How did a night of drinking away loneliness end with a werewolf waking up in a crappy dog pound, stuck inside his wolf form? As a beta wolf and an enforcer of his pack, Mateo is needed at home. He's never heard of other werewolves being unable to shift back, and he's not about to attack the pound staff to get out, because it's just not right to hurt humans who don't know what you are.
With the clock ticking down until he's scheduled to be put down, Mateo's only way out is shifting back or being adopted. Given how huge and scruffy his wolf form is, no one wants him ... until Lily and her father, Wes, arrive. Seeing them as his only option, Mateo decides he can swallow his pride and play dog for them for the time being, just until he can safely run back to his pack.
Wes has been a single father since only weeks before Lily was born. Her other father left them and Wes hasn’t had much luck with dating since. At four, Lily is smart and strong-willed, and finally has the dog of her dreams. Wolfy is a friend, a babysitter, and a protector, and Wes is pretty sure the dog understands speech, too.
A few weeks after bringing Wolfy home, everything in Wes' lonely but peaceful life changes. He lets their beloved dog out into the yard, only to find a gorgeous -- and naked -- man in his place. Thrown into a world where werewolves and magic users aren't just fairytales in Lily's storybooks, Wes must face even more revelations after meeting Mateo's pack.
With so much changed between them, both men have to be true to themselves and their responsibilities while Wes figures out what he can and cannot deal with, and Mateo decides where his home really is.
A couple of weeks after they got Wolfy, things had settled down once more. Wes worked from home, doing more website design than ever. It took him a couple of days to realize it was because Wolfy took such good care of Lily.
Normally, Wes would keep an eye on her as he worked and be constantly pulled out of his most efficient zone, but with Wolfy there, he could relax a bit more. Somehow, Wolfy even managed to keep Lily on track with the preschool-level homeschooling stuff they were doing. The dog was the perfect addition to the household in every single way.
At first, Wes had thought he’d put her in a regular preschool, but since he worked from home, he’d decided to keep her with him for one more year. Next year she’d go to kindergarten and they’d take it from there, but for now, he has his daughter and their dog, and things looked much better than they had in ages.
Before Wolfy, Wes had been in a rut. He’d tried dating to fill some weird gap he’d starting to feel in the last year or so as Lily became more independent. During one of their Sunday phone calls, he’d talked about it with his mom, she’d told him maybe it was that space where people started to think about having another kid. Wes didn’t think so. He loved Lily more than anything, but he didn’t want more kids at least not before she was a bit older and maybe not if he was single. He didn’t know how single parents of more than one kid did it, but he respected the hell out of them anyway.
Then one morning, just an average Wednesday, Wes got out of bed, did his usual morning routine, and then went to get Wolfy from Lily’s room.
The dog stretched as usual, and then silently padded out the door to follow Wes downstairs. Wes let him out to do his business, then walked to the kitchen to start his coffee like he did every morning. Once he had his drink, he went to the back porch to greet the early morning.
Wolfy was doing his circle around the yard and Wes smiled at the careful way the dog made sure nobody had been into their property during the night.
“You want your breakfast?” Wes called out quietly.
Just as he’d known, Wolfy’s head snapped up and the dog started to walk across the yard.
Wes sipped at his coffee, smiling at the animal, when suddenly Wolfy stopped. Wes didn’t even have time to frown when suddenly the dog seemed to collapse, twitched a few times and -- no.
He stared at the spot where his gigantic dog had just been, his brain stalling, grasping at straws.
Instead of Wolfy, there was now a naked man with long black hair sprawled on his grass.
“What the fuck ...?”
The man lifted his head at the sound, looking as shocked as Wes felt, and opened and closed his mouth a couple of times.
“Don’t freak out,” the man said. Then he cleared his throat and added, “Wes, please don’t freak out.”