's Temporary Mate
Victoria Davies

       Good girls shouldn't date bad wolves …

Fated Match has spent centuries pairing supernatural mates together.  Witch and matchmaker, Chloe Donovan, takes pride in helping her clients  find their happy endings. But when werewolf alpha and millionaire  playboy Kieran Clearwater stalks into her office, she may have finally  met the one man she can't help.

Kieran has no intention of finding his mate. Love is a weakness he can't  afford. But with his pack growing more concerned over his single status  he needs to assure them all is well. What better way to do so than to  hire a fake girlfriend he can parade around at the annual pack retreat?

Chloe is coerced into becoming the wolf's temporary mate, but she's  determined to keep their agreement professional. But her seductive  partner in crime has other ideas, and his considerable charm makes it  difficult for her to keep her eye on the prize. While these two burn hot  when they're together, behind-the-scenes politics work to rip them  apart.






To my wonderful sister who is always willing to help me brainstorm ideas  or proofread scenes. Thank you for all your love and support.





Chapter One

"Not a chance."

The man before her arched one dark brow. "I believe you should check with your boss before refusing my offer."

"I don't need to. Despite whatever misconceptions you harbor about this  agency, we are in the business of finding true love, not the kind you  can rent by the hour."

Anger curled through Chloe as she watched a slow smile cross the  werewolf's face. Obviously he was not a man well acquainted with  refusal.

Every now and then, men of his ilk crossed the threshold of Fated Match,  New York's premier supernatural dating agency. They were on the lookout  for a casual encounter that would lead to nothing more serious than an  obligatory breakfast. And while she didn't like to judge other people's  life choices, she'd spent years working to make this agency a success.  That success was grounded in the company's mission to match mates. They  strove to find that one person their clients had spent lifetimes waiting  for-a fated match that would make eternity far easier to bear.

Chloe was in the business of lasting, permanent love, and she'd seen  enough of men to know the wolf before her was more likely to run in the  opposite direction of his mate than commit to an eternity with her.

Such a pity. Her boss had been on the hunt for another high profile  client, and the werewolf community had been just as hard to crack as the  vampire population. With several vamp matches already feathering her  cap, Vivian was eager to add a few wolves to her roster. Bringing in a  pack alpha like this one would almost guarantee a healthy bonus in  Chloe's future.

Though she had to admit, an expanding bank account had not been her first thought when the wolf had entered her office.

She was used to meeting powerful supernaturals, given the nature of her  work, but this alpha had seemed to fill the small room. His power had  brushed along her skin like a physical caress as he folded his massive  frame into the baby-pink chair across from her desk. The juxtaposition  had brought a smile to her face that she'd quickly tried to hide. If  ever a man had looked out of place in her feminine office, it'd been  Kieran Clearwater. The wolf brought visions of ruthless battles and  tangled sheets to mind, not the dainty pink and silver accents that  decorated all Fated Match offices.

Not that he looked ill at ease. Chloe doubted much rattled him. Folding  his hands on her white desk, he leaned forward and fixed his unblinking  stare on her.

"You really ought to run this by your boss," he said again, an edge of boredom tingeing the command.

Chloe allowed a tight smile to twist her lips. "Mr. Clearwater, let me  see if I understand you correctly. You are not here to register for our  services. You have no interest in the usual dating package complete with  scheduled introductions and access to our substantial internet database  of singles."

"Correct."

"Instead, you'd like me to find you a temporary lover."

A grin flashed over his face, causing her heart to hammer once more. "Perfect."

"No."

"Sweetheart, the Clearwater pack is not without resources. Name your price and I'll write you a check."

Chloe clenched her fists under the table and did her best to exude calm  disapproval. "Our clients are members of the supernatural community  looking for love. They come to us with the understanding that anyone  they meet is just as serious about forever as they are. We are not a  procurement agency. If that's what you're looking for I'd recommend  trying a one eight-hundred number."                       
       
           



       

There was no mistaking the mockery that flared in his eyes. "Do I look like I'm in need of such a hotline?"

No. The damn man probably walked into a bar, snapped his fingers, and had women willing to follow him anywhere.

The supernatural community had an advantage over humans when it came to  physical beauty. Hell, most of her girlfriends were mated to men that  rivaled gods, and the wolf before her was no different. Kieran could  easily have walked into any modeling agency in the world and wound up on  a magazine cover. His auburn hair curled around his ears, with a  cowlick falling across his forehead that her fingers itched to brush  away. Equally dark eyes focused on her with a sharp awareness that told  her Kieran wasn't a man who missed much.

He had the full lips and high cheekbones many women would envy-not that  anything about him was the least bit feminine. Especially not when one's  gaze dropped below the breathtaking face.

As a species, wolves tended to be larger and more muscular than many of  the other races, and this alpha was no exception. His black T-shirt  stretched across a massive chest she wished she could run her fingers  over. Thank God his leather jacket hid a more detailed view or she  wouldn't have been able to form a single sentence about work. There was  only so much one witch could take, after all.

Long legs encased in dark-washed denim folded beneath her desk, and  Chloe had fought the urge more than once to shift her own legs to brush  against his. Were they standing, she doubted she'd reach much higher  than his shoulder. The thought sent a shiver of awareness down her  spine. Given her own height, few men could make her feel small.

But his striking looks only made his request that she set him up with a  temporary girlfriend all the more bizarre. Surely a man like Kieran  needed no help finding a lover.

"I regret that we are unable to help you, Mr. Clearwater. Now if you please, I have another appointment to get to."

Instead of looking chagrined or taking her hint to leave, Kieran leaned forward. "Do you know much about wolves?"

Chloe blinked. "I'm well versed in all the species we represent."

"Then you know all about the mating moon."

When her hesitation gave her away, his knowing smile widened.

"The mating moon," he instructed, filling in the gaps in her knowledge,  "occurs one night a year, when newly coupled wolves go before the clan  and make their intentions to one another clear. Once they've made their  announcement, pairs are considered mated."

"Like a wolf wedding," she mused.

"Precisely. Some couples are together for years, lifetimes even, but  without an announcement on a mating moon they are not recognized as  truly mated."

"Interesting custom, but I don't see where Fated Match fits in."

"This year's mating moon is a month away."

Chloe met his dark gaze. "So?"

"So, my pack is pressuring me to participate."

She shrugged. "Congratulations."

A low growl rumbled from his throat, raising the hairs on the back of  her neck. "I have no desire for a mate. Managing one of the largest wolf  packs on the East Coast is enough of a hassle without throwing a woman  into the mix."

"Then again I say, you are in the wrong building."

"What I need," he continued, ignoring her interruption, "is a decoy. My  pack wants to see that I'm committed to someone, that I'm not spinning  out into lone wolf territory, which would leave them vulnerable to an  enemy clan. Unfortunately, tensions are naturally high around the mating  moon, and as pack creatures, that heightened unease has started to  cause ripples through my community. I need a woman who will pretend to  be my lover to get me through the mating moon so that my pack doesn't  start questioning our security or my leadership."

Chloe's jaw dropped.

"As long as she's not a wolf, I can use the excuse of our cultural  differences to avoid any announcement," Kieran said. "We'll part ways  after the danger is past, a tragic case of insurmountable barriers  tearing us apart."

"And you came here because … ?"

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