When Peter agrees to let a wizard stay with his pack, he has no idea he's about to meet his mate. Justin is everything Peter doesn't expect. He's not werekin, he wields magic, and--strangest of all--he's a man.
When his sister's mate, Cyrus, asks Peter to harbor his brother, Peter isn't expecting a bad boy wizard to show up at his door. He's also unprepared for Justin to be the mate Peter has searched for his entire life.
Wizards and werewolves don't get along.
Justin needs a place to crash where no one will look. With a psychotic wizard on his trail and a powerful artifact in his possession, the best hiding spot is the least likely. Who'll come searching in the middle of a wolf pack? Now all Justin has to do is resist a sexy wolf and he may escape with his heart intact.
Cyrus Kane knocked on the werewolf king's office door, purposely ignoring the tall guards on either side. His hands shook when he knocked again. He tried to calm his nerves by taking a deep breath even though the others could smell his skittishness. Worry and anxiety jangled him from the inside out.
His idea had to work. For once Justin depended on him and Cyrus wasn't going to let his brother down.
He had to get permission. He didn't know what he would do if the king denied his request. His brother needed help and Cyrus didn't plan to leave the alpha's doorstep until he had his way. He might not be the baddest wolf in the pack but even his wife would agree he could beat anyone in tenacity.
"He isn't going to bite, you know. Anna would kill him," said George, the wolf guarding the left side of the alpha's office. He gave Cyrus a friendly smile.
Cyrus returned the smile though he doubted it would convince anyone of his ease with the situation. New to the pack, marrying the king's sister only brought so many privileges. As jumbled thoughts spun about in his mind, the door opened and the king's right hand man and best friend stood before him.
"Cyrus." Douglas stepped forward with a welcoming expression and a friendly hug. "You can just walk in. You're a member of the royal family now. Marrying into the family gives you some perks."
Cyrus shrugged. He'd never be the type to rush in and start making demands. His wife had more alpha tendencies than he ever would, but it worked in their relationship. She liked to be in charge and he liked to have someone tell him what to do. For them, it only helped the perfect bonding they had by the fact they were soul mates.
"I'll remember next time," he promised. "May I come in?"
"Of course." Douglas stepped back to let him enter.
Cyrus tried not to feel intimidated. Douglas stood at least five inches taller and twice as wide.
Unfortunately, when Cyrus walked past Douglas and into the inner chamber he ended up being reminded the king made Douglas look short. The king's height even rivaled Cyrus's brother.
The brother he needed to ask a favor for.
* * * *
Werewolf King, Peter Moore, watched his brother-in-law walk into the room and suppressed a smile. His sister had chosen such a timid wolf, sweet as pie and even prettier than Anna. Peter could easily see what his sibling saw in the man, but Peter liked his lovers a little tougher. Any mate by his side would have to be strong enough to help manage pack politics and the occasional fight. Still, Peter would do anything for the newest addition to his family, especially because Cyrus made his sister glow with adoration.
Peter shook his head, catching sight of Cyrus's tousled black hair and bare feet. According to Anna, her mate hated shoes with a passion and only wore them when he had to.
He rose to greet his new relation. Shaking Cyrus's hand, Peter leaned forward and brushed his cheek against Cyrus's, marking him with his scent to remind others Cyrus had the king's protection. Peter made extra effort to remind others that, although a weaker wolf, Cyrus wasn't anyone's prey. Of course for an added incentive, Anna would rip off their head and beat them with it if they looked cross-eyed at her spouse.
However, Peter didn't keep his kingship by letting details slip by. He smelled Cyrus's nervousness and saw the apprehension in the wolf's pale violet eyes when he stepped back. Odd, he didn't think he usually frightened his brother-in-law.
"Greetings, brother. Is there something I can help you with?" He kept his voice low and calm, projecting reassurance as only an alpha could.
Glancing over he noticed Douglas still in the room. His best friend shook his head, letting him know that he had no idea why the other man was upset.
"G-Greetings, brother." Cyrus looked everywhere but at Peter.
Peter waited for Cyrus to state what he wanted. Rushing Cyrus only led to jumbled sentences and stuttered words.
Cyrus swallowed noisily. "I was hoping you could do me a favor."
"Come, sit down."
Cyrus sat in the chair Peter indicated. Peter perched on the edge of the desk, setting a more casual atmosphere. Douglas sat in the chair beside Cyrus. Peter could see curiosity eating away at Douglas. The beta wouldn't leave until he knew Cyrus's problem.
"What kind of favor can I do for you?"
Cyrus fidgeted nervously beneath his alpha's gaze. "Ummm. My brother is going to be in town and I was hoping you would grant him amnesty to allow him to stay at the commune." Amnesty could only be requested for non-wolves to allow them onto pack grounds.
"What is he?" Douglas asked, breaking into the silence.
Cyrus swallowed a few times before he answered. "Justin is my half-brother."
Peter sat up straight. He knew for a fact there were more than wolves in Cyrus's family tree.
Cyrus found his hands extremely interesting as he avoided Peter's gaze to play with his fingers. "Justin's a wizard. But he recently broke up with his lover and I don't think he should be alone," Cyrus confessed.
"Do you think he's suicidal?" Peter could feel the bars closing around him. He didn't especially want to throw a wizard into the pack mix, but he couldn't, in good conscience, let the brother of his sister's mate fend for himself. Pack took family seriously, even adopted family.
Cyrus laughed. "No. He's just self-destructive. This is the anniversary of our father's death and he always acts out this time of year. I worry what he'll do if he's left by himself. I don't want him out on the town picking up men without regard to his safety because he's depressed."
"Men?" Peter's heart slammed against his chest. The image of another man walking around looking like his brother-in-law and hunting other men made Peter's hunger rise. His inner wolf tilted its head in puzzlement. They'd never been overly attracted to men before. And while Peter had always found Cyrus attractive, it stemmed from a what-pretty-children-he'd-have-with-Anna kind of way.
"Yeah. He's gay. Is that a problem?"
For the first time Peter saw the fire Anna always rhapsodized about, flashing in Cyrus's eyes.
"No. No problem. I stand by my belief that a mate is the one who bonds with our soul and is not determined by sex or species. I know not all weres subscribe to that theory, but as long as I'm king my people will be able to mate where they will." Peter remained adamant that weres should be able to match with their soul mate, end of story. Sex or species had no bearing on the true love of a werewolf, despite what some of the older members proclaimed. Peter cleared his throat. "Does he look like you?"
"Peter!" Douglas exclaimed.
"What?" He'd asked a perfectly innocent question--okay maybe not innocent, but a question.
Cyrus frowned. "No. Justin doesn't look like me. Well, except the eyes. We both have father's eyes."
"A wizard could cause a lot of problems," Douglas cautioned, frowning his disapproval of the idea. "Some weres can't resist the smell of magic. I wouldn't want to be responsible for an accidental mauling."
Peter shrugged. "The pack can fend for themselves. After all, one wizard can't cause too much trouble." A single wizard shouldn't be a problem among a large pack of werewolves. If Justin and his brother were anything alike, Peter probably wouldn't even know he was there.
"Cyrus, go ahead and tell your brother he can stay with us. I'm sure the pack can cope for a few days."
"Thank you!" Cyrus's grateful expression reinforced Peter's belief he'd done the right thing.
"You're welcome." Besides it wouldn't hurt to make Cyrus feel more a part of the pack, even if Peter had to have a wizard on his land for a few days.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This is a reedited, rerelease title.
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