~ Part Three ~
Zhuang shifted back to his human form and knelt, leaning back on his legs. He rubbed his hand down his face before staring down at the snow leopard cringing on the cave floor in front of him.
This was not how he envisioned meeting his mate.
"Shift," he growled.
He cringed when the leopard started shaking. He was not a people person. Hell, he was barely a feline person. He pretty much hated everyone.
Well, that might not be true. He didn't hate everyone. He just didn't have much use for them. Most people were nice enough until they got what they wanted and then they stabbed you in the back, and that was felines and humans alike.
When the snow leopard shifted, Zhuang's jaw dropped. Arousal surged through him. Eyes as green as summer grass stared back at him from a sweet little cupid face. Dark eyebrows drew his attention to the gentle slope of the man's brow. His long snow white hair drew Zhuang's attention to his ears. He had the insane desire to run his tongue along the contoured edges of those pointed ears.
That beautiful head was attached to the most alluring body Zhuang had ever seen. A swan like neck, well proportioned chest, narrow hips, and legs that went on forever. He could just imagine those long legs wrapped around his hips as he pounded his cock into that sweet little ass.
Damn, he needed to get his mind out of the gutter. Apparently, he had sex on the brain.
"My name is Zhuang. What is yours?"
That would be good to know.
"Xias," the man replied in a soft whisper.
"What are you doing out here on your own?"
"I got lost in the blizzard. When I saw this cave..."
Zhuang nodded. It was the same reason he had come into the cave, so that made sense. "Do you understand what happened here?"
He was still reeling from it.
"If you want to..." Xias swallowed tightly. "I mean, you can if you..."
"Stop, please." Zhuang grew a little sick to his stomach when he realized Xias had had sex with him because he was afraid and not because he wanted to. "I won't take something not freely given." No matter how much he might want to.
Well, not again anyway.
"Do you understand what happened here tonight?"
From the frightened look Xias was giving him, Zhuang wasn't sure he did.
"We had sex," Xias said in a tone that said he thought the answer was fairly obvious.
Zhuang almost snarled at the simplistic version of what had occurred between them. They had mated. There would be no Zhuang with Xias or Xias without Zhuang. They were bonded for all eternity.
He frowned when Xias's eyes darted to the far corner of the cave. When he glanced over, he didn't immediately see anything, but he knew something had to be there. Xias kept looking in that direction when he thought Zhuang wasn't watching.
Zhuang sniffed the air. The room was saturated with the smell of sex and cum, not to mention Xias's pheromones, which smelled delicious. But there was an underlying scent, three of them, that took him a moment to figure out.
His gaze snapped back to Xias. "You have cubs?"
Xias zipped across the cave faster than Zhuang would have thought the little man could move. He shifted back to his leopard form and crouched down, a low growl rolling across the room.
Zhuang's eyes narrowed. "You think I would hurt a cub?"
He didn't know whether to be angry or hurt. He had done a lot of things in this life that he wished he hadn't, but harming a cub wasn't one of them. He wasn't a good man by any stretch of the imagination, but there were some lines not even he would cross. Harming a cub might actually be at the top of things he wouldn't do.
Xias was still crouched down on the floor of the cave when he shifted back. "I don't know you."
Okay, he had a point.
Zhuang squatted down until he was eye level with Xias. He was still reeling from the fact that he had claimed a mate. That had never been a part of his life plan, not that there really was any sort of plan. He usually just kind of played things by ear.
"I would never harm a cub." He held up his hand when Xias opened his mouth. "I know you have no reason to believe me, but that doesn't make it any less true."
"Why should I believe you?" Xias asked. "Even their sire wants them dead. Why should you be any different?"
Zhuang growled as a rolling anger swept over him. "Their sire wants to kill them?"
Xias's beautiful green eyes flooded. "He wants to kill two of them, the girls. He says they are useless because they are girls. He only wants the boy."
"I'll kill him before I allow him to harm a hair on their heads." Zhuang's hands fisted. "Those are my cubs now."
~ The end...for now ~
Hello, my friends. I know you have enjoyed this little story. Your comments have been wonderful. I would like to tell you that I will be turning this into a full length book. It will take a little time as I am creating a whole new world, but it is coming :)
GOLD STAR HEART
Cade Creek 16
coming February 22nd, 2018
Cary James came to Cade Creek to find his twin brother and escape a killer, but trouble followed him, putting both his life and his younger brother's life in danger. In an unfamiliar place with no idea where to turn, Cary does the only thing he can think of. He turns to a gorgeous deputy with a heart of gold.
Deputy Eddie Fletcher never dreamed when he was sent out on a call that he would be meet the man of his dreams, but that was exactly what Cary was. He was smart and sexy and in trouble, but before Eddie can even think of pursuing the man, he has to keep him alive. Cary's life is a nightmare and he needs more help than Eddie can give him. Luckily, Eddie knows a few good people to call.
Deputy Eddie Fletcher slowed his cruiser and then pulled over to the side of the road at the spot where someone had reported seeing a car in the ditch. He couldn't immediately see the vehicle, and it made him wonder if it had been a crank call, but he needed to look anyway.
He grabbed his CB mic and hit the button. "Agnes, this is Deputy Fletcher. I'm on scene at the report of that car in the ditch on Lower River Road. I'll be out of vehicle for ten."
"Copy that, Deputy."
It seemed kind of ridiculous to tell someone he'd be out of his car for a few minutes when he was merely looking for a car in the ditch, but Sheriff John Riley was fanatical about following procedure. He wanted to make sure he always knew where his deputies were in case there was trouble.
Eddie checked his pistol before climbing out of the vehicle. He walked several yards in each direction, looking for the vehicle. When he didn't spot anything on his side of the road, he crossed to the other side and started looking again.
He didn't spot a car, but a flash of red in all the green trees and shrubbery caught his attention. Eddie walked closer, trying to get a better look. A set of blue eyes peeked at him through a mop of chestnut curls.
Eddie squatted down to get to the kid's eye level. He estimated the kid couldn't be more than three or four, maybe younger. He was clearly frightened. The blood all over his shirt was a good indication that he had reason to be frightened.
"Hello," Eddie said softly. "I'm Deputy Eddie. Can you tell me your name?" He pointed to the gold badge on his uniform shirt. "See, I'm a police officer."
Those smoky blue eyes were filled with trepidation as they followed where Eddie was pointing and stared at the golden badge.
Eddie smiled. "I'm one of the good guys, kind of like Batman."
Those frightened eyes moved back to his face for a moment before the kid turned and darted back through the trees.
"Hey." Eddie jumped to his feet and ran after the little guy. He had to dodge several branches as he tried to follow the kid through the woods and down a steep slope. He paused near the bottom when he spotted the car. The front in was crushed and wrapped around a tree, which seemed to be the only thing keeping it from sliding farther down the slope.
The kid stood next to the open door of the vehicle, his hands clenched together. He watched Eddie cautiously, but with a hint of desperation as if he was waiting for Eddie to save him, or whoever was inside the vehicle.
Eddie moved closer.
"Peas hep Cawy."
Eddie squinted as he tried to decipher those words. Peez hep...oh. "Cary? You need me to help Cary?"
Chestnut curls flopped as the kid nodded.
The car jerked and slid a little when the kid tried to climb into it.
"No!" Eddie jumped forward and grabbed him. He turned and set him down on the ground and pointed up the hill. "Go stand up there. I don't want to have to worry about you while I'm trying to help Cary."
Eddie waited until the little waif had climbed back up the hill then turned back to the car. He grabbed an overhanging branch and used it as leverage as he lowered himself down far enough to see inside the vehicle.
Damn. There was someone hurt inside.
Eddie grabbed the mic attached to his uniform. "Agnes, I'm going to need EMTs and a tow truck at my location."
"Copy that, Deputy. Code red or..."
"Hold on." Eddie reached in and felt the guy's neck. He breathed a sigh of relief when he felt a steady pulse under his fingertips. "Yeah, Agnes, code red. This guy is alive, but there's a lot of blood. Head injury for sure. I can't tell what else."
Agnes's voice was a little quieter when she replied. "Copy that, Deputy."
Eddie winced when he glanced back up the hill. "Agnes, I'm also going to need someone out here from social services."
He swallowed tightly. This was always the hard part of the job. "There's a kid, Agnes."
"No, I don't think he's injured, but it's hard to tell. He's covered in blood. I'm just not sure whose it is."
"Copy that, Deputy." The sadness in Agnes's voice mirrored the sadness Eddie was feeling.
He had been on the scene of more accidents than he cared to remember, and none of them good. The ones involving kids were the ones that tore at his soul. Young lives cut short or traumatized. It was never good.
A soft moan from the interior of the car drew Eddie's attention back to the car. He leaned in as far as he dared and tried to assess the damage. The guy a huge gash on his forehead that would need stitches at the very least. That would explain the blood. Head wounds bled a lot. Eddie just hoped there wasn't a fractured skull to go along with that gash.
There was also some blood on the man's leg, but Eddie couldn't tell where it was coming from. He hoped it was simply blood from the head injury, but he didn't think his wish was going to be granted.
"Hey," he said when the guy's eyelids began to flutter. "My name id Deputy Fletcher. You've been in a car accident." Duh. Like the man couldn't tell that already. "Paramedics are on the way."
Eddie glanced up the small incline. The kid was squatted down next to the base of a tree, his thumb in his mouth. His eyes were intent, watchful.
"Little guy?" Eddie asked as he looked back to the guy pinned in the car. "Red shirt?"
"He looks fine. There some blood on him, but I think it's your blood. I don't see any injuries on him."
The sigh of relief the man let out was heavy.
"Can you tell me your name?"
Stormy believes the only thing sexier than a man in cowboy boots is two or three men in cowboy boots. She also believes in love at first sight, soul mates, true love, and happy endings.
You can usually find her cuddled in bed with a book in her hand and a puppy in her lap, or on her laptop, creating the next sexy man for one of her stories. Stormy welcomes comments from readers. You can find her website at: