Castor stood at the front of the chapel beside Marrok, who appeared as cool as ever while he waited for his bride. Not being a love match, and more of a business deal, that was probably about right. Except they were going to have to go through the mating tonight. Wolf shifters had strange traditions.
Like the exterior, built in natural stone, the interior of the building was simple, constructed of thick pine logs. Pews carved from matching wood stood in rows with a single aisle down the center, a deep red velvet carpet leading up to the altar and pulpit. Floor to ceiling windows at the front revealed an incredible view of the lake, which glittered under the brilliant light of the full moon.
Marrok suddenly gave a low whistle.
“Did you see Leia before coming here?”
“Was she dressed for the wedding yet?”
“No.” She’d preferred to come to the ceremony without him, a decision that had bothered him more than it should. She’d muttered something about needing to sit near the back. Whatever that meant. Best guess, she was avoiding the werewolf who’d ruined her identity as a nymph. The only thing keeping him from ripping out the bastard’s neck when they’d been introduced ten minutes earlier was not wanting to ruin his friend’s important day. That, and Leia had warned him not to before he’d left the hotel.
Dark laughter lurked in Marrok’s voice. “Let’s just say you’re going to need a very large stick.”
Stick? What the fuck was Marrok talking about? “Why?”
“To beat off the wolves.”
His friend was obviously enjoying the hilarity of the situation but had to be mistaken. Leia was gorgeous, but she didn’t flaunt her beauty, tending to dress on the conservative side. Besides, he doubted she wanted to call attention to herself with Kaios here.
He scanned the crowds filing in at the back of the chapel. “I don’t see her.”
“Navy dress. Her hair is up.”
Navy sounded right. Conservative. The way his nymph liked to dress.
He caught a flash of blue and the top of her golden blond hair piled high on her head. Then the tuxedoed man blocking most of her from view stepped aside. What was Marrok talking about? While she looked incredible to him—his body started to heat up and harden at the sight of her like it always did—he harbored feelings for her. Given the way the other ladies were dressed, he doubted Leia had anything to worry about with the wolves.
The dress was long, draping to the floor, the top gathered over her right shoulder. No cleavage showed. A thin slit at her hip showed a sliver of flat belly. Sexy as all hades. But still covered up compared to the skin on display from the lady wolves. Leia appeared classy in a room full of overdone.
She caught his eye and waved. Her lips, painted bright pink, stretched wide in a smile. Castor caught his breath as his stomach clenched in response. Her smile was for him alone. How he knew, he wasn’t entirely sure. His heart hadn’t tripped over itself like this since he’d met his wife. Only this was different, not stronger exactly, but…different. Hilaera had been familiar, his love tender. With Leia he was all fire and need and protectiveness. Leia pointed at the back pew, indicating where she intended to sit.
Someone he couldn’t see snagged her attention, though she seemed reluctant to turn away from him, but she did.
Castor inhaled sharply.
The back to the dress was…there was no damn back to the dress. The garment was held in place by a thin strap or two across her shoulders and dipped low to a point above her curvy derriere. Barely above.
“Holy hell.” His body, already charged by the intimate smile she’d graced him with, responded rapidly. He shifted his stance, trying to ease his discomfort. In the meantime, every man around her did a double take. What was she thinking? Luckily, Kaios was already seated up front.
Castor gritted his teeth. “I see what you mean.”
Marrok had the temerity to chuckle. “You’re a lucky man.”
“She’s my assistant.”
Yeah. He didn’t believe it either.