Two hours later Markus left Maxwell’s office with a feeling of completion and utter amazement. He did not expect to walk into J. S. Party Planner and find his mate, he also did not expect that his mate would be a male. All his life he heard that having a mate was a blessing from mother moon. Markus has never been with a man before or thought of a guy in a sexual manner. There were times he would comment that maybe the suit of outfit that a guy was wearing complemented him well, but that is as far as it has gone.
Markus would not deny his mate or the fact that he found Maxwell attractive. There was something special about the other man, he also thought that Maxwell had a classic beauty that reminded him of a Hollywood movie star. While sitting at the conference table, Markus felt waves of sadness coming from his mate, that he obviously tried to hide. Markus wondered what could have caused Maxwell pain and sadness. There was so much hurt and tiredness expressed in his mate's eyes and Markus’ beast stirred and growled ready to protect and comfort his mate. He wanted to hold the other man and tell him that everything would be all right.
Markus sighed, thinking of how long he has been searching for his mate. He was almost at the point of giving up hope. The moment that Maxwell walked into the conference room, Markus got the strangest feeling in the pit of his stomach, and the hairs on the back of his neck and arms stood up. He knew something in his life was about to change. When he looked up and his eyes connected with the most alluring hazel eyes, he had ever seen. The minute their hands touched electricity coursed through his veins, and Markus knew he had found the person he would be spending the rest of his life with.
Again, Markus did not question that his mate was a man. It also made him wonder if his pack will be just as accepting of his mate as he was. Markus was a single father and the Alpha of the Manama Pack. Jessica’s mother was not his mate, but he was very much in love with her. Markus recognized a long time ago that his daughter needed a mother. His sister and the other she-wolf’s in the pack have helped him raise Jessica and they can. But they also have their families to take care of. But how will it work now that his mate is a man? He realizes that he will have to take things slow, give Max sometime to meet Jessica.
Thinking of Jessica, a smile crossed. Jessica and his pack are his world. Jessica’s mother was killed by silver poisoning two nights after she was born. No one knew for sure how it happened. Markus ordered Romero the pack enforcer and his best friend whose also Jessica’s godfather to investigate how Samiha could have been poisoned with no one noticing. Jessica was tested after she was born and there were no traces of silver in her bloodstream.
Markus was still going off of the high he found his mate when he pulled into the elementary school to pick up his daughter. She was a beautiful little cub with her sparkling green eyes and blond hair, she got from her mother. Looking at her now Markus summarized that she has gotten into some trouble since they spoke on the phone earlier. The way she stood, with one of her hands on her hips and the other wagging at a very terrified little boy.
“And the next time you put your hands on him I’m going to sock ya one real hard!” A smile came Markus’ face as he watched as she chastised the terrified little boy. Standing beside her was another dark hair little boy looking at her with such awe as if she was his favorite hero.
Markus parked his car, then got out and walked up behind her clearing his throat to get her attention. She turned around, and the sweetest smile came over her face, she threw herself into her arms giving him the biggest hug.
“Daddy!” Markus gave her a kiss on the check.
He positioned her in his arms and looked at both boys standing in front of him. He looked back at his daughter with a stern expression on his face, before he asked, “Jessie what’s going on here?”
“Dad these two idiots were trying to beat up on poor Joey here, and I jumped in and saved him,” she leans closer, so no one will hear but me. “And besides, no one messes with my mate when I’m around.” At that, Markus looked at her, and smiled, but on the inside, he was freaking out. He could not believe his eight old daughter has laid claim to a boy she thinks is her mate.
“Jessie sweetheart, you're only eight, and you won't know who your mate is until you are at least gone through your first shift and in Daddy’s world he is praying to the gods, it is until you're at least one hundred years old.” He whispered back in her ear.
Markus had always thought that Jessica was smarter than any other kid out there. She was his daughter, and he raised her. He set her down on her feet and told her to introduce him to her ‘mate.'
Might as well size the kid up and see what's so special about him. I don’t want to think about my baby having a mate.
Markus looked down at the two boys, and the one that apparently was ‘the bully’ was scared and ready to run. Markus smiled at both boys and eased their fear they were not in any trouble. They talked for a few minutes before, he told Jessica it was time to go home. She waved goodbye to both boys who have become friends after their conversation. Leave it to his daughter to be the diplomat.
Ash walked to the car, he asked Jessica how the rest of her day went? Other than the phone call and the small bully issue everything else went well. Markus listened to his daughter and realized that he loved being a dad and that he could not envision his life without Jessica. There were times she asked about Samiha and her death. Those conversations are sometimes hard to talk about. But, Markus was never one to keep secrets from her told her everything and the type of woman Samiha was. Samiha was a strong and caring woman, and even at a young age Markus sometimes saw the woman Jessica will one day become. She had his strength, but her mother caring nature.
During their drive home, Markus asked Jessica what she wanted for dinner. Markus remembered how difficult it was for him initially after Samiha died. He did not know how to cook or how to take care of a baby. He was grateful for the women of his pack, along with his sister Annita also the pack’s Beta helped him as best they could. There were a lot of failures and a lot of success in the past eight years.
“We can go out to dinner or do you want me to cook?” He asked. She was sitting in the passenger seat with a determined look on her face.
“I have homework to do, and I like it when we are in the same room together; so, I guess you can cook.”
Surprised at her words he was about to say something when his phone rang, he answered it by pressing the answer button on the steering wheel. “Hello, this is Markus Wolf.”
“Markus this is Maxwell Stone” At the sound of his mate's voice, his wolf perked up with interest.
“Yes, Max what can I do for you?”
“After you left a few ideas popped into my head and once I started putting them down on paper I simply could not stop. You suggested that you wanted to see what I can come up with before you brought it to the rest of your board members. Would you be able to meet with me tomorrow if possible?”
Markus thought for a second and then responded.
“Jessica and I are on our way home,” Markus told him. “Would it be feasible to meet me at my home sometime tonight?”
Max was silent for a second before, he asked. “Are you guys getting ready to have dinner or something?”
“As a matter of fact, yes, we are, we are heading home, Jessie needs to start on her homework, and I need to start dinner.” A thought popped in his head “I have a better idea; why don’t you join us?”
Another stretch of silence Markus and he wondered if he overstepped the boundaries by inviting Max to his home. Markus wanted to get to know his mate, but he did not want to rush the other man.
Max finally answered, “S-sure I can join you and your daughter for dinner. I-I have your address on file, so I will just use my GPS to find your home. Is there anything that you need me to bring?”
No just your sexy ass Markus thought, but what came out was, “Nope, Jessica and I have everything covered.”
“Ok, so I will be there about seven is that good for you guys?”
“That would be great, see you about seven.”
He hung up the phone and looked around but realized that he was already sitting in his driveway. It seemed as if the whole world disappeared by hearing the sound of his mate. He was so focused on getting his mate to come and be with him tonight, everything else disappeared around him. Markus got out of his car and walked into his home. Jessica was already in the kitchen getting a snack. He went to his room and changed out of his suit into something comfortable. Markus tried to remember what he had on hand that would entice his mate’s appetite.
He also mentally noted that he needed to do a bit of research on gay sex. He wanted to be prepared for the perfect time he will claim Max. Markus also needed to speak with a couple of the human members in his pack on the best way to reveal their world to his mate. He did not want to scare Max off or keep secrets from him. There are so many things that could go wrong, and Markus wanted everything to be absolutely perfect. The first thing he needed to do was sit Jessica down and tell her about finding his mate.
Markus made it to the kitchen, Jessica had changed out of her clothes and was enjoying her snack with her books spread out in front of her. He wondered if he should broach the subject of his mate coming over tonight or wait for a better time.
When will be a perfect time?
Markus opened his mouth to respond, but his cell phone rang again. He reached over and picked it up seeing that it was his sister Annita .
“Hey, Red, what can I do for you?” Markus gave his sister that nickname when they were kids. She was the only one born with bright red hair. According to, their mom one of their many great grandmothers had bright red hair.
“Hey big bro, how are you?”
“I’m great. Jessica and I just got home…” Markus told his sister about what he witnessed when he picked up his daughter and knew his sister would be proud, but also find it hilarious what her niece did in honor of love.
“That’s my girl!” Annita cheered, then chuckled.
Markus smiled along with her. “Yeah, yeah, I see a little Annita in the making. Anyway, why did you call?”
“I wanted to know what’s for dinner? Romero will be home late tonight, and I don’t feel like eating alone.” Romero and Annita have been mated going on three years. Romero twelve years her senior had misgivings about mating with her when she was so young. Markus saw how it ate at both of them up inside and out not to be able to touch each other. He was not surprised when, Annita, basically told Romero to be her mate or set her free to find another. It was either the jealousy or the thought of picturing his mate in the arms of another that pushed Romero to take the step he needed.
“Um…” Markus looked at Jessica, who now doubt heard her aunt wanted to pay her a visit and was eagerly waiting for his response. “I’m having a business meeting of sorts here tonight, and I’m sure Jessica would love to see you, so yeah, come on by dinner will be around seven.”
“Wait a second, you have never invited a client to your home before, what’s special about this one?”
Leave for Annita to pick up on that. He did not want to lie to his sister or anyone else for that matter. “I can’t talk about it right now, but I will tell you everything later when we have time.”
“Fine,” she sighed. “But answer me one thing. Is she hot?”
“It’s a he and yeah, hot as h…heck,” Markus said before hanging up the phone. He expected Annita to call him back, knowing he just shocked the shit out of her. He expected that she will be bursting through his front door with a barrage of questions.
While speaking with Annita, Markus decided that he would not tell Jessica that the man she will be meeting tonight was his mate. He wanted to see how Max will be around his daughter. It might be too soon to introduce them. Markus realized that he was using tonight as a test to see how the two would be around each other. But he has never been in this situation before. During the times he was searching for his mate, he thought he had everything figured out, and now that he has, everything stumped him.
Markus knew that he had to claim his mate before he lost his mind. He could not wait to touch Max’s lips and savor their sweet taste. He wondered what it will be like the first time they make love. He knows how it was to be with a woman, but how different will it be to be with a man. Will his skin taste as sweet as it looked? He had to think of other things besides the sweet smell of his mate. The zipper of his jeans was pressing against his growing erection. It was a good thing the kitchen counter was hiding his embarrassment with his daughter in the room.
Markus went about to preparing dinner and helped Jessica with her homework. He was correct when he looked up at the clock and six-thirty exactly, his front door slammed shut, and he heard his sister’s voice coming from the direction of the living room.
“Ok, tell me about this client?”
Markus did not get to answer because of Jessica, Gods bless her jumped off the bar stool she was sitting on and ran into her arms.
“Hello, my little cub, your dad told me what you did today. And I must say, very good.”
Markus turned his back and carried on preparing dinner and letting the two ladies continue their conversation. About twenty minutes later, he was leaning against the counter thinking about what will happen when his mate showed up. Annita sat down in the empty seat on the other side of the counter staring at him. Jessica went and wash up before dinner, leaving them alone to talk.
“So,’ she said to him.
“What do you want me to say,” he said shrugging his shoulders.
“You said he, not she and as far as I know you’re not gay or even bisexual. You said he was hot I have never heard you say that about a guy before. Wait, have you ever been with a guy before and kept it from me?” She asked tilting her head like a curious pup.
“No, I haven’t ever thought of being with a guy before. You know damn well I would have told you. But there is something special about him. He’s my mate, Annita.”
Annita ’s eyes widened at his admission, “You're kidding, right?” He shook his head no. “Well, shit.”
“Yeah, my thought exactly.”
“Wait, how come you’re not freaking out? Why are you not freaking out?”
Markus sighed and pulled away from the counter and walked over to the cupboards taking out dishes to set the table for dinner. “What were we told since we were Jessica’s age?”
“That mates are a blessing from mother moon,” she said out loud.
“Exactly. You know how long I have been searching for my mate. I can’t afford to freak out.” He set the table, and Annita helped him. He looked up at the clock and realized that he still has over five minutes.
“Listen, he’s human and knows nothing about our world, I’m sure of it. Also, there is something tragic that happened in his life.” Annita went to ask what it could be, but Markus stopped her. “I don’t know what it could be. What I need from you is to keep this to yourself for now. I know that you don’t keep things from Romero, and I wouldn’t ask you to. But ask him to keep this to himself just until I can figure out what to do.”
Annita nodded her head and walked over to him and pulled him into a hug. “I’m here for you, anything you need.”
Markus hugged her tightly then pulled back and kissed her on her forehead, not before whispering. “Thanks a lot, sis.”
They pulled back just as the doorbell rang. Annita touched the side of Markus’ left cheek. “Go get him, bro.”
Markus nodded and walked over to the front door. Markus opened, and his breath caught in his throat. Standing on the other side was different man he saw earlier. It was Max all right. But the man standing in front of him looked and smelled so fucking good that Markus could not find the words. Max had on a pair of black jeans that looked as if he was sewed to his body. And a cobalt blue button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbow. His hair was slicked back, and it showed off his beautiful hazel eyes. If Markus was not interested in Max already, he damn sure was now.
Fuck, I’m in so much trouble.
Maxwell Stone sat at his desk looking at the mountain of paperwork that he has to complete before his big presentation. It seems like all he has been doing was working lately, not the time for fun anymore not since Jace’s death. Closing his eyes, Max tried to hold back his tears that threaten to fall down his cheeks. It had been two years, and he could not stop the deep hurt he felt whenever he thought about his dead lover. To Max, it seemed like it was yesterday that Jace had died. Jace was and still be his everything, Max knew that he would never find another man to love him completely the way Jace did.
Jace was on his way to pick up a gift for his parent's fiftieth wedding anniversary when a truck veered over to his side of the road hitting him head on killing him instantly. Apparently, the truck driver fell asleep at the wheel only to wake up after he felt his truck his Jace’s car. The truck driver was also badly hurt but had just enough energy to call the paramedics. He later died later at the hospital from internal bleeding. At the time, of the accident, Max was at home setting the scene for a surprise romantic evening. Max smiled remembering that day so vividly. He had an excellent day at work and wanted to share his success with his partner.
The night Jace died a large part of Max died right along with him. There were times Mac wanted to crawl into the coffin and be buried with Jace. Max closed himself from everyone; he stopped associating with the friends he and Jace once shared. Max hated seeing the pity looks in their eyes. For a short time, Max blamed Jace’s parents even though deep down he knew it was not their fault. When Max could not see through his loss to realize that he was not the only one hurting.
Max sighed and scowled at the paperwork that littered his desk. The mountain seemed to grow like weeds no matter how many hours he’d spent in his office. Throwing down his pen, it bounced off his desk and onto the floor, he could not find the energy to pick it up. Max stared off into space realizing that he would not be able to do anything today. Reaching over Max slammed down his laptop and decided to make it an early day. He got up from his desk walked over to the bathroom on the other side of his office and turned on the light. Max was surprised to see the face looking back at him, did not recognize himself.
He had dark circles around his eyes even with his blue eyes looked dull, and he had bags under them from lack of sleep. His hair was disheveled as if he hadn’t combed it in a week. However, he could do nothing about it. It was the dreaded curse of being a Stone. No matter what he used in his hair it never seems to do what he wants it to do. His mother’s hair was the same.
Turning on the faucet, he ran the water as cold as he could get it before splashing it on his face hoping that will help him to look at least human for a few minutes. Running his wet hands through his hair, he was not sure what he was trying to accomplish; Max frowned when it seemed as if his hair looked worse than before.
Maybe I should just cut it off, he mused. Maybe I should call my barber? Max turned off the faucet and dried his hands as he walked out of the bathroom in time for the phone to his desk to rang. Max picked it up without looking at the caller id; he knew who it was.
“Yes Sammy,” it was his assistant telling him that his two o’clock appointment was here.
“There is a Mr. Markus Wolfe is here to see you.”
“Shit,” He sighed and flopped down heavily in the chair behind his desk. “I forgot about that. I was thinking about leaving for the day. I guess it’s too late for him to reschedule.”
“Trust me, boss, you don’t want to reschedule this one,” Sammy told him. He can hear her smacking her lips.
Max shook his head, “Have Mr. Wolfe wait in the conference room while I get Sammy, have him wait in the conference room while I prepare the things I need.”
Damn it! I forgot that Markus Wolf was coming in to see him today.
Max was an event planner and owned a small firm with only four agents, but one of the best and profitable in the city. After Jace had died Max had quit his job, sold the home they bought together and moved to a small town where no one knew of his pain or what he lost. He took some of the insurance money that Jace left him and opened his own business. Max figured if he could not have fun in his personal life, why not put a smile on other’s faces instead.
Making sure that his clothes looked at least decent Max opened his office door and walked out of his office stopping at Sammy’s desk to get a feel for his new client. He had never spoken to their new client. Usually, he would let one of the other associates handle new clientele while he worked with their more seasoned ones. However, it seems Mr. Wolfe asked for him specifically.
“So, what’s he like?” He asks Sammy.
Sammy has been Max’s assistant since the day he opened, J.S. Party Planners. From the moment they met, Jace and Sammy clicked. She held him while he cried telling her about the love of his life. And he held her hand the day and weeks after she divorce went through. Sammy was his best friend and cringed thinking about not having her by his side.
“I will say this much, the Goddess smiled down on that when they made that man.” Sammy is a practicing Wiccan it’s something that Max does not understand, but he respects her beliefs on the matter.
Max rolled his eyes at the dreamy look on Sammy’s face. With and around clients she is always professional, so he did not have to worry about her coming onto one their clients. Max leafed through the paperwork in his hand.
“Is there anything else I need to know as in work wise?”
Sammy sighed, “You really need to get out this funk you’ve been in for the past couple of days.” She tells him handing a file. “That’s the write up I forgot to give you on what the client wants.”
Taking the small report, Max scanned it nodding his head. It was their routine for anytime Max or one of the other associates had to meet with a new client. The administrative assistances will have a little sit down with and figure out the basics of what they are looking for before they meet with an associate. Reading the markup that Mr. Wolfe is requesting does not seem that hard to accomplish but will take time to complete.
“I haven't been in a funk, thank you very much.” He tells her walking away from her desk.
“I’ll believe those words one day,” Sammy yells after him.
Max ignores her. It was true, and Sammy was the only one that knew the real him. She knew him better than anyone in the office. But he refuses to prove her right in this instant. Max knows that he can appear standoffish to the other associates, but he feared getting close or intimate with anyone. He felt cursed since Jace died as if anyone else besides Sammy would die leaving him alone. Max will never admit that he was tired of going home to a lonely house and an empty bed.
Then why the hell were you so eager to get the hell out of the office so damn early.
He walks into the conference room and almost swallowed his tongue seeing one of the most handsome, drop-dead, and gorgeous man he has ever seen. Not even Jace was this good looking. The man who he could only suspect was Markus Wolfe, was leaning against the far window, with one leg crossed over the other. His head was resting back against the window as if he was thinking hard about something.
Mr. Wolfe wearing is a navy-blue suit paired with a black shirt and a black tie. Max could be wrong because of the way he was leaning against the wall, but he appeared about 6’6”, two inches taller than Max’s 6’4”. Mr. Wolfe had shoulder length blond hair perfectly pulled back from his face, showing his strong and masculine jawline. Max could not stop admiring the way his suit seemed to fit him as if it was custom made for him.
Max wanted to get a better look at the man and walked into the conference room and cleared his throat. Mr. Wolfe snapped his head in Max’s direction. His breath was caught in his throat when he was connected with greenest eyes he had seen before in his life. Max could have sworn for a quick second they changed to another color, but before he could register the color is was green again. Max knew he was unprofessional staring at his client, but he could not help himself. Markus Wolfe was the most good-looking man he had ever seen. The way the other man was staring at him it felt as if he was staring deep into the depths of Max’s soul.
His face was the most beautiful thing that Max has ever seen he was captivated not only by his eyes but by his nose and his lips so perfect it seems to Max they were being begged to be kissed. As if on impulse Max to a set to actually do that before the papers he was holding in his hands fell on the floor in the conference room and brought him back to his sense.
He bent down to pick them up, and it gave him a way to save face in front of the client he was suddenly taken in with. A strong hand with well-manicured fingers picked up one of the fallen papers but touched his hand instead.
“Oh, I’m sorry I was just trying to help you.”
Max was stunned for a minute because the voice of the man was so melodious it sent chills down his spine.
Clearing his throat again, “It’s fine today is just one of those days for me.”
“Would you rather I reschedule you’re not looking so good, and I must admit I’m not in the mood to discuss business at the moment.”
Max wanted to ask what he in the mood was to discuss but thought better of it instead he stood reached his hand out and introduced himself.
“I’m Maxwell Stone, but I go by Max.” He was not sure why he revealed that information, Max tried to remain professional.
The client took and shook his hand.
“Markus Wolf but you can call me Mark.” It seemed like neither wanted to let go of each other’s hand as they looked into each other’s eyes. They were getting lost in each other forgetting their surroundings or the purpose why Markus was there. Max felt as he was being bewitched or beguiled by this man by just looking in his eyes he was finding it hard to tear his hands and his eyes away from Mark.
Who is this man and why can’t I step away from him?
Max moved closer to Markus not realizing what was happening to his body. Max lifted his chin as if getting ready to kiss Markus when a ringing noise sounded in the room. Max ignored it he was still found it hard to let go or even look away from Markus.
The ringing went on until Mark said, “Umm…that’s my phone, I’m going to need that hand back for a few seconds.”
Finally realizing where he was and how he was acting, Max blushed and instantly, released Markus' hand and stepped back. He was about to apologize but was silenced when Markus answered his cell phone. Max walked over to the other side of the room giving Markus some privacy and also taking the time to get himself back under control. Max could not understand what the fuck just happened. Not more than a few minutes ago he could not stop thinking about Jace, and now he was holding himself back from throwing himself at his new client. Things were not making sense.
Max wasn’t paying attention Markus, he was too caught up in his thoughts. Max studied the other man while he spoke on the phone, the easy smile on his lips did something to Max. Markus looked up at Max as if realizing where he was then cut his conversation short. Max fidgeted for a few seconds, then walked over to the conference table straightening the papers. Max wanted to ignore the attraction he his feeling for his new client was not happening.
Maybe I need to get out and fuck someone, even for one night. Living the life of a monk is not working for me.
“Sorry about that” Markus said referring to the phone call getting Max’s attention. “It seems my seven-year-old daughter is having some difficulties on her first day in a new school and wants me to pick her up. She was homeschooled since she was able to talk, her mother and I decided this year she would attend a private school.”
Max deflated, fuck he’s married. Way to go Max.
“That’s ok we really didn’t get started,” Max said hoping that his voice did not convey his disappointment that Markus was married. “I hope that she is ok adjusting to new things sometimes can be a stressful time especially for kids” A sensual smile crossed Markus’ lips at the concern that Max was showing for his daughter.
“She will be fine, Jessica is used to having her own way, she is very spoiled all thanks to her mother and me,” Markus assured Max as he walked closer to the conference table and sat in one chairs. “So, let’s get this meeting started I’m very eager to hear your suggestions.”
Taking his cue Max got started he pulled out his notes and motioned for Marcus to sit down so they could get to work.
“What can I do for you”? Max asked.
“Well the Wolf Corporation has been involved in many charities over the years and what I need your company is an ad that will showcase all of the accomplishments that my corporation has done. There will also be a gala that would raise more money for each charity. And awards will be given to those that have dedicated their lives to helping other. I want also want the gala to be open to the public.”
Max was amazed at what this man was trying to do, he was the owner of a very wealthy company and yet he looked so young as Markus was talking Max’s brain went into shut down all he could concentrate on were his lips and how kissable they were. Get your mind on work Max he chided himself, this guy is way out of your league and besides the love of your life has come and gone, Jace.
As if realizing something was wrong Markus stop talking and just looked at Max.
“Are you ok?” Markus asked.
“Yes, please excuse me, I was just trying to think of a concept of how we could put together exactly what you were asking for. When exactly would you like to do this?”
“Three months from now, if that is too short of time let me know and we can change the time frame.”
Max has organized events in a shorter time period. “No three month’s is perfect.”
“Wonderful!” Markus exclaimed.
Copyright © 2016 Giovanna Reaves
After losing the love of his life in a fatal car crash, Max closed his heart off from love. The only thing he cares about is keeping his lover's memory alive through his small company. Until one afternoon Markus Wolfe, walks into his office breaking through his heart, giving him a second chance at love.