I loved the rush of running through the woods. Whenever I let my bear take complete control, I felt like all of my worries washed away. It was as if a weight was lifted from my chest, and I could feel a sense of freedom shoot through my body.
But lately, that rush was harder to come by.
My bear was on edge, and I couldn’t fully explain why. No matter how many times I ran off into the woods I never felt truly satisfied, like I once did. It was as if he was frustrated. Every little thing seemed to irritate me. Which I hated. Because normally, I was a pretty easy-going guy.
I wondered if it had something to do with the fact that the coyotes never retaliated against our clan for the death of their Alpha Liam and his son Braden. Most of the guys in the clan had relaxed about everything, especially Lincoln and Jackson. The seemed to feel that everything was over and done with. And while I agreed with them that there was no immediate threat to our clan, my bear still wouldn’t relax.
Today was a particularly bad day.
I had just shifted back to my human form, threw some clothes on, and walked into the clan’s lodge. I felt my bear twitch underneath my skin, still agitated. I ignored it and walked into the kitchen to grab a beer. I was just sitting down on the couch when I heard Jackson and Skylar in the other room.
“Jackson, quit it!” Skylar squealed.
“I can’t help it, Sky. I told you that you shouldn’t have worn that dress today,” Jackson replied.
I rolled my eyes and got up. I didn’t need to hear what happened next with Jackson and his mate. My bear shifted angrily under my skin again. I downed my beer and headed back to the kitchen to grab another. I stopped suddenly as I entered the room. There Lincoln had Charlotte pushed up on the counter. Her legs were wrapped around his waist and his lips were on her neck. Her eyes were closed and her head was leaned back.
I let out a frustrated growl, and Charlotte’s eyes flung open.
“Oh gosh! Sorry Grant!” She quickly pushed Lincoln up and he let out a laugh.
“Sorry man, we didn’t think anyone else was here.”
I clenched my fist, fighting to contain my bear. “Other people in the clan hang out at the lodge,” I said.
Lincoln nodded quickly noticing my clenched fist. He backed completely away from Charlotte as she meekly slid of the counter.
“Grant,” Lincoln said. “Just chill out man. We didn’t mean to offend anyone.”
All I could do was let out another frustrated growl and I slammed my empty beer bottle on the table. I had to get out of here.
I stalked back outside and pulled off my clothes. I shifted instantly, and pushed my claws into the ground. I could hear Lincoln and Jackson calling out after me, but I needed to get the hell out of there. I ran off into the forest hoping this time it would clear my mind.
Why the hell was I so angry about this? I should be happy that Lincoln and Jackson had found their true mates. It was something that was celebrated in our clan. Instead, I was fighting my bear each time that they were around.
As I ran through the woods, I tried to calm myself down. But with every stride I made, the angrier I got. I couldn’t be jealous of the fact that they found their mates, could I? I dug my claws deeper into the ground. No, I couldn’t be jealous of that, because I never really cared about finding my mate.
I loved living the single life too much.
I was a charmer when it came to women, and I used that to my advantage. It was a game to me, seeing who I could get that night, and I had fun with it. I treated every woman with respect, but I always made it clear that I was a no strings attached kind of guy. I would be with someone new every couple of nights and that is what used to make me happy. But lately, I had gotten tired of the games. Every woman at the bar just seemed too eager to jump into my bed. It wasn’t as exciting to me anymore.
I pushed myself to run faster as I powered through the woods. Maybe I just needed a different bar scene, and not my normal hangouts where the women were looking for a shifter for the night. Human women, while they were fun to throw around, were just getting tiresome. Ever since shifters came out it was like all these humans were dying to try a shifter for a night to see how different it was. It was fun for a while, but now I was just tired of having them ask me to growl and hold them up against the wall.
I felt my muscles start to grow tired as I slowed my run to a walk. Maybe I could get Ford to go out with me somewhere tonight. With all the drama of the coyote pack and his responsibilities as Alpha of our clan, he needed a break just as badly as I did.
I strolled back to my place which was a cabin I built in the middle of the woods. I shifted back into my human form and headed inside. I grabbed my phone and called Ford.
“Hey man, what’s going on?” Ford answered on the first ring.
“Not much. I wanted to see if you wanted to go out tonight?”
Ford let out a long sigh. “I don’t know, with all this shit that happened with the coyotes, I just want to make sure we are on the alert.”
“Quit being a pussy, Ford. It’s been a few months and the pack has done nothing. Trust me, it irritates the hell out of me too that they haven’t tried to retaliate. But I think we can head out for just one night.”
“Fine,” Ford sighed. “But if we run into the pack and shit goes down, be ready to fight.”
I let out a loud laugh. “Trust me man, I’m itching to put the coyotes in their place. If shit goes down, I got your back.”