Protective Mate, book 3 in my Holland Brothers series in now available for pre-order. You can Purchase HERE
"Do you have to do that here?" Simon didn't know exactly who he was talking to. All he wanted to do was relax after a long day at work, and he came home to find both his brothers and their mates making out in the living room. The television blared in the background, long since forgotten. Simon didn't begrudge his brothers their mates, it just seemed every time he turned around they were attempting to get into each other's pants. They could barely be in the same room together without constantly touching and, quite frankly, Simon was a little jealous.
Simon wanted to find someone who lit up the room when they walked in, someone whose touch caused his body to ache in such a good way, someone who looked at him as if he was their whole world, someone he could lose himself in and forget the world around him.
The growl coming from his brother, Alex, was actually quite impressive since he continued to kiss his mate, Jason, the entire time. Jason finally broke the kiss and giggled. He leaned his head back on the couch and looked up at Simon standing in the doorway. "Sorry."
Alex growled again. "Don't apologise, sweetheart. If he doesn't like it, he can always leave." Alex then started trailing kisses down Jason's neck.
Jason swatted Alex on the arm "Be nice."
"Don't worry about it, Jase. I think I might go for a run. Give you all time to finish whatever you're doing here. Be back in about an hour." Simon turned and walked down the passage to his room. Running had always been one of his favourite things to do, whether in wolf or human form. Simon could always manage to lose himself and forget everything going on in his life with the rhythm of his feet hitting the ground.
In his room, Simon undressed and found his running clothes. Once dressed in shorts and a tank top, Simon slipped on his Nike running shoes and found his armband for his iPod before finding the device itself. Searching through his bedside draws Simon then found his headphones. Connecting everything up and strapping the player in, Simon did some quick stretches then headed out of the house.
Simon jogged down the drive and turned left along the footpath. His body soon loosened up and he settled into a rhythm, heart beating steady, feet pounding the pavement in time with the heavy base beat of the music. Simon cleared his mind and let all his thoughts and worries flow right out of him. All that mattered was putting one foot in front of the other, everything else could wait.
The sweat was soon dripping down his back and his leg muscles started to ache but Simon was just getting started. He turned down the main street of town, most of the shops already locked up this late in the afternoon on a Thursday. The footpaths were clear except for the occasional teenager on a bike. He passed the park where parents played with young children, gradually fading into older kids on skateboards and rollerblades as he neared the skate park.
Simon had resigned himself to never having kids. He’d suspected as young as fifteen he was gay. Kissing his best friend Mark after school when he was sixteen confirmed his suspicions. They’d fooled around together and he discovered what it was like to have sex with another boy.
He’d never been interested in girls. Simon knew who he was attracted to and didn't need to try anything with a girl to confirm his orientation. After all, why should he 'make sure' he didn't like girls, if straight guys didn't have to 'make sure' with another man? The whole thing seemed like double standards to him.
Simon soon found himself at his turning point and he crossed to the other side of the street and headed back the way he’d come. A half hour later Simon's hair was wet with sweat as it dripped from his face and ran in rivulets down his back, his tank top plastered to his skin, and his leg muscles burning. Simon finally turned onto his street and noticed a Toyota Camry parked out front of his house. He didn't recognise the car and it had out of state plates. Must be the new pack member Alex had told him about.
Simon stopped on the front lawn and took ten minutes to do cool-down stretches. If he didn't, his body would rebel against him. His muscles would cramp and he would barely be able to walk.
Once Simon finished his stretches, he turned his iPod off and pulled his shirt off over his head. Simon hated the feeling of his sweat soaked clothes clinging to his body when he finished exercising. Making his way to the house, Simon pushed open the front door and stopped at the sight before him.
A little girl with bright red curls and the greenest eyes he'd ever seen stood in the passageway clutching a little wolf plush toy to her chest. Simon didn't want to frighten the small child so he quietly closed the door then crouched down with his back against the front door. "Hello there, pretty girl. What's your name?"
Simon watched as the girl's eyes roamed over him. "Hayley," came the soft sweet reply.