Page 3 of Red River (Pack 2)

“Hi,” he said as soon as he was within arm’s distance of Wesley.

Despite his unorthodox appearance, the man in front of him managed to push almost all of Wesley’s buttons. Almost because he didn’t have the wild, warm, comforting scent natural in shifters. But everything in the bar smelled unfamiliar—liquor, sweat, stale cigarettes, and musk—so Wesley had already resigned himself to ignoring his sense of smell for the night.

“Hello.” Accustomed to socializing only with shifters he’d known his whole life, Wesley considered what he could say to a prospective human conquest. He could try a pickup line, but the only ones that came to mind were from cheesy movies and there was no way he was asking the guy if he came there often.

“Wow,” the man said appreciatively as he flicked his kohl-lined eyes from Wesley’s face to his feet and back up again. “You’re more gorgeous than in my fantasies.”

Relieved they were both in the bar for the same reason and he wouldn’t have to play games or wait to get to the point of the evening, more tension bled from Wesley. He even managed to chuckle.

“My fantasies generally involve fewer clothes.” Wesley rested his palm over the human’s chest and moved his thumb back and forth over his T-shirt covered nipple. “Want to get out of here so I can show you what else they involve?”

“Sure.” A flicker of hesitation crossed the human’s face. “Do you want to…get some tea and talk?”

Oh, no. Conversation was a bad idea because the constant stresses regarding his role within his pack had exhausted Wesley and he didn’t trust himself not to accidentally say something that would strike a human as unusual. That aside, he hadn’t come to the bar to make friends. He had come to get laid without worrying the entire time that his bed partner was looking at his scarred stomach and judging him as unworthy to lead. He had seen the appreciation and interest in the green-haired man’s eyes from the moment he spotted Wesley and he wasn’t going to let them move backward.

“Actually, I don’t.” He slid his fingers up to the man’s neck, wrapped his hand around it, keeping his hold gentle, and walked them toward the door. “I want to take you home.”

Swallowing thickly, the man bobbed his head. “Okay. You live close by?”

As they stepped out into the cool night air, Wesley shook his head and then blinked away the sudden spinning in his head. “No.” He pointed at his car with the out-of-state license plate. “I meant we should go to your place.”

The man stayed silent for several long seconds, his brow furrowed and his eyes seemed to examine Wesley’s face. “I’m not from around here either,” he finally said. “But I can get a hotel room and—”

“That’s perfect.” Wesley grasped the man’s elbow and led him toward a hotel at the end of the street. “A night in a hotel is exactly what I had in mind.”

Unable to completely shake his concern over being seen and judged for getting involved with a male and a human, Wesley hung back while his new friend got a room. The silence continued as they walked up the stairs and down the dimly lit hallway and a frisson of unease trickled over Wesley’s spine, as if he was overlooking something.

Unable to identify any potential problem aside from his choice of bed partner for the evening, Wesley reminded himself that even an Alpha deserved a night when he could think about his own needs rather than those of his pack. And in that moment, Wesley wasn’t sure he could do right by his pack unless someone touched and looked at him with desire rather than apprehension.

“Hey, whatever it is, it’ll be okay.”

The softly spoken words snapped Wesley back to the present. He must have been lost in his thoughts longer than he realized because they were standing inside the hotel room, the door clicking shut behind them.

“I’m fine,” he said reflexively.

“You sure are,” the other man said as he pointedly dragged his gaze up and down Wesley’s body.

They hadn’t turned the light on so he doubted the human could actually see him, but the sentiment rekindled his earlier desire.

“Glad you think so.”

“I need to kiss you.” The comment was whispered just before careful hands cupped Wesley’s face and soft lips pressed against his own.

The action wasn’t aggressive per se, but Wesley was accustomed to leading all interactions so it caught him off guard. Instinct had him grabbing the man’s wrists even as desire caused him to part his lips and open himself to the kiss. The human’s flavor was richer than Wesley would have expected, more potent. It sharpened his arousal and fogged his brain.

Seemingly having the same reaction, his companion moaned. With their mouths pressed together and their tongues tangling, they stumbled deeper into the room, blindly found their way to the bed, and fell onto the mattress. All thoughts of asserting his power flew from Wesley’s brain as they rolled from one side of the bed to the other, their bodies writhing together. The replacement of soft curves with hard muscles pleased him soul deep, as did the hard ridge of arousal sliding against his thigh. Nothing had ever felt so right, so necessary, and Wesley wondered how he had gone his entire life without it.

Tags: Cardeno C. Pack Fantasy