Friday, 2 May 2014
"Tightly Held" (MFM) "Werewolves of Hanson Mal" book 5
Werewolves Ethan Simon and Nolan James are sent to Hanson Mall to help Georgia Edwards with the shape-shifter family history project. They’re determined to succeed at their job, bring honor to their pack, and also to claim Georgia, who’s a wolf, as their mate.
But it’s not that simple. They have an enormous amount to learn. The city is very different from their home on the farm. Georgia is their boss and they love her far too much to hurt or embarrass her by clumsy actions. Besides, more drama from the discredited well-being center comes to light, and something has to be done to drag their own pack out of poverty, as well.
How will they ever be able to demonstrate to her how much they’ll love and adore her if only she'll give them the chance? All they want to do is hold her tightly in their arms forever, but making it happen is proving incredibly difficult.
“You two boys fancy yourselves in love with that redhead from the Hanson Mall pack, don’t you?”
When the Alpha of the Simon pack asked a question, only a very foolish wolf would lie. “I’d certainly like to get to know her better, sir,” said Ethan Simon.
The Alpha’s piercing black gaze moved from his face to Nolan James’s but Ethan was too smart to move a muscle. The Alpha wasn’t finished with them yet.
“I don’t know, sir. I don’t know her yet, sir.” Nolan was sounding even worse than he had.
“Cadfael Hanson, the Alpha of the Hanson Mall pack, has agreed to take you two to help with the werewolf genealogy project. You will obey him in all things.” The Alpha’s voice was stern and Ethan could clearly hear the unspoken words. “The honor of our pack rests on your shoulders.”
“You will be starting at the bottom. You know nothing of their work but you will apply yourselves, work hard, and learn all the tasks as fast as you can. There’ll be no sneaking time off or wasting your opportunities.”
“We will do our very best, sir. Thank you for choosing us,” said Nolan.
“You will not antagonize Georgia Edwards. She is your superior in this work. She’s also a female wolf and there are far too few of them around for you two to recklessly waste your chances with her. If you discover she won’t accept you, make sure she doesn’t develop a distaste for this pack. There are other young men here who deserve a mate as well.”
Ethan thought he was starting to sound like a children’s toy that was broken and could only say one thing. But he was fucked if he could think of anything else to say. It wasn’t like the Alpha was looking for a conversation here. And the chance to find a mate was a huge gift as well as a challenge. He was up for the challenge and had no intention of wasting the gift.
“Sit down.” The Alpha waved to the couch opposite him. He was sitting in the huge armchair in the front room of the old farmhouse where he often sat, his back ramrod straight, though not at all relaxed. Ethan thought his gray hair had thinned even more the past few months. The pack was struggling to survive. They all couldn’t help but notice it. If he and Nolan were being fed and kept in another pack, that would take a little bit of pressure off the rest of the Simon pack. But only a new income stream could save them. He knew the Alpha was working on something but had no idea what it was or whether or not it would actually be successful.
“You don’t need to know all the ins and outs of the changes that will be happening in this pack, but in order to succeed in your task I’m about to tell you some things. This is strictly pack business, and not to be chattered about with your friends. I’m telling you so you know how important it is that you either succeed in your mission, or at least leave the pathway still clear for me to send others to follow you. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir. I appreciate your trust in us,” said Ethan.
“I’m honored you’ve chosen us,” said Nolan.
The Alpha wrinkled his nose, but Ethan thought he relaxed back into his armchair just a fraction. So far so good. Although I wish I knew what the fuck is going on.
“The lack of females being born into our pack is not something that’s unique to our pack, or to Ohio, or even to the Unites States of America. All around the world werewolf packs have noticed the lack of female babies being born over the past few generations. The Supreme Alpha of North America is aiding a research project that’s tracking shape-shifter genealogies to determine if there’s a cause for the lack of females, or if it’s a regular cyclical trend. It seems when male wolves mate with female humans, more girls are born. Not that it helped the Simon family. Quintana’s the only girl in three generations. Still, that’s what they’ve discovered.”
Ethan knew that. He was Quintana’s cousin, sharing the same human grandmother she had, although his father was the third brother born to their grandmother and hers the fifth.
“The Supreme is involved, sir?”
Yeah, good catch, Nolan. I didn’t know that.
“The Supreme’s headquarters is coordinating the project. The Hanson Mall pack is providing the key staff for it. Georgia Edwards and Wynn Evans. You will do exactly as they tell you. Always remember you’re there to learn and to help. If they tell you to fetch coffee, you go get it without complaint. I have chosen you both believing you are smart enough to learn whatever you need to learn, and to keep your mouths shut, and work hard on any menial tasks you’re given until you know enough to perform more advanced assignments. I will be extremely annoyed if I learn that either of you has been rude or lazy. And if it happens that you fail and the pack is not permitted to send anyone else on this project, the results will be extremely severe for you both. Have I made myself clear?”
“Yes, sir,” said Ethan.
“Crystal clear, sir. We won’t fail you or the pack,” said Nolan.