A human soldier and an omega wolf shifter find out they’re mates in a world where segregation between humans and paranormals is standard operating procedure.
Dylan Kole knows how to do one thing, and that’s to be a soldier in the human army. He doesn’t know how to fit in with a bunch of paranormal beings, and he certainly doesn’t know how to be a mate to Rudy Malone, the only omega wolf shifter on Roguefalls Island. One thing Dylan does have going for him is his ability to follow his instincts.
Dylan walked down the street, away from the only home he’d ever known. He carried a duffle bag in his left hand and as many clothes as the bag could hold, along with three hundred dollars stuffed in a sock.
Dylan turned when the sheriff’s siren came on in one loud beep and then shut off again. The red light on top of the car twirled round, glowing brightly even as it turned Dylan’s blue hoodie black where the light hit it.
He turned back around and kept walking. He knew his dad would call the sheriff and have him kicked out of the family group. No way would anyone go against his father. He might not be Mayor, but he had a lot of influence with the superiors in their town.
Well, it wasn’t Dylan’s town anymore and never would be again. He was without a family group.
He’d known coming out to his parents wouldn’t end well. His dad was a prejudiced asshole and always had been. If someone wasn’t exactly like him, then he had something negative to say. It didn’t matter if it was his son or not. No one was exempt.
During the course of Dylan’s life, he’d heard about how awful the paranormals were and how lucky humans were that they stayed segregated. His dad had fought to keep segregation in place for as long as Dylan had been alive.
Apparently, Dylan was lumped in with the paranormals. Whatever. Dylan would rather live with them than his father, not that a paranormal clan would let a human like him in. He was destined to be a single.
Even as Dylan thought that, he wiped the tears away from his cheeks with the back of his hand.
The cop car followed him all the way to the edge of the group’s territory and then pulled up beside him. Officer Bentley’s face became visible as he rolled the window down. Bentley was the same one who’d caught him smoking pot in the forest behind the high school but never told Dylan’s dad. He lived three streets over from Dylan’s home in the middle-class section of town.
He was a good guy, and Dylan would probably never see him again. Dylan wouldn’t ever be allowed in town again. Unlike the city, which held multiple family groups, Dylan’s town only held his. A human getting kicking out of his family group meant it was unlikely that another one would take him.
The cop’s car rolled along beside him as he walked. He couldn’t stop walking, and the officer knew that. If he didn’t find somewhere safe before nightfall, the singles and lone paranormals would steal everything he owned and leave him for dead.
“Look, son. You have two choices—”
“No, I don’t. I have to live with the singles now. I’m fucking homeless. I won’t be able to get a job now that I can’t live in a family group, which means I’ll be fighting for my meals just like all the other singles.” Even though his situation stressed him out, it still wasn’t as bad as living in the damn closet. The pain in his chest had lifted the second the words, Dad, I’m gay were out of his mouth. He might have to live with the singles, but he didn’t have to live a lie anymore.
He wished for the old days when humans could live wherever they wanted and didn’t have to hold to a family group. That was before humans knew paranormal beings existed, though.
“Living like a single is one choice you have. The other is to join the human army.”
Dylan smirked. “Right. Those are super choices.” Either way, he was probably a dead man walking.
The cop sighed and held a hundred dollar bill between his finger and thumb. He held it out for Dylan to take. Dylan eyed the money with suspicion and then looked away from it, his eyes facing forward. “There’s a hotel six miles up the road. Take the money and buy a room for the night. In the morning, go to the human army building. It’s right next door to the hotel.”
Dylan stopped walking, so the car stopped rolling. He eyed the cop wanting to know what his motivation was. “Why are you helping me?”
“It’s not fair what your father and the Mayor are doing to you. But take the money and be thankful you’re young enough the army will take you. My window of opportunity closed a long time ago. Now I’m an old man who’s stuck with a bunch of bigots. How’s that for choices? Bigots, or live like the singles, who have to become criminals to survive.”
Dylan hesitated. “I have money.”
“Just take it, son.”
Finally, he did as the cop directed, taking the money and clutching it in his hand. “Thank you.”
“Do me a favor.”