Circle Three Ranch
Beckett's Wolf Pack, Triad Mates - Book 6
Shelly's Forbidden Mates
Shelly Brooks-Lancaster has been forbidden to have mates. She has been told often that she is not worthy, not pretty, and not good enough to be part of a mating. The Fates step in and show her that she is not only all of those things, she is needed by the men who are meant to be hers. Her sweet wolves give Shelly the courage to reject her mother’s decree.
Maxwell Oliver and Eli Granger work as enforcers for Alpha Randall. They have known pain and suffering—often taking the cruel and unjust punishments for pack members. They long for a woman to complete their triad, but they knew better than to hope any woman would think them worthy mates. Then they met Shelly. She is goodness and light in their dark world.
Life pulls them apart, but their hearts know what they need. They must hold tightly to each other. A life of love, happiness, and children await them.
She climbed up the front steps of the home slowly, reaching out and opening the door to the enclosed porch and stepping inside. Looking at the comfortable, burgundy couch placed there, she sighed as a sweet picture of two men holding two children flashed in her mind’s eye. She recognized the men as those who had stood beside her and had offered her help when she wasn’t feeling well the night she and Synthia had returned to the pack. Was this their home? Was she seeing them with their children?
Sitting down on the couch, she looked around the enclosed porch and took in the cleanliness of it. Whoever had been taking care of this home had done a good job. There was not one bit of dust or dirt to be seen. The caretakers had even set plants on the ledge that bordered the windows that had been slid open to allow the soft breeze of the day to enter the porch.
She heard the rhythmic sound of an ax being raised and lowered, and the crack of splitting wood coming from the side of the home. Whoever it was had to be responsible for the state of the home. She would have to offer her thanks. Standing slowly, she reached for the doorknob of the front door and tested to see if it was unlocked. It was.
Opening the door wide, she stepped inside and smiled at the familiar sight before her. It was in the exact same condition as she remembered it. The living room and kitchen were still comfortable and made her feel at home. The scent of freshly baked cookies had her mouth watering.
Walking over to the stove, she saw the cooling rack with chocolate chip cookies on it. A memory sparked in her mind of another time when she had made those same cookies and had teased her mates with them. She remembered their soft growls and the way they had chased her to the lake. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on the memory, trying to see through the haze in her mind so she could see the faces of her men.
A flash of a picture made her lose her balance. Reaching out, she gripped for the kitchen counter to steady herself, succeeding in knocking the two cookie sheets to the floor and following them down as she toppled sideways and fell hard. It was a cacophony of sound that could have woken the dead.
The sound of running boots assailed her. Before she could right herself, the back door to the kitchen was thrown open and the two men who had tried to help her not so many days ago were pushing through the open door. Both men stood in shock as they looked down at her. She couldn’t help but laugh.
The man with the dark hair actually cracked a smile. The sternness of his look melted away as he looked down at her. The man with the blond hair knelt down beside her and reached out to pull the cookie sheets from her lap and set them aside.
“If you wanted cookies, Shelly, you could have just asked,” he said calmly. “Max and I would have shared. You didn’t have to destroy the kitchen.”
Shelly’s smile widened. She looked up at the man who had to be Max and reached out to ask for help. When his hand surrounded hers, something zinged through her. When the man who knelt beside her took her other hand, the charge that passed through her was instant. She didn’t understand it at all.
The two men carefully tugged her to her feet and stood silently with her between them. Max reached out with his left hand and tucked her hair behind her ear. She saw the red material that surrounded his wrist and felt the tugging of a memory that she couldn’t quite place.
“Did you hurt yourself, baby?” he asked her gently.
“Just my pride,” she admitted, liking the endearment that he used. It felt comfortable. For some unexplained reason, it felt right.
“Are you sure, sweetheart?” the other man asked, taking her hand in his and bringing it toward his chest to press it against the black T-shirt he was wearing.
Shelly could feel the steady beat of his heart and smiled. Another endearment. She was liking this. A lot.
“Do I know you?” she asked suddenly, looking from one man to the other. “I feel like I do.”
Max looked at Eli in silence. This was not good at all.
She doesn’t remember us, Eli.
It makes sense now. No wonder she felt fear when she looked at us. I wonder why she can’t remember us.
“My name is Eli Granger,” Eli introduced himself. “This old wolf is Maxwell Oliver.”
“You’re the same age I am, Eli,” Max muttered. “And thirty-six is not old.” He turned to look at Shelly and saw the way she was thinking so hard. “Don’t let him influence you, Shelly. He’s just jealous because I’m so much better looking than he is.”
“In your dreams, Max,” Eli muttered.
Shelly laughed with complete delight. She couldn’t help it. These two men made her heart light.
“Oh, I would argue that you’re both pretty handsome,” she said, pulling her hands from theirs and turning to take two cookies from the cooling racks.
She turned and offered one to each of them, laughing softly when they immediately snatched them from her hands and bit into them. She hesitated a moment as she watched them. Something felt very familiar, like this had happened once before, but that couldn’t be.
Copyright © 2012 Lynnette Bernard
All Rights Reserved.