The Alpha's Search (The Craven Trilogy, #1)(45)By: Natalie Shaw
Just then, the door behind me opened. I spun around in my chair.
“Craven!” I rushed over to him and he caught me in his arms.
“Are you okay?” he said, as he tilted my head so he could look into my eyes.
“Yeah, I'm okay. I thought—”
“I don't know. I—”
“Come and sit down—both of you. Please.” Zema pointed to the two chairs.
Craven took my hand and led me over to Zema's desk.
“Louise,” Zema said. “I apologise if I scared you. I should have told my P.A. to make it clear that it was good news.”
“I'm okay.” My heart rate was slowly getting back to normal.
“Craven,” Zema said. “Perhaps you'll tell your mate.”
Craven took my hand in his. “Zema has asked me to become his Beta, but I said I wanted to speak to you before I accepted.”
“If it's what you want, I'm happy for you to do it.”
“Before you come to a decision,” Zema said. “It's only fair I tell you what Craven already knows. It's extremely unusual to appoint a newcomer such as your mate to the position of Beta. In fact, it's almost unknown. There'll be some within the pack who resent the appointment. Heston had his supporters—they may try to stir up opposition. But I'm confident Craven is the right choice. He is a born Alpha. It will only be a matter of time before he is restored to that role. I don't intend to go on forever. In the short term, however, he may encounter opposition. As his mate, you may too.”
“Louise, I won't do this unless you're happy for me to.” Craven squeezed my hand.
“I'm happy. It's what you deserve.” In truth, I was terrified, but I wasn't going to deny Craven his rightful place in the wolf hierarchy. If nothing else, today had taught me I was tougher than I ever imagined I could be. Together, side-by-side, we would face whatever the fates threw at us.
“Looks like we'll be moving home again then.” Craven smiled.
“Again? We've barely unpacked.”
“The Beta and his mate live in the executive quarter,” Zema said. “We'll be neighbours, although it may take a couple of days to move the previous tenant out. I hear he had an unfortunate accident.”
Back at our apartment, we made love. The Beta and his mate—his fated mate. Afterwards, we lay in bed.
“What are you thinking about?” Craven ran a finger along my tummy.
“I thought you could read my mind.”
“Not always apparently. Tell me or I'll be forced to tickle it out of you.”
“You wouldn't dare.”
He did dare. His touch sent me into hysterics. I've always been incredibly ticklish.
“Stop! Okay! I'll tell you.”
When he relented, I tried to get my breath back.
“I'm waiting.” His fingers were poised inches from my sides.
“No more, please. I'll tell you. I was just wondering if I'll ever remember what happened to me. If I'll ever remember where I was for those forty years.”
“It doesn't matter. You're here now—that's all that matters.”
“It matters to me. Forty years is a long time to lose.”
“Sorry. I know you do. That was insensitive.”
He pressed his lips to mine in a gentle kiss. “Are you happy?”
“There's still time to change your mind about me becoming Beta. It's going to be dangerous. At least for a few months until everyone accepts the new order.”
“You mean it hasn't been dangerous up until now?”
“Come to think of it, I suppose it has. Your life was much less complicated before I found you.”
“You're not meant to agree with me.” He tickled my sides again, and I had to squirm to get away.
“I wouldn't change what we have for anything,” I said. “As long as we're together, I'm not worried about anything or anyone else.”
“You're my fated mate. We'll be together forever.”