The cold wind hitting Jett’s face and blowing through his thick black fur was a huge contrast to the burning heat flowing through his veins. His paws hit the hard soil, faster and faster as he made his way up the path back to the resort. He loved this time of year. The snow had practically melted away and the air was a bit warmer as Spring neared. It made his job as a hiking tour guide much easier since the humans couldn’t balance themselves on the rough terrain with four legs as he could. Though he was quite accustomed to the trail and could more than likely navigate the woods with his eyes closed, he took this time to enjoy the privacy and be one with his animal.
He didn’t get to indulge his wolf as often as he would have liked since he was so busy at work. Sometimes a quick meal and a quick fuck was all he had time for at the end of the day. He was actually getting pretty damned bored of it all. Especially now that his best friend Adonis, an albino lion shifter, had a new mate and was expecting twins. Of course, there was always his twin brother Ronin, but Ronin was too busy humping everything in sight to be bothered with any other kind of communication. Jett didn’t understand how his brother had so much energy to go out every night on desire ridden conquests after a full day of rock climbing with the humans. To each his own he guessed. At least Ronin wasn’t bothering him.
Being the alpha of the pack was more than enough responsibility anyway. He didn’t have time to babysit the other members. It was peaceful on the mountain for the most part. Jett rarely had any trouble with other shifters and tribes threatening his pack, so there wasn’t much to do other than go to work and keep an eye out for the humans.
The branches crunching under his feet pulled his thoughts back to the peacefulness of the woods around him. Just a few more minutes to enjoy his solitude and the rest of the day would be spent doing tours. It’s not that he didn’t love his job, because he did. There was nothing he loved more than being outdoors and being one with nature. Only the more he thought about it, the more he realized he was missing out on something. What he was missing, he didn’t know. He just knew there was an emptiness in his heart that nothing had fulfilled yet.
Jett slowed pace to a quick trot and stopped in front of a tree where he’d hung a backpack full of supplies. He morphed back into human form and pulled out the fresh clothing in the backpack. He dressed quickly, putting the sack of supplies back on the limb. The sun had been up for a few hours already, so he only had enough time to grab a quick bite to eat and pick up his schedule for the day.
As he reached the resort he spotted Eira in the doorway; her big belly sticking way out in front of her. She was as big as a house and ready to drop those twins any day now. She lifted her head and waved at him. He waved back and smiled as he approached her. “Man, you’re huge!”
Eira took the baseball cap off her head and swatted him in the arm. “And you’re a jack-ass.”
She brushed a few stray blonde hairs out of her face and slid the tattered red and white hat back on her head. He laughed. “When are you going to throw that raggedy hat in the trash?”
“I’ll throw my hat away the day you conjure up some manners.”
“In other words...”
He chuckled and grabbed the strap of the duffle bag she was holding and placed it on his shoulder. “Why are you carrying this? Where’s Adonis?”
“He’s inside. I just came by to drop off lunch for you guys.”
“You didn’t have to do that Eira.”
“Yes I did. I’m so damn bored sitting around the house all day. My father won’t let me fly and Adonis doesn’t want me doing anything at all. I’m going insane.” She points to her enormous belly. “Hopefully these two will make their appearance soon.”
“Then you’ll have an even bigger headache. Screaming shifter babies who will grow up to be screaming shifter teenagers.”
Her smile faltered. “Oh no. I didn’t even think about that. Is it too late to change my mind?”
He laughed. “I think so.” He’d known Eira a few years now and he could safely say Adonis had his hands full with his mate. She’s a real character and very strong-minded, but she was also the sweetest woman he’d ever known. You couldn’t ask for a better friend. “Let me help you with this bag. Did you drive here?”
“No Jett, I sprouted wings and flew.”
He shook his head and laughed as he followed her to her car. “There’s no need to get testy. I sure hope you have these babies soon because you’re more ornery than usual.”
She unlocked the driver’s side door and slowly slid into the seat as he opened the back door and threw her bag in the car. He waited until her legs were in and slammed the door closed. “Do you need anything else before I go?”
“No, I’m good, thanks. And don’t you dare tell Adonis you saw me carrying that heavy bag. Otherwise I will never hear the end of it, and then you’ll never hear the end of it from me.”
“Fine, but only if you tell me what’s in it.”
“None of your damn business.”
She started up the engine and drove off as he called out to her. “Love you too Eira!”
Passing through the lobby of the resort he spotted his brother Ronin walking toward the elevator. Jett shouted his name to get his attention and Ronin turned around to wave Jett off. Jett, in turn, flipped the bird as Ronin stepped inside the elevator and he returned the gesture with a smirk before the doors closed. This was Jett’s relationship with his pain in the ass twin in a nutshell; vulgar gestures, constant insults, and neither one heading the other’s advice. But, no matter what they disagreed on or how much they got on each other’s nerves, both were always there for one another at the drop of a hat; no questions asked. They were family, and family had to stick together. Especially since there weren’t many of his pack left.
Jett stripped off his coat as he made his way down a narrow hall to Adonis’ office and knocked on the door. Of course he didn’t wait for his best friend to respond, he just waltzed right in as usual. Adonis glanced up from the keyboard in front of him and lowered his head again to continue typing.
“No, I’m sitting here at my desk for no reason at all.”
“I swear you and Eira are perfect for each other.”
“What do you want Jett, I have things to do.”
“I just wanted to drop by and see my best friend.”
Adonis raised his head, lifting a brow and met Jett with a questioning stare. “What do you really want?”
“Jeez, why do you think there is always some ulterior motive when I say something nice to you?”
“Because there always is. Now what do you want?”
“I told you, nothing.”
“Fine.” Adonis’ eyes settled on the monitor as he began typing again. “Eira made you lunch today, it’s on the table over there.”
“I know. I saw her as I was walking in and helped her to the car.”
Adonis’ head snapped up, worry etched in his eyes. “Why did she need help? Is she okay? I should go after her.” Adonis began to stand, but Jett held up his hand.
“Hold on. She’s fine. I just helped her carry that big bag she was schlepping around.”
“I told her not to take that bag with her and completely ignored me!”
Jett arched a brow. “Did you really expect her to listen to you. You know she doesn’t listen to anyone and she’s just as stubborn as you are.”
“I am not stubborn.”
“Yes you are.”
“No I’m not.”
“Yes, you are.”
“As much as I’d like to continue this extremely adult conversation, I can’t. I told you I’m busy.”
Jett sat in the chair across from Adonis’ desk and slumped in the seat. “Don’t you take a day off to just relax?”
“I work outside. I relax every day. You sit holed up in this dank, stuffy office all day. If it weren’t for Eira you wouldn’t go out at all.”
“Is there a day when you don’t have your nose in everyone else’s business?”
Jett rubbed his stubbled chin, feigning to think. “Hmm. Nope.”
“Get out.” Adonis shuffled through some papers on the desk and handed Jett a sheet of yellow legal pad paper. “Here’s your schedule for the day.”
“What happened to the printer?”
“I have no clue. I called the store room and they’re bringing up a new one and taking this one down to see what’s wrong with it. I figured you’d be here to pick up your schedule, so I wrote it out for you.”
“Could you have wrote it more illegible?”
“You know what, you could’ve sat here and wrote it your fucking self, you ungrateful piece of...”
“Dude relax. I was just kidding. Man, I hope those kids of yours are born soon. The two of you are completely stressed out.”
Adonis leaned back in his chair, sliding his hands down his face. “I know. I’m sorry. I’m just worried about Eira. She doesn’t take the doctor’s advice, she doesn’t listen to her father, and she doesn’t listen to me. She just does what she pleases and that would be fine if she wasn’t carrying twins. No one can get it through her thick skull that she needs to rest.”
“Eira is a strong woman. If there is anyone you don’t need to worry about, it’s her. I know she’s your mate and you want to do everything in your power to keep her safe, but the only thing you can do now is support her and be there when she needs you. Trying to force her to do something will only make her more anxious. She doesn’t take to being told what to do very well.”
Adonis huffs out a breath. “Pfft. Don’t I know it. Speaking of mates, when are you going to settle down and have kids of your own.”
“I am quite satisfied being single and playing the field, thank you very much.”
“Yeah, maybe a little you running around here isn’t the best idea.”
I laugh. “You’re probably right.” Jett hopped out of the chair and walked toward the door. “Well, I’m off…”
“In more ways than one.”
“Ha, ha, ha, very funny. See you later.”