“Sure mom, I’ll see what I can do about that,” Ethan stated before walking out the front door of his parents’ house. The crisp autumn air felt like a cool breeze against his body. Taking a deep, calming breath, he walked to his best friend Isaiah’s house.
It was always the same thing when it came to his mother. “When are you going to mate? I want grandcubs before I’m too old to play with them.” Ethan chuckled to himself. They were wolf shifters and lived very long lives. His mother was seventy, but looked and acted as if she was in her early thirties. This past week she had been throwing it on pretty thick for him to find a mate. He hadn’t found the right woman, and the urge to mate wasn’t there. He was happy with his bachelor wolf status.
Lost in his thoughts, he made it to Isaiah’s home without paying attention to where he was going. That showed how many times he’s made the trek. He had stopped to visit his parents before meeting up with Isaiah and going to their Alpha’s home. That was a visit he should have avoided. Knocking on the door, he heard Isaiah yell ‘come in’. Opening the door, Ethan stopped dead in his tracks. The most mouthwatering smell of delicious apple pie, fresh out of the oven, scented the air. He was always the first person in line to get a slice when his mother baked his favorite pie. What he couldn’t figure out was why Isaiah was baking. Isaiah rarely baked, and when he did, he wasn’t a big fan of pies.
“Why are you baking?” Ethan asked Isaiah once he was able to move into the living room.
“I’m not. You know I hate to bake.” Isaiah walked toward the entrance of the living room, where Ethan was standing, his eyebrows scrunched together in confusion.
The irresistible smell became stronger with each step Isaiah took in his direction. Ethan’s body went rigid with arousal. He held himself back from pulling Isaiah into his arms to kiss the hell out of him. His body’s reaction to the intoxicating scent told Ethan everything he needed to know. Shit, this couldn’t be real.
“Shit.” Isaiah echoed Ethan’s thought.
They were mates. Why now? They’d grown up together, were practically inseparable, and Ethan had never reacted this way toward his best friend before. Maybe it was because his mother had started hounding him to mate that made the Fates decide to show them who was boss.
“This can’t be happening.” Ethan stated. Their mating wouldn’t go over well with the pack. The elders were set in their ways and rebuffed anything new or different. They wouldn’t accept their unconventional mating. If he hadn’t known Isaiah since childhood, Ethan would have missed the hurt that flashed in the other man’s eyes before he quickly schooled his features.
“The pack would shit bricks, or worse, try to kick us out.” Isaiah stated, hitting the mark dead on.
“So how are we going to keep from claiming each other? My wolf is riding me hard to lay claim to you right now.”
“We have to fight it. That’s all we can really do. When the urge hits us, we’ll just have to discreetly find someone else.” Isaiah groaned, his eyes scrunching up in misery. “Ugh, my wolf is clawing at me for even saying that out loud.”
Ethan nodded, “I’m going to go.” A heavy lead weight settled in the pit of his stomach as he walked to the door. They couldn’t claim each other without jeopardizing their place in the pack. He laughed at their predicament. Fate sure has a funny sense of humor sometimes.