*After taking last week off with the conclusion of the last serial, here we are with a new flash fic! It’s slightly NSFW though, so beware. What do you think? Want to see more of these guys? Lemme know! But in the meantime, enjoy!”
Goats everywhere. Eating my grass and shrubs. Bleating and pooping and tussling and climbing all over each other. There had to be at least twenty. No wait, here came some more. Running in from the acreage behind my property to join their friends. More noise and more chomping.
I stood on my back porch just staring. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Last time I checked, the acreage was nothing but wilderness and was owned by an older gentleman who had no plans to develop it. Had that changed? Had he suddenly taken up goat farming?
The predator in me wanted to shift and chase. To run down one of those tasty morsels and gorge until I was full. Then maybe drag the carcass home to snack on later. But I was more than my wolfy instincts and though my fangs prickled at my gums, I didn’t change.
I still wanted to know how the goats appeared though. And what to do about them.
I set down my coffee on the railing, gave it a mournful look because I knew it would be cold by the time I got back, and set off toward the herd. The bleating got louder, panicked, most likely because they could sense I was more. Dangerous. The scramble they did to get away from me would be amusing if it didn’t create more chaos.
A thundering boom of a bark snagged my attention. It was quickly followed by two more, and before I realized it, three large white dogs came barreling through a fence—that hadn’t been there before—and took up a guard position between me and the herd. I froze, recognizing the livestock protection dogs for what they were even if I didn’t know the breed. I made a mental note to look later to see if I could figure it out, just to assuage my curiosity, and focused all my attention on the one who was clearly the leader.
I didn’t think the dogs would attack me as long as I didn’t go after their goats. Was that something I’d learned somewhere or just instinct? It didn’t matter. I just knew it was better to stay still, not make a move toward the goats that were still running around and screaming, and hope that a solution presented itself.
A fourth dog came tearing into my yard, expertly maneuvering around the goats without losing speed. It was bigger than the other three, taller and heavier, and they gave ground for the newcomer. The new dog skidded to a halt right in front of me. I probably should have stepped back. Probably should have gone inside and figured out who to call. But the wolf in me wouldn’t back down and so I stayed, staring down the dogs. Peripherally I was aware the goats were calming enough to go back to eating my foliage, but I couldn’t worry about that right now.
The new dog hunched and then shifted. I blinked. How had I not scent him? I chalked it up to the goats—because that was a distinctive and overpowering smell—and waited patiently for him to finish his shift. When he did, I sucked it a breath. He was huge, several inches over six feet and as broad as a barn, with defined muscles, a chiseled jaw, and hair so blond it was almost white. He cocked his head, looking far more like a dog than a human, and then narrowed his gaze.
I shrugged because there was no denying it. “I’m Jace. These your goats?”
“Yeah. Sorry. We’re clearing the land over there,” he gestured behind him, “because it’s so overgrown.”
“Okay. But this is my backyard?” I hadn’t meant for it to sound like a question, but he was utterly distracting. His voice was a deep rumble, like the barks from the dogs, and I wanted to push closer so that I could touch, and that was weird for me. It was not an impulse I usually had.
“Looks like the fence is down. Which is strange, because we build them to keep the goats in the acreage they’re supposed to stay in.” Without a word, he turned, pushing through the herd without care for his dangling bits. The dogs walked at his side and the goats moved out of his way. I followed along behind him because I didn’t know what else to do.
He crouched and examined the fence. My gaze zeroed in on his ass, which was literal perfection. I told myself to stop staring but my body didn’t cooperate. I wanted to bite it. To touch it. Hell, I just wanted to be up close and personal with it, I didn’t even care how.
He was speaking, but I was so focused on his skin I didn’t notice until he said my name. I jerked my gaze to his.
“Were you staring at my ass?” the quirk of his lips told me he wasn’t mad. Besides, it’s not like I could lie. I’d been caught.
“Yep. It’s great. What were you saying?”
“This is had been cut.” He motioned to the fence where, now that I was looking, I could see where it had been snipped through cleanly.
“I don’t know. But I’ll find out. Don’t suppose you have any cameras or anything back here?”
I shook my head. “We’re in the middle of nowhere and this is the backyard that butts up to acres of unused land. It didn’t seem necessary.”
He blew out a breath. “Okay. Well, first order of business is to get the goats back where they belong and to fix this fence. Then we’ll have to figure out why it happened. I’ll need to shift and run back to my truck where I left my phone and clothes. I’d only just arrived when I heard Boomer, Gracie, and Tornado bark.”
“You can, uh…” I coughed, feeling silly before reminding myself we were a dozen yards from my backdoor and I was just being hospitable to offer assistance. “You can use my phone, if you want.”
He studied me for a long moment, gaze narrowed and assessing. Eventually he nodded. He ordered the dogs to stay—and it was then that I got confirmation that while he was a shifter, the others were just dogs—and followed me into my house. I handed over my cell and got him a bottle of water while he made his call.
“It’s Ian. Yeah, we’ve got a problem.” Ian took the bottle from me with a thankful smile, and then his gaze raked from my head to my toes. The smile turned into a smirk. “Though maybe it’s only half a problem.”