James can’t stand Wade. Wade is mouthy and pushy, and James would be happier if Chance had never allowed him to become a pack member. Unfortunately for him, Wade isn’t going anywhere, which means James will have to learn to live with him.
That is, if he doesn’t strangle him first.
Wade doesn’t know why James hates him so much, but he tells himself he doesn’t care. James is a stick in the mud, so why should he? It’s better for him to focus on the promise he made to Dustin—finding Dustin’s brother.
Since no one is willing to help Wade, he heads out on his own. He didn’t count on James following him, and he certainly didn’t count on falling in love with him.
Or on being kidnapped.
“So who’s moving into Dustin’s room?” Matty asked.
Wade looked at him from his bed. He had to share his room with two of his friends, but he didn’t mind. They were used to living together and in much worse conditions. It would be fine if he had to continue sharing his room with either Red or Matty.
Besides, Wade had every intention of moving out soon, too. He just needed to convince James they were made for each other and that he couldn’t live without him.
Piece of cake.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Red said. “Wade?”
“I’m fine here, so you decide. Or maybe we could give the room to one of the girls?”
“I already spoke to Josie, and they’re fine rooming together. She’s the one who said one of us should take it.”
“Well, I don’t care. I don’t have a problem staying in this room.”
Matty huffed. “You’re not helping. I asked because I wanted an answer, but you haven’t given me one.”
“I did. I told you it doesn’t matter.”
“It doesn’t matter to any of us, but someone has to make a decision. Why am I the one stuck doing that?”
Wade grinned at him. “Maybe you should be the one to move.”
Matty looked tempted, which Wade understood. After everything they’d gone through, he wasn’t surprised that Matty wanted some privacy. They might be used to sharing, but it didn’t mean they loved it. Wade didn’t mind, but Matty had always been more private and needed his time away from the others.
Wade and Red exchanged a glance. Wade was pretty sure Red felt the same about this, so he nodded.
“You take the room,” Red said. “Wade and I are fine sharing, and we know how much you treasure your privacy.”
Matty’s cheeks flushed. “That doesn’t mean I should be the one to take the room.”
Wade got to his feet and stretched. “Just take it,” he told Matty. “I’m pretty sure Red and I won’t share for long, anyway.”
Matty didn’t look convinced. “You’re still planning on seducing James?”
“Have you ever known me not to get what I want?”
“Not usually, but James is a tough nut to crack. He won’t even talk to you, so how are you going to convince him to date you?”
“Little by little.”
Thinking about James gave Wade something to focus on that wasn’t feeling that he was losing his family. The conversation the three of them just had was about a room, but they’d been with the pack for a short amount of time. For now, most of their family still lived together, which was why they were discussing sleeping arrangements. Eventually, though, they’d drift apart as they found their place with the pack and started their new lives.
Wade had always expected that to happen. They’d been thrown together mainly because they’d all been homeless and alone. Banding together had given them strength, and it had kept them safe. Now, though, they didn’t need to be safe. They didn’t need each other anymore because they had the pack. They still stuck together because it was what they knew, but it wouldn’t be for much longer.
Theo and Dustin were already pulling away. Wade didn’t blame them, and in fact, he was happy for them. They all deserved love, but Dustin especially after what his family had done to him. Houston would be good for him, and they’d be happy together. It didn’t matter that to do so, Dustin was leaving their ragtag family behind.
They were his past, while Houston was his future.
Wade started when a hand landed on his shoulder. Matty looked at him with a frown, and Wade forced himself to smile. “Don’t worry about me,” he said. “I’m fine sharing the room.”
“This isn’t about the room.” Matty’s tone was soft. “What’s going on with you? You’ve always been stubborn, but you’ve latched onto James, and I don’t get why. The guy is a dick, and he doesn’t want us here. Why are you so bent on being part of his life?”
Wade’s smile widened. It was more natural now, and he thought Matty could see that, because he relaxed.
“I’m sure there’s a soft heart under all that assholery,” he said. “And I intend to find it.”
“Something tells me you’ll have to dig really deep.”
“That means I’ll have fun.” Wade winked. “You know me. I don’t take anything too seriously, and the same goes for this. It’s just fun to irritate him and watch his head explode.”
“If you say so.”
Matty didn’t understand why Wade was having so much fun, and Wade didn’t blame him. Sometimes, he didn’t understand, either.
He wanted someone like Houston. He wanted to have someone who would love and cherish him, be there for him, and support him. He wanted someone by his side and to whom he could come back to at night. He wanted someone whose shoulder he could cry on but also someone to share his happy moments with.
He wanted what Dustin and Houston had, what Theo and Chance shared. He wanted to be loved, and that wasn’t going to happen as long as he had his stupid crush on James.
So he had to find a way to get rid of that crush. Maybe if he and James gave in once, it would be enough to get him out of Wade’s system.
Except that never worked in books. If anything, it led to more sex and everyone falling in love. It wasn’t something Wade was against, so he’d decided to try anyway and see what happened.
A knock on the door distracted him. He could have kissed Dustin for the interruption, but Dustin wouldn’t appreciate it. Instead, Wade beamed at him, which caused Dustin to blink.
“What did I miss?” Dustin asked.
“You’re leaving and opening up a room. That means we don’t have to share anymore, and frankly, I can't wait. Red snores.”