Moon Pack Monday – Inno

moon pack mondayI’m trying to get things back on track and I’m kicking it off with a Monday Moon Pack, those little vignettes into the Moon Pack world. We will be wrapping up My Subby Valentine this month and I will have to come up with a new one to post.

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Inno tried to be a good partner, but his goal to keep his lover happy didn’t appear to be working. Surely a contented mate wouldn’t have a vein throbbing in his forehead or have gained an eye twitch.

“Is there a problem?” Better to discover the issue instead of allowing it to fester.

“Why would you think there’s a problem?” Mikel’s voice had taken on a dangerous, dark tone. The one he usually saved for threatening other vampires.

“You are using that voice and there’s a tic in your left eye.”

The frustrated noise Mikel made had Inno eyeing the closest exit.

“And why do you think I would be upset? Do you have any theories? Perhaps your behavior today might have led to someone, namely me becoming upset with you?”

Inno mentally reviewed his day. He tried to pinpoint which of his actions might have triggered Mikel’s temper. He gave up after a minute or two. “I really can’t say.”

“Can’t or willfully won’t?” Mikel asked stepping closer until they were almost nose to nose.

Inno groaned. “Just tell me what I did and I’ll try not to do it again.” He refused to make a promise since he still wasn’t certain what he had done.

“Maybe you can tell me why you were in mutant territory?” Mikel’s voice reached a low, silky purr.

Inno sighed. “I got lost. Don’t worry I bribed my way out with cookies.”

“This is why you need to take a driver with you. You are too easily distracted.”

“The last driver tried to have me killed. You’ll forgive me if I’m a bit nervous about who takes me from place to place. I can’t chance them stealing the babies.”

“You had the kids with you?” Mike’s tone had grown sharper.

Inno winced. “Yes. But if it makes you feel better Oliver charmed the car’s back doors to only open for us. No one can reach in there and take out the kids.”

“That does make me feel a bit better. However, you need to be more aware of your surroundings. I would never forgive myself if something happened to you.”

Inno stepped forward to hug Mikel. “I’m fine. Nothing bad happened and I got directions even.”

Mikel’s laughter vibrated beneath the ear Inno had pressed against his mate’s shoulder. “I’m glad you’re fine. I just worry. Especially now that we’re a family.”

“I know.” His vampire mate fussed more than anyone he’d ever met. “Me and the twins are fine. Nothing to fixate over.”

“Good.” Mikel squeezed him tightly. Only Inno’s shifter durability prevented his ribs from cracking.

Before Inno could say anything else about his confusing afternoon, high pitched barking approached. He stepped back just in time to grab the wriggly wolf pups zooming around the room. Cradling one in each arm he snuggled them close.

“I think they prefer being wolves who can run around to kids who can barely move,” Mikel mused. “They look rather smug.”

Inno had to agree. He laughed at the satisfied expression on their furry faces. “They really do, don’t they.” He pressed a kiss on each of their heads. “I hope it doesn’t hurt them developmentally to remain in their wolf form so often.”

“You should ask some of the pack when they started shifting into wolves,” Mikel said watching their adopted children.

“It varies. I asked around.” Without having the usual background of a wolf shifter, Inno had asked several pack members about their experiences.

“Hmm. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.” Mikel picked up the girl wolf and rubbed noses with her. She let out a happy bark. “Hello sweet Claudia.”

Inno smiled as Mikel kissed the baby wolf on the head. “You are so good with them.” He struggled to hold onto the boy pup who wriggled to get the same attention from the vampire.

“I try. I’ve never thought of being a family man before they came around. I’m happy with you and the twins, which is why I’ve been a little overprotective. Just be careful, my love, I’d be devastated without you.”

Inno nodded. “I’ll be careful,” he vowed.

“Good. We should have Oliver over to charm the cribs so the pups can’t escape.” Mikel said leading Inno back toward the nursery.

“They’ll just howl.” The twins were stubborn when they wanted out.

“Just like babies we need to just let them cry some times,” Mikel argued. “Besides the daddies need some time together.”

Inno would’ve argued but the sizzling smile Mikel flashed stole all his arguments.

“Maybe we can talk to Oliver after all,” he mused.

“I’ll do it in the morning,” Mikel promised.

With Mikel’s strong arm around his waist, Inno went with his mate to settle their children and find some times for themselves. After losing his sister, Inno had wanted to wallow in a fit of depression, but the kids changed all that. Now his goal had changed to watching the twins grow up. With Mikel by his side he had a feeling they had a wonderful life ahead of them.

 

 

 

Max & Adam – 7

*There are a lot of things I’m going to have to fix in this story later so please be patient as we go along*

The only positive thing about meeting with his father was there were still several days until the full moon. Tension between Max and his father was high enough without the added pull of the glowing orb in the sky.

Max pulled up in front of the large house. It was much smaller than his grandfather’s house but Max’s home pack was spread among a series of smaller houses until they owned the entire neighborhood surrounding a several acre forest.

He got out of the car his stomach flipping somersaults. No matter his best intentions every visit always ended with a fight.

“Hey Max!” Emil exclaimed giving him a quick hug.

“Hey Emil. You look good.” His cousin had grown a few inches since Max had seen him last. The teenager had a long rangy body and at sixteen already towered over Max.

“Thanks, Alpha thinks I might be a sub-Alpha when I get older.”

“Congrats.” Max clapped Emil on the back forcing a smile on his lips. His father never forgave Max for being submissive. As the only son of an alpha, Max had been slotted as the alpha to take over the pack when his father retired. That hope crashed when Max hit puberty and his status as an omega wolf became apparent.

“Did you come to visit your father?”

“Yes, he’s expecting me.” It was never a good idea to drop in and expect some of his father’s time. He might be Stratton’s only son but his father’s job as an alpha took up most of his time and energy. Max had called ahead to make sure there was space on his schedule.

Max waved goodbye to Emil then headed toward the Alpha’s office. He nodded to his father’s beta but didn’t stop. A deep breath to brace himself then Max knocked on the door.

“Enter.”

Max turned the knob and went inside. He didn’t speak until he’d closed the door and was standing in front of his father’s desk. A quick glance to meet his father’s gaze to acknowledge their relationship, then Max tilted his head and slid his focus to the left.

“Welcome home, son.” The emotion lacing through his voice told Max his father regretted their last encounter.

“Thank you, alpha.” He said formally.

He heard his father sigh. “Please sit.”

Max sat in the leather chair with a straight back and his feet planted flat on the floor. He kept his gaze lowered as he addressed his father. “I found some information I thought was too sensitive to speak on the phone.”

“Look at me, Max.”

He reluctantly met his father’s regard and told him everything he found out. When he finished his father offered him a glass of scotch to ease his dry throat.

“I’ll deal with your uncle.”

“What do you want me to do?” He couldn’t expose the pack but he also couldn’t hide evidence.

“Go ahead and do your job. Don’t try to cover up your uncle’s crime. I’ll put him into hiding so when they go look for him they won’t find anything. You should even tell them of your connection. He isn’t smart enough to be the leader in this whole thing so they will ignore him and go after the leader instead.”

“I don’t know the leader yet.” Max clenched his glass as he thought over the repercussions.

“When you find out let me know before you tell your cop friends. I want to be able to keep ahead of this thing.”

“I can only say Crandel is involved. I don’t know if Uncle Barnie is helping him out or not.”

“Crandel doesn’t do anything without his father’s okay. Either he’s grown some balls or your uncle is being stupid. I don’t know which one I hope is true.”

Max silently agreed. “I’ll keep you updated.”

“Good. You should visit more often. Your mother worries. She wants to know if you’ve met a nice boy.”

Max’s couldn’t stop the grin from spreading at his father’s obvious distaste. His submissiveness isn’t the only issue his father had with him. “No, you can tell her I haven’t met a nice guy.”

Adam definitely wasn’t nice.

My Subby Valentine 11

Sorry I haven’t posted much lately. I know I always say that and I’m not going to list the things happening in my life because I’m sure you have your own issues without having to hear me drone on about mine. I will try to be better about posting though. I did make this one a bit longer.

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Mase unlocked the door and ushered Kit inside. The cops had taken pictures of the door and a statement from Mase and Kit, but without any evidence, they couldn’t move forward on Mase’s say so alone. They had made a note of Philip’s name and said if anything else happened to give them a call.

“Go ahead and set the dog down. I’ll find a place to put her bowls.”

In the kitchen, he filled the water bowl before placing it by the sliding glass door that led to the back yard. “The yard is fenced so you can let her out without worrying.”

“Oh, that’s great,” Kit said, setting down his little animal. The beast sniffed around a bit then yipped up at Mase before prancing over to the water bowl. He had a brief, mad idea that the creature thought she was in a puppy beauty pageant.

“You can put your stuff in the spare room. It’s down the hall, second door on the right.”

“I’m not staying with you?”

Kit’s tone had Mase looking away from the puppy to face the younger man.

The sub stood in the middle of the living room looking more lost than the puppy currently gamboling around the house.

“I didn’t want to pressure you. We just met. I thought you’d like to have some space.”

Kit sighed. “If I wanted to have space, I would’ve called up one of my friends and begged a spot on their couch. I came to you because I hoped you’d take advantage of me.”

Mase smiled at the annoyance crossing Kit’s pretty face. The man was definitely more along the lines of pretty than handsome but Mase wouldn’t be the one to mention it. Some men were sensitive about that sort of thing.

Gripping Kit’s chin, he tilted the other man’s head until their eyes met. “I will never take advantage of you. We might get together and do some scenes or we might just have sex but the power is always yours. If you say no, everything stops. If we do something you’re not comfortable with, everything stops. I want you to promise me you will always tell me if you’ve had enough.”

“Is that what happened to the other sub?” Kit’s voice was so quiet Mase almost didn’t hear him.

“Many things happened. I will discuss them with you when and where I think appropriate. Understood?”

Kit swallowed. “Understood, Sir.”

“Good.” Mase let go of Kit’s chin. He needed to be firm, not an asshole. “If you want to share my bed, you know where it is. If you decide to use the guest room it doesn’t mean we can’t have sex—it only means you want to have your own space. It isn’t a test and there isn’t a wrong answer. There is only your answer.”

Kit nodded. “Okay.”

Mase couldn’t stop from watching as the young man walked down the hall. A smile broke out on his face when Kit chose Mase’s bedroom to store his stuff. Although the entire situation was moving much faster than he’d planned, he couldn’t say he was sorry Kit would be in his bed tonight. The attraction between them burned hot, but it was nothing beside the affection Mase was beginning feel for Kit—too early to call it love…more of an extreme ‘like’ with shades of intense passion.

Pixie pranced over and pounced. To Mase’s dismay, she attacked his shiny leather shoes, gnawing on the laces.

“Pixie, you naughty girl.” Kit returned from the bedroom and rushed over to snatch up the feisty beast. “I’m so sorry.” The look of chagrin on Kit’s face made Mase burst into laughter.

“It’s all right. She was just being a pup.”

“I’ll try to keep her under control.” He gave the animal a wry look. “Well, as much as possible.”

Mase reached over and scratched the dog behind the ears. “We’ll have to get her some extra chew toys for while she’s here.” A horrible thought rushed through Mase’s mind. “She is housebroken, right?”

Kit smiled. “Yes, that I can promise.”

“Good.” Mase didn’t know how he would deal with a puppy who chewed as well as peed on everything. He was relieved to discover he only had to deal with one out of the two.

“I’ll just let her out so she can examine the yard and get it out of her system.”

“Good thinking.” Mase watched Kit open the glass door…or more correctly, watched his ass as he bent over to set the animal on the ground. Damn, the man had a great butt. Kit’s long, lean body had a surprisingly round, firm posterior. Mase wanted to take a bite out of it. Maybe he would later.

Mase’s phone rang. Looking at the readout, he saw the number was blocked. Curious to see if it was the same person as before, he pushed the connect button.

“Hello.”

“Did you like the present I left your boyfriend?” the eerie voice taunted.

Mase grabbed hold of his calm. He couldn’t let the other man know he was bothered by his actions. “As a matter of fact I did. It got him to move in with me faster than I expected.”

Mase hung up. Despite his bold words, his heart slammed against his chest at the thought of Kit being stalked by a psycho from his past. He thought he’d resolved the problem with Jeff’s family. He’d won his court case and, despite their determined smear campaign, it hadn’t affected him financially.

“Who was that?” Kit asked.

Mase’s first instinct was to hide the entire situation, but the sub deserved better than to be brushed off. “I think it was Philip. Someone keeps calling me pretending to be my dead lover.”

“That’s sick!” Kit exclaimed his nose wrinkling in disgust. “You should call the police.”

Mase shrugged. “And tell them what? That someone keeps prank calling me?”

Kit stepped closer and began rubbing Mase’s shoulders. “But it’s more than that. It’s harassment. Maybe they can trace the call especially now that I’ve been having problems. You’re the one who said we should report things even if they can’t do anything. Besides, you said you have a restraining order against Philip. Doesn’t that include phone calls?”

Mase nodded. “Fine. I’ll contact the police in the morning. I doubt they’ll go to too much trouble, but I’ll tell them.”

“Good.” To Mase’s surprise, the sub snuggled close. “Let’s spend the night in the bedroom where you can show me all your toppy ways.”

Laughing, Mase pried Kit off his chest. “You don’t have to do that. I’m all right if you just want to sleep.”

Kit scowled at him. It would’ve been an intimidating look if the man didn’t just barely come up to Mase’s shoulder. As it was, Mase resisted the urge to ruffle the sub’s hair—an action he knew wouldn’t be well received. “I didn’t agree to come here to be platonic napping buddies.”

Mase cupped Kit’s face between his hands. As he looked into Kit’s deep green eyes, he realised if he expected to be a master, he had to grab back his confidence and show the other man he did have what it took to dominate him.

“We’ll do things when and where I decide,” Mase said firmly. “If I think you need rest before we do anything else then that is what we are going to do.”

Kit swallowed hard making his Adam’s apple bob beneath Mase’s fingers. “Yes, Sir,” he whispered, his voice barely audible.

“Good boy,” Mase praised. Running his fingers through Kit’s hair, Mase yanked him closer. Pressing their lips together, he didn’t hold anything back as he unleashed the passion he’d held back all night. There were only so many ways to reassure Mase—at some point Mase had to decide the sub knew what he wanted and give it to him.

The kiss was all about heat and need. When Kit moaned against his lips, Mase felt like a king. Slowly lifting his mouth he smiled at the stunned expression on Kit’s face.

“Let’s go to the bedroom. It’s been a long day and I’m ready for bed.”

Autism Awareness Month!

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Happy Easter for those of you who celebrate it!

Welcome to another stop in RJ Scott’s yearly autism awareness blog hop. I’m happy to join the hop again and hope you enjoy learning a bit along the way. If you know someone with autism feel free to leave a note about them in the comment section.

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I knew well before the age of three that something was different about my younger son. He didn’t meet my eyes and showed no interest in anyone around him while he was putting together puzzles supposedly too difficult for his age. Sometimes he would come up for a snuggle but he didn’t try to start a conversation like his older brother had at that age. Although I told myself not to compare one child to another it’s hard not to when you suspect something might be wrong.

I’d like to say I was immediately an understanding and compassionate parent when I found out my child was autistic. I wasn’t. Although I tried not to show it, I mourned for the child that could have been. Of course I got over that stage but I would be lying if I didn’t say it still causes a pang every now and then when I see my son struggling.

It took me a while to understand there is nothing wrong with processing things differently. He is a bright and cheerful child who has a wicked sense of humor and an interesting mind. Sure he doesn’t necessarily understand instructions the first time they are given but he can build intricate things with Legos, explain the barely discernible difference when a company changes logos (while explaining why one is far superior to the other), and occasionally give back a snappy comment to his brother. My older son claims it is his duty as a big brother to make sure youngest can carry on the torch of sarcasm when he leaves to go to college.

I have great hopes for both of my sons’ futures. I don’t know what they will be when they grow up, but I just want them to be happy.

If you meet someone with autism show compassion. Think of what it would be like if you couldn’t get your mind to focus, or words to collect together to speak your thoughts. There are all kinds of people on the spectrum which can go from completely non-verbal to others who talk quite a bit (some days my son is one of them). Just like us each is an individual with their own hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future. With a little help they can have long, fulfilling lives too.

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Max & Adam – 6

It turned out that it was weeks before Max saw Adam again. Adam had texted him about picking up a big case and Max didn’t hear back for three weeks. Max didn’t worry though. He would’ve heard around the station if something had happened to Adam. Cops loved to gossip and news would’ve spread like an arson’s flame if one of the most popular detectives vanished.

Max resisted the urge to growl when one of the female cops started talking about Adam’s fine ass in a loud voice. Adam took great satisfaction in sending her an anonymous email about the department’s sexual harassment policy. She’d been quiet for the past week.

A quick gulp of water to wash down his suppression pills was all the time Max took on self-care. His latest investigation was to find where the money flow was coming from on a trafficking ring. Max froze when his last search came back with a familiar name.

Crandel Kane.

Crap. What was his cousin up to? An hour later Max’s stomach was spinning like an out-of balance clothes dryer and he barely kept his morning toast in his stomach.

“Something wrong, Max?” Julie asked.

He must be looking pretty bad if Julie commented. She usually had the attitude that if someone wanted to share they would’ve already told her. Julie didn’t pry.

“No. Not really. Just found some surprising information on a case.” More like vomit-inducing but he wouldn’t tell her family business. The only person he could inform was his uncle and he had to hope Uncle Barnie wasn’t involved. He had thought better of his family than to think they would do something this illegal much less morally repugnant.

“Oh okay. Let me know if I can help with anything.”

“I will.” He tried out a smile which must have been successful because she wandered back to her cubicle without any fuss.

 

If his idiot cousin exposed them he would borrow Adam’s gun and shoot him. Max clenched his hands into fists then took several deep breaths to pull back his anger. He couldn’t let his fury loose. The cost to replace everything he broke would be phenomenal.

Keeping in the shadows was more than a way of life it was a necessity. He slid his fingers along the phone receiver debating on his next move. Should he investigate more to be certain, or should he contact his uncle and find out the truth? He jerked his hand back. Better to find out more before he started waving accusations around. Not to mention he couldn’t exactly have this conversation at work. He’d have to do it on his own time where there weren’t an office full of people to eavesdrop. Maybe start by calling his dad. His father would be able to confirm any rumors and give him good advice about confronting their relatives. The hard part would be if he had to do a cover up. Shit. Working for the cops was turning out to be a big mistake. When he’d agreed to take this position for the family he had thought he could keep an hand on the pulse of the local law enforcement. Better to know if a hunt was coming than be surprised. In the two years he’d worked there not once had a hint of interest been shown about his people.

He hated to ruin a perfect record.

His phone rang pulling him away from his fixation on the computer. Ignoring his first impulse to hide from the phone call. Interrupting his search for the truth with work would slow down his investigation.

After the fourth ring Max gave in. “Hello.”

“Hey Max, I just got freed from the case I was working on and I wanted to know if you had time to have dinner with me. I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to talk to you before but I’d love the chance to make up.”

Max winced. “I’d love to but not today.”

“Sorry I know it’s last minute…”

Max interrupted him. “I swear, I’m not brushing you off but I really need to go see my dad.”

Silence filled the line. “At least you have a realistic excuse. Give me a call when you have some time. I’ll see you tomorrow at work.”

“Yeah tomorrow.” Now he just had to live past tonight when he told his dad about his cousin’s actions.

My Subby Valentine – 10

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With shaking hands Kit pulled his phone out of his pocket. It took him a few tries but he was finally able to dial Mase’s number and he waited impatiently for him to answer.

“I take it you made it home safely,” Mase answered the phone, obviously watching his Caller ID.

“M-Mase. Someone’s been here.” He hated that he sounded like a scared little kid but there was something menacing about the message. He figured Mase would ask a lot of questions but the Dom only asked one.

“Where are you?”

Kit gave Mase his address as he snuggled Pixie close.

“I’ll be there soon. Stay inside,” Mase warned before hanging up.

Staring at the phone, Kit sighed. He doubted the Dom could solve all his problems. He didn’t feel safe in his home right now. If someone felt brave enough to walk up to his door and do this, it was a small step to breaking inside. Images of the scary man from the restaurant filled his head. If Philip thought it was in Kit’s best interests to stay away from Mase, what else would he do?

Kit didn’t know for certain it was Philip but he doubted there were tons of people trying to rehash old news and make an innocent man pay for an imagined crime.

Kit paced, drank some coffee, and petted his dog, but couldn’t settle in one place for more than a minute as he waited for Mase.

The doorbell rang, jerking him out of his musing.

His heart skipped a beat. His nails were never going to recover. Frozen in place, he listened to the doorbell again.

Pixie gave a bark and ran to the door, eager to protect her house from any intruder.

An impatient knock jerked him into action.

He almost tripped over Pixie on the way to the door. Scooping her up before she could escape, he held her with one hand and opened the door with the other.

Mase stood on his porch, a scowl crossing his face as he examined the spray painted message. “I’ll get him for this.”

“I thought it might be that Philip guy from the restaurant,” Kit hesitantly offered.

Mase nodded. “Yeah, it probably was. We need to report this to the police.”

“Is that really necessary? I mean, what will they do?”

“Have it on record. You have to establish a pattern to get him to stop. Of course, it would help if we could prove it was him.”

“Yeah, unfortunately I don’t have cameras mounted outside my door.”

Mase gave him a bittersweet smile. “I do.”

Kit didn’t have an answer to that.

“Get a suitcase packed. You can come and stay with me for a few days until we can get the Philip thing straightened out.”

Kit lifted up Pixie. “What about my dog?”

“Bring your dog too.” Mase rolled his eyes. “I can see the two of you are a matched pair.”

Kit gave Pixie a high five, paw to palm. “Do you hear that, girl? We’re going to visit with Mase.”

“If you start talking baby-talk to her, I’m having her kennelled.”

 

Mase bit the inside of his cheek to hold back a laugh as Kit gave him a completely horrified look. He’d never do that to such a little dog but teasing Kit took away some of his ire over the situation. He hadn’t planned on moving Kit in with him right away—hell, he wasn’t sure if he’d ever be ready for that—but he couldn’t let the man be terrorised by Mase’s past either.

Running into Philip at the restaurant had been a bad stroke of luck. Now that he’d had time to think about it, he wondered why the man was even in town. As far as he knew, Philip still lived in Chicago.

Mase flipped open his phone and called Jon. After a short conversation with his friend and fellow Dom, Mase hung up. He knew Jon would find out who was behind this. Mase’s first priority was to keep Kit safe. He wasn’t going to lose another sub, especially not if he could stop it by personally watching over Kit.

Kit walked back into the room pulling a small rollaway with him, the little dog tucked under his arm.

“What’s the beast’s name?”

“Pixie.” Kit gave him a cautious smile. “You’re not allergic are you?”

Mase shook his head. “No.” Looking at the little collie he had to smile. “Cute little thing.”

“I found her at the pound. One of the dogs there had pups. She was the runt of the litter. They were going to have to put her down if they couldn’t find someone willing to adopt her.”

Mase did a quick scan of the apartment. Everything was neat and tidy. “Do you have any other creatures I need to worry about?”

Kit shook his head. “No, only Pixie.”

“Good.” He spotted the dog water and food bowls. After dumping the water out, he stacked them and set them on the table. “We’ll leave after we report this to the police.”

My Subby Valentine – 9

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I had a lag in creativity. I’ll do an Adam and Max posting tomorrow but here is the one for today!

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A twenty-minute drive later, he pulled up to his house. Kit didn’t have a lot of money but his parents had given him the house when they’d run off to retire in the Dominican Republic. He didn’t have a mortgage and the taxes were paid through a fund left to him by his grandfather when he’d died. Kit’s job as a graphic artist gave him enough money to have a little fun. It wasn’t a glamorous job but he enjoyed it.

Humming, he unlocked the door and quickly closed it before the tiny creature escaped. Yipping, the small puppy danced around Kit’s feet. Pouncing, it bit one of Kit’s shoelaces and shook it with a low growl.

“That’s right…teach my shoes who’s boss.”

Laughing he picked up the baby collie. “How are you doing, Pixie?”

The wiggly creature enthusiastically licked his chin.

“Oooh doggy germs,” he teased as he cradled her close to his chest.

Smiling he walked deeper into the apartment, dropping his keys in the dish on the table. He liked to keep his house neat and tidy. “What do you think, girl? If I pick up after myself and you don’t pee on the floor do you think Mase will keep us? God, I hope he’s not allergic to dogs.” He earned more chin licks.

“We’ll have to talk him into it,” he continued his discussion with the dog. “For a big bad Dom, he’s scared of keeping another sub. Maybe we should take it slow? Have a scene and leave right after so he doesn’t feel pressured. I mean, I didn’t go to all the trouble of losing that bet to let him get away now.”

It had taken careful manoeuvring and paying for a lot of liquor before he had been able to arrange the entire situation. His friends were predictable enough that he didn’t have any problem getting them to bet him to approach the most intimidating Dom in the club.

“So far it’s going according to plan but now is the tricky part.”

Pixie tilted her head in an enquiring look.

“We have to convince him he can keep me. Don’t worry—I won’t go without you,” he reassured his puppy.

After setting the dog on the floor, he grabbed and filled the dog’s food bowl before setting it back on the floor. He smiled as the dog rushed over to gobble down the food. He didn’t leave any out when he was gone because the little creature would eat herself sick. He filled her other bowl with water.

Kit nibbled his lip as he examined flaws in his plan. Nope…he didn’t see any. Although Mase had said the decision was his, Kit knew he needed a little nudge.

He reached for a coffee cup, intent on obtaining caffeine while he brainstormed.

Pixie’s ears perked up and she tore off towards the door.

“What do you hear?”

The little dog was unpredictable but she had good instincts. Yipping at the door, she then let out a low growl.

“More shoelaces attacking?” Kit teased even as he cautiously approached the door. He didn’t hear anyone and when he glanced through a gap in the curtains he didn’t see a car outside. However…his dog rarely barked, one of her more endearing features. He tried to look thoroughly around outside without appearing obvious. If there was someone out there, they didn’t belong.

He laughed nervously at his poor spy techniques.

“I don’t see anyone. Are you sure someone’s out there?” he asked the small dog.

Pixie tilted her head as if trying to formulate the right answer.

“You’re not a big help.”

Somehow talking to the dog didn’t make him feel better. A knot in his gut told him someone was indeed out there. Peeking through the peephole, he let out a sigh. No one in view.

Pixie stopped barking.

“Did you smell a squirrel?”

Curious, Kit picked up the dog and unlocked the door. Opening it slowly he held onto Pixie with a firm hand so she couldn’t escape. It would break his heart if his dog ran off and got hit by a car or something.

He opened the door wider and took a tiny step outside only to see the porch completely deserted.

Huh.

His skin crawled as though he could feel eyes watching him. Clearing his throat, he closed the door.

Pixie let out a low growl.

Shit!

Walking to the right of his little porch, Kit peeked around the corner of the house.

Pixie barked.

No one was there.

“Shh, girl. It’s nothing.”

He didn’t know what she smelt but the butterflies in his stomach were flapping like gale force winds. Unable to take the sudden unexplained fear, he spun on his heel and rushed back towards the door…

And stopped short. His stomach dropped to his feet. Painted in red in big bold letters was the word ‘Beware’.

“Oh crap.” Taped to the wall below the word was a printout with the headline—‘Killer Dom Acquitted’. Someone didn’t want Mase to be happy. When a quick glance around didn’t reveal the perpetrator, Kit slammed the door closed.