“Did any of the humans survive?” Raul pressed. He was too fucking calm lounging against his door. Rex bit the insides of his cheeks.
“Yes. I detected seven attacked. Three got away.”
Big boss man didn’t seem pleased by that news. He rubbed his chin with his hand, the reflective lenses of his eyes flashing in the dark. “What did you do with the bodies?”
“Burned them. We destroyed the house.”
“You’re aware we try not to harm humans, hunters or not. Death raises too many questions among the mortals.” Another growl vibrated through the immediate area. “And I’m certain we’ll be seeing more of them once they go back to their parties.”
“I’m aware, sir, but we were left with no choice.”
Another long, tenuous moment drifted by on the night’s dead air. Rex was restless. He wanted to move, shift, run. He needed to burn off this excess adrenaline. Tire out the sudden tingle that unfurled along his spine.
He needed to get away from the testosterone war. It was turning him on.
Harris had warned him on numerous occasions to get his libido in check. Rex never cared to listen. Still didn’t. He just hoped his dick didn’t rise too much under these particular circumstances.
“Vuk, bring them upstairs,” Raul finally said. The anvil of tension slowly crushing them lifted. If Rex didn’t know better, he’d swear he heard a collective sigh from his father and brother. “Make sure they have anything they need to wash up and settle in for the remainder of the night. Harris, I would appreciate a few words with you in my study.”
Rex was mindful to keep his head lowered as he followed up the rear. He glanced at Raul’s bare feet—talk about a hanger there, if rumor held any credence to foot size versus dick size—and quickly looked away.
A hand came down on his shoulder and he stiffened.
“A wolf in his prime best be careful within these walls. I will not stand for complaints from the others,” Raul groused. Whatever the man did to make his voice sound half animal, half murderous threat, Rex wanted the secret. It scared the shit out of him. Raul had the reputation he did for a reason. He was no-nonsense. The safety of the residents at Shadow Creek took precedence over anything. He ran this private ranch under strict rule, but the camaraderie Rex had heard was something to envy. Something he never had in his family.
Beneath the hard alpha shell rested a huge heart. That was the reason paranormal creatures of all races flocked to Shadow Creek when they were tailed. Raul took everyone in.
No man stood alone in this world gone rogue.
Raul’s fingers squeezed, then flexed, his hand lifting off his shoulder.
“You’ll have nothing to worry about, sir. I promise,” Rex said. That tingling in his spine slithered up the canal of his vertebrae, mocking his words. What was it about this house, or these men, that prodded the wild and insatiable beast within him?
Why the hell did he feel like he was standing outside his own body, staring at a cloak-covered creature trying to blend into the dark foyer?
Bud, you’re fucking exhausted. A fuck, a fight, and now, a fugitive.
* * * *
Devon Michaels remained in the shadows of the empty sitting parlor, hovering close to the heavy brocade curtains. He shook his head against the disarray of thoughts that plagued him, thoughts that were far from his own organized and concise process of thinking.
His heart ramped up in speed. For a brief moment, he swore this strange pack could hear the violent thudding within his ribcage. Forget that his stomach was growling up a storm.
Instinctively, Devon stepped back, edging behind the curtain to hide the majority of his frame. When he inhaled, the potent scent of the outdoors assaulted him.
…fucking exhausted…a fugitive…
One of the pack members paused at the base of the massive staircase, twisted around, and scanned the dark parlor with fire-amber eyes.
The strangest sensation overcame Devon the moment those eyes found him and pinned him like a delicious morsel in the presence of a starved predator. The softest of ripples ran along his mind, merging with alien thoughts and curiosities.
…staring at me…not for the big Alpha, I’d chance an introduction…tired, man…
The casual, unnatural thoughts made Devon dizzy. He swayed and squeezed his eyes closed, fear welling from the dark solitude in the pit of his spirit. The owl within him squawked. The high-pitched recognition resonated along an unseen and unknown current that did not dissipate as the stranger reluctantly followed his pack up the stairs.
Devon cussed silently, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his palms. When he looked up, he found himself staring at Raul’s stubborn chin.
“Do you need to fly?” Raul asked, his voice a deep, reverberating sound that always held a hint of his wolf’s growling undertone.
“I would like to, actually.” Devon needed a few minutes of cool air to sort out what had just happened.
You know what happened.
The notion made his stomach cinch. He wasn’t so sure taking flight to clear his head would help him in facing the inevitable.
“Devon, is all well? You look a little…green,” Raul said, lowering his voice to a husky whisper. Those startling blue eyes darkened, narrowing on him with a mixture of skepticism and concern.
Devon moistened his dry lips with an equally dry tongue. The chaotic beating against his sternum left him weak.
“I’m well. A little hungry.” He gave his arms a slight shake and grinned. “More antsy though.”
Raul twisted enough to catch the last member of the straggling pack disappear up the immense staircase.
“Something about that pack not sitting right with you?”
Yeah, you can say that.
Devon rubbed his chin, trying to hide the slight tremor that touched his fingertips. “They appear harmless to the sanctuary and the residents.”
Raul turned back to him, his eyes still narrow. “Do me a favor, Dev. Keep an eye on that one guy. Think he might be a handful, coming into his prime and all.”
Oh, fuck me now.
He kept his face about him. “You got it.”
Raul clapped his shoulder, his fingertips giving the thick muscle a tight squeeze. “Go get some air time. Vuk and I’ve got things under control on the home front.”
Devon watched the alpha wolf, and the owner of Shadow Creek, disappear through an adjoining doorway. The moment he was alone, his shoulders slumped and a scowl curled his lips. His gaze instinctively lifted to the empty stairwell, but his nostrils retained the hormone-stoking scent he had hoped would fade.
Sweet spirits, this wasn’t happening to him.
That wolf is my mate.
Rex never saw the kiss coming until Devon’s mouth crushed over his. Rex’s back hit the wall, Devon’s body pinning him tight. Rex drowned in the kiss, the deep, furious sweeps of Devon’s tongue, the silent possession and marking of his mate. He moaned at the first tease of Devon’s cock prodding into his leg. The man was big, his bulbous head wide and wet. Rex spread his legs as best he could. Devon hooked his knee with his arm and lifted, opening his crease, exposing his hole.
Devon’s mouth trailed down his neck, sharp teeth scraping along his tendons. Soft sounds of pleasure escaped Rex’s lips continuously, sounds that rolled with his wolf’s growls. A pop echoed somewhere in the recesses of his mind. He wrapped an arm around Devon’s neck, his fingers sinking into his hair, the hard, gelled spikes poking at his palm.
“Damn you for being so good.” Rex tipped his head, exposing more of his neck. Devon tugged his leg higher. “Too good.”
“And that’s bad why?” Devon nipped at his shoulder. The tip of his cock glided against his rosette, slick with lube. Rex grabbed hold of the doorframe with his free hand, relaxing his muscles as Devon pressed against his opening. “Tell me how good it feels when I’m inside you.”
Rex’s fingers fisted in Devon’s hair. His body thrummed as Devon eased past his sphincter, breaching the barrier with a gentleness that didn’t match the hunger in his expression.
Devon clenched his teeth, his gaze burning into Rex’s. Rex’s lips parted on short, shallow breaths, his body adjusting to his mate’s size, his invasion. Every nerve along his canal sang. His cock throbbed. His mind spun as he wrapped his head around what was happening.
His mate. His mate was claiming him as a lover.
Devon groaned. He reached down to Rex’s other knee and hoisted him up off the ground. Rex gasped, grabbing hold of Devon with both hands, and crying out in sheer pleasure as Devon slid completely inside him.
Devon pressed his forehead against Rex’s, his breaths strained. His hands were planted on the wall on either side of Rex’s torso, suspending him against the wall and opening him wide for a mighty fine deep penetration. So fine that Rex’s eyes rolled back into his head.
“Do something, Dev. Move.” For incentive, Rex gave Devon’s dick a little squeeze. A dangerous rumble vibrated through his mate’s chest. “Please.”
“Don’t…do that.” Devon closed his eyes, his forehead creased. “Spirits, you’re perfect. I don’t want to rush this, but I’m afraid I’m going to lose myself in this bliss.”
“Bliss is good. Like, really really good.” Rex tilted his hips, drawing Devon deeper. “Oh yeah, birdman. Let’s stop talking about bliss and start feeling it.”
“Betchya you’re believing in me right about”—Rex squeezed his ass again and watched the shadows darken over Devon’s face—”now.”
Devon pulled his head back. He drew out to his tip and thrust deep. Rex gasped, sensations exploding in his head. Each thrust Devon delivered was from tip to hilt, thorough and possessive. Rex whimpered with delight. Each stroke along his gland increased the heat spreading through his body.
“Great, Devon. You feel great. Better than great.” Rex’s gaze scoured along the bulging muscles of Devon’s biceps, flexing with each thrust as he held Rex pinned to the wall. “God, baby, you’re ruining me.”
“You won’t have another after tonight.” Devon’s comment connected with his wolf, a not so subtle permanent verbal claiming. “Hell no. This is all mine.”
Rex had a split second to adjust his hold around Devon’s neck when Devon pulled him off the wall. Rex took the opportunity to slant his mouth over Devon’s, kissing the man with his increasing hunger. He took over, rocking his hips, riding his man as he stumbled through the room.
His back hit the mattress and bounced. Devon’s cock drew completely out. He started to press up onto his elbows, but Devon flipped him onto his stomach, lifted his ass into the air, and sank himself into Rex’s body again.
Devon fucked him hard and steady, building him up until he teetered on the precipice of climax. Rex cried out, clawing at the bed, trying to pull away because damn, he didn’t want to come so soon.
“Baby, slow down. Please, please!”
“Why?” Devon’s voice turned primitive, raw sexual hunger that scraped like teeth along his nerves. Goose bumps erupted over his arms and he thrashed in Devon’s secure hold. The man was pure, unaltered bliss in a body. With each thrust, Devon’s sac smacked into his, sending a shockwave of intense pleasure into the boiling pool. “Why, Rex?”
“‘Cause I’m…I’m going to...” Rex raked at his mussed hair as he started to split apart. His sac drew up, that fiery heat expanding, spilling, spreading...
“Go ahead, little wolf. Let me watch you.”
Rex shot up on straight arms, arched his back, and howled as he exploded. He bunched the blanket in his fists, his body pulsing, his cock swelling with each fierce wave of jizz. Heat seared him. Whiteness blinded him. His body became a raw, exposed board of nerves that Devon played mercilessly, holding him in this utterly mind-shattering euphoria until time seemed to stop.
“Beautiful.” Devon’s fingers bit into his waist. “Fucking. Beautiful.”