The Mountain Man's Mate(4)

By: Charlie Richards

Suddenly, a big Native American man appeared and slipped an arm around Jared’s waist. “Did I hear my name?”

Jason’s eyes widened. “You’re gay, too?” He didn’t know if he could handle any more surprises.

“Only for him,” Jared replied, thrusting a thumb at the man holding him. “Carson, meet Raul’s nephew, Jason Truollo.” He grinned at Jason. “This is Carson Angeni, my partner.”

“Nice to meet you,” Jason said on autopilot.

Carson nodded. “And you.”

“So, are you staying?” Sean asked, handing him a cup of coffee. “Cream or sugar?”

Jason looked around at the four men, his mouth working, but no sound coming out.

Raul chuckled and took the mug away from him. “Come on,” he said, urging Jason to his feet with a hand on his arm. “I think you need some rest. You’ve been traveling and were just handed several shocks. You could use some time to decompress.”

Jason followed docilely, his uncle leading him into a small bedroom. He wasn’t certain how he should be feeling, and at the moment, could only distinguish relief in the flood of emotion swamping him. His uncle had welcomed him. He’d worry about the rest later. Right now, he was finally safe, with family.

“Thanks, Uncle Raul,” he stated gratefully, sitting on the bed.

Raul crouched down in front him and smiled encouragingly. “Do you want me to call your mom and let her know you’re here?”

Jason nodded. “Thanks. I may not agree with her choice of parenting style…or even husband, but I don’t want her to worry.”

Nodding, Raul stood and headed toward the door. “Get some rest.”

After kicking off his shoes, Jason lay down on the bed. He grabbed the pillow and clutched it to his chest as he curled up on his side. He blew out a long sigh, feeling safe and happy for the first time in months.

Chapter Two

“Thanks for the update, Michel,” Declan McIntire said, rising from his chair. “Let me know if anything else strikes ye as odd.”

Thankful the meeting had come to an end, Michel McDover rose and nodded. “Aye, Alpha.” When he’d left his mountain home to report finding traps in the national park while out running in wolf form, Michel hadn’t expected his alpha to immediately call the beta and an enforcer. Since the enforcer had been at Sean and Raul’s home, which was located about halfway between the alpha and beta’s homes, they’d piled into their vehicles and headed there to hold an impromptu meeting.

Michel hoped his leader’s suspicion—that it was the scientists again—was wrong. Of course, with the shit the arsehole humans had pulled already, he figured his alpha was probably right.

He ran a hand over his thick beard, hiding a shudder at some of the stories he’d just heard. Living alone in the woods for the last three years, Michel had been mostly removed from the pack’s dealings. Except the damage the traps could do to a wolf’s limb probably wasn’t a coincidence, and they sure as shite couldn’t be ignored. Someone wanted to injure what they caught.

He’d lived in Stone Ridge for nearly four decades and people had begun to talk about how he didn’t appear any older than when he’d moved there. At three hundred seventy-eight years old, he’d had to remove himself from society on several occasions, then return with a new identity.

This time, he wasn’t certain he wanted to return. At his age, he knew he was set in his ways. Even the desire for an occasional fuck didn’t really hit him anymore.

Shaking his alpha’s hand, Michel couldn’t help but remember when Declan’s grandfather had run the pack. Things had been different back then, tough near the end of Alpha Ian’s life. Declan had had to make a difficult decision, watch the pack be run into the ground—his fellow shifters hunted down and killed as unnatural beings—or kill his own grandfather to save the pack.

Declan had taken on his grandfather and won.

His decision to move them from Ireland to the US had been risky, but for the best, and even with the beauty of his former home, Michel couldn’t imagine returning to the Emerald Isle for more than a visit.

Michel followed Shane and Declan from the room, looking forward to returning to his cabin. His wolf enjoyed hanging with pack-mates for a while, but both sides of him craved the trees and wide open spaces the national forest—where his hunting cabin backed up to—offered him.

He paused in the hallway, cocking his head. A pleasant scent tickled his senses, something mildly sweet and spicy that called to him with surprising intensity…enough so that it caused his dick to plump a bit.