Bear in Mind

By: Moxie North

Moxie North Pacific Northwest Werebears:

Chapter 1

Wyatt Rochon loved his brother, truly he did. But watching him with his new mate and fiancée was annoying as hell and bittersweet at the same time.

Driving through the forest heading to base camp, Wyatt couldn’t help but ponder the changes his family had gone through in the last few weeks.

Finding someone to date was hard, finding one’s mate was nearly impossible, at least it seemed that way to Wyatt. How was a shifter supposed to find The One? As a bear shifter from a long line of bears, Wyatt felt like he had been looking his whole life.

The Rochon family lived in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. The family were the sole owners of Rochon Enterprises. They managed, logged and processed thousands of acres of private and government timber every year.

Being bear shifters they had always found their home in the woods. For generations they had roamed from Oregon to Canada as their families grew. Keeping to themselves to guard their secret, it was often a lonely life.

Werebears could date sure, they could even have sex and enjoy it. But it was never enough. There was always that crucial part missing. To Wyatt’s thinking, the whole idea of The One was make-believe even though he felt the absence himself. Granted his parents were mated bears, but they could have just fallen in love like average people and called it mating.

When his brother Cage found his mate Sophie, Wyatt couldn’t deny it any longer. His brother was struck down with the enormity of finding his One. The immediate love and belonging that his brother showed to the curvy British beauty had him no longer doubting it was possible.

At 49 years old and the middle son, he was grateful werebears aged slower than humans since he didn’t look a day over 30. The odds of finding his mate seemed impossible and he needed every year he had. He always assumed it would be another bear if not another shifter. It wasn’t unheard of for shifters to cross breed. Their cubs usually ended up one or the other depending on dominate genes.

After meeting Sophie, his new sister-in-law, a whole new world had opened up for Wyatt. What if his mate was human? She could be anywhere. He could find her today, or tomorrow, or never, he thought glumly.

He used to call his brother a grumpy bear, now he had taken on that title. His brother was blissfully happy bear now. It was like some messed up dwarf tale replaced with bears.

Shit, he needed to get his mind on his work. Usually he was the Push for the teams, managing the cuts and making sure everything ran smoothly. They were also dealing with the possibility of a saboteur in their midst, which kept him distracted from the running of the company.

Sophie had been hurt a number of weeks ago, spending the night in the hospital and making his brother almost bear out at the doctor. Someone had clearly tampered with their equipment causing the hydraulic line to break and hit Sophie.

Normally the family had protesters not liking how they harvested trees, or that they touched them at all. They didn’t mind using giant poster boards made out of paper from the trees they cut down to tell them how terrible they were. The irony was never lost on him.

The Rochon family had worked hard to make their business the best they could, in the safest and the least environmentally impactful way. Wyatt ran the cuts and his little brother Conner was in charge of replanting. They always planted two trees for every one they harvested. Time and careful conservation made sure they always had timber and the animals always had a home.

It was more than money to them, their bears needed land to roam. Other shifters, needed the forests too. A wolf pack just north of them in Canada would come down and visit for a change of scenery sometimes. They were also close to a pack of cougars in Northern California. The land was crucial to their clans and other packs happiness.

Someone was threatening their happiness and Wyatt was not about to let that happen.

Pulling into the lot where they kept their work trailers, Wyatt unfolded his six-foot four-inch frame from his red pickup truck and headed towards the mess hall. He should check in on Cage and Conner, but he really hoped Cage had let poor Sophie out of bed long enough for her to rustle up some grub. His brother was making up for lost time being celibate waiting for his mate.

Sophie was the cute curvy British girl Cage had hired as their cook. And she could cook. He hadn’t heard one complaint from the crew since she started. Hoping to get at least a to-go box, he strode into the hall to the smell of bacon and eggs. He found huge trays of some kind of egg bake in the warmers along the buffet line. He loaded up his container and grabbed a handful of bacon. Stopping to top off his travel coffee mug he brought with him, he headed over to the office to see if Cage was in yet.

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