About Nature Call
Author: BA Tortuga
Word Count: 26500
Page Count (pdf): 98
Date Published: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Turtlehat Creatives
File types in download zip: PDF, .mobi and .epub
Healer Joshua was never a favorite in his pack—always different and misunderstood. When his cousin Wendy needs help during the late stage of her pregnancy, he’s happy to leave Montana for the Colorado mountains. Maybe now he can find a place to belong.
Parker moves up the ranks of his Colorado pack with dogged determination, and when his Alpha charges him to keep an eye on Joshua, he’s pleased to get the assignment. Once he gets to know the wolf he wants to stop calling Joshua a job.
When Parker’s new work takes him away and Joshua spends most of his energy on the new mom, things start to get dangerous. Can Parker keep Joshua safe, even from himself?
A hand on his shoulder woke Joshua, and he came upright with a start. Nothing was familiar, not the sounds or scents or the man standing in front of him wearing a police badge on a chain around his neck.
“Hey, man, you can’t sleep here. Someone owns this house.”
“My cousin. Wendy. She asked me to come. I’m waiting for her.” The words poured out of him in a mostly asleep rush.
The man had a hard-planed face with heavy dark brows, but he had kind eyes. “Wendy, huh? You need a bottle of water? I have one in the car. I can call Wends for you.”
“Water would work, so well. You know her? It’s almost like she’s moved.”
“She has, man. She moved in with Brett months ago but hasn’t been able to part with the house. Come on.”
Oh, oh good. This one knew Wendy well enough to know where she was, know her mate’s name.
He slowly stood, his bones creaking and his muscles noting that concrete porches were not beds of leaves.
“Whoa. You okay? My name is Shane, by the way. I was Wendy’s partner on the force.”
“Joshua. Joshua Deerhorn. I took a bus from Montana.”
“That’s a long ride from some places, huh?” Shane led him to an unmarked police car, the light hidden on the dash. “Here, have a sit and some water and I’ll call.”
“Thank you. You’re very kind.” See him. See him use his words.
“Yeah.” The guy scoffed a little in the way New York cops did on old TV shows. Neat. Shane pulled out a sleek smartphone and speed dialed Wendy. They had to be friends. That was good, right? “Wends, honey? You know a Joshua Deerhorn? Says he’s your cousin. Uh-huh. He was sitting on the steps of your house sleeping like some guy that needed to be helped to the shelter for the night.”
There was a short silence where he guessed Wendy was talking, then the Shane guy nodded. “Sure. Sure. No, he doesn’t have a bag or anything. Uh-huh. Okay. On my way.” The Shane guy hit the disconnect thingee. “I’ll give you a ride.”
“Thank you. They just gave me this address, so here is where I came.”
“Yeah. I…I assume your family sent you?”
“My alpha, yes.”
Shane gave him an odd look. “Uh-huh. Well. There’s peanuts and shit in the glove box if you’re hungry.”
“Are you sure? I haven’t got any money left. PayDays are expensive.”
“PayDays… Oh, the candy? Yeah, the king size rock. There’s jerky, too. The city pays for my survival rations, so go for it.”
“Thank you.” He sent a wave of good feeling, hoping to ease any little aches and offer well-being. It was the best he had. Shane was grinning suddenly, looking happier, so maybe it worked. He did what he could. Joshua found a bison jerky stick. Yum.
Joshua chowed down on it, so empty he could hear it hitting the pit of his stomach.
“Montana, huh?” Shane drove, heading out of town to the west, he thought. Toward a place called Sugarloaf, according to the signs.
“Yes. That’s where we’re from, originally.” Wendy had run away, he thought.
“Cool. Wendy isn’t chatty about her past. Never has been. She’s even more growly now. With the…” Shane made a hand motion to indicate a pregnant belly.
“That’s why I’m here. To help with the growly.” To help with the birth. He knew he was supposed to be all Ew Gross, but he wasn’t. He loved children, loved helping people transition from all parts of life to new sections of existence.
“Really? That’s a thing?”
“It is. Sort of.” How did one explain what he did? “Does she have a nice backyard?” He never had gotten to finish his pyramid.
“They have, like, this commune thing with more clothes and dogs and less chickens and tambourines.”
“That sounds nice, actually.” He smiled, feeling a little wistful. The Montana pack was so big… No one ever got to have anything homey. Of course, he had his tent, his pile of furs and jars and happy things.