[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Alternative Paranormal Romantic Suspense, M/M, shape-shifter, HEA]
Felix Fox has had it with his dad and his demands on how Felix should live his life. After following his best friend into the mountains, Felix finds his mate. A mate who sends Felix running after Heath bites him. But Felix's fear has him rushing right into danger, and he's taken by humans who bring him to a hidden lab and shove Felix into a cage.
Heath Rowe acted on instinct when he bit Felix. He never meant to scare the little fox. Unfortunately Heath is captured trying to rescue his mate. His worst nightmare has come to life, and Heath fears there is no escape for him. When his pack rescues him, Heath's past demons haunt him, and he struggles to keep them at bay as he shows Felix just how much he wants the little fox.
But something far more sinister awaits them when they take a drive deep into the mountains. A feeder cave is discovered, and the two must flee for their lives while learning just what they mean to each other.
As he set the bowl on the table, headlights sliced across the dark woods. He'd heard the other men talking earlier, and from what he'd gathered, humans were invading these mountains, on the hunt for shifters. Felix tensed as he looked at the men around him, but they didn’t seem fazed by the newcomer. In fact, they kept right on talking and eating as if the truck hadn't even pulled up.
Except Jesse who looked that way with a roll of his eyes. Felix decided if the alpha was calm about the newcomer, he should be, too.
The truck came to a stop and the passenger door opened. A large guy slid out and turned toward the driver. "Thanks for the ride," he said as he closed the door.
Felix's jaw dropped while his heart raced like crazy. He stared at the most gorgeous man he'd ever laid eyes on. The guy wore a sexy-ass grin, boyish kind of, and had sparkling green eyes and a head full of black, shiny hair.
When Corky passed by, Felix grabbed his arm. "Who is that?"
Corky looked over his shoulder. "That's Heath." He turned back to Felix and wiggled his brows. "Why, you like him?"
Like wasn’t the word Felix would've used. Lust. That was a better description. Felix let Corky's arm go and blinked a few times, making sure he wasn’t seeing things.
"I swear I don’t know about you sometimes," Jesse said to Heath as he approached. "You keep getting stranded."
"Yeah, but I got rid of that truck." Heath looked proud of himself. "Sold it for a couple grand."
Jesse furrowed his brows. "How the hell did you do that when it didn’t even belong to you?"
"I'm just that good." Heath chuckled and Felix's heart fluttered. He couldn’t stop gawking at the guy. His flannel shirt was unbuttoned, showing off a chiseled chest that Felix wanted to lick.
"Close your mouth before you catch flies," Kenny said with a snicker as he moved to stand beside Felix. Kenny had come to the mountains after a feeder had invaded his home, and Felix had followed—unbeknownst to anyone. Rider hadn’t been happy to find Felix on his balcony, but at least he hadn’t kicked Felix out.
Felix shrugged as he continued to eyeball Heath. "What can I say? He's hot."
"I really don’t know him," Kenny said. "He stays gone a lot, doing stuff for Jesse."
Felix wouldn’t mind getting to know Heath better. Preferably while they were horizontal and naked. He’d like to ride that wolf until they were too exhausted to breathe.
"I'm gonna go check on Pops," Kenny said. "He refuses to come outside because his favorite program is on."
"He does know he can record it and watch it later, right?" Felix loved Pops. He was Kenny's grandfather and had raised Kenny from a young age after his dad had ditched him.
That made Felix think about his own father. He'd gotten into an argument with him days ago, because he wanted Felix to act like an adult, and Felix was still trying to figure out his life. He still couldn’t understand why that was a bad thing.
Maybe he should give his dad a call. Felix had never stayed gone this long, and his parents were probably worried about him. He loved his father to pieces, they just didn’t see eye-to-eye most of the time.
But that wasn’t anything unusual. Felix and his father always argued. His dad was hard on him, but Felix knew it was only because he cared so much.
Felix turned to see Kenny's grandfather walking toward them, wearing nothing but his holey boxers and a battered pair of slippers.
Jesse snarled. "I swear, if I have to see his balls one more time."
Felix snickered as Kenny ran toward his grandfather, coaxing him back toward the house. Rider hurried over and helped when Pops tried to bat Kenny's hands away.
He loved seeing how Rider and Kenny interacted, as though Kenny was Rider's entire world. Felix knew for a fact that if it had been a stranger who had shown up instead of Heath, the entire pack would have descended on the person.
Shifters were super protective of their mate, especially when the mate was pregnant. Felix had just never known men could carry a child. The idea was weird to him, but he wasn’t a judgy kind of guy. If Kenny was happy, that was all that mattered to him.
When Felix turned back around, he jumped. Heath stood so close he could practically feel the heat coming off Heath’s body.
"And who are you?" Heath asked, taking a step closer, making Felix take a step back. Heath's gaze was intense as he looked Felix up and down with hunger in his eyes.
"Not dinner?" Felix's heart beat like crazy as he stared at the two sharp points protruding from Heath's mouth. Why were his canines elongated? If he planned on eating Felix, would the other guys save him or let Heath gobble him up?
The side of Heath's mouth curled into a seductive grin. "I meant your name."
"F-Felix." He wanted to run away and curl into the guy at the same time. "And back off before you make me kick your ass."
Heath chuckled. "I like your fire."
The humor fled Heath's expression. His brows dipped as he sniffed at Felix. What the insane hell was going on? Why was he—Felix's eyes widened as the strong, masculine, musky scent filled the air between them.
Heath was his mate.
Heath must've realized this as well. He grabbed Felix as Felix shouted. A sharp pain sliced through his shoulder where Heath had just bitten him.
Stunned at what Heath had done, Felix shifted and took off toward the dark forest.
The room seemed like a big waste as Felix closed the door and went to the next one. Inside was the most amazing bathroom he'd ever seen. The floor was made of stone and warm under his feet. There was a cubby where a white robe hung, and shelves next to it. The bathtub was large, and the outside was made of large gray rocks. A smoky glass bowl sat on the counter with a faucet over it.
Felix stepped to the tub and filled it with tepid water, hoping the bath helped to cool his body. His cock was so hard it actually hurt as he slipped into the tub and sank down. He ducked under the water, trying to forget about being in that cage, about worrying what would happen to him and his parents. He hadn't known Heath was even there until Declan had carried him out to the truck.
Felix had been shocked and terrified when he'd seen the bleeding wounds. How could a place like that exist? What had been going on in those other rooms?
Just stop thinking about it. You're safe. Everyone is safe.
Felix rested his head against a spa pillow suctioned to the tub. He closed his eyes for a brief moment, but he must've dozed, because when Felix opened his eyes, Kenny was seated on the edge of the tub.
"What the heck happened?" Kenny asked.
Felix didn’t want to talk about his experience. If he hadn't taken off in the first place, he wouldn't have been captured, Heath wouldn’t have been shot in the woods, and he wouldn’t have come looking for Felix and gotten captured and sliced up.
"I was an idiot," he murmured. Felix knew about mating, about the bite, but…hell, he'd never expected to be bitten himself. Felix had been shocked and angry when Heath had acted without talking to him first.
But none of that mattered now. He just wanted Heath to wake up and for them to start over. Heath had gone through so much to find Felix. That kind of man deserved a second chance, and Felix wanted this mating. He just hoped Heath didn’t kick him out because of all the trouble Felix had caused.
And fuck almighty, how had his parents gotten captured? Now they were here, and Felix was relieved they were okay, but he just didn’t want to deal with them right now. At all if he had his way.
"You're always an idiot," Kenny teased, but Felix didn’t smile. Normally he loved their banter, loved how Kenny could always make him feel better, but Felix didn’t think anything would make him feel better.
Not after the boneheaded way he'd acted and nearly gotten himself and Heath killed.
Kenny bit his lip, as if fighting for something to say. Felix patted his hand. "I'll be okay. I just need to soak in the tub for a while and collect my thoughts."
Kenny nodded. "If you need anything, you know where I live."
That got a smile out of Felix. "One floor up and to the right."
"I'll be back to check on you later." Kenny got up, gave him one last look and exited the bathroom. By then, Felix's water had turned warm and he was still as horny as ever.
He got out and wrapped a towel around his waist. When he entered the bedroom, Heath was awake and sitting on the side of the bed. They stared at each other for a long moment before Heath looked away.
Felix wrung his hands in front of him. "I know it's a dumb question, but are you okay?"
The way Heath was staring at the floor, rapidly blinking and with his lips parted told Felix he was trying to settle something in his mind. Felix was about to leave the room to ask Kenny for some clean clothes when the heat raked over him like hot coals, making him drop to his knees. He pressed his hand over his gut, panting as sweat gathered over his body.
Felix whimpered, biting his lower lip when he was pulled from the floor and carried to the bed. Heath was already naked from his shift as he unwrapped the towel from around Felix's waist.
"I just need to shake the memories from my mind." Heath crawled onto the bed and reached under his pillow for a small tube of lube. He wet his fingers and circled them around Felix's aching hole.
Heath was still out of it. He was there for the act, but his mind still seemed to be somewhere else. His eyes were haunted as he slipped two fingers inside Felix's ass. Felix hissed, moving his backside up and down on the digits. Heath watched with intensity, his green eyes blazing as he worked his fingers to stretch Felix.
When Felix grabbed for Heath, his mate came to him, lowering his head, but he avoided Felix's lips, nibbling at Felix's jaw instead.
Guilt ate at Felix, and he thought maybe Heath was upset with him for what had happened. Felix cupped Heath's face, making his mate look at him.
"I'm sorry," Felix said.
Those green eyes. God. They were so penetrating. Felix felt as if Heath was looking right into his soul. "There's nothing to be sorry for. You're fine. I'm fine."
That as a bald-faced lie, but Felix didn’t call him on it. He saw in Heath's eyes that his mate would argue he was okay, and Felix was too much in need to have a debate.
He would have called a halt to this, but at the moment that wasn't an option. The heat flared higher in Felix, making him grab at Heath.
"I got you." Heath removed his fingers and pressed the head of his cock against Felix's hole. "I got you," he repeated as he inched his prick inside Felix's body.