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Authors: Gabrielle Evans

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Midnight Matings 13 Splash and Elegance

BOOK: Midnight Matings 13 Splash and Elegance
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Midnight Matings

Splash and Elegance

The Gathering is called. The spell is cast. There is no escaping the Midnight Matings.

Socially awkward and practically invisible to the rest of the world, Whitley Turner wasn’t overly upset by the elders’ announcement.

Either he’d find someone to claim him or he’d disappear completely. So when he finds himself mated to a sexy-as-sin orca shifter, he’s not sure whether to jump for joy or run screaming.

Jude Chambers knows exactly who the shy swan shifter is. He’s been looking for a way to get close to him for months. Using the forced mating decree and a little cunning help from a friend, landing Whitley as his mate was a piece of cake. Feeling guilty about the situation wasn’t supposed to happen. Why couldn’t Whitley be the egotistical jerk he imagined him to be?

It doesn’t take long for Whitley to realize something isn’t right.

When the truth is revealed, how can Whitley forgive his mate when being invisible was far less painful?

Genre:
Alternative (M/M or F/F), Paranormal, Shape-shifter
Length:
36,957 words

SPLASH AND ELEGANCE

Midnight Matings

Gabrielle Evans

EROTIC ROMANCE

MANLOVE

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK

IMPRINT: Erotic Romance ManLove

SPLASH AND ELEGANCE

Copyright © 2011 by Gabrielle Evans

E-book ISBN: 1-61926-177-4

First E-book Publication: December 2011

Cover design by Jinger Heaston

All cover art and logo copyright © 2011 by Siren Publishing, Inc.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED:
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All characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

PUBLISHER

Siren Publishing, Inc.

www.SirenPublishing.com

Letter to Readers

Dear Readers,

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Splash and Elegance
by Gabrielle Evans from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you.

Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.

Regarding E-book Piracy

This book is copyrighted intellectual property. No other individual or group has resale rights, auction rights, membership rights, sharing rights, or any kind of rights to sell or to give away a copy of this book.

The author and the publisher work very hard to bring our paying readers high-quality reading entertainment.

This is Gabrielle Evans’ livelihood. It’s fair and simple. Please respect Ms. Evans’ right to earn a living from her work.

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SPLASH AND ELEGANCE

Midnight Matings

GABRIELLE EVANS

Copyright © 2011

Chapter One

“They want us to do what? No way am I going to mate someone I don’t even know. This is bullshit!”

Yep, that seemed to be the consensus going about the ballroom.

The elders wanted them to present a mate before the stroke of midnight—less than twenty-four hours away—and that mate had damn well better be of a different species. If they thought they could get out of it, well, they better think again. The elders had even gone so far as to doctor their drinks with some hoodoo crap to induce the mating heat.

While some of the partygoers looked excited and hopeful about the prospect of finding a mate, and others just looked downright scared out of their minds, most were about to tear the place apart in their anger.

Whitley Turner didn’t care either way. If someone wanted to claim him as a mate, then so be it. If no one wanted him, he’d go feral, be hunted down as rogue, and end what was looking to be a long, lonely, and pathetic existence. As far as he saw it, the latter was probably the most likely to happen. He’d yet to pinpoint what it was about him that turned people off, but most of them beat a quick path in the opposite direction after spending five minutes with him.
Oh, he could lie of course, but what good would that do him? Any new mate was bound to find out what he was eventually. It would save him a lot of heartache, and possibly a black eye, if he just came clean up front.

So, while everyone else was shouting, snarling, growling, and mostly just making assholes out of themselves, Whitley sat calmly on a bench against the wall and watched the drama unfold. He sipped his bewitched champagne, even though he could already feel the mating heat burning his blood and swelling his cock.

Men and women alike darted around the room, attacking possible mates left and right. They didn’t really seem to care if that person wanted to be mated to them or not, either. Whitley sighed as he watched two enormous men fight over another smaller guy.

Didn’t they realize that was exactly what had landed them all in hot water to begin with? All this constant fighting and bickering had to stop. That wasn’t saying he condoned what the elders had cooked up, but he doubted they wanted his opinion.

“Son, just take the girl, drag her up there, and write your damn name in that book!”

Whitley knew it wasn’t polite to eavesdrop, but it was kind of hard not to overhear when the man was shouting just feet from him.

“I’m not going to pick some random girl to spend the rest of eternity with,” the younger man responded with a stubborn set to his jaw.

“I’m not talking about some random girl, and you know it. We’ve discussed this. Now find her and get your ass up there!” Someone eased onto the bench beside him, but Whitley couldn’t take his eyes off the arguing men. Well, more to the point, he couldn’t take his eyes off the son. If there had ever been a more perfect example of male beauty outside paintings and sculptures, he’d yet to have seen it.

Dark brown hair, smooth tan skin, a sexy five-o’clock shadow, and oh, what big muscles the man had. They moved fluidly, flexing
and bunching in all the right places as he waved his arms around to emphasize the point he was trying to make.

Too bad he was apparently straight. Not that he’d want to be saddled with Whitley even if he wasn’t, but a guy could dream.

“He doesn’t sound very happy,” a feminine voice whispered next to his ear, causing him to jump.

“Oh, uh, no, I guess he doesn’t.”

“I’m Melody.” She held her dainty hand out to Whitley.

He took it carefully and gave it a perfunctory squeeze before releasing it quickly.

“Why are you just sitting here instead of hunting down a mate?

You heard what the elders said.”

“I could ask you the same thing,” he countered.

Melody sighed and folded her hands in her lap, causing her ample breasts to push together. “I guess you’re right. I don’t want to be mated to any of these idiots, though. Just look at them.” She dipped her head, letting her long dark hair fall over one eye, and indicated the chaos going on around the room.

“You’re very beautiful.” She was, too—for a girl. She was slim, but with curves in all the places most men adored. Her dark brown, almond-shaped eyes were what drew Whitley in, though. They looked kind, but also a little sad. “I’m sure you could find someone who’s not a complete barbarian.” Whitley scanned the room, hoping to find someone he could point out to prove his point.

As luck would have it, he spotted a very handsome man leaning against one of the floor-to-ceiling pillars, staring right at Melody with so much longing in his eyes it almost hurt to see. “What about him?” Melody followed his gaze and smiled sadly. “That’s Shane. He’s gorgeous, isn’t he? Our families would never allow it, though.”

“Well, it seems to me that you have the perfect excuse now.

Blame it on the elders.”

She seemed to think it over for a minute before nodding firmly and rising to her feet. “Thank you…”
“Whitley. Whitley Turner, and you’re very welcome. Go get your prince, Melody. You seem nice, and you deserve to be happy.”

“Yes, I do,” she said firmly and squared her shoulders. Then she bent at the waist and placed a soft kiss on Whitley’s cheek. “So do you, Whitley. Good luck finding your mate.” She turned to walk away, but made it only a couple of steps before the older of the arguing pair grabbed her around the upper arm and began marching her toward the raised platform where the elders were sitting.

“Let go of me!” she demanded, wiggling and jerking to get free of his grip.

“There you are,” the man said with a satisfied smile before turning to his son. “Take her up there and put your names in the fucking book!”

“No. Let her go, Father.”

Whitley looked around them, unsurprised to find Shane making his way through the crowd with an angry scowl on his face.

“You’ll take her as a mate, or you’ll never see Carter again. It’ll take just one phone call. You know I can do it.” Whitley didn’t know who Carter was, but judging by the reddening of the younger man’s face, he was someone very important.

The situation was spiraling out of control quickly, and Whitley hoped like hell that Shane would get there soon to rescue Melody and diffuse things.

His hopes died a quick death, though, when some man went sailing through the air and tackled Shane to the ground. Before he could regain his feet, two women pounced on him and began pawing at his clothes.

“Damn it, Jude! Just do what you’re told.” The father and son glared at each other for a tense moment before Jude jerked his head in what Whitley took to be agreement and followed his father and a still-struggling Melody up onto the dais.
He should probably stay out of it, but Whitley couldn’t stop himself from following. Surely someone would put a stop to this. The elders weren’t going to let them force this girl into a mating she didn’t want. Right?

BOOK: Midnight Matings 13 Splash and Elegance
12.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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