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Kindred Truths

The Shifter Chronicles 12

by M.D. Grimm

Agent Poe loves being part of the Agency—an organization devoted to protecting shapeshifters—and he especially loves his mate of only a couple of months, Nordik, the nigh immortal master bear shifter. He has the best of both worlds—the man he loves and the job he loves. But when Nordik reveals he’s ready to rejoin society and accompany Poe on his missions, Poe must take the next step and make them a full partnership.

After the Agency intercepts a message from Arcas, the leader of the Knights of the Dawn—a cult bent on the annihilation of shifters—meant for his followers, their job gets a whole lot harder. The Knights don’t bother keeping their activities hidden anymore, stretching the Agency’s resources thinner than ever.

After a near-fatal mission almost costs Poe his life, Nordik insists on a break for both of them. They visit Poe’s family in Ireland and learn that true danger lies not without, but within. There’s no greater betrayal than that of a loved one.

Second Edition with revised text.

Publisher: Independently Published
Cover Artists:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Bisexual, Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: Ageless/Immortal
Protagonist 2 Age: 36-45
Tropes: Fated Mates / Soul Mates
Word Count: 49,620
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters

Poe jogged deeper into the forest, confident in his safety. Not only were most predators asleep by now, but all the critters knew who he was. More importantly, they knew who he was attached to. Nordik ruled here. He was alpha.

And speaking of his mate….

Poe grinned, and his heart jumped as he sensed Nordik near him. He knew Nordik would smell him eventually. Poe slowed down and eventually stopped in the middle of a rough trail. Breath heaving, he looked around, sensing but not seeing Nordik. That wasn’t surprising. Despite the sheer bulk of the bear, Nordik could move silently, invisibly within the borders of his home. But since becoming Nordik’s mate, Poe realized he could sense him, a deep-in-the-bones feeling that had shocked him the first time he experienced it.


Now it thrilled him. To be so connected to someone—to such a one as Nordik—was a gift indeed. Never in his life had he ever considered becoming someone’s mate. Now he couldn’t imagine his life otherwise. He was a soldier and a mate. They weren’t mutually exclusive anymore.

Wanting to play, Poe dove off the trail, going the opposite way from where he sensed Nordik. He moved as quietly as he could, his knowledge of Sanctuary growing exponentially the longer he was there. He stopped his music and yanked out the earbuds, stuffing them into his pocket. Now he heard the rustle of the wind, the chatter of chipmunks, the squall of birds. Panting with sweat stinging his eyes, Poe hid behind an enormous tree that would’ve taken over ten people holding hands to encircle. He waited, listening.

Nordik moved like a ghost, and it was hard not to be envious. It wasn’t tough to understand why many of the native peoples had mistaken him for the mystical spirit bear of folklore.

In his bear form, Nordik was something to behold. Bigger than a grizzly but with snow-white fur, one would think he’d be easy to spot. He was Native American in origin and born to a tribe that no longer existed. He’d been chief years before white settlers came to North America. He saw the destruction of his people, their culture and traditions, and still managed to avoid the bitterness such sorrow could bring. He’d had mates before Poe, loved each and every one of them. But it was Poe who apparently was his destined mate. It was Poe who received Nordik’s nigh immortality, his lengthened lifespan. Poe would live as long as Nordik. They could still be killed, but it would take a great, focused effort to accomplish such a feat.

The birds and chipmunks suddenly stopped talking. Poe looked up, raising an eyebrow. With his breath leveling out, Poe stealthily looked around the tree to his left. He didn’t see anything. Then he scooted over and looked around the tree to the right.

Right into the face of a large white bear. Poe jumped back with a laugh. Nordik pounced on him, taking him to the ground. Poe continued to laugh as he ruffled Nordik’s fur and kissed his large black nose.

“You crack a rib, I’m going to be pissed,” Poe said, looking into beloved eyes of soft brown.

Nordik nuzzled him, letting out a strange crooning sound that Poe, before Nordik, hadn’t known bears could make. Nordik’s immense presence was something Poe would never get used to. It was an instinctual awareness he was in the vicinity of one who had lived longer than any creature should live. Someone who had knowledge of great and mysterious things. Someone who had seen nations rise and fall, who’d had many identities. Poe supposed it was like being near a demigod. But while he would never get used to it, he had started to expect it, so it didn’t give him such a jolt each time.

Nordik pulled away and turned around. Poe knew what Nordik wanted and jumped on his back. Then Nordik was off, plowing through bushes and jumping over roots. Poe grinned and rubbed his cheek on Nordik’s neck, finally feeling like he was truly home. Poe held on to Nordik’s scruff as they veered off the trail. Poe suspected where they were headed and was more than willing to enjoy the ride.

It amused him to remember the first time he’d ridden Nordik and the terror and awe he’d felt. While he still felt the awe, the terror was long gone. He had nothing to fear from his powerful mate. He certainly would never say Nordik was a teddy bear—they argued as often as they made love—but the violence in Nordik would never be directed toward him.

The sound of a waterfall met Poe’s ears, and he opened his eyes. This was their secret place. It used to be sacred to Nordik’s people, and now it was sacred to the two of them. Clear, pure water cascaded down the tall falls and poured into a large pool. This place was so peaceful, so removed from the chaos of the outside world. The chaos Poe dove headfirst into on a daily basis.

Nordik hadn’t shared much about his long-vanished tribe, yet what he had revealed, Poe cherished. They’d inhabited the more forested parts of northern Montana and parts of southern Alberta, rarely interacting with the neighboring tribes, the Blackfoot, Piikani, and Kainai. Despite sharing the Algonquian language with their neighbors, they retained their own, private language. Nordik was the only one alive to know it now. When Nordik became chief, and his immortality apparent, the tribe voted to called themselves “The Clan of the White Bear.” Poe remembered Nordik’s soft smile when he told him that. Poe found it rather sweet and evidence of their love and respect for their chief. Then the white settlers came and everything changed. Disease. Encroachment on their territories. The destruction of their neighbors. Poe wouldn’t be surprised if some of the settlers were predecessors of the Knights, determined to eradicate shifters.

That was all Nordik had told him so far. Poe wouldn’t push despite his curiosity, his desire for more details. What about the culture? The society? The relationships and political dynamics? It was an entirely different world from what Poe knew.

He knew Nordik would share when he was ready. Considering his age and the sad history of native people in the Americas and Canada, Poe wasn’t surprised that Nordik didn’t like to talk about it. Poe knew Nordik was a man who looked to the future and didn’t dwell on the past. Besides, they had their whole lives to share every bit of themselves.

Poe sighed and slipped off Nordik even as the air shimmered and his bear form disappeared. Nordik stood, a firm, fit man who looked to be in his late thirties. His hair brushed his shoulders, as pure white as the bear’s fur. His body was sleek with muscle formed naturally, not inside a gym. His face was broad, his skin coppery. His eyes were a deep, dark brown that knew too much.

His cock was at full mast, standing proudly among curly white hairs. Poe grinned as he eyed it.

“I take it you missed me?”

Nordik growled low and pounced. Still feeling playful, Poe dodged. Nordik swiftly changed course, his teeth bared. Poe deflected Nordik’s efforts to grab him, laughing all the way.

“Come on, master shifter. You can do better than that. I’m beginning to doubt you missed me at all.”

Nordik’s eyes glittered dangerously. “Byron.”

Poe shuddered as Nordik used his real name. His possessive tone hardened Poe’s cock.

“I will claim you again, mate,” Nordik said, backing Poe toward the pond. “You have made me wait far too long this time.”

Guilt wormed its way into Poe, and he grimaced. “Yeah, I know. I’m sorry, babe. It wasn’t supposed to last that long.”

Poe stopped when his feet touched the edge of the pool. Nordik stalked right up to him and gently cupped his face. Poe closed his eyes and leaned into the touch, pressing his head against Nordik’s chest. Poe was only five feet tall, and Nordik stood a good foot taller. Being the son of an honest-to-God Viking dwarf had something to do with Poe’s height.

“I missed you too,” Poe said softly.

Nordik said nothing as he unzipped the hoodie and tugged it down Poe’s arms. Next came Poe’s shirt, then his shorts. Poe kicked off his shoes and looked up, waiting for Nordik to kiss him. He really needed Nordik to kiss him. Nordik bent his head. Poe fluttered his eyes closed in anticipation.

Then Nordik—the asshole—shoved Poe into the water.

Poe came up sputtering and coughing, shocked and angered. “What the fuck?”

Nordik laughed heartily before diving into the water, swimming like a fish. Poe was able to watch his progression through the crystal-clear water. When Nordik popped his head up with a smug grin, Poe scowled. He splashed water into Nordik’s face.

“You fucking jerk! See if I want to have sex with you now.”

Nordik pushed forward and wrapped his hand around Poe’s obvious erection. “I believe you do, Byron.”

Poe tried hard not to laugh or give in to Nordik’s touches. Not yet. “Tell me the truth. You wanted me in the water because I stank, right?”

Nordik brushed his lips against Poe’s ear. “You always smell good to me, mate. Not a second goes by when I don’t want to devour you whole.”

Reviews:Tony on Liminal Fiction wrote:

Kindred Truths is centered on Agent Poe and master shifter Nordik, and the problems faced by a couple trying to find time for themselves in the face of the Knights and their nastiness. Poe is fighting the good fight and doesn’t know how to stop. Nordik wants to keep him safe, which often puts him at odds with Poe.

Nordik has an idea how he can achieve that, which leads to some adjustment for Poe. It works until Poe gets injured and is forced to go on leave. He takes Nordik to meet his family, which has very mixed results. It also provides a new development in the part bird shifters play in the continuing story.

We get to spend time with agents and family, which provides some great relaxed interludes. Agent Oenghus is obviously introduced here for some future plotline, as he seems to have a big secret. I suspect its revelation will not be good for him, the Agency and the rest of the world.

When I read this, I was reminded of the first Captain America film in the way the story jumped from conflict to conflict.

Poe is more like a pocket-sized Captain America than the Poe depicted on the cover. He is more muscular than that guy, surely. I’m not sure I like Poe that much, but I respect him and his single mindedness. If something is wrong, it’s wrong. Nothing changes that, as you will find in this book.

There was a sense of menace throughout the story, with the possibility of enemies stepping out of shadows wherever Poe goes. When Poe is involved, that’s a given.

For my taste, a bit less sex and this would be perfect. Read them if they’re your thing, but don’t miss out on the action scenes, those are good! I also liked the Irish sequence and meeting Poe’s family – his dad’s a Viking dwarf for heaven’s sake. It explains a lot!

Timeless love against and ageless enemy... who will rise victorious?

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About the Author

M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade (kind of young to make life decisions, but whatever) and nothing has changed since then (well, plenty of things actually, but not that!). Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she’d need a steady job to pay the bills (they never let her forget it!). After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, (let’s be honest: useless degree, what else was she going to do with it?) she started on her writing career and couldn’t be happier. Working by day and writing by night (or any spare time she can carve out), she enjoys embarking on romantic quests and daring adventures (living vicariously, you could say) and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, (or else what’s the point?) finding their soul mate in the process.