With the construction for their shifter rehabilitation clinic in Haven underway, Xavier and Josh couldn’t be happier, professionally. But their busy lives leave them little alone time. It’s putting a strain on their relationship, and they still haven’t had anything close to a honeymoon. Josh realizes Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and sees an opportunity he can’t let get away.
But never having observed the holiday before, he has no idea what Xavier might want. All Xavier knows is that Josh wants to celebrate, but he has no clue how. Before either of them makes a concrete decision, a bear shifter attacks Haven and tramples their romantic plans.
Xavier had to walk around to the back of the house to find Josh, who was standing with a blueprint, shouting at the workers on the roof. There seemed to be a disagreement happening, and Xavier found it incredibly cute how Josh’s face was becoming as red as his hair and his blue eyes were bright with frustration. He was bundled against the low 40s temperature, and Xavier found it hard to think of anything but keeping Josh nice and warm under their blankets.
Xavier walked over to catch Josh say, “…where you guys are sitting is where the new addition is going to go. I keep telling you that. That’s what the blueprint says.”
“If you put it here, the plumbing’s going to be a disaster,” countered an older man, who Xavier knew to be a fellow wolf shifter. He looked as exasperated as Josh. “That blueprint is wrong, or ya ain’t looking at it right, boy.”
“Let me see.” Xavier snatched the blueprint from Josh.
Clearing his throat, Xavier saw the problem and turned the blueprint right-side up. He handed it back to Josh and tried not to laugh, but it was a hard struggle. Josh looked down at the paper, his face reddening further. He grumbled something before sucking in a large breath and looking back up at the roof workers.
“Carry on, boys, we found out the problem.”
The workers glanced at each other. The older wolf shifter shook his head and mumbled something Xavier thought sounded like “Pups.”
Xavier turned his attention to Josh. “Morning, love.”
Josh rolled up the blueprint and gave him a smile. “Morning. Guess I still need a few lessons in ‘Building Remodeling 101.’”
Xavier chuckled. Then he cupped Josh’s face and kissed him soundly. Josh attempted to pull back for a split second before he melted against Xavier. Making a growly purr deep in his throat, Xavier wrapped his arms around Josh. He deepened the kiss, his tongue taking possession of Josh’s mouth, one hand curling around the back of Josh’s head. In response, Josh gripped his shoulders, a sweet moan coming from him.
Xavier reluctantly pulled back a moment later and was happy to see that Josh’s eyes were slightly blurry. He didn’t care that they were getting looks and snickers. He craved this man like a drug. Everything between them still felt fresh and new.
“Now it is a very good morning,” Xavier said.
Josh grinned. “Definitely.”
Xavier shifted his mouth close to Josh’s ear. “But it would have been a great morning if you’d stayed in bed.”
“I… well, there’s so much to do. I had to get an early start—”
Xavier kept his arms tightly around Josh’s waist, knowing a ramble about to start when he heard it. His redhead had a tendency to talk and talk… and talk. “You’ve been getting an early start for a couple of weeks now. There will always be so much to do. I need my mate.”
Josh sighed and pulled back slightly. Their eyes met. Xavier enjoyed the look of him, and he had a special adoration for the freckles that spread across his nose and cheeks. Xavier happened to know they covered Josh’s entire body.
“Sorry, X. You need your sleep. I don’t want to disturb you in the morning.”
Xavier raised an eyebrow. It was sweet how naïve Josh was sometimes.
“Josh, I always want you. Wake me up whenever. I’ll just sleep after.”
Josh let out a short laugh, his bright blue eyes sparkling. “Okay, got that.”
He pulled away, and Xavier let him. If he kept holding Josh, he might be tempted to drag him into the house and take him on the floor. His wolf didn’t think that was a bad idea.
Josh lifted the blueprint again. He tilted it one way and then the other, then covered one eye, then just sighed and shook his head. “I give up. I’m no good at this.” He shoved the print into Xavier’s hands. “Could you monitor them for me? I have a patient in ten minutes.”
“You need to stop booking them so early in the morning.”
Josh shrugged, smiling. “I have to book them whenever I can or else I’d never see them. We have to make ourselves available, remember?”
“Yeah, but we also need some time for just us, right?”
“Of course!” Josh jumped up and kissed Xavier quickly. Then he was gone, striding away. “I’ll see you later!”
It was incredibly annoying that Josh seemed so fucking immune to the lust bubbling inside Xavier. Kissing and blowjobs had been the extent of their lovemaking for too long, and Xavier was itching for more. He really wanted to be inside Josh again. More than anything, he wanted intimacy; he wanted time alone with his mate, no interruptions, no pressures, no duties.
Grumbling, he looked at the print and attempted to keep his mind busy by bossing around the workers.
I’ve wanted to write since I was in the second grade and never gave up that dream. My parents were very supportive and their only request was that I go to college and get a decent job while pursuing that dream. That really wasn’t too much to ask. I didn’t start actively writing until I was a senior in high school.
Those few stories were awful, just saying. But they were supposed to be. I was still learning, growing, accumulating. I still am, in many ways, but college truly helped me put my stories together, and to learn how to tell a story. I’m still growing and learning and hope to continue to get better and better at writing.