Claiming his mate might be trickier than shifting for the first time...
Greg Little has one goal: find out who killed his parents and orphaned him and his sister. Oh, and hopefully stay alive during the process. Too bad life has a way of throwing things at him he didn't expect. Take being bitten by a shifter and turning into a wolf—he'd never seen that one coming. Even more surprising is Greg's mate turns out to be Derren Stone, a close friend, fellow mercenary, and bear shifter.
Derren has waited five years to claim his mate, partly because of fear of rejection and partly because of stubborn pride. But he won't wait any longer. Now he only has to convince Greg they are true mates and help Greg with both his shifting and his search for his parents' killers. But the further Greg delves into what happened to his parents, the more they realize the conspiracy goes deeper than they ever imagined.
Now Derren can only hope they both make it out of this alive.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”Greg Little was going to lose his fucking mind.He looked around his new apartment—his nice, new apartment, by the way—and glared at the group of friends that had gathered. If he could call them that. Right now, he wasn’t so sure, considering they’d obviously broken into his damn home. And of course he’d have no one to blame for their skills but himself, since he’d pretty much taught them everything they knew. Didn’t mean he wanted them in his damn home.“What are you guys doing here?”There were five men in his apartment. He’d recently bought a new place in Lake Valley to be closer to his sister and he hadn’t told any of them where he’d moved to.And yet the assholes found him. Because they always found him.One snorted. That was Derren Styles, the— Damn, what animal was he? Oh yeah, he was a bear.“You think we can’t find you, man? We always got your scent somewhere.” The bear shifter raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms, looking way too comfortable lounging on Greg’s couch. “Even if that scent’s changed. Wanna explain that, pup?” He tilted his head. “How long have you even been a wolf?”Three months and five days, but who was counting? He hadn’t even really shifted yet. A few claws and fangs here and there but no full-out fur. Hell, his younger sister Josie had managed a shift in a few hours, and he couldn’t manage one in months.Granted, she’d come out of her room to see Cathan Nemen, her mate, with a gun to his head, so maybe that had something to do with it.“You listening, pup?” Derren asked.“No, not really,” Greg admitted softly. “What were you saying?”Derren sighed. “Look, you need help. Have you even shifted yet?”“I don’t see how that’s your business.” Greg couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off with Derren. He’d never noticed it before, but…Did the bear smell good?No, he was imagining it, obviously. Stupid shifter nose.“Greg, it’s our damn business when it can kill you.”That got Greg’s attention. “Kill me? The hell are you talking about?”“Bloody Hell,” Julian Stone grumbled, his slight British accent sounding irritated. He was a tiger, like Josie had become after Cathan mated her. Greg was pretty sure he was made not born, but he’d never really asked. “Not shifting can kill you. The animal needs to run and hunt, and you’re keeping that from them. It’ll slowly drive your animal insane and kill them—and you.”“You’re telling me the wolf is dying and taking me with it?” The wolf’s whining in his mind was starting to make sense.“That’s about the gist of it,” Derren muttered with a growl.“I haven’t been avoiding shifting on purpose. I just…can’t.” He shoved his shaking hand through his hair. “I’ve been trying. I got Cathan and Josie to try and talk me through it, but nothing happens.” He shrugged his tense shoulders, trying to look calm. “Besides, I’ve had more important things to worry about.”Yeah, that was one way of putting it. He still hadn’t caught the men who’d sent people after his sister. Three months and they’d never made a blip on his radar. He didn’t like it at all. Nothing about this made sense. Even if Josie was a shifter now, as far as their enemies knew, she was new and untrained. Why didn’t they make a move?Derren’s voice interrupted his worries. “Greg? Hello?”Greg shook his head, trying to clear out the thoughts. “Sorry. My head’s in a million places right now. You were saying?”Derren looked at the others and motioned to the door. The other four nodded and stood up.Julian grinned. Oh that look was never good on the tiger. It meant he had planned something, and Greg rarely liked that man’s plans. “I think we’re just going to have Derren talk to you. Maybe he’ll explain it better.”Greg shrugged. “Whatever you say, man.”* * *Derren sighed as he watched the others leave. He still couldn’t believe Greg was a wolf now. He wasn’t sure how that had happened, and the man didn’t open up to anyone but his sister. Derren was determined to change that. Just as soon as Greg sat the fuck down.“Greg would you sit down? Pacing is just gonna agitate your wolf more.” Not to mention the idea that Greg was nervous with him made his bear want to roar.Because of course the pup was his mate.The bear never made anything easy. The creature had pestered him for years, trying to make him understand. It took far longer than Derren wanted to admit to figure out that Greg was his mate. And even when he had, he’d kept the truth hidden. Because he was a goddamn coward who didn’t deserve Greg. But the bear wasn’t standing for it anymore, and Derren didn’t have the will to fight anymore.Hell, and it wasn’t like he was fighting hard. He was head-over-heels for the man already. Who the fuck wouldn’t be? Even though he was pushing forty-two, Greg Little was a sight to behold. The man was large and muscular, his dark tan body built from his years doing a hard job. He kept his black curled hair short.Hell, Derren was so screwed.He just hoped literally screwed at some point.Greg finally plopped into his favorite leather armchair, staring at Derren with brown eyes that saw way too much. “So, why are you on talk-to-the-newbie duty?”Derren snorted at that. “Newbie? You know plenty about shifters.” Maybe not everything, but Greg was observant and picked up on things quickly. He’d been around them too long to not notice some things.Greg gave a lazy shrug. “Maybe, but I never lived as one before, so I can always learn some more.”“Hmm, true,” Derren replied lightly before sobering. “You really haven’t shifted at all yet?”Greg’s face darkened and a sad look took over those beautiful eyes. Hell, Derren never meant to do that. “No, I haven’t,” Greg said quietly. “The wolf keeps whining, I guess, but nothing happens.”“That’s strange,” Derren muttered. “Lemme see if I can find another wolf to try and help you. Maybe they’ll have some better advice.” There was a wolf in the group, but Gabriel Mendoza wasn’t going to work for this. They needed an Alpha for sure, and Derren had one in mind already.“Thanks,” Greg replied, relief evident on his face.Derren smiled. “No problem, man.”He’d do anything for Greg.