Blaze (Dragon's Destiny_ Fated Mates Book 4)(2)By: Wolf Specter & Angel Knots
Through some lottery-jackpot style luck of the draw, Markham and I had been stationed together for seven years, ever since basic. Jax had transferred into our unit a couple of years later and had instantly fallen in with the two of us. By now, they were as much brothers to me as my own twin, Wes… and just like actual family, they loved getting all up in my business.
Recently, they’d started worrying about my ongoing dry spell, and I just knew they were gossiping about it behind my back. Couple of nosy hens. I almost wished I could fake a girlfriend just to get them off my back, but that wouldn’t fly ‘cause—for the moment at least—they were also my roommates. They knew damn well that I spent most of my nights home with the Xbone.
We’d all been stuck living on post when we’d arrived in Germany the year before, jammed in the barracks with everyone else—not gonna lie, that had pretty much sucked—but after I’d made an off-hand comment about it to Zander a few months ago, Marky, Jax, and I had miraculously been assigned to housing off-post.
My lip quirked up at the epic levels of unlikelihood of that actually happening without… intervention.
Of course, Z denied having had anything to do with it—Pfft. Why would I bother interfering in something so trivial? he’d insisted, his cheeks turning suspiciously pink as he waved off my question while trying to distract me by shoving his cute-as-fuck kid into my arms—but his husband had overheard and given him A Look. Later, I’d heard Ben whispering to Zander, admonishing him yet again about using their dragon voodoo to fuck with humans’ free will.
Have to admit though, while I agreed with Ben in theory, it was kind of nice to get off post and bunk with my boys.
At least, it was when they weren’t all over my ass about why I was avoiding socializing with the unit.
“You are late, soldier boy,” Zander said, whipping the door open and narrowing his eyes at me. “My son was wondering if you were going to make it before the food got cold.”
I tucked my phone away without replying to the text, pulling the prickly little loong—Chinese dragon—into a one-armed hug that he pretended to try to dodge. Just for that, I gave him a noogie before I let go.
“Quit worrying so much, twinkie. You know I wouldn’t stand you up.”
“Pfft. I never worry,” he lied. “But Chay occasionally misses you.”
I laughed at Z’s lame attempt to blame his concern on his infant son, following him into the ridiculously posh penthouse apartment that was currently filled with the smell of something that made my mouth water. I’d been friends with Zander’s husband, Ben, back in the States, and having the two of them living so close had definitely made this deployment less lonely than I’d expected. The guys I served with were like a second family, but still, sometimes it was nice to just relax in a place that felt a little bit like home.
Not that Zander’s apartment was anything like the cheap-ass duplex I’d rented back when I’d been stationed near my brother at JBLM in Washington State, but that didn’t matter. It wasn’t the place that made it feel like home, it was the people.
Welp… not “people.”
“Ty, you’d better get in here before Chay falls out of this high chair trying to reach you,” Ben called from the kitchen.
The threat wasn’t idle. The baby was only six months old, but he was the son of dragon-shifters and already had the strength to prove it. Now that he could sit up on his own and was starting to crawl, his fathers were having a hard time finding ways to contain him. Not that a fall would hurt the little guy, what with the fast-healing ability that his heritage gave him, but still… no one wanted to see a baby tumble to the ground.
As soon as I made it into the kitchen, I unsnapped the little belt holding Chay in place and scooped him up, heading to the fridge to toss the beer inside while he bounced on my hip and babbled incomprehensible excitement into my ear. Fucking adorable.
“Dude, you want one?” I asked Ben as I wedged the beer in between the milk and something vaguely vegetable-like. I grabbed a couple out for me and Zander without asking, ‘cause I knew my boy Z.