Cage has finally had enough of Rob's hot and cold routine. The flirting one minute and avoiding him the next is getting old, so he drives up to Rob's cabin to demand answers. Except the ones he finds aren't the ones he expected, and he isn't sure what to do with them. That's when things get hairy…literally.
Rob is a shifter. He and Cage are from two different worlds, and he doesn’t stand a chance at being more than friends with the cute human. Unfortunately his bear won't take no for an answer and keeps insisting Cage is theirs. He escapes to his cabin hideaway to think—when Cage shows up, hammering on his door, Rob can't resist any longer.
When Rob is caught unawares by a hunter, things almost end before they really begin, but a wolf jumps into the fray, and the tenuous relationship between Cage and Rob gets pushed to the breaking point. Noah is a wolf shifter hunting his sister's killer, but on the trail he unexpectedly scents his mates. The only problem is they are already a couple and might not have room for one lonely wolf.
“Rob! Open up, it’s Cage.” He pounded on the heavy cabin door, determined to stay there until the stubborn ass opened up. He’d had enough. Every month, Rob disappeared and tried to hole up there in the cabin in the middle of fucking nowhere, leaving him without so much as a phone call. The cabin was a deep brown colour and looked like it was straight off the cover of Cabin Getaway with the soft mountains, perfect skies and forestry surrounding it.
He’d never been there before, but now that he’d seen it, he understood a little more why this was where Rob chose to run when things got the slightest bit heated between them. Light flirtations had bounced back and forth for weeks, yet when he tried to take things further, Rob ran. When he came back it would start all over again in some endless, torturous cycle. And he’d just about had enough.
His best guess at the moment was that his friend was bipolar.
The only other option was that Rob was an asshole and the moments where he laughed, watched movies and stayed all night at the office working on a hard case with the man were all aberrations.
After he’d banged on the door like a madman for at least five minutes, it swung open to reveal Rob, naked and frowning. Oh good god. He’d either died and gone to heaven, or Santa had judged him a very good boy and given him an early gift.
Six foot eight of pure ebony muscle was very distracting. And Cage found himself eye level with a wide chest with a spattering of hair, which decorated and framed chocolate brown nipples that pebbled in the cold air. The finely braided black hair lay loose and free against Rob’s muscled shoulders, and he ached to reach out and tug them.
“Why are you here, Cage? I told you I’d be back on Wednesday.”
It took a moment for his mind to catch up with Rob’s words. “I want to know why the hell we dance around each other, and then just when I think we’re finally getting somewhere, you pull a Houdini for a few days. And when you come back, it’s like nothing’s happened.” Cage wasn’t going to buy any of the old evasions. Not this time.
Cage’s gaze started dipping down from Rob’s angry face, over the impressive pecs and abs and... He had to literally rip his gaze away from the dangerous journey descending the happy trail of hair.
“I make up my work,” Rob said stoically, not letting even the slightest bit of emotion show.
Cage hated it when Rob did that—not just because it cost him an arm and a leg any time he played poker against him.
“That’s not the point. Your work isn’t the issue, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. You act like you can’t get close enough to me one minute, and then are as grumpy as a bear with a burr up its ass the next,” Cage ranted, wanting to see a reaction, any reaction from his friend. “You’re my friend, and I’m worried,” he whispered, the wind going out of his sails.
Rob finally registered a response with that, cringing slightly.
After seven months of this hot and cold, Cage was going insane. He didn’t know whether Rob was interested in him, humouring him, or just plain didn’t see he existed past their friendship.
It had gotten to the point where Cage couldn’t focus, even with clients. Just last week, he’d forgotten what meeting he was in because he could see Rob frowning and looking stressed through the office window and wanted to know what was wrong so he could fix it.
Today was the last straw when Rob rang in to take a work-from-home day to supposedly research a case and past precedents after they’d almost kissed a few days earlier. He was worried, worried enough to drive his baby up there over the unforgiving bumpy roads. Was Rob ill and hiding it? On the two hour drive down there, his worry had festered and turned into anger. If Rob was ill, why the hell hadn’t the man said something before then? They were friends, at least on his part.
“I’m not taking advantage. I organised my meetings and clients. Take it out of my vacation time if necessary...I’m sorry if you feel—” Rob started to explain or at least placate him in his lawyer voice.
“Feel what? I’ll tell you what I feel. Bloody confused,” Cage choked out bitterly, frustrated with the cold façade Rob was hiding behind. He’d thought they were at least close to being able to talk this out.
Maybe he was wrong.
“Cage... I don’t know what you want from me,” Rob said, shrugging, but Cage swore he could see a softening in the harsh line of that clenched jaw.
“The truth? An explanation? Take your pick... Unless this us is really just me.”
The pregnant pause was answer enough. What the hell was he thinking coming up there and confronting his friend, or his supposed friend? All the anger vanished under the weight of embarrassment and humiliation.
“Oh. Oh. I-I’m sorry for bothering you,” he forced past the lump in his throat.