In the continuing saga of Bear With Me... Nuka Kisoun has been looking forward to his holiday in China for months. Two weeks as the fourth wheel for his cousin Theo and Theo's two mates may not sound like an adventure, but he's game for anything. Only his relaxing vacation turns into pandemonium when Nuka discovers their sweet little tour guide is his mate. It's every man for himself when panda shifter Jackie Yu meets a big, bad polar bear who plays for keeps.
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Copyright ©2012 Jade Buchanan
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"Holy crap! You may be spending the night with me, after all," Nuka said with a laugh as he finally entered his new digs.
The boys were in the room next door, but if their room was anything like his, they'd be forced to fit two bodies on a twin bed if all three of them insisted on sharing the same room.
"I'm just tired enough I might spend the night here." Theo shook his head as he ducked in for a quick look. "Holy crap, I think both of us are going to hang off the end. The bed's not very long."
"And it's hard as a rock," Robin piped up from next door.
"How do you turn on the lights?" Nuka asked. None of the switches worked. What the heck? Did they get a faulty room or something?
"You have to insert your key card. It saves energy if there's no one in the room." Theo showed him how it worked and turned on the main light. "This actually works pretty well. Since we have two keys per room, we can leave one of them in during the day, and run the air conditioner if it gets really muggy."
Huh. That worked. Not exactly energy saving at the end of the day, but he'd take it. His big ass polar bear body wasn't feeling very nice right now. He'd been here less than a day, and he was already hot.
"Okay, so someone explain how long we have before we meet our group?"
Figured it would be Robin who hadn't done his homework. Nuka shook his head and decided to entertain himself while Theo took his mates into their room. He'd already memorized their entire itinerary, so he knew they had a few hours before they met their guide for dinner. Deciding he'd give his cousin some private time, Nuka determined to go out and explore the hotel to kill some time.
He was intrigued by the seaweed Pringles he found in the gift shop, and put some dough down on those and a few bottles of mini liquor bottles for gifts. Some of his buddies would get a kick out of that. Especially since he couldn't quite figure out what they were.
Stepping outside the hotel was an experience. Holy crap, it was loud. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason for the traffic patterns, and it seemed like pedestrians took their own lives in their hands if they wanted to cross the street. There were also so many smells around that he could barely smell himself. His shifter senses didn't like this at all.
It didn't take long for Nuka to use up the remaining free time and head back to the rooms to pick up his fellow travelers. He wondered what their guide would be like. He'd never done anything like this, and he really didn't know what to expect. Who else would be traveling with them, and where would they be from?
Soon they were all standing in the lobby of the hotel, waiting for someone to approach them. They all thought it was easier for them to be recognized than for them to figure out which one of the locals was their guide. Although, they weren't seeing anyone else that looked like they were tourists.
The lobby was pretty nice, decorated mostly in white with an oak bar off to the right where a few tables had been set up for bar patrons. Pale peach accents had been thrown up here and there, and he wished he could tell who the portraits were of, but he hadn't brushed up on his history or his Mandarin before coming, so it was a nice mystery. There was no way he could read the little brass plates set to the side of each portrait. He did recognize the picture of Mao Zedong, though. That one was easy.
The main doors to the outside had been propped open, and a whole slew of scents was coming in, blocking his senses again. He inhaled, bringing in the spicy smell of food cooking somewhere, mixed in with exhaust and a variety of perfumes.
"Big Sky Adventures?"
Nuka startled at the interruption. He hadn't heard anyone approach. He turned at the melodic voice to spy an adorable man at his side. He stifled a growl of appreciation, figuring the newcomer wouldn't appreciate it.
"I'm Jackie. I'm your guide."
Well, shit, this may or may not be a good thing. Jackie was fucking cute. Short and compact, with a lithe build and a short haircut, he was definitely nice to look at. He was sporting a pair of khaki shorts with runners and a white tee with the Big Sky Adventures logo on the front. A backpack slung over one shoulder completed his look.
"I'm Nuka," he finally responded, extending his hand.
The feel of Jackie's palm in his own had him stifling other things. Shit, this wasn't good. Everything in him was pinging in delight at Jackie. He was hitting every one of Nuka's turn-ons.
Perving on their guide might not be the best way to start this trip, especially since Theo had always accused Nuka of having a faulty gaydar. He just could never tell unless someone was obviously coming on to him. He blamed it on the slim pickings he experienced back home...