[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Paranormal, Shape-shifters, Romantic Suspense, MM, HEA]
Scotty Monroe had no idea how he ended up in the hospital. The last thing he remembered was running from his abusive uncle. The one thing he knew for certain was that he didn’t want to return to Franklin’s house, even if he had to live under a bridge. What confused Scotty even more was the handsome man by his bedside. He had no idea why the sheriff was sticking around or why the guy had taken him home.
After finding an unconscious human in the woods, Sheriff Mitch Greeley rushed him to the hospital, only to realize that Scott was his mate. The guy’s body was littered with scars, and he looked as if he hadn’t eaten in a month. When Mitch’s SUV exploded, he knew Scott’s uncle was out to get him. Franklin was hellbent on getting back his nephew, and Mitch was just as determined to keep his mate at his side.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
“I’m about to go for a run and then get some things done around the house.”
“Don’t you make me sound like I’m a helicopter parent,” his mother said in the background. “You were just as worried as I was about him taking some downtime.”
Mitch chuckled. He loved his parents. They bickered with each other a lot, but he’d never met a mated pair more in love.
“She just learned that word,” his dad said. “Now she has to fit it into any sentence she can. Helicopter parent. Sounds hokey to me.”
“I promise I’m taking the weekend off,” Mitch said. “Other than puttering around the house, I’m going to be lazy. Patches and I are going for a run, and then we’re going to lounge around for the rest of the day.”
“You need a mental break,” his mother said.
“Do you want the phone?” his dad asked.
“Why?” his mother asked. “Why would I want the phone when I asked you to call him?”
“Then let me talk,” his dad protested. “Weren’t you heading to the market?”
Mitch rolled his eyes. “Would you two like to talk to each other?” They were already having a conversation without him.
“Your father is talking to you,” his mom said.
“I’m going to let you go,” his dad said. “You and Patches enjoy your weekend.”
Mitch ended the call. He wouldn’t be surprised if they showed up. They used to live in Brac Village, but when Mitch got the sheriff’s job in Fever’s Edge, his parents moved there, too.
Whether his mom wanted to admit it or not, she was a helicopter parent. He didn’t mind, though. Mitch liked having family in town. Even his sister was talking about moving there.
Which would be nice because Mitch loved his niece and nephew and hated that he didn’t see them often enough. He also missed Ramona and Ted like crazy.
After tucking his phone into his pocket, Mitch headed for the door. He stopped on the porch to check the hanging plants, seeing if they needed any water.
“Are you coming?” he asked when Patches paused at the threshold. Sometimes his dog liked to just romp in the backyard. Mitch had a pet sitter who came by every day to take Patches on walks and to also groom him because, damn, the dog shed a lot.
Patches sniffed, turned around, and went back inside. It looked as if he wanted to start the part of the day where he just laid around.
“Don’t whine to me later when you’re full of energy,” he said as he grabbed the door handle. “And Angelina isn’t coming by this weekend to take you for walks.”
Patches didn’t return, so Mitch closed the front door. Temperamental dog. If he didn’t know any better he would swear Patches was really a shifter. At times he was moody as fuck.
Mitch walked to his Range Rover and climbed in before heading out of town to a great pull-off that he had used many times. He walked deep into the woods, far enough away from the possibility of being discovered, and undressed, leaving his Rover keys in his jeans pocket, as well as his phone.
Mitch shifted and took off, letting the bright sun warm his face as the breeze ruffled his fur. It felt good to let his beast out, and his bear was happy as Mitch ran through the woods, avoiding the trails.
He didn’t need to run into any unsuspecting humans. He’d already gotten plenty of complaints about wolves roaming the outskirts of town.
But Mitch knew the wolves were a part of Ben’s pack. A lot of nonhuman residents used the vast woods, too. That was why Mitch had posted very strict poaching and hunting signs all around the woods.
And Mitch strictly punished those who broke those rules.
He didn’t need any hunting accidents involving shifters or poachers trying to take down what they thought was easy game. A pissed-off shifter was not something a human wanted to run into.
Mitch slowed and flopped down onto the warm grass in a small clearing then rolled onto his back, wiggling as he scratched himself. Bears normally used trees for that, but he wanted to feel the sun on him.
Patches didn’t know what he was missing. Still, Mitch missed his dog running with him. They always had fun together. Maybe it was time to find Patches a girlfriend. That could possibly be the reason he was so temperamental. Lack of sex would do that to any guy.
When the breeze changed direction, Mitch caught a peculiar scent. It was a cross between strawberries and freshly hung laundry.
Curious, he got up and followed the mixed fragrance, which led him out of the clearing and into the dense woods. Mitch wasn’t sure how far he’d gone before the smell had become stronger.
He moved faster until he found the source.
And was blown away.
He shifted into his human form as he stared at a pair of legs sticking out from behind a bush.
This couldn’t be good.
Mitch wasn’t sure how far he was from his SUV or if he would need to use it in order to get this person to a hospital. Was this stranger dead? But Mitch didn’t smell death.
He still smelled those damn strawberries and freshly hung laundry. He also smelled human.
With his heart beating fast, Mitch rounded the bush and gasped. A guy lay face down, as if he’d been tossed there without a care. Had he? Was this foul play or an accident?
The only things on the body were a pair of skimpy shorts and a T-shirt. Mitch didn’t see any shoes. The guy couldn’t be any more than five-four or five-five. He was slim, too. There were also a smattering of scars on his body. Some appeared fresh, while others looked as if they were in various stages of healing.
Mitch knelt and checked for a pulse. It was there, but barely. With a curse, he picked up the feather-light stranger and hauled ass back to where he’d parked.
Hopefully the guy didn’t have any kind of neck or spine injury, because moving him would be the biggest mistake, but Mitch felt as if he didn’t have enough time. The guy’s pulse was weak, which meant he needed medical attention now.
After gently laying the stranger in the backseat, Mitch dressed and then took off toward Fever’s Edge Memorial. At least he wouldn’t have to worry about a speeding ticket since he was the sheriff.
Mitch pulled in front of the emergency room and jumped out, grabbing the guy.
“I need help!” He barreled through the doors, looking around for anyone who could help him.
“I want you,” Mitch whispered into Scotty’s ear as he scooped his mate into his arms and carried him upstairs. “Tell me this isn’t what you want and we’ll stop.”
Scotty curled his arms around Mitch’s neck and peppered kisses along his jaw. “I’ve never wanted anyone like I want you.”
Mitch had been one hundred percent wrong when he thought his mate too fragile. Scotty’s trust and innocence was still intact, even after what he’d endured with his uncle. Mitch wasn’t sure how long his mate had been abused, but he’d proven just how strong he was not only by his actions but his personality, too.
He’d honestly thought it would take months to get his mate to the point where he could tell him the truth about the nonhuman world, and maybe even longer before he could claim his mate.
But Scotty was full of surprises, which delighted Mitch.
He walked into his bedroom and lay Scotty down on the soft comforter of his bed. Then Mitch crawled in, spooning him. There was no need to rush things. This evening was all about taking his time and exploring every inch of his mate’s body.
“You know if we have sex that I’m claiming you.”
Mitch grinned. As he spoke, Scotty was wiggling out of his clothes. His mate proved that he was more than ready for this.
“What does that mean?” Scotty struggled with taking his jeans off, so Mitch helped, tossing them, and his mate’s underwear, aside.
“It means I have to bite you right here.” Mitch tapped his shoulder. “That’s how our souls become one.”
Scotty paused and looked over his shoulder. “Will it hurt?”
“Briefly, but the pleasure that follows will be out of this world.” That was what Mitch had heard, since he’d never claimed anyone before. He’d actually never bitten anyone, either. Not during sex. Fighting was another story.
Scotty didn’t say another word. Instead, he pressed his ass into Mitch’s groin. Mitch ran his hand over Scotty’s hip, feeling the human shiver under him. Leaning forward, he licked a trail from Scotty’s shoulder to his upper arm, hearing the man underneath him inhale sharply.
“Do my scars bother you?” Scotty asked.
“No, baby. Nothing about you turns me off.” Mitch turned Scotty over, staring into those pretty green eyes. “You’re beautiful from the top of your head down to your toes.”
Scotty’s legs spread wide as his hands grabbed Mitch’s shoulders. His mate’s cock was hard and weeping, jumping slightly from the throbbing of blood pooling in his groin. He was going to eat this small human up.
He moved his hand to Scotty’s abdomen, smoothing over the skin as he watched Scotty’s nipples harden and peak. Mitch growled, licking one nipple, nibbling and sucking as Scotty moaned. The hand on Scotty’s stomach moved down the man’s body until the back of his knuckles grazed over hard, heated flesh.
Scotty jerked, his hips rocking forward slightly. Mitch trailed his fingers over Scotty’s balls, which were drawn up to the base of his erection. He tugged at them slightly, gaining another moan from Scotty.
“Do you know how sexy you are?” he asked as he moved to the next nipple, teasing the small circle of flesh with his teeth.
“No,” Scotty whimpered.
Mitch ran his fingers over the head of Scotty’s cock, gathering the clear liquid before dipping his hand down between the flared mounds, pressing the tips against Scotty’s small opening, and then rimming them around the tight muscle.
“Have you ever had sex before?” He was breathing hard and rough as he raised his head to wait for his mate to answer him. “Talk to me, sweetheart.”
Scotty whimpered again, his back arching as his ass pressed down toward Mitch’s fingers. “N-No.”
Mitch rewarded the man with a teasing nip to his heated flesh, sucking the nipple in and rolling it with his tongue. Scotty cried out, pressing his chest against Mitch’s mouth.
Mitch lapped at the skin and then raised his eyes to stare at Scotty thrashing his head back and forth on the pillow. “Are you sure you’re ready to get fucked?”
Fingers dug into Mitch’s shoulder as Scotty’s eyes fluttered open. His mate glanced down at Mitch with those pretty green eyes. “Yes!”
With a small chuckle at Scotty’s enthusiasm, Mitch lowered his head again, this time kissing the flat plane of Scotty’s stomach. Scotty’s fingers clenched and unclenched over Mitch’s shoulders. Mitch could feel a slight pressure and knew Scotty was trying to guide him down to his cock. Mitch kissed one hip and then the other as the tip of his finger breached Scotty’s tiny opening.
“Do you know how much I love that no other man has touched you?” Mitch kissed the velvet skin of Scotty’s pelvis before he licked and sucked around the angry purple head of Scotty’s cock. “Such a sweet strawberry taste.”
Scotty’s whimper was louder this time. Mitch drew the head into his mouth as he slid his finger all the way into Scotty’s untried channel. The man’s ass was so tight that Mitch had to let his finger rest until Scotty’s body relaxed after the intrusion. He felt his control being stripped away as Scotty groaned.
Mitch used his tongue to trace the path of the long vein running alongside Scotty’s cock. His free hand skimmed back up Scotty’s stomach and tweaked a nipple, feeling it pucker under the tips of his fingers. Scotty’s head twisted around on the mattress, his arms and legs locking and unlocking as Mitch explored the man’s length with his mouth.