Some bonds are strong enough to last a lifetime, and change the world.
Rory O'Sullivan has spent his life alone. Once upon a time, he made one real human connection as a gay man. That moment happened in Nazi captivity, and the wolf he escaped with was a Soviet soldier. They had a taste of what love might mean, but in 1944, personal happiness had to come second to survival.
Now, seventy years later, when he feels the presence of Nikolai, somehow close and needing him after all that time, no one— not gay Alpha Aaron of the Minneapolis West pack, or rising political threats, or even top Alpha Rick Brown himself— will stop him. Rory's going to answer the appeal he's waited a lifetime for. Some bonds can't be denied.
(This is a new novel in the Hidden Wolves series.)
- 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 46-65
Protagonist 3 Age: 66+
Tropes: Alpha Character, Coming Out / Closeted, Coming Out Later in Life, Fated Mates / Soul Mates, First Time, Forbidden Love, Hurt / Comfort, Second Chances, Star-Crossed Lovers
Word Count: 120000
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Zach knelt naked on the wooden floor, trying to find his calm center. This bedroom smelled wrong, of cleaner and stale human scents instead of Aaron. He couldn’t resent the old wolf now sleeping in their own cabin, but he wished they’d come up with a different place to put the guy. What a cluster.
He hoped like hell they’d be able to talk to Rory rationally, and soon. He’d had his fill of death and destruction in recent months. And thinking about death wasn’t getting him where he needed to be. He breathed in through his nose and out through his mouth rhythmically.
The wood was hard under his bare knees, and a whisper of air across his skin raised goosebumps. He wondered how long Aaron would make him wait. Being forced to have patience was his least favorite part of obeying his Alpha, and Aaron knew it, the bastard.READ MORE
Zach crossed his wrists behind his back. He wondered if “take it all out of your hands” might involve tied wrists and orgasm denial. The thought finally brought his cock to half-mast, although he hated orgasm denial. Right. Until it feels so perfect when Aaron finally says “come.”
Funny how restraint could be the scariest or the best thing ever, depending on if it was someone you trusted. Not like Rory, poor bastard, tied up for his own good. Aaron said that’d been pure blind panic, the way he threw himself at the windows. Or one of the videos they’d been tracking, where a werewolf paced circles around a bound, naked woman—
He jumped as the bedroom door swung open. Aaron came in still dressed in slacks and a polo shirt but with his feet bare. Zach fixed his gaze on those narrow feet, on the high arches. He had the urge to get on his belly and lick them. His dick was soft again. I’m an idiot.
Aaron stopped in front of him, crooked a finger under Zach’s chin, and raised his head till their eyes met.
Zach shivered, then managed a grin. “Hi, sir. Getting chilly in here.” That was snarky enough to earn him a sharp tap, hopefully. Something to get his mind back on track.
Aaron slid his other hand into Zach’s hair and closed his fingers, tilting Zach’s head farther back, baring his throat. His forefinger moved from Zach’s chin to his lower lip. Zach wanted to suck on it. There’d be a comfort to the taste of Aaron’s skin in his mouth— finger or cock, he wanted that. He waited to be told to begin.
Aaron tapped Zach’s lip slowly, staring down at him. Their pack bond was wide open. Zach could feel the love and focus and power that came from Aaron. It wrapped around him, slowing his breathing, easing the tension in his neck and chest.
Aaron sighed, let go, and stepped back. “No.”
“No what?” Zach blinked, the loss of the pull against his hair like a splash of cold water. “Sir?”
“You don’t need sex tonight.”
Before Zach could forget himself enough to contradict his Alpha— because fuck, yes, I do, please— Aaron added, “You need to run in fur. Remember why being pack is a blessing and a joy. You need to hold your place among your brothers and feel more than human, not less.”
Oh! Yes. He hadn’t realized until a wave of longing hit him. It’d been too long since he’d taken time off his computer for things other than eating and sleeping and sex. His wolf rose, touching the other pack bonds, feeling Mark— Second, strong and steady— and Lucas— Third, old and wise— and the swirl of worry and humor that was Simon in Fifth and all the rest, ranked out around him.
Aaron bent, took Zach’s elbow, and pulled him to his feet. “We have enough of the guys here for a real run. Get your fur on, boy. I’ll gather the pack.”
Twenty minutes later, they met with Lucas, Cord, Brandt, and David at the dark path that led away from the last cabin. Simon had offered to stay behind to guard Rory and keep an eye on things. No big surprise. As long his human mate insisted on being a hands-on doctor to the lone wolf, Simon wasn’t likely to leave his side. The rest of their packmates were stuck down in Minneapolis but six wolves would be enough to make the pack bonds sing. A few minutes’ walk down the path got them to a place safe for shifting, and the others quickly put on fur.
Aaron led out at an easy lope. Lucas, Cord, and Brandt fell in behind. Zach trotted out after Brandt and heard David’s footsteps echo behind him. Aaron immediately picked up the pace, pushing them to a full run. The route was familiar, and despite the low light, they flew over the ground with ease. Zach felt his link to the others deepen. Aaron’s weighty presence in their heads grew stronger, larger, until the shift of his muscles and the fall of his feet became theirs.
The unison of a pack at full run flowed through them. Fainter and farther away, he sensed Mark, a bit envious, a bit rueful, joining the song of bone and muscle, heart and breath. Richard and Damien, Patrick and Andy and Peter and old Vincent, like harmonics under the strong notes of a choir. Simon too, like sunshine on water, amused and warm. This is pack. This was why all the rest was worth it.
They topped a rise, and Aaron paused, letting loose a howl. They echoed his song behind him, noses to the dark sky, singing together. The bonds locked tighter.