Sometimes true love is right in front of you.
Madison Archer dreams of the day he can claim Temple as his mate. However, when Temple heads off to school Maddie worries he’ll be forgotten among Temple’s new friends. Maybe a half wolf can’t understand the bond between mates.
Temple Stewartson has always loved Madison Archer. Childhood friends, they were now old enough to start their own lives. However, Temple doesn’t want to leave the pack without Madison by his side. So when Maddie disappears, Temple is willing to do anything to get his man back.
Walking across the quad, Temple Stewartson examined the campus, trying to match the current landscape with his memories of the pictures in his father’s photo album. He spotted a few new buildings, but no huge transformations. The air hummed with all the protection spells laid out by Headmaster Jaynell, a man Temple had called Uncle since he’d taken his first step.
Uncle Jay’s magic soaked the air like wet dew on the morning grass, leaving a sparkly residue on everything it touched. Temple doubted that the pure wizards even noticed the energy saturating their campus. Wrapped up in learning about their emerging abilities, they had little attention to spare for anything else. Temple had grown up around the great wizard and knew the scent of home. Jay might not be his true uncle, but in a pack, every adult a generation older became an uncle or aunt to teach and guide the young.
His inner wolf growled at the familiar smell, wanting to roll around in the grass and cover Temple with the wizard’s scent. Jay meant family to Temple’s wolf half, and in an unfamiliar territory, his unsettled beast sought a strong protector.
Temple gritted his teeth and held onto his restraint with pure willpower and slightly clawed hands. After insisting on going to college, Temple couldn’t lose control now, not when his siblings had all but dared him to attend. He thought back on their meeting.
“You gotta learn to protect yourself better,” Reena had warned. “People are gonna want to challenge a half wizard and you need to be able to use your magic because your wolf might not be able defend you.” She’d punctuated her lecture by cracking an ever-present wad of gum. He never could figure out how she avoided getting it stuck on her teeth.
He hadn’t bothered arguing against her logic. Temple’s strong inner alpha wolf did him little good since Temple couldn’t transform—one more reason he needed advanced magical training. He’d been home-schooled with his siblings and fellow wolves and taught basic magic by the wizards in the family, but he needed a degree to practice empathic magic. Without that degree he’d remain a half wolf, unable to transform, yet with above average magic—a failure in both shifter and wizarding worlds.
The current state of affairs had led Temple to become the focus of the Stewartson siblings’ weekly gathering. They always met at a diner two blocks from the pack house, without other pack members or parents, to plot the future of their small pack.
It was their way of connecting free of outside pressures. Temple adored his siblings and the trio had only become closer as they’d grown older and started their own careers. The youngest by three years, Temple was the only one who had yet to find his direction in life.
“Reena’s right—you need to get training for your powers,” Cannon said. His alpha wolf’s eyes flashed metallic yellow. Cannon had the strongest beast of any of them, barely contained beneath his human façade. He’d been the first to suggest they start a pack of their own. They had all agreed, knowing Cannon couldn’t stay with their birth pack much longer. Although their home had been an amazing place to grow up, no pack could sustain two alphas. Since the Stewartson siblings wouldn’t abandon their brother, they planned to move out together once Temple finished his schooling.
However, they needed to be able to provide for their pack financially before moving out, and asking Mom and Dad for money would dent that independence. Both of Temple’s siblings had found their places in life and were preparing for their small pack. Cannon had already started saving a nest egg for them with his construction company and Reena had begun her own investment company for shifters. Her knack for handling money had built their little pool of cash into a respectable amount. Not enough for a small pack house, but they were getting there. Once Temple began adding to the pool of funds it would grow much faster, but Temple needed to finish four years of wizard school before he could open an empathic healing practice to help emotionally damaged shifters.