When Anthony despairs of becoming one of the pack he accepts his grandfather’s help in embracing his inner wolf. Silver doesn’t care that his mate isn’t a wolf however when Anthony comes back changed Silver wonders if their bonding can survive the transformation.
Farro longs to find someone to be his partner and help raise his young son. However when mutants attack his household he has to go into the land of the fae and help retrieve a kidnapped tiger shifter. In the fae world he meets Kylen, a sexy fae warrior, who follows Farro home and shows him what he’s been missing.
With the windows rolled down, Anthony sat in the back of the limousine drinking one hundred year old scotch. Only on full moons did he pull out the hard liquor, pouring himself shot after shot as he listened to the howl of the wolves outside. The mystical sound always brought tears to his eyes. He blinked rapidly to clear his vision. He couldn’t let them fall and leave tracks on his cheeks. Silver would know if Anthony was crying, and he didn’t want to upset his handsome mate. However, every full moon the truth slapped him in the face.
He could never be a true alpha mate.
As much as the pack welcomed him, he could never run or hunt as a wolf or experience the world with their eyes. His biological differences separated him from the werekin, separated him from his love. Any moment now, Silver would return with a wide smile and glowing eyes, and with the full moon magic racing through his veins like a potent drug, they would fuck like wild animals. Even with Silver’s unswerving devotion, a weight pressed down on Anthony’s heart during this time every month. His inner voice whispering, Silver will be better off without me.
Unfortunately, werewolves only mate once. If Anthony left him, Silver wouldn’t move on to find himself a nice wolfy companion. The harsh reality of werewolf mating was: without Anthony, Silver would either kill himself or turn so feral the pack would have to stalk and slaughter him. To prevent his lover from an untimely death, Anthony would sacrifice anything, even if it meant dying a little inside every full moon.
The divider between the driver and the passenger slid down, and Farro’s worried eyes examined Anthony in the rearview mirror.
Farro waved his hand toward Anthony’s half empty glass. “How long are you going to do this?”
“As many times as he asks me to come.” Anthony didn’t have it in him to deny his lover anything he could provide.
“Does he know it kills you to hear the wolves? To never truly be part of our world?” Farro asked.
Anthony shrugged. It didn’t matter. He would always be there for his lover despite his inability to shift. Some problems didn’t have fairy tale solutions.
“I support my mate,” Anthony answered.
Farro shot him a look bordering the fine line between pity and disgust. “You know if you weren’t true mates, he would be better off without you. You cripple him before the other wolf packs.”
Hearing the truth in Farro’s words sliced through Anthony like a fine blade. “But I am his true mate so he’ll just have to deal.” He took another swig of liquor, relishing the burn. “As will you.”
Farro rolled the divider back up without another word.
Anthony wished he could hate Farro, but really, the wolf shifter was only telling the truth. Silver looked weaker to the other packs because Anthony was a non-were mate. Only Silver’s superior strength as an alpha kept other wolves from trying to take over his territory. True, some of them had heard of Anthony’s magical abilities, but few believed them enough to be scared.
Anthony sighed and took another sip of alcohol, wondering once again why Silver insisted he come to these things. It only underlined the fact he couldn’t change. Hell, even Elliott and Ben could shift, and they were only half-blood wolves.
Once a month, Silver assigned one pack mate driver duty for Anthony, forcing the driver to shift later in the night and miss the pack run. He’d never asked before, but he wondered if any of the wolves minded driving him around. Setting down his drink, Anthony closed his eyes and waited for his lover to return.
In the driver’s seat, Farro rested his forehead on the steering wheel. Silver would kill him if he knew what Farro had said to Anthony. There was nothing for it; he would have to leave the pack. No way could he go every day and see Silver fawn over his little non-wolf.
Whenever he saw them together, jealousy painted a bitter stain across his soul, and he had no way to prevent it from spreading. Resentment was slowly turning him into someone he didn’t want to be. He loved Silver, and to see the man go from ignoring all overtures to whispering words of devotion into the little blond’s ear was too much to expect any wolf to stand for. Farro remembered with embarrassment his pitiful attempts at getting the alpha’s attention. Volunteering for jobs and memorizing Silver’s schedule so Farro would be in the right spot for casual conversation. Hell, he’d just geared himself up for throwing himself at Silver when Anthony showed up at the club and wrapped the alpha around his little finger in a single night.
Silver might not be his mate, but Farro always hoped he’d at least get the opportunity to be a favorite in the alpha’s bed. Now he would never have the chance, and a part of him resented Anthony for the missed opportunity. How a fucking non-wolf could be in charge of a wolf pack baffled him.
Yes, definitely time to move on before he did something he would always regret. He ran through his mind what to tell Silver. Maybe he’d leave a note. The thought of the handsome alpha looking at Farro with sympathy instead of love, or even worse, pity, was something he definitely wanted to avoid.
He nodded his head as he made his decision, “Yes, a note would be just fine.”
“Are you leaving?”
Silver turned to see Parker and Elliott standing behind him in the moonlight.
Nodding, he patted both men on their bare shoulders. “I’ve gotta get back to Anthony.”
He ignored their frowns. They got to spend time in their wolf forms running and hunting together beneath the evening sky. They couldn’t understand the ache in his heart, the longing caused by the separation from his mate during each full moon gathering.
Before Anthony, Silver would have stayed and danced under the moon with his pack. He would retell stories of the hunt and gnaw on the marrow of their kill, but now the other half of his soul sat in a limousine, drinking high quality hooch instead of running naked beneath the open sky. However, he wouldn’t trade his beloved demigod for all the wolves in the world, and if he felt the occasional pang that Anthony couldn’t join in the hunt, he buried the thought deeper than a grave, where it belonged. He paused a moment.
“You know how you feel the pull of the moon when you’re in your wolf forms?”
“Anthony’s pull is stronger. He’s my moon,” Silver tried to explain.
Anthony was his everything, but he didn’t want to get emotional in front of his men. As the alpha, he had a reputation to maintain.
The pair nodded, understanding flashing in their eyes. With a respectful head tilt, they went back toward bonfire to join the others.
If Silver felt a smidgen of melancholy, he crushed it beneath his need to see his lover.
The sound of music had Anthony opening his eyes in time to see a shimmer of stardust dance across the opposite seat.
He looked at his drink and wondered if maybe he’d had one shot too many.
“Good evening, Anthony,” a familiar voice said.
“Hello, grandfather.” The sparkles collided until they formed a shining white shape in the form of the god Zeus.
His deep voice echoed in the confines of the spacious limo. “Why is my favorite grandson drinking himself into a stupor on such a beautiful night like this?”
Anthony shrugged, ashamed to admit his petty grievances. With all the amazing things in his life, he didn’t want to be a whiny bitch.
“Does it have anything to do with your mate turning furry once a month and abandoning you?” Zeus asked.
“He doesn’t abandon me.” No one could cut you to the quick faster than family. “He’s the alpha. He has to run with his pack.”
Zeus took a glass and poured himself a drink. He swallowed then let out a sigh. “At least he left you the good booze.”
“What would you give to be a wolf?” The god watched him with unnerving intensity.
“I can never be a wolf,” Anthony said bitterly. “You have to be born one.”
“Have you forgotten who I am?” Zeus’ voice rattled the limousine windows.
Anthony’s mouth went dry with fear. Sometimes he did forget his grandfather wasn’t just the friendly old man who used to float all the furniture in Anthony’s bedroom to make him laugh.
“Then I’ll ask you again. What would you give up to be a wolf?”
Anthony almost answered ‘anything’. But over the years, he’d learned caution when dealing with gods. “What would you like?”
“You’ve learned well, my boy. That was a loaded question.” Zeus smiled at his grandson. “Hmmm. What do I want in order to give you such a gift?”
Anthony’s heart skipped a beat. A god didn’t wander in for a drink unless he wanted something, or at least his grandfather didn’t. Zeus already had something in mind before he showed up in the limo.
“It gets lonely around my home, grandson. It would be nice to have some company for a while.” Flashes of lightning lit Zeus’ eyes. Anthony knew his own eyes did the same thing when his emotions ran high. Being on the other side of the vision, he agreed with his mate, the lightning was unsettling.
“I don’t want to abandon my man, grandfather, but I know Silver yearns for me to be a true mate.” Anthony’s heart ached for the pain he caused his lover.
“I don’t think your wolf would change anything about you. It’s your own pride making you want this.”
Anthony sighed. The lateness of the hour and the level of alcohol in his system made him tired and sulky. “Fine. Did you decide what you want in exchange for my becoming a wolf?”
“Seven years of service,” Zeus declared.
Anthony sat up straighter and glared at his grandfather. “I can’t leave Silver for seven years!”
“Don’t be an idiot, Anthony. You know I can manipulate time. For each year in my palace, I’ll only take away one day here. You’ll be gone a week.”
Anthony bit his lip as he considered the offer. “And you’ll make it so I can change into a wolf?”
Zeus nodded. “If that is what you really want. You know in one incarnation, I was Zeus the wolf-god.”
Anthony nodded. His father made him study his grandfather’s different incarnations when he was younger. Some bull about knowing your past or something. Anthony always thought his father just wanted to keep him busy for a summer.
“What do I have to do for those seven years?”
“Concentrate on your abilities. There’s so much of my power deep inside you, and you piss it away to shove lightning bolts up people’s asses!”
“You didn’t think I saw that did you?” Zeus asked, grinning.
“I didn’t think you bothered to watch me,” Anthony said. He knew his grandfather could peek in on him whenever he wished, but Anthony was only one of many of Zeus’ descendants.
“I watch you more often than you know, grandson. I know your deepest secrets and your greatest pains. I’m sorry I was unable to save Andrew from the underworld. I wasn’t watching out for you that day. I regret the pain his death has caused you, but you’ll be happy to know I checked on him recently and he’s doing quite well. He’s preparing himself for rebirth and was happy to hear you have found another.”
Anthony gave his Zeus a suspicious glance. “Thank you, grandfather. I appreciate you checking on him, but you still haven’t fully answered my question. What else will I do besides learn how to manipulate my powers?”
“Amuse me. I’m bored. Your father doesn’t visit often, and the other gods are insufferable bores,” Zeus complained.
Anthony laughed at the petulance in his grandfather’s voice. Silently, he thought over the pros and cons. Could he do it? Give himself over to his grandfather who was part loving patriarch and part intimidating god. He took another sip of liquor, enjoying the burn as it slid down his throat. Yes, he was willing to take the chance in order to be a proper mate to his lover.
“Let me leave Silver a note,” Anthony said.
“You’re really going to do this?”
His grandfather’s tone made Anthony look up. He thought he caught a flash of disappointment on the god’s face.
“Didn’t you want me to?”
Zeus produced a paper and pen with the wave of his hand. “Write your note, Anthony, and we’ll see what we can do to put you in touch with your wolfy self.”
Anthony picked up the pen and scrawled a note to his mate. Folding it carefully, he wrote Silver’s name on the outside and set it on the seat beside him.
Taking a deep breath, he straightened his shirt and faced his grandfather. “I’m ready.”
“You don’t want to tell him goodbye in person?” Zeus asked, raising his eyebrows in surprise.
“No. He would try to talk me out of it. It’s best to go before he returns.”
“Maybe that should tell you something,” Zeus replied.
Anthony snapped. “If you didn’t want me to do this, why bring up the offer?”
Zeus threw up his hands. “Because you’ve been miserable.”
“Exactly. Let’s go.”
Zeus teleported them out of the vehicle, a flash of light the only signal of their passing.
Silver stopped halfway to the limousine, falling to his knees.
Anthony was gone. He could feel his lover’s absence like a burning, empty spot in his soul. Tilting back his head, Silver howled for his mate.