*And here it is! The final episode! We get to see Keir and Eoin get their HEA. It’s every so slightly NSFW, but not really. Who has suggestions for what they want to see next? For now, enjoy!**
The thing about being bonded to a wolf was that, even though I was human, I’d developed some extra abilities. Or maybe it was just that I could feel Eoin. Either way, after six months of us being, well, us, I always knew when he was creeping around.
I was at the stove making a giant pot of beef and vegetable stew when, without giving it conscious thought, I whirled around and held up my wooden spoon—dripping and all—toward the door.
Eoin froze, eyes going wide. Then a second later they softened, then got big. Who knew that my very large beta wolf mate would be so good at the puppy dog eyes?
“No.” I needed to be very firm with him because he had a tendency to be able to convince me to do just about anything. Not that it was a hardship, but still. “I’m busy. Go away.”
Eoin let out a whine that was definitely more wolf than human. He stared at me for a moment longer, but then when I shook my spoon at him, sending a drop of stew gravy flying, he hung his head and slinked off around the corner. I stayed where I was for an extra minute, making sure he really had left, before turning back to my work.
Eoin was still the grumpy, stoic beta I had met that first day, but with me, he allowed some of his softer side to show. I always knew he had a big heart, just watching him with the pack. But with me, when it was just us, he let his smiles out more. He was more affectionate. He listened intently when I talked, even when I rambled, and he was an excellent sounding board. At night, when we were in bed, he took me apart and put me back together again, and then held me close as we slept. I was pretty sure he was a bigger cuddler than I was, and that was saying something. All wolves were tactile, but with me, Eoin took it to a whole new level. I loved him so much it hurt sometimes, but only in the best possible ways.
Something tickled the edge of my awareness that I couldn’t ignore. I set down my spoon this time and then spun again, expecting to see Eoin in the doorway. But he wasn’t there. It took me a second to drop my gaze and see the gorgeous dark gray wolf slinking across the floor. Eoin had his belly to the floor, his eyebrows working as he gazed up at me. I stared back and he snuck a few steps closer.
I let out a gusty sigh, though it was really more for show. He could probably tell by now that the stew was mostly done and was in the “sit on the stove and simmer” stage. The eight loaves of bread I’d made were cooling on the counter. Carbs, it turned out, were my packs’ favorite thing on the planet, so I made sure to always have more than enough. Some day I’d make them each their own loaf, and I was sure there would be no leftovers.
I decided to ignore my mate for the moment. I stirred the stew, then covered it and made sure the flame was at the right level to keep it bubbling away. Then I headed to the fridge and made sure all my veggies were cut and prepped, and that I hadn’t missed anything. I knew I hadn’t, but I was making a show of making him wait. Eoin eventually made it to me and was sitting right beside me, head cocked, when I closed the fridge door.
I couldn’t resist the urge to rub his ears. His fur was so soft and it was one of my favorite things. Eoin didn’t care, and let me pet him whenever I wanted. Some of the other wolves grumbled that they weren’t dogs, and Eoin had confessed he didn’t usually like it either. But it was me, and he always wanted my hands on him. In whatever form, in any way I wanted.
“Come on,” I said softly, giving his left ear a little tug, then heading for the back door. Andreas had installed lever handles on all the doors so that the wolves could come and go even when they didn’t have thumbs, but I darted around Eoin to be the one to open the door. He huffed and gave me an epic side-eye—even in this form he liked to be chivalrous—but preceded me onto the porch. I headed right for the porch swing that had appeared several months ago and held it steady so he could hop up. As soon as he did, I climbed on as well and then curled up into him. It was chilly out here and Eoin was an excellent source of warmth. Especially in this form.
Eoin held still until I was comfortable and then twitched his tail so it laid over me as well. I chuckled because it tickled, and then sighed.
“You just wanted snuggles. I know how you are.”
Eoin huffed, and then made a soft yowling sound. He was much more expressive in this form than his human one, and I had a theory it was because the wolf didn’t have the same thought processes and therefore didn’t constantly put on a mask and a filter.
“You could have just told me you needed affection, you know?”
Eoin went tense below me and I immediately sat up. He hopped off, sending the swing rocking, but before I could say anything, he was shifting. It didn’t take but a few seconds for him to be in his human skin, and he shivered, though I was sure it was from the shift and not from the cold. I grabbed one of the throw blankets out of the chest anyway, and by the time I sat back up, he was settling next to me again. I brought the blanket with me as I crawled into his lap, straddling his thighs, and wrapped it around us both.
“I was going to. Trying to.” His voice was soft, almost as though he didn’t want to say it out loud.
I kissed him, slow and sweet, and wrapped my arms around him. When I pulled back, I didn’t go far, and pressed our foreheads together.
“And I cut you off. I’m sorry. I’ll do better at listening.” I kissed his nose and then snuggled in, so he would squeeze me tightly how I liked. Eoin didn’t disappoint.
“And I’ll do better at not interrupting you while you’re cooking. I know how seriously you take it. How much you enjoy it.” The touched his lips to my temple, not really a kiss, and just stayed there, breathing me in.
It was moments like this that I loved the most. The laughing and talking, the scorching hot sex, the holding each other close—that was all amazing and was more than I ever thought possible. But these moments when we really listened to each other and communicated were my favorite thing in the world. I felt closer to him in this moment than when he was inside me.
“I love you.” It came out breathy, my throat a little clogged at the sheer emotion.
The tiny growl was all wolf, and Eoin buried his face against my next, speaking his words into my skin. “And I love you.”
When I came for the interview, I never imagined that not only would I grow so close to a pack of wolves, but find my mate and the love of my life. But that was exactly what happened. Eoin claimed that Fate didn’t decree wolf shifters mates, but I could help but think she had a hand in this. And I couldn’t be happier.