Authors: Lola Wilder
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Paranormal, #Werewolves & Shifters
Two for Kate
By: Lola Wilder
Copyright 2014 by Lola Wilder.
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be
reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written
permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book
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Kate had been waiting for her husband David at Zingerman’s Deli,
their favorite lunch spot in Ann Arbor, for almost an hour. She checked her
phone to make sure he hadn't texted her but when she realized there were no messages,
she shook her head and tossed aside her napkin.
I knew this was a
she thought to herself.
She was surprised when he had actually accepted her invitation to
lunch, but now she wished she hadn't even bothered. It was bad enough she’d had
to make a date to see him, and now the fact that he was obviously standing her
up made her feel even worse.
Just as she pushed back her chair and moved to leave, she saw him
come barreling through the crowd. He nearly knocked over a waiter, who was
forced to side-step David's massive physique just to avoid spilling an entire
tray of food on the patio.
back in her chair, almost breathing a sigh of relief, but when she saw the look
on his face, her stomach tightened.
"I thought you might not be coming," she said in a
hushed voice, trying to avoid a scene.
"I said I would meet you, didn't I?"
Kate swallowed hard, trying not to notice the people at the next
table studying them. "I know it's just...never mind. You're here now. That's
all that matters."
She clenched her lips together, watching him snatch up the menu
and quickly scan the options. While other couples in the trendy restaurant
laughed and chatted with one another, it only made the divide between them more
obvious. What was perhaps the most uncomfortable for her was that no
matter how awkward things got between them, Kate still felt desire for him.
Even now, the faint scent of his cologne wafted across the table, and it
stirred something deep within. When he licked his lips before taking a drink of
his ice-cold water, she wanted to be the one to reach across the table and wipe
the droplets of water away. She longed for his deep blue eyes to look at her
with as much attention as he was now giving the menu. But when he looked up at
her, and his expression didn't change, and she realized just how unimportant
she was to him these days, it made her stomach sink.
She smiled over at the couple sitting at the next table in some
sort of attempt to reassure them that they weren’t really having an
argument. She glanced back at David to find him staring at her. For a
brief moment, she held a glimmer of hope and her pulse quickened, thinking that
maybe he’d sensed her desire. However, when she noticed how his jaw twitched
with tension, she knew that desire was the last emotion that he felt for her
right now, and that realistically she should prepare herself for some sort of
Sensing her defensiveness but wanting to state the obvious, David
distractedly took another sip of water and plunked the glass back down on the
table. "I still think this is a bad idea. We shouldn't be throwing our
money away on frivolities like lunch at this over-priced restaurant."
When had Zingerman’s stopped being our place
and started being just some over-priced deli?
Not wanting to start a fight, Kate nodded and gave him another
polite smile. "I know," she said, speaking quietly in the hopes that
it would clue David into the fact that people were watching them. "I just
thought it would be nice to get out of the station for a while. You've been
working so many late nights..."
David had been a firefighter for the past seven years, and lately
had been working close to eighty hours a week. He picked up shifts every
chance he got, which often left Kate at home with not much to think about other
than her growing dissatisfaction with her marriage.
"Yeah, well, I don't have much of a choice now, do I?"
He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a stack of mail, which he held
up to show her.
"A notice from the bank. We're late on our mortgage payment.
Again." He tossed it down, clenching his fist on the table. "I...I
just don't know how much more of this I can take."
Kate frowned, but didn't respond. It was bad enough they had been
arguing so much at home, but the last thing she wanted was to get into another
shouting match out in public. She could read his mood clearly and his twitching
temple meant he was on the verge of blowing his stack.
"David..." Kate said, low and soft.
When he didn't respond, she reached across the table for his hand
and felt him flinch when she put her hand on his. He shot her a look of
disgust, like anything he’d ever felt for her was gone. She pulled her hand
away and tried to ignore the tears welling up in her eyes and threatening to
spill down her cheeks. She remembered when just looking at one another would
send sparks between them. In those first years of marriage, they would get a
small booth at the back of the deli specifically so they could snuggle and feed
one another food between kisses. But those days were long gone now; that was
evident from the cold look in David's eyes when he looked back at her. She
wondered if even liked her, let alone if he was still in love with her. She
was starting to feel more like some problem that needed to be tolerated, rather
than the woman he supposedly loved, the woman he once wanted over everything
Kate drew her hand back sharply. She hated feeling this way and
hated even more that she apparently was the reason her husband was so
miserable. Maybe it really was over. Maybe she was just holding onto something
they had lost a long time ago. That thought made her stomach sink and a wave of
nausea washed over her.
She used the cloth napkin to dab at her eyes, trying not to meet
his gaze for fear that one look at the disgust in his eyes would make her burst
into tears in the middle of the restaurant. But she couldn't help herself. She
stole a glance at him and for the first time in a long time, she saw that his
expression had softened slightly, although she wasn't sure whether it was love
Just when she thought she saw him start to move, to lean in and
take her hand, his phone vibrated in his pocket. He paused for a moment but
like usual, David was a slave to his job, and when he plucked his phone out of
his jacket to answer it, Kate knew the tiny moment of reconciliation between
them had passed and she had no idea how long it would take, if ever, for them
to get it back.
Once she realized his call was work related she tuned it out and
focused on watching all the people in the café. After a few minutes, she
shifted her attention to checking Pinterest on her phone. She pinned a
few pictures on coconut oil and makeup tips before she realized that they had
become “that couple” in a restaurant. They were the couple they always
swore they’d never be: too bored with each other to even bother having manners,
turning their attention instead to their cell phones. This realization
bothered her so deeply that she decided to take a stand and turned her phone
My marriage might be falling apart, but I refuse to be that
she thought to herself. About the same time, David abruptly ended
his phone call, pushed his chair back and stood up.
"Look, I have to get back to the station."
"Mmm-hmm." Kate tried to put on a polite smile but she
knew he could see right through her.
He stood there awkwardly for a moment, obviously torn between
whatever crisis had come up at the station and their crisis that had been going
on at home for months.
"Look, Katie..." he said quietly.
She looked up at him. The longer this rift had continued to grow
between them, the more formal he’d been with her, and the fact that he’d just
now called her Katie for the first time in months gave her a glimmer of hope.
She tried to manage a weak smile, but when his phone vibrated
again, David cursed under his breath, leaning over to give her an obligatory
kiss on the top of her head before turning to leave. "I'll see you tonight."
Watching her husband storm off, Kate could see some of the other
women in the restaurant watching after him. They looked at him the way Kate
did, their eyes scanning the way his tight black t-shirt accented his muscles,
and how his firefighter pants and boots made him look tough and strong, a hero
every woman would want to be rescued by. She couldn't stomach the thought of
him being with another woman, but the way things were going, that might become
a reality much sooner than the two of them working out their problems.
Kate nursed her drink a while before taking out her wallet,
prepared to pay for the drinks she had ordered. She supposed that this lunch
date had just been wishful thinking. The reality was that sitting down to
share something as frivolous as lunch had become too much of an inconvenience.
That was the sad thing. If they couldn't manage lunch, how could they expect to
save their marriage?
Just then the door swung open and the cool air tickled the
backs of her legs and neck. She felt a cool hand on her upper arm as a gruff
voice spoke behind her. "Why don't you let me take care of that?"
Kate's heart fluttered at the voice. She didn't need to turn to
know who it was but she did so, anyway. Standing over and grinning down at her
was Adir, a guy she’d dated seriously in college…until she realized that she
needed a man that could give her more than just great orgasms. Adir had
been a decent enough guy; it was just that she’d wanted to get married and odds
back then were he’d be a confirmed bachelor for life, regardless of the
pressures from his pack to find a mate. Adir was the first shifter Kate
had ever met. A large smile spread across her face when she thought back to
when they’d first met. She had been so clueless about shifters, and sex and
Kate had met David shortly after she realized that her
relationship with Adir wasn’t ever going to go to the next level. David
was everything Adir wasn’t: where Adir was a take-charge kind of guy, David
allowed her to share in the balance of power. Adir was dark and handsome,
his features rugged and masculine whereas David was more all American with
blonde hair, blue eyes and a very endearing boyish charm about him. Adir was a
shifter and David was human. And on the surface, she knew she shouldn’t be so
shallow to hold that against Adir. After all, she’d loved lots of things about
him being a shifter: he was big and strong and had an amazing sex drive. But at
the end of the day, she’d wanted a life that Adir wouldn’t be willing to give
her. It had been hard for Kate to end things with Adir. The sex had been amazing
and they’d always had a lot of fun together--she’d just wanted more.
this was the “more” that you wanted?
she asked herself, thinking of her
marriage that was now on life support. Maybe Adir was onto something by
staying single. She found herself envious of his situation as well as sad
for her own.
She tried to hide the mixture of emotions from him -- the sadness
and regret of how things had gotten with David, and the surprise and relief at
seeing Adir just when she needed someone.
She could tell by the cocky smirk plastered across his face
that he could still read her every thought.
"You don't have to do that, Adir," Kate said, taking a
quick look over to the street to see David standing on the curb, waving his arm
furiously in the air as he tried to hail a cab.
"Oh, it's my pleasure, as long as you agree to sit and have a
drink with me in return."
He placed his hand on her lower back and
gently stroked her with his thumb.
God, please, yes.
instantly felt a flood of warmth spread across her core and moisture began to
pool between her thighs. Kate was caught off guard, and she was ashamed to
admit that his touch felt too good to say no to. They walked over to a booth
in the corner.
Without waiting for her response, Adir
slid into the seat next to her, his leg intentionally brushing against hers,
the friction of it pushing her skirt slightly up her thigh.
"You haven't changed a bit,” he said, placing his hand on her
knee, hiking her skirt a little higher.
Kate looked up to find him eying her legs as she reached to smooth
the fabric down. She felt her cheeks flush at the attention. She was sure
everyone in the restaurant could tell that she was now sitting with another
man, one she probably shouldn't be sitting with -- one that wasn't her husband
and one who, much to her frustration, still had a way of making her pulse race.
Oh please, no one knows anything,
Kate told herself, trying to calm her heartbeat with slow, easy
breaths, which was so much easier said than done.
Even if they did, would
any woman blame you?
Adir didn't simply look at her or even watch her. It was like his
gaze enveloped her, hungrily taking her in and wrapping her in his warm embrace
with just a glance. Kate hadn't been looked at in that way for what felt like
an eternity, and she knew if she weren’t careful, she would get lost in that
gaze all over again.
As if sensing exactly what she was thinking, Adir's smirk spread
into a grin before he looked away and motioned for the waiter. Always the one
to take charge, he ordered another round of drinks before turning back to Kate,
and like an addict, she tried to hide how she felt, even if his dark eyes
studying her still made her toes curl. She could feel the heat rise in her body
as he let his gaze travel across her face. The warmth spread across her
breasts, exactly where Adir's attention was focused, resting there for a moment
to watch the rise and fall of each breath before sliding his gaze ever so
slowly back up to her face again.
Kate shifted nervously in her chair, checking again to see where
David was, but he was already gone by the time she looked. She couldn't help
but feel a slight pang of disappointment. She almost wished he had turned
around to see her and this strange man sitting together, a man actually paying
attention to her for a change instead of staring at his cell phone through the
entire meal. Maybe it would knock some sense into him and remind him of what he
had, but it didn't matter, anyway. He was gone.
Adir slid his hand across the table and patted Kate's arm, letting
his hand linger there for a moment. "So, how have you been doing,
Kitty-Kat?" he asked, squeezing her arm.
"Oh, you know. Busy with the house, busy at work, you know
how it is. And you?"
She flushed at the sound of his voice. It felt almost...wrong
somehow that he should call her by the nickname he'd given to her back when
they were still together. It may have seemed sweet to an outsider but Kate remembered
just how Adir had come up with the nickname in the first place, and it wasn't
as innocent as it sounded. In fact, if she remembered correctly (and who was
she kidding, she knew exactly how it had all happened), they were engaged in
some seriously indecent acts when he'd told her how she seemed to purr when he
You must be really starved for attention,
she thought, taking a sip of her drink the moment the waiter set
"Oh, the same. But that doesn't mean I don't get out and have
a little fun now and then," he said winking at her.
He leaned in a little closer, pressing so hard against Kate that
she was sure that his shifter hearing could hear her racing heartbeat. Hell,
he could probably sense her desire, as well. With that, she straightened her
skirt and crossed her legs.
“If you think that will help—it won’t,” he said with a sexy grin.
“There’s no mistaking the smell of your desire. I could get drunk on that
smell,” he said with a low growl into her ear.
She didn’t want
to encourage him, but it seemed like every word she uttered, Adir took it as an
opportunity to flirt. Kate didn't know what irritated her more -- the fact that
he was trying to charm her when he knew she was married, or that she was
"So, I'm having a little party tomorrow night,
and I’d like for you to come,” he said, with emphasis on the word ‘come.’ "You
remember my parties, don't you Kitty-Kat?" Adir reached across and trailed
his fingertips up and down Kate's hand. For a split second she felt a pulse of
electricity across the back of her neck but quickly ignored it, drawing her
hand back like she'd touched a hot burner on a stove.
"Actually, those parties are exactly the type of thing I'd
like to forget."
parties were more like giant orgies. There were often lots of curvy human women
and shifter men, most of who had sex anywhere and everywhere they could find a
Adir had loved to show her off, and he’d
loved to watch her: not just have sex with, but be taken roughly by other men.
Back in the day, they’d had all kinds of crazy group
sex, and she loved the attention.
"Oh? Why's that? No time for fun now that you're
Instead of looking away from Adir this time, she squinted her
eyes, studying the look of amusement and the laugh he was trying to stifle. Had
he been sitting on the other side of the restaurant all along, watching her and
David and their awkward conversation? She wouldn't put it past him. He loved to
get the upper hand so he could use it to his advantage, and she wouldn't be
surprised if he'd somehow caught onto her scent and sought her out just to see
how she was doing. It was like he knew exactly when things in her life were in
upheaval so he could try to swoop in and take advantage. But Kate wasn't going
to let him...or at least that was what she tried to convince herself, even as
she allowed him to sit so close to her, so close she could almost...
"Some of us have mortgages and bills to pay," she
blurted out. "Lives to live that don't involve getting wasted and screwing
a bunch of people every weekend."
"Oh come on, now. When did you get so serious anyway, huh? I
remember a girl who used to like to have fun; let her hair down; get a little
"Yeah...well, that was a long time ago."
"No. It wasn't." His voice was low now, and she hated
hearing it. The deepness simmered, and it reminded her of thick caramel, warm
and inviting, a richness she longed to drink in. "Kitty-Kat."
His voice yanked her out of her daydream.
"No. I...I can’t." Kate suddenly jumped up, grabbing her
purse and darting away from the table. She ignored the stares of the other
patrons as she bolted around the side of the restaurant into the alley behind