About Aspen’s Song
Author: BA Tortuga
Word Count: 57200
Page Count (pdf): 238
Date Published: 04/27/2021
Publisher: Turtlehat Creatives
Heat Rating: 3 Rainbows
File types: Pdf, mobi, epub
this title has been moved to Kindle Unlimited
Wolf shifter Aspen is exhausted and needs a break from the high-fashion, celebrity world of runway modeling. The visions he’s experienced all his life are getting worse, making him feel even more peculiar and disconnected. And while he doesn’t want to be a burden to anyone, when he’s invited to stay with his adopted brother Wulf’s small pack of misfits, Aspen relishes the idea of finding a place to belong.
When Gabe’s military career ends due to life-changing injury, he has no idea where to go and gratefully accepts a place with his old friend Cory and his mate, Wulf. Immediately drawn to the beautiful and unearthly Aspen, Gabe fears he is not good enough for him, and avoids Aspen until he can’t stay away any longer.
As danger stalks their pack, Aspen and Gabe must overcome their insecurities to recognize they just might be mates and learn who they really are to protect those they love.
Gabriel Hathale sat on the little twin bed in the room they’d provided for him, his hands on his thighs. He was kind of afraid to move.
His discharge was final. He was off mandatory medical. So while he had a lot of physical recovery to do still, he was free to go.
Shit. Where the hell was he gonna go? He’d been in ops for ten years, living out of a rucksack in war zones, acknowledged or not. He didn’t even have an apartment or a storage unit.
Gabriel was a ghost.
He couldn’t go back to Lobo Canyon. No way. While there had been an alpha change, the elders there would never see him as anything but the boy who either had to go into the military or go to jail.
The government knew about a shit-ton that Lobo Canyon still thought was secret…
He rubbed his hands on his pants, trying to dry them. River would let him come stay. So would Miles. But River had a relatively new mate and a job as pack second, and Miles spent more time as a wolf than as a dude. His cousin Wendy had told him all that when he’d called. Fuck, she was the fucking sheriff now.
Gabriel grabbed his phone and called up the contact Wendy had shared with him. She’d said he could call one more friend from the bad old days, and Cory was the head of his own pack now. A band of banished misfits. That sounded like his kind of place these days.
So he called.
The voice on the phone was familiar and seemed genuinely happy to hear from him. “Gabriel! Dude, Wendy said you’d be calling. When can you come in?”
“I have no idea. I have to be out of here by tomorrow morning, but I’ll need to take the bus. I’m in Virginia, so it’ll be a few days.”
“You hurt too bad to fly, buddy?” Cory sounded surprised.
His cheeks heated. “I can’t afford it. I mean, not right now. It’s a long story.” His money was tied up for a week or so while he got legalities straightened out. The main account holder on his personal money had died, and he needed to take a death certificate to a branch of the credit union. In person. In New Mexico.
“Fuck that. Seriously. I’ll get you a ticket right now. You’re pack.” Cory’s words were immediate, warm, and welcome. “We’ll pick you up in Albuquerque. Trey will love it. I’ll take him to the fancy-assed open-air mall to shop before you get in.”
“There’s something fancy in Burque?” he teased. “Okay. I can pay you back.” He had resources. They were just tied up. “I’m tired, man. So I really appreciate it.”
“No sweat. Seriously. Trey has a zillion miles saved up. I’ve got your back. We have a private place for you—do you need a ramp? We actually have a couple of portable ones. The main house has a permanent one.”
“I might, yeah. I’m not in a chair full-time or anything.” Anymore, starting tomorrow, dammit. “But I have a cane and a wheelchair both. I got blown up pretty good.” He would have been fine either way, but his shifter body refused to stop trying to knit back together.
“Quinn’s in a chair sometimes. He does great with his leg, but the chair is faster, and Josh and Janey’s little ones like to ride.” Like it was nothing, like it was normal—the chair is faster. “Hell, Matt’s in a chair full-time.”
He took a deep breath because his chest was all tight. “That sounds great, man. I—thank you. I’m kinda at loose ends.” The scars would be enough to slow him down, even if the rest of him healed. They would pull tight… The docs said he would have some pain too. Even a shifter couldn’t regrow missing bone.
“You have a place here. We’ve got room, and if you can stand hours of discussions on whether a ruby velvet or a peach georgette is right for a gown, you’ll be all right.” The sarcasm dripped from Cory’s voice.
“Uh. I have no idea what georgette is.” He chuckled. “I can ignore your mate as well as I ever did.”
A muffled “I heard that,” sounded, and Cory raised his voice. “It’s a talent, trust me.” This laugh was sweet, teasing.
God, it was good to hear them back together, to know they were settled and happy. “What do you need from me?”
“Send me all the info for your ticket. I’ll get it today and give you the deets for tomorrow.” Cory had his I’ll handle it voice on now.
“Got it. I’ll text and send you my email and all.” He would do it right after he got off the phone. What little he had was packed, so he would sleep until time to go tomorrow. And watch stupid game shows.
“No problem. We’ll have you back in chile country in no time.” Cory sounded eager to see him, which felt surprisingly good.
“Thanks, man. I—thanks. I need to heal up and get my shit together.” If he even could get his shit together.
“This is the perfect place for that. Text me, and I’ll grab your ticket.”
They said their goodbyes, and he slumped. He had a place to go, he had a way to get there, and he had a plan.
Thank God. Now all he had to do was make it to Albuquerque.