It began to lightly snow as Rowdy sat in his truck outside the drugstore. The heat from the vents kept him cozy as he considered going back into the drugstore. He’d suspected for some time now that Cameron was his mate. Although bears couldn’t go on scent alone, anytime Rowdy was near Cameron, the delicious aroma of warm vanilla filled his lungs.
He’d been fighting the attraction for months now. So many times Rowdy had been tempted to come into town just to catch a glimpse of Cameron. Curling his fingers into tight fists, he reminded himself of why he kept the man at bay.
Edward. It had been ten years but the nightmares still haunted Rowdy. The person he had been back then still crept up on him every once in a while and reminded him that he was living a lie. The ghostly images taunted him, whispering that he wasn’t a decent man. Rowdy knew he would never escape his past and that was why he couldn’t claim Cameron. He wasn’t going to pull an innocent man into his nightmares.
Though Rowdy wasn’t certain he could ever make up for what he’d done, he continually tried to redeem his soul by helping others, like Steven. Steven was a man who had the same gift that Edward had possessed. Just like Edward, Steven had never been taught to buffer the voices and images that constantly bombarded his mind. At least, not until Rowdy had shown him how.
“Stop thinking about it,” Rowdy whispered to himself as he gritted his teeth. But the thoughts continued to assail him. He would give anything to erase his past and be able to offer Cameron a happy life.
He chuckled humorlessly. “How many times have you wished that?”
Too many for him to count. Rowdy was about to pull away when he noticed something peculiar. There was a man walking through the falling snow with a ski mask on. That wasn’t what caught Rowdy’s eye, though. It was the shotgun he was trying to keep close to his side in hopes that no one noticed it.
Rowdy pulled his cell phone free and called the sheriff’s station. He had a bad feeling about this. But what really raised the hairs on his neck was when the armed man walked into the drugstore.
Cursing, Rowdy quickly relayed what he’d seen before hanging up. He didn’t consider himself a hero, but he knew the people who worked inside. He didn’t want any causalities, and most of all, he was terrified that something would happen to Cameron.
No matter his thoughts on their mating relationship, he wasn’t going to allow Cameron to face the gunman alone. There had to be something Rowdy could do to disarm the man.
Like what, let him shoot me?
Shaking his head, Rowdy slipped from the truck and moved alongside the wall of the drugstore. It was cold as shit but he ignored the blowing winds. The entrance was on the corner of the building so he was able to sneak a peek inside. Rowdy cursed when he saw Cameron behind the counter. The goth guy was standing on the other side of the counter and both men looked frozen with fear.
Rowdy stood there trying to figure out what to do. He had no weapon on him. And he sure as shit wasn’t bulletproof. Times were hard everywhere but resorting to robbery wasn’t the answer. Tackling a man with a shotgun wasn’t either. He could always wait for the police, but what if the gunman made his move before the cops showed? Rowdy didn’t have the faintest idea what to do. He’d never been in this type of situation before.
He knew how to shoot a gun, but his rifle—the only gun he owned—was tucked away in his room at the bunkhouse. A lot of good that did him right now. He thought about shifting, but not even his bear was a match for a shotgun blast. Besides, it would look bizarre as hell if a bear walked into a pharmacy.
Decision made, Rowdy pulled a deep breath into his lungs and moved around the corner. Nothing like fear to wash a person’s mind clean. The sliding doors opened. Rowdy cursed. He’d forgotten about those. Everyone turned to look at him. He had an insane urge to wave. The gunman raised his weapon at Rowdy. The guy was about average height, a little thick in his body, but it was the two tattooed teardrops under his left eye that made Rowdy pause.
The man had killed two people and had probably served time in prison. Rowdy was willing to bet the guy had a rap sheet a mile long.
Great. I turned from a potential hero into a goddamn victim. Rowdy held his hands up and moved carefully around the man. His mind was working overtime as he tried to figure out how to get that gun from the guy. Nothing came to mind. He was pretty sure saying please wouldn’t work.
As he passed the man, Rowdy gazed into cold, flat eyes. There would be no reasoning with this guy. He wasn’t just a scared, desperate man trying to make ends meet. This son of a bitch meant business.
Flashing lights began to swirl around the front of the store. The cops had arrived. The gunman pumped his shotgun, aimed it toward the entrance, and then fired. The glass shattered. Rowdy jerked and stumbled backward. If the robber had no qualms about killing a cop, then the people in the store had no chance.
“Gonna stand there and ogle me all night?”
Rowdy grinned as he walked further into the bathroom. “I’d planned on it.” He could gaze at Cameron for hours and never tire. Rowdy’s eyes slid over Cameron’s body. He felt his groin tighten as he took in the man’s bobbing cock.
He just might ogle the man all night. Cameron was definitely something gorgeous to look at. Rowdy moved to the tub and slipped into the water. Rowdy had had no input when it came to the design of the house, but he was damn glad the tub was oversized.
When he settled back, Cameron moved toward him. He glided through the water before straddling Rowdy’s lap. His hands smoothed over Rowdy’s chest and then pinched one of Rowdy’s nipples. An electric jolt shot through Rowdy as he hissed.
“Like that?” Cameron smiled devilishly.
Rowdy spread his arms out to rest on either side of him as he nodded. He allowed his mate to explore his body, but it wasn’t easy. Rowdy was hard and ready, and to sit still took every ounce of control he possessed. But he would never say no to being petted by this exquisite, fascinating creature.
Cameron’s mouth nibbled, licked, and sucked at Rowdy’s nipple with the utmost attention to detail. Rowdy ran his fingers over Cameron’s thighs, luxuriating in his mate’s smooth skin. As Cameron feasted on Rowdy’s nipple, the man scraped his nails up Rowdy’s sides, making Rowdy growl softly in the back of his throat.
Giving one last lick, Cameron smiled up at him before moving to the neglected nipple. His hands clutched Cameron’s bottom as he fought for the control that was quickly slipping away. Rowdy was used to taking control but there was something in Cameron’s eyes that told Rowdy the man didn’t want to be pushed.
He’d let the man play, for now.
“So hairy,” Cameron teased as he nipped at Rowdy’s skin. “Like a bear.”
Rowdy chuckled. “I wonder why.”
“Genetics,” Cameron answered before he began to kiss his way down Rowdy’s chest. Rowdy gritted his teeth, his hands curling over the side of the tub. He watched in fascination as Cameron explored him.
Cameron looked up and Rowdy watched the man watch him. His mate’s eyes held such pure heat that Rowdy felt branded. Cameron wrapped a hand around Rowdy’s jutting erection. He shuddered. “Tighter.”
He was growing hungry and Rowdy wasn’t sure how much longer he could hold out. Giving him no warning, Cameron swallowed Rowdy to the back of his throat. Rowdy’s head fell back as his hips jerked forward. He spread his legs wider as Cameron cupped his balls.
Rowdy’s lips parted as he tried to steady his breathing. But it was impossible when Cameron was bringing him so much pleasure. He raked his hand through Cameron’s hair and then gripped the strands as he slowly began to fuck the man’s mouth.
Rowdy couldn’t breathe. The room suddenly became too hot. His fingers tightened in Cameron’s hair as he clenched his jaw so hard that his teeth ground together.
He felt the start of his orgasm. Rowdy didn’t want to come like this. Not for their first time. He wanted to be buried balls deep in the man when he came. Grunting, Rowdy eased Cameron away from him.
Before Cameron could speak, Rowdy had the man turned around and leaning over the side of the tub. “Spread your legs.”
The water sloshed around them, creating small waves as Rowdy moved in behind Cameron. He slid his hands over his mate’s rounded ass, massaging the soft flesh. “Do you know how good you look right now?”
“Not a clue,” Cameron answered but Rowdy could hear the strain in the man’s voice. “Why don’t you tell me?”
Rowdy smiled before he nipped his mate’s shoulder. “Good enough to eat.” His words came out in a soft purr before he licked from one shoulder blade to the other. “Good enough to fuck.” He put emphasis on the last word as he slid his fingers down the crease of Cameron’s ass. His mate shuddered and groaned. “Good enough to pleasure.”
Cameron arched his back as Rowdy’s fingers slid inside the man’s tight entrance. He used his free hand to scrape his nails along Cameron’s wet body. Rowdy was fascinated with the goose bumps that rose along the man’s skin. He worked to stretch Cameron, to ready the man.
“Please,” Cameron begged as his hips swiveled around. The man’s voice was a strained whisper as Rowdy worked a third finger into Cameron’s ass.
Rowdy placed a kiss at the top of Cameron spine. “Patience.”
“I don’t have any,” Cameron snapped as his fingers gripped the tub tighter, making his knuckles turn white. Cameron was exactly where Rowdy wanted him, losing control.
“Then I’ll have to teach them to you.” He smiled at his mate’s skin.
“Not tonight you won’t,” Cameron retorted. “Some other time.”
Rowdy snatched the waterproof lube from the shelf beside the tub and spread a generous amount over his cock. “Lift your ass.” When Cameron did as he asked, Rowdy lubed the man’s entrance as well.
He pressed his hand between Cameron’s shoulder blades. His mate lowered his chest to the side of the tub. Rowdy could feel the sweat clinging to his body and it had nothing to do with the hot water. His mind was a rioting mess. That dark part of him shouted that Rowdy didn’t deserve to mate Cameron. It screamed that he was a fraud and a coward and he was only going to ruin Cameron’s life.
His hand gripped his cock in a death grip as Rowdy closed his eyes and tried quiet the demons inside of him. He blew out a long breath and told himself that this was for Cameron. That mating the man would make Cameron happy. But he knew the truth. Rowdy wanted this just as much as Cameron did. For once in his life he wanted to be selfish, to think just of himself, to take what was his.
He lined his cock up and drove deep.