Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Catherine Lievens
Word Count :40236
Publication Date :2018-06-08
Series : Free Shifters#5
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-4874-2025-3
You have to let go of the past to have a fresh start.
Robbie has been spending a lot of time with the shifters hiding in the mountain since his best friend Vaughn moved there. That means he’s also been spending a lot of time with Scott, one of the alphas. He likes Scott, but he’s convinced nothing can happen between them. As an alpha, Scott deserves so much better. Besides, with several cases of shifters wanting more rights being brought in front of the Supreme Court, they have other things to focus on.
Scott doesn’t know why Robbie is pushing him away. He can tell it’s not because he doesn’t want him, though, so he decides to push a little. He knows it was the right decision when Robbie starts opening up, and when the construction of the first shifter-human town in the state begins, he volunteers both of them to help.
Robbie and Scott try to live with each other and with the self-esteem issues Robbie’s ex caused when he left him. But not everyone wants shifters to be free, and between the protestors picketing outside the new town and the traitor inside it trying to stop construction, they’re going to have to trust each other, no matter their problems.
“No, no, no,” Robbie pleaded. There was no denying the state of his tire, though, and he knew he needed to stop before he made things worse.
Although he wasn’t sure how it could possibly be worse, since he was deep in the mountains with no one in sight and snow coming down like crazy.
He stopped the truck and slammed his hands on the steering wheel. “Damn it!”
He leaned the back of his head against the seat and closed his eyes. Why did this kind of thing always happen to him? He couldn’t even call Vaughn, because there was no signal in the mountain where his best friend lived. Vaughn would eventually realize Robbie was late, but that wouldn’t happen for at least a few hours, since Robbie had told him he’d go slow because of the snow. Of course, a flat tire wasn’t the end of the world, but it meant Robbie was going to have to change it and be quick about it if he didn’t want to freeze to death.
He knew he shouldn’t have come.
He sighed and opened his eyes. Pouting and moping weren’t going to help him. He’d promised Vaughn he’d spend the weekend with him, even though he hated spending time in the mountain. He liked the pack well enough, but he also liked his comfort, and not having water and heating was not his idea of comfort.
He shot a text to Vaughn just in case and hopped out of the truck. The snow was coming down steadily, and he took a moment to appreciate the landscape. He might not enjoy no access to a private toilet, but there was a reason he loved hiking.
The wind whistled around him, rustling the trees and making the snow fall off the branches. It made his skin hurt, and he already couldn’t feel his fingers anymore. He could smell the pine needles and the earth even with the snow blanketing everything, and he closed his eyes, enjoying the scents and the cold on his skin. He couldn’t stand there for too long, though, so he turned back to look at his tire.
Changing it wasn’t going to be fun.
It didn’t take him long to remove the flat tire. He stumbled back when he got it off, almost falling on his ass in the cold snow. He scrambled to stay on his feet and used the tire to push himself up. He almost didn’t hear the branch snapping somewhere behind him.
He knew it wasn’t a person. He was utterly alone in this part of the mountains. No one else would be crazy enough to drive all the way there in the heavy snow. And if it wasn’t a person, it could only be an animal, probably something big from the sound of it.
Robbie moved slowly, hoping that was enough to keep whatever animal was behind him at bay. He hoped it was something small, like a hare, or maybe a squirrel. The bears were supposed to be hibernating, but of course that didn’t mean one of them hadn’t woken up hungry and ready to tear the first living thing he found to pieces.
His first instinct when he saw the huge ass bear standing at the edge of the forest was to turn and run. He ordered his feet to stay right where they were, though. He couldn’t afford to turn his back on the bear, but maybe he could manage to get back into the truck and wait it out. He wished he’d had the time to put the spare tire on before the bear had decided to come out and play, but wishes weren’t going to keep him alive if the bear decided he’d make a tasty winter snack.
The bear moved forward. Robbie raised his hands—as if that would help keep the bear away—and stepped closer to the truck. “Nice Pooh bear. Stay where you are, won’t you?”
The bear grunted. Snow fell from the branches of the tree he was under as he walked past it in Robbie’s direction. Robbie was going to end up being bear food if he didn’t move.
He stepped back. He hit the truck and searched for the door handle without turning to look for it. He couldn’t afford to look. He finally managed to wrap his frozen fingers on the handle and pulled. He almost cried out in relief when the truck door opened, but he pressed his lips together and slowly opened it. He slipped inside, praying that having to open a metal can for his food would make the bear leave. The problem was that the bear probably didn’t have anything else to eat.
Robbie watched as the bear ambled toward the truck. He could have sworn it looked amused, although he wasn’t sure how that was possible. Then the animal stopped by the driver’s door and leaned forward to peer through the window.
Robbie swallowed and resisted the urge to move back. The bear showed its teeth and its eyes glinted. Robbie expected it to roar, maybe to try rocking the truck to get him to leave its relative safety, but instead, the bear moved back. It placed its paws on the driver window and stared. Robbie stared back, even though he knew he shouldn’t.
That was how he noticed the fur retreating into the bear’s skin, his muzzle becoming a mouth. He gaped as pale skin was revealed, and even through his shock, he couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous naked body that now stood by the truck.
Once he was over the shock, Robbie scowled at Scott through the window. “What the fuck, man?”