On his twenty-first birthday, Andre discovers something both amazing and terrifying. As the seventh son of a seventh son, he is now a werewolf. One of the relatively few in the world. If it hadn't been for Mario, who was also a seventh son werewolf, being there for his first shift, Andre doesn't know how he could have handled it.
Now he has to tell Donal, the man he loves with all his heart, what he has become. It won't be easy, but he hopes his long-time lover will be able to accept it -- and him -- when he learns the truth.
Much against his will, Mario is left to watch over Andre until he gets a handle his new life. The only saving grace? He can spend his time at the same PI agency where Donal works. When they get a new case, Mario has no idea it will change his life forever ... if he lets it happen.
When he got to his office, Donal sat down to read over the file on Steven Lofland. By the time he’d finished he was shaking his head.
Donal spun around to look at Mario. “Missing person.”
“Anything I can help with? I’ve finished those background checks and printed up the information for the client so I’m at loose ends.” Mario smiled hopefully as he set the thick folder he was carrying down on the edge of Donal’s desk.
Turning back to the information he’d been reading Donal said, “I could use some coffee. It’s down the hall in the break-room.”
Taking a deep breath, Mario replied tightly, “Look, I know you don’t like me being here but I am, and I’m not going away until I’m sure ...” he lowered his voice, “things are under control with Andre. You could make this easier on both of us by putting aside your feelings and letting me do what I’m good at, which is investigations.”
“Fine,” Donal said through clenched teeth. “Take a look at this and tell me what you think.” He slid the file over when Mario took the chair by the side of his desk.
Mario scanned it quickly, paused, then read it more slowly. “Not a hell of a lot here. No names of friends ...”
“According to his father he didn’t have many.”
“Yeah but not many still means some unless he’s a real loner.”
“Mark says he’s very shy, so yeah I gather he is.”
“Still no one goes through college without making some friends, or at least having some acquaintances.” Mario glanced at the file again. “No hobbies listed, no interests. Do his parents really know this kid, or for that matter has anyone talked to them?”
“Mark’s talked to the father, and he knows the family. I think this is what he had the father put together about Steven.”
“Well it’s a half-assed job in my opinion. We need to talk to both of them. At this point all we know is what the kid looks like, where he went to school and where he works.”
Donal bristled. “What makes you think you’ll be involved? I just asked for your opinion.”
Mario stood, throwing up his hands in disgust. “Sorry. I thought ... Hell, never mind. I’ll get your damned coffee like a good little gofer. Cream, sugar?”
For a moment it seemed as if Donal was going to ignore him, then he said, “Okay, I’m being an ass. I’m not wild about being saddled with you and I for damned sure don’t like the reason behind it, but I guess I don’t have a choice. So cream, no sugar, get some for yourself and then we’ll figure how to approach this. And by the way, I just remembered, Andre had a question he wanted me to ask you.”
Mario smiled slightly. “He wanted you to ask it, or you didn’t want him calling me to ask?” When Donal scowled at him, Mario shook his head. “I meant what I told you, I have no designs on him other than to make certain he can handle everything that's ...” Again he lowered his voice even though the office door was closed. “Can handle what happened and what he is.”
“I’m having a hard time believing that but for the moment I’ll take your word for it.”
“Thanks, I think. So what was the question?”
“He’s worried about what could happen if he lost control. If he got angry or if something really upset him. I think he’s afraid he might shift without thinking if he felt he had to defend himself.”
Mario sat down again, looking at Donal. “What does he normally do when he gets upset? Did he lash out or go into, for lack of a better word, attack mode?”
“Physically, hell no. He’s not that sort of man. He’ll argue till the cows come home but it’s all verbal.”
“Has he ever been in danger?”
Donal shook his head. “Not since I’ve known him. No one’s come after him intending to hurt him. If they had I’d have made them regret it, trust me.”
“I’m sure you would have. So to answer his question, I doubt he’d suddenly shift without warning. It is something he controls and the more he shifts the more comfortable he’ll feel that he can control it. To be honest the only time I can see it happening without warning is if someone attacked you, or both of you, and I don’t think you’re the type of men who go strolling down dark alleys or even, probably, go walking in bad areas of town after dark.”
“Not at all. Considering what I do for a living I know better. I know what’s out there and believe me I’ve drummed it into his head.”
“Then there’s nothing for him to worry about.” Mario got up, heading to the door, grinning slightly. “And that said, I’ll be right back with coffee.”