Protect and Serve: Mistletoe and Whine
Sharon Maria Bidwell
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2012 Sharon Maria Bidwell
This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.
Chantelle stood in the doorway that segregated the private part of the building from the public one. Bobby stood behind her at the base of the stairs.
Wearing nothing but knickers and a T-shirt, the garment's wide neckline hanging loose so that it framed her right shoulder, Chantelle hoped she would make an appealing spectacle once Sam caught sight of her. Although, truly, the best way to get him up to bed might be for Bobby to wave his dick in Sam's direction -- Sam did lean to loving another man more than a woman. Nevertheless, cock waving lacked finesse.
"Doesn't he look adorable?"
"Adorable, maybe, but also dog tired." The reproach in Bobby's voice was undeniable, so she excused the terrible pun, even though Sam wasn't the doggish one in this relationship. They could all be snappy at times.
Fingers lightly touching both sides of the doorframe, she tilted her head to one side, waiting. She'd spoken to Bobby, but also Sam, who lay with his eyes closed, head down on the bar. He was tired but not sleeping. One couldn't fool a shape-shifter over such a thing. Still, he pretended to be resting.
"At least she didn't call me cute," Sam mumbled, opening his eyes. For a few seconds he didn't move, just stared. The muscles in Chantelle's jaw tightened as she struggled not to smile. With a flick of her fingers, she tossed her long reddish-brown hair over one shoulder so it flowed down her left arm. She'd let it grow wilder now that she no longer worked with the police, knowing Sam liked it. The gesture of tossing her hair was a come-on.
He struggled to straighten, blink sleep out of his eyes; whether owing to her invitation, she couldn't tell. She wished she stood closer, could use her supernatural senses to judge his level of desire, but thirty feet of floor separated them, and he sat almost at the end of the twenty-foot bar. Mostly she could smell a strange blend of people, disinfectant, and alcohol.
"Come to bed," Bobby said.
"In a bit."
"It's midnight. Bed."
Sam's mouth opened then closed. When Bobby took that tone, it was wise not to argue.
Bobby stepped closer, placing his hands on her upper arms, and his lips to Chantelle's right shoulder. He kissed her there then licked as they both watched Sam shut the ledger that lay in front of him. He took his time, putting off the moment when he'd have to slide off the barstool.
The stool was Sam's, kept on the private side of the bar, though sometimes inconvenient for the staff. The chair swivelled, had a ring on which to place one's feet at the base, and a comfortable, padded seat and back support. If he needed a break, Sam would sit, doing paperwork. The staff knew never to comment if Sam sat down. His sitting down meant the pain had become too much, and if he didn't sit, the discomfort would become unbearable; then he'd be off his feet even longer. No one said a word because they all knew how much Sam hated this, detested having to rest when they were especially busy, and they had to call someone out from the back to take over because he couldn't cope. If the pain became especially bad, he'd go upstairs so the patrons didn't ask questions. Often, though, he could take a fifteen or twenty-minute break and that would set him up for another hour or two.
Today, they'd been particularly rushed, and as one of their staff was sick, Sam had stayed on his feet longer than he should have until Chantelle had told him to leave the restaurant altogether. She'd threatened that if he refused she would pick him up, throw him over her shoulder, and carry him out in front of everyone. Being a supe, she wouldn't even break into a sweat, and she meant to fulfill her threat. Even so, he'd not rested enough.
Chantelle didn't let her anxiety show when he glanced at her as he got down from the seat. The set of his jaw said he was having a bad night. She was used to lines of tension in Sam's face -- tension made worse since his leg had been struck by a car driven by a drunk driver. Now Sam's often sullen expression was in part owing to increasing discomfort. That little "accident" had cost him his job. He might have technically still worked for the police, but stuck behind a desk doing analysis had meant the end of the line for Sam. His leaving the force had been only a matter of time.
Pain was the reason he'd worked so late. Likely, he'd chosen to sit and suffer in silence. She didn't need to read his scent to work out he'd sat waiting for the agony to ease before he tried to make his way up to bed to join them. He didn't like them to see him in pain.
Fortunately, he didn't suffer to this extent often. Men and their pride. If only it were that simple. More like Sam and his pride -- a thing made worse by the fact that he lived with two supernatural beings who sometimes went running on four good legs each and not just two.
As Sam put his weight on his bad leg, it was all Chantelle could do not to run to him. He wouldn't take help willingly from either of them, so she and Bobby both stayed where they were, although she felt Bobby's grasp on her arms tighten to the point where she almost demanded he release her. She breathed in relief when he seemed to realise what he was doing and let go without being told.
In comparison, Sam's grip constricted on the edge of the bar. A frown creased her brow as she realised Sam wasn't moving and wasn't likely to. He couldn't. He started to shake and gasped.
If Bobby hadn't moved, she would have, but as he pushed past her, she hung back. Bad enough that Sam was going to have to accept help. She wouldn't make things worse for him. He might find help easier coming from Bobby because, although they were both males, Bobby was without doubt the Alpha. Sam often deferred to him.
"I'm fine." Sam spoke on an inhalation. He clenched his jaw even as he got the words out.
"And I'm a cat lover." Bobby wore only boxers so that when he gripped Sam by his upper arms and jerked him back, the movement forced him against a bare torso. The pause lasted a second then Bobby spun Sam around. Sam, clearly trying not to put weight on his injured leg, had no choice but to topple into Bobby's arms. Sam looked more than adorable with those strong limbs wrapped around him, and a shocked though desirous expression breaking through the tension. The vision of Sam and Bobby together brought forth a wave of desire that made Chantelle's sex and eyes weep. She wanted to do everything possible to make Sam forget his pain.
Holding her breath, looking from sensuous Bobby to sexy Sam, Chantelle had to bite her lower lip. She'd never get over the delight of seeing them together. Raw power sparked between them. It had taken time for that aspect of their relationship to develop. She would never have thought to call a look smouldering -- too melodramatic for her liking -- but the way Bobby gazed at Sam, she could think of no other description.
He often looked at her that way too, but it was different. The animal side in Bobby was more tempered when he stared at her. The husky in him was head of the pack, and she was his mate, but the human side saw her as an equal partner. Bobby was proud of her.
Sam... Sam called to the animal side of Bobby's nature, maybe because a male was always wary of another seeking dominance. Bobby didn't have to worry about that, and his human half understood. His animal half owned Sam, enjoyed putting Sam in his place.
Those mismatched eyes of Bobby's -- one brown, one ringed in blue -- flicked down and then up, taking in the sight of Sam's face with a lazy inspection that made Chantelle bite her lip harder.
"We're taking this up to bed."