Evan closed his eyes.“It hurts like hell, damn it! And what do you mean, fragile?” He struggled a little to get away, but Brett’s arms were like steel bands around him. He slumped in defeat and moaned a little.
“Take off your shirt.”
“Take off your shirt. I have to make a sling for your wrist.” He opened the car door and dragged Evan’s unresisting body along with him, leaning him up against the car. Evan took it off awkwardly, using only one hand and handed it over to Brett. Brett tore it in a long strip to make a sling. “This trail plays out up ahead, so I have to run with you for a while. Hook this around your neck and put your wrist in.”
Evan followed his directions sullenly, his lips white with pain.“We’ll be going pretty fast, so just close your eyes and hang on.When we get to the top of this hill there’s a small cave I know about and we’ll stop to rest for a while.I can’t take the time to do anything for you right now in case they’re after us. Hang on, baby.” He bent down and kissed his lips again. Evan didn’t pull away, but he closed his eyes and flinched. Brett pulled him closer.
“Don’t flinch away from me.” He bent Evan back across the hood of the car, taking him down until his feet were off the ground and he hung suspended by Brett’s weight. Brett ground his erection against him. “You’re mine now, Evan. I will touch you whenever I want. Understand?”
Evan nodded slightly, a frown still creasing his brow, but Brett let him down to stand on his feet.“Okay, I know you’ll hate this, but I have to carry you. You’d never be able to keep up.” He swept him up in his arms and began to climb, concentrating on the terrain around him, comforted by the smaller, warm body in his arms. Evan strained away from him as he climbed rapidly up the hill, and though Brett could still feel his heartbeat racing, he seemed to have calmed down marginally, at least. Whenever Brett held him close in his arms, he seemed to be calmer, even though he knew he was angry and frightened, trying not to show it. Okay, he was pissed because of his wrist. Not surprising, and not a problem either. He hated for him to be in pain, even temporarily, but as soon as he got him somewhere safe, he would feed him so he would heal more quickly. As a matter of fact, he planned on biting his wrist when they stopped to rest. It would provide a temporary pain relief.
The night air on the mountain became cooler as they climbed, and he snuggled Evan closer to his body for warmth.Soon they’d be at the cave he remembered near the top of the mountain. He could already hear the stream splashing against the rocks leading up to the little falls near the cave. He headed toward the stream now, shallow enough that it only came up to his knees. After moving along in the water for about twenty minutes, he came out onto the bank some ways upstream, hoping it would be enough to throw off any dogs they might set on their trail.
Evan had roused when they walked through the stream, and Brett was aware of him gazing steadily up at his face with curiosity and something else. Fear? Anger?He couldn’t quite figure out all the emotions the young man was feeling yet. Brett already felt a strong mating bond with him, butit wouldn’t be fully forged for a couple of days. Once they’d fully bonded, he would be able to read every emotion, even read his mind at short distances. He glanced down at his pretty face once to make sure he was okay and saw that he was still fairly calm. Once he got him to the privacy of the cave, he’d explain things to him. He hoped Evan would forgive him for scaring him so badly.
He hoped he wasn’t still having second thoughts because of his training as a Hunter. Brett wasn’t sure how he’d come to be a Hunter, but he wouldn’t hold it against him. He hadn’t always felt that way. As a matter of fact, when he first learned his mate was aHunter, he’d been furious and vowed to live alone the rest of his life rather than take him on. His alpha, Marco, had merely shaken his head at him.
“You won’t be able to do it. You won’t even be able to stay away from him for long. The magic in the blood match is strong.You’ll only wind up making yourself miserable. Go see him again. Try to talk to him and see what kind of a man he is.If you condemn him just because he’s a Hunter, then you’re no better than they are.”
Brett ran a hand through his hair miserably.“It’s not only the fact that he’s a Hunter, Marco. He’s human too! I never wanted anything to do much with humans, you know that. No offense intended to Nicky, but all the human pets seem a little crazy to me. Unpredictable, ill-mannered, defiant—they can’t settle into life as a Werekin very well, and it only causes problems for any wolf who tries to tame them.”
He glanced sideways at his alpha, hoping he hadn’t said too much. It hadn’t been long since Marco and his human mate, Nicky, had reconciled after Nicky and Ian’s mate, Logan, ran away and hid out for two weeks.They’d almost been captured by Hunters and had worried their mates half to death. Since then, a lot of changes had been made to allow the pets more freedom. Some of the human pets were even being trained in various support positions in their small army. Even with all the changes there were still loud, contentious arguments between Marco and Nicky regularly, usually followed by even louder sex.
Marco smiled at his gamma.“Yes, Brett, humans are unpredictable. Definitely ill-mannered and defiant, or at least Nicky is.They’re also loyal, brave, beautiful and passionate. Not a bad trade-off, all things considered. Go see your human up close before you make a decision. Talk to him.Give him a chance. You owe it to yourself, because without a doubt he’s also the love of your life.”
Brett made a dismissive sound, but nodded his agreement to try.He’d come down to Brevard to see his blood mate the next day.He’d been almost arrogant, thinking that he must have overestimated his attraction. No one could look that good and smell so sweet. It was impossible. When he found that Evan had moved into the Hunter compound, and there was no way of getting in to find him, he’d been surprised at how furious he’d felt, and how determined he was to get him back.
He could hear the roar of the small falls as they neared the cave, and he set Evan down on his feet to shimmy out of his jeans.Brett nodded at Evan’s jeans. “Better take those off and roll them up in a tight bundle. We have to go behind the falls and the spray will wet you clean through. When we get inside there you’ll want some dry pants, because it might be cool.”
Evan stepped back and instinctively raised his hands.“No, I’m not taking off my jeans. I’ll just take my chances.”
“Oh for God’s sake, it’s not like I haven’t seen you naked. Take them off, or I’ll do it for you.Stop acting like some stupid little virgin.”
“Then stop treating me like one! All right, I’ll take them off, but because I’ve changed my mind and I think it’s a good idea. Not because you tell me to, or becauseI’m scared of you.”
Brett simply stared at him with an unreadable expression on his face and waited.
Evan tightened his lips, toed off his shoes and jerked angrily at the button on his jeans, awkwardly trying to push them down with one hand. Brett made a sound of impatience and pulled his pants down and helped him step out of them. He pulled off the makeshift sling and stood looking him up and down when he had him naked before shoving both his own jeans and Evan’s clothes into his hands.
“Try to hold them close and tucked underyour body so they won’t get so wet. I’ll take us up as fast as I can.” He picked him up, threw him over his shoulder and took off up the hill, climbing to the cave.
The stream came from farther up the mountain and where it cascaded down the hill, a rockfall sometime in the past had left only a small hole for the water to flow through. It had created a small waterfall as the water rushed through and hit the rocks below. To get to the small cave, they had to pass right by this cascade and the spray would totally soak them.
Brett climbed steadily up the jagged rocks to reach the small opening of the cave. Once inside, Brett put Evan back on his feet and began to gather some dry twigs and wood left in the far back corner by previous visitors. This was a spot well known to the wolves, and they often spent the night here if they were caught out late on the trails. He snatched up his jeans, finding them only a little damp, pulled them on, and then got a fire started. After a few minutes he sat back on his heels to watch Evan. He had put on his jeans too, and now knelt by the scant blaze, holding out his one good hand and shivering slightly. Brett was pretty sure Evan was aware of his steady regard, but refused to look up at him directly. As Brett watched, he cradled his wrist to his body, his face white with pain.
He stood up and walked over to him.“Stand up, Evan. Please.”
Evan stood and looked at him nervously. Very slowly, so as not to spook him, Brett reached out and took his wrist.“When I was in the cell, I yearned for you, you know. Every minute. And when you came in the door and took care of me, I was so grateful. When you fed me, and put medicine on my back, I wanted nothing more than to hold you in my arms and show you how grateful I felt. Let me help you now, Evan. This might hurt a little, but I only want to help.”
Evan looked confused, staring up at Brett as he slowly brought his wrist to his mouth. Quickly, before Evan could react, Brett sank his teeth into his wrist, fastening onto it as Evan screamed in fright and pain, sinking to his knees and trying his best to twist away. Brett followed him to the floor of the cave. He knew he was scaring Evan again, but this was the only way he knew to help ease the pain. He pulled his teeth out and licked the marks while Evan panted for breath.
“You bastard!” Evan was furious, his face deep red with outrage.
Brett looked down at him calmly before he spoke. “In a minute, your wrist will be numb. Can you feel it working?” Brett waited until he finally nodded sullenly.“Good. It’s all I could do to help, baby. When I get you to the pack, the doctor can look at it.Now you’re going to drink some of my blood, so it will heal quickly.” He reached out with one finger and ran it along his cheek. “Do you understand?”