Bearfoot and Pregnant(3)

By: Milly Taiden

“Go. Go see Alyx. Meet the future queen of Aurora and her brothers. Also, Alyx’s queen, Bella, is really nice. You’ll like her.”

“I don’t care for these kinds of events, Dylan.” He turned to face his friend. Frustration filled Dylan’s gaze. “I know you want me to be more outgoing but that’s why I sent you to the wedding. This was going to be my first time meeting the queen and the babies, and I was counting on Paxten to help make this smoother. To show Alyx we are stable up here.”

Dylan frowned. “I still don’t get where he is getting that you don’t have the clan under control.”

“Someone’s been complaining to him. Alyx didn’t say who, but he stated he wanted to see me there to speak and make sure we are all on the same page about our responsibility to our people.”

Like Tal could ever ignore his people. His clan was his family. His father had engrained that in him from birth. The Arctos Clan was his life. They’d always been there for each other since birth.

“I’ll look for Paxten and send him to Alyx’s castle,” Dylan said. A determined look was in his pale hazel eyes that Tal had come to know he could count on. Dylan did his job as his friend and security chief, and he took it seriously.

Back when they’d been kids, Dylan had always been the one to get Tal out of his grumpy moods. He was truly Talen’s best friend. When his parents died just a few short years ago, he found only Dylan understood Tal’s need to ensure the clan stayed strong and tight.

Tal slipped beat up fingers through his short brown hair. He’d been carving wood earlier. Though he could have done it with his claws and saved some time, he’d chosen to use the tools of his ancestors. The same ones his father used to create some of the furniture in the house depicting images of the forest and the bears of generations past.

“I don’t even know if I should go at this point,” he muttered. Anger flared brighter inside him. He was sick and tired of Paxten’s spoiled brat attitude. His brother was not getting his way with Tal and he needed to realize that sooner rather than later.

“You have to. Since your parents died two years ago, you’ve been a recluse. Alyx has been good about letting you report via communicator but I’m sure he wants you to go and talk to him. Show his wife and babies the respect pretty much everyone else on the planet already has.” Dylan slapped a hand on Tal’s shoulder. “You used to be friends. Alyx has never done you wrong.”

“You’re right,” he admitted ruefully. Alyx had given his clan time to grieve for their leaders and Tal the space to get his shit together. He had to go and meet Bella as well as the babies.

“Hey, maybe while you’re there, you can find someone to spend some time with,” Dylan’s lips broke into a wide, knowing grin. “I know you have a lot on your plate right now with Paxten, but why not look for feminine company?”

“Because females demand time. Time I don’t have right now. Once I decide what to do about my brother, then I can think of settling down.” His bear grumbled inside. He already wanted a mate. He’d been trying to get Talen to find him a woman for some time now.

“You know, I heard Gerri Wilder, the matchmaker will be at the welcome event for the future queen and her brothers,” Dylan said. A curious look of interest had taken over his face. “Why not talk to her. See if she could do you the favor of finding the woman meant to be with you?”

He frowned. “I haven’t met her before. She knew my parents, but this is not the time. Not yet.”

“Your fortieth birthday will be on the same day of the event,” Dylan shrugged. “That’s usually the time our inner animals demand a mate, Tal. Aren’t you getting the urge yet?”

He snapped a glare at his friend. “Of course, I am. But I control him.”

As if the bear knew he’d been talking about him, the animal pulled at his control, making him tense his body so his muscles wouldn’t contort and the shift take over.


Cassie glanced at her dad’s winter retreat’s pristine lawn. His wife, Victoria, hired the best landscapers in town and had them design the ultimate garden. It was so colorful and well put together Cassie couldn’t deny its beauty.

Unlike where their main home was in the snow and freezing temperatures, this part of the country was warm. The heat levels were high and her tank top had already started to attach to her back on her walk from the driveway to the house.

“Are you here for dinner, Ms. Cassandra?” Julio, the driver, greeted her with a warm smile. She pasted a smile over her frown and nodded.

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