Healing Hunter’s Heart

A Little Bite of Love, Book 2

by Charlie Cochet

Healing Hunter's Heart - Charlie Cochet
Part of the A Little Bite of Love series:
Editions:ePub
ISBN: 9781634760201
Pages: 200
Paperback
ISBN: 9781634762847
Pages: 200
Audiobook

Months after being forced to leave his lover and mate Ari Jannsen behind, Hunter Devin settles into his role as Enforcer for the newly formed Deagan Clan under the rule of his new Alpha and best friend Tristan ‘Trip’ Hagan. Along with Hunter’s brother Boone, their nephews, sister, and mother, Hunter finally has the family he’s always wanted, but without his little rebel Ari, his heart is incomplete.

The Hagan Clan is unable to accept the Deagan Clan’s betrayal for walking away and taking the clan’s pups with them. War looms. As both clans plan their attack, a greater enemy plots against them. But Hunter is determined to get his Ari back. Bonds are put to the test and unexpected alliances are made as Hunter and his clan set out to protect their own and end the spreading heartache.

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Excerpt:

Chapter One

Five years ago….

Hunter felt up the nice bottle of Jack in front of him, intent on getting himself thoroughly fucked, and if the night went as planned, in more ways than one. He downed his fourth glass of whiskey in the hopes of forgetting, at least for a little while. His shifter blood would require several bottles of Jack before that happened, but when it did, maybe he’d stop thinking about how messed up his clan was right now. How the Hagan Council had turned against their own kin and tried to take a little boy away from his loving father.

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Trip Hagan was a good guy. He didn’t deserve the bullshit they were throwing his way, which was why Hunter and his brother, Boone, had fought fiercely at Trip’s side, refusing to allow the Council to take the pup. All because Trip had become the first of Alpha blood to come out of the closet and decline the Council’s generous offer to be cast out into the cold. They all knew the Council had conceded out of fear. With Trip’s brother, Aiden, unable to produce heirs, it left Trip’s pup the next Alpha after Matthias Hagan. The Council couldn’t risk Trip making off into the night with little Robbie.

Of course, Trip hadn’t been the first to come out as gay in their husky-shifter clan. That honor had been snatched up by Hunter and Boone years ago, but they weren’t of Alpha blood. Hell, they weren’t even pureblood. Like every other canine clan Enforcer and those who’d come before them, Hunter and Boone were half-breeds, half wolf and half dog, so other than the usual contempt and disdain thrown their way, no one gave them much grief over it. Then again, no one gave the Devil Dogs much grief over anything. Hunter couldn’t even remember where the nickname had come from. As if it had been there from his birth. Ever since he could remember he’d heard rumors of how his and his brother’s fierceness in battle was due to devil spirits within them. How they’d been born with demon dog blood. It was all a bunch of ridiculous nonsense, but neither he nor his brother ever attempted to dispel the rumor. It made their jobs as Enforcers for their clan that much easier. No one wanted to tempt fate and find themselves in the jaws of a Devil Dog.

Enforcers were entrusted to protect the clan from attack, some of them used as personal bodyguards. The Devil Dogs had been picked by the Hagan Clan Alpha himself to become Trip’s personal Enforcers. A decision their Alpha was undoubtedly regretting these days. Trip had always had their backs, and no matter what happened, Hunter would have his, and not because he was paid to either. The Hagan Council might have backed down, but it was hardly over. For now Hunter’s peace lay at the bottom of a bottle and between the asscheeks of his next lay.

It hit him out of nowhere, knocking him out of his thoughts and nearly off his barstool. Through the stench of weed, cigarette smoke, booze, cheap sex, and Gods knew what else, there was a distinct scent that was sweet, heady, and all male. It invaded Hunter’s whole body, getting him painfully hard and sending his pulse soaring. His sight grew sharper, and he felt his canine teeth growing, his body answering the call.

Until Boone and Trip, Hunter had never believed in the whole “true mates” bullshit, and although he knew he wasn’t one of the fortunate few to have one, there was no denying the way his primal instincts were reacting to this one scent. He’d found a mate. Compatible mates weren’t exactly plentiful, but they weren’t scarce either. Now whether he did anything about it was another matter. There was something familiar about this scent, yet he couldn’t place it. Could it be possible he and this mate had met at some point? If they had, why wouldn’t he have felt this burning heat before? He sure as hell would’ve remembered it. Wasn’t the first time he’d crossed paths with a potential mate or two, and the sex always resulted in coming back for seconds, but that had been the extent of the encounters.

He scanned the overcrowded, grimy club crammed with degenerates like him out for a night of boozing, forgetting, and fucking. Sure, a couple of the other towns had nicer gay clubs, especially the human-occupied ones, but Hunter wasn’t looking for nice. After getting up off his barstool—followed by a little adjustment—he waded through the sea of grinding and humping bodies. Some mediocre dance tune thumped away from a shoddy sound system.

Which one of these clowns was trying to reel him in like a big fish? He didn’t much like losing control of his body like this, didn’t like the way it made his head spin or his stomach flip-flop. Then again, whoever was giving off the scent was all riled up and ready for action. Maybe Hunter would end up getting laid a little sooner than expected. Just because they were mates didn’t mean commitments had to be made. Nope. No, sir. There would be no bonding going on.

Following the scent to the dance floor, Hunter continued through the crowd none too gently when he spotted three big guys crowding a small booth scattered with a rainbow of fruity drinks. Not promising. Clearly he wasn’t the only one who’d caught a whiff of that intoxicating scent. As he got closer he could hear the cheesy pick-up lines, the promises of a wild night, and a couple of crude descriptions of what one leather daddy was gonna do to that “sweet ass” when he got his hands on it. Hunter wedged himself between Leather Daddy and some cowboy wannabe, ignoring their curses and threats. His dick strained against his jeans at the sight of the sweet little morsel with his back turned to Hunter, making it far too easy to picture what that body would look like face to the wall with Hunter buried deep inside.

About five foot seven, feathery golden-brown hair, a tight black top clinging to sinewy muscles, a trim waist, an incredible ass encased in tight black jeans, and scuffed biker boots. Damn. Usually Hunter went for guys a little closer to his height and size. He had a habit of playing rough and didn’t like worrying whether his partner could keep up, casual fuck or not. The shirt was riding up in the back enough to tease Hunter with what appeared to be part of a tribal style tattoo, some kind of eagle or bird with spread wings peeking out from beneath the waistband of this tasty treat.

“Nice ink,” he said, running a finger across the soft, smooth skin. “Wanna see mine?”

“Hey, hands off, pal.” The fiery brunet turned around. Further protest died on plump, glossy pink lips as big brown eyes widened.

Shit. Hunter was pretty sure he’d only had a few shots, not enough to have him seeing things.

“What are you doing here?”

“Ari?” Hunter knew he was gawking, but he couldn’t help it. A fierce sense of protectiveness, and something else he sure as hell wasn’t about to put a name to, shot through him. So much for his evening of debauchery. He grabbed Ari’s wrist and pulled him out of the booth. “We’re leaving.”

“What?” Ari tried—and failed—to tug his arm out of Hunter’s grasp. “What the hell, Hunter? Let go.”

Leather Daddy stepped in front of them and blocked their path. He gave Hunter a once-over and sneered. “I believe he asked you to leave him alone.”

“And I believe you should mind your own fucking business,” Hunter growled, his canines growing. He sniffed, the man’s scent telling. Another canine shifter. A wolf. How disappointing. For a moment, he thought he might have actually found a nice challenge.

Ari held a hand up to the larger shifter. “I’m fine. I know him.”

“Yeah, well maybe I don’t like him either way.”

Ari glanced nervously from Hunter to Leather Daddy and tried again. “Trust me. If you don’t walk away now, they’re going to have to carry you out.”

Judging by the bark of laughter the wolf let out, Hunter would say Leather Daddy wasn’t quite convinced. Their unwanted friend sniffed the air, his grin growing wider. “Half-breed. Even better.” Leather Daddy took a step forward while Hunter stood serenely in place, eagerly awaiting the guy’s first move, when Ari went and opened his mouth.

“He’s a Devil Dog.”

Leather Daddy stopped in his tracks, his eyes about to pop out of his skull. His expression turned skeptical. Then he met Hunter’s hard gaze, heard the low feral growl rumbling up from his chest, and nearly took out half the dance floor in his attempt to get away. Anyone who had been within hearing distance soon followed, except Cowboy Wannabe. Hunter grinned. There was always one dumbass who gathered himself tough enough to face a Devil Dog. The guy looked him over with a sneer.

“Devil Dog, huh? I bet you ain’t as tough as they say.”

Hunter sniffed the air and smiled, his fangs elongating. Another wolf shifter. “Looks to me like you’re itching to find out.” He tapped his cheek. “Go on. I’ll let you go first.”

Cowboy let out a laugh. He cracked his knuckles as he circled Hunter. “I like to do my fighting fair.”

“Well now, then you’re really going to lose,” Hunter replied. He moved Ari aside, ignoring his pleas to walk away. Hunter never walked away from a fight, especially when someone was in need of a lesson. This would teach Cowboy to go around challenging shifters he didn’t know.

Hunter waited patiently for Cowboy to make the first move. The arrogant ones always did. It didn’t take Cowboy very long. With a growl, he pulled back a fist and threw a right hook that Hunter ducked under. Frustrated at not landing one hit, Cowboy charged him. Hunter moved out of the way, laughing in amusement when the guy went stumbling into the gathering circle of shifters around them. There were a few humans, but not many. The smart ones had cleared out the moment Hunter had bared his fangs.

“You son of a bitch.” Cowboy growled and showed his fangs. He crowded Hunter and swung. Hunter moved out of the way, his concentration slipping briefly when Cowboy’s swing hit Ari, knocking him into the crowd.

Hunter snarled and charged Cowboy, throwing a fist and planting one straight across the guy’s jaw. He delivered a left hook, followed by a right uppercut. Cowboy reeled back and Hunter grabbed him by the shirt. With a fierce growl, he hurled the guy across a table filled with drinks. Cowboy crashed to the floor, bringing down chairs, drinks, and trays with him. The crowd cheered and Hunter turned to Ari, pulling him close. He inspected Ari.

“Are you all right?”

Ari glared at him. “I’m fine. He caught me in the arm.”

“That bastard.” Hunter turned, only to have Ari catch his arm. His eyes were pleading.

“Let’s get out of here.”

Hunter wasn’t done teaching his lesson, but when he looked up, Cowboy was bolting from the place at breakneck speed.

With a sigh, he made his way through the club and out the back with Ari held tightly in his grasp. “Why’d you have to go and ruin my fun?”

Ari scoffed. “It might have been fun for you, but not for that poor shmuck who’d end up on a gurney.”

“Serves him right for being a dipshit,” Hunter grumbled, finally giving in to Ari’s tugging and releasing him. His black ’65 Shelby Mustang was parked back here anyway. If Ari decided to make a run for it, Hunter would scoop him up and shove him in the car. First he needed some answers. “What the fuck are you doing here?”

Ari peered at him like he’d lost his marbles. Maybe he had. “How much did you drink?”

“Are you telling me you’re gay?” A strange sensation swept through Hunter, but he quickly pushed it to one side. Down, boy. Now’s not the time to be thinking with that particular part of your equipment.

“Seriously? I have to spell it out for you?”

“But… how the hell didn’t I know?”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were the first person I had to notify.”

Ari’s hair was tousled, his breath coming a little quicker than before, and his tongue darted out to lick his bottom lip. For all his sass, Hunter could feel how nervous the young husky-shifter was. Was Ari afraid of him? He’d never given him any reason to be. Then again, his reputation didn’t exactly peg him as a fluffy bunny.

“Are you even old enough to be here?”

Ari’s cheeks burned crimson, and he spoke through his teeth. “Yes, Mr. Devin, I turned twenty-one last week. I am therefore legally old enough to drink, go to a gay club, and get laid. So if you’ll excuse me….” Ari spun on his heels, only to have Hunter grab hold of his arm and turn him back around.

“Whoa, where do you think you’re going?”

“To do most, if not all, of what I just mentioned. Now do you mind? I would appreciate you not manhandling me.”

“Hell no.” Had Ari always had such a smart mouth? And what a mouth it was! He quickly added that thought to his growing list of don’t-go-there-if-you-know-what’s-good-for-you thoughts. Hunter remembered Ari as always being quiet and shy. Not that Hunter brought out the best in people. Ari might be old enough, but this seedy neighborhood was reserved for castaways and mongrels like him, not sweet doe-eyed boys. He pulled Ari toward his car.

“You can’t tell me what to do! Damn it, Hunter. Get off!”

Hunter spun around and towered over the young shifter with his six foot three frame. “Does your sister know you’re here?” Ari went white as a sheet, and his struggle came to a halt. Well, Hunter had his answer, and then some. His grip softened. “Does anyone know?”

“No, and you have to promise not to tell anyone, not even Boone. Please, my mom—”

Hunter held a hand up. He didn’t need reminding that Ari’s mom was not to be trifled with. At the moment she was making her daughter’s life a living hell for getting divorced and losing their family the connection to the Alphas. It didn’t matter that Brook had sacrificed her own happiness to do her duty by giving in to the Council’s demands of marrying Trip and producing an heir. Brook wasn’t the only one in Skyrah’s sights either. Trip was right at the top of the shit list, and Skyrah was doing everything within her power to ruin him. Hunter figured it wouldn’t be long before she added Hunter and Boone to that list. Fun times.

“I’m begging you. You know what she’s like, and with everything going on with my sister and Trip, I’m worried. She doesn’t know where I sneak off to. She thinks I’m studying for finals. If she found out, I don’t know what she’d do.” Ari’s eyes searched his, begging, and at that very moment, Hunter knew that sweet face would be his undoing. Was Ari aware of how close he was standing to him, how his fingers were clutching the lapels of Hunter’s leather jacket, or how his lips parted ever so slightly as he waited for Hunter’s response?

“It’s okay.” Hunter didn’t know what prompted him, but he pulled Ari into his arms and held him. “You have my word. I won’t tell a soul.” How long had Ari been keeping his secret, living in fear his mother would find out?

A soft shuddered sigh escaped Ari. He slipped his arms around Hunter’s middle and squeezed. Hunter swallowed hard, wondering when it had happened. When he thought about it, he’d always been aware of Ari. Walking around town, attending Council meetings, watching after Robbie at the playground, Hunter had always managed to spot Ari if he was there. As if a part of him had known before the rest had a chance to catch up. No wonder the scent had been so familiar. Ari hadn’t been old enough at the time for the mating call to kick in. Not that it mattered now. Knowing Ari was a compatible mate didn’t change a thing.

“Thank you.” Ari pulled away, his cheeks slightly flushed, though whether from the alcohol or something else Hunter wasn’t sure. “Could you give me a ride to Brook’s?”

“Sure.” Hunter led the way to his car and opened the passenger side door, earning himself a bright smile.

“Never knew you were such a gentleman.”

Hunter’s eyes dropped to his hand on the door. How the hell had that gotten there? “I’m not,” he growled and slammed the door shut after Ari had settled in his seat. He climbed in behind the wheel, muttered for Ari to put his seat belt on, and revved the engine.

The drive through the neighboring town of Savel was silent and uncomfortable. Hunter spent most of it trying not to think about Ari in that cesspit, getting hit on by every bastard out to take advantage. Their grimy hands on his smooth and flawless skin. Those pink lips parted in either ecstasy or pain. His blood boiled, and he hit the brakes, the car skidding to a halt on the side of the empty road lined with nothing but pine trees. He parked the car then turned in his seat, doing his best to keep his anger in check.

“Please tell me you weren’t looking to pop your cherry back in that shithole.”

Ari’s jaw dropped, and he gaped at Hunter, his whole face going red. “My Gods, have you always been so tactless?”

“I’m pretty sure ‘tact’ isn’t the word you were looking for. Answer my question.”

“It’s none of your business,” Ari replied through his teeth.

“Well, I’m making it my business,” Hunter snapped, somewhat surprised when Ari didn’t shrink back like most did.

“And why’s that?”

Good question. Why was that? Why did Hunter care? Simple. He didn’t. “Because you’re Brook’s little brother,” he replied, proud of himself for finding a reasonable explanation. “If anything happened to you while I was around and your sister found out, she would tear me a new one. So would Trip. And seeing as how he’s technically my boss, I have a responsibility to him.”

Ari peered at him, his lips pursed. He didn’t look overly convinced, but thank the Gods he didn’t question it. “I’m not a little kid anymore, Hunter. I haven’t been for a while.”

“Yeah, I noticed.” Fuck! Had that come out of his mouth? He tended to forget he’d never had one of those handy filters most people had somewhere between their brain and their mouth. A seat belt clicked, and before Hunter knew what the hell was going on, Ari had straddled his lap, their crotches pressed against each other and Ari’s arms wrapped around his neck. “What the fuck are you doing?”

“Showing you how I’ve grown.”

A sly smile came onto Ari’s lips, and he thrust his hips forward, his erection rubbing up against Hunter’s. Hunter tried his best to keep his wits about him, which meant keeping his hands off. Damn but the guy was pretty. Hunter had never much gone for pretty guys. He could appreciate them, but he never fantasized about what they’d feel like under him, what those amazing lips would look like wrapped around his cock. “Pretty” usually meant high maintenance, and Hunter didn’t have it in him to care that much. Was Ari high maintenance? Would he expect phone calls and texts, random little gestures to prove he had Hunter wrapped around his little finger?

“Why did you go there?” Hunter asked, trying to distract himself from those long dark lashes and pouty pink lips, or the fact that Ari could easily fit on the floor between him and the steering wheel, on his knees between Hunter’s, hands sliding up to unzip him…. Damn it. “Were you looking for a quick fuck in some skanky bathroom in a shitty club? Is that what you wanted?”

Ari arched an eyebrow at him. “Because you weren’t there for the same thing?”

“First of all, I’m ten years older than you. Second of all, I’m an asshole. You’re….”

“I’m what?” Ari sat back but didn’t get off him. “So help me, if you call me a kid, I’m out of this car. Then you can explain to my sister how you let me walk home at this time of night on my own from one town over.”

Sneaky little shit. “I know you’re not a kid.” Boy, did he know it. “You’re just….” Hunter tried to find the right words, but seeing as how he had no idea what he was trying to say, he was grasping at straws. Fuck, why was he acting like such an idiot? “I mean, you’re— Look at you.”

Ari shrugged, waiting. “What about me? I’m too short? Too skinny? Too pale? Too young? What?”

“No, you’re fucking sexy and gorgeous and too good for those shitty assholes in there. You deserve better.”

Ari stared at him. His expression softened, and his hands went to Hunter’s chest. “You sure say ‘asshole’ a lot.”

“Yeah, well, I sort of have a one-track mind. I mean, you’re sweet, smart, not like those losers. You deserve someone who’s gonna treat you right, not like some cheap fuck.”

“You swear a lot too.”

“It goes hand in hand with the asshole part.” Hunter didn’t like the way his whole body was reacting to Ari sitting there absently stroking Hunter’s arm, his chest, his thigh. How was it their bodies fit so well together? And why wasn’t Ari scared? A soft sigh escaped Ari, and he shrugged his sexy shoulders. Sexy shoulders? What the fuck was wrong with him? Ari was right; he did swear a lot.

“It’s not like I don’t have any experience. Besides, back home, I’m not exactly spoiled for choice, am I? There are three other gay guys in Perin. You, Trip, and Boone. Trip’s like a brother to me, and your brother, well, he’s kinda scary, not to mention huge, like really big.” His eyes widened, and his cheeks flushed.

“He’s not that big.” Wait, that didn’t come out right. Hunter ran a hand over his face in frustration. “Not that I check out my brother’s junk. I mean, we’re brothers. Anyway, I’m gonna shut up now.”

Ari laughed, a soft, light sound that had Hunter’s lips curling up of their own accord.

He reached out and ran a thumb over Ari’s bottom lip. It probably tasted sweet like the rest of him. “What about me?”

“What about you?” Ari asked quietly, his gaze falling to Hunter’s lips before returning to his eyes.

“You mentioned Trip and Boone, but you didn’t say anything about me. You don’t think I’m scary?”

Ari shook his head. “I’m fully aware of your reputation, of what you’ve done, what you’re capable of. No one messes with you, and you don’t give a shit about what people think or say about you. I wish I could be that way.”

Hunter let his head fall back with a humorless laugh. “You don’t want to be like me. Hell, sometimes I don’t want to be like me.”

“Why not? You’re strong, fearless, a walking wet dream.” Ari’s hands traveled down to Hunter’s jeans, resting on his waistband. The guy was going to drive him out of his mind.

“You forgot the stubborn asshole part.”

“Yeah, I guess you can be that too. And then there’s the part that rolls around in the grass with a two-year-old pup, playing with him, teaching him to pounce and chase squirrels.”

Hunter averted his gaze, embarrassed. “I can hardly be mean to Robbie. He’s just a little furball, doesn’t know any better.” In truth, Hunter enjoyed looking after the rascally pup. Robbie was adorable and, like his dad, far too clever for his own good.

“You love him. You’d tear anyone to pieces who would try and hurt him.”

“Damn straight. No one’s laying a hand on that pup while I’m around.” Hunter forgot himself for a moment and his growl was fierce. He pulled back and cleared his throat. “Sorry.”

Again Ari surprised him by moving closer rather than away.

“See. You’re not such a big bad wolf.”

Ari was so close Hunter could feel his hot breath against his skin. His hands went to Ari’s hips, sliding up and under the tight T-shirt. What would it taste like to run his tongue over that tattoo? He dug his fingers into the soft flesh. He leaned forward only to push Ari away from him.

“So, what, then? I’m the last gay left in the village, and now you want to be fuck buddies?”

Ari flinched as if he’d been struck, and Hunter cursed himself, as Ari got off him and resumed his seat on the passenger side, his seat belt promptly fastened. Nice going. From Ari’s comment about him and Robbie playing, Ari had noticed him plenty of times, and although they weren’t strangers—what with Ari’s sister having been married to Hunter’s best friend for ten years—they’d been part of two very different social circles, circles that never intersected.

What the hell would Ari want with him other than the occasional screw? Not that Hunter wouldn’t love to feel Ari’s soft, sinewy body beneath him, but Hunter was all about casual hookups, a night or two of unadulterated kinky sex, leaving before breakfast, no sweethearts, romance, commitments, or heaven forbid, the L-word. No one was putting a leash on him, especially not some little rebel.

Hunter drove the rest of the way refusing to think any more about him and Ari, especially since there was no him and Ari. Fifteen minutes later, he pulled up a block away from Brook’s house in a dimly lit patch of dirt surrounded by shrubs, in case someone was feeling nosy and wondered why sweet little Ari Jannsen was climbing out of a Devil Dog’s car at this time of night.

“Thanks for the lift,” Ari muttered, getting out and closing the door without so much as a glance in his direction.

Hunter cursed under his breath, put the car in park, and got out. He rounded the front and marched over to where Ari stood with shoulders hunched—and without allowing himself a moment to think about what he was about to do, he grabbed hold of Ari, lifted him off his feet, and pinned him against the car with his body, making a meal out of Ari’s lips with his own. The moment Ari gasped, Hunter slipped his tongue inside his mouth, intent on dominating the fiery pureblood. His plans went to hell in spectacular fashion.

Ari wrapped his legs around Hunter’s ass, rutting against him, his arms around Hunter’s neck and his mouth taking what Hunter gave. For every push, Ari pushed back. Their kiss was hard, sloppy, and filled with scorching heat. Whatever shyness Ari possessed, it sure as hell wasn’t present now.

Hunter let himself get lost, taking as much as Ari was willing to give. He said a silent prayer of thanks when Ari took the initiative and unzipped Hunter, who happily returned the favor. The precome already leaking out of them was enough to get Hunter’s hand nice and slick, and he palmed both their erections.

“Oh Gods, yes.”

“If this isn’t what you want, tell me to stop,” Hunter whispered, giving Ari the chance to think about what he was getting himself into and back away.

“What I want is for you to fuck me, but I’m willing to wait until you’ve grown the balls to do it. Until then, this will do.”

Hunter jerked back in surprise, his gaze locked on intense brown eyes. “Fuck.”

A wicked smile that made Hunter’s heart do a flip came onto Ari’s face. “Eventually.”

Hunter nearly lost his shit right then and there. He pumped his fist faster while he kissed Ari until his jaw was sore. Man, he could kiss Ari until the end of time. His muscles strained, and his abdomen tightened. This was going to be the shortest hand job in the history of hand jobs, but he was so turned on right now he was about to hurt something.

“If you think this is the last time we’re doing this, you better think again, because I will hunt you down,” Ari breathed before he bit down on Hunter’s bottom lip.

“Holy shit, I’m going to come.”

“Promise me this won’t be the last time.”

Whatever you want, it’s yours. Hunter nodded fervently. He didn’t know what was going on or what kind of hold Ari had on him, but damn, he was all but ready to get on his knees and submit. Ari thrust into his hand in earnest, his fingers digging into Hunter’s shoulders before he ran his tongue from the end of Hunter’s chin up and over his lips. Sweet Goddess above….

“A little more,” Ari panted, his hips losing their rhythm. “Yes, oh Gods, yes. Please, Hunter!”

Crushing his lips to Ari’s, he stifled both their cries as hot come dripped down his hand and against his belly. A few more tugs drew out their orgasms. Hunter’s knees buckled, and he carefully lowered Ari to his feet, holding him close for a few breathless moments. He used the end of his T-shirt to clean them up before gently tucking Ari back into his pants and zipping him up. He did the same for himself, his gaze on Ari. When he was done, he leaned into him, his hand traveling up Ari’s sides before he buried his face against Ari’s neck. The scent of what they’d done filled his nostrils and made him groan. There was no letting go now.

“Where the hell have you been all this time?”

Ari pressed his lips to Hunter’s cheek before replying in a throaty tone, “Waiting for you to notice me. Do I have your attention now?”

The hell with everything. Hunter slid his hand up Ari’s neck to his cheek. “You’ve got more than my attention.” This time when he kissed Ari, it was slow and driven by more than lust. Hunter forced himself to pull away before he could lose himself completely. “You sure you want me?”

A cool breeze ruffled Ari’s hair, and he shivered despite his sweet smile. Hunter removed his leather jacket. Underneath it, he wore his favorite black hoodie. He unzipped it and took it off before slipping it around Ari’s shoulders. That beautiful smile broadened as Ari put his arms in the sleeves, zipped it up, and tucked his hands in the pockets.

“Looks like I’ve already got you.” Standing on his tiptoes, he kissed Hunter’s lips. “And I have no intention of letting go.” He slipped away, turned, and walked backward. “Thanks for the hoodie. Hope you’re not expecting to get it back. Sweet dreams, handsome.” A wink and kiss later, he was gone.

Hunter stood there dumbstruck, his gaze on the now empty street where Ari had just been. He let out a shaky breath and slipped back into his jacket. Upon getting into his car, he sat there for a moment, forgetting what to do. What the hell had just happened? There must have been something funny in that bottle of Jack, because he felt a little… dizzy. Here he was, sitting in his car, in the middle of the night, on the side of an empty road, thinking about Ari who he’d just gotten off with. He’d even given Ari his hoodie. When the hell had he cared about anyone enough to give them something of his? Damn, he hadn’t gotten Ari’s number.

“Man, you are screwed.” He let his head fall against the steering wheel. He’d gone out for a night of boozing and fucking, and ended up with… what? A smile crept onto his face and he let out a soft laugh. Gods, this was bad. It had only been a few minutes and he was already thinking about Ari. Damn, it had felt good kissing him. “Okay, that’s enough thinking for one night.” He revved up his engine and drove home with a sappy smile on his face. Yeah, definitely the whiskey. Had to be.

COLLAPSE

 

About the Author

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.


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