"‘Cade Creek’ has been a wonderful series so far, with its theme of abused men finding safety, a life partner, and a new home in the small but well-defended city of Cade Creek. This newest volume is no exception and pulled me in from the beginning. Bear is the vice president of Dorian’s (the undercover cop from book eight) motorcycle club, and he is wondering whether all the partnering-up is due to something in the water. It made me laugh and curious about his upcoming story at the same time. While the beginning is wistful, with Bear longing for a partner, it quickly gets quite serious as he discovers the abuse Andrew has suffered and when Bear’s friends ask him to help, he doesn’t hesitate for a second. Andrew is in a living hell when Bear turns up in his life. The most recent beating administered by his wife Norma’s so-called cousin has Andrew closer to death than ever before. He may be a doctor, but he is also is malnourished, afraid of his own shadow, and can’t see a way out of his terrible situation. It started three years ago when he married Norma in Vegas – a fact he can barely comprehend since he is gay. But he was drunk, and she has a marriage license, so there isn’t a whole lot Andrew can do. The few attempts Andrew has made to escape have been met with the most vicious punishments, so even when Bear rescues him, Andrew can’t be sure they won’t find him again. Bear is big, strong, and knows how to handle himself. Andrew touches him deep inside, and Bear has no idea how to deal with the sudden feelings he develops. Protectiveness he can understand, but there is more. As Bear adjusts to a new reality where Andrew is at his side, he also finds out more about the doctor’s background. With the help of his friends and the sheriff of Cade Creek, Bear sets out to ensure Andrew’s safety. More than one surprise await him as he delves into the details, but he won’t rest until Norma and her “cousin” are in prison, and Andrew can become the man Bear spends the rest of his life with. If you like stories about abused men who take their life back under their own control, if a big, strong guy coming to the rescue of a physically weaker man are your thing, and if you’re looking for a read that is emotional, touching, and has more than one unexpected twist, then you will probably like this novella. I think it is a worthy addition to the Cade Creek saga!" -- Serena Yates, The Rainbow Reviews
Bear put the car in park and turned off the engine. He started to turn to talk to Andrew, but changed his mind when he saw the devastating terror in the man’s eyes. Even with the swelling around his eyes, the man’s fear shinned through like a beacon.
Bear climbed out of the car and opened the backdoor. He slid into the seat next to Andrew. Careful of his movements, he reached for Andrew, sliding an arm under his back to help him sit up.
“Careful now, Andrew,” he said in a low, soothing tone. “You’re in pretty bad shape.”
“Where?” Andrew winced when his tongue came out and slid across his swollen and split lips. “Where am I?”
“We’re in a car on the way to get you some help.”
The blue eyes that flickered up to him were still filled with fear but a little less so than a moment ago. “Who are…are you?”
“My name is Bear Black.” This was the dicey part. “We’ll talk about everything after you’ve seen a doctor. Right now, what you need to know is that you are safe.”
Every muscle in Andrew’s body went stiff as he whimpered. Bear knew from the increase of fear in the man’s eyes that he had just remembered getting beaten. When Bear saw a tear slide down Andrew’s bruised cheek, something inside of him snapped.
Bear scooped Andrew up in his arms and cradled him to his chest. He pressed his cheek against the side of the man’s head, murmuring to him, “Don’t cry, baby. I’ll keep you safe. I promise. No one is going to harm you ever again. I’ll make sure of it.”
Each cry that fell from Andrew’s lips tore at Bear’s heart until he wondered if it was bleeding just as much as Andrew was. Bear couldn’t explain what was going on inside of him if he tried. His emotions were so conflicted, he didn’t know which one to address first.
The overwhelming need streaming through Bear to keep Andrew safe and protected was overshadowed by his desire to keep the gorgeous doctor all to himself. And the rage building in his gut at what had been done to Andrew was tempered only by his need to see to it that Andrew was taken care of.
Bear didn’t try to analyze it too much either. His mother always told him that the spirits had a plan for everyone and he need only listen to the wind to find out what it was. The wind was telling Bear to hold on tight to Andrew Sutherland before the doctor slipped away and got lost in the breeze.
“H–hurt,” Andrew whispered.
“I know, baby.” Bear winced when he lifted a hand and brushed back the sweat dampened hair from Andrew’s face. Blood had dried in spots, caking his hair to his head. “I’m taking you to get you some help. Once the doc has seen you and you’re all cleaned up, then you can rest.”
“Ri–ribs bruised,” Andrew stuttered through pale lips. “Not broken.”
Just the way he said it told Bear that Andrew spoke from experience. His ribs had been broken before. It made Bear wonder what else had been broken. He would have asked but right then Andrew inhaled sharply and stiffened.
“What’s wrong, Andrew?” Bear asked quickly. “What hurts?” Dumb question, he knew, but this seemed a little more severe than a moment ago. “What can I do?”
“Just…” Andrew inhaled a slow and shaky breath. “Just need to rest.”
Bear was pretty sure Andrew needed a lot more than rest, but he wasn’t going to argue with the man. He gently laid Andrew back on the seat and then tucked the blanket back around him.
He lightly stroked his hand down the side of Andrew’s head, the one place he could find that didn’t seem to be swollen. “You rest. I’ll get us to where we’re going.”
Andrew nodded even as his eyelids slide closed. Bear watched him for a moment before climbing out of the car and shutting the door. He got back in the front seat and started the engine, and then drove slowly forward on the bumpy road.
Looking for a spot wide enough to turn around, Bear was surprised when the road ended in front of a small log cabin. He stopped the car and stared at the structure, taking in how well kept it seemed to be.
The wooden logs of the outer walls were old and faded with time but they were in good condition. And the place was clean, the bushes all kept back from around the small homestead and the grass at a manageable level. Someone obviously loved this little gem hidden in the woods and took good care of it.
Bear turned and glanced into the backseat. “What’s wrong, Andrew?”
“Have to”—Andrew’s pale face turned a little green when he swallowed, which matched perfectly to the shaking of his limbs—“to throw up.”
“Right.” Bear turned the car off and got to the backseat in a matter of seconds. He lifted Andrew out of the car and carried him over to some bushes. Bear held Andrew as he puked, grimacing at how painful it look.
By the time Andrew was done emptying the contents of his stomach, he was panting heavily and drenched in sweat. His hands clutched at Bear’s arms, his nails digging deep. His soft blue eyes echoed with agony as he stared up at Bear.
“I know, baby.” Bear glanced up at the cabin. He needed to get Andrew somewhere he could rest. Maybe he could get DB and Nick to come here instead of the tavern, wherever here was. He smiled down at Andrew as he lifted him up and started carrying him toward the cabin. “I’ll take care of you.”
Bear just prayed he could keep that promise. He also prayed that whoever owned the cabin wouldn’t blow a gasket when they learned it had been taken over by a bear.
Andrew jumped when he felt a light tap to his ass.
Had Bear just spanked him?
Andrew raised his head to look up at the big man, astonished. Bear started back for a moment, not moving, almost as if he was waiting for Andrew’s reaction. Andrew didn’t know what Bear saw in his eyes but the man’s lips began to spread into a smile.
“You’d better get to the shower, babe. I can already smell bacon cooking and you don’t want to miss out on that.”
Andrew started to move off of Bear. He was pretty much sprawled over the top of the large man. He spread his legs to straddle Bear’s waist, planting his knees on the mattress on either side of the man for leverage. When he pushed himself up, he felt something long and hard press up against his ass cheeks.
Andrew froze. He couldn’t move. He knew exactly what that was, and the answering response tented the front of his pajama bottoms. Andrew sucked in a slow breath and raised his eyes to Bear’s. The heat he could see burning in the man’s eyes made him flush.
“Bear, I—” Andrew had no idea what he wanted to say, or even if he wanted to say anything.
Well, that wasn’t exactly true. He wanted to beg the sexy man to fuck him until his eyes rolled back in his head. He wanted to feel that hard shaft pushing up against him, sink into his body over and over again until he screamed Bear’s name.
Andrew cried out and humped his hips forward when Bear settled a hand over his growing erection through his pajama bottoms. Even through the thin fabric, Andrew could feel the man’s hand move across his sensitive flesh. Each caress, each gentle squeeze was exquisite.
Not having ever felt anything beyond his own hand, Andrew couldn’t prevent himself from thrusting his cock forward into Bear’s tight grasp. Andrew’s head fell back on his shoulders as he groaned. This was why he was gay. This gentle yet firm touch.
Had anything ever felt better?
“God, please, Bear, I—” Andrew wasn’t sure what he was asking for. He just knew he never want this to stop, whatever this was.
When Bear’s hand slipped inside his pajamas and wrapped around his cock, the skin-to-skin contact made Andrew shudder. His toes curled. He was positive there wasn’t enough air in the universe to fill his oxygen-deprived lungs.
“Just feel, baby.” Bear’s deep whiskey voice rushed over him like warm water. “Just let it happen.”
Andrew groaned again, his body tightening with something he didn’t know how to identify or even describe. He could feel it. And whatever it was, it was getting closer. Bear’s hand tightened. His thumb brushed the head of Andrew’s cock.
Andrew forgot to breathe when he felt a tingle began at the base his cock. It wrapped around his balls before shooting up the entire length of his shaft. The pressure exploded out the top of his cock like a geyser, covering Bear’s hand in a wash of creamy white seed.
When the tension holding him stiff faded, Andrew collapsed down on top of Bear. The only thing he could hear was the rapid beat of his heart. It was loud and thunderous, blocking everything out.
When the world around came rushing back in, Andrew realized he was sprawled across Bear’s chest again. Only this time, the man was rubbing his back, warming him. Which was good because he could feel the wetness between them cooling.
And he could feel Bear’s hard cock still pushing up against him.