Teddy’s in shock after being kidnapped. Even more so when the shifter side that's been dormant his entire life comes to life. At least his attraction to Dallas now makes perfect sense.
Dallas knows immediately that Teddy is his mate, but he doesn't push himself on the other man. Being a soldier who barely finished high school, he doesn't think he’s much of a catch, but he's the only one who can teach Teddy how to deal with his shifter side. A side Teddy never knew he had. But Teddy's also determined to return to his life in Chicago.
Can Teddy get a handle on being a shifter? Will Dallas and his bear be able to live in Chicago? Will Teddy change his mind about returning to Paladin?
Be Warned: m/m sex, public exhibition
The last thing he remembered was running towards Twisted Jack’s bar and grill in response to screams of terror and gunshots. He had gotten as far as the front door, and then … nothing.
Nothing to explain how he came to be bouncing around the back seat of a honking big SUV.
Blinking away tears of pain as the rest of his body checked in with a sore shoulder and hip as if someone had kicked him and dragged him, Teddy took in the rest of his surroundings. One man was driving and muttering to himself about not being batshit crazy while the man who was sitting on the other side of the backseat was yelling at him to go faster.
Moving slowly, Teddy straightened to a more comfortable position, just in time to be thrown against the front seat when the car came to a sliding stop at the highway.
“Go right. Go right. Get us back to the airport before those animals come after us,” the man beside him screamed while waving a big-ass, shiny gun towards the right side of the car. Once the driver followed his instructions, the man turned in Teddy’s direction.
Meeting the man’s eyes squarely sent an Antarctic cold shiver down Teddy’s spine. The man’s eyes were dead, lifeless, and his expression so maniacal that Teddy immediately recognized him from Griffin’s description. In that second he also understood why his Griffin was so scared of this man.
This was the man known only to the world as Doctor Pain.
A former government interrogator who had kidnapped and beaten Teddy’s roommate and best friend. If one of the guards had not helped Griffin escape, the man would still have him tied up in his basement using him as a punching bag … or worse.
“You’re not my pet, but you’ll do. At least for now.” Doctor Pain looked Teddy up and down with a critical eye. “You’ll do well enough, and with your build, you’ll be able to take even more than he did before needing a break.”
Teddy’s fear at being trapped with this monster swirled with a growing white hot anger that this monster had not only hurt his friend, but had come into Paladin with his goons and attacked the team.
“And when I’m finished with you, I’ll go back and deal with those creatures back there. I will get my pet back. I wonder how much it would take to break one of them to my will. Hmmm, maybe I’ll have pet watch while I work on one of those animals.”
The man spoke as if Teddy, and the team, were just going to bow down and allow him to treat them as he had treated Griffin. That thought brought a red sheen to Teddy's vision as his anger deepened. He had never felt such a need to hurt someone before.
Though he was not a shifter like Roane or their father, Teddy knew there was more to him than the pudgy little twink everyone saw on the outside. Inside him there was an animal. A beast he had never told anyone, not even his family, about. Until now, that side of him had remained almost hiding in a cave in his soul, purring, happy, content to stay hidden from the world.
The terror, fear, and anger that swirled around and through him at this moment combined into an emotional firebomb. His other half, the mountain lion who had remained hidden for all of his twenty-four years, sudden stood up and roared. In the next seconds, the beast leapt out of its cave and pushed forward. Suddenly he was no longer Teddy, the man. He had become Teddy, the mountain lion.
After that, things got chaotic and hard to recount later.