When Richard opened his eyes he was slightly disoriented for a few minutes. Where the hell was he? Suddenly the past twenty-four hours came rushing back to his mind with sudden clarity. Vernon "Vet" Tate, his deceased best friend's older brother, had found him and after saving his life had informed him that he had partial custody of AL's triplets. They had met a great couple in an elevator at the hotel, he'd met the triplets and instantly fallen in love, they'd been miserable on the plan ride back to Texas, arriving late in the afternoon, they'd put the triplets down to sleep and then...his eyes snapped open from where they had slowly drifted closed. Vet had told him that he was a wolf shifter, had partially "shifted" in front of him, they'd had sex and he'd asked Vet to "mate" him, then the other man...the wolf had bitten him. He did a mental check of his body, his ass was sore from the plowing he'd received from Vet's huge cock, his neck was tender from the bite, but there was something else...off. He felt a pressure in his head...not like a headache, but like another presence...another person was in his head? Okay, he had officially fallen off his rocker. He'd gone crazy. Maybe he had actually been hit by that car and he was now in a hospital room because in all of those gay paranormal romance books he'd read, none of the other men had ever freaked out like he was about to.
Calm down baby. I know it's going to take some getting used to, but I would never hurt you. And you're not crazy, you just kinda been made aware that the world isn't what you were taught to believe it was. That it's bigger and more complicated than you can imagine, now will you please stop freaking out? Because iffen I bring these babies in that room and they smell your anxiety and fear, it's going to set them off, he heard Vet say in his head and he gasped. Sitting up quickly in bed he looked around. Vet wasn't in the room with him, no one was there, lifting up the sheet he saw that someone, Vet, most likely, had put him in a pair of his pajama pants. He looked at the door and saw the doorknob turning. Trying to calm his racing heartbeat, he inhaled and exhaled deeply. He could do this, he was fine, everything was okay. If Vet wanted to eat him, he would've done it last night. He heard Vet snort just before the door opened.
"You think I wanna eat you?" he heard the big Texan's voice as he pushed in Curt, RJ and Amy in their stroller, all three babies wide awake and smiling at the appearance of Richard.
"Hey, no making fun of the human. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this," he admonished the other man before leaning over to lift out Amy who had begun to fuss. Tickling her lightly, he looked up shyly at Vet where the other man stood staring down at him. So what now? he asked mentally, hoping the other man received the question, he was unsure he would since he'd done it consciously instead of the other times when it just seemed as if the older man knew what he was thinking.
Whatever you want. I've gotta meet with my Beta, that's my second in command and a few of my Gammas, but that's me. You can take the triplets and go shopping or garden or read in the library or watch tv...whatever you want.
Richard was about to protest the idea of being a kept man like he was some househusband, when he looked down into sweet smiling face of baby Amy. He could have his own pursuits in between caring for the triplets.
"I'm not a househusband," he protested stubbornly and heard Vet snort.
"Of course you're not. You're the mate of the alpha. Trust me, you're going to be working hard in no time," the other man said before walking over to place a gentle kiss on the top of Richard's head. Richard smiled and lifted his head for a kiss. Okay, so he was going to spend the rest of his life with a man who could shift into a wolf. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing right? From what he could see, Vet was loyal, upstanding, strong, had a great sense of humor, was possessive, but not overly so, caring, compassionate, a great brother, a fantastic uncle, a wonderful father and an amazing lover...he could do a lot worse. And as their kiss deepened he amended his earlier statement to add another great trait, impossibly amazing kisser. Oh yeah, he could do a whole lot worse.
Hours later found Richard and the triplets in one of the empty bedrooms, music playing, all of the furniture pushed to one side, the triplets all watching Richard from their baby swings as he danced gracefully around the room. The music was a fluid, pulsing beat, emotionally stirring, and when Vet found them, he found himself wanting to lay on the floor and just watch as Richard moved around the room. The man truly was amazing. Vet sat down right inside of the doorway, not wanting to get in Richard's way, but not wanting to miss anything either. As Richard's legs and arms extended and his body spun in graceful circles, before sliding and leaping beautifully, Vet felt a warmth spread throughout his chest. His mate was amazing. He hadn't seen any type of professional dancing, usually the only type of dancing he saw was in one of the honkey tonk bars in town or one of the gay bars in Dallas. What Richard was doing, however, it was more than dancing, Vet felt like he was actually seeing the music, the story, he was watching passion, heartache, pain, redemption and forgiveness in motion. He was breathless and in awe at the abandon with which his mate danced and he felt himself growing erect behind the zipper of his jeans. As the music faded away, he saw Richard give one final turn and with a small leap land right in front of him, his hand outstretched towards his face. The music ended, another song starting and still the two of them remained frozen, their eyes locked on each other, Richard's hand still stretched out towards Vet's face. Without thought Vet took Richard's hand and pulled the smaller man into his lap before taking his lips with his own and kissing him deeply, trying to convey with his kiss how watching Richard dance had made him feel.
Pulling back from the kiss Vet smiled down into his mate's flushed face. "You dance beautifully," he breathed across the other man's face.
"Thank you," Richard breathed back. No other words were needed and so Vet kissed his mate again, this time plunging his tongue inside the smaller man's open mouth. He heard Richard groan and growled in response. Their passion, always simmering beneath the surface began to boil out of control. Someone clearing their voice in the hallway was the only thing to snap them out of their passionate haze. Richard pulled back with a gasp and turned to look at who had intruded on their intimate moment. Vet didn't need to look, he'd know that scent anywhere, it was his Beta, Anton Forrester, affectionately called "Ton" by all who knew him.
"Sorry to interrupt Alpha, but you wanted me to let you know when those three new horses you had bought arrived," the large man stated and with a sigh Vet turned to look at him. Ton stood a few inches taller than his own 6'7" and was about twenty pounds heavier, making him the perfect beta for the Tate clan, a clan made up of mostly alternative lifestyle families and individuals, here in Wichita Falls, Texas.
"I could always take care of it for you Alpha if you want?" he could hear as well as smell Ton's amusement at the fact that he'd caught his alpha and his mate in a semi-compromising position.
"Well, if you could do it yourself then why did you come and bother Vet?" Richard asked, annoyed. Vet grinned with pride when he saw Ton bare his neck instantly and lower his eyes in submission.
"Forgive me Alpha Mate, it won't happen again," Ton was instantly contrite and even though Vet knew Richard didn't fully understand Ton's reaction to him, the smaller man seemed to take it all in stride. Nodding his head he gestured with his hand for Ton to raise his head.
"it's nothing. Just don't do it again. What's your name?" Richard asked and Vet sat back against the doorframe, his legs spread wide on either side of the doorway, he pulled Richard around to settle him back against his chest and wrapped his arms around his mate's torso and waist.
"My name's Anton Forrester, Alpha Mate, but most folks 'round these parts just call me Ton because of my size," Ton responded. Vet heard Richard scoff at the nickname and smiled. You could take the boy out of New York, but you couldn't take New York out of the boy and it was obviously going to take his mate some time to get used to the way those in the South liked to give everyone a nickname. He'd have one before long and he probably wouldn't like it.
"Well, Anton, are you mated? Do you have a mate yet?" Richard asked, his head tilting slightly in a move of curiosity, unaware that he was showing submission to Ton. Vet slowly and gently, straightened the other man's head, thankful that he could trust Ton to not attempt to challenge Richard for his show of submission. He knew he'd have to explain things to Richard later. Preferably when they were alone.
"No, not yet, Alpha Mate," Ton responded and Vet felt more than heard Richard chuckle.
"Please, call me Richard, I'm begging you. Alpha Mate is a mouthful," he pointed out smiling when Ton nodded. "Now then, we have got to find you a mate, and soon, so you'll know how it feels whenever you're near them. How do you feel about cross-dressers?"
*I had to pay my respects to an industry that I'm no longer able to be involved in: Dance. I used to dance contemporary and I can't anymore, but when you watch truly gifted dancers, they make you feel the same way that Richard made Vet feel. Next installment goes up tomorrow!!*