Wolf’s Survival

Wolf’s Survival copyright c. 2010 T.A. Chase

Part Two-

Belle bounded through the door, or she tried as best she could with her pregnant belly. Jacob knelt, allowing her to wash his face with her tongue. Rumbling low in his chest, he let her know it was time to leave. She settled back on her haunches, tongue lolling out, and practically grinned at him.

“She seems eager to leave.” The girl commented.

He didn’t remember her name and didn’t really care to know it. “She doesn’t like towns anymore than I do. Thanks for taking care of her.”

Straightening, he gestured for Belle to heel and they left the vet’s office. He never put his dogs on a leash. As well-trained as they were, they knew better than to run away. The Border collie trotted at his left side, bright gaze watching everything around her. That was one of the things he liked about the breed. They were highly intelligent and always paying attention.

Privacy was important to Jacob, so he didn’t have a lot of humans running around his ranch. He used the dogs to help keep his herd of sheep in line. Belle and Ben were the senior dogs in the pack and the ones he had the longest. They kept him from getting lonely as well.

They weaved their way through the people and Jacob didn’t make eye contact with any of them, discouraging them from getting the idea of stopping to talk. When he came to town, it seemed more and more congested. It was becoming easier to spend all of his time in his wolf skin than being human.

After arriving at his truck, he helped Belle into the cab before climbing behind the wheel and driving over to the grocery store. He’d already picked up his order at the feed store. Now it was time for his own needs, though he could hunt in the hills if he wanted to. He ordered Belle to stay, leaving the windows rolled down as he turned the vehicle off and headed into the store. No one would touch his truck, even without Belle being there.

Most of the people living in Red Cliff steered clear of Jacob. He’d proven on more than one occasion that he didn’t welcome any friendly overtures. And on the rare nights when the loneliness got to be too much and he came into town to the bar, he’d proven he could take all comers when some drunk asshole messed with him. He had a low tolerance for bullshit and everyone learned that the hard way.

“Hey Jacob.”

He wiggled a few fingers in Cotton Ballou’s direction. Cotton was the oldest resident of Red Cliff, not counting Jacob, who had been around before the town ever existed. No one knew that though, and he wasn’t about to announce it and take Cotton’s title away from him.

As he pushed his cart through the store, he tossed things into it without really paying attention. His mind wandered back to the one topic everyone was talking about; wolves returning to Idaho. Little did anyone know that they never really left. Well, there was one remaining wolf, but he never showed himself to any human if he could help it.

Having figured out the hard way that humans couldn’t be trusted, he’d retreated further into himself every year until some day, the human part of him would disappear and there would only be the wolf.

High pitched childish laughter cut through his melancholy and he smiled. Rushing footsteps alerted him and he paused at the end of the aisle. A little blond boy barreled around the corner and ran into Jacob’s leg. Jacob leaned down to catch the kid before he fell over. Bright blue eyes met his and widened in surprise.


“Are you okay?” He supported the boy until he got his feet under him, and then straightened.

“Holy schmoly! You’re huge.”

“Bobby, that’s not nice to say.”

The words spoken in a soft mellow voice trickled down Jacob’s spine like warm water and he looked up into blue eyes that matched the boy’s. Yet there was nothing particularly childish about the man staring at Jacob like a kid in a candy store and Jacob was the biggest lollipop the guy had ever seen.

“It’s okay. He’s right.” Jacob ducked down to meet the kid’s amazed gaze. “I’m big because I eat my vegetables.”

Bobby screwed up his nose in a disgusted expression. “I hate vegetables.”

“Well, if you want to grow up big and strong like me, you need to eat them.”

Tilting his head, Bobby studied Jacob, determining whether the man was conning him or not.

“What kind of vegetables?”

“Green ones.”

“Really?” Bobby still wasn’t sure about the whole thing.

Jacob nodded. “Just like Popeye, green vegetables are great for growing big.”

A muffled snort drew his eyes back to the man standing behind Bobby. Laughter twinkled in the man’s eyes and Jacob couldn’t help but grin at him. Shock raced over the other man’s face, plus a hint of heat.

“Popeye’s not real. He’s a cartoon.” Bobby crossed his arms over his chest and glared at Jacob.
“That’s true, but still I eat green vegetables and look at me.”

“Why don’t you go and find your mother, Bobby? Try to talk her into buying some green beans.” The man ran his hand over Bobby’s blond curls.

“Okay.” Bobby raced off, down the wide aisle to where a curvy brunette stood, looking over the fruit.

Jacob straightened, not sure what to say to the man. He never had trouble talking to kids. For some reason, his big size never bothered them and his wolf’s instinct was to protect them. His wolf wanted to do something else to the man standing in front of him.

“Thanks for talking to Bobby. He can be a handful at times.” The man stuck out his hand. “My name is Oliver Wingate.”

He gave the elegantly slender hand a quick shake and mumbled, “Jacob Tasker. Nice meeting you. I have a dog in the truck, so I need to be going.”

Jacob whirled around and rushed toward the check out lane. His pride wouldn’t admit he was running away, but something told him that Oliver was a temptation he needed to get away from before his wolf tried something, like licking every inch of the man. Something else told him the man’s wife wouldn’t like that at all.

18 Responses “Wolf’s Survival”

  1. Dark Diva Reviews says:

    T.A , your are a delightful story teller. Oliver's intro, well done.
    I will be waiting for what is next.


  2. danae72 says:

    Really great installment. Can't wait for more!

  3. L C says:

    thumb up T. Give us more

  4. Susan says:

    Loved both installments this week, 2 days a week just isn't enough lol.

    Congrats on the Sammie Awards. Have a good weekend

  5. niidea222 says:

    I think she whould not mind watching, me neither lol

  6. chrysalis1975 says:

    LOVED Oliver's introduction to Jacob 🙂 Can't wait for the next installment. . . when IS the next installment, by the way??

    Tame (aka chrysalis1975)

  7. melanie says:

    Loved Bobby. Great introduction to Oliver and Jacob's reaction to him. This was great.

  8. Blaidd-Drwg says:

    Oh my. Now that was an interesting meeting 😀 Curious to see where this goes next!

  9. Jen says:

    Nice and subtle – overall great!

    Thanks, TA.


  10. Karin says:

    Oooh. Very nice. I love the first meeting between Jacob and Oliver.

  11. Milinda says:

    I like the story already. Thanks.

  12. elaineg0707 says:

    Now I'm all on pins and needles cause I KNOW that Oliver can't be married can he? Could be Bobby's uncle, at least I hope! Great installment, and a lovely first meeting too! I think poor Jacob is in for it lol!

  13. Sue says:

    Already wishing for more!! Great introduction of Oliver (and Bobby). I look forward to Tuesday!

  14. Anonymous says:

    man's wife? Oliver said "you're mother" but I can see where Jacob would assume…

    Loving it!

    Gina Marina

  15. Cinderella says:

    Getting me hooked right from the start I see how you are..LOL Cynthia

  16. Helen says:

    Great installment TA, I can't wait to read more about Oliver.

  17. Rhonda says:

    TA, great installment! Can't wait to see what happens on Tuesday. The chemistry between Jacob and Oliver is already showing.

  18. Jambrea says:

    Tuesday's intro was nice…but Oliver's intro is even better.

    His pride wouldn’t admit he was running away, but something told him that Oliver was a temptation he needed to get away from before his wolf tried something, like licking every inch of the man. Something else told him the man’s wife wouldn’t like that at all.

    Nice ending for today's installment too.

    I love that you added Bobby. Can't wait for Tuesday. 🙂

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