I couldn’t pick just one small part I wanted to share with ya’ll. So, here’s the entire first chapter of the Shifter’s Wife. This is unedited so please forgive any formatting, grammar, or spelling errors.
Elle Rivers was drunk. She, Cindy Blake, and Deirdre Donnelly were at The Hole on Friday night getting spectacularly drunk in celebration of Elle’s unemployment. The lone waitress for the night, Sara, deposited another round of shots in front of the trio.
“This is from the group of boys at the bar,” Sara said pointing them out. Deirdre and Cindy raised their shots in the direction of the boys before taking a drink. Elle didn’t even bother turning around. They had been getting shots all night. They were hands down the hottest women in the bar. The brunette trio had something for everyone. Cindy was petite and exotic looking, Elle was voluptuous with curves in all the right places, and Deirdre, well Deirdre was a bombshell. The women could have left their wallets at home and still managed to get wasted before 11pm.
None of the adulation matter to Elle though. Why snack on hamburger when you had filet mignon at home? Her husband of one year was the most handsome, sweetest, attentive, and perfect man in the all of Mason County. Luke Rivers was the man of her dreams. Every single day she was so happy to be married to him. She had never been this out of her mind happy before. She had loved being his girlfriend but being Luke’s wife was so much better. She would drink all the shots sent her way that night but she wasn’t about to give those guys the time of day.
“Bring us another round of drinks, honey,” Deirdre slurred.
“Sure thing,” Sara looked around. “Those guys back there? This round is on them.”
“How many rounds do we have coming?” Cindy asked before Sara walked away.
Sara chuckled. “Let’s just say you ladies could buy drinks for the whole bar, twice, without reaching for your wallets.”
“We’re getting you right drunk tonight girl!” Deirdre laughed before turning serious. “You are so damn lucky.”
“I know.” Elle wasn’t bragging. She was well aware how many women would kill to be able to quit a job and stay home more.
“How are you going to keep from getting bored out of your mind?” Cindy asked.
“Hush!” Deirdre slapped at her arm.
Cindy pushed her hand away. “Seriously! Elle’s been working since we were in middle school. Now you’re just going to sit home and what? Knit? Wash dishes?”
Sara set down their next round of drinks. Elle picked hers up and took a sip. “I don’t know. It just seemed like such a waste of my time going into Venkle’s everyday. Wouldn’t you quit the car wash if you could?”
“Hell no!” Cindy said leaning forward. “I’ve worked really hard to build up my last two opens. I want to go nationwide! Why would I stop to take care of some man and his house?!”
“Our house,” Elle pointed out. “To be honest I didn’t think I would quit either. I don’t even hate the job or anything. I would just rather do more stuff around the house.”
“Like get ready for babies?” Deirdre sighed.
Elle swirled the umbrella in her drink. “Like getting ready for babies.”
“No way! Are you guys trying?!” Cindy leaned over and hugged Elle. “That’s so great. I’m so excited for you! I can’t wait to pinch your chubby little baby’s cheeks.”
“Even more reason to drink to our hearts content tonight.” Deirdre emptied her glass in one long gulp. “Who knows when we’re going to get to do this next?”
“Too bad Missy isn’t here,” Cindy said. The group was normally a quartet of beauties but Missy Restin was out of town on a business trip. She was going to be very sad to miss the festivities.
“I haven’t told anyone else yet,” Elle warned. “Don’t let this slip before I tell my mom or I will never hear the end of it.”
“God, Barb is going to lose her mind,” Cindy’s face fell. “My Mom is going to be all over me to find a husband now. Just the other day when I came over for dinner, she told me how my old room could easily be turned into a nursery for when I visit.”
“Subtly was never Regina’s game,” Elle laughed. “My mom has been on baby watch since Luke and I got engaged. I swear she was depressed for a week when she found out it wasn’t a shotgun wedding.”
“Mom’s are crazy,” Deirdre commiserated. “Thank God I’m the baby. My parents NEVER want me to move out or get married.”
“What happened to that biker you were dating?” Cindy asked. Elle loved it that her best friends all got along. It wouldn’t have been surprising if Cindy and Missy didn’t warm up to Deirdre. She was younger than Elle’s other friends and much more of a loose cannon. If a night was going to end in trouble, it was going to be because of Deirdre. Plus, Deirdre was her only friend who knew about Luke’s true nature. If Elle had any questions about shifters, Deirdre was the first person on her speed dial.
Cindy and Missy still didn’t know Elle was married to a shifter or that Deirdre and her family were also shifters. Elle herself had been surprised to learn she herself was half shifter when she had first met Luke. The feeling toward shifters in Glennridge was better than in the rest of Mason County but Elle still couldn’t bring herself to tell her friends about herself. Now that she was trying to get pregnant, Elle felt like the time was fast approaching to let Missy and Cindy in on the secret. She would cross that bridge another night though.
“There was no way I’d be able to date a biker seriously with my brothers,” Deirdre said.
“I thought they were cool with the bikers?” Elle asked rejoining the conversation.
“They are but that doesn’t mean they want one to date their little sister.”
Sara showed back up with another round of shots. The ladies continued to drink until closing.
“Is Amina picking us up still?” Elle asked as the room shimmered. She knew she was too drunk but it didn’t matter. This was the last time she would be drinking for at least the next two years. She was going out with a bang.
“She should be here already,” Cindy said getting up. She put her hands on the table to steady herself. Elle cursed her high-hells as they made their way to the front of the bar on wobbly legs.
“Shot gun!” Deirdre yelled when they saw Amina’s black BMW. Deirdre slid into the front seat. Amina was Cindy’s younger sister and was the same age as Deirdre. Amina had offered to be their designated driver. Well, Deirdre had prodded her until she agreed to do it. Deirdre and Amina had met during Elle’s wedding and had a budding friendship going year later. It didn’t hurt that Amina was also secretly dating Luke’s cousin Jaxon.
“You guys reek!” Amina said as they piled in. “If any of you puke in my car, you’ll be walking the rest of the way home.”
“No worries sis,” Cindy said reaching from the back seat to try and turn on the radio.
“Sit back and put on your seatbelt!” Amina scolded. She was leaving early the next morning for a work trip or she would have been out drinking too. Elle closed her eyes as they dropped off Cindy and Deirdre at Cindy’s house. They were going shopping together in the morning to find Cindy a new couch. Elle had no interest in couch shopping and didn’t mind not being invited.
“Are you going to stay back there?” Amina asked when they were alone.
“Yup,” Elle said. She wasn’t going to move again until she was home. She wasn’t sure she would be able to keep Cindy’s promise of not throwing up in the BMW. “You headed for Black Oak?”
Amina and Elle almost never talked about the shifter town where Amina’s boyfriend lived. Elle had a sour taste in her mouth from a less than stellar visit to the town. She didn’t know how Amina spent so much time in the secret town.
“Yeah but only to pick up Annalynn for our trip,” Amina said. Elle wanted to ask what trip but she knew better. Luke and Jaxon had both separately asked her not to pressure Amina to talk about her dealings in Black Oak Springs. Fine by Elle, she had secrets too. Besides, she didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize Amina and Jaxon’s relationship. He didn’t need to tell Elle how he felt about the young woman.
Elle wanted to see Jaxon happy and if that meant giving them space she would. She was still keeping close watch on Amina.
“We’re here,” Amina said. She was shaking Elle gently. “Come on Elle.”
“Don’t worry I got this,” Luke said coming down the front stairs.
“I don’t think I have ever seen her this drunk. Not even on her twenty-first birthday,” Amina said stepping aside. Luke pulled Elle from the back of the car.
“Thanks for driving them home,” Luke said. “Be careful on your trip.”
“I will. Night,” Amina called before getting back in her car.
“She’s right I am very drunk.” Elle stroked the side of Luke’s face. “But this is the last time I’ll be drinking for a loooong time.”
“Oh really,” Luke said climbing the stairs with Elle in his arms. “And why is that?”
Elle ran her fingers through his thick black hair. “I can’t drink if I’m pregnant silly.”
Luke kicked the door closed behind them. “Ok. Let’s get you to bed.”
Elle studied her husband’s face. “I hope the baby looks like you.”
“Shh, we’re going by Wilson’s room.”
Luke’s grandfather had raised him and still lived with the couple. Elle liked having the old man around. At least she wouldn’t get lonely now that she was a stay-at-home wife. It wasn’t like they didn’t have room in the old farm house. Elle was thinking of setting up a room for her own mother once she was had the baby. There were still four empty bedrooms plus the attic. Maybe she would have Luke renovate the attic to add one more room. Just in case.
“If it’s a boy I want to name it after our fathers,” Elle said seriously. “And if it’s a girl I want to name it after your mother.”
“Isn’t it a little early to be picking names?” Luke asked lightly.
“It’s not that hard to guess we would name our first child after our dead parents.”
“Maybe not but I don’t like to put the cart before the horse.” Luke put Elle down in front of their bed. Their room was as far away from Wilson’s as they could get. Elle loved their room. She had redecorated it as soon as Luke had asked her to marry him. The room was big and had windows right across from the bed. She had painted the walls chocolate and added teal bedding. The silver and teal accenting was just enough to keep the room from being too cold. She was going to redo every room in the house this fall now that she had time.
“I’m going to make the room next to ours the nursery,” Elle said pulling off her heels.
Luke bent down immediately to rub her feet. “I’m really happy you won’t be going to work anymore.”
“Me too. I have so much time to get the house ready,” a dark look crossed Luke’s perfect face. “Don’t worry. I won’t make any major changes besides color and accessories. I want to keep the spirit of the house. I know how important the history in this place is to you.”
Luke ran his hand up Elle’s calf. “I trust you. You do have excellent taste, Mrs. Rivers.”
Elle cupped his face in her hands. She kissed his forehead and leaned forward to hug him. “I love you Lucas Rivers.”
“I love you too Elle,” Luke said cradling her in his arms. He stood up with her still in his arms and moved them onto the bed.
She gave him a lascivious smile. “Let’s make a baby.”
“I’ll do my best,” Luke mused before pulling off his shirt.
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