Frederick Reb Drunger is accompanying his alpha and the alpha’s mate on vacation. He’s one of the wolves charged with protecting them while they all enjoy the sights of Ireland. He never expects to discover his mate is a human friend of the local Irish pack. That should make him easy to claim, since Daithi Murphy knows all about shifters. Except Daithi already has a boyfriend, Evan, who’s extremely possessive and not at all happy when Reb wants to get to know his mate. When an Irish goblin targets Reb, can he find the culprit behind the attacks and convince Daithi it’s worth uprooting his life and moving to Colorado with him?
“I’m sorry to interrupt, Alphas. My brother and I plan to take advantage of a day or two and go horseback riding. You and your mate are always welcome to join us, otherwise, we’ll coordinate with Kade and Tom to make certain someone is always available if you need us,” he assured formally.
Declan opened his mouth, but before he could say anything, Lark squealed. “Horseback riding? Really? That’d be so much fun! I saw an ad about riding on the beach.” He turned to Declan. “Can we do that, too?”
His lips twitching, Declan nodded. “Of course, love. That sounds like fun.”
“Grand!” Killian said, cutting in. “One of me pack owns a riding business that offers beach rides. I’ll get ye his number.”
Reb nodded. “Thank you. That would be most appreciated.”
Killian grinned. “Yer wolf is so formal, Declan.” He winked at his mate and then turned to Reb. “Perhaps we can find someone to help loosen ye up?”
If he’d had anything in his mouth, Reb would have choked. Instead, he swallowed hard. “I—”
To his shock and relief, Reb was saved by the arrival of a staggering pair, except only one man seemed to be drunk. The second was desperately trying to keep his amorous boyfriend on his feet, or away from his neck. Finally, the sober guy spoke.
“I’m sorry, Alpha Killian. Thank you for having us, but it’s time we go.”
The melodious tenor caused Reb’s heart to race and blood to pooling in his groin. He licked his lips. Furrowing his brows in confusion at his reaction, Reb turned to find Daithi standing just behind him with Evan leaning all over him.
Seeing the man up close, Reb didn’t know how he could ever consider the human plain. His eyes weren’t brown—more like honey gold. Muscles rippled under the skin of his arms as he struggled to keep the pair upright. And his scent—oh my God!—Reb wanted to rub against the man, roll in his sweat, and cover himself in that heady scent.
His wolf howled in his mind. It all made sense, the initial attraction, the jealousy. Daithi was Reb’s mate, and he was in a relationship with someone else!
He’d completely missed whatever conversation Daithi had with the alphas, for now the man was helping his drunken boyfriend around the house.
After quickly excusing himself, Reb followed them discreetly, stepping around chatting clusters of wolves. He carefully timed his arrival just right. Daithi had just tucked his drunken boyfriend into the car and closed the door. Reb tapped him on the shoulder, drawing his attention, just as he rounded the rear of the vehicle.
“Excuse me,” he murmured. He couldn’t control the way his voice dropped a bit, finally being able to stare his mate in the eye for the first time. He held out a hand. “My name is Frederick Drunger. My friends call me Reb.”
Daithi took his hand. “Hello, Frederick. I’m Daithi Murphy.”
Reb watched the human look him up and down and lick his lips. The pink tongue slid across the plump flesh and it took every ounce of self-control in Reb not to lean down and follow the path of that tongue, suck it into his mouth, taste it.
“What can I do for you?”
Daithi’s voice came off in a breathy whisper that almost made Reb moan. Pulling his head together, Reb became aware of how Daithi was tugging at his hand. Instead of releasing him, Reb tightened his grip slightly and tucked the hand against his chest.
“I’ve been told that you know everything about shifters,” he stated softly.
The human frowned at where they joined hands. His body trembled in response to the way Reb rubbed his thumb over his knuckles, caressing them. “Uh, aye,” Daithi replied almost breathlessly.
Leaning close, Reb whispered into Daithi’s ear. “I normally wouldn’t dream of poaching, but you, Daithi, are my mate—my other half. I plan to pursue you. To do whatever it takes to please you in every way possible.”
Reb lifted his free hand and stroked it gently down Daithi’s jaw, loving the feel of his mate’s five o’clock shadow. “You know what that means?” Reb asked.
Daithi’s honey brown eyes grew wide. He nodded, then shook his head.
Grinning, Reb leaned close again and brushed his lips against Daithi’s temple. “My sole purpose in life is to keep you safe and please you.” He nuzzled his mate’s temple again, inhaling the heady aroma of his scent.
His sensitive hearing picked up the click of a door lock and the passenger door swung open in his peripheral vision. “Best get going, sweetheart. I’ll see you soon.”
It was the hardest thing he’d ever done, but Reb managed to release Daithi and step away from the human.