Injured and driven out of his forest pack, wolf-shifter Declan escapes to the prairies. Here he encounters hawk-shifter Killian. The hawk is snarky and annoying, but he's Declan's only hope for survival.
Alpha Declan needs a pack. Solitary Killian doesn't need anyone. The two form a partnership, based on hunting and their unacknowledged mutual loneliness. The relationship quickly deepens into something stronger, maybe something lasting.
Then Declan gets the chance to regain control of the wolves. Will he return to the pack he lost, and give up the love he's just found?
Be Warned: m/m sex
After fish and mice and rabbits, the antelope—proper wolf food, finally—tasted like the venison of the gods. Declan crammed in as much as he could before he even thought about talking. “This is how a wolf pack eats.” He patted his belly contentedly. “How do you like it so far?”
Killian didn’t answer. He couldn’t, with his mouth stuffed with antelope. Declan chuckled and waited him out. Killian chewed hurriedly, gulped, and said, “I’ve never tasted anything like this.”
“Hell, this is nothing. There’s this herb in the woods…the she-wolves know where to find it. You get some of that, some mushrooms, make a sauce from the blood…damn.” He licked the drool from his lips. “Told you I wasn’t a savage.”
“No. No, you most definitely aren’t.” He leaned back against the earthen support of the bluff, where Declan already reclined with his legs stretched out before him. Their kilts made rounded humps over their full bellies.
Not only their bellies, Declan noticed idly. That little bump on Killian’s thigh wasn’t a twig. It wasn’t all that little, either. Declan had romped with wolves who had less, and wolves who had more but few ideas on what to do with their bounty. His own kilt tented as his wolf raised its head in a tentative howl.
“Your she-wolves cook for you, then? Of course they would. You’re the alpha,” Killian answered his own question. “Or does being alpha mean you cook for them?”
“The women do most of the preparation. Those who are good at hunting, hunt. The rest forage. Some have learned how to grow things. I think that’s a good idea. Even when there’s no meat, there’s still something. No, I don’t cook, but I can. I pay attention to everything the she-wolves do with the food. I like to eat, and I like to eat well.” He flashed a hearty grin. “Do you cook? You carry flint.”
“Not often. I just don’t take the time. Too hungry. Bird. High metabolism.” Killian whistled a happy sigh. “Though not just now. I won’t be flying for hours.”
Grounded, eh? Good to know. Declan wondered if Killian was aware of how close he was sitting to the wolf. Or how absolutely lovely he looked—full-fed, his lazy smile at last devoid of snark, his nervous energy momentarily calmed. Even the wild ferocity in his eyes had mellowed. Perhaps he might be in the mood for a little after-breakfast fun. Nothing ventured…
Recalling how the man had flinched at even a casual touch, Declan made his move slow and easy. His tentative rub of Killian’s shoulder sparked another flinch, though not a violent one. Killian slanted a wary look at him through hooded eyes but said nothing. More importantly, he didn’t move away.
Emboldened, Declan slid his hand from Killian’s shoulder to the back of his neck. Dammit, he was stiff as rock back there. He rubbed and kneaded until he coaxed a bit of grudging relaxation out of Killian’s muscles. “So tense,” he teased. “I don’t bite. Not unless you ask.” He took a risk and leaned in closer. “Do you bite?”
For answer, Killian rested his hand on Declan’s leg. His nails pricked the skin of Declan’s thigh, even through the protection of the kilt. “I’m more of a scratcher. You might want to remember that.”
“Oh, I will. And you’re going to remember this for nights to come.”
Their lips were barely a breath apart. He closed that tiny gap and laid claim to Killian’s mouth.
Killian stiffened but didn’t pull away. Nor did he respond, not at first. Declan nibbled at his lips. Killian seemed to reach a decision and kissed back.
Great gods above and below. Kissing the hawk was like putting his lips to a lightning storm. The man was pure energy, electric and wild, like some primal god of the sky. Desire shot through Declan’s entire body as he drank it in, this fierce font of passion that was Killian. All of a sudden he wanted—no, needed—to climb aboard this feathered whirlwind and ride to its end, all the way to the clouds if need be.
Encouraged by Killian’s reaction, Declan pulled the smaller man into his brawny arms. His hands explored the angular geography of Killian’s narrow body, mapping every wiry inch. That downy not-hair covering extended from his clavicles downward, where it formed a dark, cozy nest for his dick. Similar down coated his arms, his legs, and—oh fuck yeah, his balls. Its enticing softness, contrasted with the rocklike solidity of Killian’s muscles, was driving Declan over the edge.
Most of all, he wanted to ram his mighty wolf into the hawk-shifter’s hole. He had no doubts what he’d find in there: wet heat and a grip like talons. He almost came right then just thinking about it.