Upon moving to Arkadia, Madison Claybourne, a high-power New York lawyer, discovers that she is mated to the diner’s busboy. No matter how downright sexy the man is, she has trouble seeing beyond his apron. Will she let perception cloud her judgment to the point where she may lose her mate?
Connor Arkadion is on the brink of exhaustion, helping to track a serial killer. With his mind burdened with the terrible images of the killer’s aftermath, he’s not looking to find his mate. When Madison dismisses him easily he knows he will have to take drastic measures for his mate to see the man he is. The only problem is that the man he truly is, isn’t what Arkadia knows him to be.
When evil once again begins to stalk Arkadia, Connor is suddenly on a timeline to find his missing mate before a maniac kills the one person to give him the solace he desperately craves.
“Madison, weren’t you going to call someone to arrange for your things to be sent here?” he asked. He had a feeling that in order to keep his mate out of trouble she would have to stay busy. She looked up at him and beamed.
“Yes. Thanks for the reminder. It’s late enough in the afternoon Giddey will be up.” She reached into her purse and pulled out her phone.
“Good morning, sunshine,” she said.
“I hate you. You left me,” a male voice replied. Connor’s ears perked up.
“Now, baby, don’t be like that, I had to make sure my brother was okay and guess what. I’ve met my mate and will be moving to Arkadia,” she said brightly.
Madison frowned and looked down at her phone.
“Giddey, you still there?” she asked.
“How could you do this to me? To us?” Giddey wailed through the phone.
“Now, honey, don’t be like that. You will do well without me. I know of at least three other women who have begged to have you in their lives,” Madison said soothingly.
“I don’t want them! I want you. Please come home! I’m lonely,” Giddey sniffled.
“Oh, baby, don’t cry. You are perfection at what you do, I’ve never had better. Someone else will appreciate that,” she assured the man on the phone. Connor felt his nostrils flare.
“You taught me everything I know, if I can’t be with you I will just die, alone, in my apartment, alone, surrounded by pizza boxes and takeout containers. Alone,” Giddey yelled dramatically.
“No you… Wait. Giddey, why are you surrounded by takeout containers? Have you left your apartment since I left?” She demanded. There was a tiny sniffle on the phone.
“You haven’t, have you. Giddey I left New York nearly a week ago.” She said sounding concerned.
“Miss you,” he mumbled. Madison’s eyes narrowed.
“You’re on your house phone aren’t you?” she asked. There was a gasp.
“How did you know?
“You were mugged again weren’t you! You set it up to have your cell calls forwarded to your house line.” She palmed her face with her free hand.
“Listen Giddey baby, you can’t live like this. Did you file a police report?” she asked.
“Yes, Officer Craig even kept the laughter to a minimum. He said I was a walking New York record for the number of experienced muggings,” Giddey said.
“For fuck’s sake! He better have processed that report or I’m going to have his captain’s ass.” She grumbled.
“Can’t I come live with you? I know you, Madison. You will find something to sink your teeth into and you’ll need me,” Gidey asked in a small voice.
“Baby, you know I love you…” Madison started. Connor growled and snapped the handle off his frying pan. Madison looked up and her eyes widened.
“One second, Giddey.” She hit a button on the phone.
“Oh, Connor, he’s so lost without me. Can he move in with us?” she asked, her eyes filled with tears. Connor felt his mouth drop.
“You want to move your lover into our house?” he demanded. She blinked.
“What?” she asked looking shocked.
“Giddey. Your lover. You want to move him into our house, after last night?” he roared.
“Oh Connor. No! Giddey is my personal assistant, he’s gay down to his DNA and not my lover. He is the most amazing assistant, organized, efficient. But he’s totally inept when it comes to taking care of himself. Can he please stay with us? I’m scared of what might happen if I’m not there to watch out for him. He’s already been mugged again,” she said, biting her lower lip.
“Not your lover?” he asked again, feeling his anger washing away.
“Not even close. More like an adorable little brother. Like Maddox,” she pointed to Claybourne who rolled his eyes.
“Give up, Connor. Once she puts you in the family category it’s a wrap. She’d move heaven and earth for her family,” Claybourne said.
“I know, it’s just one of the things I love about my mate,” he said innocently. He watched a blush creep up her neck and she went back to her phone.
“Okay, Giddey, pack up your stuff and head to Arkadia. Book a flight to Raleigh and someone will pick you up,” Madison smiled happily up at Connor.
“You’re trying to kill me! People die in airplanes. If you don’t want me there just say, ‘Giddey, go slit your wrists.’ It would be more humane. I don’t want to go down in a firey blaze!” Giddey screamed.
Connor looked around the diner and everyone was staring at Madison as if she were giving a performance. Her conversation with her personal assistant had everyone’s undivided attention.
“Why can’t he just drive down?” Kaden asked. Madison’s eyes widened.
“I could do that,” Giddey said, sounding excited.
“Like hell you can! You can’t even go from one subway stop to another without getting distracted. There’s no freaking way you’re getting in a car and driving over five hundred miles. I’d never see you again!” Madison yelled into the phone.
“I don’t want to go to Arkadia. It’s in the middle of nowhere!’ Giddey whined.
“There are bugs!! Don’t try to lie. I read about it in a magazine once, country places have bugs!” he continued.
“Giddey,” Madison said, louder this time.
“There is nothing there that will entice me to move to the boonies!” Giddey declared dramatically.
“There is an entire lion pride of hot, single, gay men looking for fresh meat,” Madison said with a sigh.
“I’ll book my flight now and send you the details. Love you Mad-da-sin!” Giddey sang her name and ended the call.