Ben Hanson had long ago given up on love, refusing to believe he was worthy of it. When he is given the gift of a 1Night Stand blind date, he goes into it expecting nothing more than a night of savage pleasure. Instead he finds the missing piece of his heart.
Jude Carson has an impossible task in front of him. He has to convince the man he hasn't seen in fifteen years that he still loves him with all of his heart and wants him back. A task made even more difficult by the horrible circumstances that led to their parting and tore their former pride apart.
Ben will have to learn that sometimes the hardest person to forgive is himself if he wants a second chance at the greatest joy he has ever known.
The door opened again and the distant musk of a male puma scented the air as a group of giggling human women piled through the opening. Every hair on his body stood at attention and he unconsciously opened his mouth, scenting the other shifter on his sensitive palate. As soon as the taste hit the back of his throat, he went rigid with a mixture of fury, guilt, and a regret so deep it threatened to pull him down into a whirlpool of despair he might never escape.
His heart threatened to beat right out of his chest as he placed his beer down onto the bar with a shaking hand...Be careful what you wish for, ‘cause you just might get it.
The part of his soul that he’d tried to burn out, to bury, to freeze out of him, battered at the bars of his self-imposed cage. His inner puma hissed and snarled, urging him in every way it could to claim his mate. Their bond still existed, strong as ever, and he wanted to scream.
“Chill out, Ben,” a woman’s soft voice said from across the bar.
He forced his gaze to meet Judy’s kind brown eyes. A black bear shifter, she ran the bar with her husband and two daughters. Although a gentle woman with a good heart, she wouldn’t hesitate to kick his ass for disrupting her bar.
“I’m sorry,” he said through gritted teeth. She looked down pointedly at the bar and he saw that his nails had curved into claws and were buried in the wood. Ashamed of his lack of control, he closed his eyes and started thinking of different foods. Apple pie, cherries, ice cream, flour, corn, salt, oatmeal. The list went on and on as he used the relaxation technique that the PTSD counselor had taught him. Slowly, his breathing returned to normal and the itching burn of the magic of his shift left his body.
He opened his eyes to find Eric, Judy’s husband, standing next to his wife with his massive arms across his chest. A Vietnam vet, Eric understood what Ben went through, and they spent many long nights together talking about all the things that were fucked up with the world. Well, Ben mostly talked about things that were fucked up. Despite the fact that Eric looked like a biker from the rougher side of Hell, he had an optimistic streak a mile wide and could see the good in everything. A regular Pollyanna on a Harley.
Eric leaned against the bar. “There’s a stranger outside waiting for you. Says he’s your blind date.”
Ben covered his face with his hands and laughed bitterly. “Of course he is.”
Judy and Eric exchanged a puzzled glance. “Ben, who is he?”
Digging into his wallet, he tossed a twenty onto the counter and raised a hand in farewell to Paulette. “Evidently he’s my date...and the brother of the Alpha that I killed.”
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 22 August, 2011.