As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Wisdom’s Allegiance

The Shifter Chronicles 13

by M.D. Grimm

Can a loyal and sensual owl shifter couple woo a human mate who’s convinced he’s an ugly duckling?

When socially awkward Dexter Fortis rescues an elf owl blown off course by a storm, he has no idea the bird is a shifter named Orion. Or that his life is about to change.

Orion falls in love with the kind custodian, but he must convince his long-term partner, Talon, that Dexter is just who they’ve been searching for to establish a permanent ménage. Even if they can gently break down Dexter’s walls, they’ll have to contend with a dangerous cult rising in the shifter community and a hidden enemy determined to keep Dexter from them.

Second Edition with revised text.

Publisher: Independently Published
Cover Artists:
Pairings: M-M-M
Heat Level: 4
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 36-45
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 3 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Fated Mates / Soul Mates
Word Count: 59,580
Setting: Colorado
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters

A sharp squeal had him opening his eyes. Orion skipped over to him even as Dexter stood on shaky legs. For one panicked moment, he though Orion was going to hug him. Instead Orion stopped abruptly in front of Dexter, inches away, and with a huge grin, stuck out his hand.

“I’m so glad you’re here! I love that coat on you. The blue brings out your eyes.”

He spoke rapidly, with a breathless, excited quality that couldn’t be faked. The light in his eyes appeared genuine as well. And though Dexter couldn’t understand how a blue coat could bring out brown eyes, he appreciated the compliment nonetheless.

Dexter took Orion’s gloved hand and shook. “I, uh, like your jacket too. You, um, you look nice.”

Dexter was certain he’d like Orion in a burlap sack. He was adorable no matter what he wore.


“Aww, you’re sweet.” Orion blushed, and it upped his cuteness level to one thousand.

“Good to see you again,” Talon said, stepping up from behind Orion. Dexter hadn’t even noticed him until that moment, Orion filling his entire vision.

He cleared his throat and stuck out his hand. Talon smirked and took it. They both looked handsome in their thick jackets, scarves, and gloves. While Talon wore muted colors of brown and black, fitting his slender figure and conservative personality, Orion wore vibrant colors of purple, sky blue, and red. The mismatched color scheme fit Orion’s bubbling, vibrant personality to a tee. They were certainly an odd couple.

“I’ll order for us,” Talon said. Even as Orion opened his mouth, Talon said, “But no coffee for you. You’re bouncy enough as it is. You get tea.”

Orion pouted. “I wanted cocoa.”

Talon’s lips twitched. “The snickerdoodle cocoa?”

Orion sent him a surprisingly sensual smile. “Yes, please.”

Heat crawled up Dexter’s neck and he looked away, feeling intrusive and awkward.

Talon turned to Dexter. “And for you?”

“Oh, well. I’m fine with water.”

Talon raised a single elegant eyebrow. “No, you’re not. I’m getting you something else. Do you have any allergies?”

“What? Uh, no, but—” Dexter stumbled over his words.

Talon merely waited, eyes direct, head slightly tilted to one side.

“Look, you don’t have to get me anything,” Dexter said after taking a deep breath.

“What if I want to get you something?”


“Don’t bother,” Orion said, drawing Dexter’s attention again. “He can be stubborn when he wants to take care of someone. He’s actually more laid-back than you might think, but he has his moments. We both do.”

“Thank you for talking about me like I’m not here,” Talon said, though the half smile on his face showed his amusement.

“I don’t… I don’t think you—either of you—should have to pay for me.”

Now it was Orion’s turn to raise an eyebrow. “Sweetie, you do know this is a date, right? The manliest man gets to pay for us girls.”

Dexter sputtered.

Talon snorted.

Orion giggled.

“Dexter,” Talon said.

He met his eyes.

“It would please me greatly to buy all of us food and drinks. Orion and I are having chocolate croissants. Did you want one?”

Dexter thought of all the teasing, from his peers at school, from his brother, and the disapproval of his parents. Then he thought of Beatrice and Stacey and their precious friendship. Dexter looked from Talon’s face to Orion’s and back again. No judgment or condescension. They simply waited for him to make a decision.

He wanted to give them a chance. “Sure, I’d like one. Thanks.”

Talon’s smile widened. “And to drink?”

“Um.” He turned and squinted at the menu. Should he get coffee? He really shouldn’t have anything calorie-laden. He was already getting a croissant so—

“You can have anything you want,” Talon said.

“You should have the cocoa,” Orion piped up. “It’s to die for! It seriously tastes like Christmas.”

Dexter found himself giving into Orion’s enthusiasm and he relented. “Sounds good. I’d like that.”

“Perfect.” Talon turned and got in line.

“Come on.” Orion grabbed Dexter’s hand and sat at the table that Dexter had vacated. Dexter took his seat across from Orion and had no idea what to say.

“I’m glad I’m not the manliest man,” Orion said, grinning. “I never have to pay for anything. Being a girl is great!”

Dexter gaped.

Orion rolled his eyes. “Oh, don’t be like that. Being a girl isn’t anything to pooh-pooh. I have five sisters, and they’re proud to be girls. Even kicked my ass a few times as kids.”

“Five?” Dexter said.

Orion nodded his head solemnly. “Five. I’m the youngest of six.”

“Whoa. My sympathies,” he said without thinking.

Orion laughed. “Thanks. I love them to death, and they can sure kick ass on my behalf, but we’re a family of lovers, not fighters. We’d rather hug and cuddle than shove or yell.”

“Sounds nice.”

Orion frowned, and it looked odd on his round, open face. “Your family doesn’t hug or cuddle?”

Dexter snorted. “No, not exactly.” He took a sip of water as his throat burned.

“They don’t know what they’re missing. A good hug can set a person up for days. You exchange a part of yourself with someone, and they with you. It’s a gesture of affection and trust and a physical reminder that you care for that person, and they for you. People too often underestimate hugs. Especially in America. Places in Europe, though, are all over that.”

Dexter didn’t know what to make of that sudden spew of information, all said in a teacher-like tone.

“There are some people who don’t like to be touched,” Dexter said softly. He wasn’t speaking of himself. He desperately wanted to be touched but was afraid to ask, to hint. He was afraid to let himself freely feel again. The risk was too great. He barely managed to put himself back together the last time.

“True, and that’s fair. I’m not saying we should hug everyone without consent, but I think hugs should be given more consideration.”

Dexter nodded.

The silence that lapsed between them made Dexter uncomfortable. Orion didn’t seem to feel the same way. In fact, he had his chin propped on his palm and was staring at Dexter with a little smile.

“What?” Dexter asked after a long moment of waffling.

“You’re cute.”

“I’m not.”

“You are.”



How childish could they be?

Orion grinned hugely and chuckled. “I could do this forever. Remember: five sisters.”

“He really could,” Talon said as he rejoined them. “I’ve been with him for years, so I speak from experience.”

Talon somehow managed to juggle everyone’s drinks and croissants with amazing ease and set everything down competently.

Dexter stared at his cocoa and croissant and was mortified when his throat threatened to close. He cleared it and forced himself to meet Talon’s gaze.


“You’re welcome.” Talon eyed him over the rim of his cup before sipping.

Reviews:Moonflower on Long and Short Reviews wrote:

So many different things with this book – and I loved every one of them! One of our main males has a thyroid problem, and is a big man even though he is fit and eats healthily. To be inside his head when he hears derogatory comments is heartbreaking. And then, to hear how he feels when his mates boost his self-esteem with truth and love, is the complete opposite. Our other two main males are both Owl Shifters! Too often we get wolves, or big cats, or bears. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love all of them, but there was something so refreshing to read about owls, and it was exceptionally written too.

All three of our main characters are individuals. They can stand alone and be individuals. There is no blurring of the lines between these three. A softening, maybe, at the end, but definitely no blurring. All of the characters are well-written, whether you like or loathe them. Even one who is on the ‘wrong’ side, has her reasons, which are completely understandable.

Although this book is classed as book thirteen in the series, it is the first one I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and didn’t find it confusing at all as this story concentrates on these characters. There were no editing or grammatical errors I noticed, and it had a great flow to the story, keeping the suspense when needed, plus allowing for some sexy times too.

A great story, fantastic characters, and a world I want to visit again. Definitely recommended by me.

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

Make sure to check out the rest of the books in the series! Visit and sign up for my newsletter!

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.