Vet didn't spend much of his life smiling. There just wasn't much in his life to smile about. His parents had died when he was barely eighteen, leaving him in charge of his sister Amanda, the head of their family, and with his father's death, he'd been named Alpha by default. It wasn't something that had shocked him too much, he'd always been made aware that he would be alpha one day, unless someone challenged him for the role and he lost. The timing was just wrong. Vet had just met the greatest guy, Michael. Michael was tall, thin, with a firm ass, and pouty lips and Vet had fallen instantly in love with him. The two of them had had to sneak around, not because Vet's family wouldn't understand about him being gay, although that's what he'd told Michael, it was because he was a shifter and Michael wasn't.
Vet had grown up knowing he was a wolf shifter, what it meant, the proud heritage of his people and how important it was for him to keep that part of himself a secret from everyone but other shifters and his mate.
His mate. Vet looked at Richard where the man paced back and forth from his bedroom to the living room of his tiny New York apartment, packing, muttering and protesting going to Texas. Vet had never smelled anything as delicious as the smell of his mate. Richard smelled like burning wood, baked apples and melted caramel, his favorite candy. When he'd first began following the smaller man, he hadn't been able to detect his scent, his nostrils filled with the stench of New York City. How could anyone stand all of the noise and the smell of broken dreams, despair and garbage? He asked himself for the fifth time. The instant he'd rescued Richard, however, the younger man's scent had wrapped around him like the softest blanket, making him feel at home, making him want to rub against the smaller man and mingle their scents together. He'd also wanted to make love to him and mark him so everyone knew who he belonged to. He sighed as the man in question stepped back out of his bedroom, nibbling on his bottom lip. He was about to protest again and Vet was actually considering knocking the other man out and whisking him back to Texas.
"I'm not sure this is a good idea. I mean, I'm supposed to just drop everything and move to Texas? Texas?! They kill men like me in Texas! Besides, I have a life here and I'm not really sure that I'd make such a good parent. I mean...I'm kind of high maintenance you know? Self-centered. I only think about myself. These babies will be better off if you raised them alone. Do I need to sign something? I'll give you everything-" Richard's words cut off when Vet stood up and approached him. He'd heard enough, the younger man was going to worry himself sick with all of the accepting and denying, packing and unpacking.
"I don't believe any of that for one second. There's no way Mandy woulda stayed friends with you iffen you was selfish and self-centered. Yeah, you might be high-maintenance, but then so was Mandy and we got along right nice. 'Sides, I work all the time. I ain't really got the time to be a single parent. Got a bunch of folks counting on me to look out for them and I take my responsibilities seriously. And we got gays in Texas. I'm gay, been gay all my life and ain't nothing happened to me yet. Now you just stop looking for ways to be wrong for these babies. They depending on both of us to care for them, so was Mandy or she woulda never left them to us. You'll be fine, the babies'll be fine. I'll be fine, we'll all be fine. You just come and we'll try it for six months, iffen you still can't do it...well, I guess we'll worry about it then," Vet offered, ignoring the voice in his head that told him that he'd never let Richard go. The man was his mate, created by the fates just for him. They were destined to be together, and they would be, just as soon as Vet could convince Richard to get on a plane for Texas. Then he'd tell him about shifters and mates and they'd be mated and raise the babies together and live happily ever after. Easy as apple pie. He shrugged off the feeling that things would never be as easy as he was trying to make it seem. He smiled as Richard's blonde head nodded in agreement, his eyes still filled with uncertainty, his teeth still nibbling on that full bottom lip that he couldn't wait to suck on or feel wrapped around his cock, and he bit back a moan. It wouldn't do him any good to scare off the jittery man with his overzealous hormones, but his wolf wanted its mate and he was having a hard time not picking up the smaller man, stripping him of all his clothes and fucking him up against the wall, just to take the edge off. Then he'd lower him to the floor, flip him onto his stomach and lick and suck and fuck his ass with his tongue, he'd smile at the sound of the younger man's moans and gasps of pleasure. Then when Richard was clawing at the carpet, he'd push his large cock deep within him and fuck him until they both couldn't move or speak.
"Vet?" the sound of his name pulled him out of his erotic musings and he looked down at the other man, focusing on his face, the desire in his eyes slowly receding.
"Yeah?" he replied, smirking when his nose detected the faint smell of the other man's arousal. So his little man was turned on too, huh? Maybe this whole mating thing wouldn't be that hard after all.
"Where exactly are the triplets right now? You didn't leave them by themselves did you?" Richard asked, a small note of panic creeping into his voice. Vet bit his lip to keep from grinning. Yep, even for all of his bluster and denials, Richard was going to be a great parent.
"Naw. Got an aunt who moved to Connecticut with her mate-err, her husband, and they met me here in the city. Got 'em watching the babies in a hotel," he stated as he closed the fifth and final suitcase that Richard had placed near the door. For a man who had no plans on leaving his home forever, Vet noticed that Richard hadn't left anything behind, except the furniture, which he wouldn't need anyway. "Reckon we better get going. We gotta pick up the triplets and get to the airport."
Richard nodded his head but didn't move. His eyes darted around the room, never staying on one item for long, not making a sound. Vet could detect a stall tactic better than the next man. Scenting the air, he picked up the lingering smell of Richard's arousal, his fear, his denial and his...excitement? Could it be that Richard wanted to come to Texas to raise Amanda and Cameron's kids? It would certainly seem so. Vet knew then that Richard needed to have his options taken from him, atleast in this matter. Make it so that the smaller man wouldn't have to think at all, just follow and do what he was told. He was sure that the other man wouldn't always be so accommodating, but for now, he needed the firm hand of an alpha to guide him. It made him the perfect mate. It made him Vet's perfect mate.
"Alrighty then. Grab your bags baby, let's go get our kids from the Hilton and fly on to Texas," he commanded his mate, grinning when the other man moved forward to do so without another word or thought. He hadn't even noticed the term of endearment. Vet chuckled softly and shrugged his shoulders as he lifted up the rest of the bags, stepping out of the now almost bare apartment, walking the bags down to the large rental black SUV, he'd left waiting in front of Richard's Manhattan apartment. He knew enough about New York real estate to know that if Richard was able to afford an apartment in Manhattan, then his dancing career paid him very well. He also knew enough about body language and human psychology to know that Richard wasn't as happy as he projected himself to be. He would make his mate happy. They would raise Amanda's children as if they were their own and he would spend the rest of his days, trying to make his little mate, with his long blonde hair that fell to his shoulders, big crystal blue eyes, pouty lips, thin nose, and thin but toned frame, happy. He always succeeded when he put his mind to it and he wasn't about to fail now.