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Her Viking Wolves(3)

By:Theodora Taylor

Thank the Lord for the law that prohibits male wolves from sleeping with she-wolves who haven’t gone into heat yet, or else Kyle might expect to get some on top of me having to make it through this horrible-ass party.

Wait, I think. Should I be feeling relieved that I can’t sleep with my husband-to-be? Ugh! I’m not sure. Real life normal is so hard.

I assure Iggle. Hour more, tops.

Iggle responds promptly. K. Text me when you do. I’m going to 420 with the crescent until you’re done with your Alpha Princess cosplay.

That was Iggle. If she wasn’t coding, she was smoking. Which is why I’m in charge of implementing all the boring agile management stuff, leaving her free to live out every would-be video game designer’s dream of smoking, eating, and coding to her heart’s content.

Still, I feel bad. Like I’m letting her down by focusing too much on my upcoming wedding, and not enough on She-Wolf, which was founded by a recluse who figured she’d never get married. Yet here I am…#p#分页标题#e#

I’m not saying I don’t appreciate what I’ve got: the four-figure leather Valentino dress I’m wearing, the diamond boulder on my finger, and, you know, the seriously handsome prince who gave it to me. It’s all great, especially Kyle, who I’m lucky to have. I know that. Really, I do…

…but I can feel the inner sanctum of my room calling to me like a siren. Plus, I spend the majority of my time—I mean, like, eighty percent on a good day, one hundred percent on a bad day—with computers. So the huge ballroom of wolves expecting me to wave and say, “Hey, what’s up!” to them while pretending I wouldn’t rather be in my room doing the thousand things that need to get done before the Ninja Shifters concept presentation? I’m just saying that’s tough.

I’ll try to get out of here as soon as I can.

“Tiara! Tell me you are not texting in a corner at your own engagement party!”

That’s exactly what I’m doing so I quickly paste on my best contrite look.

“Sorry, Aunt Evelyn.”

“All of this is for you!” my aunt says, her tone beyond exasperated.

“I know,” I mumble, casting my eyes down and to the side.

Evelyn glares at me. “Then act like it!”

I look away and barely manage to contain a heavy sigh. The issue with my aunt isn’t just that she’s considered it her job to mother me and Clyde since our real mother died in childbirth—even though she married my dad as soon as she was legally allowed to after Mom’s death. But also that she’s my aunt. And not like my play aunt, but my aunt-aunt. As in she and my mother were the only daughters of the Silent Wolf president, the Silent Wolf gang being the most powerful black shifter MC in the nation. However, my mom was a huge nerd, like me, who happened to be really fertile. And my aunt was a smoking hot bombshell who wasn’t.

I don’t want to say my parents’ marriage wasn’t the romance of the ages. But, well, it totally wasn’t. Both my grandfathers wanted a Dark Wolf/Silent Wolf alliance, and neither of them gave a damn how they got it.

My dad and Evelyn were clearly better suited, but she’d been infertile since coming down with a hybrid strain of parvo. Unlike a lot of wolves who caught the virus, Aunt Evelyn was lucky enough to live past childhood, but by the time she was old enough for her first heat, it was pretty clear, based on mounting evidence from other parvo survivors, she was sterile. In other words: no heat, no babies.

So my parents married out of duty. Then less than a year after putting my mom in the ground, my father married the sister he’d wanted in the first place. And he only waited that long because it’s against Lupine Council law to mate an unheated she-wolf. So he had to wait for a special medical dispensation to marry my hot-ass aunt.

So pretty much since birth, I’ve had to put up with my step-aunt Evelyn trying to recode me into the daughter she’d never be able to have. Aunt Evelyn puts a ton more effort into presenting herself in ways males of our species appreciate than my mother ever did. She’s also very social and flows seamlessly between conversations with biker wives and the comparatively refined regular Michigan she-wolves, like Iggle’s mom.

And for all my life she’s treated me like some kind of less-than reflection of her. Like if she pokes and prods hard enough, she’ll crack the protective coating of my jeans and sweatshirts to reveal the sexy and socially adept Tee lurking just below the surface. Otherwise, she’d have to finally accept I’m nothing more than the yarn-locked nerd she shoved into a leather evening gown for this party in order to pretend I’m worthy of someone as handsome and respectable as the Dakota prince.#p#分页标题#e#