Drew’s lips drew into a tight smile. If there was one thing he always received comments on—positive or not—it was his bottle-green eyes, the same eyes he inherited from his father and that he’d shared with Uncle Harry. They weren’t just green, though. No, the Patton eyes were a vivid shade of jewel green that looked like a fractured mess of broken stained glass and emerald shards. In the right light, they almost glowed from within. They made for a good opening for guys looking to hit on him, although Drew was pretty sure the startlingly surreal color scared off more than a few guys in the past. Sometimes they looked positively inhuman.
Not waiting for a verbal response, the woman reached out and grasped his hand in her warm fingers, shaking with firm vigor. “We all knew Harry around here. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m Rain, by the way. Rain Orbison. He might have mentioned me. We were good friends for a very long time.”
“Uh, hi. I’m Drew.” If Drew already felt uncomfortable at intruding on Rain’s time, he grew even more unsettled upon finding out she knew his uncle. Uncle Harry had friends? Real people who wanted to spend time with him and weren’t utterly repellant? He didn’t know whether to be intrigued or bolt for the door.
Rain finally let go of his hand and stood up straight again, placing her hands on her hips. “Let me guess. You’re trying to find Harry’s cabin? Because if so, your first mistake was trying to find Mystic Lake on a map. They never did get around to adding the new utility road around the lake to most maps, let me tell you. It makes the poor lake look like it’s totally cut off from the world. Here, let me draw you a better map. I know I’ve got scrap paper around here somewhere.”
She bent over to rummage behind the counter for paper and pen, leaving Drew standing on the other side in a daze, not sure what to respond to next.
“Rain? You still down there?”
The warm masculine voice carried through the air from the doorway to the back, sparking something in Drew’s blood which roared to life and whimpered for attention like a needy puppy. Liquid fire burst through his veins like a potent wild inferno, and Drew moaned softly from the force of the sudden tingling heat which flooded through him. Thankfully, the embarrassing sound was muffled by Rain’s cheerful, “Down here, Oliver. I told you you should have reminded me to lock the front door.”
A low chuckle, this time a bit closer, could be heard over the tinny sound of some ’60s girl group fighting to be heard through the weak reception of the old radio. The husky laugh curled around Drew in an eager tease, orchestrating a fiery tsunami of arousal through his body. Drew felt suddenly drunk on a douse of sweet intoxicating desire. He slumped forward just a bit from the jolt of dizzying want which struck him like vengeful lightning. What the hell? he thought, and gripped the counter with one trembling hand to keep himself upright.
“I shouldn’t have to remind you, oh, great and wise—”
A male figure appeared in the doorway, his tanned forearms clasped around another cardboard box of Fourth of July decorations. Drew was barely able to lift his head to look at the newcomer, but what he saw made his knees dare to buckle. The man in the doorway sported a yellow tank top and loose black sweatpants smudged with dust, but his casual outfit did nothing to hide the ripped body underneath. He must be a runner, Drew thought through a confused haze, noting the newcomer’s tall build and the lean, compact muscles which layered his frame.
A deep rolling thunder grew in the man’s chest, the closest thing to a purr or a growl that Drew ever heard another man make. He jerked his head upward, only able to lift it a few inches due to the growing storm raging through his shocked body. It was more than enough of a view to take in the newcomer’s shoulder-length blond hair, the sharp angle of his jaw dusted with red-gold stubble, and the man’s molten-gold eyes, their depths flecked with copper and bronze. He held himself in a tense stance which suggested he felt just as overwhelmed as Drew, his gaze never leaving Drew as he took a cautious step forward. A small voice in Drew’s head piped up that the man approached him like someone coming toward a nervous animal, one slow step at a time so as not to scare it off.
Distantly, Drew noted Rain cursing under her breath then disappearing, leaving only the slamming of the door behind the newcomer—Oliver, she called him Oliver—to signify where she must have gone.
Drew’s gaze met Oliver’s, those intense golden eyes of his, and the connection between them locked with an almost audible click.
“Mate,” Oliver growled.
With a jerky wrench of his neck, Drew pulled away and hitched in his breath, not looking Oliver in the eye, just pressing his sweat-dappled forehead to Oliver’s shoulder. “What the hell is going on?”
“Now isn’t the time—”
“Bullshit,” Drew snapped. His gaze jerked up to latch onto Oliver and hold tight, bathing him in the startling accusations pouring from those green eyes. “I don’t know what you did to me, but how about you just give me the antidote and we forget this ever happened, okay?”
Without conscious thought, Oliver raised his shaking hands and rested them on the angular line of Drew’s jaw. “There is no antidote,” Oliver said slowly, enunciating every word with insistent precision and willing Drew to understand he was telling the truth. “And I didn’t do anything to you. I don’t have enough power to make you do something you wouldn’t want to do under your own free will. I’m not nearly strong enough for that.” But you are dangled at the tip of his tongue, eager to escape and make things even harder to explain than they already were.
Defiant sparks flashed in Drew’s eyes, and his lips twisted in a mockery of a smile. He said nothing, but Oliver suspected—hoped, maybe—that what he almost retorted was, Who said I don’t want to do this?
Oliver sure as hell would want to pounce on Drew like a hungry jungle cat even without the heat. The man was fucking gorgeous, looking more like some fae’s cast-off bastard than the rightful heir to the Patton magical legacy.
No wonder Harry never lured the kid to Homespun. He must have known they were mates, the absolute jackass.
When Oliver laughed harshly at that, Drew frowned in response, a silent question lingering behind his gaze. Oliver evaded Drew’s obvious curiosity the only way he could think of, by reaching for the worn leather belt threaded around the waist of Drew’s jeans and eagerly fumbling with the tarnished buckle. He supposed he could have tried to wave their clothes from existence with a flick of his wrist, but his magic was temperamental at the best of times. With lust burning through his veins like lit gasoline, Oliver didn’t trust himself not to send away their clothes and their stiff cocks along with them.
Distracted, he barely noticed Drew’s gaze zeroing in on the thrumming pulse point on his neck until Oliver felt Drew’s lips press against the spot and suck hard. Drew pulled the patch of tanned skin between his teeth and nipped with the points of his incisors. It wasn’t enough to break the skin, but it was definitely enough to get Oliver’s attention.
As revenge, Oliver ran a teasing fingertip along the hard length stretching against the crotch of Drew’s jeans. When Drew buried his face in the crook of Oliver’s neck and moaned, Oliver’s grin deepened. He flicked his thumb over the patch of denim which covered Drew’s sensitive prick. Drew sagged against him, felled by a wave of numbing passion.
“I don’t know if I can take anymore and we haven’t even done anything,” Drew murmured into the dusty fabric of Oliver’s tank top.
“Yet,” Oliver said.
Drew laughed again. “Yeah, yet.”
Oliver guessed that was a good sign. At least Drew wasn’t begging him to find them an escape route from the heat. There wasn’t any, and a growing shadow in Oliver’s chest already lightened over not having to disappoint his mate by repeating that fact.
Their fingertips stuttered across their lust-warmed skin as they both tugged at each other’s respective shirts, and they separated just long enough to haul off their shirts and toss them aside. The action rumpled Drew’s dark hair, giving it a just-fucked look long before they completed the deed. Between that and his eyelids gone heavy with barely restrained passion, Oliver silently swore to himself he simply must keep Drew in this beautifully wound-up condition as often as fucking possible.
But not now. Now they needed to complete their mating.
Oliver yanked and pulled at Drew’s undone jeans, the well-worn denim skimming over the enticing curve of his ass and sliding down his legs. Drew absently kicked off his shoes as he quickly worked to remove Oliver’s sweats as well, the loose material falling to the floor much more easily. Oliver stepped out of his sweats after kicking aside his own sneakers, savoring Drew’s wide-eyed gaze when he saw that Oliver wasn’t wearing underwear. Rain had called him in the middle of his meditations, cajoling him to assist her with a little spring cleaning in as sweet a tone as she could manage, and he’d simply thrown on whatever old clothes he had lying around, not bothering with grabbing a pair of boxers. It wouldn’t occur to Rain to care, after all.
Drew, on the other hand, hissed in a shaky breath at the size of Oliver’s cock, its heavy hardened weight shifting between his legs, pressing against Drew’s thigh with great and needy purpose. “Damn,” he muttered. “I’m going to have to give birth to a toddler before I can fit that thing in my ass.”
Oliver’s surprised bark of laughter jerked Drew’s head up, and Oliver decided not to give Drew any more of a chance to think about taking his wide, nine-inch prick. Instead, he bent forward and latched onto Drew’s flat brown nipple, teasing the puckering skin with the inhuman points of his changing teeth. Drew groaned once again, a rough wanting plea, as Oliver’s sharpening incisors pressed insistent marks into his erect nipples—first the left, then the right.
After a torturous moment of distracting Drew until he stopped thinking so damn hard, Oliver pulled away from the enticing nubs and pressed his sweat-dampened forehead to Drew’s breastbone. “Fuck me,” he murmured into the heated skin. “Oh, gods above, Drew, fuck me before we go insane.”