He slowed and then eased his car to the side of the road, pulling up behind the distressed motorist who stood there looking at his tire as if waiting for it to magically inflate.
Hale was taken aback at the man’s sheer handsomeness. The guy wasn’t very tall, but he was slim and stood there like a lost angel. Hale shook his head at that thought. It was a guy broken down on the side of the road. Nothing more.
Getting out, he sauntered toward the guy. The stranger glanced his way, and Hale saw hesitation in the man’s emerald-green eyes.
“I’m a cop,” Hale said, feeling the need to put the stranger at ease. The guy looked ready to jump into his car and lock the doors. Hale held up a hand and moved a bit slower. “Just offering my help.”
He couldn’t blame the guy for being skittish. It was late and dark out, no one on the road but the two of them. Hale was a pretty big guy, and the closer he drew to the stranger, the more he realized their size difference.
The man squinted at Hale as his hands nervously curled at his sides. “I’ve seen you around town.”
Hale inclined his head and stuck out his hand. He’d never seen the male before and wondered where the Millers had been hiding him. “Deputy Albert Hale. I see you’ve got a flat.”
“I’m Oscar McGavin.” He shook and released Hale’s hand. “I think I might have picked up a nail.”
Bending at the waist, Hale ran his hand over the tire. His fingers touched on something metal. “Seems so.” He glanced up at Oscar and had to swallow the growl threatening to rumble up his chest. The man was even better looking up close. “Got a spare?”
Hell if Hale wanted to change a tire this late at night, but for Oscar, he’d change all four if the guy asked.
Even in the dark, Hale saw the man’s cheeks flame. “Forgot to replace it from the last time I got a flat.”
Hale stood, dusting his hand off on his jeans. “Get many flats?”
Oscar shrugged. “Me and cars are mortal enemies. If it’s not a flat, then something is always wrong with the engine.” Oscar said it as if he’d accepted that fact a long time ago. “Just had to replace the engine a month ago. Two days after that, my drive shaft snapped.” Oscar scratched at his dark brown hair. “I think that’s what it was. I can’t really remember. I’m not mechanically inclined. I just put gas in it and go.”
“Sounds like you should be riding a bicycle,” Hale teased. He smiled as he spoke with Oscar. The guy seemed so matter-of-fact about his bad luck with cars that Hale found Oscar adorable. “How about I give you a lift, and Matthew or Maddox can tow the car in the morning?”
Oscar glanced at his watch and then at Hale. “It is morning.” He tapped the face of the watch as if he wasn’t sure it was the correct time or not.
Hale chuckled. “I meant when the sun rises.”
“I was about to call them for a ride. I don’t want to put you out of your way.”
“I’m a cop,” Hale reminded Oscar. “To protect and serve.” He flashed Oscar a grin. “It’s part of my job to help stranded motorists.”
“I’ve never taken a ride from a stranger,” Oscar said. “Are you sure you’re safe?”
Oscar harrumphed. “A serial killer will tell you he’s harmless.”
“So will a cop.”
“So if I had Nero run you through the system, you’d come out squeaky clean?”
“No idea who Nero is, but if that’s what turns you on, go for it.” Hale was enjoying the light banter. He had nothing in his past he wanted to keep hidden. Under any other circumstance, he would have said to hell with it and called the Millers for a tow. But he really liked Oscar. The guy was witty, even if he was a bit strange.
“You’re lucky Nero is asleep and Gunner would kill me for waking him,” Oscar said.
Very strange indeed. “Do you want that lift, or should I leave you out here for the next stranger? He might be that serial killer you’re looking for.”
Oscar eyed him, as if unsure he should accept a ride. He finally shrugged. “I guess I don’t have to give you directions to the twins’ house.”
“Nope,” Hale said. “Been to the place many times.”
Oscar gave him a onceover. “Heard about you.”
“Not from Xavier, I hope.”
When Oscar’s cheeks flamed again, Hale knew Xavier had been talking crap about him. Some of his earlier anger returned. “Don’t believe everything you hear.”
“I try to judge people after I meet them, not by word of mouth.”
Hale waved toward his car. When Oscar headed to the passenger side, Hale noticed that the human had a pronounced limp. It seemed almost painful for the guy to walk.
“Do you need some help?”
Oscar shook his head. “I’m fine.”
He didn’t elaborate any further, so Hale let the subject drop. He waited outside the driver’s door to make sure Oscar didn’t need any help. Once the man was seated inside, Hale slipped into the driver’s seat. He was immediately surrounded by Oscar’s scent. It crawled over and slid through him like a mist invading him. Hale inhaled deeply. His wolf growled. Hale remained quiet as he studied Oscar.
Hale felt like a giant sitting next to the man. He was six-two and brawny while Oscar had to be around five foot and skinny as a whip. He had a head full of dark brown hair and amazing emerald-green eyes.
As the man’s scent continued to fill the interior of his car, Hale felt a deep and overwhelming need to take Oscar down and claim the man. His canines threatened to elongate as he stared at Oscar.
Hale was stunned to his core when he realized he was seated next to his mate.
“And the thought of us becoming intimate, of me seeing your legs, frightens you?”
“I’ve dated before, but…”
His mate glanced away, and the full picture popped into Hale’s head. “But you’ve never—”
“Okay, you don’t have to say it.” Oscar blushed so deeply that his ears and cheeks looked as if they’d been sunburned. “You get the point.”
When Hale began to remove Oscar’s shoes, his mate tried to tug his legs free. “What are you doing?”
“Trying to play with your feet,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that’s taking things slow.”
Oscar stared strangely at him. Hale winked at his mate. He wanted Oscar to see that his scars weren’t an issue. It didn’t matter to Hale that his mate wasn’t perfect. In fact, he liked that Oscar had flaws.
“Good weird or bad weird?”
“That’s yet to be determined.”
Hale grinned. “So, can I play with your feet?”
“Who likes to play with feet?”
Hale slipped Oscar’s socks off before he started to knead the arch of his mate’s foot. “Okay, technically, not playing. Just enjoy giving you a massage.”
Oscar’s eyelids fluttered. “I’m turning into goo.”
“Then I’m doing it right.” Hale’s wolf growled, demanding he take Oscar. The man looked too damn good lying there on his couch. But Oscar didn’t want fast, and Hale had promised slow.
Even if slow was damn near killing him.
He worked his fingers up Oscar’s calves then took a chance and moved farther up, massaging his mate’s thighs. Oscar turned until he was on his back. Hale ran his fingers over the man’s inner thighs and noticed the front of the guy’s jeans rising.
Oscar gazed at him before he glanced away.
His mate hadn’t stopped him, but Hale refused to take advantage of the guy. Instead, he slid his hand up Oscar’s stomach until he reached his chest. He tapped Oscar on his chin. “Better?”
Oscar bit his lower lip and glanced sideways at Hale. “Much.”
Ah hell. Oscar stared at him with bedroom eyes, and Hale wasn’t a saint. He scooped Oscar from the couch and pulled the man into his arms. The kiss was slow, soft, as Hale ran a hand down Oscar’s side. When he broke the kiss, he asked, “How about now?”
Oscar shook in his arms. His mate’s hand rested against Hale’s chest. He slid that hand into his and kissed the palm. Oscar’s eyes widened slightly as he nodded. “Even better.”
“Any other aches that need my attention?” Hale asked while toying with a lock of Oscar’s hair. The strands felt silky as they slid between his fingers.
“My lower back.”
That wasn’t the answer Hale had expected, but he saw the truth in Oscar’s emerald eyes. The man was serious. “Then you’ll have to get up.”
Oscar did, and so did Hale. “Now lie down on your stomach.”
His mate hesitated.
Oscar blew out a breath and then did as Hale asked. Hale straddled Oscar, making sure to keep his weight off of the guy. One, the man’s legs were aching. Two, Oscar was small, and Hale didn’t want to crush him.
Hale gazed down at Oscar’s rounded bottom, and his canines started to extend. His breathing became labored, and his heart began to pound. He wanted to bury his cock deep inside the man. Keeping his control in check was going to prove harder than he thought.
“Something wrong?” Oscar asked as he glanced over his shoulder. Hale must’ve made quite a sight because Oscar’s eyes rounded.
“Just give me a second.” Hale closed his eyes and breathed deeply, trying desperately to cage his wolf. Part of it was the pull, but there was no denying his intense attraction to the human. Not only was Oscar sexy but the more Hale got to know the guy, the more fascinated he became.
Oscar was a breath of fresh air, and Hale wanted to breathe the man in for the rest of his life.
He smoothed his hands over Oscar’s back, pushing the man’s shirt upward until the material settled by his shoulders. There were a few scars on his back, but they were barely noticeable.
Hale worked his thumbs along Oscar’s lower back. Every few seconds, he dipped his fingers under the waistband. Oscar stiffened slightly and then relaxed. Hale kept doing it until Oscar no longer went rigid.
“Yeah?” Hale’s voice was deep and resonant.
It took Hale’s brain a second before it caught up to what Oscar had said. He chuckled as he got up. Hale had never dealt with a virgin before. He had to keep reminding himself how skittish Oscar was.
Grabbing a glass from the cupboard, Hale filled it with some juice. When he turned to go back to the living room, he found Oscar standing beside him. Hale handed the glass to his mate.
“Thanks.” Oscar drank the entire contents. The guy hadn’t been kidding.
When Oscar placed the glass in the sink, Hale trapped the man between the counter and his body. “Anything else that needs my attention?”
He didn’t wait for an answer. Hale had tried his damnedest to play nice, but he was a red-blooded male who was wound so tight that he was ready to combust at any second.
“Either you leave now, or I can’t make any promises, Oscar.”
“But you said—”
“That was before I breathed you in,” Hale said. “You’re in my lungs, my head, my entire fucking body, baby.”
Hale had never talked to anyone like that before, and he wasn’t sure where it was coming from, but he meant every word he spoke. It was as if his wolf had become obsessed with Oscar. He couldn’t stop touching or kissing the man, and Oscar was becoming putty in his hands.
“Hale.” Oscar said his name with a long moan. His head tilted to the side as Hale ran his hands down Oscar’s chest and then gripped his hard cock under the denim.
“You want it, baby. Don’t you? You want to feel me inside of you, claiming you.”
“Yes,” Oscar hissed.
Hale swiped his arm and knocked the contents of the counter away. Things clattered to the floor as he lifted Oscar, placing the man on his knees. “Is this position okay?” Hale asked. “For your legs?”
“Good,” Oscar answered while panting. “My legs are good.”
Hale made quick work of pulling the man’s pants down to his thighs before he drove his tongue deep into his mate’s pulsing hole.