“They look like they’re getting ready to pounce.”
Considering they were all werewolves, creatures that could rip Cooper English apart in a hot minute, it was something to be worried about.
Rick squeezed his hand, smiling that smile that made Cooper’s insides feel warm and pleasant, like he’d just had a nice, big gulp of his dad’s whisky.
“They’d have to get through me.”
Cooper tried not to look behind Rick, the man who claimed to be his mate, but he couldn’t help himself.
The other alpha’s watched him, all the while trying to pretend they weren’t watching him. There was a barbecue happening. Rick’s friend James was speaking with Brian. Calvin and Dakota listened intently, and the omegas just looked confused while Brooks, Dominic, and Frank watched.
This was the first time Cooper had been allowed out of the house.
Breaking into the house of a bunch of shifters with a silver knife was a sure way to build up a good reputation, or get himself killed.
He got neither when Brian found him. Brian was almost like the older brother Cooper never had, despite the fact that he was a shifter. When Cooper heard Brian had betrayed the team, took a mate, and was setting up house with a bunch of shifters, he’d felt betrayed, he’d felt like Brian might have been brainwashed.
When his father had asked, Cooper had volunteered to be the one to take out Brian, put him out of his misery.
When he’d broken into the house and spotted Brian’s mate instead. He’d panicked and tried to run, only to get caught and locked into their basement for several weeks.
Those weeks hadn’t been fun. It wasn’t pleasant, sitting in a damp room, wondering if he was going to die that day, or be woken up in the middle of the night and taken away to be brutally murdered, his body left to rot in the woods.
No. They would have buried him to hide him. Cooper had seen some of the reports. Police had been sniffing around the area lately.
Too many deaths from wild animals.
And now Cooper was among those wild animals.
Rick squeezed his hand again. Cooper looked up into those dark eyes. “I promise. I will keep you safe.”
That melty feeling came back to his gut, and Cooper had to swallow it down. This was almost too much. He couldn’t believe he was feeling these things for a virtual stranger.
“You just…won’t let me go home.”
Rick cleared his throat, pushing the Stetson he wore a little higher up his head. “No. You can’t go back there.”
Cooper flinched. “It’s my family.”
“You think they’re your family. They care nothing for you.”
“My father cares.”
Rick and Cooper hadn’t been walking so much as they were just shuffling around in the trees, within distance of the house, of course, but Rick came to stand in front of him. He took Cooper by the hands and stared into his eyes.
“He left you behind. He didn’t come for you when you were taken.”
It was a punch in the gut, hearing something Cooper had been twisting around in his head ever since he’d been taken prisoner.
The problem came when that sense of loss and loneliness left him much faster than it probably should have.
Cooper got caught up one more time in the intensity of the feelings swirling around inside him for Rick. He should have been angry and hurt, but he wasn’t. He was…smitten.
This shouldn’t be happening. Rick was handsome and everything, tall and dark, his jawline just strong enough to make Cooper’s knees weak without making him look like a Neanderthal, and his deep, brown eyes were soft, sucking Cooper into them.
It was pleasant. Cooper didn’t feel threatened when this tall man was around him. He felt protected.
And in lust.
He was convinced it was how Rick had managed to convince Dakota to let them walk around the back like this. Rick was an alpha in heat with a mate nearby. He wouldn’t want the scent of Cooper’s lust near other alphas, regardless of whether they had mates or not.
“He…I don’t know…he could’ve been finding a way to come and get me.”
Rick shook his head. “I’m not trying to be cruel, but you must see that he is a man that can’t be trusted. He asked you to come into our—their home, where their children sleep, with a knife so you could hurt as many people as possible. A good father does not do that.”
Cooper looked away, not wanting Rick to see him glare, but it was obviously no use. This man would know Cooper was angry. Cooper thought he could sometimes feel Rick’s emotions.
He didn’t doubt Rick was smart enough to pick up on Cooper’s.
Rick sighed. He let go of Cooper’s hands. Cooper backed off a step.
“This isn’t meant to be a punishment, but even if it was, you would deserve it. You came into this house to hurt people.”
Cooper didn’t answer. He stayed angry and kept silent.
“You say nothing because there is nothing to say,” Rick said. “You know I’m right.”
Cooper glared down at his flip flops. Obviously, he wasn’t given any proper sneakers. No one here wanted him to try making a run for it.
Rick was silent then, too, until he did something Cooper didn’t see coming.
He grabbed Cooper by the arms, his grip painfully tight, yanking him away.
“Hey! What are you doing?”
He struggled. Rick wouldn’t release him. He pulled Cooper away from the house, to the point that he almost couldn’t see it.
Brian called out to them. Cooper nearly yelled for the man to come save him, but something stopped him.
He knew what it was when Rick slammed him up against the nearest birch tree and kissed him hard.
Cooper’s first instinct was to push Rick away. He tried that, pressing his hands against the man’s chest. He might as well have been pushing against a marble statue. Rick was too strong. He grabbed Cooper by the wrists, yanking the over his head and holding them in place easily.
Cooper pulled there, too, trying to lower his hands. He couldn’t move. Rick had him totally overpowered and helpless. Even as he squirmed and dug his feet into the ground beneath him, one of Rick’s knees came up between Cooper’s legs.
Cooper gasped. Rick took advantage of the open mouth presented to him and thrust his tongue inside. Cooper gasped again, but only because of the sizzle that followed along with the touch of that wet, warm tongue, licking him deep.
Oh, God. Cooper wasn’t trying to get away anymore. He didn’t even care that those other alphas and omegas were somewhere in the distance, that they could probably see what Rick was doing to Cooper through the trees and shrubs, because his cock was throbbing.
Cooper thrust his hips down against Rick’s knee. The friction through his jeans was amazing. He moaned against Rick’s mouth and did it again. He needed more. His balls were tight and heavy and fuck! He wanted so much more.
Rick was a man out of time. Literally. He was here on a mission. He should be speaking with Dakota, and Frank, and Calvin, as well as everyone else in that pack to make sure no one was killed.
Because in a few days, they all would be dead. Or might be. It was hard to think about what was, and what was not going to be now that so many things were changing.
That was the bitch about time travel.
Instead of focusing on what needed to be done to prepare and strengthen the pack, instead of spending time with the father he never knew, Rick was here, with the man that had set the entire chain of events off to begin with.
Rick’s mate, the man destined to carry his pups and be the love of his life, was the same man who had set off a chain reaction of events that would have led to the deaths of so many people.
If anyone would have told Rick this would have happened when he decided to follow his brother back in time, he would have laughed.
Now he was here, on his knees with bits of dirt and rock digging into his skin, kissing Cooper’s thighs, feeling the man’s fingers in his hair. He needed to trim it again, but he didn’t mind having Cooper touch it. It felt good when he was on his knees like this. The scent of Cooper’s musk felt good, as did knowing that his mate, while not a virgin, would still be experiencing a first.
He’d never had another man inside him. Rick would be claiming him for the first time.
His inner alpha liked that so very much. It made a growling sort of purr inside his head, content with the situation.
Cooper gently thrust his hips, his cock, dark in color, slightly curved, pushing against Rick’s cheek for a moment before he took it in hand and licked it from root, to tip.
A little salty. His tongue picked up on the feeling of the vein that traveled the length of his mate’s cock, and he tasted wonderful. His taste made the alpha want to come out and play.
No. That would scare him. They were going fast enough as it was for how skittish Cooper could be.
“Fuck,” Cooper moaned, drawling out the word so it sounded more like fuuuu-uuuuck. Rick liked that. He put the mushroom-shaped head of Cooper’s prick into his mouth, but barely touched it with his lips and tongue. He wanted to tease. He wanted to show Cooper how good he could have it if he renounced the hunters forever.
But how would Rick take his mate home with him? Would Cooper want to go at all if there was a way?
No. He wouldn’t think about that right now because it didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was right now. The pleasure, and the connection they were forging.
The times they were from wouldn’t matter after this, because rick was claiming him. He was claiming Cooper as his, and not even time itself would take the man away from him. He’d find away.
Rick sank his lips down deeper around the shaft. He glanced up, seeing the way Cooper had shut his eyes, how his mouth had dropped open as tiny gasps left his throat.
He was trying to hold back the noises he really wanted to make. That much was obvious. Rick wasn’t going to let him do that. He was going to have so much fun with this.
Rick took Cooper’s testicles in hand. He gently rolled them as he started bobbing his head back and forth. Cooper’s eyes popped open wide as he panted for breath, his chest rising and falling heavily as he gasped.
He must really not be used to this. Rick wasn’t going to go so far and hope that the women Cooper had been with had never blown him. That was unlikely, but maybe he hadn’t had a blow job too often, or in a long time.
Or Rick could just be that talented and amazing. He was going to take that for his answer. It seemed the most honest and likely.
“G-God, Rick. Fuck,” Cooper moaned. He clutched at Rick’s shoulders now, as though he needed something to hold onto, blunt fingernails digging in.
Rick pulled his mouth away from Cooper’s cock so he could put his lips and tongue onto the man’s testicles. He was gentle with them as he sucked one at a time into his mouth. Cooper shivered, his hands coming up behind Rick’s neck now.
“I’m gonna…Oh fuck…I’m…”
Rick knew his mate was close even before he got the warning. He pulled back, quickly holding onto the base of Cooper’s prick, halting his orgasm.
Cooper gasped, and he nearly pulled back before he seemed to realize what Rick was holding onto.
“No, no, what are you doing?”
“Stopping you from having an orgasm.”
Cooper panted for breath. A sheen of sweat started to build along his forehead, making some of his dark blond strands stick.
The picture of lust, desire, and disrupted want. Rick was going to implode if he didn’t have this man, and soon.