Micah Lewis is minding his own business on his morning commute, dreaming of freedom and mountain forests. It’s an unattainable dream, as he‘s an owned man. His parents sold him and his twin to a fae collector, who uses Spencer to control him. He is forced to live in a cage on display when not working in the fae’s factory.
Daniel Hawthorn arrives in the city just in time to have his bike break down, forcing him to use public transportation. When he discovers his mate, a beautiful, blond, human man who seems to be extremely shy, he decides to make his approach very carefully.
Micah agrees to meet with Daniel, but things don’t go as planned. Secrets and ancient legends come to life, sparking a cross country escape to the mountains of Montana. Will Daniel get to keep his mate? Will Micah attack and kill him? Will Leopold the Fae find and kill them both before they even have a chance to discover love?
Micah detested the city. He sat on the downtown bus staring at the traffic and sighed. He’d left early to miss as much of the overcrowded press of humanity as possible. He hated crowds. But even the oppressive scent of dirt, body odor and diesel fuel that permeated the packed morning bus was preferable to remaining in what passed for his room. At least this was a distraction from the truth of his life.
The time on the bus was the only time he had to himself, so he opted to take the early bus, avoiding at least some of the people. It meant he would arrive an hour early for work, but he’d take the wait over feeling like a sardine, anytime.
He stared into the darkness. The sun hadn’t even broken the horizon. In fact, it wouldn’t for a couple hours. Working in a bakery meant starting his day before most of the city awoke and being off around noon. Dreams of grass, open skies, mountains and pines as far as the eye could see filled his thoughts. He’d never seen such places in person. City life was all he’d ever known, and it seemed unlikely, in his current situation, that he would ever see such things. Besides, his life wasn’t his own to live as he wished. He had his younger twin’s welfare to think about. Spencer depended on him to do the right thing by both of them.
The bus began to lurch. The brakes hissed and then the bus jerked to a stop. Passengers got on and off before the engine roared and a plume of black, diesel smoke was left in their wake as the bus pulled away from the curb.
Micah closed his eyes. He envisioned himself lying on a grassy hillside at the foot of a mountain under cerulean skies surrounded by a thick forest. The warm scent of earth, grass and pine engulfed him. He’d only ever seen such places on television. He had little idea what such a place would truly smell like. He could only compare it to the park, without the odor of humans and machinery, but he imagined it would be heavenly.
The bus arrived at the next stop, jerking to a halt. Air, warm, humid and heavy with exhaust, rushed in with a crush of people shuffling for seats. Even at this hour, the city was alive with the coming and going of people. Some were getting off the late shift. Others, like himself, were part of the first shift of the day.
Micah felt his seat move as someone sat next to him. He ignored the person. Preferring to be lost in his early morning imaginings, rather than attempting polite, small talk, he tried to pretend he was alone. The door hissed, the diesel engine roared and the bus rolled on.
Micah tried to focus on his dream forest, but a distinctly different scent from that of his usual fellow passengers intruded on his musings. It wasn’t odd for an odor to overwhelm him and force him out of his imaginary sanctuary. Horrible aromas abounded when humanity packed itself together in overpopulated, poverty stricken cities. But this scent wasn’t offensive. He’d never encountered anything quite like it. It tickled his senses so much he was tempted to open his eyes and look at the passenger sitting beside him.
“Is it always this busy?”
“Excuse me?” Micah turned, opened his eyes and faced his fellow commuter. Clamping his lips shut, he was barely able to keep his stunned gasp to himself. The man was tall, broad-shouldered, and muscular. His dark hair poked out from beneath a baseball cap and a light dusting of facial hair accentuated a strong, square jaw-line. Micah had to struggle to draw his gaze from the man’s light pink lips up to meet his eyes—gray with brown-gold specks—surrounded by long, black lashes most models would kill for.
“There’re so many cars and people, like scurrying ants, so intent on their day, oblivious to their surroundings. It’s amazing and overwhelming.” His voice felt like a caress, sending a wave of shivers down Micah’s spine.
“This is nothing. Give it another hour or two, then you’ll see busy. The road will fill with so many cars that the traffic will barely crawl along.” Micah couldn’t believe this stranger was speaking to him. This drop dead, gorgeous male—who fidgeted and squirmed—leaned into Micah’s side crowding him slightly. The man’s focus seemed to bounce around, never settling on any one thing, but returning to Micah.