Jeremiah Cretan drove his motorcycle into the parking space in front of the post office. He grabbed the mail from his saddlebag and tucked it under his arm before heading inside. Normally he just shoved the envelopes into the mailbox and tossed the little red flag up.
But Jeremiah felt like getting out of the house. There was plenty to get done at home, but there was nothing like the feeling of riding on the open road. Everyone needed to let work go once in a while and enjoy the day.
After taking his mail into the post office, Jeremiah decided to head down to the drugstore. Since he was in town, he might as well get some of the things he needed. He might even stop at the local diner and have some lunch.
He gazed into the store windows as he passed them by and briefly considered getting some flowers to liven up his kitchen, but kept walking. He’d probably kill them anyway. Jeremiah had a black thumb. He was no good with any kind of plant or flower. He’d once tried to put in a flower bed around his porch, but nothing had ever grown. Correction, the weeds had flourished.
As he passed the hair salon, Jeremiah slowed his pace. He gazed through the large plate glass window at the sexiest man he had ever seen. Jeremiah’s heart began to beat faster as he stopped and stared. He would say that the guy was of average height, but there was nothing average about this man.
His mocha-brown hair was short and spiky on the top and shaved at the sides. His nose was aquiline and his chin was stubborn. From what Jeremiah could see under the shirtsleeve, the stranger had a body to die for. He wasn’t thick with muscles like Jeremiah, but cut nicely just the same.
He found himself walking backward until he was standing in the open doorway and staring into the shop like a lost tourist. His bear growled for Jeremiah to walk inside.
So he did.
“Can I help you?” A woman with short, crimson red hair asked. Her smile was polite but Jeremiah only had eyes for the stranger who was currently tin foiling some woman’s hair.
“I need a haircut,” Jeremiah said. His wavy brown strands reached his neck and Jeremiah liked the length of his hair. After eight years of having a buzz cut in the navy, Jeremiah had sworn never to have his hair that short again. Trimming it up would be fine though.
“I can take you over—”
“No.” Jeremiah shook his head, cutting the woman off. “I want him to cut my hair.” He pointed at the stranger.
“Simon might be a minute,” she replied as she popped the gum in her mouth and gave Jeremiah the once over.
He nodded at her and wondered what was going on behind those brown eyes. She was gazing at him as if he were a suspect in a lineup. “That’s fine.”
The woman turned and said to Simon, “I have another customer for you.”
Jeremiah held his breath as Simon turned his head. Those eyes. They were intense and piercing and as blue as the sky. The man’s eyebrows arched at each end and it was the sexiest look he’d ever seen. Simon gave Jeremiah that same once over look and then nodded.
“Just have a seat,” he said to Jeremiah. “I shouldn’t be much longer.”
Jeremiah nearly fell over the coffee table as he backed up. The woman’s eyes widened slightly, as if expecting Jeremiah to take the shelf of hair products down with him. Jeremiah caught himself and then moved to the cushioned chair by the window.
He glanced at the magazines scattered on the table but was uninterested in reading about hair styles and colors. He’d much rather focus his attention on Simon.
“He’s single,” The woman behind the reception desk said before she winked at Jeremiah. He had no idea why she was telling him this. But it was good to know.
Fingers slid over Simon’s ass, spreading the cool essence of lubrication while parting the delicate, sensitive muscles of Simon’s anus. He had wrapped his legs around Jeremiah and Jeremiah’s hands were carding through Simon’s hair. Who had their fingers at his ass? Simon stiffened and began to pull away but Jeremiah refused to let him go.
“Don’t panic,” Mason whispered. “Just feel. You don’t have to control yourself,” he whispered seductively. “You don’t have to do anything or pretend to be something or someone you’re not. Just be yourself. A creature of pleasure, an exquisite form of sexuality, that’s all you have to be. No demands, no expectations. And no reprisals. None, baby.”
He had heard someone come in. The thought was finally registering. It had been Mason. The man must have taken one look at Simon and Jeremiah and decided to join them. Simon closed his eyes as he buried his face into Jeremiah’s neck, holding on as Mason slipped his fingers inside. Simon arched his back again, this time moaning out the pleasure that bathed him.
“Feels good,” Jeremiah said. “Doesn’t it?”
Simon nodded before he began to lick his way over Jeremiah’s neck. He rocked back onto Mason’s fingers and then Jeremiah turned sideways, keeping Simon at his chest as Mason slid into the bed. He had a hard wall of muscle in front and behind him. Simon was pressed between the two. To say he was nervous was an understatement, but he didn’t stop either man and didn’t try to run.
“Getting started without me,” Mason said as he scissored his fingers, making Simon feel as if he was one raw nerve.
“Getting him warmed up for you,” Jeremiah said.
Simon gasped and then groaned as Mason leaned over Simon and began to kiss Jeremiah. There was nothing gentle in it either. It was beautiful but reminded Simon of two Titans clashing. And he could feel just how naked Mason was behind him. The man’s erection was sliding over Simon’s back and Simon was dying to take a look.
Jeremiah pulled Simon’s leg over his beefy thigh, spreading him wide for Mason. Simon ground his cock into Jeremiah’s stomach, his need growing higher. He nearly yelped when he was pulled away and turned onto his back. Simon’s gaze flickered between the two men who were staring salaciously at him. Simon wasn’t sure what to do with two men. He knew what to do with one. But two mountainous men? Fortunately, he didn’t have to decide. Mason rolled between Simon’s legs and began to nibble his way down Simon’s chest as thrust his fingers in and out of Simon’s ass.
Good, god. He was going to die of overstimulation. Jeremiah leaned over and began to lick at Simon’s nipple, sucking it between his teeth and teasing it with his tongue. Simon arched into Jeremiah as he hitched his hips for Mason. Mason racked his teeth gently down Simon until he was kissing Simon on his hip and working his way toward Simon’s hard cock.
“I’m going to eat you alive,” Mason said right before he took Simon into his mouth. Simon arched his back and cried out as pulses of pleasure wrapped around his groin and shot outward to every inch of his body. It didn’t feel like blood was rushing through his veins, but a thick and sweet aphrodisiac.
He wasn’t sure where to put his hands. Simon was lost in what both men were doing to him. He carded on through Jeremiah’s and used the other to grip the strands of Mason’s hair. He thrashed his head back and forth as he lifted his legs and planted his feet on Mason’s back.
He was losing his fucking mind.
Jeremiah pulled back and then slid from the bed. Simon watched the man undress as Mason worked his cock in and out of the man’s mouth, licking and sucking until Simon was ready to explode. He thought Jeremiah would get back on the bed where he had been kneeling, but instead, he moved in behind Mason. Simon’s eyes widened when Jeremiah bent down and his head disappeared and in the next second, Mason was moaning around Simon’s cock. Holy fuck! Simon wanted to see what Jeremiah was doing, but couldn’t bring himself to pull his cock from Mason’s mouth.
This was the hottest and most erotic thing Simon had ever participated in and seen. He wanted to see more.
PAPA BEAR'S PUP
“Are you sure you can’t stay?”
Bartholomew Matthews smiled sadly as he pressed his brother’s hand to his cheek. “Are you sure you can’t come?”
Aisely’s smile was just as sad and tear filled as his own. “My life is here, Bug,” Aisely murmured. “I have to stay. But I’ll miss you.”
Bug nodded. He knew that was going to be his brother’s answer before he even asked the question, but he had to ask. “I’m going to miss you, too.”
“Do you know where you’re going to go?” Aisely asked.
“It’s better that you don’t know.” The truth couldn’t be beaten out of him then.
“Call me when you get settled?”
“I’ll try.” But they both knew he wouldn’t. Any type of contact between them could be detrimental to their health, and maybe their lives. With one last squeeze of his brother’s hand, Bug grabbed his backpack and then stood. “Remember to keep yourself safe.”
Aisely stood as well, his fingers brushing Bug’s cheek, moving to the edge of the bruises on the side of his swollen face. “Remember to keep an eye on these. Get some ice on them as soon as you can. It will help with the swelling.”
Bug pulled his long chestnut curls down over his cheek, hoping to hide the bruises. It was bad enough that he had had his ass handed to him. He didn’t need his brother bringing his shame into the light.
With a pang, Bug realized that this might be the last time he ever saw his brother. He wasn’t going to suddenly start liking girls and his father wasn’t going to suddenly accept him. Randal Matthews would rather see him dead than admit one of his sons was gay.
“Be happy and stay safe,” Bug said before he turned and walked away before he could talk himself out of leaving.
Going out into the world alone was almost as scary as staying behind with his psychotic father. Both were dangerous. Bug wasn’t sure which one was riskier. Being turned over to the enforcers was as close to death as Bug ever wanted to get. Being deemed a rogue wolf was nearly as bad. If another wolf pack got wind of his scent, his life wouldn’t be worth a plug nickel.
The moment he stepped into the woods, Bug took off running. The faster he got out of his father’s territory, the better. The moment he set foot outside his father’s territory without his permission, he was rogue, and that meant he was free game for anyone with a grudge or a little anger to burn off. No one could protest because he would be a rogue wolf. Any pack anywhere could do whatever they wanted to him.
He wouldn’t put it past his father to contact other packs and warn them that his son had gone rogue, to kill him on sight. Randal Matthews would do just about anything to prevent people from learning he had given life to a son that liked to take it up the butt.
Bug had quite a few miles to cover before he was out of his father’s territory. He knew if he didn’t hurry, he would never make it. It was a good bet that someone would check his room at some point and discover that he had escaped. If it wasn’t for his ability to heal quickly, he would still be in bed moaning in pain.
Bug breathed in shallow gasps as he ran. There was nothing he could do about his footsteps but he could control his breathing as best as possible.
He wished he could shift. He would get so much farther on four legs than two. But his scent was stronger in his wolf form. He’d be pinpointed in a manner of moments. In his human form, he had a chance, as slim as it was.
A cold knot formed in Bug’s stomach when a very distinguishable howl ripped through the night air. They had discovered that he was gone. Fear made him reckless. He tore off through the woods as fast as his feet would carry him.
It wasn’t long before he heard people—or wolves—crashing through the woods behind him. They were gaining on him but they weren’t catching him. It was almost as if they were playing with him, enjoying his fear.
They probably were.
Bug ran faster, his short legs making his flight for freedom almost a joke. He knew he was merely avoiding the inevitable. He knew he would be caught. It was just a matter of time. Still, he couldn’t give up. What waited for him if he got caught was worse than the beating that had sent him running in the first place.
Bug ran until his legs ached and then he ran some more. The darkness slowly turned to light. It allowed Bug to see better but it also allowed those chasing him to see him better. And then the trees thinned, giving way to open fields and flatland for as far as the eye could see.
Bug glanced over his shoulder at one point and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the men chasing him were playing a game. There were three of them, enforcers for Randal Matthews. They were the meanest of all the enforcers, malicious and cruel, deriving pleasure from listening to others scream.
They fanned out behind Bug, watching him, following him. They never got to close but didn’t fall behind either. This went on for hours, miles, until Bug realized they were close to the border of Randal Matthews’s territory, and then he knew. They were waiting until he stepped over the boundary between his father’s territory and the pack next to them. He would be free game the moment that happened.
Bug wasn’t sure why his father wanted them to wait. He knew they weren’t just following him to make sure he left his father’s territory. They were going to wait until he entered the territory belonging to his father’s rival and then attack, blame it on them.
Bug almost laughed as he acknowledged he had probably played right into his father’s hands when he decided to run. Not only was Randal Matthews getting rid of his gay son before anyone discovered his perversity, but he was giving his father ammunition to bring sanctions against the neighboring pack, and possibly gain some of their land.
“I was afraid that was all in my imagination.” ‘Cause damn, god had certainly known what he was doing when he made this man. Papa Bear was perfect.
“No, pup.” A smiled played across Papa Bear’s lips as he brushed a curl back from Bug’s cheek. “It’s not your imagination.”
“Are you sure?” Bug wasn’t.
Papa Bear chuckled. “Yes, Bug, I’m sure.”
Papa Bear captured his lips in that very moment, stealing all thoughts from Bug’s head just as he stole the breath from Bug’s lungs. He groaned into the kiss as Papa Bear’s scent filled every pore in his body. The kiss was gentle but consuming. Bug was going up in flames. He knew he could quickly become addicted to kissing the man all day, every day.
An animalistic sound rumbled in Papa Bear’s throat. Papa Bear was branding Bug, making his claim. His movements were wild, unforgiving, and dared Bug to interfere, to stop him. “Let me claim you, mate,” Papa Bear whispered against Bug’s lips as his tongue traced along Bug’s bottom lip, making his entire body shiver with need.
“Yes.” It was that easy. Bug wiggled under Papa Bear, wanting to get closer. He was desperate to feel the man’s large, thick cock in his ass. The man was a bronzed god.
Bug wanted to lick every inch of the man’s body. Bug leaned forward, placed his hands on well-sculpted thighs, and took Papa Bear’s cock into his mouth.
“Son of a bitch!” Papa Bear shouted, his thighs shaking.
Bug worked the thick cock, licking and humming the whole time. He felt two large, beefy hands sliding through his curls as he lapped up the pre-cum spilling onto his tongue.
“That’s it, pup. Suck my cock. Take it all in,” Papa Bear crooned as his fingers continued to skim through Bug’s hair. “You can do it, baby. Just relax your throat.”
Bug stopped himself from gagging and then did as Papa Bear asked. Bug found the man’s shaft daunting. Not only was Travis thick as hell, the man had to be at least eight inches long.
“Slow, pup.” Papa Bear hissed as Bug took in another inch. He could feel the head slipping further down his throat. His lips were stretched wide, but Bug was determined to take all of the hardened cock.
“Oh, god,” Papa Bear said as his legs shook harder. “That’s it, pup…that’s…it.”
Taking in a deep breath through his nose, Bug pushed forward, feeling Papa Bear’s erection slide all the way in until the wiry hairs at Papa Bear’s groin tickled his nose.
“Fuck, baby!” Papa Bear’s hands gripped Bug’s curls as his hips snapped forward. It was a slow, sensual fuck. The man’s cock was going down Bug’s throat, and then pulling back. He didn’t need to make a tight suction. Papa Bear’s dick filled his mouth to the stretching point already.
“Oh, damn,” Papa Bear said with a groan.
And then Papa Bear pulled back, letting Bug suck the head with enjoyment. It also gave him a moment to catch his breath. He wrapped his hand around the base, retracting several inches, making it easier for him to take his mate back into his mouth.
Papa Bear ran his fingers under Bug’s chin. When Bug looked up, Papa Bear’s green eyes were watching him closely. Papa Bear pulled back. The cock Bug had been sucking on popped from his mouth. Bug raised one brow, asking without words what Papa Bear was doing.
“God, look at you,” Papa Bear said as he trailed his fingers over Bug’s swollen lips. “You look so good when you’ve been sucking me into your mouth.” The man grinned as he pulled Bug up. “I want some of this ass.” Papa Bear’s voice was strained, almost as if he was just as desperate as Bug was to feel their skin collide. “On your stomach.”
Bug swallowed around the dry lump in his throat. He turned around, giving Papa Bear a nice view of his ass, trying desperately to tempt the man into claiming him. Papa Bear grabbed an ass cheek in each hand, giving the flesh a light squeeze. The sensual hold made Bug’s hole pulse with need.
Bug cried out when he felt a finger rim around his entrance. A slight pressure applied, and then Papa Bear’s finger sank in deep. Bug panted heavily, wanting to feel more but needing a minute to adjust.
Bug panted as he felt Papa Bear’s fingers push deep, and then pull back. Papa Bear added a second finger and went in search of his prostate. Bug moaned as the long, thick fingers that seemed to fill him so perfectly brushed across his prostate with every movement of Papa Bear’s hand.
A third finger quickly joined the first two, thrusting several times before they were removed. A feeling of emptiness started to overwhelm Bug until he felt the blunt head of Papa Bear’s cock pushing at his entrance. Bug sighed with pleasure as he felt his mate’s cock pop past the tight muscle and fill him completely.
“So good, baby…so good.”
FINDING CONN'S HAPPINESS
Still not moving, he looked up the street and regarded the only intersection in town with stop lights. There, passing under a street light, on the corner coming toward him, was a young man. He had his head down and he was weaving wildly around the concrete sidewalk covering twice as much ground, as he would have walking a straight line. If Conn’s keen eyesight hadn’t spotted the blood staining the guy’s ripped shirt and jeans, he would have thought the man was drunk off his ass.
Conn studied the man, using his heightened senses. A husky voice reached Conn’s sensitive ears. Natural or created from his injuries, the tenor over gravel quality was a melody straight to Conn’s heart.
“Keep going, Aisley. One more step at a time. Soon you’ll find a place to hide and rest.”
Conn’s eye’s widened when something in his brain clicked, and he saw the pure white aura surrounding the man. “Mate,” screamed through Conn’s mind.
In the middle of the sidewalk the man stopped, lifted his curly dark head, and looked at Conn, swaying slightly. Rage coursed through Conn’s veins at the sight of the deep, bloody, crescent shaped gash on his mate’s left cheek. One corner of his swollen puffy lips was encrusted with dried blood, and bruises marred the skin around each eye. Conn’s blood pressure rose several levels at the hint of bruising along the line of his jaw and around his neck.
Dirty, beat-to-hell, clothes torn to pieces and way to skinny, Conn’s mate was the most beautiful man he’d ever seen. The man’s nostrils flared, telling Conn his mate most likely was a shifter whose sense of smell was dominant.
“Holy hell he’s big. I think he’s some sort of cat. I’ve only smelled the pack before, so how am I supposed to know what he is? It doesn’t matter. I can’t put him in danger. But it sure would be nice to slide up close and get naked next to him.”
Conn smiled at his mate’s musings. Seeing his smile, the man stiffened and panic covered his battered face. His body tensed, and Conn could see he was ready to take off.
“Running won’t help, little wolf,” Conn called out. The man’s body jerked and Conn knew he guessed his mate’s animal right. “We’ve exchanged essences when you smelled me and I heard you. Our bodies are already changing and tiny strings of the mate bond have already formed.”
“Shit. What am I going to do? I’m in no shape to out run him.”
“You couldn’t outrun me on any day. Now come to me. Everything will be okay.” Conn tried to keep his tone soothing. He hadn’t had a lot of practice in his long life with that, but he would try for his mate.
“I was talking out loud, wasn’t I?” The man asked, clearly not wanting the answer Conn was going to give him.
“Yeah,” Conn answered.
Conn stood there waiting. He wouldn’t go after his mate unless he was forced to. Wolves didn’t like to be chased or trapped, and patience was second nature to his tiger. Hell he had waited almost one hundred years for Tay to realize he sucked at ranching. This should be a piece of cake.
“It would be better if you walked away and forgot about me.” Misery covered his mates face.
“Not happening,” Conn responded.
“There’s a good chance I have trouble following me. I’m considered rogue. I need to keep moving.”
“Now you are my mate, not rogue. Any trouble we’ll handle together and there isn’t going to be anymore running.” Satisfaction filled Conn when the small man took a few steps forward.
“I would love to believe you.” A shaky hand lifted and then dropped back down to his side.
“You will love me forever and a day,” Conn responded.
“You sure are confident.”
“Thanks because I know,” Conn said.
“Why is everything starting to hurt even more than it did before? I’m so confused.”
“It’s the bond,” Conn replied. His own skin burned and his tiger growled in agitation. “What is your name?”
Conn watched Aisley move forward until there was about ten feet between them. Now that he was closer, Conn could smell other wolves on his mate, including the unmistakable scent of an alpha.
Anger surged to the surface and Conn’s tiger roared in fury. Danger permeated the air and the situation became volatile. His mate proved to have good instincts and rushed over to Conn, putting his hand on Conn’s arm. Immediately both of their bodies relaxed and the cold pain of mate separation that had been steadily building dissipated.
Conn put his hand on top of Aisley’s and turned them toward his truck parked at the end of the street. The relief of being connected to his mate helped to settle Conn’s tiger, and his anger at another dominant man touching his mate.
“Do you know anything about big cat shifters?” Conn asked. Aisley leaned heavily against his arm, and then jerked himself upright. Conn quickly maneuvered the smaller man under his shoulder, tucking him close. When Aisley didn’t object to his physical manhandling, Conn became worried. His injuries must be worse than Conn thought, to let him hold him so close this early in their relationship.
“No. I grew up in a wolf pack. My father is the alpha, and we always kept to ourselves,” Aisley said.
Conn’s truck couldn’t come into view fast enough for him. When they reached it, Conn opened his driver’s door and helped the rapidly weakening Aisley up into it. Conn was no fool. Aisley said his father was an alpha and by the alpha stench coming off of him, Conn was getting a picture of what happened to his mate. Now the question was, why?
A huge lion ran past Aisley straight at Conn. Before his eyes the lion leaped into the air, it’s back arched, paws raised, and claws extended. It was met head on by a massive orange and black striped tiger. The shifters clashed in a fury of teeth and claws. Deep growls and ear splitting roars filled the air. Hair sprouted along Aisley’s arms, his wolf wanting to come out and help its mate.
The fight lasted far too long for Aisley’s piece of mind, but in reality it was only a few minutes before the big lion was lying on the ground at his gorgeous fierce tiger’s feet. The lion was still but breathing and Aisley could hear its heartbeat. Thinking he should check for any major injuries on either of them, Aisley walked across the barn, but was stopped when the tiger shifted its considerable body mass so it was between him and the lion. From what Aisley could tell, the lion was a black lion, his long full cape of a main more gray and black than brown and gold. He remembered one of the old women telling him that black lions were usually either noble warriors or nasty lowlifes of society. It seemed he now knew which Loren was.
“Change back, Loren. Conn’s next blow will be a kill shot,” Seth said, standing beside Aisley.
The lion took his human form, lying there bruised and bloody. Aisley didn’t feel sorry for him, Conn had every right to fire him for his insubordination and defend himself from Loren’s attack. The man was at least smart enough not to move from his prone position at the tiger’s feet before Conn took his human form.
The next instant Conn stood naked in all his magnificent glory, muscled legs slightly spread, powerful chest puffed out and strong hands on his tapered hips. Aisley’s cock immediately took notice, wanting his mate’s attention.
“Leave now,” Conn ordered the downed man.
Loren, naked and bleeding, wobbled to his feet and staggered out of the barn, Conn watching him all the way.
Only turning his head and keeping his body facing away, Conn looked over at Seth and Aisley. “This time, make sure he leaves,” he said, gray eyes hard as gun metal, stared Seth down.
“Yes, sir,” Seth answered and left the barn
“Conn?” Aisley wasn’t sure why Conn didn’t face him. He wondered if his mate was too injured to move. Breathing in through his nose, only Loren’s blood was detectable. Lust hit Aisley square in the chest with the force of a freight train, through their mate bond.
Conn turned around and Aisley smiled. He was more than ready to help Conn with the problem he was having between his legs. Before him, Conn’s iron hard cock stood tall and proud making Aisley drool. Already pre-cum was beading from the end and dripping down its red, thick veined side, causing the blood in Aisley brain to rush south so fast he almost had a heart attack.
Aisley didn’t hesitate, and hurried over to Conn as fast as his own engorged prick would allow. Dropping to his knees Aisley put the head of Conn’s cock in his mouth and sucked hard. Salty pre-cum coated his tongue and Aisley licked all around the spongy head, cleaning his mate and enjoying every minute of it.
Fingers sifted through and tightened in his hair, and Conn took over, thrusting into Aisley’s mouth going deeper with every pump of his hips. Aisley opened his mouth as wide as he could and relaxed his throat, letting his lubirea mai take over.
Raising his hands, Aisley enjoyed the lightly hair covered flexing muscles on the back of Conn’s thighs. Aisley continued to swallow around Conn’s cock until he felt it widen, stretching the corners of his mouth to its limits.
Following the back of Conn’s leg up, Aisley caressed his lover’s buttocks for a moment before dipping a finger into his crack and rubbing over the tight wrinkled skin of Conn’s hole.
THAT DEEP, RUMBLING PURR
Mateo stayed in control.
He walked over to the bear trap, and he slowly, very carefully kneeled down. The golden tiger turned its head and looked right at him, but it didn’t lunge, and it didn’t otherwise move. It stayed on its side.
Which didn’t stop Mateo’s heart from trying to pound right out of his chest, like it was trying to escape.
Now that he could, he did hiss in pain at the sight that met him. The trap was thick and strong. It was also rusted along the chain. That wasn’t just blood. This trap had been out here for a while, which meant he teeth of the thing were probably also rusted. Not that he could tell since they cut so deep into the back leg. The red blood was staining that white and golden fur, and Mateo clenched his hands into fists.
“If you’re a shifter,” he said, keeping his voice calm and light, refusing to even look the animal in the eyes. “Then you need to change. I know it will hurt, a lot, but I can’t take this off while you’re in that shape. I won’t risk that you’ll attack me.”
If this was a shifter, then the pain of being trapped could’ve prompted the animal to take control. An animal wouldn’t know the difference between some naked guy trying to help him, or trying to eat him. The tiger could attack. It could attack him right now and Mateo wasn’t sure if he was fast enough to get out of reach before those claws got him.
On the other hand, that also meant that, if this was a shifter, then the animal side might have taken over so completely that he didn’t even know what Mateo was saying right now anyway.
Mateo took in a deep breath. “I won’t leave you, all right? You have to shift, please understand what I’m saying.”
Dakota whined, and he couldn’t spare her so much as a glance. Just because he wouldn’t look this big cat in the eyes, didn’t mean he would risk turing away from it completely. Then he would be entirely open for an attack.
Mateo’s hands found the thick, soft, fur of the tiger’s back paw, the one that was not trapped and coated in blood. He never thought it would feel so soft. He expected it to be coarse. Maybe it was coarse on other parts of its body, but not where he was touching.
Actually, now that he was in his human shape, and putting more focus on the body instead of the wound, he realized that this tiger wasn’t exactly big at all. It was hardly a cub, but it must also be an adolescent. That might explain the fur.
“Come on, please hear me. I know you have to hear me.”
Mateo finally took the risk and looked up into those golden tiger eyes. They were still on him, the pupils still small, and though Mateo still felt like the creature wanted him for supper, something happened that changed that.
The tiger put its head down onto he soft earth, and a ripple passed under its fur.
At first the change seemed peaceful as the golden hairs melted away, but then the first signs of shifting bones happened, and the tiger bucked and roared.
Mateo launched himself to his feet and backed off as the animal flung itself around, flailing like a captured snake. It even tried attacking its paw, biting at it in an effort to chew itself free, but it was too late.
Too much of the human was back in control, more features made themselves known. Long, skinny arms and legs, pale features, and a young man’s face. It had to be a man. The genitals gave it away, but in the beginning, Mateo couldn’t tell what gender it was.
He was glad he was right about his instincts on this being a shifter, and when the young man stopped moving, Mateo released a breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding.
Fuck, that was intense.
When there was no longer a tiger lying in the middle of a dirt patch, Mateo was finally able to step forward without hearing too much of his mustang complaining in his ear. The instinct was still there, the instinct to stay away from what was clearly a predator, but it was a whisper in his ear compared to before.
The young man wasn’t move, and Mateo rushed forward, kneeling down and putting his hand on the boy’s sweat slick throat.
A pulse. Thank God.
It was probably better that the shift made him pass out. Bad enough he had to feel his body shift and change while something was clamping down onto his foot without having to see the damned thing come off.
Mateo checked the metal teeth of the trap. The lack of fur made it easy to see, though the foot was still a little distorted. The toes were too small, there were claws, and a faint stripe pattern on the skin. The teeth imbedded into the ankle prevented a full change in that spot, but that should go away once he got the teeth off.
There was always an emergency latch on traps like these. He just had to find it and follow the instructions.
He got the trap loose and pulled the bloody metal teeth from the man’s skin. It wasn’t a pretty sight, and Mateo had helped mares give birth, hinted hogs, and done all sort of things around his ranch that never turned his stomach.
This did. Somehow this was different.
He looked behind him to where Dakota was still patiently waiting, watching the entire thing. Her black and brown ears were perked. “I don’t supposed you can go back and get my truck?”
Dakota tilted her head.
“Guess I’m walking,” Mateo said, and he picked up the young man, surprised at how easily he was able to hold him.
Despite how much Mateo’s instincts commanded him to drive his cock home into Ty’s ass, he was still very much in control, enough to know that something like that wouldn’t be a great idea.
He needed to prep him first. At the bare minimum, they needed that.
But he didn’t have any lube on hand. It wasn’t like he got a lot of time to himself, or even had a lot of lovers. The absolute best he could do was get some of the sun lotion he had from his medicine cabinet and make due.
“Hang on just one more second. There’s something I need to get,” Mateo said, and he was about to leave his spot between Ty’s legs when the shifter grabbed him by the arms.
“No, you don’t need to get anything. I took care of all of it,” he said.
Mateo’s brain was so fogged up, so slow, like it was driving through a pool of mud, that he didn’t understand what Ty said for the first couple of seconds.
“Wait, what? You took care of it?”
Mateo looked down, and he noted that there was something a little…well, the man’s pucker did look like it had some attention given to it recently, that was for sure.
Mateo reached down to touch, giving Ty a quick glance, making sure he had permission, and when his finger came into contact with that ring of muscle there, he was able to feel it.
“What did you use?” Mateo asked, though it wasn’t like he really cared or anything, especially since this meant he could proceed.
“When I was in your bathroom, I figured it would be easier if I got myself ready. I found some hand lotion beneath your sink.”
He usually did keep a couple of extra things in the guest bathroom. His housekeeper liked to keep it stocked up, at any rate. It was as if the woman was expecting Mateo to throw a big party sometime in the future, and she was getting ready for all the people who were inevitably going to be sleeping over.
Mateo was so supremely happy about this, but he didn’t trust using hand lotion that might have dried up by now, though it definitely made the entry way seem a little softer and easier to touch.
“I think you did a good job, but let me get something anyway,” Mateo said, and he quickly slid off the bed before there could be any arguments on the matter.
He still caught the disappointment on Ty’s face. The tiger wasn’t very patient, that was for sure.
When Mateo returned with the sunblock, Ty laughed at the sight of it.
“What?” Mateo asked, putting one knee back on his mattress. “I don’t have anything else, and I just thought—”
“It’s fine,” Ty said, shaking his head and still smiling. “I just saw it, and then realized that I’m going to had the softest ass ever, with the added bonus of not getting a sunburn on it when we’re done here.”
Mateo couldn’t help but grin at that logic. It did make sense, after all.
He returned to his spot between Ty’s open legs, giving the injured ankle a quick glance, if only to make sure that the bandages were still in place, and that they didn’t need to be changed.
They looked fine. He would check them when he was done here.
He wasn’t at his most graceful when he opened the cap and poured some of the white lotion onto his fingers. Just enough for him to coat Ty’s asshole with.
Ty jumped and hissed slightly at the contact.
“It’s cold,” he said when Mateo looked at him.
Mateo smiled. “That’ll pass really soon, I promise.”
“Gonna hold you to that,” Ty replied, and the man put his hands on his thighs, spreading his cheeks wider to give Mateo better access.
He liked this man. He really did.
He spread the lotion around Ty’s hole, and he pushed one finger inside, making sure for himself that Ty would be ready for this. The man’s body accepted the intrusion with little fuss, and Mateo had enough. His dick throbbed every time he heard a tiny, gasping moan coming from Ty’s mouth on each forward thrust of his finger.
If he watched himself finger-fuck this tiger shifter anymore, listened to more of those sweet noises, then he was going to embarrass himself.
He pulled his finger away, and he was even clumsier than before as he stroked some of the sun lotion onto his dick.
Ty was right, it was cold, but even that wasn’t enough to make his erection wilt, not in the least.
Ty watched him eagerly, and those eyes of his were gold again, the pupils small. Mateo could see some of the tiger deep inside of him. He shivered.
“You’re tiger doesn’t happen to like eating horses, does it?” Mateo asked.
Ty blinked. “That’s what you are,” he said, and it wasn’t a question. “I smelled horses on you, and I wondered about that.
Mateo shook his head. This man was really too cute for his own good.
He pushed the head of his cock against that tight entry. He grunted as Ty’s body relented to him slowly, swallowing up the crown of his dick with only some effort on Mateo’s part, and then he had to stop.
“Are you still okay?” Mateo asked. Ty’s face was contorted. His eyes squeezed shut, and he bit down on his lips.
“Yeah,” Ty said, letting the word out like he was almost choking on it. “Just give me a second.”
Mateo gave him more than that, and he didn’t push forward, even when he felt Ty’s body open to him. He knew it was about more than the burning pain of being penetrated