Jarell rolled out of the tiger’s way and onto the dry grass. A heavy weight landed with a dull thud next to him, and he struggled up, ready to make an attempt at defense. His panther hadn’t attempted to break free, but he knew he had his healing abilities because his ankle was healed.
The first thing he saw was a pair of cold chestnut eyes looking down at him from Ryan’s gold-skinned face. There was an angry bruise on his cheek from where the tiger had smacked him. His gaze jerked to the spot beside him where a lifeless man lay.
“Here.” Ryan pulled Jarell to his feet.
“Your shoulder,” Jarell said.
“It’ll be fine,” he muttered. “I’ll call for clean up.”
Jarell glared at him. “Ryan, your shoulder is bleeding badly.” He knew he had to handle a black panther with care. Most of them assumed they were damn near indestructible and the ones with a white panther mate pretty much were.
Ryan gave him a patient look before yanking his cell phone up from the ground and punching in a number. Jarell didn’t bother listening to the call. He knew Ryan was calling whoever in his pride handled dead shifters and prisoners. It didn’t look like the tiger that tried to attack him was dead.
He sighed roughly. He was going to have to heal his mate.
“Stay here,” Ryan said after holstering his phone. “Put another tranq in him if he wakes up. I doubt he will this time.”
“Ry,” he said gently. “Your shoulder really needs tending to. If you pass out from blood loss, what good will you be to me if the tigers come back?”
They might. They weren’t known for leaving their dead behind. They couldn’t know how much help Ryan had with him, so they probably wouldn’t risk it. Tigers weren’t known for their impulsive behavior. They didn’t act without knowing what they were going into, so they must have known the cop was alone with no potential for back-up.
“Jarell, please stop nagging me,” he said, irritation in his tone. “I know what I’m doing.”
Jarell frowned. “Damn stubborn man,” he muttered.
Ryan’s grunt reached him as he stepped into the cabin. A few minutes later, Ryan was back.
“It’s clear. Grant’s long gone. Let’s get his ass inside. I’ll get some rope from the truck.”
After getting the tiger inside, Ryan left him alone to retrieve the rope. He returned in short order with chains and what looked like a collar. Jarell watched as the unconscious male was secured.
“What’s the collar for?”
“It’s a choke collar with two transmitters inside. One carries electrical impulses and the other is a tracker. The collar can’t be removed without a proper code being entered.”
“Interesting. My alpha would like something like that.”
Ryan held his gaze for a moment and then straightened. “Your alpha?”
“My pride is called Nordic Blue. It’s in Nordland, Norway. My mother is Norwegian. She’s a snow panther and one of two living females that I know. The other one lives in Russia.”
“You’re a snow panther?”
“Did you know that white panthers are a race unto themselves? It includes just two breeds, snow and white. The white panthers aren’t as special as the snow ones. The snows are more dangerous. The white panthers are named after the species because they are white, but their snow ice poison ability isn’t as deadly as snow panthers. Snow panthers are called snow because they are descended from lines of white panthers that were born in some of the coldest places on earth.”
“I don’t need a history lesson, Jarell.”
He shrugged. “Ninety-five percent of the white panthers are racially mixed. We’re a breed that doesn’t see color or race.”
“I’ve heard that someplace,” he said. “Now, let’s get to work.”
“Your shoulder needs healing, Ryan, or you’ll just keep losing blood, and it will keep pissing me off that you’re running from the obvious.”
Ryan ran his fingers through his dark chocolate hair, looking a little wary. It was cute, and it was too late to run. It simply wasn’t in the nature of the white panther breed to allow its mate freedom once he knew who he was.
“Yeah. That’s what got you into this,” Jarell murmured, closing the distance between them. “I can heal you with my touch. Stay still.” He pushed his hand gingerly beneath Ryan’s polo shirt after tugging it free of his jeans. “It’s going to be cold.”
Ryan gasped. “You’re going to kill me.”
“Don’t be a baby.” He kissed Ryan’s chin. “And don’t start getting mad all over again. We’re both guilty of not bringing this up, but it’s not like ‘hey, I’m a panther shifter’ rolls easily off the tongue.”
“Right,” Ryan muttered and then sighed. “I just didn’t expect my mate to be white.”
“You should be happy I am, or you’d bleed to death right here in front of my eyes.”
Ryan rolled his eyes. “Mr. Dramatic.”
“How does it feel?” he murmured. He’d been taught what he was and how to use the gifts of healing and ice poisoning as a child. His mother had been preparing him with basic training and education so that when he mated, he wouldn’t be shocked or ignorant.
“I second that.” He stroked his hand over Ryan’s chest. “You’re so deliciously firm that I have wet dreams about touching you.”
Ryan’s hand landed on his ass a second later, but it was a lover’s kiss, soft. The second tap was a sting, but the third was a harsh tap of flesh meeting flesh. Jarell gasped as the pain burned through him. Another tap and the slap of leather had him tightening his cheeks.
“That hurts so good, Ry,” he said, and Ryan struck one cheek and then the other before smoothing a hand over Jarell’s ass. Then, he hit him again.
Ryan gripped the back of Jarell’s neck and tugged his head back. “Look at those pretty eyes,” he crooned. “You’re so high you can’t stand it, can you?”
“Hit me harder, baby,” he begged.
Ryan did, and Jarell cried out as the pain wrapped around his cock and made his ass tingle.
Ryan dropped his belt heavily on Jarell’s ass and Jarell groaned. It felt so good. The burn, the pain, it was just what he needed after a long day.
“Stand.” Ryan tugged him up and turned Jarell around. He used his nails to cut into Jarell’s tank and brushed the tatters aside. He pinched one nipple and then the other before giving each a thump.
Jarell hissed and then purred. “I like that, too.”
“I know what you like better than you do, little boy,” Ryan said in a low, sexy tone that made Jarell shiver. Then, Ryan used the edge of the belt to strike Jarell’s nipple just hard enough to sting and his cock jerked.
That was good. He didn’t have time to say it because Ryan slapped his cock next. He cried out. “Ryan!” The pain caught him by surprise, but he didn’t use his safe word.
Ryan reached down. “Too much for the little boy?” he teased darkly and gave Jarell’s cock a tight squeeze.
“No.” He breathed harshly.
Another tap to his engorged shaft and a cry was torn from Jarell. Another followed, and he groaned harshly.
Ryan chuckled and backed him to the bedroom, stealing a long kiss as he did so. Ryan flipped on the light and backed them to the bed before lowering his head to flick his tongue around the tip of Jarell’s nipple. He sucked it as he closed his fingers around his mate’s cock. Jarell groaned and thrust into Ryan’s hand.
Ryan turned his attention to the other nipple and scraped it with his teeth before drawing on it. He drew back and gave the nipple a thump before trailing kisses down over Jarell’s stomach.
“I love the way you taste, Jay,” he said roughly as he looked up at Jarell. Ryan pushed him back onto the bed and sank to his knees before Jarell. He closed his fingers around his mate’s dick and took the mushroom head into his mouth. He sucked hard as if he were trying to draw water through a straw.
Jarell moaned and thrust into his mouth, wishing he could fist his hands in Ryan’s hair.
Ryan licked down the shaft of his cock and bathed Jarell’s balls one at a time, sucking them into his mouth before caressing Jarell’s thighs as their eyes met. “I need you more than I need to breathe right now,” he said roughly.
“I’m yours for the taking, Ry,” Jarell murmured breathlessly. “Fuck me.”
Ryan got to his feet and unzipped his jeans before freeing the button from its mooring. Then, he pushed his pants down and off before kneeling again.
“Let me suck your dick, Ry. I get so hot sucking you off.”
Ryan gave Jarell’s thigh a slap. “Be a good boy for your mate. His panther wants you.”
Jarell purred. “I want your panther inside me.”
Ryan growled low and tugged Jarell to the edge of the bed before lining his cockhead up with his mate’s anus. He eased in sliding past the ring of muscle. Jarell hissed. The entrance was always just a little rough, but now with his own lubricant, it was barely noticeable.
Jarell wanted to touch, to caress as his mate forged deeper into him, slowly filling him with his thick, long cock. “Baby.” He leaned forward, captured Ryan’s lips and kissed him. “Mmm.”
Ryan braced his hands on the mattress. “Damn, you feel so good.” He thrust the last inches, seating his dick fully in the tight confines of Jarell’s ass. Jarell shuddered as pure pleasure washed over him and Ryan groaned tightly.
“Nothing can ever compare to being with you,” Jarell murmured. “Untie me. I want to touch you.”
Ryan lifted Jarell’s arms on the pillow and moved to his knees. He draped one of Jarell’s legs over his shoulder and caressed his thigh before kissing it. Then, he pulled almost all the way out and thrust back in. “Not yet.”
Jarell had plenty of objections to the position, but only because he wanted to caress the man braced on his hands above him and thrusting into him with even strokes. He wanted to feel the muscles ripple beneath his hand. All he could do was savor the slow drives into him and the sensual drag of Ryan’s cock as it retreated.
“Ryan,” he said, and gasped as bliss ran through him. Each stroke was a slow, tantalizing beat that pushed his arousal higher.
Then, Ryan pulled free and flipped Jarell onto his stomach. Ryan filled him again once he had Jarell’s ass up just right. He trailed tiny bites across Jarell’s shoulder and he cried out pleasure so intense it took his breath away. His skin was a heated canvas and Ryan’s teeth and warm kisses were a masterful paintbrush increasing his hunger.