The Shifter Bar (Shifter World - Book Three) (Series of 13 Short Stories)

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Chapter Five: The Dive

An hour later, Dominic and Josie were fully healed, and Dustin and Shar took them home. The two couples settled in for the rest of the night. And as Dustin had predicted, the rest of their brothers showed up at the butt crack of dawn and woke up the house with their loud voices and arguing.

“What the fuck is going on?” Dustin demanded when he entered his living room.

“Drezden thinks we should find another bar to hang at,” Dylan said, turning to his older brother.

Dustin nodded. “We think so too.”

“Really?” Dylan asked, shocked. “We’ve been going to that bar for over thirty years.”

Dustin nodded, “and now that the Fated Mates are being delivered to us for some reason. We have had more trouble there than anywhere else…”

“I agree,” Daryl said, and his brothers looked at him.

“I think hell has just frozen over,” Dominic said as he joined his brothers.

Daryl glared at him. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“He forgot,” Dylan said with a laugh.

“Twenty-five years ago,” Dominic said as he moved further into the living room. “You had gotten into a brawl with some Shifter who wanted our table. You said, and I quote. ‘You’ll get our table when hell freezes over because we’re never leaving this bar.’ Hah.”

Daryl grinned, “I’d forgotten about that.”

“So, if we leave the bar, where will we go?” Dylan asked as he sat on the couch. “I mean, there are not many Shifter bars out there.”

“None that are worth spit anyways,” Daryl said as he plopped down onto the lazy-boy.

“Why do we have to stick with Shifter bars?” Dustin asked as he leaned against the wall.

“Can you see us in a Human bar?” Drezden asked with a snort.

“No, not a Human bar,” Dustin said with a shake of his head. “We do have friends and family who aren’t Shifters.”

“A bar that accepts anything?” Dylan asked as he studied his brother.

Dustin nodded.

“There aren’t any,” Dominic said as he stretched.

“Maybe there should be one,” Dustin mumbled.

“Why don’t you boys buy The Shifter Dive.”

They turned to Shar’s soft voice.

“Buy it?” Drezden asked as he sat forward.

Shar nodded. “I overheard Marry-Beth talking to one of her employees last night, while you guys were talking about Fated Mates. She said she’d sell the place in a second if someone gave her a decent offer.”

“Right,” Dylan said with a snap of his fingers. “She’s been talking about retiring for years. Why had we never thought of this before?”

Dustin grinned as he pulled his mate against his side. “Because we didn’t have my brilliant mate back then.”

Shar smiled as she wrapped her arms around his waist.

A cry had Shar’s head shooting up. Amirah pushed the front door open, her crying granddaughter in her arms.

“Joy,” Shar whispered as she pulled away from Dustin and went straight for her daughter.

Amirah smiled at her daughter-in-law. “I think Joy missed you as much as you missed her.”

“Hello, my angel,” Shar said, taking her daughter from Amirah.

Joy stopped crying once she was snuggled in her mother’s arms.

“How’s my baby girl?” Dustin whispered as he leaned over Shar and touched his daughter’s cheek.

“Cranky,” Amirah grumbled, but they didn’t miss the smile. She’d loved every minute with her granddaughter.

“Did she eat?” Shar asked as she turned towards the hall.

“She ate, but not as greedily as when you feed her,” Amirah said as she followed Shar down the hall.

“Hey, Brother,” Dominic said with a grin, “you look as though someone stole your favorite toy.”

Dustin grumbled then excused himself to follow his wife and daughter.

“Fatherhood has done him good,” Daryl said with a grin.

“Something I can’t wait for,” Dominic said with a smile.

“How’s your mate?” Dylan asked.

Dominic nodded, “healed and ready for answers.”

“How does she feel about cubs?” Drezden asked.

“She wants to wait. And I understand, especially after last night.”

“Do you think she’ll understand what’s happening?” Daryl asked.

Dominic nodded, “she’s brilliant. And after all the shit that happened to her last night, she’s still willing to go along with the crap. She’s brave, and I’m already falling for her” He watched his brothers point behind him, and his cheeks turned bright red as he turned to find his mate standing behind him. But instead of looking pissed, she looked: happy. If her brilliant smile said anything. “Morning,” he said, moving towards her.

Josie smiled as she looked up into the silver eyes of her mate. Wow, she has a mate—such an odd feeling. And the things he’d said without knowing she was behind him…

“Did you mean it?” she asked.

“Which part?” he asked, his left eyebrow shooting up.

She punched his arm. “All of it.”

“Hmm,” he said, tapping his chin, “I don’t know how much you heard…”

She kissed him to shut him up, and his brothers hooted.

“Please don’t let me catch you in the bathroom,” Dylan said with a chuckle.

Josie backed away; her eyebrows furrowed.

Dominic chuckled, “Dylan caught Dustin and Shar in the bathroom, knotted.”

She giggled, “hopefully, we’ll be smart enough to lock the door.”

“We’ve caught those two just about everywhere,” Daryl said. “I think they get off on it.”

The room erupted in laughter.

“They do seem happy,” she said with a smile.

Dominic nodded, “that’s what happens when you find your Fated Mate.”

She smiled as she moved closer to him and cuddled against him. “Will we be as happy as them?”

Dominic sighed as he wrapped his arms around her. “I promise,” he whispered.

Josie felt tears slide down her cheeks. He’d said that he’s already falling for her. And if she was honest with herself, she was falling hard for him too.

“Oh!” a woman said as she came out of the hall and saw Dominic embracing Josie.

Josie pulled back and turned to look at the woman.

“Another Human?” Amirah asked, her eyebrows arched as she looked at Dominic.

Dominic sighed. He’d forgotten his mother was here.

“Hello,” Josie said as she watched the other woman.

Amirah took a deep breath then smiled at the Human. “Please excuse me, dear. I don’t like Humans, but it seems the Goddesses have decided to fill my family with them.”

Josie looked up at Dominic, and he groaned.

“Josie, this is our mother, Amirah Kraftman. Mom, Josie Potter.”

Amirah smiled, “pleasure to meet you, dear.”

Josie’s mouth dropped open. “Mother?”

Amirah scowled. “Is it that hard to believe?”

Josie nodded her head. “Ye-yes ma’am. You don’t look old enough to be the mother of one grown man, let alone five.”

Amirah grinned and looked at her son. “I like this one.”

Dominic pulled Josie closer. “So do I.”

“Well, I’ll get going; let you all explain everything to the new member,” Amirah said, then leaned forward and kissed Josie on the cheek. “Take care of my son.”

Josie nodded, “you can count on it.”

Amirah lifted Josie’s wrists and looked at them, then smiled up at her son. “Another granddaughter would be nice.”

Josie’s cheeks turned bright red, and Dominic’s brothers chuckled.

“Mother,” Dominic grumbled.

Amirah grinned, “see you, boys, later. And let me know what you decide on the bar,” she said, then she was gone.

“Your mother is…” Josie started but didn’t know what to say.

“A lot to handle,” Dominic said with a nod.

Josie chuckled. That was a nice way of putting it.

“Be glad Shar broke her in,” Daryl said with a laugh.

“Oh?” she asked as she turned to him.

The brothers told Josie of the first meeting with Sharissa and their mother. And Josie’s eyes were wide with shock.

“Don’t worry. She loves Shar, and she will love you too,” Dominic said, then kissed her temple. “You’re family, after all.”

“But why does she hate Humans so much?” Josie asked.

The brothers told her about their mother and how their family had been hunted by Humans for hundreds of years. Then their father had run off with a Human, leaving their mother to raise five boys on her own.

Josie shook her head. “Sounds like a lot for one person to live through.”

All four men nodded.

“Joy’s asleep,” Shar said as she and Dustin entered the living room.

“I’d love to see her later,” Josie said as she turned to Shar. “If that’s okay, I mean.”

Shar smiled, “you’re her aunt now, so of course it’s okay.”

Josie stared at her with wide eyes.

Shar nudged her. “Did you forget that Dominic is Dustin’s brother?”

Josie slapped her palm against her forehead. “I think too much has happened in too short of time.”

The others chuckled.

“I think it’s time we tell you everything,” Shar said as she took hold of her new sister’s arm and led her to the other couch and sat down with her.

They spent the morning telling Josie everything. Lunch came, and they ate together as they discussed everything they’d gone over this morning.

Josie didn’t understand some of what they had said, but she got the basics and knew she only had to ask one of them to explain more in detail. When a man came to the front door, everyone laughed and shouted with him. They introduced him to her. He was the male mate to the other Fated Mate couple.

Raj was just as good looking as the brothers, and he’s a Tiger. So, Cougars and Tigers. Okay. She thought. Wondering what else there was out there.

“Our Vampire friend is busy, but I have a feeling you will meet him soon,” Shar said with a smile. “He’s kind of the bodyguard of the Fated Mates.”

Josie shook her head. “A Vampire? For reals?”

Shar nodded, “they’re not what the internet says. Well, Tate isn’t. He can be an asshole, don’t get me wrong. But he’s a sweet asshole.”

“I heard that, Sharissa Kraftman.”

Everyone turned to the newcomer, and Shar grinned. “I bet your ear was burning,” she said, still grinning.

Tate snorted but smiled at her. “Where’s my god-daughter?”

“Who said she’s your god-daughter?” Dustin said, turning to the Vampire.

“I did. Now, where is she?”

Josie’s mouth dropped open. He wasn’t anything like what she’d imagined a Vampire to be like.

“Of course I’m not, Josie Potter,” Tate said with a smile as he looked at the new Fated Mate.

“You, uh…” Josie sputtered, and the others around her chuckled.

“He can read a Human’s mind,” Shar whispered as she leaned towards her.

Josie nodded, “of course he can.”

Tate grinned. “I’ll find her myself,” he said, then disappeared.

“Damn, that Vampire,” Dustin grumbled as he walked down the hall.

Shar stood, and Josie took the opportunity to see the cub and followed Shar to the nursery.

“She’s still perfect,” Tate said with a wide smile as he watched Joy sleep.

“Oh, she is,” Josie said with a gasp when she saw the little angel sleeping.

“Tate, do you have any news for us?” Shar asked with a smile as she watched the Vampire.

Tate didn’t take his eyes off the cub as he spoke. “Yeah. But I can’t share it.”

“What the fuck?” Dustin hissed.

Tate looked up at Dustin. “You know some of this is learn as you go, my friend. And if I tell you anything now, it won’t happen, and something we won’t be able to predict will happen in its place. You know how the Goddesses work.”

“But you can know?” Shar asked.

Tate grinned at her. “But of course. I am the Fated Mate Guardian, after all.”

Josie watched and listened to them but wasn’t sure what exactly was going on.

“Josie,” Tate said, looking at the new member of the family.

Josie looked at him.

“You will understand as things come into place,” he said with a smile.

“Now, what’s this about buying the bar?” he asked as he looked at Shar.

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