Lone Wolf (Wilde Brothers Ranch #6)- Scarlett Grove Page 0,2
human society. The shifter lifestyle still held a certain mystique, but it wasn't something Annie had ever really concerned herself with. She had her own troubles.
“What do they say?” Tricia asked.
“That they are absolutely devoted to their mates.”
“And that it's the best sex in the world,” Marcy said. “But I think I will stick with my Brad. I don't think it could get better than what we have.”
“Love is love,” Tricia said.
“But that doesn't change the fact that shifter men are usually incredibly handsome,” Marcy said.
“And built,” Tricia added.
“And have big—”
The waiter came in with another round of champagne, cutting Amelia off. They all began to giggle.
“We should all sign up for mate.com,” Amelia said, grabbing her phone.
“I already have,” Tricia said. “In college. No match for me.”
“What about you, Annie?” Amelia asked. The other bridesmaids were already tapping away at their phones, everyone getting in on the gag.
“I told you I don't date,” Annie said.
“Aren't you even a little bit curious?” Tricia asked. “I know I'm still waiting for mine.”
“No, I'm not curious. I don't have room in my life for a man. I plan to be single for the rest of my life. Relationships are not my thing.”
“What about us?” Marcy asked, giving her a dramatic frown.
“You guys are different. Plus, when I am done with you, I can just kick you out of my house. I can't do that with a man.”
“Who says?” Amelia asked.
“It's usually frowned on to kick someone out of their own home,” Annie said.
“Come on, Annie. Don't be such a fuddy-duddy.”
She sighed and rolled her eyes, grabbing her own phone. If there was something that Annie hated more than anything else, it was peer pressure. She looked at the phone and tapped over to the app store. But then she shook her head and put the phone back in her purse. “Not today, ladies. Not today.”
Dylan Wilde looked out over the warehouse floor as the interns packed boxes of meat orders to go out to the customers of the Wilde Ranch.
“The dry ice has to go into the bottom,” Dylan said, walking past a poorly packed box. “I told you that six times.”
“I'm sorry, Dylan,” said Zach, their twenty-year-old intern.
“Unpack it and redo it,” Dylan said.
He wished his brother Austin would hire more-experienced interns. But what did he expect? After having interns for a few years now, they were starting to work with younger, less-experienced people. Who else was going to exchange their time for education and room and board with no pay?
They were here to learn. And Dylan had to teach them. But as the farm had grown, the interns and the internship had grown. They were slowly seeping into his part of the business. It used to be just him and his brothers. And he’d done most of the shipping himself. But over the last few years, the business had grown exponentially. Adding the interns had just intensified the momentum. Now he never got a moment away. He felt like he was working twelve hours a day.
He sat down at his desk and checked the order forms. They were coming in from all over the region. It seemed like the ranch had new customers every single day. And he didn't know if the farm would even be able to keep up with demand. More and more people wanted to shop directly from farmers. That was a good thing for the farmer and the customer.
But as Dylan looked at an inbox filled with hundreds of emails, five hundred orders to pack, and a forgotten cup of now-cold coffee, he wished it would all just slow down a little bit. Austin, the oldest of the six Wildes, did the bulk of the administration. Rose, his brother Heath’s mate, did all the bookkeeping, accounting, and money management for both the Wilde Ranch and the Winter Dairy, which they had recently incorporated into the ranch business. Ever since acquiring the dairy, he also had shipments of milk, cheese, and yogurt to organize and send out.
That was great for the customers and for the bottom line, but it wasn't so great for Dylan's nerves. Before taking over the job of managing the warehouse, he'd been just another farm kid cutting hay and milking cows. He’d branded, tagged, and castrated calves in the spring and moved the herd from one pasture to the next. But Austin had taken over, revitalizing their entire system from traditional ranching to regenerative organic ranching. Since then, it had taken on a