Can he get her seal of approval?
Missy has 99 problems, and her funnel-cake booth at the Virtue town fair is 98 of them. Looks like this is another year she’s going to spend with a spatula in hand, splattered in hot grease, watching other people have fun.
Her 99th problem is that the hot guy manning the dunk tank across from her booth just turned into a seal.
Maybe this fair won’t be like all the others after all.
Ryan has just one problem, but it may have sealed his fate.
Overwhelmed at meeting his fated mate, Ryan instinctively dived into his tank and shifted into his seal. Now his seal thinks he’s an idiot (valid), his mate found out about shifters in the worst possible way (oops) and while he’s trying to figure out how to fix things, his perky cousin Becky has started matchmaking him and the brand new mate he’s barely even talked to yet.
But he’s got an entire fair to take advantage of, and maybe he can seal the deal with Missy if he can win her that big stuffed animal or take her on the Ferris wheel. If he can just get her away from the funnel cake booth and their meddling relatives for five minutes…
Is there anything more fun than a fair? Missy Clarks family’s Fried dough funnel cake is a big favorite with everyone. She’s helped with the booth since she was 11 years old but now is running it alone. Her best friend Becky runs the dunking tank and this year it’s right next to hers.
Becky has a surprise up her sleeve for Missy, she’s invited her cousin to help her this year. In fact, he’s already in position on the ‘hot’ seat and Becky invites Missy to test it out for her.
This is one of my favorite scenes.
She was halfway across the fairgrounds from the farming competitions like that one, and from the quilters and the jam-makers whose wares she didn’t even want to try competing with. Her food cart was between the dunking booth and the shooting range, and not far from the racing field where everything from bumper cars to egg tosses took place. She liked it, as a space: people were always hungry after they got dunked, and after they ran a bunch of silly races.
Besides, her best friend Becky ran the dunking booth, which was an annual fundraiser for a seal sanctuary in the southern part of the state. Being close to each other meant they could chat back and forth to each other at the top of their lungs while things were busy, and take turns watching each other’s booths during the quieter parts of the day. That way they each got to spend at least a little time seeing the fair itself in full swing. Those were Missy’s favorite things about working near friends.
She hurried around the last corner and came to a complete stop. The dunk tank was nearly ready, six feet of clear water with cameras on all sides to get pictures of people going in the drink. A bulls-eye target sat safely to one side, where it would be almost impossible to hit the guy on the seat, even with the worst throw in the world.
And there was a guy on the seat right now, about six feet above the dunk tank, leaning on one of the seat’s ropes and kicking his feet rather gleefully.
Except he was not a guy, to slightly misquote Drax. This…was a man. A handsome, muscular man, with incredible shoulders and a long swimmer’s build. His black hair fell around his face in shoulders in unkempt waves that should have looked messy and instead looked like she needed to sink her hands into them right now. He had a bit of a chin-scruff beard, and if he didn’t look like a pirate and an angel had had a baby, it was only because he wasn’t sporting an eyepatch.
And every glorious inch of him was on display.
Well. Almost every glorious inch. A pair of red Speedos did very little to hide the inches that weren’t on display, but technically, he met the expectations of modern modesty.
Despite that, Missy actually blushed, looking at him. He was almost unbearably handsome. He had a silver ring in one nipple, and a leather cord necklace with something or other as the pendant. His mouth was gorgeous, and he was laughing with Becky, who stood beside the tank in a swimsuit and shorts of her own.
In fact, at a glance, Becky and The Man had a very personable relationship. Missy considered the possibility that Becky was not her best friend at all, because how very dare she be hiding a guy like that from Missy. If The Man and Becky were dating, Missy just flat-out didn’t know what she’d do.
Be happy for her friend, obviously, but also oooooh myyyyyy goooood soooo jealous because holy moly. Missy actually said that out loud, “Holy moly,” and although she thought it had been pretty quiet, Becky looked her way, then waved frantically.
“Missy! Hey! We’re testing the dunk tank! You wanna give it a try?”
The Man looked toward Missy, looked her up and down, and clearly came to a conclusion he liked. Missy bet that conclusion was ‘oh, she’s tiny, I’m in no danger,’ and smiled as The Man said, “Please, be my guest.”
Missy made a quick show of looking at her phone to check the time, then said, “Sure, I can spare a minute,” even though she was already late. Becky lobbed a softball at her, and Missy caught it easily.
“Be gentle with me,” The Man said with a sparkle in his eyes. “It’s my first time.”
“Oh, sweetheart, that’s too damn bad for you, because I promise, this is not my first rodeo.” Missy wound up a pitch, and just before she let it go, said, “Or didn’t Becky mention that I’m the all-star pitcher for the softball league?”
The Man’s eyes widened, and Missy’s softball slammed into the center of the target with a reverberating clang!
To her surprise and delight, he screamed like a little boy as he fell, and then to her astonishment, he turned into a seal when he hit the water.
Chant, Zoe. Sealed With A Kiss (Virtue Shifters Book 3) Kindle Locations (27-54). Kindle Edition.
Everyone knows you’re not supposed to shift in public, EVER, and Ryan is shocked that he did. There is a reason it happened though. Missy is his mate and finding your mate is something every shifter wants but it doesn’t always happen.
I love this story, there’s so much fun and just a touch of jealousy from both of them. The commentary from Ryan’s seal is also a lot of fun, as is Becky trying to explain things before Ryan can.