“Ian, where are we going to go?” Kelsey asked again.
Ian shut the trunk and stared out over the house. His mind raced with what he should do. Then, right on the fringes of his brain, a long forgotten memory crept to the surface.
“Dad, why do we move so much?” an eight-year-old Ian asked his father.
“Because we need to, son.” His dad motioned for Ian to come sit next to him on the couch. They’d been watching a football game and his dad muted the sound. “It’s not safe out in the world for people like us.” His dad nudged his chin toward the kitchen where a pregnant Kelly stood by the stove making dinner. “And we need to keep the ones we love safe and always protected.”
Ian nodded his head. He knew they were different, but felt safe in the fact that they kept their secret well hidden. His dad was always taking precautions for them not to be caught. Plus his dad was super strong and Ian didn’t worry that anything would ever happen to him.
“Ian, I want to tell you something and I need you to remember this. Not that I think anything will happen to me, but I want you to always be prepared.” Ian nodded his head. “I keep a locked box in my lower desk drawer. It’s behind the files I keep there. The code is your birthday and inside is some money. If anything were to ever happen to me or Kelly, god forbid, I want you to take that money. Get you and your sister as far away as possible, do you hear me?”
“But where will I go?” Ian’s throat wanted to close tight at the thought of something happening to his dad.
“I have a friend. He lives in upstate New York, Michael Carsten. He owns a construction company there, Carsten and Sons. I’ve known him for a few years now and he’s a great guy. If anything were to ever happen to your mother or I, I want you to find him. He’ll help keep you and your sister safe.”
“Dad, don’t talk like that.” Ian swallowed down his emotions. He hated talking about life and death. “Nothing’s ever going to happen to you.”
“Of course not.” His dad winked at him. “But it’s always good to have a plan just in case.”
Ian couldn’t believe he’d forgotten about that. He ran back toward the house, the gasoline he’d drenched the house in causing his nose to wrinkle. In his dad’s desk he found the box. Inside was a stack of bills and a note.
Ian, if anything happens to Kelly or I, use this money. Do not, I repeat, do not use your debit or credit card. They’ll find you. Take care of Kels and know that I love you very much. Both of you. Love, Dad.
“Who’s they?” Ian muttered as he picked up the cash.
Under the stack of bills were some photos. They were old, from when Ian was just a baby. A woman sat next to his father holding him. Ian couldn’t have been much more than a few months old. He’d never seen a picture of his mother. His dad had always said he lost them in one of the many moves, but as Ian looked at the woman in the photograph, he could see some resemblance to himself. High cheekbones, golden hair the shade Ian’s turned if he spent too much time in the sun, and the lopsided smile.
“Why would he hide this from me?”
At Kelsey’s shout, he put the pictures in an envelope that sat on his dad’s desk along with the money. He took one last look around then headed for the front door.
“What took you so long?”
“Nothing. I just had to get something.” Ian turned her toward the car that he had moved to the end of the drive way. He lit a match and tossed it in the open door. The bright orange flame took off like a sprinter for the finish line. Ian said a silent good bye to the house that held so many good memories for him then ran toward his car.
“So where are we going?” Kelsey asked again.
“Here, hand me my phone.” Ian drove slowly down the road, not wanting to draw attention to them. It wouldn’t be long before one of their neighbors noticed the smoke and called the fire department.
“Who you calling?”
Ian typed in Carsten and Sons Construction. He assumed that would be the easiest way to find this Michael Carsten guy. He wasn’t sure how many Michael Carstens there were but he didn’t feel like having to go through name after name, and then what if the man had an unlisted number? All that work would have been for nothing and Ian didn’t have the time to mess around. Someone had killed their parents and he needed to get Kelsey somewhere safe.
Thank god. Ian breathed a sigh of relief. Carsten and Sons Construction was in Nehalem, New York. Ian pulled up the address and typed it into the GPS on his phone.
“Not calling anyone. I needed an address, squirt.” Ian merged onto the highway heading east.
“So where are we going?” Her voice sounded so small as he looked back out the rear window, watching Rainwater pass by.
“Nehalem.” Ian reached for her hand, praying that this was the right decision.
“Will, I’m trusting you with our secret. Not many humans know about my kind but I am telling you.”
“Why?” Will asked. “Why did you want me to know?” Ian didn’t have to share his secret with Will, but he had. It made Will wonder what the younger man wanted from him.
After a long pause Ian finally said, “Because you’re my mate.”
“I’m your what?” He barely heard what Ian had said but it sounded like mate.
Ian moved ever so slowly forward. His movements seemed so fluid as he glided closer to Will as if floating on air, or stalking his prey. Will shook that thought from his head. Ian wouldn’t hurt him. He couldn’t say how he knew that, he just did.
“You’re my mate.” Ian ran his fingers along Will’s inner thighs, up the grooves of his abs, then across his chest, grazing his nipples. “A mate is that one special person that completes our soul. Once we find that person, we stay with them. Protect and love them until our last breath.” Ian leaned forward and pressed his lips to the center of Will’s chest. “And you are that person for me, Will.”
What could he say to that? Will found himself at a loss for words at the moment. The bomb Ian dropped about being a werewolf, and that they were soul mates, shoved all rational thought from his brain. He should be freaking out, but in an odd way he was relieved because now he knew this man was tied to him like a button on a string.
“Please, say something?” Ian asked when Will remained silent.
Will sat up and cupped the side of Ian’s face with his left hand. “So this mate thing means I get to keep you, right?”
“Only if you want to.”
“Then there’s nothing left to be said.” Will closed the small distance between them and kissed Ian’s mouth.
The soft, supple lips parted as Will pressed his tongue forward, demanding entrance. Ian ran his nails down Will’s sides and caused him to squirm a little in his seat and he deepened the kiss. He sucked and nipped at Ian’s mouth and cursed his bandaged arm. He wanted to hold Ian with both arms and drag him into his lap.
“This almost seems too good to be true,” Ian whispered against Will’s lips.
“Don’t question it.” Will bit at Ian’s full bottom lip. “Just keep kissing me.”
Ian let out a deep growl then shifted to rain kisses along Will’s jaw line. Will tilted his head to the side, giving Ian full access to whatever he wanted.
The little voice in Will’s brain was screaming for him to think realistically about all this. To ask questions before leaping off the cliff into the unknown, unable to return. But Will ignored it. For the first time in his life, he felt what it meant to love another person so completely and without question. Will thought love like this only existed in the movies, make-believe fairy tales children were told as bedtime stories, but only, for Will, it had come true.
Ian licked a trail down Will’s neck and lightly pushed on his shoulders until Will rested his back against the couch. In this position Will’s cock stood up, stretching the fabric tight over his hardened shaft. Ian didn’t say anything, just kept teasing little kisses down his chest. He stopped to flick his tongue over Will’s right nipple. The tight bud pebbled almost painfully as Ian tugged on it with his teeth. Will arched his hips up off the couch, trying to get friction on his cock.
“Relax, Will,” Ian said in a soft, even tone, a little breathless. “Just enjoy it, okay.”
Will nodded his head as he met Ian’s eyes. His breath got caught in his throat at the glowing quality that lit up his lover’s eyes. He’d never seen such a bright blue. It reminded him of waves crashing into the shore, threatening to pull him back out to sea.
Ian moved to torture Will’s left nipple, leaving him panting for more. Will worked the fingers of his left hand through Ian’s soft, satiny hair and urged him to go lower. Finally Ian got the point and kissed and licked down his stomach. Ian stopped to swirl his tongue around Will’s navel, then used his fingers to tickle the skin right above the waistband of his pants. After sucking up a mark along his hip bone, Ian patted Will’s side for him to lift up so he could pull down his pants.
“I could look at you forever.” Ian wrapped his warm fingers around Will’s thick length.
“I hope you do more than just look.” Will winked at Ian. He then ran his finger down the side of Ian’s cheek to trace around his mouth. Ian turned his head to suck Will’s finger between his lips. He felt the moan vibrate from Ian’s mouth as he sucked and pulled on the single finger. Will’s cock twitched at the thought of having those sweet lips wrapped around him.
As if reading his mind, Ian pulled off Will’s finger and moved to lift Will’s dick to his mouth and sucked around the crown. His tongue tickled Will as he licked the circumference of the flared head. Will lost his breath as Ian started to move his head up and down, taking him further with each pass. Stars flashed behind his eyes as Ian started to fondle his balls.