**Here’s a new flash fic, but still PNR, because I can’t seem to stop. It’s all my muse wants to write. Enjoy!**
The wolf in my backyard was not one I recognized, which was saying something because I’d been around the local pack since I was a child. That narrowed it down, though. Either the wolf was one of the relatively new and recent members to join, or he was from a rival pack. Since he was just sitting there, staring at me, with absolutely no aggression, I was guessing the former.
I cocked my head. The big gray wolf mirrored the motion. I smiled and gestured behind me. “You coming in?”
The wolf didn’t move, but I swear I saw his amber eyes narrow. It made me laugh. Because I wasn’t worried about protecting myself if it came to that, and clearly he was there for a reason. Which is exactly what I told him. This time he definitely squinted, and I could practically feel the judgement rolling off him. I didn’t know what that was about but I wasn’t going to play games.
“Look, come in or don’t, it’s up to you.” And with that, I turned on my heel and headed up the steps to the back porch. I hadn’t even made it to the creaky screen door before I heard that familiar sound of paws on wood. I kept my face averted so he wouldn’t see my smirk, and held open the door so he could walk in.
I shut the door behind me, turning to make sure it latched properly, and by the time I turned around, I had a naked man crouched on my kitchen floor. It took me a second, because I’d only met him twice, but my brain finally supplied Gage’s name. I crossed my arms and leaned against the counter, staring him down.
“You want clothes?” I asked casually. Some shifters did, but most didn’t. And since I’d been raised around shifters, I viewed nudity as they did. It was just a state of being, and certainly not always a sexual thing.
“Only if you want,” Gage croaked, his voice still not quite ready to work. It happened sometimes with the shift. I’d seen it often enough.
I gestured with my chin toward the table as I turned to rummage in the fridge. I didn’t have much in the way of protein—some cold cuts and the rest of a block of cheddar—but I grabbed that and the sweet tea off the shelf. The sugar would do him good. I dropped my wares on the table, then retrieved some dinner rolls I had and added that, because carbs would help too. Adding a plate and a glass to my collection rounded everything off, and Gage had a veritable feast to replenish his used calories.
“Thanks, Seth,” he whispered, taking the plate and serving himself, such as it was.
And if I hadn’t been paying attention, I would have missed it. But I had been, because I was confused why this man who I’d only met a few times and who had only joined the pack six months ago was stalking me in wolf form. But the way he said my name? I couldn’t put it into words, exactly, the way it made me feel. There was longing there, affection maybe, and almost a reverence. All of that and more I couldn’t even name. And that gave me the biggest clue, even though it seemed impossible.
I let him eat for a few, unabashedly watching him, and Gage didn’t seem to care. At least he met my gaze on occasion and didn’t look embarrassed. His fast metabolism meant that it wouldn’t take him long to gain his strength back. The food disappeared fast, and so did several glasses of tea, before Gage sat back.
“So want to tell me why you were in the backyard?”
Gage shrugged one shoulder. “I can’t help it. I have to be.”
I nodded, knowing where this was going, and not sure how I felt about it. “Were you going to tell me?”
“Probably.” Gage gave me a half smile that died quickly. “Maybe.”
I sighed. I might not be a wolf, but I understood them better than most other humans. I’d been immersed in their culture since I was four. I knew what was happening here.
“Well, perhaps we should get to know each other before we mate, you think?”
That got a small laugh out of Gage, and he shrugged that one shoulder again. I couldn’t decide if the gesture was annoying or endearing, and thought I’d reserve judgement on that.
Gage’s expression turned earnest as he leaned forward. “Whatever you want. You’re mine. I want to make you happy.”
I didn’t comment on that. We’d work on his need to please, because I wasn’t the type to need my partner to cater to every whim. More than that, I wanted him to be happy and fulfilled as well. So we’d deal with that as we got to know one another.
“At least a couple of dates, first. I get that you feel the pull, but it’s not exactly the same for me yeah?” I checked, and he nodded. “But, you know, attraction is definitely there. So we’ll get to know each other and see how we fit.”
Gage’s grin went wide. Mischievous even. “What are you doing tonight?