Of Moons and Monsters - Willow Hadley Page 0,1

Madame’s lover this season, and she’s human like I am. The difference is, I have never and will never hook up with my boss. Amber might be hoping she’ll eventually be turned into a vampire, but I’m perfectly content with my mortality. Besides, it’s much more likely that Amber won’t live past the next few months. I fully expect for a new design in Madame’s spring collection next year to bear the name Amber. It’ll probably be some huge, puffy explosion of taffeta.

Alistair and I enter the private room where the newest bride-to-be is waiting with her entourage. Madame Deverell holds Gwyneth up with a flourish, and everyone in the room gasps.

“Oh my god,” the bride exclaims, clapping her hands. “It’s perfect! It’s exactly what I imagined!”

Alistair gives me a cheeky smile, and I refrain from stomping on his foot with the heel of my Manolos. He finds the brides and wedding dresses just as obnoxious as I do, but these people are paying a lot of money. We need to look pretty and serene and supportive.

Everyone’s attention is focused on the dress, thankfully. Well, almost everyone’s attention. Two of the girls in the bridal party are staring at Madame with rosy cheeks, shy smiles, and heart-filled eyes. I totally get it. Madame is seriously gorgeous. Milky white skin, disarming blue eyes, sleek, white blonde hair cascading down her back, long legs, and a model-esque physique.

Alistair is pretty good-looking too, like most supernaturals. He’s tall and lean with smooth skin, a permanently mischievous smile, and gorgeous, forest-green eyes. His messy black hair is shorter on the sides and longer on the top, so it’s always falling into his eyes and giving him a boy-ish look, despite him being in his mid-twenties. But even he doesn’t hold a candle to Madame when he’s in the same room as her.

“So you’re definitely going tonight, right?” Alistair whispers while everyone’s distracted.

I roll my eyes and sigh quietly. “Why would I want to go to that? Unseelie parties are the fucking worst.”

“Bryson will be there,” he says.

At the mention of my douchebag werewolf ex-boyfriend, I narrow my eyes and scoff. “Hard no.”

Madame beckons me to follow her into the fitting room so we can help the bride into the dress. For several minutes, I assist in pinning, buttoning, and lacing the bride into the mountain of fabric. Madame and I gush over how beautiful the girl is, and how well the gown fits her figure. As ostentatious as the dress is, it honestly looks pretty damn good on our client.

The moment we rejoin the bridal party, and the bride sees her reflection in the mirror, she bursts into tears. I wait a few seconds to make sure they’re the good kind of tears, and Madame and I share a smug look. That’s sixty-five grand in Madame’s pocket, and a nice commission check for me.

Alistair and I help the bride choose her veil while Madame handles the payment with the bride’s mother. The whole process takes a little over an hour, and I’m left in the fitting room to clean up with Al while we await the next appointment.

“Way to upsell her with that tiara.” I quirk a smile at my best friend.

He flutters his eyelashes and smirks. “What can I say? Women find me charming.”

I laugh and don’t bother disagreeing with him. Alistair is charming. It’s just that sometimes, that charm gets him into a lot of trouble.

“So, is there seriously nothing I can bribe you with so you’ll go to this party tonight?”

“Alistair.” I groan. I can’t believe he’s bringing it up again. I’m really not into parties in general, and being around so many supernaturals at the same time makes me super anxious. Especially when they’re inebriated. If Bryson’s going to be there with his stupid mate, I want to be as far away as possible. “Why do you want to go so badly? There will be other parties.”

He doesn’t answer right away, pretending to be wholly focused on stacking the boxes of shoes we let the bride try on. Finally, he glances up at me with a shy smile and admits, “Because Thaddeus will be there.”

My eyes widen in disbelief, and an incredulous laugh escapes my throat. “No. Absolutely not! He was so awful to you! Why would you want to go anywhere near that dickhead?”

Thaddeus is another powerful vampire here in New York, though he’s nowhere near as old or as wealthy as Madame Deverell. He and Alistair dated on