Grey’s boyfriend just broke up with him—again. Grey’s love life has been a long trail of failed relationships, and he decides drowning his sorrows in alcohol might be a good idea. Turns out it is, although not the way he’d thought.
Patrick was supposed to spend the evening with his son, his ex-wife, and her new husband, but Rose’s daughter is sick, so he makes his way to the bar instead. There, he meets his mate when he rescues him from a pushy man trying to pick him up.
Patrick and Grey spend the night together, and Grey knows his life is about to change. He’d never have imagined how much, though. The day after he and Patrick meet, the body of a man with Grey’s name carved into his chest is found at the entrance of pack territory. Another body appears a few days later, making it clear someone is after Grey, especially after he realizes he’d hooked up with both the victims in the past.
Grey has no idea who the killer is, and Patrick feels at a loss. He’s a detective for the Gillham Police Department, but the only thing he cares about is keeping his mate safe. Will Patrick succeed, or will the killer manage to get his hands on Grey before anyone can stop him?
Grey stared at the screen of his phone. He was half hoping the words there would change, but of course, they didn’t. Ethan really had dumped him by text.
Of course he had. It was just Grey’s luck. He hadn’t thought he’d found real love with Ethan, or anything like that, but still, he’d liked the guy, and he’d thought they’d gotten along pretty well.
He’d been wrong.
Grey sucked at reading people and at understanding what they thought. He hadn’t seen that Ethan wanted out, that he didn’t care for him, and that he didn’t want a long-term relationship with him. Grey wasn’t sure he’d wanted all those things with Ethan, but he didn’t know the guy that well. He might have wanted to once he did.
“Who pissed in your cereal?” Lenny asked, flopping into the chair in front of Grey’s at the table.
Grey looked down, but of course, there was no cereal since dinner was just over. “What do you want?” He wasn’t sure he had the energy to deal with Lenny, not today.
Lenny arched a brow. “Wow. So something did happen.”
Grey looked at his friend—because no matter how annoying Lenny was, they were friends. Grey wasn’t sure how Lenny’s mate could stand his ass for the rest of their lives, though. He usually wanted to strangle his friend every few minutes. “Are you going to leave me alone if I ignore you?”
Lenny snorted. “You should know better.”
“I do, but hope is hard to kill.” Grey sighed and put his phone down. “My boyfriend dumped me. By text.”
Grey knew better than to expect any kind of compassion from him, especially when Lenny knew Grey and Ethan hadn’t been together long and when he’d hated Ethan on sight. He was right this time.
Lenny grinned. “By text. Really?”
“Yes. And we were supposed to see each other tonight.”
“So he dumped you what, an hour before your date?”
“More or less.” Lenny sounded way too amused. Grey kind of wanted to hit him.
“Did he tell you why?”
“No.” Grey wasn’t sure he was glad for that or not. Was it something he’d done, or something he’d said? Or was it just because Ethan didn’t think they were good together? Or because he was a shifter? Or was it just that Ethan didn’t think he could fall in love with Grey?
Grey wasn’t sure he’d have fallen in love with Ethan, but he’d been eager to discover that. Too many people around him were finding their mates, and he wanted that, too. Since he couldn’t exactly go around trying to find the perfect man for him, he’d had a few boyfriends, but none of them had lasted. Ethan was just the last one of a long line of relationships that went bad. Grey wasn’t too hurt by the end of it, but he couldn’t deny it did sting—and Lenny’s amusement didn’t help.
Lenny leaned back in his chair. “Could it be because of your little kink?”
Of course Lenny was going to bring that up. “I don’t know,” Grey said through gritted teeth.
“No? Did you tell him about it?”
“It’s none of your business, Lenny.”
“You did, then. When? Recently?”
Grey pressed his lips together. It had taken him a while to work up the courage to tell Ethan about it, but he should have known better. No one stayed with him once he told them he liked to watch other people having sex. Grey didn’t think it differed from watching porn, but a lot of people didn’t see things his way. They thought he was weird in the best of cases, a pervert in the worst.
So yeah, maybe he wasn’t going to tell his next boyfriend about it. The fact that one of his best friends teased him about it didn’t help, either. What was wrong with enjoying watching people make love? There were a lot of feelings in it, a lot of love, and that was the main reason Grey liked it. No one seemed to understand it, though, and he was tired of explaining himself.
A hand slapped the back of Lenny’s head. Grey smiled up at Yerad, Lenny’s mate. “Thank you for that. I’ve wanted to do it myself for the past fifteen minutes.”
Yerad shrugged and placed a cup of coffee in front of Grey. “Don’t mention it. I have plenty of training.”
“That hurt,” Lenny complained, still rubbing the back of his head.
“Then next time maybe you should think twice about being an asshole to one of our friends.”
“I’m not an asshole.”
“Yeah, you kind of were,” Grey pointed out. Now that Yerad was there, he felt better, more relaxed. The break-up stung, but he wasn’t broken over it, and it wasn’t going to take him long to feel better, especially now that Lenny was under control.
“I was just asking why your boyfriend dumped you!”
That earned Lenny another slap on the back of the head and a glare from Yerad. “Like Grey said, it’s none of your business, so don’t ask. If you want to be a good friend, you can tell Grey you’re sorry and that he’ll find another guy soon enough if that’s what he wants. You can tell him you’re there for him if he wants to talk. That’s all.” Yerad huffed. “You really need to think before you open that mouth, Lenny.”
“But you like it when I open my mouth.”
Yerad’s cheeks pinked. “Shut up. I’m sure Grey doesn’t want to hear about whatever it is you’re implying.”
Grey was interested, but he knew better than to say it. He didn’t want Yerad to look at him with pity in his eyes, or worse, with disgust.