Authors: Joyee Flynn
Ferris Braden was having a bad day… Friends using him as a doormat, breaking a kid’s heart accidentally, and pretty much being kicked all around. What a day to meet his mate!
When Rylan Zeev wanted to check out a coven that was rumored to take in more than vampires, he had no idea he’d find his mate surrounded by strangers he isn't sure he can trust.
Onah just got back from a several-months-long mission. The last thing he wants is to be sent on an errand with no explanation. But when he finds his mates because of it, he’s grateful and excited.
All three feel as if fate knew what she was doing when matching them up, and it’s a good fit. But when tragedy of epic proportions strikes, can the brand-new mates stick together when they haven’t even had a chance to claim one another?
Alternative (M/M or F/F), Ménage a Trois/Quatre, Paranormal
Copyright © 2013 by Joyee Flynn E-book ISBN: 978-1-62242-159-6
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by Joyee Flynn from BookStrand.com or its official distributors, thank you. Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book.
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Amanda Hilton, Publisher www.SirenPublishing.com www.BookStrand.com
“Dude, you’re making me look bad,” Jalen hissed to Tyler as they both cut me a glance. “I can do more than carry shit.”
“Yes but I thought it would be best if you showed off your impressive muscles and strength,” Tyler teased. “Sweetie, you need to find a nice boy your own age, not a very, very,
old warrior who’s not your mate.”
“Whatever. Says the guy who sleeps with two men who were practically around when the Ice Age hit,” Jalen bitched and picked up one of the extra tool belts. “I can be more than the errand boy. I’m seventeen now, Tyler.”
“Yeah and you want to know what I’ve learned?” Jalen shrugged in that teenage pouting way. Tyler sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “That the older I get the less I realize I know about everything.”
“That’s backwards, dude.”
“No it’s not,” I chuckled as I kept measuring the boards to be cut. “The older you get, the more your world expands. And then you realize you really don’t know much, so you learn what you can. But then it will expand again. I’m over a thousand years old and the fae have me realizing I don’t know much once again.”
I saw Jalen bite his lower lip out of the corner of my eye and then nod. “Okay, I can get that. My whole knowledge of the world doubled when we left the pack.” I glanced at Tyler and he looked satisfied but I knew Jalen well enough to know he wasn’t done. “
, I won’t learn anything if everyone’s always too busy to teach me or just makes me play fetch.”
“Ouch, he won that round, Tyler,” Sydney snickered, shaking her head as she walked by with a wheelbarrow full of concrete. “Okay, kid. You’re with me. I’ll teach you how to fill in the gaps of what we just poured of the foundation and make it all even so they don’t have holes in their floor.”
“Oh baby, say it again, Syd,” I purred. “I love a woman who talks construction.”
“Flipping sides?” Emmett asked with a twinkle in his eye. “I remember you playing for the other team.”
“He just likes to tease.” Sydney shook her head as Jalen glanced at me.
“I could help Ferris with cutting the wood for the floors,” he hedged.
“No!” Sydney, Tyler, and I exclaimed, but it was Tyler that went on. “No power tools, kid. I’m not explaining to Ayden why you’re missing fingers.”
“I’m not a screwup,” Jalen whispered.
“We’re not saying that,” I said gently, realizing he was embarrassed. “We all started with the basics before moving on. You start small and learn how to do things safely. Then you build on what you know, just like we’re building the house step by step.” He didn’t seem appeased so I tried again. “Emmett is older than you and I wouldn’t let him near the saw either.”
“Fine by me. That thing scares me,” Emmett chuckled before sauntering off.
“Come on,” Sydney encouraged as she gave Jalen a wink. “Everyone loves a man who’s good with his hands.”
“Okay, yeah, thanks.” Jalen trailed after her, leaving Tyler and I alone.
“He’s got it bad for you,” Tyler said quietly.
“I rescued him from his old Alpha, Tyler. He’s got a little bit of hero worship going on, nothing more. He’ll grow out of his crush.”
“I hope that’s all it is. After everything he’s been through, I don’t want his heart getting crushed.”
“I know and I don’t want that either. But he’s got to learn in a world where fate gives us mates that you have to be careful not to fall in love with someone else.” That reply didn’t seem to appease Tyler so I tried another approach. “We’ve all gotten our hearts stomped on with our first crush, Tyler. It’s a rite of passage. I’m not leading him on, and I’ve told him several times he’s like a cool little brother. We can’t do anything else to protect him.”
“Yeah, some mistakes we just have to make on our own,” he agreed. He got back to work as I did. We started work on Emmett and Travis’s house, digging the foundation, weeks ago. But then the fae came over and it was all hands on deck to get the fae over here before most of them shipped off to Greece. Now we were finally back to it and it was going really well and very fast with everyone helping.
At this rate we could get a lot of the houses built on the new development on the land Desmond and Elena Marius had broken up for smaller houses. Then maybe people could breathe more. Right now every estate was so crammed with people and belongings like hotels with storage units, I think it was driving everyone crazy.
“I’ve had it, Travis!” Emmett seethed as he stormed in my direction. “This has to stop or we’re never going to make it.”
“I said I was sorry,” Travis begged as he trailed after his mate. “I’m trying, Emmett.”
“How do you
to trust me? You either do or you don’t.” Emmett threw his hands up in the air in frustration but didn’t slow his steps. “You are the most jealous behemoth I’ve ever known.”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you, I don’t trust them!” Travis argued. I sighed, knowing what was coming next, just as it always did when we got into this argument.
“I’m going to crash at Ferris’s tonight,” Emmett shot right back.
“No you’re not,” I growled, shaking in anger. Both of them froze and stared at me.
“You don’t want to hang out with me? Why can’t I stay with you?” he asked, completely hurt. Normally I cared, but I was tired of being everyone’s port in any storm.
“Sure, we can hang out,” I drawled as I threw down my pencil and stood up straight so I wasn’t leaning over the wood. “As soon as you call me and say,
hey, Ferris, just wanted to see if you could hang.
Ferris, I got into a fight with Travis and I need to cool off. Can I come crash with you?
I’m tired of only getting to see you or mattering to you when you’re fighting with Travis. And you know what? Stop running!”
“I don’t do that, do I?” he whispered, his eyes wide with shock and worry.
“Yeah. It’s the only time I see you unless I’m coming to help you like now, Emmett. I’m not a friggin doormat. Either we’re friends or not. You don’t just use your friends to piss off your mate when he’s upset you or only contact me when you need something.”
“I swear I didn’t mean it like that,” Emmett said quickly, looking distraught. He raced over to me and hugged me. “Dude, you’re like my bestie. I’m so sorry I’ve been a jerk. I love hanging with you. You’re just so busy and there’s so much going on that it’s like a whirlwind crazy show.”
“I get that. But either you care about me or you just know I’ll always help and that’s convenient for you. It hurts Travis every time you run from him and whatever argument and come crash with me. And you do it as payback. How do you think that makes me feel? I’m your revenge?”
“I’m sorry,” he sniffled as I pulled him off of me. “I swear it wasn’t intentional. I didn’t realize I was doing it.”
“I know and that’s why I stayed quiet. I think you need to go see Ayden, Emmett. You’ve got too much in your past clouding you to work on your present and future. Yes, Travis can be a jealous ass, but most vampires and warriors are. What happened this time?”
“Some of the fae warriors were flirting with Emmett, saying they liked his sexy curls,” Travis explained as he ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. “I walked over there, grabbed him, and kissed him while dipping him. Then I glanced up at them and said he was mated so they could talk, joke around, but if they touched him, I’d rip their nuts off.”
“And if he keeps doing that, no one will ever like me or be my friend,” Emmett said quietly.
“Go see Ayden. You’re not letting your past go, Emmett. I think Travis is really trying and if that’s how it really went down, he didn’t do anything wrong. I’d make my mate wear a sign around his neck saying he was mine I’m that possessive.”
“If I go see Ayden will that make us okay?”
“No, go see Ayden for you and your mating. I guess we can just go from there after you handle what’s most important. I can’t keep being the one you turn to for help or to hide only, Emmett. It hurts me.”
“I’m sorry, Ferris. I really care about you and you’re like the best friend I’ve ever had. I never, ever wanted to hurt you.”
I stared into his eyes and saw the blatant honesty in them. “I believe you and that helps.” Emmett nodded and then walked away with his head hung in shame as he probably went to go find Ayden right away.
“He really does care about you,” Travis said quietly. “I’ll go to a meeting or training and he always asks if I saw you, how you are, and what’s new with you.”
“And to me a real friend would ask me that by picking up the phone,” I replied with a sigh. “He only contacts me or seeks me out when he’s fighting with you.”
“You’re his first friend and he worries he’s going to drive you away by being needy. He’s mentioned a few times about meeting up with you for dinner but then changes his mind that you’re too busy or got too much going on. He doesn’t see anything in himself that you’d want to be friends with him.”
“Just like he doesn’t get why you freak out because he can’t see why someone would want to snag him from you.”
“Exactly,” Travis sighed. “I was a bastard when I saw him in your arms and thought he cheated. I was wrong and I’ve done everything I could to make it up to him and set it right. He’s forgiven me but he can’t get past what I said and did. He thinks everyone just sees him as a whore and nothing more.”
“I know. Make sure he talks with Ayden. Since I’ve been living with them and on their protection detail, I can’t even believe the way he’s helped people. We all have shit in our lives that’s almost debilitating at times. Hell, my issues with being a doormat and only getting a call when someone needs help aren’t even because of Emmett. They started long ago, but having him only turn to me when you guys fight just puts salt in the wound.”
“I feel you, man. I’ve had more people cheat on me than any person should. I know that insecurity leaks all over us. I just can’t stop it. He’s so hot, so sweet that I keep waiting for someone to steal him from me.”
“I get that but if you don’t work past it you will lose him. He loves you so much, Travis. Don’t blow that because you might not be able to get it back one day.”
“Yeah, I think we need to go talk to Ayden together,” Travis sighed before turning and following after his mate.
I knew they’d make it. They loved each other. They just needed to communicate better. I’d bet my entire savings that Emmett had
clue Travis had ever been cheated on and it was his own insecurities. I couldn’t make them handle their issues, but maybe Ayden could.
Besides, I had my own and a pit in my stomach of loneliness that almost consumed me daily.
“You okay?” Jalen asked quietly.
“No,” I whispered, shaking my head. “Enjoy being young, Jalen, and just having fun. Getting older sucks and everything’s more complicated.”
“You forget who you’re talking to,” he chuckled and then gave me a lopsided grin. “I was born into complicated and fucked up.”
“I know. Which is why you need to enjoy the freedom you have now,” I said gently. “Starting with hanging out with people your own age. Why don’t you start going to the warrior compound and hanging out with the teens who train there? They’re not in official training yet but they’ve all transitioned and work out together. I’m sure you could show them a thing or two about strength and being badass.”
Jalen shook his head at me and I realized he was upset. I lifted his chin with my hand and my stomach twisted in knots when I saw tears. “Everyone just tries to get rid of me!” He slapped my hand away and raced off before I could say anything.
“Fuck!” I shouted, drawing dozens of glances my way. I ignored them, grabbing my backpack and some water bottles, and I headed towards the warrior compound. I was done working and “helping” for the day. All I was doing was starting shit on accident and making myself feel like a jerk.
Maybe if I took a nap and started today over it wouldn’t suck. Wouldn’t it be nice if that’s how things actually worked? Like people got a few mulligans a month to just restart a day.
I was walking along when I heard this soft yowling. I glanced around but couldn’t see anything in the knee-deep grass on the back of the warrior compound property. Man, we really needed to cut the damn grass!
Actually, that sounded like a great idea. Something productive, outside… And a solo job. Perfect.
I changed directions to the garages off the side of the mansion for tools, cars guys were fixing up, and whatnot. Cutting the grass was one of those things that always fell to the side given how much was going on but I just needed some space from everyone and it sounded like a great idea. Especially since Brian and Banning had started their compost pile for the vineyard’s crops. They could use a shitload of grass!
As I kept walking, I swore I felt like someone was watching me. But every time I turned around and looked, no one was there. I shrugged, wondering if my frayed nerves and lack of being able to handle anything right then was clouding my instincts. Instead of focusing on it, I pulled out my iPod from my bag and turned on some Journey. When feeling bad, classic rock always helped.
It took me about twenty minutes to get everything ready to go after I got to the garage. I had to
the riding mower in the massive garage, check the oil, add gas, get the back part added on to collect all the grass. It was a massive John Deere that was almost the size of a tractor. As silly as it was, I liked to drive it. It was a neat toy.
I hopped on, set my phone and water in the cup holders, and cranked up “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” before turning the mower on. I pulled onto the grass from the gravel and just belted out the words, not caring if I sounded like a dying animal my voice was so horrible. I needed to get some of what I was feeling out and if I didn’t have the words, I’d use the ones by Journey.
And just to be a goof because I needed the smile… I decided straight lines were boring. I went here and there, all over on my way back to the vineyard to drop off the clippings. I’m sure if anyone saw me they’d wonder if I’d fallen off my rocker but I didn’t give a shit.
When I got there, I stopped singing and turned off the mowing part so I was just driving to the compost pile, ignoring the stares I was getting. I gave Brian a wave after I shut it down and then took off my headphones.
“What ya got there?” he asked hesitantly. Oh good, that meant someone had told him I’d been yelling.
“Needed some time to think so I thought I’d mow the warriors’ lawn and bring it for your compost.” I shrugged as if telling him I didn’t want to talk about it any more than that. He nodded and thanked me before getting back to whatever he’d been doing.