Finn drops the bacon and pulls his hand back, a grunt coming out of his mouth like my little slap actually hurt him. I raise my eyebrow at him, knowing better. The man is six foot and probably has a hundred pounds on me. Not to mention he’s a shifter.
“Forest hasn’t gotten his yet,” I scowl. Finn just grunts again and goes back to eating his steak and eggs and everything else he has left on his own plate. I lift the coffee pot and top off his coffee. Living with three male shifters can be a fight when it comes to food. You’d think they’ve never eaten before, like I was starving them and not making sure they got three full meals a day, but since I’ve been cooking for them for the past seven years, I know that’s a load of bull. I keep them well fed.
Three is a whole lot easier to handle then the seven it used to be, but over the years, one by one, the brothers have started to find their mates. Our little family gets smaller and smaller each year. That’s all the band of brothers seems to be about—looking for their one true mate.
Each time one found his mate, it was bittersweet—knowing he found what he were looking for but would be leaving us. We were always on to the next town. Never staying in one place too long. I liked being on the move at first. It felt like my past couldn’t catch up to me. If I kept moving, I’d never be found.
For the last year it has just been Finn, Forest, Flint, and me. Down to three brothers and not one has gotten lucky with finding his mate yet. Tired of being on the road and hopping from town to town, we all decided it was time to settle in somewhere. We’ve been in Gray Ridge, Colorado for over a month now, and I’ve been stuck inside this cabin.
We’d chosen Gray Ridge because we’d heard they were a more laidback pack. Not so sticky with the rules. Some packs only accept certain shifters and have a list a mile long of dos and don’ts. But it isn’t like that here. Or so my brothers have told me. Everyone just has to be a part of the community. They all work together here. I like the sound of that. It sounds friendly and even homey.
“Do you think I can just go out for a little? I’ll be real careful.” I bite my lip and give Finn my best sad face, opening my blue eyes real big. It’s something I’ve been doing for years when I’m trying to get something. When I was little it was just candy or ice cream. As I got older, it tended to lean on the side of family movie night or them taking me fishing.
“Ahh, Snow, don’t do that.” Finn puts his fork down, and I can see he feels guilty, and that makes me feel guilty. I know they’re just trying to keep me safe. It’s all they have ever done since the day they became my family. All I want is to take care of them and make them happy. It’s all I know.
But it’s like I’m going to be a secret my whole life. No one is allowed to even know I exist. Ironically, it was something I’d begged them for when they’d found me out in the snow all alone seven years ago. Begged them not to take me back. Begged them to hide me from my father.
They did. Now I’m like their little sister. At first they were reluctant about taking me in and hiding me like I asked. Not that I blamed them. I was eleven, and they found me running through the woods in the middle of the night all alone. But soon their protectiveness ascended to a whole new level. I was one of them. I belonged with them. They were my world. All I had. A better family than I’d ever had. It was a miracle that brought them into my life. They saved me, and I would forever be indebted to them for that.
“I’m sorry. I’m just going a little stir crazy, is all.” I make Forest a plate as he stumbles into the room and sits down at the breakfast bar next to Finn. His blond hair is sticking in five different directions. It took me a good six months to be able to tell them apart—they’re identical twins—but now I can just tell with a glance. “I was hoping since we were staying here that maybe I could come out of hiding. I, ahh…” I pause, feeling a little guilty at my next confession. “I turned eighteen last week.”
“What?!” Flint growls from the kitchen entryway, making me jump. Even after all these years I still haven’t gotten used to how these big men can move around so quietly.