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Healing a Hurt Mate (MM)

Rough River Coyotes 6

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 36,071
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[Siren Everlasting Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, M/M, shape-shifters, sex in shifted form, HEA]

He feared the one thing he needed most…

Dreadfully lonely veterinarian Douglas “Dooley” Rae wants a mate, but what he finds is a coyote in desperate need of his help. Starving, dehydrated, and suffering violent seizures, the poor beast probably won’t survive the night. But Dooley has to do everything he can because he knows he isn’t dealing with an ordinary coyote but a human shifter.

Tristan Hart decided long ago to never burden anyone with the demands of his disease, but when he finds himself stuck in a coyote body, he has no choice but to accept Dooley’s help.

As they struggle to free Tristan from his animal form, the two men find themselves drawn to one another despite their differences. When nothing they try works, Dooley comes up with a dangerous plan and Tristan has to decide if becoming human again is worth risking his life.

A Siren Erotic Romance

 

Anitra Lynn McLeod is a Siren-exclusive author.

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Excerpt

STORY EXCERPT

 

Dooley slammed on the brakes so hard he almost flung himself out the windshield.

“That will teach me to wear my seat belt.” He knew he should even if he was only going a few miles on the Rough River Ranch, but he constantly forgot. Still, he managed to stop in time to let part of the thousands of cattle that dotted the ranch run across the dirt road unharmed. Dooley frowned. There must have been a fence down somewhere for this many cattle to be milling about on the side of the road.

With the light fading fast from another glorious Utah desert sunset, Dooley decided to leave the cab of his truck and investigate. Since the heifers were used to him and all the other cowboys who moved the herd from place to place on the ranch so they always had good grass to eat, the cows wandered away from him but didn’t spook. Running his gaze over the fence line, he easily spotted the break.

Dooley had just opened his cell phone to let Marshal, his boss and owner of the ranch, know about the downed fence when several cows spooked and ran from his truck. Puzzled, Dooley returned to the cab, but the light had faded, making it difficult for him to see very well. When he reached into the truck and popped on the headlights, he saw what looked like a bundle of fur in the middle of the road.

“Dooley?” came a voice from his cell.

“Yeah, Dooley here, Marshal. I just wanted to let you know that part of the fence on the east sixty is down and—oh, no.”

“What?”

“We’ve got a downed coyote out here.” Dooley kept the line open as he grabbed his veterinarian bag off the floor of the truck. He might forget his seat belt, but he never forgot to take his medical bag with him no matter where he was going on the ranch. “I’m going to get him up into the cab and—”

Dooley cut himself off when the coyote at his feet began to shake. His mouth was filled with foam, and each time his head flicked he spun gobs of it off. To an uneducated eye, the coyote would appear to be suffering from rabies, but Dooley knew better. Dropping his bag into the dirt, he knelt down and pawed through the contents. He found a bottle of phenobarbital and a syringe, ripped off the sterile paper packaging, plunged the needle into the vial, filled it, and wrenched it free. Using his educated fingers, he found the cephalic vein in the left front leg and then injected the phenobarbital. Within seconds, the seizure stopped.

“Dooley? Dooley? Are you there?”

Dooley retrieved the abandoned phone. “Yeah, I’m here. Sorry about that, but the coyote was having a seizure.”

“Do you want me to send someone out there?”

“Get someone out here with some lights and tools to fix the fence before the whole herd comes traipsing up the long drive and into the kitchen garden.”

“Will do. I’ll also have your clinic in the barn up and running by the time you get back.”

“Thanks.” Dooley clicked the end button and slipped the phone back into his pocket. “Well, now, little buddy. You feeling a bit better?” Dooley took his bandana from off his neck and wiped as much of the foamy spittle away as he could. The animal’s breathing was slow and hitching as if he’d run for miles. When he seemed to be tolerating the drug well, Dooley let loose a sigh of relief. “And that stuff is a hell of a lot better than status epilepticus, let me tell you what.” Dooley gently stroked his hand over the dog’s filthy coat, noticing that his ribs were clearly defined and his fur was shedding in clumps. From his quick inspection, he figured without intervention the beast probably only had a week to live. “But I’m not going to let you down. You’re not going to die on my watch.”

While the beast was still woozy, Dooley loaded him into the back of the truck. He would have put him on the bench seat of the cab, but the danger of another seizure flinging him to the floor and twisting his neck was too great. The flatbed of the truck was far safer. With that much phenobarbital in his system, he wasn’t going to be standing up anytime soon.

Once he had the coyote situated, he jumped back in the cab, made a U-turn, and drove back to the farmhouse while splitting his attention between the road and the rearview mirror. Cool evening air poured in through his rolled-down window, filling the truck with the scent of scrub brush and Russian olive trees. Dooley hadn’t been many places in his life, but he didn’t need to go anywhere else. He was home. No other place on Earth filled him with as much peace as the Rough River Ranch did. Here, Dooley was able to do what he loved and share his life with men like himself.

“You, little buddy, you’ve got a mate here. I’m sure of it. And I’m going to get you well enough so you can find him.”

 

ADULT EXCERPT

 

Tristan found himself taking a step closer to Dooley against his will. For the life of him, he felt like his body wanted to run toward Dooley but his mind wanted to go and lock himself away in the bathroom. So Tristan stood still, trapped between his body and brain.

What broke the seemingly fairly matched and endless battle was when Dooley started easing the buttons apart on his faded jeans. Now Tristan’s body and brain were in complete agreement that they should stay right where they were so they could see what Dooley looked like naked.

As if he knew he had a riveted audience, Dooley took his sweet time easing the buttons apart until he revealed a long, thick, and wickedly beautiful cock rising out of dark brown hair. Without even realizing he was doing it, Tristan licked his lips. Watching the faded jeans slide down Dooley’s strong legs was the most powerful visual poetry he’d ever witnessed. Each incremental reveal of more of his mate’s body drew Tristan closer until he realized that he was an arm’s length away. As Dooley’s jeans pooled around his ankles, Tristan found himself plastered against Dooley.

“I want you.”

“I want you, too.” Dooley grasped Tristan’s buttocks, one in each hand, and then lifted him up while pressing him close.

Rather than feeling trapped or smothered, Tristan felt nothing but lust. His mate was dominant, but it was a relaxed kind of power he held. Rather than raw and brutal, it was softly subtle and more of him compelling Tristan than forcing him. As Tristan deepened the kiss by opening his mouth and sliding his tongue against his mate’s, he felt a new hunger overtake him. He wanted to feel all of Dooley. Tristan didn’t want anything to come between, especially not all the pesky clothing he was wearing.

As if he’d read his mind, Dooley started to ease Tristan’s sweats down, murmuring in his quiet way about what he was doing and why. It was then that Tristan realized this was how Dooley showed his love. He didn’t rush or demand to have everything his way. No. What Dooley did was compel cooperation by his kind and caring words. For the first time, Tristan allowed himself to relax and experience everything his mate wanted to share with him. This wasn’t a race, and Dooley would never force him. This was love, and he didn’t have to resist enjoying everything because they hadn’t worked out all the details of their future. If Tristan could just trust a little that Dooley really was the right man for him, they would work everything out. All he had to do was give in and let go.

“I’m sorry.”

“About what?” Dooley pulled Tristan’s shirt off and tossed it aside.

“For resisting you for so long.”

“I’m not angry.”

“I know.” Tristan stood on his tiptoes to kiss Dooley, but he was so tall Dooley had to lean over for him to make contact. When that contact came, he practically swooned. Each kiss pushed the mating need higher. Tristan figured one more kiss would propel both of them over the edge into a delicious madness.

“You’re making that whimper, and it’s driving me mad.” Dooley scooped Tristan up into his arms and then took him to the bed. He laid him down so gently that Tristan found another way that Dooley showed rather than told him that he loved him. As aroused as he was, Dooley was still infinitely gentle. Perhaps someday they would have fast and furious encounters but not for a long while.

“You do realize that just as I make a needy cry you make a growl of hunger?”

“I’m growling at you?”

Tristan nodded. “Not loud, and not aggressively, but you most definitely are asserting your dominance.”

Stroking his way from Tristan’s earlobe to the edge of his nipple, Dooley let out a long, soft sigh. “Do you have any idea how incredibly beautiful you are?”

“When you look at me like that I do.”

“Then I’ll keep on looking at you like this so you never forget.” Dooley lowered his lips to the tip of Tristan’s nipple and licked across, pebbling the flesh and sending a shiver across every bit of Tristan’s skin. Inadvertently, he arched up, and his hip made contact with the tip of Dooley’s cock.

“You’re so hard.” Tristan reached between their bodies and took Dooley’s cock into his hand. When Dooley caught his breath and then let it out in one sharp burst, Tristan felt an awesome power over his mate. He wasn’t sure what compelled him to slide his thumb over the tip, but when he did, pre-cum eased the way, and Dooley let out a low growl that deepened as Tristan increased the pace of his flicks. “I want to taste you.”

Dooley moved onto his back, allowing Tristan to kiss his way down his chest, working his way to his prick. Once he was near, Tristan teased his mate by breathing hot, moist breath against his needy flesh.

“Oh, God, Tristan. You have no idea how incredibly good that feels.”

Tristan grinned and looked up at Dooley’s face. “I have a feeling you’ll show me later.” And then he lowered his lips and sucked at the tip of Dooley’s prick. The sound his mate made filled Tristan with a mating urge that refused to be denied. Each swirl of his tongue over the tip drew more of his essence into Tristan’s mouth, increasing his ardor, multiplying his need until he felt he would go crazy.

“I need to taste you, too.” Dooley drew Tristan upward for a mind-bending kiss and then eased him onto his back. “I feel like I’ve waited my whole life for you.”

 

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