“I left my bag in your car,” Eloise suddenly piped up and he realized he hadn’t even given her a proper tour of his home.
“I’ll go get it,” he said, and walked out of the bathroom still wrapped in a towel out to his car. He grabbed her bags and brought them inside to see her staring at him her mouth hanging open.
“What?” he asked.
“You just went outside in the snow naked to get my bag,” she pointed out and he laughed.
“I’m a bear, we don’t feel the cold like you do.” He handed her, her bag of clothing and she shook her head.
“Once you are dressed, can I give you a tour of my home?” he asked, she nodded and walked back upstairs, him close on her heels.
“My room is the last door on the right,” he said, pointing to the door next to the bathroom they had walked out of. His bathroom had two doors, one leading into his bedroom and one into the hallway. It was one of the two full bathrooms, the other was at the end of the hall by the three other bedrooms.
“How big is your house?” she asked, pulling out a flowy black dress, a teal bra and matching panties. He stifled his groan as he watched her get dressed, it was just as much a turn on to see her get dressed as it was watching her undress.
“I have four bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, plus an unfinished basement. The laundry room is in the basement, but there is plenty of space to make a playroom for any children I might have one day. The main floor has a kitchen, living room, my office and the half bathroom. The kitchen leads out into my large backyard as well. I purposefully built it on the edge of the national park so my bear and I could go for our daily rambles. If I don’t shift often I get restless,” he explained. She nodded along with his explanation.
“So do all shifters change their mates?” she asked, he took a minute to process her question, he hadn’t expected her to ask about mates.
“No, why?” He quickly pulled on his own clothing.
“Well Roxie is a dragon now that she mated with Xander and Josie will turn into a dragon once she has the baby,” she explained, sitting on his bed pulling out a pair of black ballet flats. He watched her place them on her dainty feet. She was so tiny compared to his hulking height, he had to special order his shoes because stores never carried his size.
“That is because dragons live a very long time, if they didn’t change their mates, they would only get fifty years if they are lucky. Dragons also don’t age past mid-thirties. Shifters age slower than humans but dragons can live for hundreds of years.
“Could you change someone?” she asked, he paused and cocked his head to the side.
“I suppose, my brothers never fully mated with their wives.”
“Meaning?” she probed.
“Well if you were already a bear shifter, I would bite a spot on your shoulder and leave my claw marks on your hips. With humans, most shifters won’t mark them in that way. Just having unprotected sex leaves my scent on you, it warns others away telling them you are spoken for. Leaving a bite on your shoulder marks you permanently but won’t change you,” he explained.
“So, I’m semi-marked because of us having unprotected sex in the shower? Oh and don’t worry I am on birth control so you couldn’t have gotten me pregnant,” she let him know.
“Good to know and yes you are marked as mine until my scent wears off,” he answered, his bear was preening from them marking their mate.
“How come your brothers didn’t mark their wives?” she asked, he shrugged.
“I don’t know to be honest. They married them like humans do and left it at that. I didn’t think to ask,” he replied, she nodded her understanding.
“We should head out, we need to be at work soon,” he said grabbing a pair of dark boots and his socks. She nodded and together they walked down to the main floor. He put on his socks and shoes while she bundled up against the cold and the snow. He put on his coat and opening the door was confronted with a snowstorm.
“I don’t think we are going to be able to get to town safely,” he said, and she agreed.
“I think so too, I’ll call Rhett and let him know.” She pulled out her phone, walking over to sit on the couch.
“Put it on speaker, we can talk about your work arrangements too,” he told her, taking a seat next to her. He took his coat off, feeling too hot sitting next to his mate.
“Sure.” She dialed Rhett and they waited for him to answer.
“Hello.” Rhett’s deep voice came through the phone and Eloise took a deep breath to begin talking. Marcus took her hand and gave her a supportive squeeze. He wanted her to know he would be here for her and agree to any choice she made about her working and his offer to support her financially.