Beast billionaire 1 (bad.., p.12
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       Beast Billionaire #1 (Bad Boy Alpha Billionaire Werewolf Shifter Romance), p.12
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           Mac Flynn
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The lunch was delicious, but Maggie couldn't enjoy the rich food. Her thoughts lay far away and down a particular driveway. She parted ways with her father and hurried back to their apartment. The mirror was still on the coffee table.

  Maggie grabbed the mirror and turned it so the glass faced her. "Show me Adrian." The surface remained reflective. She frowned and gave it a shake. "Show me Adrian."

  Nothing happened. She dropped the mirror to her side and pursed her lips as her eyes swept over the room. The unease she had since the beginning of lunch sank deeper into her. She was sure the man she saw in the mirror was her father's supervisor.

  That wasn't what worried her, however. What worried her was Adrian looking at her and seemingly shutting the mirror off. She wasn't so stupid that she didn't recognize a hide when she saw one.

  Maggie raised the mirror and looked at the glass. Her tense face stared back at her. She sighed. "Time to go for a ride. . ."

  Maggie left a note for her dad telling him she had a late study session and, with the mirror in her possession, she hurried to the car. The sun was on its way to the dark horizon as she drove the winding bay road. The crashing waves mimicked her anxious thoughts as she turned onto the bumpy driveway.

  The thick canopy of tree limbs above the road forced Maggie to flick on her headlights. The darkness slipped over the car and sank into her bones. She shivered, but not from cold. The thick air and shadows stirred within her a tantalizing lust, one she found difficult to quash. Her determination to find the truth battled against a growing desire to see the monstrous master of the house.

  Maggie shut her eyes and shook her head. "Snap out of it! You're not here for that."

  A tiny voice inside her head argued with her, but she ignored it. Nothing good would come out of those types of thoughts.

  Except some fun she found herself thinking.

  Maggie pursed her lips and tightened her grip on the steering wheel. "Get yourself together, Maggie. You want to know about the mirror and what you say, that's-" She reached the turnaround and found a surprise.

  A sporty red car was parked in the center of the road. The sun shown through the opening canopy and glistened off the shimmering paint. She directed her car between the trees and the other vehicle, and stepped out with the mirror clasped tightly in one hand. Her attention was drawn to the flashy license plate.

  "I-B-4-N-1," she read aloud. Maggie wrinkled her nose as her mind deciphered the hidden message. "I break for no one." She shook her head and turned her attention to the house that loomed in the short distance.

  Maggie walked up to the gate. The entrance was closed. Her foot slipped in the soft earth. She stumbled, but caught herself and in so doing looked at the ground. Long, thick footprints stood in front of the stone column with the intercom.

  Maggie furrowed her brow and side-stepped the footprints. She leaned down and pressed the button. "Hello?"

  There was a pause and then a familiar voice crackled over the intercom. "Good afternoon, Maggie. Please come inside."

  It was just like in her dream. The gate opened, this time with a high-pitched squeak, and she walked past the high wall and into the large front yard. The tall trees covered her from the gleam of sunlight as she walked beneath their branches. She felt like a shadow scuttling back to its master after a long day of separation.

  Maggie reached the front door. The entrance opened and the manservant stepped to the side. He pursed his lips, but bowed his head to her. "Good afternoon."

  Maggie slipped inside and tensed when the man shut the door behind her. She held out the mirror. "I was wanting to-"

  "You may find the master in his chambers," the manservant told her as he nodded at the steps to his right. He returned his dark eyes to her. "He will answer all your questions."

  Maggie side-stepped his glare and reluctantly crept up the stairs one step at a time. Each one groaned beneath her feet before she reached the top. The long hallway from last night presented itself to her. The door to Adrian's room was ajar. Maggie walked over to the entrance and pushed open the door. The door swung open and she glanced inside.

  The scene was as in her dream and the previous night. The lit fire crackled in the hearth. The bed lay empty. Adrian, however, stood in front of the French doors. The curtains were drawn and the light from the late-afternoon sun cast deep shadows over his handsome face. He turned to her and smiled. His long teeth glistened in the sunlight.

  "You're early," he teased.

  Maggie's heart fluttered. She tried to catch her quickening breath. "I-I'm sorry. I-I didn't know I was expected at all."

  He turned to face her. His yellow eyes glowed brightly in the dimming light. "Yes you did. You knew you were expected because you felt my call, so you came."

  Maggie pursed her lips and held up the mirror. "I came because of this. What is it? How does it work?"

  A sly smile curled onto Adrian's lips. "Haven't you guessed? It's a magical mirror."

  Maggie narrowed her eyes. "Magic isn't real. Is it some sort of-" A chuckle from her host interrupted her suggestion.

  Adrian walked over to the fire and leaned one arm against the mantel so he faced her. "Surely you realize that if werewolves exist then other fairy tales might be true."

  She strode over to stand before him. "I demand the truth. All of it." She used the mirror to point to the window. "Who's car is out there? Is that my dad's supervisor's car? Why did you meet with him and not want me to see?"

  Adrian's yellow-tinted eyes studied her face as his lips curled back in a sly grin. "You are most becoming even when you're angry."

  Maggie started back. She lowered the mirror and blushed. "T-that isn't why I came here."

  He pushed off the mantel and stepped close enough to her so their chests nearly touched. His voice was soft as he reached up and brushed his finger over her red cheek. "Isn't it? Did you not heed my call and answer it?"

  She stepped back and shook her head. "No, that's-" He grabbed her hand and pulled her against him.

  Adrian leaned down and brushed their cheeks together. "Don't fret. You can't help yourself. You're mine now. Nothing can stop that."

  Maggie shut her eyes and shuddered. "B-but I'm not-" She gasped as his lips pressed against her trembling neck.

  "Don't fight me, Maggie," he whispered.

  A bright light illuminated the shadowed room. Adrian growled and pulled her to arm's length. He held her shoulders and looked down. She blinked and followed his gaze to the mirror in her hand. The glass surface glowed brightly.

  Adrian snatched the glass from her hand and turned his back on her. "What now?" he hissed as he strode a couple of steps.

  Maggie followed him and looked over his shoulder. The glass revealed the side of the property along the wall path she'd taken last night. A cloaked figure flitted among the trees and paused at the tree line closest to the small gate.

  "What are we seeing?" she asked Adrian.

  "The part of the mirror that 'One Needs to see,'" he told her. He turned to her with a smile and held out the mirror. "This should only take a moment."

  "But what-" He pushed the mirror into her arms and turned to the French doors.

  "It's best you don't know," he replied.

  Adrian strode to the doors and opened them to step out onto the balcony. The sun was nearly set as he lay his hands on the thick stone railing. Maggie hurried to the doors, but froze in the doorway. Her eyes widened as she beheld him transform into the beast. His clothes burst at the seems and his face elongated into a snout. The hands that grasped the railing stretched into long, thin clawed fingers.

  A strong smell flowed over Maggie. It was the scent of an alpha male. Her heart quickened as a delicious heat pulsed inside her body. She grasped the doorway and panted as she clutched the cool mirror to her heaving chest.

  Maggie couldn't deny the emotions that raced through her. She wanted him. She wa
nted him to take her and never let her go.

  Adrian tilted back his head and let loose a long, echoing howl that reverberated through the trees. The chamber door swung open and Maggie whirled around in time to see Albert rush into the room. "Master, what's-" His eyes fell on the werewolf on the balcony. He strode over to the doorway and Maggie stepped side. "Master, what is the matter?"

  "This," Maggie spoke up. She held the mirror so the glass faced the manservant.

  Albert studied the creeping figure and pursed his lips. "So it has begun."

  Maggie frowned as she lowered the mirror. "What's begun?"

  Their conversation was put on hold when Adrian climbed onto the railing and leapt off. Maggie and Albert rushed to the railing and leaned over. Adrian sprinted across the lawn and over to the gate. He grasped the top and swung himself over to land neatly on the stone path outside the walls. The wolf paused and lifted his nose to the air before he rushed into the woods.

  Maggie lost sight of him, but she had a sixth sense. She looked into the mirror. The glass showed her the thick, dark woods and the hulking shadow of her lover as he hunted in the trees.

  Albert sidled up to her and frowned. "This is very reckless of him."

  "Who's he chasing?" she asked him.

  He shook his head. "It's hard to say. It could be a wizard, or another werewolf. Or both."

  Maggie wrinkled her nose. "A wizard?"

  Albert arched an eyebrow. "You doubt me when you hold a magic mirror in your hand?"

  Maggie pursed her lips and returned her attention to the glass. Adrian arrived at a small clearing in the woods somewhere in back of the house. The cloaked figure awaited him. The stranger raised their hand and a brilliant light illuminated the clearing. Maggie's eyes widened as she watched Adrian howl in pain and drop to the ground. She whipped her head up as the noise echoed through the woods.

  "Adrian," she whispered.

  She turned away from the railing and raced toward the French doors. Albert grabbed her arm. "He is protecting what is his. It would be dangerous to intervene."

  She yanked her arm from his grasp and glared at him. "I can't stand by and do nothing!"

  Maggie rushed through the chambers and downstairs. Albert remained on the balcony and turned to watch her sprint across the lawn and through the rusted gate. He sighed and reached into his coat to pull out an old-fashioned, single-shot revolver. "What must been done must be done."

  CHAPTER 9

 
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