The whole room was filled with angry werewolves. It was a recipe for disaster, but Marshal kept his expression neutral. As pack enforcer, he was called in when the incident happened. He’d gotten most of the information and even now was plotting his next step. This was serious. The rest of those present—he glanced at the men surrounding him—were either here because he invited them, or showed up on their own. His gaze lingered on Jack. If he was being honest with himself, Marshal would have preferred to exclude some of these people, Jack being prime example, but he knew better than to try. Everyone was shaken up and tempers were flaring as a result. He could see it in the tense lines on others’ faces, hear in their hushed voices, and smell in the air. Not that he blamed them. They were werewolves, and the pack security was compromised. They had to act.
“What are we waiting for?” Jack demanded, aggression pouring off of his frame. He squared his shoulders and jutted his jaw, his glare daring anyone around him to answer. Nervous glances skittered toward Marshal, still lazily sprawled in his chair. Jack noticed, a tic starting on his jaw. He gave Marshal a brief look filled with intense dislike then turned to the others again.
“Fine!” he declared, flinging his arms in the air. “I’ll go after him, if no one else will.” This time he didn’t bother to hide the glare aimed in Marshal’s direction, brimming with contempt.
Seth, who was Marshal’s de-facto second and Tessa’s cousin, uneasily shifted from one foot to the other. Marshal sighed as Jack headed toward the door in long, forceful strides.
“Get out of my way,” he barked, pushing through throng of pack members, some of which have started to frown. In one fluid movement, Marshal was out of the chair and launched himself after Jack. He grabbed Jack’s shoulder and threw him into the wall, increasing pressure when Jack tried to get away. Marshal kept him pinned in place.
“You are not getting anywhere without my say-so,” he warned in a cold voice, his gaze sweeping over the others, now quiet and staring avidly at the two of them. He pointed a finger at them. “That counts for all of you. Don’t do anything stupid.”
He let go of Jack, but before he managed to take one step back, Jack fisted his hands and stared angrily at him. “You are not doing anything,” he accused.
“That’s what you think,” Marshal replied. He returned to his seat and kicked his feet up, aware everyone was now staring at him. Good. He had their attention. He waved his phone. “I still need more information.”
“What more information do you need?” Jack was advancing toward him. It was possible Marshal hadn’t hit him hard enough. Jack was a hothead. “We know who is guilty. We just need to go after him and—”
“That’s plan likely to get someone killed,” Marshal cut him off, noticing that several of the people in the room looked like they agreed with Jack.
Jack sneered at him. “Afraid of getting hurt? You, pack enforcer?”
Everyone with a brain was afraid of getting hurt. This wasn’t a game. He leveled a hard stare at Jack. “I didn’t mean me. I meant Tessa.”
Seth’s head jerked up as he heard Marshal’s reply, his face ashen. “You think he would hurt her?”
Kyle had kidnapped Tessa and shot a pack member who tried to stop him. He didn’t hurt Tessa, but it wasn’t a guarantee he wasn’t going to hurt her. Kyle was enamored with Tessa. He wasn’t likely to hurt her, but Marshal was used to dealing with all possible options.
“I hope not,” he said somberly. “But if we go after him half-cocked, she could get hurt in the crossfire. We already know Kyle won’t hesitate to hurt us.”
Someone swore under his breath. Marshal wasn’t surprised. Packs were protective of its members and of its territory, and Kyle had violated both. They were angry and scared. They wanted revenge.
“What do you want us to do, then?” Graham asked quietly.
Marshal allowed himself a small smile.
Ryan chose that moment to enter the room, Harry at his heels. The mood in the room went down a notch. The alpha was back. Ryan raised an eyebrow as he scanned the crowd.
“Should I knock some heads together?” he asked, coming to sit beside Marshal.
“No, I took care of that,” Marshal replied blandly. “Though I appreciate support.” He saw Jack stiffening. Jack wanted the enforcer position and was willing to go to considerable lengths to acquire it, hence the posturing. He never seemed to figure out it needed someone smart, not just strong enough.
Marshal liked to think he was both.
“What do we know then?” Ryan asked, brows knitting together as he leaned in his seat until his shoulder touched Marshal in a display of trust the alpha had in the pack’s enforcer.
Marshal shook his head, glancing again at his phone. Still nothing. “We scoured pack territory,” he answered.
“It’s clear. There is no one else, and it seems Kyle was the only one here.”
Kyle was a member of the Aspen Grove pack, the oldest and most powerful wolf pack around, and there were five of them. Mountain Ridge, their pack, ranked somewhere in the middle.
Ryan nodded brusquely. “So there is no immediate danger. Good. What else?”
Instead of answering, Marshal looked pointedly at Harry, pack omega and liaison with other packs.
“You are the one who had the closest contact with the Aspen pack.”
Harry pursed his lips, eyeing Marshal carefully. “You want to know my impression of Kyle?” he asked.
“It’s not going to help us defeat him,” Jack interfered. “He is omega and he doesn’t know how to fight. What could he possibly know about Kyle that we could use?”
Marshal suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. Harry was giving Jack a cold stare. Jack didn’t seem to care.
And that, he thought uncharitably, was why Jack was never going to get the enforcer position. He was too dismissive of others.
“No,” he said to Harry, ignoring Jack completely. “I want to hear your opinion of Kyle’s pack.”
Right now, the only thing he wanted was Nick. He pulled the door open, a chill coming from the open window causing goose bumps to show on his skin. He tugged Nick inside and kicked the door to close it. Heat spilled over him, his jeans suddenly uncomfortably tight.
“Good,” Nick purred in his ear. When did he get so close, Marshal wondered, and then all thoughts evaporated from his head as he was grabbed and slammed against the wall.
A wave of arousal flashed through him. He moaned.
In the dark, Nick chuckled, the sound filled with promise.
“Like this, don’t you?” he taunted, pressed against Marshal.
“Yes.” Nick’s lips were warm where they slid over his, but they didn’t kiss. Despite how brief and unassuming it was, the touch was strangely erotic.
Nick nuzzled his neck, hands sliding under his shirt. He pushed his knee between Marshal’s legs then held his hip as he tugged him closer. Marshal gasped, grinding his hips against Nick automatically. His dick was hot and hard, and the pressure was just on the wrong side of not enough. He heard the tearing of cloth as Nick pulled at his shirt. He sobbed, arousal becoming almost unbearable.
“Nick,” he whispered, unable to think past anything but the man in his arms. He wanted him so badly.
Nick answered with a kiss, crowding Marshal against the wall, their bodies flush from chest to hips. He was trapped between a hard wall and a hard body and was so aroused he could barely breathe.
He whimpered as Nick broke the kiss, his lips bruised. Nick’s eyes gleamed in the dark. A thin strip of light fell over his face, revealing the feral expression he wore.
What?! His befuddled brain refused to think.
“Door,” he said incoherently, figuring it out finally. He hadn’t managed to close it and anyone could just walk on them. Granted, no one was supposed to be here.
“You really care?” Nick whispered against his mouth. Marshal whimpered, afraid to move. They were at the mating ceremony celebration, so no one would blink if he had Nick in front of witnesses. Once it was ultimate proof of mating bond. He remembered Nick kissing him in front of his friends and gasped. Encouraged, Nick hummed, tongue sliding over Marshal’s lips.
Marshal growled. “Keep that up and I won’t care about anything.”
“Good,” Nick repeated breathlessly, then tightened the fist still trapped in the remains of Marshal’s shirt and pulled him closer. Marshal actually stumbled. Both he and Nick landed heavily on the bed. He crawled over Nick, running his hands over his torso greedily.
“Shirt,” Nick gasped, apparently not upset at ending up under him.
“You didn’t leave much of it,” Marshal replied, sitting up, while straddling Nick so he could strip off his shirt. Nick reached for and unzipped his jeans. Marshal yelped, almost trapped in his shirt before he fumbled and threw it away. He closed his eyes as he pushed into Nick’s hand, and he bit into his lip. He could hear himself panting loudly, his gasps mixed with the rustling of sheets. He tightened his knees around Nick, hips jerking as he pleasured himself. He had no idea how long he rode Nick’s hand. He was on the brink of orgasm when Nick stopped, withdrawing his hand. He bucked, making Marshal gasp. He whined in desperation, reaching for his own dick. His fingers slipped on pre-cum smearing his tip, but Nick caught his wrist and pushed his hand aside.
“Don’t,” he ordered. Marshal froze, torn between conflicting instincts to obey and to reach for the pleasure hovering just beyond reach.
Nick laughed, warm and teasing, the sound pebbling Marshal’s skin and making him dizzy.
Nick rolled onto his side pressing Marshal into the bed. His lips brushed Marshal’s ear.
“I’ll make it worth your while,” he promised, then slid off the bed.
Marshal’s breath stuttered as he watched Nick strip standing next to the bed. He buried his hand into his jeans, denim rasping against his knuckles, fondling his neglected cock.
Nick knelt on the bed then pulled him closer. Marshal’s breath stuttered as Nick took his jeans off and he was finally naked. The sheets were uncomfortably hot. Nick’s palms skimmed over him, and he let out a frustrated growl.
Nick bent over to kiss him, a hard, possessive kiss that stole his breath away. His fingers curled into sheets as Nick broke the kiss and squeezed his eyes shut as he heard Nick uncapping the bottle of lube.
Nick laid his palm on Marshal’s thigh, a silent request he had no trouble recognizing. A low whine emerged from his throat even as he spread his legs.
Nick brushed his balls as he reached under them to penetrate him. A current of pleasure shot through Marshal. Only the faint echo of pain stopped him from orgasming. Nick’s breath quickened, and Marshal remembered something.
“You like to watch,” he said. “You watched me the last time…ahhh…in the shower.”
Nick didn’t answer, pulling his fingers out and leaving him aching and empty.
“Nick.” The word was filled with meaning.
The bed creaked as Nick moved over him, settling between his legs and replacing his fingers with his cock.
Marshal arched, back bowing as Nick sank into him. He wrapped both arms around Nick’s torso. Nick’s skin was slick with sweat, and he scrambled for purchase. Nick was tantalizingly close, their breaths mingling and air whispering as it wound around their bodies. He pushed deep inside Marshal, the pain fading under overwhelming pleasure. His gasp echoed in the darkness.