Blaze (Dragon's Destiny_ Fated Mates Book 4)(4)By: Wolf Specter & Angel Knots
It had been a rude awakening to find out that the North American dragons I knew were the exception, rather than the rule. The ones here in Europe pretty much sucked. Well, not Z of course, but the rest of them were the kind of people that I’d enlisted in the Army specifically to go out and take care of in the real world. Well, I mean the non-dragon world.
Plus, they were practically all dudes. And—unlike Marky-Mark, my brother, and… fuck, practically everyone who mattered to me—I wasn’t gay.
Although, to be honest, if the fated mate thing had been in the stars for me—if there was someone who would look at me like I was the entire reason they got up in the morning, and the only thing worth drawing another breath for—shit, I could probably go gay for that. I mean, if I had to.
Chay started banging his biscuit on the tray of his high chair, pulling my thoughts out of the poor-me-no-dragon funk I’d fallen into, and I looked up to see Ben and Zander still staring at me with that air of repressed excitement.
“Dudes, what?” I asked, biting back a smile as I looked back and forth between the two of them. They both looked like they were about to burst, and I was totally into sharing some of the happy that looked like it was about to spill out of them.
Ben’s smile widened even more, if that were possible. “We just wanted you to be one of the first to know—”
“My Ben is pregnant again!” Zander burst in, practically bouncing in his seat as he beamed at his husband.
“Duuuuuuude! That’s fucking awesome!” I said, remembering to clap my hands over Chay’s ears a split-second too late.
Shit. All my friends had kids by now—my dragon friends, that is—so you’d think I’d have a better handle on the F-bombs. For real, though, Army life was not conducive to a clean vocabulary, and at least for the moment, Ben and Z were too busy glowing to act like they cared about my latest slip.
“Seriously, guys, congratulations. Chay is gonna be an awesome big brother.”
Zander glanced anxiously at his son, his excitement dimming for a moment.
“Do you really think so? What if he does not like sharing things? What if the little one fights with him?” Z fidgeted nervously, his normally cocky facade slipping a bit as his parenting insecurities tumbled out in a hot rush. “What if Chay worries that we love the new one more than him?”
I made a valiant effort not to laugh at him, ‘cause seriously, he didn’t deserve it. It was cool that he cared.
“Don’t stress, twinkie. Chay is gonna love his brother. Or sister. Whatever. Someday he’ll thank you for giving him someone to play with. Trust me, sibs can be pretty awesome, even when you hate them. ”
Zander failed to look reassured. Dude was a chronic worrier.
I knew he was an only child, just like Ben, but—just sayin’—I didn’t think the whole sibling rivalry thing was the real cause of his current anxiety. Z was young—well, technically, way older than me, but still, young for a dragon—and I knew he still worried about being a good father. Even if I liked to tease him a little now and then, though, the truth was that he was a good parent. And husband. He loved Ben and Chay more than life itself, and in my book, that pretty much trumped everything else.
“Zander, seriously. Both the kids will think the other one is a pain in the ass sometimes, but there’s nothing better than having someone you grow up with, who knows all the shit about you and still has your back, you know? And besides, they’ve got you and Ben, so they’ll be golden.”
Z finally seemed to relax a little at my words, which felt kinda good, I’m not gonna lie. Ben’s mate did tend to be a little high strung, and the two of us had gotten off on the wrong foot the first time we’d met. We’d both come around, though, and it was kinda cool to realize I could talk him down from his freak out. Ben smiled, giving me a grateful look, and I’d put money on the two of them having already had some version of that conversation a few times.
“The baby should be born around Christmas, Ty,” he said. “Will you be back from Afghanistan by then?”
“Who the fu— uh,” I caught myself just in time. Damn, I really didn’t see enough of these guys if my language was slipping this much in front of their kid. “I dunno. I don’t even know if I will come back.”