Anderson paced around his hotel room later in the week. He had tried three times to meet with Greta Bridges and each time she had cancelled. Growling his frustration, he stripped out of his clothes and slunk out of the hotel into the waiting forest. He always chose a hotel near the woods so he could shift and prowl without alarming anyone. His tiger had been less and less active and it worried him. He wasn’t constantly pushing at him to shift and chase down their dinner.
Padding through the woods, he took a deep breath. There on the wind was the smell of a rabbit, he would practice his hunting and try to give his tiger some exercise. Crouching low, he waited on all fours until the unsuspecting rabbit was within sight. He kneaded his claws in the soft dirt; it had rained the night before making his footsteps practically silent. Waiting one more breath, he jumped out and to his surprise missed the rabbit. It jumped to the side and disappeared into the underbrush. He’d never missed before. What was wrong with him? Shaking his big head, he continued on with his hunting. Each time he spotted a small mammal to pounce on, he would get ready and each time he missed.
He shifted back to his human form and stormed through the hotel not caring who saw. Why couldn’t he catch a simple rabbit? What the hell was wrong with his tiger? He slammed the hotel room door hard enough the pictures rattled. Doing the only thing he could think of he called Roxie, looking at the clock it read nine which meant it was eleven. He almost hung up but when her soft voice said,
“Anderson?” He lost his resolve to ignore the problem.
“Roxie I...” he trailed off unsure how to bring up his problem.
“Is something wrong?” Her voice sharpened and suddenly he felt like the little brother and her the older sister.
“Actually, yes. Normally I would wait until I came home, but I am not sure how long Greta Bridges it going to keep putting me off,” he began sitting on the bed.
“And it is something that couldn’t wait until the morning?” she asked, and then he felt like a dick. The twins already interrupted her sleep and now he was calling her over something that might be nothing.
“My tiger couldn’t catch anything tonight,” he explained and felt stupid saying it aloud.
“And that is new?”
“Yes. I’ve never missed and tonight I missed five times!” he explained running a hand through his hair.
“Anything else going on or is it just the hunting?” Xander’s voice came through the phone and he groaned. Leave it to Roxie to bring his boss into this.
“I’ve only been a dragon since August of last year. Xander knows a lot more about being a shifter,” Roxie explained.
“My tiger isn’t pushing for me to shift as often. It used to be three to four times a week he wanted to shift and explore. Now I have to force myself to shift and keep him exercised.”
“Is he perhaps depressed?” Xander asked and Anderson groaned.
“When was the last time you saw Evvy?” Roxie asked.
“I ran into her at the airport but she refused to speak with me. I ran into her on a date with Preston Reese the day before I left,” he answered.
“How did your tiger react?” Xander wanted to know.
“He wanted to rip Preston’s face off, but that isn’t anything new. Preston and I have always had a rough relationship dating back to high school.” He stood and paced around the hotel room staring out the window.
“Don’t you think that is it then?” Roxie asked.
“What is?” He didn’t know what she was getting at.
“Your tiger misses Evelyn. Even though you two broke up you were able to maintain contact with her. After she told you no more friends with benefits she cut all contact with you. I know you two have only been communicating via email. Then you two see her with Preston, your for lack of a better word rival and your tiger doesn’t know how to handle it.” she explained. Anderson stopped mid step and slumped into a chair.
“Fuck,” he groaned.
“Yep,” she replied and he shook his head. He was so screwed, if your animal went into a depression waiting on their mate it could be fatal.
“What do I do?” he whispered.
“I think you know what to do Anderson. The question is, how are you going to handle it?” Xander asked.
“I’ll deal with Greta and come home. Are you still looking for an artist liaison?” He would start with moving home. Then he would see if that would make his tiger happy, just being in town with Evvy. He wasn’t ready to commit to being her mate and giving her children.
“Yes. The position is yours if you want it.”
“I’ll come home and take the position. Please don’t say anything to Evvy,” he said.
“Done!” Roxie yelled into the phone and he had a sneaking suspicion she was doing a victory dance.
“Do I need to call Greta?” Xander asked.
“No. I will go in and talk to her tomorrow. If she doesn’t have anything to show me I am coming home and she can miss out on showing her work,” he replied.
“Good. When should I expect you home to start your new position?” Xander asked.
“Saturday at the latest,” he answered.
“Good. Come by for dinner and we can talk through the specifics of your new job,” Xander said.
“Will do.” He hung up and huffed. Now all he needed to do was talk to his dad about everything with his mom and try to work things out with his tiger. Getting ready for bed he thought about Evelyn and her rich caramel skin, her deep brown eyes and thick curly hair. His cock hardened and his tiger growled. Damn Roxie and Xander for being right. He was pining away for Evvy and her luscious curves. Stroking himself he moaned her name, he needed to feel her soft skin against his again. He spent the rest of the night dreaming of Evelyn and what he was going to do now that he was moving back home permanently.
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