I giggled as I hid behind one of the big oak trees that was in the forest Daddy and I were playing in.
“I hear giggles. I think I’m getting closer.”
I couldn’t help but laugh more as I pictured my tall, strong daddy stalking toward where I was hidden.
I was looking around the left of the tree because that was where I thought I heard him coming from.
“I got you!”
I quick turned around as Daddy came from the right side.
“No, you don’t!” I laughed as I took off running. I didn’t bother turning my head back to check if he was following me; I knew that he would be.
I made it out into the grassy, sunny meadow, when suddenly, I was lifted into the air.
“I got you for real now,” he chuckled.
He gave me a kiss on the forehead as he carried me over to where we had our red and white checkered picnic blanket laid out next to our basket.
“Good! I’m starving.”
“I’m sure you are. We’ve played a lot this morning.”
I took the sandwich and grape juice box that he offered me. The taste of mayo, tomato, and salami danced across my tongue as I took a bite out of my sandwich.
“This is delicious!”
“I’m glad that you think so. It’s courtesy of the instachef.”
We ate lunch together and once we were finished, Daddy and I laid out on the blanket looking up at the pink clouds in the yellow sky.
“Look at that one! It reminds me of a giraffe,” I exclaimed, pointing to a cloud that had a smaller body and a long neck. “That one looks like a star!”
“Yes, they do,” he said, snuggling me closer to his side.
I let out a yawn. My tummy was full, I was on a soft blanket, and cuddled up next to my own personal heater, I was bound to get a little sleepy.
“It sounds like it’s naptime.”
“I don’t wanna take a nap.”
Even though I knew taking one would probably be a smart idea, I didn’t want to miss out on seeing any clouds or playing any other fun games.
“Do you want a spanking, young lady?”
“Then close your eyes. I promise, I’ll stay right here with you and when you wake up, we can play in the forest some more.”
“Okay.” I let out another yawn, closing my eyes, and letting sleep take me…
I bolted up in the dark room. I reached for the clock on my nightstand. It read 4:23 a.m.
I put it back down and fell against my pillows, looking up at my ceiling. I couldn’t believe that I had another dream with the same man. It wasn’t a good sign for me.
Take a deep breath, Maggie. You don’t know anything yet, I told myself.
Sighing, I closed my eyes, trying to fall back asleep. I had an important meeting with my banker tomorrow and I didn’t want to have dark circles under my eyes.
It took me a little while, but I finally drifted back off to sleep.
“I’m sorry, Miss Reeves. At the present time, our bank cannot give you the loan you’re requesting,” the overweight, nearly bald banker said to me from behind his large oak desk.
When I had made the decision to go from owning a catering company to opening up my own bakery, I knew I was going to need some financial help. I was counting on my bank—the same one I had been using since I was six years old when my dad let my sister, Laurie and me open up our first savings account—to lend me the startup money I needed. I was positive that I would get my loan. Clearly, I was mistaken.
“Mr. Scott, didn’t you see my credit score? It’s excellent and I have no current debts. Plus, I’ve been a customer of your bank for twenty years. What possible reason do you have for denying this loan?”
“Because our bank doesn’t believe that it would be a wise business choice right now. There are so many bakeries out there and a majority of them fail within the first year. In our city alone in the past year, five bakeries have opened and closed. With the current economy, we need to make smart investments.”
He sat back in his seat, his chair squeaking under the burden of his large body.
“But, I own my own catering company. It’s doing really well and I’m ready to take it to the next level. I have cake orders out the wazoo and desperately need to expand to keep up with the demand. Combining the two businesses is a sound business decision. All I need is a chance.”
I didn’t understand why he couldn’t see that I would succeed. If I could make one of the richest and most demanding women in the city happy with the food I catered for her annual charity event, then I should be able to make the average person do backflips with the food I baked.
“I’m sorry, Miss Reeves. Our loan committee’s decision is final.”
He put his hands over his distended belly, and his three chins became seven as he peered at me over his wire-rimmed glasses.
I had to fight back the urge to tell him where he could stick the loan or tell him there were plastic surgeons out in the world who could remove at least five of his chins, but I held back, biting my tongue, knowing it would be unprofessional. As a small business owner, my reputation was my calling card.
“Thank you for your time, Mr. Scott.” I stood, shaking the hand he held out to me, once he’d hefted his considerable girth from his groaning chair.
Leaving the bank, I looked up into the gray, bleak sky. The weather reflected my mood perfectly. I couldn’t believe I’d been turned down flat. There was no reason for them to say no except they were being difficult for no good reason.
My catering company was doing damn fine. I knew that if given the chance, I would do even better as a baker. But to get the ball rolling, I needed to buy property, purchase equipment, hire additional staff, and come up with some creative advertising: a logo, packaging, print ads, and billboards, all of which cost money. Once word got out how delicious my baked goods were, I’d be making more money than I’d know what to do with.
Raindrops hit my head as I unlocked my car and climbed in. Immediately, I turned the engine on, followed by the heat. The cold November day sent a chill through my body. I hated being cold.
Once the car warmed up a bit, I shifted into drive and drove out of the parking lot. Stopping at the corner, I turned my indicator on, waiting for the busy road to clear.
When it was clear, I turned onto the street. Getting my speed up to the fifty mile per hour speed limit, the conversation with the banker played through my head as building after building flew by my peripheral vision.
I had been so sure that he was going to agree to give me a loan. There were no negatives to count against me. I had proven experience, not to mention the drive needed to succeed. I guess it all came down to this being business and they couldn’t take any chances on potentially dangerous investments.
No use thinking about it now, I thought as I let out a yawn.
I decided that when I got home, I was going to take a nap. For the past couple of weeks, I had been having a hard time sleeping. I kept dreaming about a large, muscular man with long blond hair. His eyes were a different color every time that he appeared in my dreams. He was the hottest and tallest man that I had ever seen. I would catch myself daydreaming about what it would feel like to run my hands through his golden locks or over his bronze skin in real life.
Sometimes my dreams were hot and kinky. But other times, the dreams were simple and about normal life, and the man and I would just enjoy one another’s company. A few of the dreams, I didn’t want to think about. Being treated like a child was something I fantasized about when I wanted to relax, but I couldn’t imagine it becoming part of my real life.
One of my best friends, Allison, had had something similar happen to her. She told me all about it later, on a holocom call she’d made from the planet Aureus, after an Aureusian male had captured her and taken her to his planet to become his mate. Initially, she’d had dream after dream about the man, and the likelihood of the same thing happening to me was stressful.
I didn’t want to be chosen as an Aureusian bride. That would mean that I would have to leave Earth and I couldn’t do that. I had my older sister Laurie, who lived here, to think about. Our parents had died shortly after my eighteenth birthday and she was the only person I had left. After losing two of the people I loved most in this world, I couldn’t bear the thought of ever leaving my sister.
Plus, if I was taken as a bride, I would never realize my dream job of someday opening my own bakery.
This is crazy; I will not be mated to an alien, I told myself. Trying to shove the memory of the recurrent dreams to the back of my mind, I made the decision to take a nap when I got home.
With that decided, I slowed to turn just as bright lights filled my car. My mind became black as horrible pain pulsed through my body. Thankfully after a few minutes, the pain and noise of people shouting all faded away.
Today was the day that I was finally going to claim Maggie Reeves, and I was beside myself with excitement. It had been three weeks since the old prophet, Tio, found me in the healing bay and announced that it was time to meet the female chosen for me.
I remembered vividly the first dream that Maggie and I shared. Her long, beautiful, light honey hair glistened in the sunlight and her pale blue eyes sparkled. As she stood in a bed of Aureusian flowers, taking in the rainbow of colors around her, the sweet melody of her laughter made her petite body shake delightfully. Soon, I found myself laughing along with her. It was one of the sweetest dreams that we shared.
We shared sexier dreams as well. Ones where I showed her how pleasurable it would be when I had her tied up and wielded my riding crop against her lush bottom, making her cry out in both pleasure and pain. Her pussy would glimmer from the juices pouring down her thighs.
Some of her other dreams were sweeter. There was one I especially loved, in which she was baking. She had her light brown hair up in a messy bun, smudges of flour and batter on her face, and she was definitely in her element. I hoped that I could make her as happy as she was in those dreams.
I knew that she was close to my best friend, Prince Eric’s mate, Allison, and I was hoping she would understand what our dream sharing meant. If not, I was confident I would be able to convince her that being mated to an Aureusian male was an incredible thing.
Despite the fact that at age eighteen, every woman was forced by their government to sign a consent form stating that if she was chosen as an Aureusian bride, she would willingly go to Aureus for the two-week mating period and if after that time the woman still denied the connection, then she would be allowed to go back home to Earth.
Even though many women fought their mates at the beginning of the two weeks, by the end, they worked things out and the couples were deeply in love. Very rarely did a female continue to deny the male, after spending two weeks together. When that happened, the woman was sent back to Earth and the Aureusian male would pray to the Almighty One for a second mate.
I was confident in my ability to win Maggie’s heart.
My driver pulled into her place of residence. As soon as the car parked, my mobile holocom rang. I snagged it out of my pocket and pressed the button to answer the call. A 3-D image of Prince Eric popped up.
“Hey, what’s up? I’m outside Maggie’s home.”
I felt like telling him I was about to meet my mate and whatever he wanted could wait, but Eric and I were close, and more than that, he was my prince and deserved respect.
“That’s why I’m calling. Allison just got off the phone with her sister. Apparently, Maggie was in a car accident this morning.”
The color red crossed my vision as a surge of fear like none I had ever felt before engulfed me. Had she died?
But as soon as the fear came, it was replaced by a stronger feeling—my need to protect my little mate. If she had been injured, I had to find her and keep her safe from the world. I could heal her if she was injured; I was a healer, after all. I knew that Aureusian medicine was far more advanced than what they had on Earth. I would take care of her.
“Ian, stick with me!”
I glanced back at the hologram of Eric.
“She’s at St. Joseph’s hospital. It’s about three miles from your current location.”
“Go!” I yelled at the driver, who was staring at me from the front seat. How stupid could he be?
“Thank you for letting me know, Eric. I am going there now.”
“I heard,” he chuckled. “Allison and I are on our way also. My mate feels that having a friendly face nearby will make this transition easier for Maggie, especially now that she is injured.”
A small smile crossed my face. The prince’s mate was always so thoughtful and kind to others.
“Tell Allison I believe her idea is wise and thank you.”
“Will do. We’ll see you in a few hours.”
I ended the call and stared out at the gray clouds. This was not how I wanted to meet my mate for the first time.