Hector is fresh out of a cage for the first time in his memory. Learning about the world is exciting and scary, and he looks forward to experiencing life. While out having fun with his flock-mates, Hector runs across a human, Rocky, who smells amazing and makes his Scops owl flutter wildly inside his mind. Except, the guy turns down his request to dance. He learns later that Rocky is a bouncer, so he’s at the bar working. Wanting to catch him either before or after his shift, Hector begins to regularly frequent the club. Unfortunately, that earns him the reputation of being a party-boy, which causes Rocky to keep his distance. The human claims he has responsibilities which a partier wouldn’t understand. How can Hector, so new to freedom, convince Rocky that he can handle responsibility when the human won’t even tell him what it is?
As Rocky watched the trio pass through the arch, he spotted a pale head of hair. His heartrate sped up. Seconds later, he felt his blood flow south to his dick as Hector appeared in the doorway.
Even as Rocky fought his attraction to Hector, he couldn’t deny he found the small man stunning…and arousing. He remembered the little hottie’s small hands rubbing over his chest appreciatively that first time their paths had crossed. His light-brown eyes had glowed with excitement and life. His cheeks had been flushed pink. Even his grin had been infectious, causing Rocky to grin back.
Rocky watched as Hector glanced around the foyer. Then upon spotting him, a grin split the pretty man’s features. He danced—literally, shimmying and shaking his slender hips in time to the music—across the space and stopped in front of Rocky. Dancing on his toes, he twisted his fingers together in front of him, probably to keep from touching Rocky.
The first couple of times Hector had spoken to him after their initial meeting, he’d shown just how very touchy-feely he was. Rocky had had to warn him to keep his hands to himself. He’d claimed it was because he didn’t want to appear unprofessional, but it had actually been because the pretty man was so damn arousing, and never before had he found a pale twink who wore make-up attractive. On Hector, though, Rocky found it stunning.
“Hi, Rocky,” Hector greeted. “I heard you were working tonight. I’m so glad, because I missed not seeing you yesterday,” he told him, beaming up at him. “I know you just started, but that means you’ll have a break in a few hours, right? Do you want to dance on your break? I’m getting really good at it.”
Rocky swept his gaze over Hector. He wanted to take the man up on his offer so damn badly, except… Thornton’s words echoed through his mind. Deciding it couldn’t hurt, Rocky took a chance.
* * * *
When Rocky began shaking his head, Hector felt his heart squeeze in his chest. He knew he was stalking the human, but he didn’t know what else to do. He and his owl just wanted to get the chance to touch Rocky, to feel the other man touch him. Every time Rocky turned him down, he felt as if a little part of him died inside.
His friends had told him the human should feel the pull to mate, too. Could Hector somehow be wrong? What if Rocky really wasn’t his mate? How else could he explain this driving need to see him, even if he wasn’t allowed to touch?
“No, Hector,” Rocky rumbled. “I’m not interested in dancing here at the club.”
Rocky’s voice was so wonderfully deep. Hector would bet if he lay across his chest while he talked, he could actually feel the vibrations. He could listen to Rocky talk for hours.
Except, Rocky was telling him no…again.
Disappointment and sadness rushed through Hector. He forced a smile, hoping it didn’t appear tremulous. While he knew he should ask who the baby at home was—Rocky had mentioned that the first time Hector had visited the bar and club—he was afraid of the answer. What if his mate had a wife or boyfriend waiting at home?
That would be horrible!
“However,” Rocky continued. “I would like to take you out to a meal, Hector.”
Hector gaped for a heartbeat. “Y-You want to take me to a meal?”
He thought he almost whispered the question, so he wasn’t certain how Rocky had been able to hear him. Maybe he could read lips. Either way, Rocky nodded.
“Yes, Hector,” Rocky told him. “If you really want to spend time with me, let me take you to a meal.” He glanced toward the archway that led into the club proper, then refocused on him. “I don’t care for dancing here, but I would be interested in talking with you.”
“Yes!” Hector cried. His heart pounded in his chest as excitement coursed through him. “Oh, yes, Rocky.” Losing control of his exuberance, he bounced forward on his toes and rested his hands on the big human’s t-shirt covered chest. Rubbing his hands over the huge, hard muscles hidden under the fabric, he grinned widely up at the man. “I would love to join you for a meal, Rocky! Where? When?”
Rocky settled his hands on Hector’s. His huge black fingers curled around Hector’s own much smaller palms.
Jerking, Hector glanced down at their joined hands. He clutched at the man’s fingers, enjoying the feel of Rocky’s lightly calloused hands wrapped around his own. This was the most wonderful experience he’d ever had…aside from feeling up his sexy mate’s chest.
Then it hit Hector. His mate had asked him on a date. That meant the human felt it, too, right? The man was attracted enough to share a meal with him. Hector’s owl fluttered wildly in his mind, pleased at that knowledge just as much as he was about his touch.
They were totally mates!