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Bndmetl

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  1. Bndmetl

    Chapter 4 - Rush

    Where is that scary button!! Maybe a 911 button?
  2. Bndmetl

    Chapter 4 - Rush

    They really need a scary reaction for these purposes
  3. I stood wide eyed and gobsmacked as I watched my mate flee. My father will pay for the way he treated my mate. My mate. My fated mate at that. No one disrespects him – ever. Elder Easton will answer for his dismissive but aggressive comments to my mate. Father or not, mated or not, there will be consequences. My body trembling with anger I let out an almighty roar garnering the attention of everyone in attendance. When I turned to rip into my father, he was no longer with us. The coward had absconded like a coward. One of the royal guards appeared by my side baring his neck to me. “Alpha, would you like me to bring you the escapee?” he asked with confidence. I needed a breath to think about how to handle the situation. Closing my eyes for a slight pause, the guard silently waited for an answer. I considered my response; the crown has not yet been shifted, but I find myself in a situation that needs to be dealt with respectfully and swiftly. Alpha Mate West was almost to my side when I opened my eyes. “Please accept my apologies, Alpha Mate.” I bared my neck as a sign of respect. Her brow furrowed in concern. “Is everything alright, Alpha Easton?” she asked clutching at a pendant around her neck. If I didn’t know any better I’d say it was a gift from her late husband that helped give her the strength to continue on without him. “No, I’m afraid. It seems my father has disrespected your son upsetting him without provocation. May I impose upon you to utilize a few warriors to bring your son home, and two royal guards to watch my father?” I looked her right in the eyes. I wouldn’t cower or come across weak in my dealings. For two reasons, I was to be King and had promised myself to deal with any situation carefully, fair, and with a great deal of backbone. Second, but most important. Her son, Tanner, is my fated mate. He will always be the most important person in my life from now on. “What happened? What did Tanner do? Is that why he left in flurry?” She rubbed her fingers on the pendant anxiously. “Oh dear, of course, of course you may utilize any resources of the Pride. This will all be yours in a matter of time, Alpha Rush.” She reached out and put her hand on my forearm gently. “It’s not like Tanner to misbehave or be rude.” She said worriedly more to herself than anyone else. “I assure you; Tanner is the one who has been wronged in this situation. He was nothing but sweet, caring, and kind.” I assured her. “If you’ll allow me, I’d like to be there when you handle the situation with my father. Again, my apologies, Alpha Mate.” “Of course, of course,” she waved a hand, “please go ahead.” ***** Not having slept a wink in three days, I wearily sat slumping in the chair looking out the window watching the young cubs chase after butterflies. I’d give anything to be that young and carefree again. Not that my childhood really was ever that easy. After Elder Easton disrespected my mate at the welcome dinner he scurried off like a cockroach. Unfortunately, not too far and they were able to take him into custody. At the moment he’s on house arrest under the watchful eye of the Royal Guard in his room until he can be dealt with. My mate, however, shifted and fled the premises into the woods. A warrior that had been ordered to find my mate told me they had sighted him with three lions from our Pride, one happened to be my brother. Beckett has assured me that my mate is fine physically but is not ready to see me. I want to kill Elder Easton right now. Thankfully, the Alpha Mate has prolonged her confrontation with the elder until she has spoken with her son. A saving grace for the elder if there ever was one. Now that I’ve scented my mate, my body and lion are frustrated and want to rut. Somehow, I am expected to keep everything under control but the damn cat inside me is clawing his way to the surface. He knows his mate is here and is giving me hell trying to force me to seek him out. But I can’t do that. I have to respect my mate’s wishes. I’ll do it, even if it kills me. He’s my mate. My everything. Now that we’ve met and scented each other there will never be another that will hold a candle to my sandy haired, clover eyed munchkin. Every minute that ticks by feels like an hour sitting in this office that Alpha Mate West had told me would be mine in a few short weeks. I am welcome to use it at any time. It seems impossible to accomplish anything; all I can do is think about my upset mate. I should have stepped in sooner, but I was in shock that my father had so blatantly went after the young lion. Sure, he didn’t know he was my mate at the time but that shouldn’t make any difference. The elder’s behaviour has been escalating in just the few days we’ve been here in Sentinel Oaks. I need to find a way to contain him and the damage he seems intending on dealing out. This job is too big, too much responsibility for me alone. I don’t think I can do it, not without people I can trust and the only person right now is Beckett. It would be detrimental to Beckett and his plans to drag him into this. I gave him my word that he could live the life he’d always wanted. However, I do need someone I can trust to have my back. Nash. My oldest and dearest friend. Listen to me, I’m turning into an eighty-year-old woman. I would love to have Nash by my side while I navigate this new life and responsibility. If there is anyone – other than Beckett – I trust to have my back it’s Nash. I wonder if he’d be interested in moving here to Sentinal Oaks. Join this pride with us. Maybe if I present it in a way that he won’t have to give up his family or his loyalty to our old Pride he’ll give it some thought. That’s it! Pulling my phone from my pocket I scrolled for Nash’s contact and pressed to dial before I could change my mind. He picked before it even rang. “Good evening Your Highness. How may I be of service?” I could hear the amusement in his put-on stuffy tone. “You can kiss my ass, how about we start there?” I said with a chuckle. “Left or right cheek, Your Highness. I’m partial to the saggy left side.” He belted out a laugh. “I’ll just grab the sanitising gel. Wouldn’t want that royal butt of yours to get any germs now.” “You’re an ass, and my ass is not saggy,” I told him, “and I’m not the King yet. Ten days, twenty hours, and fifteen minutes before I lose everything to my lineage.” God, anyone would kill to be in my position and I’m whining like a pre-teen cub. Nash’s tone changed completely from joking to serious. “That bad, huh?” Sighing, I rubbed my fingers along the wood grain on my desk. “No, I guess not. It’s… an adjustment is all. The West family have been amazing the way they’ve welcomed me.” I paused and was quiet to sort out my thoughts. “Um… but… I was wondering–” “How are you handling your father? I’m assuming he’s been insufferable.” I snorted in response. “You have no idea. We’ve only been here five days and the man is already on lockdown with the royal guard.” Nash let out a rich hardy laugh. “Holy shit, that’s priceless. And not at all unexpected. What did the asshole do?” Without any thought to my words I blurted out my answer in a gruff angry tone. “He disrespected my mate.” “YOUR WHAT?” Nash yelled so loud I had to pull the phone away from my ear. “Oh, yeah,” I said putting the phone back to my ear ruefully, “I’ve met my mate. It’s complicated.” The heavy breathing on the other end of the line told me Nash was none too happy this was the first he was hearing about it. I also imagine he was pissed on my behalf that my father had disrespected my mate. A low rumbly growl came through the other end of the line ending in a roar. “I’ll fucking gut him, Rush. I mean it. I’m coming to you.” I heard him grunt and a chair scraping over the phone. Sighing again, resigned, I leaned my forehead down to the desk with the phone still to my ear. “Well, that’s where it gets a little more complicated. My mate is Tanner West. King Alpha West’s omega son.” More silence. “Really?” Nash asked his voice high and incredulous. “That’s… um… that’s something.” This time his tone flat and even. “Yep,” I answered. I heard the office door creak open and the scent of my mate floated over to me calming me down in some ways but heightening my anxiety in others. “I have to go,” I said without looking up. “I’ll send you the itinerary for your travel. Pack enough to stay until the ceremony for the Shifting of the Crown. I need you here, Nash. Talk later.” I quickly hung up and took a breath before sitting up to see my mate standing in front of my desk, arms crossed over his chest, nostrils flaring and his eyes wild… his skin red and splotchy. Before I apologise… and ask why he looked… he… “Who is Nash?” my mate asked in an angry tone, his lips tight and white, even his adorable little hands now balled into fists at his sides, with eyes full of fire. Huh? Nash? Oh. The temptation was too much. My mate is absolutely stunning in his anger, the red splotchy marks – which I assume is from poison oak – made him all that more adorable. The man before me, splotchiness aside, is everything and more than I could hope for. Tanner is about four inches short of six foot. I like that I am going to have to bend down to kiss him. Or if I’m lucky he’ll let me pick him up to bring his lips closer to mine. When we kiss or mate I’m not sure I’ll be able to close my eyes when I can look into his green eyes, so green, almost the same shade clover. The man is going to be like my own good luck four leaf clover. They were big, wise, intelligent eyes; assessing eyes; but full of love, kindness, and warmth. When he smiled his beautiful smile, it reached his eyes turning them into bright green slits. Apparently, they do it when he is annoyed too, the exact way he’s looking at me right now. “Don’t be jealous, my mate. Nash is my oldest friend; we grew up together. You are my mate.” I stepped out from behind the desk moving closer to my precious mate. He backed up a step, I moved closer. “Please tell me you are not jealous, my mate?” I asked while running a finger over the red marks on the right side of his face while he took another step back toward the wall. Of course, I followed him all the way until his back hit it with the tiniest gasp from his kissable lips. I leaned in pinning him in place. “So, beautiful. You are mine,” I stated an octave lower than my normal tone. My hand running through his stylish wavy sandy blond hair just so I could touch him. Oh, this man does things to me. To show him how excited he gets me I pushed my hard erection into his lower belly. Looking up into my eyes with an almost sorrowful expression, my mate slid his hand between us and my pulse raced with anticipation. It slid from my waist up to my pecs where he pinched and twisted my nipple so freaking hard forcing me to back out of his personal space. Probably shouldn’t have done it with a grin on my face though. In retrospect that was stupid. “Don’t grope me like some cheap omega,” he reprimanded me. “I am your mate,” he said sternly. Tanner leaned back against the wall resting his elbow on a bust of his father sitting on a pedestal next to him. From his weight it tilted before tipping. I managed to catch him with one arm while catching the bust with my free hand all the while the pedestal fell to the floor. He twisted in my arms looking up at me sheepishly. “Um… thank you?” I put him back on his feet, picked up the pedestal sitting it up right and setting the bust on it. “You can kiss me now,” Tanner said just above a whisper. He’s so adorable I can’t stand it. Shuffling forward I pinned him to the wall, grabbing one ass cheek in each hand hefting him so we were eye to eye, his legs automatically wrapping around me. Tanner let out the cutest moan when our lips touched, his hips jutted forward when our tongues met. The next groan was mine, his flavor so sweet, coconut and vanilla just like his scent. The entire world fell away leaving me and my mate with the intoxicating aroma of his omega slick mixed with his sweet scent. My mate deepened the kiss while I rubbed my hard on against him searching for something. Releasing our lips, I kissed and nipped down the side of his jaw until I reached the spot where my mating mark would be. “I need more, want more, want you,” Tanner panted his hands fisting my hair holding me to the crook of his neck. “Need you, Alpha.” Fuck, I almost come in my pants when he called me Alpha. “Not here, not like this, my mate,” I huffed into his skin. His scent so intoxicating I couldn’t concentrate. “Down,” he demanded pushing me back with his hands. I obeyed letting him slide down the front of my body. My knees almost gave way when every inch of the front side of his body slid across my aching cock. He grabbed my shirt looking over his shoulder at me with a smirk on his face as he led me to the bookcase behind the desk. Pulling forward on a brass bookend the shelves opened to a passageway. When we entered, small dim lights glowed leading the way to a small library surrounded in over filled bookshelves on two sides. The third wall entertained a small fireplace, the fourth a window wall letting in natural light. A bear skin rug lay in front of the fireplace, a wing back chair sat alone with a side table next to the window. A pile of books with various bookmarks holding the readers place sat atop of the small table. The natural light shone through the window with small dust particles bouncing on the beams. “Woah! What is this place?” I asked my eyes not pausing for a moment distracting me from my mate. He put down a remote as the blinds closed over the windows and the fireplace ignited lighting the room with a warm glow. “Later,” he said climbing my body like a tree, attacking my face with his mouth. Regardless of our intermission with a location change he still had me hard as a nail. Life is going to be interesting until I learn to control my urges around him. But… not right now. Right now, I need to claim my mate. Carefully I went down on my knees lowering Tanner onto the rug as gently as possible. Hovering over my mate I kissed him like it would be my last act as a shifter on this earth. His hands gripped my hips pulling and tugging until I gave in laying over the top of him. He ripped his head back abruptly breaking the kiss. “Claim me Alpha, mark me.” Don’t have to ask me twice. I tore his clothes from his body, kissing every inch of his skin running my hands all over him. It wasn’t enough, it would never be enough. The man lay before me, beautiful in his glow. His red splotchy glow. “Poison Oak?” I asked stopping myself from going further. “We need to get you into a bath.” He lifted his head looking down at his marred body then waving his hand determinedly. “After we are mated, Alpha. Stop poncing about and take me,” he demanded while scratching his arm. “This is going to be quick. I want to stop, get you medic–” He grabbed my face bringing it within an inch of his. “If you don’t claim me in the next ten seconds, I swear to the fates I am going to mate with your brother.” I roared as my lion raged, trying to surface at the thought of anyone other than me touching my mate. “That’s what I thought. Now get that tally whacker in me, Alpha,” he grunted indignantly lifting his knees practically to his shoulders presenting his hole to me. The ineffable moan coming all the way from my gut as his slick dripped from him. The need to taste him overwhelming, I lurched forward my tongue lapping as much of him as I could get. He wriggled and squirmed, the little noises he made fuelling my arousal. There was no way I could lose my clothes fast enough. I ripped the suckers off my body tossing the shreds of material to the side before taking my place once again ready to claim my mate once and for all. Holding my cock I ran it through his slick, when it slid over his delectable hole he whimpered. I did another pass over just to tease him. But my mate is smart. Anticipating I would torture him a little when the head of my dick reached his hole, his legs moving at the speed of light wrapped around my hips forcing me to enter him. He let out a long moan as I slid inside in one slow glide. My… fuck… so warm, slick, heaven. Pure heaven. “Arghhh!” I heard myself moan leaning over him, I placed a small slow kiss to his lips then whispering, “Are you okay?” He swallowed hard, “Mm, um, yeah. Just, it’s a lot. Can you wait…” “Do you want me to pull out?” I asked concerned about the look of pain on his face. It’s so hard not to just rut into him, my natural urges and instincts trying to break me, tempt me, to take him whether he was ready or not. I bit into my lip so hard I could taste blood. Fark! Tanner nodded slightly with a whimper, “Move. Alpha. Slow.” His words broken and thready. As I slid my cock slowly back, his eyes rolled into the back of his head and he roared. “Oh, fu…eck. Do that again.” His hand hitting my shoulder in quick succession. “Again.” Changing direction, I slowly pushed back into him making sure to rub along the bundle of nerves again. His legs tightened around me while he whimpered, “again,” over and over, eventually lifting his ass just a little to meet my slow thrusts his chant merging into “harder, faster.” After a few good thrusts the feel of my orgasm started to tingle at the bottom of my spine, my balls lifting, my knot forming inside him. “Gonna come, Munchkin, are you ready?” I asked holding right on the edge. “Yes,” he hissed, grabbing his cock tugging in rhythm with my movements, tilting his neck to the side giving me full access to lay my claiming mark. “Alpha.” On his groan of Alpha and the sight of his release I fell screaming over the edge, my teeth elongating right before they sank into the luscious soft skin at the base of his neck. The way his entire body quivered and shook with his release overwhelming me. The taste of my mate had me shooting a second time while I lapped at the mark I’d left showing the world he belonged to me. “So beautiful,” I panted leaving little kisses on his mark as I rolled sideways bringing his beautiful languid body with me so we could be comfortable waiting for my knot to release leaving us connected for now. No complaints from me, if I had my way, I’d carry him around all day so I could have him near me, so I could touch him whenever I wanted. As our breathing returned to normal, I noticed a few changes I had not been expecting. First, our heartbeats had aligned, somewhere deep down I could feel his inside me separate from my own. Not because we were touching but simply we had become two halves of one. The second, I can feel his happiness, giddiness, and joy, with an underlying fear smothered in insecurity. What do I do with that? The fact we are attuned to each other’s emotions is daunting. A lot of responsibility. Also, I had never heard of anything like it before. “What’s wrong?” Tanner asked over his shoulder his brow furrowed. “I can feel you. I feel you all the way inside me. Everything. Your heartbeat, your emotions, it feels…” I trailed off not able to finish, there just are no words. His head flopped back down on to my shoulder facing away from me again. “Weird. It feels weird. I can feel you too. Maybe we can talk to Elder Meridene, she’s been around a long time, probably would be able to tell us something.” “Are you okay, Munchkin?” I asked because his tone was almost morose. He answered after a few moments, “Yes, it’s a lot is all. I can’t believe you aren’t mad at me for what I did to your father.” That got a snort of amusement out of me, at the same time my knot had deflated enough sliding out of my mate with a squelch. Tanner giggled uncontrollably turning to face me. “Okay, that’s embarrashing.” I smirked. “Embarrashing, huh?” His head lilted until his forehead met my chest hiding his face. “Oh, my gawd. You must think I’m a total dork, after that and turning your father’s face into a hankie. How can you stand to be around me?” I grabbed my mate by the ass cheeks hauling his body to lay on top of mine. He fidgeted trying to get comfortable which only served to wake up my yawny satisfied lion and cock. Tanner caught onto this, his smile becoming mischievous while his hand slid between us. “Ah.” I smacked his ass lightly, “No! First we talk.” “But…” he whimpered lifting himself a little to look between us down to our cocks laying side by side. “No,” I said with a chuckle. “He looks so happy to see me,” he pointed down to our dicks. “Oh, trust me he’s tickled pink.” “Tickled pink,” Tanner murmured to himself with an adorably dorky chuckle. “Precious, focus. I want you to hear me.” “Ugh, precious,” he groused. “I prefer when you call me munchkin, not that I like that either but it’s better than the other.” “Fine,” I sighed resignedly. I can see I’m going to get nowhere right now. “Sorry,” he smiled sweetly wiggling his bum which caused a little friction down below making me moan in pleasure. “Go ahead, I’m listening.” Said with all the innocence in the world. The little shit. “Tanner, sweetie? Is that you?” Alpha Mate Wests voice echoed down the passageway right before entering the room. Gasping, she quickly turned around and went to leave but then stopped and waited and tried to leave again. On his mother’s gasp, Tanner squeaked and fell off me onto the floor with a thud. I grabbed the edge of the bear skin wrapping it over us in case she turned back around. I hope she doesn’t because it’s taking everything within me to remember this is his mother and not a threat with my mate vulnerable the way we were. Alpha Mate cleared her throat. “I’m sorry, Alpha Rush,” she said still facing the doorway away from us. “But, is that Tanner with you?” “Yes,” I growled unhappily. “Hmm, okay. Sweetie, are you okay?” My lion paced inside me angrily at the intrusion. “Yes,” he squeaked. “Thank the fates you’re okay. Um… will you come see me later?” “Yes mother,” he answered timidly prompting his mother to scurry off. I can feel his emotions rolling around inside me. The shame he feels doesn’t sit well with me. We have nothing to be ashamed of, we are fated mates. Fated mates that are now bonded and marked. Joined for all of eternity. Once Alpha Mate West had departed, I dragged my mate back to lay over the top of me where he belongs. Both of us whimpering when our crotches slid across each other. Tanner wriggled again to get comfortable and I grabbed his ass cheeks to hold him still. He hissed in pain ever so quietly; my lion roaring at me because we’d physically hurt our mate. “I’m sorry munchkin, did I hurt you?” I asked feeling wretched. “I’m okay,” he said lazily wiggling his hips slightly like he was trying to assess the amount of pain. “I think Tab A is too big for Slot B because my bum is a tad miserable.” He smiled warmly at me from my chest with a slight grimace. “Let’s get you into a nice soothing bath, mate. We’re a mess and need your poison oak seen to." It only just dawned on me when he tried to scratch his belly without falling off me again that he must have been in discomfort. It was the first time he’d scratched since before we mated. Those mating pheromones are powerful blockers under the right circumstances. Bath, then we get to deal with my father - joy.
  4. Bndmetl

    Chapter 3 - Tanner

    Wesley is being modest, he had just as much to do with Tanner's adorkableness.
  5. “I’m so sorry,” I apologized profusely. My voice a little high pitched for my liking, dabbing at my dinner companion’s jacket to dry the water I spilled on it. I stupidly glanced up at the man expecting to see anger, but his eyes were dancing in amusement to go with the smirk on his face. “Oh, gawd,” I whined, “you must think I’m an idiot.” He let out a chuckle. “I think you’re adorable.” Standing he pulled me to my feet then took off his jacket swinging it over the back of his chair before sitting again. “No harm, no foul. It was just water. Sit, eat.” He gestured to my chair across from him. I did as he asked and sat back down. Albeit, I slumped into it trying to make myself invisible. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name when Hassim introduce us. I’m Tanner West.” I held my hand with uncertainty across the table. “Pleasure,” he mused enveloping my hand in both of his. “I’m Beckett,” he told me then releasing my hands back to me. “This dessert looks amazing.” “It does,” I looked at the strawberry shortcake strangely. I swear I smelt salted caramel in the kitchen earlier. I glanced over at Beckett’s plate to see if he had a caramel tart, but he had the same dessert as me. Strange. The other tables were also rested with the same dessert, I noticed. So weird there is no caramel anywhere. “Everything okay?” I frowned. “I could swear Cookie, that’s the cook for Alpha House by the way, was making salted caramel tarts for the dessert and I’ve been looking forward to it all afternoon.” Beckett wiped his mouth with his napkin and sat it beside his plate standing again. He held out his hand to me. “Let’s make a stealthy mission to the kitchen to find these delicious caramel wonders. I’m intrigued. I want one now too.” Shaking my head vigorously I shuffled back in my seat away from his offered hand. “Nope. Nah. Uh-uh. No way. That woman can be mean when you mess with her kitchen. You should have seen her when the stove caught on fire when…” The door to our eatery opened and Hassim announced, “There are further desserts and pastries now available in the sitting room for your pleasure.” “Damn,” Beckett whispered, “I thought we were going to get to have some fun.” He rolled his eyes at me. “If I don’t go in there my father will come looking for me.” I stood up following my new friend out of the eatery heading toward the next lot of pastries. I hope the caramel tarts are in there. The thought had me moving a little quicker while we continued our conversation. “Oh, who’s your father?” “Elder Easton.” The man snickered like it was the greatest thing he’d ever heard. “Holy, duly, you’re related to the new Alpha.” That only made Beckett give a deep belly laugh that had everyone looking in our direction. Moving quickly, I jumped behind my new friend so I could be invisible again. But as luck would have it, my foot caught on his and I smacked face first into the floor. I hate this day. Before I could get up a smell gently wafted across my nose. It was a sweet hickory smell with a hint of sandalwood. It smelled so good. Almost like barbecue. Focus dummy, focus. As I was getting up I was offered a hand and I took it. Before I could get my bearings, I was staring at the most beautiful sapphire blue eyes I had ever seen. Not that I’ve really looked into many people’s eyes to begin with. When blue eyes helped me off the floor, I realized that the wonderful smell seemed to be coming from him. Holy Shi...ver me timbers. Mate! He’s my mate. This can’t be happening. I needed to run. To get away from him. He can’t be my mate even his scent is heavenly. Crap, great time to get a boner. Did I mention, I hate this day. Why are my feet not working, why aren’t they working?!?! Now there is laughter, oh my gawd who’s laughing? This is not funny. I chanced a quick glance to see if it was coming from my mate, because that wouldn’t be mortifying at all. But his face was patient and kind and beautiful. So, so, beautiful, I sighed internally trying not to make even more of a spectacle of myself. Which let’s face it, the chances are low I’m getting through this meeting without any emotional scars. Who am I kidding? I bet my graceful face plant to the floor a few minutes ago is going to leave a mark. “Hi, I’m Alpha Easton lovely to meet you, and you are?” Damn his voice is so sexy I could probably melt! Oh gawd, wait, he’s talking to me, isn’t he? What do I say??? He smells so good, and here we go again. My pants pointer is pointing due north – again. Could I possibly be the most embarrassing person on earth? But damn, he does smell oh-so-delicious. I could feel myself leaning toward him to take another whiff of his heavenly scent. But, because I’m me and ridiculous I nearly fell over, but the Alpha caught my arm steadying me back onto my feet. And, with that my mouth started running without my consent. “Hi, I’m your mate.” My eyes going wide at the amused look on his face. “Oh, my frigging gawd. I just said that out loud, didn’t I? I’ll just sink back into oblivion now. Goodbye.” I turned to make a run for it, but my mate grabbed my arm. My mate. The thought made me feel all… funny on the inside, like all schmoopy and stuff. My mate. Swoon. Oh crap, my mate is the new Alpha. H.E.doublehockeysticks. My mom is going to kill me. I’m talking like, literally dead. Yup, D.E.A.D, dead. “We’ll come back to the mate part in a bit, but I’m guessing by the way my brother is laughing his ass off, you must be Tanner West?” “Yes, I am. I’m so sorry about the whole mate thing. I smelled what I thought could’ve been my mate and I just assumed it was you. Guess its true what they say about assuming huh?” But I know the truth. He is my mate. My fated mate. This can’t be happening. Maybe if I act all cool and nonchalant, we can skip over that fact. Because how the jackal is this supposed to work? And, if I could just shut up for more than two seconds it might be easier. “It’s no problem, I had a similar problem already today. Are you ok?” “I’m fine, are you fine?” I rambled. “This must be overwhelming for you. I mean you only arrived yesterday.” I tilted my head trying to remember. “Was it just yesterday? Or have you been here longer. I don’t rem –” Still laughing his stupid ass off, Beckett covered my mouth with his hand. “Stop. Talking.” A man sneering in our direction caught my eye over the Alpha’s shoulder and he does not look happy. All the air whooshed out of my body as I tried to turn in on myself. Apparently, my goal for tonight is to make myself invisible. I licked Becketts hand so he would release my mouth. My friend laughed stepping back while wiping his now saliva ridden hand on his pants while shaking his head. “So gross. You two were made for each other,” he muttered under his breath. The Alpha shocked the hell out of me as he gently ran a finger down the side of my face. “Are you sure you are okay, precious?” Beckett made gagging sounds behind me. Brothers! I think. They’d have to be. I screwed up my nose, did he seriously just call me precious. Ew, gross. Although if he wants to touch me again… my skin still feels all hot and tingly from where his fingers were touching me. Okay, now I’m nervous again. My mate touched me, it may have only been my face, but it was definitely touching and my lion is ecstatic about it – so is my stupid pants pointer. “I’m fine,” I promised, “except, um… who is that creepy looking guy over there who looks like he stepped in dog crap?” Rush checked over his shoulder then turning back to me looking slightly uncomfortable, and to prove his discomfort he wouldn’t meet my gaze. “Oh, um that would be my father, the honourable Elder Easton” Falafel. My. Life. “I am so sorry, I didn’t mean it, he’s not really creepy, he looks dapper? I mean it. I like the way he isn’t afraid to wear the toupee, even if doesn’t match his real hair. And, and, and, his suit is so–” “No, creepy is accurate,” Rush said stoically as if it was what he actually thought about his father himself, “of course I always thought he was perpetually sucking on a lemon and that’s why his face looks that way, but I like your description better. Believe me he stares at everyone like that.” Gawd really. That’s scary. “Oh, thank goodness,” I said followed by releasing a gush of air in relief. “I thought that might influence your decision and you would kick us out and then it would be all my fault and then my sister would hate me because they have a bunch of friends here and–” “Hey, breathe. It’s ok. I like the honesty. All day today except for you and your mother its been nothing but yes alpha, whatever you want alpha, and everybody just says what they think I want to hear. Its refreshing for once. Besides, I’m not like my dad I try to consider every factor before making a huge decision. If he had his way you would have already been out the door.” Thank goodness he’s not a total tally whacker. His dad sure sounds like one. Hopefully, he’ll let us stay. I wouldn’t mind getting to know him a bit better. I could have sworn though that I smelled my mates scent coming from him. And… oh pooh, oh pooh, oh pooh! “He’s coming over here,” I whisper shouted at my mate in a panic, “what do I do? Should I go? Play dead?” I looked around for a quick get-away. You know because my luck runs that way. And the creepy man is almost here. “Holy duly he’s getting close.” I knew it, the second the man was within two feet of us I froze. Like a damn statue. Pity it wasn’t in a cool pose. No. I froze like a flailing fish taking its last breath in the ice age. The closer the man got the stronger his scent became and pee-ew. He smelled like a dead fish from the ice age and pepper. And not a nice pepper, I’m talking cheap crushed black pepper. My mate’s father, or ‘Elder Easton’, leaned into my Alpha’s ear whispering something curtly, it looks like, as he sneered at me with his beady little dead fisheyes. Alpha winced slightly, but I could tell he was trying to not let his reaction show. That made my lion roar. I let out a roar that could only be heard near us as I bared my teeth at the man for upsetting my mate. Gawd, my mate. Is he? Whatever this is thing is we have a connection and I don’t want anyone upsetting him. Elder Easton shoved Rush out of the way stepping into my personal space with his ugly off-white teeth clenched. “I’ll have you put into the cages if you don’t watch yourself, omega. You are no longer royal, only a pathetic little peasant. Do I make myself clear?” Is that pee, I think I just peed a little. Gawd. The scent of the man wafted up my nose as I tried to stand my ground wondering why Rush or Beckett hadn’t stepped in. The pepper scent tickled at my nostrils. My nose twitched at the irritation. An evil grin slowly emerged on Elder Easton’s face when my answer took too long to come. I opened my mouth and… “A-choo!” Aaaah! Oh no, oh no, oh no. There is snot on his face and a booger. Oh, my gawd, the sting behind my eyes jerked me into reacting to my horrified mortification. I shifted and ran; I didn’t care who or what I was knocking over. “Ooops, sorry.” “Excuse me.” “Move!” “Oh, falafel, was that an Elders urn.” I just heard the other guests and ambient noise as I ran. “Watch it!” “What the…” “Crash.” “Bang!” Bugger me sideways. Running through the door to the sitting room I headed for the doors to the patio which led out to the garden and beyond, the woods. An almighty roar came from the direction I’d run from. I moved that much quicker… Ooooh! Caramel Tarts! As I run past the table next to the door I snatched one of those bad boys into my mouth. Unfortunately, it also included the tablecloth and the rest of those delicious caramelly sweets went flying. I didn’t stop though. I must look a sight running for my life with a stark white tablecloth flapping in the wind behind me. I’m not stopping though until I run out of air, energy, or woods. ***** I’d shifted back when I couldn’t breathe anymore, and my muscles felt like water. Laying the tablecloth on the ground in front of a big tree I sat leaning up against it with my bare bum on the starchy material. Beats getting poked in the bottom by whatever is on the ground. I hoed into my caramel tart like it was the last thing I’d ever eat. Just as I put the final piece into my mouth, I heard heavy paws thudding and vibrating the ground. Instead of panicking I let my head flop back to the tree trunk behind me because I had nothing more to give. I couldn’t move now let alone trying to escape. Sitting with my eyes closed I waited with bated breath for whoever had been sent for me. I can never go back there willingly; they are going to have to carry me. Is it just me? Or is it getting hot? My skin is itchy. I don’t remember seeing any poison oak, did I? A bead of sweat ran down my forehead, I wiped it away as the pitchfork and torch brigade came close enough that my curiosity forced my eyes open. Would I meet my maker? Or would it be the new Alpha, maybe? Nope, just Milo, Trek, and a third I didn’t recognize. They shifted back and… son of a biscuit – Beckett. Falafel my life. The sympathetic expressions on my best friends faces as they came closer told me exactly what they were going to say. But Beckett, he looked like he wanted to give me a proper medal and throw me a parade. I think I’m going to like him. If I was staying that is. He stood in front of me with his arms crossed over his chest with the biggest grin on his face. “I’m not going back. Just make sure the Alpha doesn’t kick mom and my sister’s out of the pride?” I gave Milo a look that said ‘Don’t mess with me. I’m mad. Roar.’ Trek moved closer to me crouching down to my level but sprung back up suddenly. His head was leaning forward and down, his eyes as big as saucers as he stared at Beckett’s crotch. “What the hell do you feed that thing?” Trek asked incredulously. I can see why, his tally whacker is huuuuge. Like, large zoo animal huge. Oh no, if Rush is my mate and that appendage runs in the family… Oh my, I’m gonna need a whole set of butt plugs in varying sizes just to work my way up to something that big. It will never fit. Oh, my gawd, it’s so hot out here. Fanning my face trying to cool down I watched Milo lean around Beckett and tilt his head to get a good view of that… that… tally whacker. Could it even be called that? Holy duly, I’m gonna need stitches. Beckett looked down the front of himself frowning, the moment it dawned on him what they were talking about he stood back up straight with his chest puffed out. He proudly crossed his arms over his chest again and with a nod of his head and a smirk on his face, said, “Anyone single and under fifty.” Milo and Trek groaned somewhat disappointed in the answer. “Guys, I’m not going back,” I told them again. Milo’s focus turned to me with another quick incredulous glance at Beckett’s stuff. He shook his quickly in disbelief. “You have to come back, Tanner. This is your home.” “No,” I whined like a petulant child. “I can’t, I’m mortified. He had a booger on his face Miles. A booger.” I whined again flopping dramatically down on to the cloth to hide my face. More sounds of thundering paws came from the pride. The three men stood in front of me quickly shielding me from whomever was coming at us. They were alert and ready for a fight. Just like that, without question they had my back. Two more lions appeared quickly slowing as they shifted. I watched through the open stance of Milo’s legs. The bigger warrior stepped forward. “King Alpha Rush has summoned Tanner West. Release him into our custody.” That was Silus, I didn’t like him in school and I don’t like him now. He’s a bully, and a… word I don’t like to use but it’s sort of sounds like Rick but without the silent P. Beckett answered. “Stand down.” His alpha tone had the two betas take a step back with a reluctant ever so slight baring of their necks to the King’s brother. “You’ll bring him back now, don’t make us come back up here,” Silus announced like he had the authority to order anyone around. Anyone would think he was king. Jerk face. “We’ll be there when we get there,” Beckett said through clenched teeth turning his back as if to dismiss them. Milo and Trek didn’t turn around to face me until the two warriors had left. Beckett took a step forward holding his hand out to help me off the ground. “Come on new friend. Let’s get a booger on.” He laughed. “Sorry, I mean lets boogie.” “Jerk face,” I groaned. He ruffled my hair. “Don’t be too upset. On the bright side, that was the best damn thing I’ve ever witnessed. So, thank you.” Falafel!
  6. The first two chapters of Seb and Beau are published. Let me know if you like it.

    Joh

    1. chris191070

      chris191070

      Love the rewrite, seems much more polished.

  7. Hi everyone,

    Just to let you all know I am pulling Seb and Beau and starting from scratch. The story will be sort of the same but there will be more actually story including background of Seb and Beau. I hope you still enjoy it. 

    Hope the start to 2020 has been good for all.

    Joh xx

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Bndmetl

      Bndmetl

      Missed you guys too. :hug:

    3. Rndmrunner

      Rndmrunner

      welcome back dear friend

    4. Bndmetl

      Bndmetl

      Thanks Rick. Hope you had a great holiday period.

  8. Bndmetl

    Chapter 4 - Brady

    It's not chickenshit, it's damn scary. The unknown, the sense of self worth that comes with family and friends, not wanting to lose everything, and at seventeen we don't have a fall back plan if those you love turn their back. I get it. I feel for anyone in that situation under any circumstances. I'm glad you made it through the other side. If it's hard for a fully grown self sufficient adult to do, no one can judge a teenager for being scared. I know I certainly don't. And from me and John, thank you. We're glad you are enjoying the story.
  9. The last thing I thought would ever happen is the Royal King, Alpha West, would die without a blood family member in succession for the shifting of the crown. The traditions are finicky, but if his omega son had a male alpha child the crown would have been shifted to him. And here comes the bullshit part, if the child was twenty-five when the king either passed or decided to shift the crown. Under normal circumstances, if his son had been born an alpha he would have taken the crown. If his omega son had a child who was twenty-five the crown would have stayed in the family and I would have been free to pursue the life I had always dreamed about. That isn’t my luck though. No. I am to be the next Royal King. The pride will address me as Alpha Easton. Shifters outside of our pride will address me as King Easton. It’s all very confusing and it hurts my head when I think about it. I’m just unlucky my birthday was four months ago. If King West had passed before my twenty-fifth birthday it would have been my father being shifted the crown and not me. Not that its what I wanted to happen, it’s just really bad timing. If I got my wish Alpha West would still be alive. I don’t regret for one second crawling through the stacks checking every precedent and traditional law looking for a loop hole finding a way to successfully decline the crown, but short of dying… I’m screwed. To keep myself busy so I wouldn’t do something stupid, I pulled out one of the several suits I owned to wear to dinner tonight at the Royal Manor – ‘Alpha House.’ Alpha West’s family stilled occupied the residence, or manor, or palace, depending on your view I suppose. We were to have dinner with them tonight, and I had a big decision to make. Do I let them stay as part of the pride or do I formerly ask them to vacate from pride land? I’d snuck off earlier to meet with the former Royal Alpha Mate earlier today so I could meet the family before dinner. I wanted to catch them off guard a little to see how they handled themselves. Now I feel a little guilty because I upset the Alpha Mate which was not my intention. She settled rather quickly and talked my ear off about her late mate and her children. Her words were warm and kind. The Alpha Mate is all heart, comfort, and kindness. Not once did she make me feel unwelcome. Her fondness for the pride, and her family shone like the stars in the sky. I thought she may have been a little standoffish with me, but nope, the way she spoke was like it was her duty to try and sell me on the job as the Royal King. A complete shock to me after expecting the worst. “Hey, Rush.” Damn I’m going to miss being called by my name. My brother sauntered into the room without a care in the world flopping down onto the bed, a half-eaten apple in one hand and scrolling through his phone with the other. “By all means brat, make yourself at home,” I grumbled. He looked around the room smirking. “Damn, this place is nice for the guest cottage, huh?” I grunted my answer agreeing with him at the same time trying to decide which suit to wear. “So, once you are shifted the crown will that make me a prince?” He chuckled. “That would be super cool. I’d get all the tail –” “No, you will not be playing your way through all the singles under fifty.” I told him firmly. “Unfortunately, we have to behave a certain way now, Beckett.” My brother mumbled something under his breath that I didn’t catch. Probably best that I didn’t. Sighing I dropped the shirt that I was inspecting onto the bed then sat down next to my brother, so he knew he had all of my attention. “I know this isn’t what we wanted Beck, but we’ve known all our lives this was a possibility.” My brother watched me without giving away a single emotion on his face. I wish I had that ability. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blessed that way. Every. Single. Thing. I felt showed on my face and if someone was paying close enough attention, they’d know exactly what I was feeling at the time. “Besides, you only have three more years and you’re free to leave of your own volition. I won’t fight you on it either. No matter what dad says, I have your back. At least one of us gets the life they wanted.” I added sullenly. Beckett sat up quickly his hands grabbing my forearms pulling me closer to him and staring into my eyes. “But what about you, Rush? You wanted to be a writer, are you just going to let your dreams die? Can’t you write under a pen name? It’s all you’ve ever talked about since we were cubs.” I stood quickly sliding my arms from his grip, turning quickly so he couldn’t read my face. My gut churned at the thought of never being able to write again. “I doubt I’ll ever have time to do any. From what I’ve been taught my whole life as I was being groomed to be the Royal King, just about every minute of every day is accounted for. When would I find the time?” “Pfft, that’s a crock of shit. You’re going to be the Royal King, make the powers that be block out time for you to write.” Beckett was passionate when he spoke. It was food or thought anyway, maybe it would be possible. “Hmm, we’ll see.” I watched my brother for a moment as he spun the apple in his hand searching where his next bite would land. He wanted to say something but was holding back. “What?” I asked slightly amused. “Are you… do you… you are going to let the Wests stay in the pride aren’t you?” He asked biting into his apple so he didn’t have to look at me. “I met Alpha West’s daughters, Annette and Lynette today. They are so sweet, Rush. You have to let them stay. I haven’t met the son yet though, Banner, or Zanner, or whatever his name is. Surely he’d be just as cute and adorable as his sisters.” I pointed at my brother. “No, you stay away from those ladies.” I felt my lips tugging at the sides, trying my best not to smile. “And the brother. His name is Tanner by the way. And yes I will be asking them to stay.” Scaring the absolute crap out of me, Beckett jumped from the bed whooping and wrapping himself around me in a bear hug. “You’re the best.” He smacked a kiss to my cheek. “You won’t regret it. I promise.” Then he smirked. “Well… except for the giant toddler sized hissy fit dad is going to throw.” He put his arms out wide. “I’m talking like a tragic pre-teen meltdown. It’s going to be epic.” Don’t I know it. A laugh bubbled out of me, this time I shocked the hell out of my brother. “Did you just laugh?” He looked at me moving his head back so he could examine me. Looking me up and down for a moment before shaking his head. “Nah, that didn’t happen. Do you even know how to laugh, or have you forgotten? Shit, did that hurt?” He walked toward the door bewildered. “That had to have hurt, those muscles have probably atrophied by now.” When he reached the hallway he looked left then right, leaned to the left then about faced leaving to the right, pointing in the direction he wanted to go. “Clown.” I mumbled amusedly to myself – until I saw the apple core he’d left to go brown on the side table next to the bed. “Such a brat.” <<<<>>>> It wouldn’t be known by looking at me but climbing the stairs to the Royal Manor has me quivering in my expensive Italian shoes. When we first set out for dinner, I’d been confident in how I would present myself. However, that was hard to maintain with my father yammering demands at the speed of light the entire way here. “Are you listening to me? You need to stand firm. The Wests need to depart the pride. Have a damn parade for them if you want, but they cannot stay. It will make you look weak. Is that how you want to start out our leadership?” Our? Is he fucking kidding? I didn’t even bother answering just slyly side eyed my father. He grabbed me by the arm roughly so he would be sure to have my attention. I would usually tell him what he wanted to hear, but I’d decided earlier after giving my brother’s words some thought: Beckett was right, I’ll be the Royal King. Alpha Easton. I was going to make my own decisions about what I thought was right. Sometimes that would be in consultation with the elders or council. Sometimes I plan to do what I think is right or in the best interest of the pride or shifter kind. I’ve been around at least long enough, educated enough, maybe not prepared enough but that was my own view. But, the second I let my father start dictating my leadership was the day he would start taking it for granted. Saving me from the wrath of Elder Easton. That makes me laugh. He’s going to hate that. My father is only eighty-four years old, in shifter years that’s young. But now he would be referred to as an elder and I know for sure that’s going to piss him off. Beckett is going to salivate every time he hears someone call our father, Elder. A portly gentleman in a tuxedo greeted us. “Alpha Easton,” he said in a warm voice baring his neck out of respect, “it’s nice to see you again.” This is going to take some getting used to. I could feel my father’s temperature rise, I knew it was for two reasons. First, the man had addressed me and not him, and second, he now knew that I’d already been to the manor without him. I swear I could hear Beckett snickering behind me. “Welcome, please allow me.” He gestured forth. “It’s nice to see you again too, Hassim.” The fact that I’d addressed ‘the help’ in such a casual fashion had my father’s ire sitting right at the surface. He’d had this whole thing planned out. I wasn’t playing along and he was not happy about it. Not one bit. I think he thought he’d be controlling me throughout my leadership, the man behind the man, so to speak. I’m not doing it to piss him off, but the man is cold and self-serving. Our views don’t align on many topics. So, I need to stand my ground early. Hassim led us to a sitting room just off the dining room. There were plenty of the usual dignitaries and their mates gathered in small groups chatting. Most had a glass of wine, some a few fingers of scotch in their glasses. The guards in the room stood at attention with a clap of their shoes on the floor as their stance changed baring their necks for three seconds. The standard to show their respect. This however grabbed the rooms attention with the entire crowd showing respect. That’s when the scent hit me, I nearly drop to my knees. The faint sweet smell of vanilla and coconut. Mate. I searched the crowd quickly with my eyes seeking out the one I was destined to have as mine. It short circuited my brain momentarily until Hassim announced our arrival. As soon as the introductions were made, I’d be finding who belonged to that delicious sweet scent. I had been taught to ignore distractions, to keep my cool under pressure. They never told me what a distraction the scent of you true mate would be. Since finding your true mate is rare, I guess they didn’t think it was worth worrying about. I’d be changing that soon enough. The only thing I could do now was persevere with the evening until I came across my mate. Hassim left the room taking Beckett with him. Under twenty-fives were not permitted at the meals for formal gatherings. Something we were accustomed to when we’d been dragged to formal occasions. He would be taken to another room with any other under twenty-fives to have his dinner. How I envied him in that moment. The brat winked at me with a smirk when he turned to follow out of the room. I wonder if my first royal order for my brother to face the firing squad would be a sign of weakness? “Stop fidgeting,” said my father discreetly elbowing me. My first stop was greeting the Alpha Mate and pass on my condolences publicly. The woman was as welcoming and warm as she had been when I’d met her earlier in the day. She introduced us to the pride’s legal team for human interactions. They must have been discussing something before I’d interrupted. Not wanting to take up too much of her time I made my polite excuses to let them get back to their discussion. Standing up straight I undid the buttons of my suit jacket to get comfortable which earned me the stink eye from Elder Easton. Yeah, that’s never going to get old. I could feel my lion laughing his ass off in my head. Spirits, that scent is distracting. I searched the room once more while my father dragged me from one small gathering to the next exchanging pleasantries and trying to get me to agree on my leadership decisions. I gave nothing away and let him prattle on and on while I tried to search out my mate. The scent was faint, but it was there. Maybe it’s one of the staff. Things got a little better as we were ushered into the formal dining room. My father and I were seated opposite each other, thank the spirits. At least from there he couldn’t spout nonsense in my ear all night. I was seated next to the pride doctor and his mate on one side and the Lieutenant in charge of the warriors on the other. The dinner was stiff and short on conversation at first. Just the regular get to know you questions throughout the meal. Where’s your mother? We don’t talk about that – ever. Do you have an omega father too? How old was I? How were my accommodations? Did I like the pride and people so far? Once dinner wound down the harder questions and conversation started flowing around the table. I tried to keep silent. That is until I heard my father talking with the man next to him. I hadn’t had the pleasure before the meal for an introduction. “No, no. I don’t think it’s right. The Wests seem like nice people but it’s not appropriate for them to stay in the pride. Alpha Easton will take care of it in the appropriate manner,” He said with certainty to the man next to him. What wasn’t appropriate was the volume at which this news was delivered to the entire room. Narrowing my eyes at my father I cleared my throat loudly with intention of grabbing his attention. I made sure my voice stayed even and calm. Inside I was a duck on pond. Those little legs treading water a mile a minute. “This is not the appropriate time nor place for this conversation. My decision will be given to the Alpha Mate in private. I have yet shared my thoughts with anyone on this matter, so please don’t make any assumptions.” I glared at my father, turning my focus to the Alpha Mate. “Please accept my apologies, maybe we could continue the line of inquiry after the guests have departed. I assure you, there is nothing to be concerned about.” Again, I could feel the daggers my father was throwing at me across the table. It would have more affect on me if I wasn’t so used to his bark. “Thank you, Alpha Easton.” I’ve got to give it to the woman, she is a strong, no nonsense woman. Her eyes a little glassy but she held herself together nicely. “It will be nice to know one way or the other.” She gave me a warm smile and signalled for the dinner plates to be cleared. “Shall we bring the young ones into the sitting room for a little dessert and something sweet for the adults?” What I think she actually meant was more booze. Which isn’t surprising after my father managed to suck all the air out of the room. The man is going to be a political nightmare the way he voices his opinion as if it were my own. Why couldn’t I have been born into a regular family with regular struggles? We were all given a drink and the opportunity to help ourselves to the buffet of sweet pastries and cakes before the young ones were brought into the room. I stood off to the side silently mortified by my father. Although I’d already made my mind up to let the West family stay in the pride after meeting the Alpha Mate earlier, it would no longer look like my own decision. If I asked them to leave it would look like my father was controlling me. If I asked them to stay it would seem like I was a defiant petulant child trying to get my father’s attention. Apparently trying to appear invisible and being invisible are two very different things. The Lieutenant of the warriors had sort me out. I thought maybe he wanted to just chat, but no, he came to question me about his place in the pride. He approached baring his neck for the standard. “So how are you finding things so far?” He asked rocking back and forth on the heels of his feet while holding two fingers of scotch. I think he was trying to appear accommodating, but I took it for the tactic it was. Intimidation. “Good,” I stood solidly reminding him I was about to be the leader of all shifter kind. And since he’d barely spared me a word throughout dinner I cut to the chase. “What can I do for you, Lieutenant?” The man didn’t like being called on his shit stuttering anxiously before spitting out his question. “Well, as tradition stands, your brother should be the lieutenant. Is this going to happen?” Blunt, I like it. Maybe this guy isn’t as much of an ass as I thought. “No.” I said firmly. “My brother has other plans for his education and vocation in life. I wish for him to follow that path.” I didn’t give away any further information as it wasn’t my place to say and he didn’t need to know. “Oh,” he answered with relief. “Your place is secure, Lieutenant. I see no reason for you to be concerned.” He bared his neck again. “Thank you, Alpha Easton. I promise you’ll be impressed, and you can count on my loyalty.” “Thank you,” I said tipping my head receptively, the man thanked me again before moving on. I had no doubt I’d be impressed. I’d done the research I knew everything about everyone who served under Royal leadership. Right down to the staff of the manor. The Lieutenant was a genius in tactical assault and strategic planning. It would be a disservice to let him go and to the detriment of the pride. Only a megalomaniac would dismiss the man. Beckett appeared at my side the same time the vanilla and coconut scent hit my nasal passage. He stood next to me silently observing the room for a few moments. I was grateful because I couldn’t take my eyes off the strawberry blond making his way through the crowd. His eyes glanced my way every few feet and then shift away when I caught him looking. Mate. “Did you mean what you said? About me following my own path?” My brother shook my shoulder vying for my attention, but I couldn’t seem to take my eyes off the beautiful blond man. “Yes. Who is that?” I discreetly pointed with my chin. “Huh?” Beckett turned to where I’d indicated and smiled. “Oh, that’s Tanner West. He was my dinner companion. I think even you’d like him. He’s adorably dorky, and crazy smart.” “He’s too young to be my mate,” I said distractedly watching every single move my mate made. He is everything I could ever want. His ash blond hair accompanied with beautiful bright green eyes. So bright in fact I could still make out the color from across the room. He’s shorter than me but not so short I’d have to nuzzle into his neck with an uncomfortable contortion of my own. The way he wore that tux, mother of fate what have you done. “What?” Beckett asked using a cough to cover his laugh. “You want him to be your mate?” “No,” I snarled, “he is my mate.” “This night just keeps getting better and better. Dad is going to have an aneurism over this.” My brother chuckled silently next to me. He cleared his throat quickly trying to hold back his mirth when my gaze shifted to him promising a painful end. “Congratulations, Alpha.”
  10. They are coming, I promise!
  11. There is nothing like the feeling of the wind rushing through my coat and whiskers, the sound of my paws pounding on along the ground covering underneath me. The smell of the fresh forest air. The adrenalin high that can only be achieved by going for a run after a long day. It’s the purest form of freedom I have ever experienced. The forest area behind pride land is home, familiar, and my favourite place. It’s where I grew up, where I first figured out how to shift, how to chase squirrels and snack on bunnies. Mmm… bunnies. No Tanner, focus. It is where I had my first kiss with fourteen-year-old big bosomed Nataly Pritchard. Yick. Yuck. Icky. Gross. It’s also where I worked out it was dicks for me. Great, now I’m horny too. Fabulous. Afternoon runs like this with my two best friends, Milo and Trek, who are currently nipping at my heels giving chase, is something I will miss the most when I leave the pride. Maybe we won’t have to leave, bah, who am I kidding? I can pretend and hope for the best, for now if I don’t voice my fears maybe they won’t come true. I saw the log coming, I did, but I swear sometimes the universe is just laughing at me. Leaping into the air sailing effortlessly over it; what I didn’t see was the low hanging branch as I looked over my shoulder to see how close my friends were. THWAP!! Somersaulting ass over tit two or three times from the momentum, sliding to a stop with a snout full of ground cover. We’d been running balls out just like when we were cubs, yipping, nipping, shoving each other into the scrub, having an absolute careless time acting like we were ten-years-old again. I could hear my friends laughing in my head. “Shit! That hurt.” I groaned rolling over onto my side taking a mental inventory of every ache, bruise, and scape. Coughing, sneezing, and spluttering trying to get the dirt and undergrowth out of my mouth. “Tsk, tsk, young Tanner. Always face forward when you’re on a run. Will you never learn?” Trek teased standing over the top of me his stupid lion eyes dancing with amusement. With a constant array of sneezes I jumped up onto four legs growling playfully at Trek. Even in lion form he towered over me, seeing he is a alpha that’s not surprising. I didn’t back down, I simply launched at him grabbing the skin on his neck between my teeth nipping at him. He spun around causing me to lose balance tumbling back to the ground. I sprang up in the air, he nudged my side with the top of his head slamming me back into the grass. We’ve been friends since our first day of school at the shifter academy. Our friendship bond is strong, it got us through school and college. Both of my friends are alpha’s. Milo is the perfect enforcer, strong, loyal, unshakable. He’s a born warrior, calm in the face of any situation. Trek is everything required from a Beta Duce – not to be confused with a beta – second in command. Just like our Milo he’s strong, loyal, stoic, but he has a protective streak a mile long. If I had have been born an alpha I would have taken over the pride after my dad died, Milo and Trek would have been my choice for Beta Duce and Enforcer. The two shifters I could count on more than anything. “You’re such a sucker!” Trek sang dancing over the top of me on all fours. “Get off me you big bully.” “Don’t pout, Tanner, it’s unbecoming of a royal. Where are your social graces?” Trek snickered. A long-standing joke between the three of us. See, I was born into shifter royalty. Growing up it was hard to tell if people were my friend because of my family or because they wanted to be my friend. That’s okay though, Milo and Trek made sure that the former didn’t hang around long. They have a way of taking out the trash. It was always us three against the world. Well our tiny world anyway, I couldn’t ask for better friends. Anyone would think I’m an alpha the way the two alpha’s have my back. But no, I’m an omega. The first and only son born to Alpha Elias West. Our family has been the head of the shifter council for the last three, no, four generations. Thanks to my dad’s position at the head of the shifter community, well king actually would be correct; he’d been able to make some changes. The way things are for male omega’s has improved since I was born. Father – is how I addressed him in public until I reached of age then he became Alpha West – made sure that male omegas were no longer shunned, banished, or killed by their prides, streaks, packs, whatever the case may be. Once upon a time when a male cub presented as an omega at roughly two years old they would be discarded from their pride, some were even put to death. Alpha West passed a law making this illegal under shifter law; it went a long way for me to be accepted in our pride. Father was smart he had this law passed just after I was born. By the time I presented as an omega, things had changed some but has only improved with recently over time. As mother tells it, father had this law passed in case I was an omega. He told my mother that he’d give up being king and disappear with me if the law didn’t pass and I presented as an omega. Leadership can’t be handed down to an omega, royalty or not. I hung my head at Trek’s last words, sullen, and withdrawn again. His statement was meant to be a joke but it only brought to the forefront of why they’d brought me out here. “Shit, Trek. Take it easy buddy! Spirits of the universe what were you thinking?” Milo admonished our friend. Poor Trek stuttered and mumbled around in my head. I didn’t want him to feel bad; I knew he didn’t mean anything by it. It’s not his fault my family find themselves in these circumstances. Sidling up to my friend I rubbed the side of my head along his, tipping my nose under his mouth tossing it up gently until he licked the side of mine. “Sorry, Tanner,” he said sadly, “I didn’t–” “I know you didn’t. We better get back so we can meet the new Alpha.” The three of us lazily dawdled for a couple of minutes. I’m not sure what’s going through their heads but mine is full. The way tradition stands with the reign being turned over to the next family in succession, my family might be homeless this afternoon. It’s up to the new alpha whether we can stay in the pride or not. I kind of understand why a new reigning alpha would want us to leave. My family has had leadership for so long it might be difficult for him having our family around. Father was well respected and loved by all shifters around the country. He was a kind man, empathetic to the plight of all shifters trying to live among humankind. My father fought tooth and claw to bring the laws out of the dark ages but still stay just this side of conservative. I’m hoping that the new Alpha will let my family stay. Mom grew up in this pride as did me and my sisters. Dad was smart with money leaving us plenty to live on; mom won’t ever have to work. That and she’ll get father’s death benefits from the council for the rest of her life. It will decrease once my youngest sister turns twenty-five but it will still be a generous amount. Enough for mom to live on anyway even if we have to leave pride land and live among the humans or find another pride. “Are you worried about the new Alpha?” Milo asked. “A little. It is what it is. We can’t change the law. All we can do is hold out hope. I don’t want to leave you guys.” I answered. “We’ll come with you.” Trek pushed me strong enough to knock me into Milo. “You can’t do that your mom would go ballistic. Plus don’t you have the heat for Mastela? I heard she’s been asking around about you.” I teased my friend. “What? No thanks. Now if her brother was interested on the other paw, I might just consider it. But then again, I hope to find my fated mate.” Trek looked away wistfully. Milo and I exchanged liony grins. You’d never know it by looking at him, but Trek is the romantic out of the three of us. He’s talked about finding his fated mate since we were kids. His parents were fated, as were mine, but Milo’s were not. His mother left when he was young after she found her fated mate; leaving his father with two young sons to raise. Don’t get me wrong his mother is very lovely. Not many can resist the pull of a fated mate. So I hear, anyway. It was a very bad time for our friend, things are better for his family now; it was a long time ago. Enough of this melancholy bullshit. “Race ya,” I called out sprinting away from my friends. After getting my hind end whipped by my friends racing for home, I entered through the kitchen of Alpha House. It dawned on me it will be one of the last times I’ll be able to do it. Even if the new Alpha lets us stay in the pride we’ll still have to move from here. Cookie, that’s our cook, my sister gave her the nickname when we were kids and it stuck. Her real name is Charlette, or Charlie to her friends. Cookie currently preparing tonight’s dinner for the welcome feast for our new Alpha. I’m not sure what she’s making but it smells heavenly. Salted caramel, cinnamon, and sugar. The rest of the kitchen staff gently tilted their heads at me as is traditional etiquette when showing respect to the royal family. I gave my customary slight head nod in return. They won’t speak to me directly unless I approach them but Cookie is a different story. She’s been working for my family since before I was born has been like an honorary aunt or something my entire life. “Mmm, Cookie. What’s for dessert? Is there enough to try some now? It smells delicious.” I asked hopefully. Cookie stopped cutting the vegetables resting her knife on the counter before wiping her hands on the apron wrapped around her waist. “Nothing yet. I haven’t started on dessert.” She clucked her tongue in annoyance. “Good afternoon to you too, Tanny Boy.” She said in her Irish accent, moving around the island in the middle of the kitchen to wrap me in a hug. “You’re a mess, boy. Go shower before anyone sees ya. You want to make a good impression on the new Alpha, youngen’. It’s a good thing ya came now lad, the alpha was here not five minutes ago to introduce himself to ya ma.” “Yes, ma’am.” I smiled at her back as she got to work chopping the vegetables. “I’ll be back to help in a little bit.” I stole a couple of strawberries from a punnet on the counter as I made my way out of the kitchen. “See that ya are, or there’ll be no dessert for you Tanny Boy…” I laughed moving quickly deeper into the house popping the stolen strawberries into my mouth. The berry popped and the sweet flavor covered my taste buds eliciting a moan of pure delight. After my shower and some clean attire of old clothes I ventured back down to the kitchen. It was a delicious haven of heavenly aromas from the beef roasting in the oven and the sautéed vegetables. “Arr, ya back. Lovely, I can see that beautiful face of yours. Wash ya hands with the sanitizer and ya can start with kneading the dough for the pie crust.” Cookie added some herbs to the vegetables lifting the pan from the burner swishing it around. “Yes, ma’am.” I got to work as she’d asked. Since I’m an omega and gay there’s every chance I will end up mated to an Alpha so I wanted to be able to cook for him, take care of him, any way I knew how. If it will be my fated mate which is what I’m hoping, he’ll want to do the same for me. I don’t want to be a disappointment to my mate; fated or not. Cookie leaned over my shoulder watching me with the dough. “Hmpf, very good.” Although her tone said otherwise. “Ya can put that in the fridge, lad. Then you can start melting down the chocolate for the strawberries.” I covered the dough and put it into the refrigerator then leaned on the counter to watch Cookie. “I can hear the wheels turnin’ in that noggin of yours. Spit it out youngen’.” I fidgeted with the sleeve of my shirt, Cookie took my hand holding it in hers forcing me to meet her gaze. “Do you think it would be possible, if the alpha says we can stay, it would be possible to let me sneak back here with you sometimes.” Her posture relaxed and her face softened, she lifted her free hand to hold my chin. “Lad, you will always be welcome in this kitchen and with me.” “Thank you, Cookie.” I said around the lump in my throat. If the alpha doesn’t let us stay I have no idea what I’m going to do. My whole life is here, my friends, the pride, everything. I may be young, starting over shouldn’t or wouldn’t be a big deal; but it is. I’ve never considered for one minute that I might have to leave here. All my plans for the future are based on living here, in this pride, on this land.
  12. Change is coming, for Tanner this could mean losing everything. After his father, King West, passes away and being an omega the crown cannot be shifted to him so the next reigning family is to take over - The Eastons - and the new King will decide whether they can stay or if they are to be banished. Rush is to be King. He had plans, he wanted to be a writer, find his fated mate, and have a family. It was a simple life, but one he longed for. Figuring out they were fated mates is the easy part, learning to navigate the relationship and the war ahead is going to be challenging.
  13. Bndmetl

    Chapter 21

    Ember The last couple of months have been amazing. Once me and Brady sat down and talked we worked through all the shit of the past. We’re now closer now than ever. Our connection grows stronger everyday along with the love I feel for him. Katie and Novy have been wonderful about the relationship. I expected Katie to be a little standoffish as she had been very upset about their parents split and betrayed on behalf of her mother when Brady came out. But to my surprise she’s been supportive, even visited a few times so she can get to know me. That totally blew me away. “Boys don’t damage the door with that bed frame,” I said shaking my head at AJ and Novy. They both looked to what they were carrying as it tipped sideways. “BOYS!!” “Sorry,” they both mumbled coming further into the house. Justin had finally kicked his good for nothing ex-boyfriend out of his house and had moved back into it. That’s when I asked Brady to move in. Novy is taking Justin’s old bedroom and of course Brady into my room. We’d been out to buy a new bed for Novy since he didn’t have one. Nothing fancy, just a simple but stylish repurposed wood frame. Of course, the store over charges for delivery and the wait is two to three weeks for it. But if you can take it with you, you can get it now no charge… well except to touch up the damages from these two knuckleheads. I remember when stores used to bend over backwards for your business, deliver it, and set it up. Not anymore. No, they favour the illusion to the customer that they’re saving money. Whack up the price then discount the product, end of service. The bed head banged against the wall trying to get it into the Novy’s room. Brady shot daggers at the boys biting his tongue while holding the other end of the mattress to me. The boys were holding up the job with their less than enthusiastic gusto for the task. He rolled his eyes, shaking his head mouthing, ‘Sorry.’ He is so damn gorgeous all I could do is give him a half-cocked smile and shrug a shoulder. Finally, we got into the room and set up the bed; only took us an hour and a few swear words, while the boys stood by watching intermittently while playing on their phones. It probably was more helpful they stayed out of the way. “Uncle E, I’ve gotta pick up Ember from daycare. It’s cool if I leave right?” AJ asked hesitantly. “Sure mate, off you go.” I waved my hand dismissively. “I’m coming with,” Novy called out chasing after his best friend. “Novy,” Brady called out right before we heard the front door close with a bang. He gave me a shrug and his mouth cocked in cheeky smile. “Hmm, house to ourselves. Nothing to do. What ever will we do with our time?” “Hard and fast over the back of the couch - naked?” “Yes!” Brady hissed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him move so fast while taking off his clothes down the hallway. “I’ve got the lube,” he called over his shoulder, hopping while attempting to rid himself of his pants. Over his shoes, mind you. Yep, this living together thing is going to work out perfectly. ***** “For christ’s sake; why am I so nervous?” asking aloud while pulling up in front of the Cameron’s work. My eyes glued to the outside of the building that housed the biggest of the fire houses in our town. I guess we considered it the main one. It had been the first one in town and the others were added when the population of town outgrew the support they could provide. Opening the console between the seats I felt around for the ring to show Cam. I don’t know why but I felt like I needed his okay for me to ask Brady to marry me. I know traditionally I should talk to his father, but with the way our parents have been acting since they found out about me and Brady, I honestly couldn’t care less whether they approve or not. A fire truck was parked just outside of the large doors, five or six firemen were washing, polishing, or doing some kind of maintenance with it. I thought I was fit but all these guys are different versions of the same. All overly fit guys my age or younger, they may be different ethnicities but still... One thing I notice is they all appear happy, not a miserable face in the bunch. One of the guys stopped working to greet me. I think we went to school together, although he was a few years younger. He was a little shorter than me with dark brown hair, bright blue eyes, and thickly built. Stocky I’d call it. But he wore that perma grin that they all seem to be sporting. “Hi, Ember, right?” “Uh, yeah?” I answered unnerved a little that he knew who I was. Still I’m a gentleman, kind of, I held my hand out to shake his. He reached out reciprocating. “Nick, what can we help you with?” he asked with a friendly interested expression. I watched as the other guys stopped working on the truck to hear what I had to say making me even more nervous than I already was. “I…um…I’m looking for Cameron Douglass.” “Oh,” he said with a smirk leaning backward while ringing a chamois in his hands. “He’s over the back torturing one of the new guys.” “Sounds about right.” I chuckled nervously. Wrong thing to say apparently. The guy got all serious. “LF. Douglass, is a good guy. We’re lucky to work with him.” I looked around the truck the guys all seemed to be standing those few steps closer now; even if they were on top of the large fire truck. “I know,” I said quickly. Jesus, I’m going to be in the news for getting beaten up at a fire station by firefighters. I wouldn’t even know where to start to explain that. “I’m his brother’s partner.” I finished hastily. That was where I probably should have started, they all lost interest and went back to work. Thank god. I’ve never felt so overly intimidated in my life. Geez, I’d hate to turn on one of them they’re like rabid dogs. Harsh assessment I know and they’re only looking out for their own, but still a fair assessment none the less. “Oh, cool.” Nick leaned back away from me again calling out. “Cam! Visitor.” “Thanks.” “No sweat, you can sit in the common room,” he said pointing to a room on the right just inside the big double doors, “he shouldn’t be too long.” Nodding with a genuine smile on my face I made my way into the common room. It opened from the front with wide glass doors that appeared they maybe open a lot of the time. At the back was a full-size kitchen with a few appliances on the benches along with one wicked looking barista style coffee machine. That would definitely be Cam’s contribution. A huge television had been elevated on the wall so it could be seen from any position in the room. Quite a few different couches around facing it. The couches themselves looked like they’d been brought in second hand, maybe when one of the guys got a new couch they brought their old one in here. A large dining hall table sat across the front of the kitchen separating the couches and kitchen. The table so massive that it could easily hold at least fifteen to twenty people. The walls had safety posters and framed memories hung all around. Even though the walls were brick, the furniture didn’t match, and the room was kind of dingy, it somehow worked and had a warm comfortable homey feel to it. “Ember, what brings you this fine afternoon?” Cam’s jaunty voice boomed through the room, slapping me on the shoulder. I turned to face him trying to keep my amusement from showing. I reached out to shake his hand. “Advice, I need some advice.” “You want advice? From me?” he almost seemed confused. “Yes, you’re Brady’s brother aren’t you?” “Last I checked.” Cam frowned. “What’d you do?” This time I couldn’t help but chuckle. “Nothing. Yet!” Cam narrowed his eyes at me sitting down on the arm of an ugly red pleather couch folding his arms across his chest. He didn’t say anything which was a little unnerving considering I was already nervous and wasn’t sure how he would react to my news. I nodded my head sagely when he motioned with his hand for me to continue. I took a deep breath and blew it out harshly before speaking hastily the words almost running together. “I want to propose to Brady.” There I said it. Now Cam and I don’t have much history with each other. I’d never interacted with him at all until Brady and I got together. Since then he’s always been wary of me and hyper protective of Brady. I don’t hold that against him; it’s his brother. Cam is usually full of snark, humour, or a combination of both. Like Brady, the man didn’t let things weigh him down and usually pretty easy going. But in this instance, he’s unusually quiet for longer than deemed necessary, my body was about to hit fight or flight mode when Cam unfolded his arms then rubbed his chin pensively. “Okay, is that all?” he asked standing up. “No,” I said shaking my head. I found myself starting to pace. “No. That’s not all Cam. How the fuck do I do this. Am I supposed to talk to your dad first? That seems primitive and almost downright insulting to both of us. I suppose I could speak with Novy and Katie and see if they’re happy with it…” I must have ranted and paced for close to five minutes before I looked up to find Cameron more than amused with that smirk plastered across his face. “What?” I threw my hands up in the air, stopping to glare at him and his ridiculous face. “Nothing.” He shrugged. “I’ve just never seen you so squirly before; it’s kind of awesome. Fun to watch.” “Zip it arse hat. Are you going to help me or not?” Cam laughed raucously. “Yes, I’ll help you. Did you already have something in mind?” Again, I threw my hands in the air and started mumbling. “No! Dammit. I don’t want to mess this up, Cam. I just can’t. I want it to be perfect for him.” I could feel my eyes pleading for is understanding; hoping he wasn’t going to make this hard for me. Going to Brady’s brother for help was my last hope. No matter how much I went over the proposal in my head it all seemed right but never the right way. I’m at a loss as what to do. Brady is a simple guy, he doesn’t ever want. I’m not saying he lacks ambition or doesn’t have goals, but, he’s easy with everyone. He goes with the flow, not much gets on his goat. As much as I love that side of the man, it makes it almost impossible to try and figure out how to make something like this really special. Something he’ll look back on always as one of his greatest moments. “You know you’re over thinking this, right? Brady is uncomplicated. He loves you, anything after that isn’t necessary. He won’t want any outlandish grand gestures, or public proposals.” Cam pointed at me. “Watch mum once you are engaged, she’ll want to put it in the paper as an announcement.” He added as a side thought shaking his head. “I suggest you keep it simple. Go out to dinner, or better yet make something special at home. All he wants is to know that you two are forever.” I couldn’t believe my ears. This advice – damn good advice – coming from Cam. Even his tone was soft and almost wistful. I felt my head tilt as I observed the man clouded by… I don’t know… a longing. “You okay?” I asked a little concerned, over his shoulder I watched as the fire truck from outside backed into the garage of the firehouse. “Me? Yep, I’m good.” Cam stood up straight clearing his throat. “We’re back online Cam,” Nick said quickly popping his head in the room and just as quickly disappearing. “Don’t you ever want to get married, maybe kids or something Cam?” Why I was getting into this with him I have no idea, but the way he’d spoken made me think it’s something he wanted. Something maybe he’d been wanting but never thought he’d get it for some reason. He chuckled, “Kids? Definitely not. But marriage? Maybe. With the right guy, I can see it. Did you ever want kids?” I don’t know why or what made me answer honestly but I did anyhow and was surprised by the reaction from Cam. “I’ve always wanted kids,” I said shrugging my shoulder, “but, Brady’s raised his kids. I can’t see him wanting to go through all of that again. I let that dream die a long time ago, so I never brought it up with him.” Cam actually giggled, like a fucking schoolgirl, ending with an exacerbated sigh. “You two really need to communicate better. Don’t give up on that dream, Ember. Talk to my brother, he loves kids and always wanted lots of them. But Linda never wanted anymore, that and the whole my brother being gay and the relationship falling apart kind of put a stop to it anyway.” “That was then, we’re nearly forty Cam, be realistic.” “I am, god, Ember. Since we were teenagers, all my brother ever wanted was the whole ridiculous happy life with you. I’m talking marriage, 2.5 kids, dog, and the picket fence. Talk to him Ember, I promise you won’t regret it.” Could that really be a possibility, I know we’re older but we aren’t down and out. I think we’d make great parents together. I’d love to have kids; but do I want to get my hopes up just to have them dashed? Not having kids was something that took me a long time to come to terms with. I’ll think about it when I have more time. Kids or no kids, I’m marrying Brady. “I’ll think about it.” “So, are you going to do a dinner, or do you want to keep spit balling?” “Brady likes his wine. What if I book us a cabin for the weekend in the Hunter Valley? We could do a wine tour, go out to dinner, maybe a hike or something?” I pondered out loud to myself more than anything. Cam smiled warmly, a look you don’t see often on his face. Mischief? Yes. Cheek? Yes. Warm affection, only when he’s in the proximity of Justin. Ha! I wonder if he knows that he does that. An alarm system rang throughout the building, movement came from every direction and Cam started moving too. “Sounds like you’re onto something. Sorry Ember, I gotta go. Let me know what you come up with?” He called over his shoulder as he exited the room in an almost jog. “Hunter Valley,” I said out loud to myself in the empty room, “I like it.” ***** “Hey Boss, can you check over the GT. It’s finished. I rang the owner because of his rear tyres.” Troy pointed to the bald rubber. “Mr. Cotts’ said to switch the front to the rear ‘n put two new tyres on the front.” “Huh, yeah okay. Make sure Basher knows,” I answered distractedly. Poor kid I was only half listening when I walked into the workshop. My mind still on a weekend away with Brady, with the proposal hopefully ending in a ‘Yes.’ No, don’t be negative, it will end in a ‘Yes.’ My mind still warring with itself I went to head to the office to get started on my plan to propose. The more I thought about the Hunter Valley and wine tours the more convinced I am that is the way to go. “Boss?” I turned around to face Troy. “Hmm, yeah?” “The GT, you were going to check it over?” Troy asked with a slight chuckle but lacked confidence at the same time. We really need to do better by helping him build his confidence. “Let me ask you this? Are you confident that it’s fixed?” He nodded. “Have you double checked it yourself?” He nodded. “Did you need help with any of it, or were you unsure about anything you did?” He shook his head side to side. “Then why do you need me to check it over?” The poor kid’s eyes grew big, he articulated slow and clearly as if I was five-years-old not understanding what he was saying. “B..b.because, you are the boss, and the owner. It’s your reputation.” Smart kid, but here’s where I help him. “That maybe Troy, but I hired you because you aren’t an idiot. You’ve gotten top marks all through your apprenticeship. In the past twelve months I don’t recall ever having to fix anything you’ve already touched. You’re here because I trust you, you always give a hundred and ten percent and your work is always spot on. Plus, when you aren’t sure, or haven’t done a task before, or stumped in diagnosis you don’t guess, you ask for help. Now I’ll be in your office doing some paperwork.” Troy’s hitched an eyebrow at me with a smirk on his face. I went back over what I said and realised, waving a hand at him correcting myself. “I’ll be in my office if you need me.” “Sure thing, boss,” he said amused turning to the GT I assume to move it out of the workshop. After about an hour of researching, phone calls, and reading comments by people who had taken the tours in the Hunter Valley I’d managed to have all the information I needed. I’d found the perfect wine tour for us, something we could enjoy it was just a matter of deciding… “MAGS!” My wonderful office manager, and only office worker appeared in my office. “Everything okay, boss?” “Yeah, kind of. I want your opinion on a couple of things.” I looked over her shoulder to see it was clear in reception. Shut the door, Mags.” She reached over and closed the door gently. “I’m planning on proposing to Brady–” “You don’t say.” The sarcasm dripping off her tongue. “– I’m taking him to the Hunter Valley and can’t decide on a few choices.” Mags’ smile spread wide on her face as she took a seat in the chair in front of my desk. “Hit me.” “Okay,” I looked at the information I’d gathered. “Wine tour? Weekend or mid-week?” “Mid-week, the weekends are too regimented and more people.” I smiled, that was my thought too. “Private or group tour?” “Hmm,” she hummed pensively, “are you planning to propose on the tour?” I shook my head from side to side. “Okay then, group. It will be fun and you could meet some nice people.” “Food for thought. Okay, secluded cabin or motel?” “Cabin,” she said looking at me like I was simple, “you’ll want to celebrate after he says yes.” Yes, we will! “Okay,” I pulled the ring out of my top drawer where I’d put it after coming back from Cam. Damn I forgot to show him. “What about this?” Mags snatched it out of my hand giving a low whistle. “That’s nice Boss, not suitable for work but nice.” “I’m going to have a couple of silicone bands we can wear at work. Thanks Mags, you don’t mind holding down the fort while we’re away do you?” “Not at all. When do you think you are going to do it?” “Very soon. We’ve wasted twenty-years, I don’t want to wait any longer.” Mags stood up tapping the desk with her finger. “Just let me know when. We’ll all make sure your business is safe. I’ll keep this to myself you don’t have to worry about that.” “I knew you would, Mags. Thank you.” “Now I have to get back to work. My boss is an ass.” She left my office wearing a big ol’ smirk. “You’re fired,” I called out to her retreating back. “No, I’m not!” she shot back with a raucous laugh. “No, you’re not,” I muttered under my breath. I could hear Mags running interference for me as I got to work organising everything for the proposal. Luckily, I managed to get it all sorted this afternoon including organising dinner with Novy and Katie tomorrow night. Now I’m nervous and excited at the same time. I’ve no idea how if I can even keep my mouth shut that long. Holy shit!
  14. Bndmetl

    The New Normal

    I agree for the most part, but, I seriously hope you mean irresponsible girl and boy. Everybody is taught sex education whether at school, home, or the outside world. Hell, even the television will help with some of that information not to mention the multitudes of information available on the internet, library, doctor, or a million other places. This story line in this chapter is coming from a freaked out kid and two very worried parents trying to make sure the boy feels heard. The time for rational thought is tomorrow, tonight is to find out as much information as they could from Link. Also, nowhere was it said that they didn't use protection. We didn't want to start a debate about this issue, the opinion on the topic of unintentional pregancy is personal and private and for each individual to decide for themselves.
  15. Happy Birthday GIF by Justin

    1. Bndmetl

      Bndmetl

      Oh, I just saw this. Thank you that's very sweet. 

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