Twin females who can't be separated; twin males who don't get along... No one ever said mating was easy.
Veronique and Vanessa have never been apart. Wolf twins are often close, but none closer than these two sisters. When outgoing Veronique finds her mate and shy Vanessa's is nowhere in sight, the pair concoct a wild plan to stay together.
Berne and Barden have never seen eye-to-eye. Being in the same room for more than a few hours usually leads to a fight. But no fight they've had before can compare to the one that's coming when Barden finds his mate.
Vanessa took a peek over her shoulder as the limo pulled up in front of Regina Hall. It wasn't the royal limo, and most of the other residents had cleared out for the holidays, so chances were it was the limo they'd been waiting for.
Please let him have a brother. Night Mother, I beg of you.
The back door opened, and an older male stepped out, a huge male who dwarfed most she'd met in her life. He hadn't waited for the driver, a sure sign of an alpha on the move. His back to her, he offered his hand to aid a petite, red-haired female out after him. One look at her cinched the determination.
Berne's parents. Though her hair color didn't match her son, it was impossible to miss the similarity in their features.
A gangly, young female emerged next. A pre-adolescent male followed close on her heels.
The driver shut the door behind them and withdrew with a tip of his head. The sound of the door slamming home seemed to resonate around her.
Sealing my fate.
"Well, shit." Veronique huffed, clearly irked.
It's not ideal for me either. Her sister knew that, so it was hardly worth the breath to say it.
Veronique fidgeted, a sure sign that she was very upset. "If you don't feel you can go through with this--"
"I can." She's suffered twelve heats, waiting for me to find a mate. Or for me to be comfortable with the idea of being alone. "It's not right to make you wait longer."
Her sister turned to face Vanessa, seemingly pained. "Maybe I could explain it. Insist on you coming with me. You could meet males through Berne's connections. In the meantime, we would be together."
Tears stung at Vanessa's eyes, and she blinked them away. "No family would go for that." No mate would. A lump formed in her throat. Veronique needs Berne.
But I need her.
Or someone. A mate. Where is he?
It was the truth and they both knew it. This plan--this madness--was the only solution available to them.
Veronique reached out and pulled Vanessa into her arms. "If this doesn't work--"
"It will." For Veronique's sake, I have to make it work. She pulled away and managed a stiff smile. "When he gets home from dinner with his family?"
Rumor had it that Berne had a few loose ends to tie up on campus before he left for the holiday. Vanessa only hoped he hadn't changed plans.
Her sister shot a wistful look toward Berne, and Vanessa followed her lead.
He and his family were sharing hugs and kisses. Laughter filled the air.
I remember that. Family get-togethers full of laughter and love. All of that was gone now. Veronique was all Vanessa had left. Veronique and an empty house.
"After dinner," Veronique confirmed.
Vanessa managed not to cringe, by the grace of the Night Mother alone.
That settled, they stood and--arm-in-arm--made their way back to their dorm.
* * * *
Berne raised his head, taking in Veronique's scent on the crisp winter wind.
She's in heat again.
He scanned his gaze upwind, picking her out in the distance.
Walking with her twin sister. Always with her twin. Never with me.
A growl built in his throat, and Berne swallowed it down.
Another fucking week of blue balls, while I know she's in heat, and she's not going to offer. Again.
The two times he'd tried to approach her, she'd played it off and disappeared with her damned twin. He wondered--not for the first time--why she wouldn't give him the time of day, even when she was fertile and should want to share his bed.
Maybe the problem is twins. Mine is a pain in the ass. Maybe hers is the fly in the ointment as well.
"Is there a problem, Berne?" his mother asked.
He smiled, and it felt natural, but his mother would probably see right through it. "No. I'm fine," he lied.