Mason Andrews stepped out of the taxi in from of his brother, Damon’s house, taking in his surroundings. The red, yellow and gold leaves cluttered the ground, leaving no doubt that fall was coming to an end. The first snowfall wouldn’t be long now, bringing the blast of winter to the sleepy town.
It’s good to be home. I didn’t realize how much I missed it. He rubbed his injured shoulder. They might have removed the bullet, but it still pained him. Doctors said he’d never regain complete mobility in his arm, leaving the Marines no choice but to honorably discharge him. It was only a month since the accident and already he missed the adrenaline and action the Marines brought him.
The doctors were wrong. They weren’t aware of his healing ability. As a mountain lion shifter, wounds that would be life-threatening to a human would heal. Still it would take time, and once the healing was complete he had no way of explaining it to his commanding officers. It would bring up questions he was unable to answer. He wouldn’t expose his people just to maintain his career.
The military was all he’d known since graduating high school, so adjusting wouldn’t be easy. With determination, he grabbed his olive green military duffle bag, ready to face his brother.
Before he made it to the porch, the front door swung open, and a woman stepped out. She wore a loose cream sweater over black leggings, and her long brown hair hung free on her shoulders.
“Mason? Is that you? Damon and Josh were going to pick you up at the airport tonight.”
He nodded. “You must be Aspyn. I caught an earlier flight. I told them before I’d get a taxi, but they didn’t listen. Since I was early, I did just that. No use waiting around the airport for them. Is Damon home?”
“Come in. Sarah’s inside. Damon and Josh are meeting with a potential client in town but should be back shortly.”
He couldn’t leave the woman standing in the cold even if he’d prefer to wait for Damon on the porch. Surrounded by women wasn’t how he wanted to spend the afternoon.
“Come on, Mason. We don’t bite. After all, in just two weeks’ time we’ll be family.”
The reminder of that made his blood run cold. In two weeks there was to be a double wedding for Damon and Aspyn and Josh and Sarah, with him as the best man. The women said there was no reason to gather the family twice, and from what he heard, his brothers fell in line with what they wanted. He had a feeling if they asked for the moon, his brothers would do their best to see they got it.
Aspyn had the date set and was in the process of making arrangements when Sarah agreed to marry Josh. Minor changes allowed both women to have the wedding of their dreams, or so he was told.
Inside he found Sarah, clinging to a glass as if it were her lifeline. She sat bent over, her chest touching her knees and her face pale. “Mason, your other future sister-in-law Sarah.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you finally. Josh talks highly of you. Please forgive my appearance….” She set the glass aside and ran from the room.
“Is she okay?” Mason tossed his duffle bag aside.
“Forgive her. It’s morning sickness. Have a seat. I’m going to text Damon to let the guys know you arrived. Can I get you something to drink?” Aspyn grabbed her cell phone from the coffee table.
“No thanks.” Taking in the room, he was in awe of the work Damon did to make this place beautiful. From the hand-carved railing on the stairs in the entryway, to the woodwork around the fireplace, everything had such detail. In the years he was away, Damon had become a talent to reckon with.