HUNTER AND THE HAWK
SYMBIOTIC MATES: 1
When Aidan walks into the Wolf Den and asks to see the Alpha, he doesn’t get a warm welcome. He’s barely through the door before he’s attacked. The Vampire’s arm is broken and he fears his totem animal, a Hawk, will never fly again.
Hunter, a Lycan Enforcer, comes to his aid and takes him aside for questioning. Aidan claims to have information about the murder of Hunter’s mate and he’ll trade for Lycan blood. At first, Hunter thinks it's a trap, but Aidan convinces him that the answer to both species survival may lie in their blood. Hunter agrees to secretly help Aidan in exchange for the killer’s name. But he gets more than he bargained for when he finds himself falling for the seductive vampire. When the research goes awry, he’s sure he’s been used by the scheming bloodsuckers. But is Aidan the real enemy or is it someone closer to home?
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Hunter centered his chin over the cue stick and concentrated on his aim. The game- winning ball sat just in front of his face, waiting to be dropped into the pocket. He studied it, imagining where the cue ball would need to hit in order to make his shot. Stick level, he took a few warm-up strokes.
Perfect. This wager is as good as won—
Fuck! A perfectly aimed shot gone to hell.
Disgusted, he threw down his cue stick and made his way toward the bar where two men were arguing over a spilled beer. As he got closer the hackles rose on the back of his neck. Only midnight and a fight brewing already?
One of the two wolves spotted him approaching and nudged the other. They both stood and moved off toward the exit, taking their argument outside.
Good enough. Why ruin the night by turning a simple beef into a real brawl? If the men were smart enough to settle things between themselves, Hunter wouldn't get involved.
The Wolf Den always drew a rough crowd on Saturday night. Rafe, the pack Alpha, encouraged the males to visit the bar, enticing them with drugs and alcohol.
A lone wolf is a frustrated wolf and frustrated wolves cause trouble.
Hunter wished he had a nickel for every time he heard Rafe utter those words. He'd be a rich man. He didn't always agree with their pack leader but he gave him the respect he deserved, and kept his mouth shut.
Their Alpha believed every wolf needed a mate. And if he didn't have a mate, then he needed a fuck buddy. With so few women available, the club had become a place where unmated Lycans could find a sex partner. Relationships had been forged in the Den, but for the most part the club remained a haven for one-night stands.
The shifters, full of randy animal spirits, behaved as well as could be expected. Dogs fight. It's the nature of the beast. Anything could trigger it — a bump in passing, jealousy over one man's attention to another, or jockeying for dominance in the pack.
Prevention was always the best policy. Two or three pack enforcers, strategically stationed around the bar, usually managed to maintain a testosterone-friendly atmosphere, their mere presence a reminder that the Lycans were being scrutinized.
But tonight the air seemed super-charged with tension. Utilizing extra enforcers had been a good call.
Hunter took one of the vacated seats at the bar and the bartender slid a bottle of mineral water in front of him. Tyler winked as he leaned over and rested his elbows on the bar. He smiled at Hunter seductively. "What are you doing later, sweetheart?"
Heat traveled up his spine. Maybe he was crazy to turn down a sexy wolf like Tyler. He knew the bartender didn't have a regular partner, preferring serial flings to monogamy. Relieving his sexual frustration with a man like Tyler wouldn't be a hardship. Coward. Are you going to hide behind your grief forever?
When he was just a pup, a few inexperienced encounters had convinced him he preferred males. Then Rafe had paired him with a female mate and he'd put those urges to bed. He could have taken lovers on the side, but he'd chosen to remain faithful. He hadn't been with a man in twenty years. Hell, he wouldn't know what to do with him. Tyler would laugh him out of bed. He reached for the bottle. "I'm on overtime."
The bartender sighed regretfully. "You know what they say about all work and no play."
"No. What do they say?"
"That it sucks." Tyler took his hand and turned it over. "You're starting to grow hair on your palms." He rubbed a thumb over Hunter's palm.
Hunter pulled his hand away and looked at it. It wouldn't surprise him.
Tyler broke up laughing. "If you change your mind, you know where to find me."
Tyler's trim ass held his attention as he walked away. Shit! Hunter washed a few aspirin down with a healthy swallow of water and held the cold bottle against his head. His temples throbbed along with the hot, pulsing beat of the electronic dance music. Colored lights around the dance floor winked in the mirror over the bar, intensifying the pain in his head. He'd rather be on patrol outside any day of the week.