Falling in love was something he never thought could happen—
but everything catches up to you eventually.
Charles hates being a rabbit shifter and has only stuck around to help end Operation Elevate, when he’s sent on a mission, and his eyes are opened...
He’s paired with an ex-guard, Jones, to discover whether a military base is in the business of making more shifters.
It’s up to them to complete their mission, and maybe find more than they bargained for in the process.
- 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Blue Eyed Dreams
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Badass Hero, Rescue, Trapped Together
Word Count: 15195
Setting: secret government facility
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
I plopped down in the front seat of the Jeep Jones had rented and slammed the door. It was too fucking early, and I wasn’t ready for this rendezvous. I leaned against the window, wishing I was back in my warm bed.
“You ready for this mission, kid?”
I pointed at Jones without looking up as if that would help. “Not a kid. I’m twenty-four. Stopped aging when they put this rabbit in me. How many fucking times do I have to tell you?”
Jones chuckled as he put the Jeep in gear. “You’re very cranky this early, bunny.”
“I’ve got coffee.”
I turned my shoulder, glancing over the console. Sure enough, a large white to-go cup with Chuck scrawled across the front waited for me. “Thanks. But stop calling me Chuck.”
“Never happening, bunny boy.”
“You’re such an ass.”READ MORE
“Nope, I’m a big-ass Buffalo while you’re a tiny little ball of fluff.”
I sipped at the liquid heaven, fixed exactly how I liked it. Hard to be pissed at Jones when he did get my coffee right, but then again…
He drove out of town, watching the little shoppies roll into the rearview mirror. The town was tiny, not unlike the one outside of our own base, except this one was active with plenty of civilians. Ours had been evacuated or abandoned at some point. General Dunning had probably been responsible for that. When we’d arrived at the new city, we were a bit unprepared for a fully populated town, no matter how small it was. Just another blip on the radar as far as Austin, our commander, was concerned.
His orders changed from sneak around the base, twenty miles away in the middle of nowhere, to infiltrate the town and scope things out. We’d done that and more. Jones had scored a job as a security officer for the base, using fake documents that Todd had fixed for him. Who the hell knew Todd was so talented on the computer? He was a regular hacker, that one. And Austin’s husband. They had led our group to victory over our captors, and now they led us in finding other bases to take down.
I had a job in the library, where I could research shit, and I’d made friends with the local real estate agent. She was nice, which only made me feel bad about using her for information on the history of the town and surrounding area, but we needed it. “Yeah, we have to shut this base down.”
Jones sat his own cup back in the holder. “If they’re a shifter factory.”
“They have to be.” Everything lined up too perfectly for anything else. The military had bought the land and with how fast the base went up as well as its isolated location, all pointed to one thing. They were turning young men into shifters for their own nefarious purposes.
“We’ll see.” Jones could be an asshole. He purposefully said things to irritate me constantly, like calling me Chuck.
My name was Charles, Charles Lyman. I’d been kidnapped by the military psychopaths when I was just a kid, and I was one of the first to be transformed into a shifter. A fucking bunny rabbit shifter. While people like Jones, who had been one of the asshole security guards who kept us locked up, got to be African water buffalos. Or other cool shit like Austin and Todd. They were in charge now, and their animals were cats—big cats. Panthers to be precise. Austin was a big black cat with hidden spots that you could only see when the sun hit his flank just right. His partner in everything, Todd, was a Florida panther, the golden cat of the Americas.
But I was a bunny. They were using me to spy. If I didn’t feel it was so important to shut these bases down, I would have left, seeking out my own destiny or some shit.
“Whatever.” I turned back to the window, although there was nothing to see now but the darkness of the fields surrounding the village.
“You’re so fierce.” Jones pretended to shiver, mocking me.
“You’re such an ass.”
Jones chuckled in that way that always grated on my nerves. “Just like your power-form.”
I had no idea why he thought that was funny. Our power-forms were the third type of shifting we could do. It was an in-between state, human and animal and stronger than both. Mine looked like a giant, badass rabbit-man. “What?”
“Yeah, your power-form.” He laughed and put a hand over his chest while keeping the other on the wheel. “You remind me of the Easter Bunny character from Rise of the Guardians when you shift to that.”
“Fuck right off, Jones.”
“Seriously. Don’t do that today, okay? Just be the little bunny spy. Or you’ll blow our cover from me laughing so hard.”
“When the fuck do you have time to watch cartoons, anyway? Fucking Easter bunny.”
“Watched it with Nick.”
Nick. The fourteen-year-old marten shifter. Everyone loved the cute kid, especially Jones. They had a mentor relationship, all big brother and little brother, but I was jealous anyway. Not because Jones had someone, but just that everyone seemed to be pairing off in one way or another, but I was always alone. I’d probably be alone for however long a shifter could live, and even though it was mostly my own fault, it still could hurt from time to time, particularly when someone else’s, even Jones’s, relationship was shoved in my lonely-ass face.
“Yeah, Nick, whatever. Fuck you and your Easter crap.” I leaned against the window again, wishing my brain would stop churning out the past in times like this.
“Hey. I’m just fucking with you.”
He didn’t sound apologetic at all. In fact, he sounded like those high school fuckers who’d always bullied me. The football players, the jocks, had been so mean, and he looked like he’d been one of them, too. All broad shoulders and traps, thin waist, and massive thighs. Very hot, but not my type. Too much time in the gym if you asked me.
It only pissed me off more, and I turned on him in a flash. “You don’t know a damn thing about me, or any of the other guys. I’d think your friendship with Nick would make you a little more sensitive. Most of us were kidnapped off the street, but some of us actually had families.”
“Nick had family. The kind that kicked him to the curb. I’m sure yours did, too.”
“What’s that mean?” I knew, though. I didn’t have to ask. The government targeted young boys who didn’t have connections. Most they’d pulled off the streets, but not all. They’d pulled Austin from college. But the way they targeted us, meant a good proportion of us were gay and had been kicked out of our homes for it. That wasn’t exactly what happened to me.
“Why so sensitive all of a sudden?”
“All of a sudden? You haven’t been paying attention.”COLLAPSE
Initially available through Prolific Works. Now on Kindle Unlimited.