Of Nuts and Men

A Gay Squirrel Shifter Romance

by LE Franks

Of Nuts and Men - LE Franks
Editions:Kindle - Second Edition: $ 2.99
ISBN: B08QGCQGS1

Jamie's desperate to shed his skin and let the squirrel inside run free, and a trip to the family cabin proves a perfect time to do so. But instead of revisiting his buried treasures, Jamie finds the man of his dreams.

Sawyer is ready to wrap up his season on the mountain. All he wants is a hot shower and his bed, but a frisky cougar has other plans for the naturalist. Chased up a tree Sawyer has no way to call for help and no company besides the inquisitive red squirrel on the tree limb next to him.

Jamie has a choice—expose his deepest secret and risk everything, or rescue the man of his dreams. With the sun setting, is time running out for Jamie’s best chance in finding love?

Excerpt:

It was the largest fucking cat he’d ever seen.

At least he’d thought so until the monster started playing its twisted game of cat and mouse with him, and it was suddenly less about body mass and more about teeth and claws and finding the shortest route away from both. And if he wasn’t crazy, he’d swear the damn thing was herding him along, keeping him just within striking distance as he scrambled over the rocky trail, backtracking along the deep canyon he’d just hiked down.

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Fuck all the advice he’d ever read about not running from big predators—standing still didn’t seem to be a viable option, so run it was. And he had, shaking off the fatigue from his hike. But now his lungs burned, and sharp panting gasps wrenched from his chest as he tried to suck in enough oxygen to fuel his frenzied dash across the mountain. His ribs were already a mass of bruises from the pummeling they were receiving from the flashlight strapped to the side of his daypack, and he didn’t know how much longer he could keep this up.

Reaching back, Sawyer grabbed a flapping strap to cinch it tighter, pulling the pack against his body when his ankle twisted, throwing him off his gait and nearly sending him to a knee and into the maw of the great tracking beast.

He jerked upright, compelled his legs to pump higher, run faster, and in desperation he prayed his not-so-silent prayer, invoking every god and goddess he could remember from his World Religions class at Berkeley. He called down their blessings, their divine intervention, and maybe a few lightning bolts—anything to obstruct the nightmare closing in.

Maybe if he survived, he’d think about the timing. Maybe he was born lucky or Fate had another task for him to complete. Maybe there really was a God, or he had an angel, or chaos theory was in play. Whichever it turned out to be, he’d thank them/it later. Because as sure as all hope was lost the second he felt the foul breath of a predator on his neck, the pack shredding under one grasping blow and torn from his back, Sawyer found himself knocked into the arms of a huge pine. Without conscious thought, he launched himself up.

He barely noticed the boughs breaking under his feet as he climbed higher, didn’t care that the bark scored his hands and tore his nails, or that the pitch stained his clothes—all that mattered was that the snarling mountain lion, now pacing thirty-five feet below and growling every time he shifted on his ligneous perch, was without one afternoon snack.

He wrapped his arms around the trunk to watch the big cat. There wasn’t much he could do if the animal decided to climb up after him, though so far it seemed content enough pacing back and forth, rubbing against the tree like he was marking it for later. Eventually these behaviors gave way to rolling around in the dust until even a dirt bath in the sun lost its appeal, and the giant feline scrambled to its feet. He lifted one mighty hind leg to show off an impressive set of furry balls, peed on the base, and then disappeared down the trail, Sawyer’s day pack dangling from his jaws as he went.

It was close to an hour later, when the adrenaline had subsided and the nausea faded somewhat, and it was apparent that the cat had moved on to more interesting prey, that the gravity of his situation made itself known— literally.

In his race up the tree, he’d managed to break off several of the key branches that had made his climb possible. Now from his vantage point, all he could see was space beneath him, and no way to climb down without risking his neck in a fall. Small wonder the big cat wasn’t in a hurry to eat him—it wasn’t hungry, just shopping for later.

Sawyer began to pray all over again.

COLLAPSE

About the Author

LE Franks is an author of Gay Romance fiction, living in the SF Bay Area surrounded by inspiration; and after years of ignoring the voices in her head, she’s now giving them free reign in the form of her characters.

Her stories are a unique mix of humor and drama with enough suspense to produce fast-paced stories filled with emotion and passion, and featuring characters that are quirky and complicated.

For the latest, check out her website for links to current works, news, and social media. www.lefranks.com


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