Authors: Mary Smith
Copyright © 2015 by Mary Smith
This publication is protected under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws, and all rights are reserved, including resale rights: you are not allowed to give or sell this book to anyone else.
This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it, and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
All rights reserved. Except for the use of short passages for review purposes, no part of this book may be reproduced, in part or in whole, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying, recording, or any information retrieval system, without prior permission in the form of writing by the authors.
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Any actual places, products, or events mentioned are used in a purely fictitious manner.
Cover Designed by:
K Keeton Designs
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – Home Life
Chapter 2 – Triple Date Night
Chapter 3 – Hello, I’m Mrs. Centers
Chapter 4 – The Secret
Chapter 5 – The Normal Unit Life
Chapter 6 – Keep the Peace
Chapter 7 – The Aftermath
Chapter 8 – Daddy Dearest
Chapter 9 – Battle Plans
Chapter 10 – Meeting Dear Old Dad
Chapter 11 – The Matched Truth
Chapter 12 – The Date That Changed It All
Chapter 13 – The Game Plan
Chapter 14 – Reality
Chapter 15 – A Normal Day
Chapter 16 – The First Time
Chapter 17 – Fun Vacation Time
Chapter 18 – Hello Again, Daddy
Chapter 19 – The Flower Garden
Chapter 20 – More Reality
Chapter 21 – Hello, Mom
“Gia you shouldn’t be nervous. I mean, you are the Princess’ Controller.” Mrs. Parker smiles at me from across the desk.
I give her a small smile back. I don’t want this job because of my position in Unit. I want it because I’m qualified to be a teacher. I busted my head against the wall a many of nights to make sure I made the best grades in college. I stayed up for twenty-four straight hours to study for my teacher’s certification, and I scored in the top percentile.
Now I’m sitting here at Unit Middle School hoping that I can obtain a teacher’s position. Several teachers retired at the end of December and there were openings.
“Let me make a few calls, Gia and double check your transcripts, but it looks like it shouldn’t be a problem to welcome you aboard. The King gave you a high recommendation,” Mrs. Parker softly giggles.
“Great.” I stand. “Thank you for your time.” I hold my hand out and she gently shakes it.
I bundle myself tightly and step out in the cold January weather. The freezing temperature isn’t cooling me down. I’m mad.
I was born into Unit and was Paired with the Princess Xaviera at a very young age as her Controller. All Unit citizens are direct descendants of Mother Nature. We’re spilt into three groups: Royals, Protectors, and Controllers.
The Royals control earth elements. The Protector protects our town and us. The Controllers help keep emotions in check. However, we can’t control free will. I’m proud to be a Controller, especially with Xaviera. She’s the next royal in line to lead Unit.
I jump into my red Ford Escape and hope that the heater will heat the car up quickly. I softly bang my head on the steering wheel. I’m upset because I knew I would get the job. I want the job, just not this way.
There’s no point in arguing. I know every single person in this town and everyone knows my position. I take a deep breath and decide to let it go. There’s no point in dwelling on it. I need a job and I’ve wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember.
Once the car is warm, I pull out of the parking lot and head to Xaviera’s house. I try to focus on the road and hope that I don’t slip and slide on the snow and ice.
Thaddeus’ Audi is in the driveway along with Xaviera’s Honda Civic. Thaddeus is Xaviera’s Matched.
There are Rules in Unit. Girls remain modest and pure until they’re Matched, which happens on their twentieth birthday. Then there is a three month decision period to decide if you and your Matched are going to remain together or if you will leave Unit altogether.
Xaviera and Thaddeus’ Match is different from the others. As is Amaya’s and her Matched, Oliver. Amaya is Xaviera’s Protector and Oliver is Thaddeus’ Controller. The condensed version of the story is Amaya and Thaddeus had relations while being Unmatched.
Xaviera, now matched with Thaddeus, had to punish them both, and it was heart wrenching because she had just found out that she was carrying Thaddeus baby.
Nonetheless, we made it through and things are beginning to return to normal in Unit. That’s what we all need. No more drama, but who knows how long that will last.
I knock on the door and Thaddeus opens it.
“Hey, come in.” Thaddeus is in one of his many work suits. He’s an architect at his father’s firm. His dark brown hair is always messy, but in that movie star type of way. “Xaviera’s in the kitchen.”
I smile as I head toward the back of the house. Xaviera is sitting at the breakfast bar. Her sandy-blonde hair is up high in a ponytail. A couple weeks ago, she was a mess. She had been constantly crying because Thaddeus and Amaya were serving their punishment.
Now, she finally has her Matched and her Protector back, and I can see the glow back in her face.
“Gia, how was that interview?” she smiles up at me.
“More than likely they’ll give it to me because of my position with you. The King gave me a high recommendation.”
“Why do you sound so sad then?”
“I wanted to get it because I’m qualified. No offense to you or your dad.” I sit down on the stool next to her.
“You are, Gia.” Xaviera rubs her belly aimlessly.
“How are you feeling?” I turn the attention away from me.
“I’ve never felt this great before.” Her face lights up.
Thaddeus walks into the room and over to his Matched. “Xaviera, I need to head back to the office, but I can stay if you want.”
“I’m fine. You’ll be home around six, right?”
Thaddeus nods and kisses her.
I turn my head because it hurts my heart to see how happy they are. It reminds me how unhappy I am with my Matched.
“Good grief, you two need to get a room,” Amaya announces as she comes through the back door.
“This is my house.” Xaviera grins at her. “And don’t tell me that you’re not attacking Oliver every chance you get.”
Amaya shrugs off her coat and hangs it up. “We’re not talking about me.”
“Bye, girls.” Thaddeus pecks Xaviera’s lips one more time before leaving.
Amaya grabs a bottle of water and leans up against the counter. “How was it, Gia?”
“The interview went well.”
“Great. How are things with Graham?”
The one subject I don’t want to talk about is the only one she does. Graham and I have been Matched since September. We had our ceremony in December. Now, we have a nice house down the block from Xaviera and Amaya.
But our Match differs from Xaviera and Thaddeus’ in that Graham and I have only kissed one time. On top of that, he spends most of his time on his Xbox and sleeps in the guest bedroom.
“How are things with Oliver?” I change the subject. She loves talking about their Matched relationship.
“Oh no, you don’t. You’re not doing that this time. We want to talk about you today.” Amaya shakes her head.
“Gia, has anything happened?” Xaviera asks softly.
I put my head back and take a deep breath. “Nope. Nothing. Just like I said before. Look, I love you both, but this isn’t something I want to talk about.” I hop off the stool. “Do you need anything?”
Xaviera shakes her head. “I’m perfect. The baby has been calm since Thaddeus came home.”
“I’m sure all the sex is the reason your smile hasn’t left in almost two weeks.” Amaya winks at her.
Xaviera cheeks flush. “Stop,” she orders gently.
“I’ve got to go.” I smile at my best friends and head out the door. I jump into my car and drive up to my house.
Sometimes, I’m not sure if this is my house or not. Graham purchased it before our ceremony. I helped pick it out because I didn’t want anything big or fancy. It’s a simple house. It’s two stories, two bedrooms, and two baths. My favorite part is the kitchen. It’s big and there’s plenty of room for me.
I drop my purse and keys on the small table by the front door. I spent all day yesterday cleaning because my nerves were in overdrive for the interview. Sometimes being a Controller is an oxymoron. I can calm everyone else but myself.
I walk into the kitchen and try to think about dinner. I look at my watch and realize that I haven’t heard from Graham today.
I grab my cell phone and call him.
I roll my eyes at his term of endearment. “Hey, how’s your day?”
“Good. I’m finishing this job and I should be home in about an hour. Want me to pick up anything?”
If one didn’t know any better, they would think that we were the perfect Matched couple. “No, I don’t need anything. You want something special for dinner?”
“Nah, whatever you make, Shorty, is great. See you soon.” He hangs up.
I toss my cell onto the counter and get ready to prepare the dinner. I flip on my iHome and start moving my hips to the beat of the music.
I don’t dance in front of Graham or anyone else in Unit. Ever. I don’t think Amaya and Xaviera know that I even like to dance. I spin and sway through every dance song that pops up through the speakers.
When the hour is almost done, I flip the music off and finish the food. I still haven’t figured out everything that Graham likes and doesn’t like. However, he’s eaten everything I’ve made so far.
“Shorty, I’m home.”
My heart races a little when I hear that husky voice of his. It’s very sexy.
“In here.” I sit his plate down along with a bottle of Pepsi. I may not know what food he likes, but I know that he loves Pepsi.
“Something smells good.”
I turn to see Graham walking up to me. He stops short of me. He’s much taller than I am. Almost a foot and he has large muscles. He’s the biggest Protector in Unit. Most people are a little scared of him.
When the King announced that Graham was my Matched, I almost passed out. Graham could easily snap me in half. I’m very petite, and when he stands next to me, it looks like he could step on me.
“Broccoli casserole and grilled chicken. I hope that’s okay.”
“Fine.” Graham’s dark eyes look me up and down. I do the same to him, taking in his black work pants and matching shirt. His name is in red on the right side of his chest.
I step back from his gaze and point to the table. “Have a seat, I need to grab mine.” I walk around him and grab my plate.
“Did you have a good day?”
“I had that interview at Unit Middle School.” I sit down next to him.
“Today? I thought that was tomorrow.”
I shake my head.
“Well, how did it go? Did the King give you a recommendation?”
“It went fine and yes he did.” I pick at my food.
“So, you’re a shoe-in then.”
“I didn’t want it that way though. I wanted it because of me, my grades, and my experience.”
“Shorty.” He sits his fork down and looks at me. “This is Unit. Did you really think that you were going to get the job any other way than who you’re Paired with?”
Another thing that I have learned is that Graham doesn’t beat around the bush. Ever.
“I hoped,” I whispered.
“Shorty, look at me.”
I lift my eyes to his.
“You’re going to be an excellent teacher. Kids are going to love you. Don’t worry how you got the job. Just do what you love to do the best way you know how.”
“I understand that; it still sucks a little bit.”
“Don’t worry about it. I mean it, Shorty.” Graham digs into the food on his plate.
He’s right. I shouldn’t worry. I may not even get the job. I don’t have the official answer yet.
“How was your day?”
“Actually, good. I finished the Martin house.” Graham’s an electrician and works with his dad and brother.
“Great.” I don’t understand everything that he does at work, but I know that he enjoys it. At least, he acts as if he does.
We finish our dinner and I clean up everything as Graham jumps in the shower. When he comes out, he heads right into the living room and turns on his Xbox.
I take a deep breath and lean against the doorway. The sun has gone down, which means that he isn’t talking to me. I can’t figure out how this happens every single night, but it does.
“Guess, I’ll go to bed,” I announce.
“Hhmm,” is his only response.
I toss my hands up in the air. I give up. I stomp up the stairs and run a hot bath. I need to relax. I slip out of my clothes and gracefully slide into the hot water, letting it soothe the stress away.
I aimlessly trace the tattoo on my thigh. I close my eyes and lean back against the cool porcelain of the tub. I think back to my twentieth birthday.
I couldn’t eat, drink, and I could barely hold a conversation with anyone, but the girls. After the King announced our Matched, my mind was spinning with thoughts of Graham. I had known him and his family my whole life. Our mothers were Controllers and good friends. We’ve been around each other a lot. Graham is very different from me. Not just in appearances. He’s vocal about the rules of Unit and thinks that being Matched is one of the sillier ones. He feels that there should be more free will in a citizen’s choosing.
When my party was over, Graham wanted to drive me home. I had been shaking like a leaf, but our parents seemed to be pleased that we were already spending time together. Graham had a massive Chevy truck and practically had to lift me into the cab. Having his hands on me sent my hormones and heart into overdrive.
“Do you mind if we go somewhere and talk?”
I shook my head. I couldn’t form any words at that moment. I kept my focus out the window trying to regulate my breathing and heart.
Graham parked the truck near a park at the edge of town. He shut the truck off, and we sat there in silence.
“All right, let’s just get this out in the open, okay?” he starts. “I know that I’m not your ideal Matched. I’m sure that you’re better suited for someone like Oliver or another shy Controller. However, we’re here and we need to figure this out during our decision period.” He seemed on edge to me and I couldn’t believe that someone like him could ever be nervous.