Vince Marché hadn’t planned to get injured. It was supposed to be a routine inspection, after all. Surely he can find a way to use it to his advantage, right? With a little ingenuity and a lot of help from friends, he strives to reassure his wolf shifter beloved and offer him the perfect Christmas present.
Vince Marché reclined on the bed in the rear of the private jet. The scratches on his chest and shoulder throbbed with every beat of his heart. Every once in a while, he twitched the fingers on his right hand, barely resisting the urge to scratch at the bandages covering his torso.
Can’t pop any of the damn stitches by rubbing at them.
While Vince was still blown away that Dyson had attacked him, at least he’d gotten the job done. With my beloved’s help, anyway. He was an enforcer for the Vampire Council, traveling where needed, and his beloved—his soul mate—was a big wolf shifter, Frankie Drunger. The council had received a report that the Aruga Coven was abusing a donor.
As it had turned out, it had been true. For some reason, Dyson had chosen to impregnate one of the human donors, Jillian. The vampire had become extremely jealous. He’d eventually moved Jillian into his suite of rooms and had rarely allowed her out.
The rumor of abuse had come from the coven doctor, Laura. While being checked, Jillian had let it slip that she’d wanted to go sit and knit with a couple friends, but Dyson hadn’t permitted her to go. When Laura had asked for clarification, she’d been shocked to learn that Jillian hadn’t left the suite in three weeks.
Vince had been dispatched, and with his beloved’s help, they’d secured Jillian’s freedom. Dyson had been assigned to a reconditioning class. The vampire hadn’t been pleased with the order and had attacked Vince as he was leaving.
Feeling the presence of his beloved in his mind, Vince could sense his wolf’s worry. He could smell his concern, too, which meant he was close. Wanting his lover to relax—and since his natural instinct was to soothe him—Vince peeled open his eyelids.
Spotting Frankie standing in the doorway that separated the bedroom from the rest of the plane’s cabin, Vince noticed the concerned furrow of his huge lover’s brows. He held up his hand and wiggled his fingers, hoping his wolf shifter would take him up on his offer and join him. To Vince’s disappointment, Frankie shook his head.
“Come on, my beloved,” Vince murmured. “I wish for you to lie with me.”
A pained expression creased Frankie’s dark-blond brows as his green-eyed gaze darted around the room. “I-I don’t want to hurt you.” He swallowed hard enough to cause his Adam’s apple to bob. His big, broad shoulders slumped. “You’re injured enough because of me.”
What the fuck?
Growling softly, Vince levered up onto his elbows as he frowned at Frankie. “Get your ass in this bed, wolf,” he demanded. Seeing the uncertainty flicker across his expression, Vince turned his tone soothing, “Frankie, my love.” He wiggled his fingers again. “Come here.”
Frankie let out a deep sigh, then shifted from foot to foot before climbing onto the bed. As he sprawled next to him, Vince noticed the way his beloved kept a bit of space between them. That was completely unacceptable.
Vince slid closer to Frankie. Ignoring the pain in his chest and shoulder in favor of touching his shifter, Vince lifted his arm and rolled toward the man. When Frankie’s eyes widened and he lifted his hand as if to wave him away, Vince moved his own hand and caught Frankie’s wrist.
“Stop that, Frankie,” Vince warned. Then he smiled at his man. “I’m going to cuddle with you whether you’re worried about me or not. Your touch helps. Remember that.”
Frankie nibbled his bottom lip even as he nodded. He eased his left arm under Vince’s shoulders and gently palmed his back. With his right hand, he teased his fingertips through Vince’s hair and scraped along his scalp.
Sighing, Vince eased his body onto Frankie’s. While it was a little painful to his chest, he ignored it. The feel of Frankie’s big hands on him more than made up for the bit of discomfort.
“Now then,” Vince murmured after he’d pecked a kiss on Frankie’s lips. He rested his head on his handsome shifter’s t-shirt covered chest, right over where he knew his tattoo was. “What do you mean by that comment, Frankie? What do you mean by I’m injured enough because of you?”
Frankie’s expression turned sad as his brows furrowed. “I had turned to look at you, remember?” His lips tightened into a pinched scowl. “I was asking you if we could have sex on the plane, and you were answering me. I distracted you.” Heaving a deep sigh, he muttered, “I should have noticed Dyson. Should have stopped him.”
“You did stop him, Frankie,” Vince countered, recalling the incident. “You did save me.”
Vince had been busy thinking about fucking his big shifter into the mattress on the plane when he’d heard the shout. He’d turned just in time to see Dyson flying toward him. The coward had attacked him from behind. Noticing that Dyson had his claws out, Vince had done his best to twist out of the way, but he hadn’t been completely successful.
Then had come the pain.
Dyson had sliced his claws over Vince’s shoulder and across his chest. They’d both landed on the stone pathway in a tumble of limbs. Vince’s head had slammed into a rock, making him see stars.
In the next instant, the weight had been gone.