Today’s Free Fiction Friday comes from another part of the Forbes Mates series. This happens more or less after the end of the series (but before the final epilogue!). There are minor spoilers, but if you’ve read the first chapter of Acceptance in the back of Patience, you already know what’s going on. If you haven’t read any of the Forbes Mates books, Devotion is the beginning. Hope you enjoy the little story!
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Jamie stood perfectly still, determined not to look like the nervous wreck he was inside. He was dead positive he was going to fuck this up somehow. He’d forget his vows or drop the ring or trip over something…
Or lose control of his wolf and shift in front of everyone, shredding his tuxedo and getting stuck in wolf form.
It didn’t help he’d spent the last three nights dreaming of doing exactly that. Every single night, he’d awakened in a cold sweat, scared he was going to mess up the wedding Chad had put so much time and effort into. He knew Chad had been doing it more for him than anything, wanting to prove—though he didn’t need to—that it was the human part of Jamie he wanted most.
But despite his assertions, Jamie had learned enough about his mate to know Chad wanted the ceremony too. He knew Chad was looking forward to it, not to mention Finley as his best man and Tanner as Chad’s. Then there was Carol, Tanner’s mom, and Molly, Chad’s mom, both of whom had been ecstatic to put together the reception.
Yeah, Jamie was sure he was going to ruin this for all of them somehow.
The first night, he’d dreamed he’d completely forgotten his vows. He stood facing Chad in front of Bob—the pack’s former beta and religious leader—and the entire pack and drew a complete blank. He couldn’t come up with a single word. He kept opening his mouth then closing it, looking for all the world like a dead fish as he tried to remember something so he could pledge his life to his mate in the human way.
The second night, his dream had been filled with him dropping or losing their wedding rings. Never mind the fact that they wore their rings—much like engagement rings—with the oaths they’d taken in front of Jupiter in the temple. They didn’t come off except to shift, but Jamie somehow had both rings and had managed to drop them, eventually losing them completely in the grass. After waking up, he hadn’t felt better until after he’d checked both his and Chad’s fingers to make sure they both still had their rings on.
Then, the night before, his dream had gotten even worse. Instead of forgetting his vows or dropping the rings, he’d lost control of his wolf—something that had happened once since he was a pup—and shifted in front of everyone, shredding the expensive tuxedo. He had, of course, gotten stuck that way. No matter what he’d tried, he couldn’t get control of his wolf and shift back. He’d ended up barking his “yes,” instead of saying it.
And now, he stood on the edge of the pack clearing, reminding himself they were just dreams. He was a big boy, he had control of his wolf—mostly. He didn’t even have Chad’s ring, Finley did, and neither his best man, Finley, nor groomsman, Miles, would let him forget to speak entirely. And Tanner and Quincy would do the same for Chad.
He blew out a breath, tugged a little on his collar, and resisted the urge to pace. He did say another prayer to Diana that his dreams were just that—dreams—and he wasn’t going to screw this up for them.
“Dude, you’ll be fine,” Finley said, for probably the thousandth time.
“He should have had Chad blow him,” Miles said, smirking. “He’d be a lot more relaxed.”
Jamie rolled his eyes.
“I don’t know what you’re nervous for, anyway.” Finley shook his head. “You’re already mated and you did the vow thing once already.”
Jamie snorted. “Tell me you weren’t nervous when you married Tanner.”
Finley looked distinctly uncomfortable, but didn’t reply.
Jamie turned to Miles. “And I will bet you the cost of my wedding rings you’ll be just as nervous when you’re up there with Q.”
“I’m not taking a sucker’s bet,” Miles said, laughing. “I’ll be too worried about Quincy’s claws if I screw up too much.”
Finley laughed. “He wouldn’t claw you!”
“Says you. Do not get on a jaguar’s bad side.” Miles shook his head. “Just saying…”
Jamie laughed. “I seem to remember chasing that jaguar a few times.”
“You don’t have anything to worry about,” Miles said. “I’m the one that’s supposed to sleep next to him.”
“Have you considered buying him a scratching post for Christmas?”
“No, thank you. I prefer my balls where they are.”
This sent Finley into a fit of laughter. Jamie couldn’t resist laughing along. When he finally calmed down, he realized he felt a lot better. Just then the music in the clearing started and he took a deep breath, turning to his groomsmen. “Thank you, for calming me down.”
“As amusing as it might be to see you shift in the middle of the ceremony,” Finley said, stepping toward the treeline, “my own mate would have a thing or three to say to me about letting you get that worked up.”
“Mine too. He’s too anxious to see you get on that plane to Europe and stop making cat jokes.” Miles smiled.
“Yeah, yeah.” Jamie took a deep breath and let it out. “All right, then. Let’s do this.”
As he stepped into the clearing and saw Chad on the opposite side, the last of his fears and worries faded. By the time he was looking into the brown eyes of the man he loved so much, every word of his vows was clear in his head. And as he took Chad’s hand, his wolf curled up, just happy to be near their mate again.
With a squeeze of hands, they turned to Bob.
“Are you ready to begin?”
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Make sure to check out the rest of the stories from Free Fiction Friday!