“Leyland, Lucas is not going to get here
any faster with you looking out the window.”
Leyland turned and glared
at Jake before looking back out the window. “I’m less worried about how fast he
gets here and more worried about those clouds gathering overhead.” He waved his
hand at the dark gray clouds gathering over the mountains surrounding their
little ranch. “I just don’t want him to get caught out in this stuff.”
Leyland felt strong arms
encircle him from behind. “Baby, we’re werewolves. We can handle a little cold
Leyland leaned back into
Jake’s arms, leaning his head against the wide muscular chest pressed against
his back. “Jake, I love you, really I do, but sometimes you can be a real pain
in the ass.”
Jake chuckled, his warm
breath blowing across Leyland’s neck. “Admit it, you love it when I’m a pain in
“Maybe?” Jake exclaimed.
“Jake!” Leyland yelped
then laughed uncontrollably when Jake picked him. He found himself tossed over
Jake’s shoulder, ass in the air and head hanging down next to Jake’s magnificent
ass, as he was carried through the living room and into their bedroom.
Leyland let out another
yelp when he suddenly flew through the bedroom and landed on the bed, bouncing
several times. By the time he came to a stop Jake already had his shirt off and
was working on pushing his jeans down his legs.
All laughter left Leyland
as his level of lust went from semi interested to automatic overdrive. His mate
was damn sexy, even more so knowing that he belonged to Leyland. “God, you’re
Jake grinned. “Yeah?”
Leyland rolled onto his
hands and knees and crawled to the edge of the bed. He eyed the massive cock
bouncing in front of his face, licking his lips. “Oh yeah,” he whispered right
before he licked the tip of Jake’s cock.
The low, needy groan he
heard from above him made Leyland feel giddy. He loved making his mate feel
good. It was almost as good as an orgasm, almost. Nothing on earth really topped
having an orgasm created by one of his mates.
Mates…that thought made
Leyland remember that Jake wasn’t his only mate. He wanted to ask Jake where
Lucas was but his mouth was full of Jake’s cock and he wasn’t about to give up
his toy now that he had it.
Instead, he used the
mental bond that all mates had. “Where did you say Lucas went? Shouldn’t he
be in here with us?”
“He needed to run into
town for some last minute errands,” Jake said. “Now pay attention to what
you’re doing, baby.”
Leyland giggled. Jake
could be so single minded sometimes, not that Leyland minded. A horny Jake was a
very good thing. A horny Jake and Lucas was even better but Leyland supposed he
could wait until Lucas got home for that.
“Fuck, baby, you’re so
good at that,” Jake groaned. “Your mouth is like magic.”
Leyland grinned around the
cock in his mouth before swallow more of Jake’s large shaft. Jake was massive,
something that Leyland found very arousing, but the man wasn’t easy to take,
either in his mouth or his ass.
The soft skin over hard
steel, the sweet taste of pre-cum, all of it combined to drive Leyland crazy.
His cock was so hard in his jeans he thought his pants might burst. Leyland
dropped cock from his mouth and leaned back to pull his shirt over his head. He
tossed it across the room and reached for the buttons on his jeans.
Before he could get them
pushed down his legs, Jake growled. It sent shivers of delight down his spine.
Jake pushed Leyland back onto the bed and grabbed the leg of his jeans, yanking
them down his legs so fast that Leyland barely knew what happened before he was
Leyland grinned and held
his arms open to his mate. The level of heat arching between them could have
started a forest fire. Leyland wrapped his arms around Jake as the man settled
over his body. He loved the feeling of being weighted down by one of his mates.
It let him know he was being loved on.
“Now, I’m going to show
you what a pain in your ass I can be,” Jake said as two lubed fingers pushed
into Leyland’s ass.
Leyland hissed, the sudden
intrusion burning, aching. His hips bucked, driving Jake’s fingers deeper inside
his clenching grasp. The burn slowly dwindled away as Jake thrust in and put, to
be replaced by a deep ache.
“You like that, baby?”
Leyland panted. “It—it
would be better if it were you.”
“Soon, Leyland,” Jake
said. His voice sounded low and deep, needy. “I just have to stretch you out a
bit more before you can take me.”
No matter how much he
wanted to feel Jake plunge into him right this second, he knew Jake was right.
The man was hung like a horse. Leyland could be seriously injured if Jake didn’t
prepare him properly first. But once he did…
“More, Jake,” Leyland
begged. His fingers clawed at the sheet. He gripped his thighs just above his
knees and pulled them up to his chest, spreading his legs as far apart as he
could. He knew he looked wanton. He didn’t care.
A third finger pushed into
Leyland. It was quickly joined by a fourth finger. Leyland’s mind slid into a
haze of lust. When Jake’s fingers began gently tugging at his nipples, Jake’s
lips devouring him, Leyland started shuddering.
His orgasm wasn’t far off.
“Jake, if you don’t get that beautiful cock in my ass in the next two seconds
I’m going off without you.”
Jake chuckled. Leyland’s
eyes narrowed. It was an evil sound. He groaned in protest when Jake pulled his
fingers away until he felt a small slap to his hip. Leyland raised an eyebrow at
“Roll over, baby,” Jake
commanded. “Fucking you isn’t the only thing I want to do to you.”
Leyland couldn’t roll over
fast enough. Jake, Lucas, and Leyland enjoyed a variance of sexual play. Some of
it was loving, slow, and gentle. Some of it was hot, desperate, and needy. And
some of it was downright kinky.
Leyland could tell by
Jake’s words that this would be the kinky variety. Both of his mates knew he
liked being spanked and took every opportunity to do just that. Leyland was
pretty sure he could come from just the feel of Jake or Lucas’s hand smacking
his ass alone. There was nothing like it in the world.
Leyland pushed himself up
onto his hands and knees and presented himself to his mate. He wiggled his ass,
anticipating the feel of Jake’s hand coming down on his rounded cheeks. The wait
was half the fun. The other half made Leyland moan as Jake smacked his ass.
“I do love how much you
enjoy this, Leyland.”
Leyland giggled. “And I
enjoy how much you love it.”
“Works out well for us
“It would work better if
you put that big cock in my ass while you spank me.”
“I don’t know, Leyland,”
Jake said as he smacked Leyland’s ass again. “Do you deserve my cock? Have you
been a good boy?”
“God, yes!” Leyland
groaned as he pushed back into the next spanking. He’d been good. He’d been
really good. He hadn’t used his Tri Omega powers on anyone lately. He tried real
hard not to drive Jake and Lucas nuts when he discovered all their friends were
coming to Christmas. He’d been very good.
Leyland felt the head of
Jake’s cock press against his tight entrance. Jake seemed to want to tease him,
pushing in just a little but never fully breaching him. Leyland groaned. He
clutched the sheet in his hand and gritted his teeth.
“Jake!” He wailed.
The large mushroomed head
pushed in. Jake moved so slowly Leyland thought he might die of old age before
he was fully impaled on the man’s cock. Deciding to take matters into his own
hands, so to speak, Leyland braced himself then pushed back with all of his
The intrusion was swift,
hard, and Leyland loved every second of it, especially when Jake’s cry rang out
from behind him as the man sank all of the way in. Leyland could feel Jake’s
hips pressed against his, Jake’s hands gripping him with unnatural strength.
“Fuck, Leyland, why’d you
do that?” Jake groaned as he began thrusting into Leyland with deep, powerful
strokes. “Now I can’t go slow.”
“Didn’t want slow,”
Leyland grunted. “Want you to fuck me so hard I can’t walk for a week.”
“Lucas and I will have to
carry you everywhere.” Jake chuckled.
“That’s the point.”
“You’re wish is my
command, baby.” Jake leaned over Leyland until his body blanketed the smaller
man. “Of course, you understand I’m going to have to punish you first, right?”
“Oh God, I hope so,”
Leyland whispered. He gripped the headboard in front of him, his knuckles nearly
white. The feeling of Jake thrusting into him with all the force behind his
muscular body nearly undid Leyland.
Jake was a strong man,
alpha of their pack. He ruled them with strength, intelligence, and soft heart,
even if he didn’t like admitting he had one. Leyland knew he did. He felt it
every time the man touched him, in every soft caress, every sweet kiss.
Lucas, Leyland’s other
mate, was much the same, although he had an easier time showing his softer side.
Lucas was the beta of their pack, second in command. He didn’t have to be in
control all of the time like Jake did.
As the omega of the pack,
Leyland felt it was his job to spoil both Jake and Lucas and remind them why
they worked so hard to keep their pack safe and happy. Being a total slut where
his two mates were concerned was part of that job and one Leyland enjoyed
“You like that, baby?”
Jake asked. “You like my cock in your ass?”
“Yeah,” Leyland panted. He
worked on squeezing the inner muscles that gripped Jake’s cock, smirking when he
heard the man groan, the rhythm of his thrusts becoming erratic. “Harder, Jake.”
“My ass,” Jake growled. “My pace.”
Leyland yelped as Jake’s thick hand
came down on his ass several times. It made his cock even harder. He thought he
might explode any minute. He reached his hand under his body and grabbed his own
cock tightly in his hand.
The friction of his cock sliding
through his hand with every powerful thrust of Jake’s body into his quickly had
Leyland on the edge of a magnificent orgasm. He could feel it coming, feel his
balls tighten up getting ready to explode.
“Jake!” Leyland wailed.
“I’m right there with you, baby,” Jake
replied. “Come for me, Leyland, come all over my cock.”
Leyland cried out, Jake’s simple words
enough to send him over the edge. His body shuddered as his orgasm grabbed him,
white pearly seed shooting all over the sheet beneath him. Leyland distantly
heard Jake bellow behind him. Fingers dug into his hips as Jake thrust heavily
into him, spurts of the man’s release filling him before Jake collapsed down
over the top of him.
Jake rolled them to their sides,
cuddling Leyland in his arms. Leyland felt each caress of the man’s hands as
they loving gestures they were meant to be. He wiggled back against the bigger
body behind him, content to just lie in Jake’s arms for now.
“Don’t you think we should get up and
clean up a bit?” Jake asked after a moment, wiggling his hips a little,
reminding Leyland that his mate was still buried deep inside of him.
“Nope.” Leyland chuckled. “I’m pretty
happy right where I am.” He turned his head to look back at Jake over his
shoulder. “Besides, if we stay here until Lucas gets home we’ll cut out the
“Cut out the middle man?” Jake asked,
confusion in his voice.
“If we’re already undressed and in
* * * *
Jake cuddled Leyland’s sleeping body
closer to his as he watched the dark clouds roll in over the mountain range
behind their house. He could scent the coming storm in the air and knew it would
be a big one.
It was Christmas Eve. With the storm
that was coming they might not be able to leave the ranch until the new year.
Jake didn’t necessarily consider that a bad thing, being snowed in with his two
mates. It would give them lots of time for cuddling in front of a roaring fire
together. What else were they supposed to do? Knit?
Still, it was starting to turn dark
outside and some of Leyland’s concern began to spill over into Jake. Lucas went
into town to pick up Leyland’s surprise Christmas present hours ago. He should
have been home by now.
Not wanting to alert Leyland of his
worry, Jake used the mate bond he had with Lucas to try and contact him. He
called out several times but received no response, which worried him even more.
No matter what was happening, Lucas always answered when he called.
His concern growing by the second,
Jake carefully pulled his arm out from under Leyland’s head and replaced it with
a pillow. He rolled to the side of the bed then reached back to tuck the
blankets around his mate.
Leyland whimpered for a moment. Jake
smoothed the sandy brown hair back from his face until the man settled down then
quickly got up and pulled his clothes on. Not bothering to grab shoes, Jake left
the bedroom in search of Daniel, the remaining member of their little wolf pack.
They’d never had a large pack to begin
with, most of them being exiled from their birth packs for being gay. They had
banded together as a pack, Jake as their alpha. However, over the last several
months, a few of their members had mated and moved on to other packs, leaving
the four of them as the only members.
Gregory and Ryland found their mate,
Viktor, on Vourdala Island. Since Viktor was the beta of that pack, they chose
to move there and live with him. Thomas found his two mates, Caleb and Micah,
during his travels and moved in with them. Jake suspected that Daniel would be
moving in with his mate too, if he ever found him.
Little by little, their pack became
smaller. Jake didn’t necessarily see it as a bad thing. All of his former pack
members were happy and mated and that’s all he could want for them but he did
miss them all.
Still, Jake did worry about the size
of their pack. With only four members remaining, it left them vulnerable to
attack by other packs, bigger packs who might want their territory. Jake could
only hope that they could keep themselves safe until they found new members.
“Daniel?” Jake called out as he
reached the great room of their ranch house.
“In the kitchen,” Daniel replied.
Jake hurried into the kitchen. He
could just begin to see the first signs of snow falling outside the large
windows of the dining room as he walked through on the way to the kitchen. He
found Daniel making coffee.
“Hey, have you heard from Lucas?”
“Uh, no.” Daniel’s forehead wrinkled
in confusion. “Haven’t you?”
Jake shook his head. “No, and I can’t
reach him through our bond either. I’m really starting to get worried. He should
have been home by now.”
“I knew something was wrong!”
Jake swung around to find Leyland
standing behind him, a blanket wrapped around his shoulders. Jake closed his
eyes briefly wishing his mate had stayed asleep. Leyland was not going to handle
Lucas be missing very well.
“I didn’t say anything was wrong,
Leyland,” Jake said as he opened his eyes back up. “But you’re right, the
weather is getting a little worse and I just wondered if Daniel heard from him.”
The glare Leyland sent Jake made him
wince. He hated it when Leyland looked at him like that. It usually meant a full
scale melt down was coming and that wasn’t a good thing where his mate was
Leyland was a Tri Omega. He had
abilities that even Jake didn’t have. Leyland was good about not using his
abilities unless needed but every once in awhile his emotions got the better of
him and then his abilities got the better of everyone else.
Jake smirked as he remembered Leyland
freezing him in place soon after they mated. He hadn’t been able to move a
muscle, nothing except his eyes. Leyland was just trying to break up a fight
Jake was having with Leyland’s fathers but still, Jake was the alpha, the man in
charge. Leyland shouldn’t have interfered.
“I can’t reach him through our bond,
Jake,” Leyland whispered, all of the color draining from his face. “You don’t
think something happened to him, do you?”
Jake immediately crossed the room and
hugged Leyland to him. “Baby, I’m sure Lucas is just fine.”
“I don’t know why he hasn’t answered
us but Lucas is a big guy,” Jake continued. “He can take care of himself.” Jake
leaned back to look down into Leyland’s worried face. “But if it makes you feel
any better, I’ll make some phone calls and see if anyone has seen him, okay?”
Leyland nodded. His face was nearly
white, his green eyes wide. Jake hugged him again. He glanced over the top of
Leyland’s head toward Daniel and saw the same concern on his face. Lucas should
have contacted them by now.
“I’m going to take the truck and head
into town to look for Lucas,” Daniel said, much to Jake’s relief. “I have my
cell phone on me so call me if you hear anything.”
Jake nodded then looked down at
Leyland as Daniel left the room. “Baby, I want you to go stoke up the fire while
I start making phone calls. If Lucas is out in this stuff we’re going to need
the house to be nice and warm for him when he gets home.”
Leyland nodded and hurried off. Jake
knew the man needed something to keep him busy, something to make him feel like
he was helping. If Lucas didn’t come home soon Jake was very afraid Leyland
would lose it.
He loved Lucas more than the air he
breathed, just as Jake did. Lucas was their other half, their mate. They needed
him. If something happened to Lucas Jake and Leyland would be devastated.
Jake walked to his study and grabbed
the phone. He was already dialing Lucas’s cell phone before he even sat down. He
wasn’t surprised when he received no answer. If Lucas couldn’t answer him on
their mate bond, he wouldn’t be answering him on the cell phone.
Jake flipped through his rolodex and
began calling a series of phone numbers. He first tried the local train station,
Lucas’s reason for going into town in the first place. Leyland’s Christmas
surprise was supposed to arrive by train.
“Hello, Valley Train Station. How can
I help you?”
“This is Jake McAllister, Lucas was
supposed to come into town and pick up some people coming in on the afternoon
train. Have you seen him? He hasn’t gotten hoe yet and I’m beginning to get a
little worried about him.”
“Hey, Mr. McAllister,” the man
replied. “Lucas hasn’t arrived yet but your guests did about an hour ago. They
waited around for a little while then caught a lift with Catherine from the
diner. She had to go out your way and said she’d give them a lift. They should
be arriving there pretty soon.”
“Thanks, Marcus,” Jake said, feeling
his heart plummet even more. “If you see Lucas would you ask him to give me a
call? There’s a storm brewing and I’d like to know he’s safe before it hits.”
“Hey, no problem, Mr. McAllister. Do
you want me to get the word out that he’s missing?”
“No, not yet.” Jake pushed his hand
through his hair. “I’m not actually sure he’s missing yet. He could just be
running late. Just keep an eye out for him.”
“Okay. Merry Christmas, Mr.
“Merry Christmas to you too, Marcus.”
Jake hung up the phone and stared at
it. Well, that had been a bust. Jake grabbed the phone and began calling every
place he could think of, the local market, the coffee shop, the hardware store,
the grain and feed. Their little town was well, pretty little. There weren’t
that many places to call.
When he received a negative to every
inquiry about Lucas, Jake really started to get worried. It seemed like Lucas
hadn’t even made it to town. No one had seen him. Jake called Daniel, hoping
against hope that he’d found Lucas. His next phone call would be to the sheriff.
“Daniel? It’s Jake, any sign of him?”
“Nope, and I’m almost to town now.”
Jake twirled in his chair to look out
the windows of his study. The snowflakes that began to fall before Daniel left
were coming down a lot harder now. If Lucas was caught out in this stuff he
could be in serious danger.
True, as werewolves they had a
stronger immunity to cold but they were not impervious to it. They could die of
hypothermia just like everyone else. It just took longer.
“Yeah, I’m here,” Jake replied. “Look,
just keep looking. I’ve called just about everywhere and haven’t found him but
he has to be out there somewhere. Leyland’s Christmas present should be here any
minute. Once they get here, that should keep him busy while we search.”
“I hear you.”
“Thanks, Daniel, and stay safe, okay?
This storm is coming in hard and fast. Don’t stay out in it too long.”
“I’ll be fine, Jake.”
Jake chuckled as he hung up the phone.
Daniel was very independent even if he was a member of Jake’s pack. Jake
suspected there was a story behind Daniel’s loner attitude but Daniel never
Jake and Lucas had both talked with
Daniel when he joined their pack. They knew why he’d left his birth pack, which
was the same reason they had. Daniel was exiled because he was gay. But Daniel
hadn’t talked it beyond that.
He hoped Daniel would find his mate
and be as happy as Jake was with Leyland and Lucas. The man deserved it. He was
a god man and deserved all the happiness he could find. Jake was just worried
that he wasn’t looking for it. He seemed to avoid looking for his mate like the
“Leyland?” Jake smiled when he heard
Leyland’s feet quickly pad across the floor.
“Did you find him?” Leyland asked as
he came rushing into the room. The eager look on his face mace Jake’s heart ache
especially since he had to tell him he hadn’t located their mate.
Jake shook his head. “No, baby, I
haven’t. But we’re still looking. In the meantime, I need you to do something
Leyland nodded, his face falling just
a bit. Leyland blinked several times, his hands clenching and unclenching at his
sides. Jake knew he was trying to keep from crying. He opened his arms and
gestured for the man to come to him.
Leyland raced across the room. Jake
caught the little man and wrapped his arms around him, holding him close to his
chest. He buried his face in Leyland’s sweet smelling hair. Jake felt tears
prickle the corner of his eyes as he heard a small sob come from Leyland. He
allowed himself just a moment to let his emotions flow.
Taking a deep breath, Jake raised his
head. He wiped away a stray tear then grabbed Leyland’s chin to tilt his head
back. Time to be the strong one again. “We’re going to find him, baby, I swear.”
“Are we?” Leyland asked. “What if he’s
hurt, out there all alone? What if he can’t contact us because he’s hurt?”
“Lucas is a strong man, Leyland, you
know that. He can take care of himself. I don’t know why he’s not contacting us
but I do know that there has to be an explanation. Lucas wouldn’t scare us like
this if he didn’t have a good reason.”
Leyland closed his eyes for just a
moment, taking a deep breath before opening them again. He patted Jake’s chest.
“Okay, what do you need me to do?”
“Lucas was going into town to get your
Christmas surprise but, well, he never picked them up and they’re on their way
out here. So, I need you to get one of the guest rooms ready for company.”
“It was supposed to be a surprise for
you but we invited your parents to come spend Christmas with us.”
“Really?” Jake saw a smile break
across Leyland’s face, lifting the corner’s of his lips for the first time since
they discovered Lucas missing. “Mom and my Dads are coming?”
Jake nodded. “Yep, they should be here
anytime. Catherine from the diner is driving them out since—” Shit!
Leyland’s smile fell. “Since Lucas
didn’t pick them up?”
Leyland nodded. “I guess I should go
get the guest room ready then.”
“We’re going to find Lucas, baby.”
Leyland didn’t look convinced but
nodded his head anyway as he moved away. He paused at the doorway and glanced
back over his shoulder. “Thanks, Jake. I know you’re just as worried as I am. If
you need me, you know where I’ll be.”
“I know, baby, and thanks.”
Jake shook his head as Leyland walked
out. He would never get used to how giving his mate was. No matter what the
situation, Leyland always had the best interest of his mates in mind. He never
let an opportunity pass to let either of them know how much he loved them.
Hearing a vehicle pull up the drive,
Jake rushed out of his study and threw open the front door. He felt his heart
thud in his chest until the vehicle came into view and he realized it wasn’t
Lucas but Leyland’s parents. He was glad they arrived safe but he would have
much rather it had been his mate.
Jake stepped out onto the porch as he
waited for the vehicle came to a stop. He waved as Leyland’s parents climbed out
and walked toward him. Jake gave Lilla a hug and ushered her into the warm house
while John and Brian grabbed their luggage.
“I’m glad you made it safely but we
have a bit of a situation,” Jake said as he took Lilla’s coat. “I think Leyland is
going to need you. Lucas is missing.”
“What?” Lilla exclaimed. “Is that why
he didn’t pick us up at the train station?”
Jake nodded. “He went into town to
pick you up but apparently he never arrived. We haven’t been able to contact him
since, not even through the mating bond. Leyland is about to go out of his
Lilla patted Jake’s hand. “I’ll bet
you’re not far behind him.”
Jake grimaced. “No, but—”
“But you’re trying to hold it together
for Leyland?” Lilla asked, pegging Jake with her mysterious eyes. “It’s okay to
feel, Jake, even if you are the alpha. Leyland needs to know that you’re just as
worried as he is.”
“If I let him know I’m nervous then
he’s going to be more upset than he is now,” Jake insisted. “He needs me to be
“He’s also going to know you’re human,
Jake.” Lilla tilted her head to one side and chuckled. “Well, as human as we can
be, anyway. And he needs that too.” Lilla looked around the great room. “Now,
where is my son?”
Jake thought about Lilla’s words as he
showed her to the guest room. Could she be right? Leyland knew he was loved.
Jake tried to show him in every way possible. That had never been their issue
but did the man need to see Jake’s distress too?
“Leyland, your mother is here,” Jake
said as he escorted Lilla into the guest room. Leyland was just fluffing the
pillows and setting them up on the bed. He looked up, dropped the pillow, and
raced into his mother’s arms.
His heart ached for his little mate.
He watched for just a moment, wishing he could just find Lucas and bring him
home where he belonged. Leyland needed the man, maybe as much as Jake did.
Jake turned away and walked back to
his study. He grabbed a crystal decanter off the sideboard and poured himself a
quick shot, drinking it down in one gulp. If he hadn’t been needed right then,
he would have poured a much larger drink.
He could only remember one other time
feeling like this, desperate, needy, and overwhelmed. It was when he first found
Leyland and had to let Lucas go. He and Lucas had been lovers for ten years by
When Jake found Leyland they both
assumed that he was only Jake’s mate. Lucas stepped aside and moved out of their
room. While Jake was thrilled he’d found his mate, his heart hurt to give Lucas
up. He loved Lucas.
Jake chuckled and set his glass down
on the sideboard. Leyland had been a spitball, coming in and claiming Jake and
Lucas as his mates. Besides the day he discovered Leyland on some television
show about photography, the day he found out he could keep Lucas was the
happiest in his life.
Jake sat down heavily in his chair as
he suddenly realized what Lilla tried to tell him. Having both his mates made
him happier than anything on earth. Sharing with them was the only way to go,
both in their happiness and their despair.
Jake jumped to his feet and walked
quickly to the great room. He stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked up
toward the balcony of the second floor. “Leyland? Can I see you downstairs for a
* * * *
Leyland walked out of the guest
bedroom where he was helping his mother and two fathers settle in, thrilled that
they were here but distracted by his worry over Lucas. He glanced over the side
of the balcony to where Jake stood as he walked.
The worry he saw on Jake’s face sent
his pulse rate soaring. Jake was always so calm and collected. If he was worried
enough to show his concern then things must be very bad. A sudden dread filled
Leyland. His steps slowed as he walked down the stairs, afraid of what Jake
would tell him.
“What?” he whispered. “Have you found
Lucas? Is he—is he okay?”
“No, baby, not yet.”
When Jake held out his arms, Leyland
was only too happy to jump into them. He barely smothered his sob as Jake’s arms
closed around him.
“Your mother pointed out to me that I
was hiding my worry from you and I needed to share it with you,” Jake murmured.
“We are stronger together than we are apart, even when our heart is out there
Despite the heavy snow falling
outside, Leyland felt warmer than he had in hours. Yes, his heart felt fractured
without Lucas here to hold him too but at least he had Jake, strong, powerful
Leyland knew Jake would be there for
him, no matter what. And maybe that was all that mattered. Leyland laid his head
on Jake’s chest and held on as tight as he could. “I love you, Jake.”
“I love you too, Leyland,” Jake
whispered back. “I always will.”
Leyland smiled. He burrowed in closer
to Jake and turned to watch the snow falling outside the large front windows.
The snow seemed so thick that they couldn’t even see the barn from where they
A sudden dark spot in the blanket of
white caught Leyland’s attention. He narrowed his eyes to look closer. All he
saw was white and more white. Thinking he was just seeing things, Leyland
started to turn away when the darkness caught his eye again.
“Jake, look!” Leyland pointed out the
Leyland felt Jake’s hand tighten on
his body as Jake peered out the window. His heart beat faster as the dark blur
began to take on the shape of a person. Leyland pushed away from Jake and
stepped closer to the window.
“Way ahead of you, baby,” Jake said as
he raced to the front door and threw it open. Leyland followed behind, walking
out onto the front porch with Jake. He rubbed his hands up and down his arms as
the cold reached him, reminding Leyland of just how cold Lucas must be.
Leyland raced back into the house and
grabbed a blanket off the back of the couch. He reached the front door just in
time to see Jake bound off the front porch into the snow. For a moment, he lost
track of him then he saw a sight that made him cry out.
Walking out of the snow was Jake,
Lucas wrapped in his arms. His clothes were wet and muddy, his body shivering.
His skin had a bluish tinge to it. Leyland jumped off the porch and ran forward
to wrap the blanket around Lucas’s shoulders.
He planted several kisses along
Lucas’s jaw line and just generally touched his mate to make sure he was real
and not wishful thinking on Leyland’s part. He was real.
“Lucas, God, we were so worried,”
Leyland said as he walked with him and Jake back into the house. “Where were
you? What happened? Why didn’t you contact us? I was scared to death.”
“Leyland, give him a moment,” Jake
Leyland flushed, feeling like a jerk.
“Go get him some warm tea and stoke up
the fire,” Jake directed. “I’m going to get him out of these wet clothes.”
“Yeah, yeah, I can do that.” Leyland
didn’t wait for anything else. He ran to the kitchen to make hot chocolate for
Lucas. His hands shook as he turned the burner on and set the teapot on it.
Lucas was home. Leyland felt giddy.
“Leyland? Can you get Lucas some dry
clothes?” Jake called out from the living room.
“Yeah,” Leyland replied as he walked
to the bedroom. He grabbed a simple cotton shirt, a pair of jogging pants, and
some wool socks then hurried back to the living room. He found Lucas surrounded
by Jake and his parents.
“Here,” Leyland said as he handed the
stack of clothes to Jake. His eyes devoured Lucas, taking in every single sign
of his recent trauma from the bruise on his head to the shaking body. He didn’t
know what Lucas went through but at least he was alive.
The teapot in the kitchen made a high
pitched shrill. Leyland went back to the kitchen and made a cup of hot chocolate
for Lucas. He refilled the teapot and turned on low in case anyone else wanted
hot chocolate or tea then carried the cup for Lucas back into the great room.
Lucas was changed, a blanket wrapped
around his shoulders. Leyland needed to touch him, to feel him. He needed to
know that Lucas was safe. And then he needed to know why in the hell the man
hadn’t contacted him or Jake.
“Here, honey,” Leyland said as he held
the cup out to Lucas. He frowned when Jake took the cup and set it on the coffee
table. “Jake, wha—”
“He just needs another moment, baby,”
Jake replied. He patted the coffee table. “Here, sit down. Lucas was just about
to tell us what happened.”
Leyland sat down on the small wooden
table, facing Lucas and Jake. He watched Lucas carefully. There seemed to be
more color in his face and his teeth had stopped chattering. He still had an
ugly bruise on his forehead that worried Leyland.
“I was on my way to town to pick up
your parents, “Lucas began, “when I saw something run across the road. I got out
to see what it was and slipped. The next thing I know the snow was falling and I
Leyland frowned. “Why didn’t you just
“I did but the snow fall got so bad
that the truck would only make it half way up the driveway. I had to walk the
rest of the way.”
“Anyway, getting home was only half my
problem. I had to find out what I saw running across the road. That took about
an hour.” Lucas grinned. “Do you want to see what I found?”
“Oh yeah, I guess so.” Leyland
couldn’t figure out why Lucas seemed so concerned about whatever ran across in
front of his truck until he lifted the blanket and pulled out a small brown
“Oh…” Leyland whispered softly as he
took the small puppy Lucas held out to him. He cradled the sleeping bundle to
his chest, his eyes watering. He looked up to see Jake and Lucas smiling at him.
“Merry Christmas, Leyland,” they both
said at the same time.
Lucas was home where he belonged. His
parents had come to celebrate Leyland’s first Christmas with his mates, and he
had a new puppy. The snow was falling outside but inside was warm and filled
with love. Yeah, it was a Merry Christmas.
Leyland smiled back at mates. “Merry