It was lunchtime when Huck finished his toil at the fence. He gave Winnow water to drink before picking up his tools, storing them away, hopping back on the horse, and cantering back to the ranch. Once there, he led the horse into the stable, removed the saddle and the reins, and brushed her clean. He cleaned up most of his own sweat by the sink.
All the ranch hands ate at the main house with Cash Callahan, which was not the common practice everywhere. Huck appreciated being invited after all the heartbreak he’d caused. He joined the others at the large communal wooden table stacked with steaming pots and pans, all wafting delicious aromas. Huck’s mouth watered.
“Was there much damage to the gate or the fence?” Cash asked from the head of the table, his inquisitive gaze aimed at Huck.
“No, sir. The gate was tilted and several of the posts were broken or bent out of shape. It’s all okay now.” Huck took pride in his work. He’d almost lost it all. He wasn’t going to jeopardize the good life he’d built here again. Even if the other cowboys were short with him.
“Did Max see the footprint?”
“Yeah. He and a couple other guys showed up to check out the paw print. They said it was not one of theirs. Too big and it had an odd odor to it. Their words.” Huck met the curious gazes of the other cowboys and ranch hands, about a dozen of them at the table. “He advised all of us to keep our eyes open for anything unusual. In case it’s another…monster.”
Grim looks were exchanged between the workers and Cash who nodded firmly. “Let’s stay sharp, people. Report anything out of the ordinary, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. That one beast we’ve met could literally kill with a look, so…I want everyone to stay safe. And no one goes anywhere alone or unarmed. Is that understood?”
Everyone around the table nodded their quick assent, including Huck.
The front door to the main house opened and Max walked in. He was always welcome at the ranch, thanks to Cash, Huck knew, so he wasn’t worried. With a respectful bow, he approached Cash who stood. They shook hands in greeting.
“Something wrong?” Cash asked, concerned.
Max shook his head. “Not as such.” He glanced back toward the entrance where a couple of people stood huddled together. “Your housekeeper is a trained midwife, is she not?”
“Anna? Yes, she is.” Cash peered toward the door, squinting. “Do you need her?”
“Brynn is my pack’s gamma bit—uh, lady. She’s pregnant, due any day now, and they’ve two young’uns to take care of already. In case something goes down at pack grounds, I feel she’d be safer and more comfortable here under the supervision of someone who knows about pregnancies. None of the women in my pack is a capable nursemaid or midwife.”
Cash smiled. “Yes, of course. She, and anyone else, is welcome to stay here until we all figure out what’s going on.”
Max smiled back. “Thank you.” He waved at the people standing at the threshold to enter, and two women—one very pregnant, the other supporting her at the waist—two preteen children, and a young man walked in. “This is Brynn and her mate, Allegra; our pups, Cody and Lucy; and a guest of our pack’s, Séraphin Deschamps.”
Cash rushed to shake everyone’s hands, smiling wide. “You’re all more than welcome. I’ll make sure you have rooms here, beds and food, anything you need…”
The rest of his words faded. Huck couldn’t focus on them. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion, as if he were stuck underwater, the world distorted and muffled.
He couldn’t take his eyes off the young man—Séraphin, was it?—who shone as if with an inner golden halo. Fair hair the color of mellow yellow curled in luscious locks around his delicate face. Hazel eyes, full lips, peaches-and-cream skin, svelte figure…
Huck found himself drooling. And that shocked him to the core. He wasn’t gay, for fuck’s sake, so why such a primal, lustful response?
Then those hazel eyes, like burned chestnuts, landed on Huck—and lit up like a bonfire. A sultry smile, laced with promises of sensual pleasures and wicked sensibilities, rose to those full and pink lips. Huck yearned to nibble on the protruding curve of the plump lower lip, lick the succulent shape and suck on—
No, he didn’t!
What the fucking hell is happening to me?
Séraphin extended his hands, beckoning the man to him. Huck smiled, a curious shy look, and stepped into the pool of hot water. His sun-kissed skin turned to gooseflesh, and Séraphin ran his hands up Huck’s stout thighs, over the pronounced V-shape of his hipbones, up his chest to curl around his neck. Huck lowered himself on top of Séraphin, and their bodies melded against each other, fitting together perfectly. Their hard cocks nuzzled under the surface.
Huck drew back and stared down between their bodies with wonderment. “That’s so weird. Good but weird. Never been this close to another guy’s junk.”
Séraphin snorted. “I’ll have you know, sir, that my cock and balls are not junk but jewels.”
Huck laughed. “Most treasured crown jewels, priceless and rare.”
Séraphin grinned, loving how he shared a similar sense of humor with Huck.
Their lips met in a chaste kiss. Soon they opened, a simultaneous sigh emerging from both, and the kiss deepened. Their hands wound around each other’s neck, back, and butt, and their legs scissored, making room for both.
When they pulled apart, both men were breathless.
Séraphin cupped Huck’s cheek. “Does this feel good to you?”
After hearing Huck’s confessions from the other room Séraphin had to be sure Huck knew what he was doing. If the cowboy regretted their late-night assignation in the morning, Séraphin was not certain he could deal with it.
Huck nodded, a sweet smile on his thin lips. “Yeah. Way better than I expected, in fact.”
Séraphin hesitated. The words tumbled out. “I’m sorry I’m not a woman for you.”
Huck growled, grimacing, and his eyes flashed intently. “I told you, I don’t want you to be a goddamn woman. You’re perfect the way you are.”
Even if Huck was speaking the truth now, Séraphin couldn’t be certain if the guy wouldn’t in the future wish for a wife to bear his children. That was something Séraphin couldn’t give him or compete with.
Huck sighed, peppering kisses over Séraphin’s face. “I’ve slept with quite a few women, but that’s probably ’cause none of them ever felt right. Something was always missing. Not until I met you did I get how much that mattered.” He caressed Séraphin’s lips and jaw. “Everything else we’ll figure out along the way, okay?”
A weight lifted from Séraphin’s chest, and he had to blink back tears. “Y-yes.”
He pulled Huck to him for a deep, thorough kiss. He let his hands roam and fondle, caress and grope, explore and learn. Huck seemed intent on doing the same.
Then Huck released Séraphin’s lips, licked a line down to his neck, and sucked up a mark under his ear. Séraphin arched his back, a shudder wracking his body, and he moaned out loud.
“Mmm, oh oui…” Séraphin felt the kind of pleasure he had no name for, unknown ground, perfect bliss. He wondered if he’d survive to the end of their lovemaking session or if he’d simply melt into a puddle of goo.
Huck devoted himself to Séraphin’s neck, kisses and licks followed by sucks and nips. He seemed determined to taste Séraphin’s skin. Then he dipped lower, placing soft open-mouth kisses over Séraphin’s clavicles.
He moved down further, captured one of Séraphin’s nipples between his lips, and sucked. Séraphin cried out, arching up to get closer to Huck’s mouth ravishing him. Huck licked around the areola, and then slipped to the other teat and repeated his sweet ministrations. Séraphin squirmed, pleasure coursing through his veins.
When Huck pulled back, an astonished look on his face, Séraphin asked, “Are you okay?”
Huck blinked, as if lost in thought, his head cocked. Then he smiled, a brilliant gesture of awe and joy. “Feels great. You taste great. This is…pretty great.”
Séraphin suppressed a smile of his own. He liked that Huck saw this experience as a good and positive one. Perhaps Huck realized that one nipple was a lot like the next. But Séraphin had to wonder if Huck would still feel this confident when he reached Séraphin’s crown jewels.
Huck kissed Séraphin on the lips, their tongues meeting briefly, a wet luscious lick that had Séraphin’s toes curling.
Then Huck proceeded to cup Séraphin’s buttcheeks, one in each hand, lifted him up, and kissed his chest and belly. Séraphin felt the tip of his erection poke Huck’s neck, then his chin and cheek, the further down Huck went. Séraphin held his breath, not sure what to expect.
Huck looked up, his eyelashes fluttering, his eyes dark. He hesitated.
Séraphin smiled softly at him, caressing his hair and the side of his face. “You don’t have to do anything you’re not comfortable with.” He started to wiggle. “Here, I’ll turn around so we can get to the—”
Huck halted him, his big, rough, firm hands grabbing Séraphin’s hips. “No. I wanna do this for real. Double or nothing. I…I want to…taste you.” His tone started out confident but grew more uncertain toward the end.
Séraphin feared Huck was trying to cross too many lines in one day. But Huck was having none of it. He let Séraphin float on the surface, gripped the base of Séraphin’s cock with his right hand, and licked over the tip. Séraphin gurgled something unintelligible, his brain fried at the sight, his body on fire thanks to the pleasurable sensations.
“Mon Dieu…” Séraphin murmured, feeling closer to a spiritual experience than he’d ever been.
Huck took the cockhead into his mouth and sucked. He tried to take Séraphin deeper but he gagged quickly. Yet he never stopped trying. Finally Séraphin had to make him.
“As much as I’d love to come in your mouth, my love, I’d really love it if you fucked me.”
Huck released Séraphin’s prick and licked his lips, his eyebrows scrunched in bafflement. “I thought…I was so sure you’d taste…I don’t know, bad. But you taste amazing. Sweet.”
Séraphin blushed and beamed at the praised, grinning from ear to ear. “I enjoy eating fruit. They’re supposed to honey the flavor, so to speak.”
Huck nodded, the dazed gaze remaining. Then he snatched the tube of lube from the floor. “So, uh, how do I do this?”