“Aren’t you a dolled up little thing with all that makeup. You from some big city?” The drunkard shoved Sean Cameron on the chest, forcing him to stagger back a few steps on his high heels. “They teach you how to look like a girl in some fancy prep school?”
Peanut shells scrunched and spilled alcohol sloshed on the floor of the filthy roadside bar, and the lights flickered in the rising winds of the growing night. Music came off deafeningly loud through the speakers, and there was no hum of background conversation since there were virtually no people at the bar.
Sean glared at the wasted dude holding a pool cue. The man was bleary-eyed and more than half-drunk. Why was he picking on Sean? Sure, Sean wore high heels and was pint-sized, but he also wore fancy black pants and a white dress shirt, both of them skintight, masculine, and high-end. He shoved the man back in return.
“Oh yeah? Well, where’d you come from, eh? Clown college or bully academy?” His Irish accent grew thicker the more liquor he downed.
The drunk with a bad haircut, sweaty clothes, and rank of a person who hadn’t showered in weeks blinked hard. Judging from his expression he couldn’t quite process what Sean said to him. Then his face contorted with rage and he raised his pool cue, ready to strike.
Sean waited for a hit—that never came. A hand gripped the stick and stopped the drunk’s motion midair.
“What the—?” the man mumbled and glanced over his shoulder. Then his rage turned to nervousness as he took in the sight of the newcomer.
The tall woman with reddish brown hair was as strong as steel, and her hazel eyes glinted in the dim. She also had a couple of inches over him. “You want to be leaving now…friend.”
She yanked the cue out of his hand with ease, and he jolted forward as a result. She righted him, but he quickly retreated, bringing his hands up in a surrender gesture.
Sean glared at the woman. “Killjoy.”
The warrior woman chuckled. “Chickens come home to roost, Cam, and so should you.”
“How dare you, madam? I am a rooster, not a chick.” Sean attempted to stand tall and proud, which was exceedingly difficult to accomplish on high heels when small in stature and drunk out of his gourd. He waved his hand about dismissively and downed another whisky. The smooth fluid burned his throat on its way down. “Don’t feel like calling it a night yet.”
“You’re acting like a petulant child.” She laid a hand over his shoulder, the touch gentle at first but gripping harder fast. “I’ll toss you over my shoulder if I have to. Do I have to?”
“Gráinne, go away,” Sean whined and raised his glass for another swig. But the glass was empty. He hailed the bartender with an ear-piercing whistle and waved the empty glass at him, affronted at the perceived slight.
The bartender, a tattooed bodybuilder type wearing leather and with a scar across his left eye, shook his head, merely glancing up from the paperback he was reading. “You’ve had enough. You nearly started another goddamn brawl in my bar. Consider yourself lucky I’m not throwing you out myself.” He nodded at the tall redhead. “Get him out of here. Sober him up somewhere else. His tab is running out. In every sense.”
Sean glided the glass across the counter toward him. By some miracle it didn’t break on its way. “Shut up and fix me a drink. Or fuck me against the bar. I don’t much care which. Or we could do both. Or take turns.”
The bartender rolled his eyes. “You’re fresh out of latex and lube, buddy, and I’m fresh out of patience and tabs. Good night.”
The finality of his words hit Sean squarely in the chest. “You’re being such a bitch.”
“Okay, here we go.” Gráinne grabbed Sean under his arm and half carried him out of the bar and onto the already vacated parking lot.
A single streetlight provided poor, flickering illumination, and the trash cans sent out waves of nauseating stench of rotting food and drink, not to mention piss and other unmentionables. But the coniferous trees swayed gently in the nocturnal breeze, sending a bit of alleviation to the stench.
Specks of snow dotted the early winter ground, the air was cold, and Sean could see his own breath in whitish puffs in front of himself. Considering he wore nothing but tight, thin black pants and an equally thin, skintight white shirt, he shivered in the chilly atmosphere.
“Leave me alone, Gráinne Clover.”
Sean tried to push the woman off him but as she supported him the act had questionable success. The end result was her letting go and him falling flat on his behind on the wet asphalt of the sidewalk.
There Sean stayed and stewed, refusing to budge. “Why’d you have to invite me to this god-forsaken backcountry? There’s not a fuckable guy in sight, your pack camps out in the woods under the stars like teen kids in some stinking horror movie, and I just got thrown out of the one decent bar in town, even if it’s so redneck. It’s not fair.”
Gráinne sighed, crouched, and touched his shoulder again, just far more tenderly this time. “Cam, your adoring boy chicklets have flown the coop. Cities used to be safe havens for our kind but they’re danger zones, too, now. Coming out here was the best decision for you, for the moment at least. Here you’re among friends.”
Sean knew what Gráinne said was correct. But he wanted to mull and commiserate and drink some more. He’d been the cock of the walk back in the day, a queen among boy toys. Now he was a sad, poor little has-been who’d fled the city because of the second wave of uprisings against paranormals. Cities were no longer safe for shapeshifters. The president cracked down equally on immigrants and supernatural beings ’cause he was a big old douchebag.
“It’s not fair…” Misery needed company, but Sean had a decent streak even while in his lowest point. He didn’t want to drag his one and only supporter down with him. But he also really wanted another drink.
Before he could say or do more to upset Gráinne, he promptly blacked out on the sidewalk.
“Dance with me, Ty.” Sean’s beckoning voice came off as nothing but a whisper. His eyes were closed and a slight smile graced his full lips.
“I’m not a good dancer,” Ty murmured, even as he inched closer. “I can do line dancing and hoedowns but that’s the extent of it.”
Sean chuckled. “That’s okay. Move with me. Come here.”
He opened his arms and Ty moved into them, wrapped his arms around Sean’s waist to pull him flush to him, and buried his face in Sean’s hair. He smelled of the smoke machine in the club, fresh sweat, and earthy odors that Ty inhaled deeply.
Sean gasped against the side of Ty’s face. His shivering hands wound around Ty’s neck. His whole body bent and molded against Ty’s bigger frame, seemingly a perfect fit. Sobs wracked him but he held onto Ty tighter. Their slow dance was turning into a wake of movement.
“I’ve been so rotten to you,” Sean muttered softly. “I’m sorry.”
“Then why did you?” Ty asked, goading gently.
“You’re a good, sweet, innocent man—”
Ty knew full well where this was headed, so he cut Sean off before he got there. “Stop it. Everyone keeps telling me what I do or don’t deserve. When is someone going to ask me what I want?”
Sean’s steps faltered and his body jolted against Ty. “Oh. I’m sorry about that, too.” He released a watery giggle without joy. “I’ve never apologized in my entire lifetime as much as I have since escaped the city and ended up here.”
“See? You are capable of self-improvement, same as the next man,” Ty teased.
Sean smiled, sighed, and rested his head on Ty’s shoulder. “You’re so not my type. I’ve never been into big guys.”
Ty grimaced. “Yes, I remember you saying something about…chicklets?”
Sean hugged Ty tighter. “Boring boy toys. No one worth writing home about.”
“I’m boring, too,” Ty quipped, pointing out the obvious.
Sean drew back, studied Ty with narrowing eyes, and then smirked with a dare. “Shall we put that to the test?” He glanced over his shoulder toward the back alley of the club where dark-green dumpsters vanished into the shadows beyond the reach of streetlights. “Tell me, Ty. How do you feel about outdoor sex or exhibitionist sex? Take me to that dark, dank place and fuck me hard against the wall.”
Ty’s breath stuttered. He may have been fifty years old but he’d never done anything like that. “Um, I…” He went over the options, the risks and rewards of that insane plan. Finally, with a move that surprised even himself, he whispered, “What the heck, right? We only live once.”
Ty grabbed Sean securely and hoisted the smaller man over his shoulder. Sean gasped and then snickered. Ty considered that a success, so with a confident stride he headed to the dark alley to have sex with his soon-to-die mate.
* * * *
Ty could scarcely draw breath in between smoldering, ravenous kisses from Sean, who climbed his body, wrapped his long limbs around him, and hung on for dear life. Ty stumbled into the alley and pressed Sean against the wall, propping him enough to free his hands for exploring and coveting.
He snaked his fingers between their rubbing bodies to pop open the buttons of Sean’s dress shirt. The slinky fabric came undone with ease and exposed Sean’s sleek figure, his sides so slim that Ty could count his ribs as he inhaled. Sean might have felt fragile but Ty knew the truth, the monstrous strength and horrendous power hidden within.
The cold, damp wall stained Ty’s palm as he pressed it there for a time. Sean’s shirt had to be soaked through. The man would catch a cold for sure. Thankfully the metamorphosis process in shifters tended to regenerate any injuries and cure most all illnesses.
“Oh God, you feel so good,” Sean murmured breathlessly as he peppered Ty’s face with kisses. He rubbed his skin against Ty’s. “Your stubble could kindle sparks and wildfires. I’m on fire because of you.”
Ty groaned when Sean’s hips jerked forward in a relentless pace. Their erections came into contact through their pants, their hard cocks nuzzling tight and hot and leaking. Ty wanted their clothes off but they were outside and in public, even if camouflaged behind a dumpster.
“You taste divine,” Ty praised as he licked Sean’s neck and sucked up love bites. It felt amazing to mark his mate, as temporary as the bruises would be.
Sean giggled. “I taste like fucking ambrosia, yeah.”
Ty grinned as he had a feeling Sean wasn’t referring to his skin but his juices. “You’re an acquired taste for sure.” Too bad Ty didn’t have the time to get better acquainted with his mate’s essence. One night, one rushed feverish back alley fuck, had to be enough.
Ty released Sean’s legs from his waist and set him down, wheeled him around to face the wall, and fumbled with the front of his pants. Sean chuckled, helped out with the unbuttoning of his fly, and then braced himself against the wall, sticking his bare butt out as Ty pushed Sean’s pants down his thighs. Ty gripped Sean’s hips, rubbed his jeans-covered bulge into the naked crack, and tormented them both.
“Oh fuck, Ty. More. Need more.” Sean’s hushed pleas ended on a high note of despair.
Though this single hurried experience was far from the sensual smorgasbord Ty yearned to have with his mate, he had to be content with this. He groped his own fly, unzipped by magic, and his hard cock poked out immediately through the flaps, hungry for a taste of his mate.
Ty doubted he’d ever get the chance to flavor Sean’s pretty prick…
“Damn, I don’t have any lube,” Ty complained half out loud. He rubbed his dick back and forth along Sean’s butt crack, and decided that had to be enough.
Sean snickered, bent forward, fished into his pants front pocket, produced a packet of lube, and handed it to Ty over his shoulder. “Lucky for you I always come prepared.”