“You should find you a woman to settle down with,” his sister Janet had told him over dinner his first week home.
“Yeah, because what woman doesn’t want to marry and have babies with a man who went to prison for gun running.”
“You did what you had to do. The right woman will understand that.”
“If you say so.”
“Maybe it’s something you don’t open with. You know, skip the whole, ‘Hi, I’m Travis, and I just got out of prison. I’m a felon.’”
“Doesn’t seem honest.”
“I’m not saying for you to lie, just maybe give them a chance to get to know the real you before you spring all that on them. Besides, you are only a felon in the pack system. Out in the human world, your record is clean.”
“That would be great if I wanted to live out in the human world. I don’t. It doesn’t matter anyway. I have no idea how to even go about meeting women.”
“You don’t meet them at the bar?”
“Not the sort of women who want to settle down,” he told her.
“Hey, you should sign up for that dating app my brother-in-law Hunter uses.”
“Dating app? No way. No thanks,” he said, waving his fork toward her in a dismissive gesture.
“Oh, come on. Things have changed while you were gone. No one thinks twice about it these days with all the social media stuff going on.”
“You act like I did life. I was only away for five years.”
“Yeah, but that was long enough to push you into your thirties. You’ll be thirty-five soon and have no time to waste.”
“Good God, Janet. You act like I’m older than Gramps.”
“You could learn a thing from Gramps. He’s got women all over him.”
“Did he meet them on a dating app?”
“No. He met them at bingo. Would you rather give that a go?”
“Hard pass,” he said with a laugh.
“Then, give the app a try. It’s called Alpha Meets Omega. I’ll get Hunter to send you a code.”
“Yeah. They make sure no non-shifters get in there by requiring everyone to get a code from someone who can verify they are an Alpha or Omega ... or Beta.”
“There are Betas there too?”
“Yeah. Betas need love too, I guess. I’ll look at it.”
Travis took another bite of his lasagna as the conversation drifted to other things. It was good to be back, even with his sister trying to meddle in his love life, or lack thereof, first thing. He had no intention of joining any dating app, but it served no purpose to tell her that. She’d just double down on trying.
Hunter had sent him a link to the app and a code to join the next day, but it had still been another week before he signed up. So far, no one had sparked any interest. That was, until today. He sat looking down at the notification that someone had sent him a paw print to show they were interested in him.
Opening the app, he looked at the photo, stunned. She was gorgeous. A pair of big brown eyes looked up at him as he opened her profile to reveal she was a Beta looking for a good time. It wasn’t what he was looking for, but it might do for now to get him back in the game. He sent her a little message and was about to put the phone away when he noted another paw print had appeared.
This time, he found a stunning honey-blonde with bright blue eyes looking back at him. According to her birthday, she had just turned twenty-one and was looking for a long-term relationship with the right Alpha. He just looked at her photo for a while before swiping right on her photo. Maybe he’d send her a message later. Right now, he had to get to work.
“Hey, Travis, you got a minute?”
Travis had only just arrived at work when he turned to see his parole officer, John Cantrell, looking at him.
“John. Couldn’t wait for me to stop by your office this week?”
“I got a report and had to check it out myself.”
“Someone reported me? For what?”
“No. Not you. Someone else. It was a bullshit call. Just an ex trying to cause some shit to get even. Can I get a drink?”
“Sure. What’s your poison?”
“Just a beer. What’s good on tap?”
“Blue Moon is two for one.”
“Blue Moon it is, then.”
Travis pulled him a fresh pint and sat it down in front of him.
“How much I owe you?”
“It’s five for this and next. Just let me know, and I’ll bring you a fresh one when you’re ready.”
John handed him a five, and he took it down to the register, busying himself cleaning some glasses. It was slow in here tonight, but he wasn’t keen on chatting up his parole officer any more than necessary. He was a nice enough guy, but they weren’t friends. Travis had never been too keen on cops. In his previous business, they weren’t exactly the guys you wanted to chum up with.