Trevor has known who his mate was for years, but he’s so painfully shy and insecure that the most he’s done to woo him has been leaving him cupcakes on his porch. He knows he’s going to lose him if he doesn’t finally make a move, though, and with a not so gentle push from two of his friends, he calls Micah.
Micah is still dealing with bad memories from his shifter ex-boyfriend, and he’s glad when he meets Trevor. Trevor looks unassuming and sweet, and Micah is thrilled, until he finds out Trevor is just like his ex. He runs, thinking he’ll never see Trevor again.
Family and friends conspire to get Trevor and Micah together, and it works, until Micah discovers his father has been hiding a secret that could put Trevor and the entire pride in danger. Will Micah and Trevor’s fragile relationship survive, or will the past push them apart?
Trevor turned the car off and looked at his mate’s house. All the lights were off, so Micah clearly wasn’t home yet. Trevor didn’t know where Micah’s father was, and he frowned. He knew the man was hurt and couldn’t walk very well. Maybe Micah had taken him somewhere.
Trevor looked at the small box on the passenger seat. It was bigger than the ones he’d used before, because when Micah’s father had moved in with him, Trevor had started bringing two cupcakes instead of just one. He knew it was stupid, and ridiculous. He was an adult, yet he was sneaking around like a teenager, leaving his crush cupcakes and running away before Micah could see him.
He sighed and grabbed his box. He might as well leave it now that no one was home. He knew Micah was trying to catch him, and he wasn’t ready for that. He wasn’t sure he’d ever be ready.
He got out of the car and closed the door, shivering in the September wind. It wasn’t exactly cold, but it was late, so it wasn’t warm either. He slinked toward the house, looking around to make sure no one was watching him. He climbed the porch steps, crouched, and put the box next to the front door.
A car turned into the driveway and Trevor froze. The lights illuminated him for a moment, and when they turned off, he ran.
“Hey! Wait!” Micah yelled as Trevor passed by him, but Trevor didn’t obey. He couldn’t let Micah find him. He just couldn’t.
He jumped in his car and slammed the door. He could see Micah coming closer, and he was starting to panic. What would he say if Micah got to him? Could he deny he’d been the one leaving the cupcakes? Would Micah be happy to meet him, or would he ask him to stop? Trevor didn’t even know if Micah appreciated Darin’s cupcakes. Maybe he should just stop leaving them.
He turned the motor on, and after giving Micah a last glance, he drove away. His cheetah grumbled in his mind, because it had more courage than Trevor. It wanted their mate, and it had had enough of waiting just because Trevor was too chicken to get Micah.
Trevor’s heart slowed down only once he was in sight of the mansion’s gate. That was the only place where he felt safe, and he had to force himself to go out every night. It was getting easier—as long as Micah didn’t catch him. At least Trevor didn’t think Micah had seen him too well. Even if he had, there was no way he could know where Trevor lived.
Trevor fumbled with the remote and got the gate open. He parked far away from the door, because he needed a few minutes to himself, and when he got out, he leaned against the side of the car and took a deep breath.
That was close.
He should have been happy about it. After all, leaving Micah cupcakes was supposed to be a way to woo him. That would become difficult if Trevor never actually talked to him, though. He knew it, but he still wasn’t able to get over his shyness and his terror that Micah would push him away because he was weird, never mind a shifter.
Trevor shook his head and pushed away from the car. He walked to the house as slowly as he could. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to be home, but rather that sometimes home was a bit too noisy and crowded for his taste. He wouldn’t have exchanged it for anything, though. He loved living there. It felt safe.
He pushed the front door open and wasn’t surprised to hear the TV blaring in the living room. Nysys and Keenan had been binge watching a series when he’d left, only twenty minutes earlier. They’d probably be at it for part of the night, or at least until Morin came to fetch Nysys and dragged him home.
Sometimes Trevor wondered why Morin and Nysys didn’t move into the mansion. Nysys spent most of his time there, and he and Morin slept in Nysys’ old room more often than not. Trevor wasn’t about to point that out, though. Morin intimidated him a bit, but then so did most of the men who lived in the mansion.
Trevor loved them all like family, but he was close only to a few of them, including Nysys and Keenan. There was no staying away from those two, even if Trevor had wanted to. They didn’t allow it.
He tried to slink to the stairs without being noticed, but he was pretty sure Keenan and Nysys had done something that let them know when someone entered the house. It was the only way to explain how Nysys’ head popped out of the living room just as Trevor set foot on the first step.
Trevor sighed and turned to face Nysys. “Yes?”
“Where are you going?”
“To my room.”
Nysys sauntered out of the living room. He was wearing a canary yellow pair of pajama pants and a lime green T-shirt. Trevor briefly wondered how he was able to fall asleep with those colors under his eyes, but Nysys was already taking Trevor’s hand and dragging him to the living room.
“Come watch TV with us.”
“I really should go.”
“No, you shouldn’t. Come on, I want to hear about your mate.”
Nysys shook his head and pushed Trevor onto the couch next to Keenan. Keenan beamed at him and lowered the volume of the TV. Nysys sat on Trevor’s other side, and Trevor suddenly felt trapped. He looked from one man to the other, and he knew he’d been played. “You were waiting for me.”