Too Much To Bear: BBW Shifter Romance (Shifters of Spellholm Forest - The Bears) (5 page)

BOOK: Too Much To Bear: BBW Shifter Romance (Shifters of Spellholm Forest - The Bears)
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"Compatible? In what way, it makes no difference to the way you are together in human form."

"I know, but I would hate to turn into something like a mouse, when he is this big fierce animal. Do they even have mouse shifters?"

Jenny laughed. "I bet they do somewhere, but I've never met one."

"I want to be something that can keep up with my bear, run with him, and experience the sights and sounds as he does."

"I never thought of it like that."

"Won't you turn into a bird, like your parents?"

"I don't know. I'm not a hundred percent sure that's how it works. And I'm too scared to ask them."

"Is that what the problem is? You're scared they'll be disappointed if you're different to them?"

"A little." Jenny thought for a moment. "Tell you what, there's an old woman who lives in the forest. I mean way back in the forest, we could go and see her. Apparently she has a sense for all these things."

"Like a sixth sense for shifters?"

"Yes. That's if I can find her, and if she's still alive."

"Do you have a good idea where she is? Only I don't think getting lost in the forest is such a good idea."

"It would be easier if we had a tracker with us."

"Is there anyone you can ask?"

"I don't know. Not many people like her, she creeps them out."

"I bet Beck would go with us. He's been out of sorts since he got here according to Wes. Maybe he needs to do something to add a bit of excitement to his life. How's that working out for you anyway?"

"What do you mean working out for me?" Jenny jumped on Paris’s innocent comment.

"Beck working at the farm. He doesn't say a lot. Are you OK?"

Jenny tried to act normal, but Paris already knew something was wrong. "It's fine, he's fine. Works hard, makes my dad happy."

"And does he make you happy?"

Jenny looked down at her hands, she should tell Paris now. Share her fears and her doubts, along with her hopes and her dreams. Instead, she said, "I don't really think about him."

Paris's eyes narrowed and Jenny thought she’d been rumbled. For a moment, Paris contemplated something, and then she smiled, "That's it. We can ask him, he's sure to know where the old woman is, he's probably been there before."

"No. I'll think of someone else."

"But there's no particular reason you don't want Beck to take us?"

"No." Jenny could have blamed it on her past experience with Beck, but somehow she hated to run him down. Her loyalty must have already shifted towards protecting him, as he would protect her. Doomed. No way of fighting changes that happened so subtly you never even saw them coming.

***

"Paris tells me you want to go and see Mother Hart."

Wes appeared behind her, his words making her jump. In the last two days she’d hardly set eyes on him, Jenny figured he was avoiding her, letting things settle down for a while. This was a good tactic, if that's what it was, because she found herself constantly using her senses to try to locate where he was on the farm.

If she closed her eyes and concentrated, she could almost feel his presence. At least that's what she thought, half the time it didn't work, and now she began to consider that part of the true mate rules to be fake. Or maybe they had to have actually mated first for it to work. She dragged her mind away from those thoughts, telling herself she would be better to ask Paris if it worked for her instead.

"Mother Hart, that’s what they call her. I couldn't remember. People don't talk about her much any more."

"That's what she used to be known as. Of course I've been away for a while; she might be dead for all I know."

“I didn’t want to ask you to take us.” There was nothing like being blunt.

“If you’re going, I’m coming too. That is not open to argument,” he said firmly.

“You don’t own me Beck. I could easily go when you’re working.” The way he insisted on her needing his protection irritated her.

Beck came closer, standing so close she could feel the heat of his body. Whenever he was this near, she felt pulled into his orbit, as a planet is trapped around its sun. He must know the effect it had on her, and he was not above using it to his own ends. “No, I don’t own your body, but I do own part of your soul, just as you own part of mine.”

His words inflamed her senses, and she found it annoyingly impossible to argue with him. Trying to accept defeat gracefully she asked, "Do you know where she lives?"

"I can find her."

"So sure of yourself." Damn, she wanted to kiss his self assured lips.

"I've been there before. I can find it again if she's still there." He pulled back, his body language defensive, and she wondered what he was keeping to himself. It intrigued her, and made the decision to allow him to come easier. She wanted to know his secrets.

Jenny thought it through for a moment. She could ask someone else, and she should mention this to her parents. They didn't always approve of things outside of the mundane farm life they led, ironic when their true nature was considered. Suddenly she needed his reassurance. "Do you think it's a good idea to go and see her?"

"That would depend on why you want to see her." His mood broke and he grinned. "If you think she can give you a way out of being my mate, I think you're wasting your time."

"No, that's not it at all...it's...I can't really say." She didn't know if she would have the courage to ask Mother Hart her own question. She only wanted to help Paris, and her secret was not Jenny's to share. Paris might want to keep it from Wes, but if she did then she shouldn't have mentioned it to Beck.

"I've got an idea what it's all about. Don't worry, Wes is my brother, not my keeper," Beck said.

"So you won't mention it to him?"

"If that's what you want. Although I think she should voice her concerns with her mate first."

"Wow. Since when did you become a guidance counsellor?"

"I don't think you take this seriously enough. But then you don't feel the full impact of it yet."

She dismissed his words, not wanting to dwell on them. "This afternoon. We'll go this afternoon. I'll think of an excuse for us both to leave the farm."

"Make sure you know what you're both getting into. Things can't be unsaid."

Studying him closely, she said, "You and I, of all people know that." She walked away, turning briefly to say, "And I've got nothing to lose if I ask her if it's possible to change mates before I come of age."

He chuckled. "You ask away. But I'm afraid you're stuck with me."

***

"I feel really bad not telling Wes where we're going. He thinks we're having dinner in town."

"You two are like an old married couple," Beck said, winking at Jenny when she gave him a piercing look.

"Being mated is much worse than being married. I don't see how any mated couple could cheat on each other. Maybe that's the answer to the social problem of this country; make everyone linked by this stupid mating thing," said Paris.

"Stupid. I'll mention that one to my brother," Beck said.

Beck had driven them to the edge of a large section of the forest Jenny didn't know at all. The track leading to it petered out into nothing, and he would have to reverse to get back to the road. They all got out, and Paris and Jenny grabbed their backpacks.

"Are you OK?" Jenny asked Paris.

She smiled weakly. "Yeah. It's only...you know."

Jenny put her arm around Paris. She had forgotten Paris might feel scared about going into the forest, only a short time ago Wes had rescued her from two men who had kidnapped her and threatened to rape her. "You're safe; no one is here except me and Beck. And I guess he'll protect us both."

"You know it's true," he said resignedly, and struck off into the trees.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Jenny asked before they followed Beck.

"Yes. Positive, if she can give me any information about whether I'll change or not, it would give me time to prepare. I also want to know if she remembers my father at all."

"If anyone knows she might. The tales people tell about her make her out to be some kind of oracle."

"Then let's go." Paris took a determined step forward, and their journey began.

They walked for half an hour without stopping. Beck stayed in his human form until then, but as they sat resting and taking a drink, he spoke quietly to Jenny.

"I'm going to have to change soon. I think there's a scent on the air, but I need to change to be able to follow it."

"OK. No problem."

"I need you to carry my clothes for me; we might not come back this way. Or I might have to go human where I need to be fully dressed."

"Right." It seemed bizarre having a conversation with Beck. There was a familiarity between them that was simply there, and not made by the process of time spent together. "You want to watch?"

"Watch what?" she asked, then realising his meaning, too late to stop his fun

"Me, strip naked. I know how much you like my body, especially with no clothes on."

"No, I do not want to watch!"

Paris looked up at her sharp words. She lowered her voice so only he could hear. "I have seen it all before, I have no desire to see it all again."

"But you do desire to touch me again."

"Beck, please. Not here."

"Oh, I don't know. I think when things are settled between us you might enjoy coming out into the forest with me."

Colour rose in her face, the thought of coming out here, in the wilds and mating with him aroused the animal in her. Not for the first time she felt sure she was not going to be a bird when she came of age. This thought spurred her on. Jenny had to ask her own questions of Mother Hart.

"Stop showing off and strip, I'll pick up your clothes, let's just hope I don't accidentally let them fall into a stream, or a very muddy puddle."

He grinned. "That would mean you having to look at this body of mine all the way home."

"Ready Paris?" she asked her friend, trying to ignore him as he sauntered off.

"Yes, if you two have finished flirting."

"Beck has the mad idea I want to see his naked body. But he's full of himself," She raised her voice, so it would reach Beck who had moved away behind a thicket. "I've already told him I've seen bigger on a sheep."

Paris giggled. "You two are made for each other, you know."

"Don't say that, please."

"It's true then?" Paris asked.

Behind her Jenny felt the air fill with electricity, and knew he was shifting, she had missed the chance to see him naked, which she would have enjoyed despite her words. Her distraction confirmed everything to Paris.

"When Beck arrived Wes said he was in such a state. He sent me upstairs to fetch that box, to get rid of me while Beck calmed down. He wouldn't tell me who Beck's mate was, but I got to thinking about how you had been on the road when Beck arrived. I couldn't believe it at first."

"I know, we are so unsuited." Jenny shook her head in despair.

"I don't know. I think you’ll probably do him some good. Wes keeps having a chuckle to himself about how hard Beck is working. You've made an honest man out of a rogue."

"I haven't done anything. It's this mating thing. Do you feel strongly attracted to Wes, more than just love?" They walked towards the place where Beck had shifted.

"It’s hard for me to know, I’ve never been with anyone else. I love Wes so much, I don’t know if it could be any more intense. If it can, then I can't wait to feel the strong bond a mated couple feel. I think that has me more excited about being able to change than anything else."

Jenny saw the pile of clothes, neatly folded. He must have taken is time, and she had missed watching him bend down as he stripped. Missed seeing that wonderful toned butt of his. Opening her backpack, she fitted his clothes inside, and then looked to see where he had gone.

Standing watching her, black fur begging to be touched, stood a bear. Her bear. It gave her such a thrill to see him this way, and to know his heart belonged to her even in this form. Bears were one of the most powerful of all those that changed.

She had always been told she would be a small bird, it was a family tradition. Looking at him, for the first time she didn't feel worried about being something else. She wanted to be an equal to Beck. In human form he was so much more than her, his body beautifully sculptured, where as she was round and soft. He was strength, courage and self assuredness, she was soft and weak. Yet when she changed, she might for once be so different.

"Come on, Paris. Let's press on and see if Mother Hart can see our future."

 

Beck

Beck stretched, feeling good about taking his other form. He always felt more comfortable this way. Being a bear released him from the constraints he felt as a human. He could not say the wrong thing, or upset anyone with his behaviour. Bears were fierce, and strong, using body language to communicate.

BOOK: Too Much To Bear: BBW Shifter Romance (Shifters of Spellholm Forest - The Bears)
9.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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