“Wakey, wakey my precious wolf.” Nebi said as he brushed his fingers through Nathan’s hair, pushing it away from his sleeping face. He knew he would get an earful from his mate, but he couldn’t help but come into the cage once the moon had passed. “Nathan.”
The wolf stirred, letting out a little groan, his single eye opening. “Nebi?” He looked around, remembering where he was. “What are you doing in here? When did you come in here? I…”
Nebi pressed a kiss to his lips, silencing him and causing a little whine to escape his lips. “Hush, I waited until you had shifted back. I wanted to wake you.”
“You could have done that from the other side of the cage.”
“That’s no fun. Besides, I have work today and I really wanted to be a good mate and wake you. I have breakfast upstairs, I’m sure you’re hungry.”
Nathan sighed as he reached up and tucked Nebi’s hair behind his ear. What was he going to do with his leopard. He was too reckless and that scared Nathan. “Alright, I love you.”
“I love you too.” Nebi gave him another kiss then got up and grabbed the pair of sweats he had brought down for Nathan. He waited as his mate pulled them on, letting his gaze sweep over his wolf. “Damn, I almost regret bringing them to you.”
Nathan blushed. “I think you enjoy teasing me a little too much.”
They went upstairs and Nebi had him set down so he could serve him. “So, what kind of work?”
“You know what kind, the messy kind.”
“I thought Fino did that and you simply delivered information.”
“This needs a more delicate touch.”
“You know, my cute face.”
Nathan’s wolf bared its teeth in jealousy and he did his best to fight the emotion down. It wasn’t like Nebi was going there to cheat on him or anything. “I see.”
Nebi smiled as he rested his chin in his hand. “Want to come? You seem distressed.”
“Nathan, you can’t fool me, I could hear your heart and your scent changed.”
Nebi leaned over and kissed him, smiling lovingly. “It’s okay, it’s normal to feel jealous. Come with me, I’ll get us a room. It can get lonely when I have to go off alone and you can bail me out if things go south my sweet wolf. The full moon has passed and I’d love to come back to you at the end of the day instead of an empty room.”
Nathan felt relieved he could come and hoped he could control his jealousy. Nebi would just be working, he’d just have to keep reminding himself of it. “Okay, but only if you really want me to come. I trust you.”
“I know you do Nathan.”
Nathan tried not to obsess over the fact Nebi would be flirting with someone else as they ate. Breakfast was amazing and he wanted to simply enjoy it with the wonderful man who prepared it for him. After they ate and had a few cups of coffee together they headed out, Nathan reminding himself again not to be an ass and let his jealousy get to him. In the car Nebi said, “I love you.” Just as a reminder to Nathan that he was his world and nobody else could ever take his place.
“So what all are you going to be doing?”
“Being charming and sweet. From the info I was given, my target loves beautiful, blonde men.”
“Nathan, my love, I just have to get close to him.” He took Nathan’s hand, squeezing it. “I just have to be seductive enough to get him alone.”
“Will he be touching you?”
“There may be a brush here and there.” He chuckled. “How cute.”
“It doesn’t feel like it. I feel like I’m being childish. This is your job, it’s not like you weren’t doing it before me.” Even that thought made his wolf grumble. How many had he tempted and seduced before they had even met?
Nebi stopped at a red light and leaned over, pressing a kiss to Nathan’s cheek and then his lips once he turned his head. He smiled when his wolf kissed back and savored the warmth of his lips until the light turned green. “You should know I’ll be thinking about you the whole time. You’re my everything, my heart and soul. When I’m talking to him it’ll be like I’m talking to you.”
Nathan gave an uneasy smile. “I know…I’m lucky to have you Nebi.”
“I feel the same about you Nathan. I would never jeopardize what we have.” It meant a lot to Nathan just how much Nebi cared if he was comfortable or not. Nebi wasn’t mad or flustered due to the jealousy he felt, he just wanted to be sure he felt okay before starting this job. It showed how loved he was and how much he didn’t have to worry. The drive felt long at first but eventually he was able to relax and just enjoy this time with his leopard. Nebi even continued doing his best to make Nathan feel secure after they checked in by making love to him as soon as they were in their room.
“When do you have to go?” Nathan asked as he held Nebi close, their foreheads pressed together.
Nathan whined without meaning too and blushed with embarrassment. He felt so childish, but Nebi just chuckled. “Sorry.”
“You’re so adorable my wolf.”
“Oh yes you are, even when you’re all covered with fur and grumbling at me from your cage. Your wolf doesn’t even care that I’m there anymore, he likes it when I visit you at night.” He rubbed their noses together when Nathan gave him that all too familiar look of disapproval. “My puppy.”
“Be nice or I’ll make love to you until you can’t move.”
“Promise?” His lips were mere inches from Nathan’s, the anticipation of being kissed stirring the wolf up.
“Good.” He kissed him. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Nebi waited as long as he could before hugging his wolf tightly and telling him goodbye. “If you really need to text me it’s okay but try not to. He could read it over my shoulder. I don’t want you to feel like you can’t though.”
“I won’t, that’s really sweet of you but I’ll just watch something or take a soak.” Nebi gave Nathan one last smile before leaving the room. Nathan’s wolf longed to follow him but he ignored the urge. “This is his job.” Nathan said aloud. Nathan switched on the TV and found something to occupy him before tugging on a pair of sweat pants and settling under the blankets. He hoped sleep might find him since that could kill a lot of time without him even being aware of it. He knew better than to try to force it though. He’d just watch TV and hope.
Nebi hummed to himself as he sat at the bar his target frequented. He looked bored, disappointed even. He glanced at the clock hanging on the wall. He would be here soon. The bell above the door tinkled and he took a brief glance, his eyes momentarily catching those of the one he was waiting for. Raymond Hark was good looking, well built, and immaculately dressed. He was often described as charismatic and charming, easily drawing people in. In truth he was a monster. He hunted men like Nebi, often taking them home under the pretense of a fun night of drinks and sex, only to victimize them, hurting and humiliating them, dominating them without their consent. His plan was to play hard to get, to make sure he was the only one Raymond was concentrating on before allowing himself to be brought home.
“It seems you’ve taken my seat.” Raymond said as he stepped up next to Nebi.
“Oh? I hadn’t noticed.” He brought his drink to his lips, Raymond’s eyes following the motion. “I’m quite comfortable.”
“Are you now?”
Nebi smiled, resting his chin in the palm of his hand as he flicked his gaze briefly to the two men with him then made eye contact with his target. “Mmhm, do you mind if I stay?”
“Since you asked nicely.” Nebi could see buried under lust and possession in Raymond’s eyes, the want to punish him. He wasn’t used to back talk and disobedience.
He wasn’t worried in the slightest, he was confident in his abilities and the abilities of the men backing him up. His mate also wasn’t far and he was the most fearsome wolf he had ever seen. “So why do you like this seat?” Nebi thought he’d ask.
Raymond said, “You can see the rest of the bar best from there.”
Nebi glanced around as if he hadn’t already come to that conclusion before the man got there. “So you can, what type are you checking out when you sit here?”
“Yours.” Raymond cut right to the chase, obviously going for charming in the way he said it and the way he held himself but Nebi could see the monster in him far too clearly to be charmed at all. He needed to be a little more flirtatious so he started thinking of his mate, the kinds of things he would say to him, trying to picture him in his mind to soften his expression.
Raymond took the stool next to him and waved his bodyguards off. They went and stood at the end of the bar, their eyes constantly scanning for signs of trouble. “They’re like puppies.” Nebi said with a little chuckle.
“More like rottweilers.”
“Not all,” he said as he reached over and ran his fingers over the top of Nebi’s hand, “if they’re well trained.”
Raymond nodded. “Pets are easy, all you need is the right incentive.”
“I have a pet, he’s quite adorable.” He pulled out his phone and brought up one of the pictures of Nathan in wolf form. “He’s a rescue and can be quite grumpy.” He showed Raymond.
“And you’re scared of rottweilers? Look at him, is he a wolf?”
“Shepherd mix.” He took his phone back. “Maybe you could give me a few pointers.”
Raymond chuckled. “I’d love too, maybe we could go back to my place and I could show you.” He shifted a little closer, trying to take up space. Nebi saw it a lot with alpha shifters. They claimed what they wanted, letting everyone, even the one they were interested in, know that they belonged to them.
“Are you implying that I’m easy?”
“Not at all, but it might be fun.”
Nebi chuckled as he leaned in, his face close to Raymond’s. “Maybe if you take me out, I might consider it. After all, you do want me, don’t you?” Of course he did, Nebi could smell it, could see the way his pupils dilated, knew he was itching to teach him a lesson. Nebi pulled back, grabbing a napkin and pen from behind the bar and wrote down his name and number. “Call me, I’ll be waiting.”
Nathan was pacing their room, eventually deciding to get room service. It wasn’t healthy to eat for the entertainment or distraction of it, but he was a wolf and an active enough ones he could afford a meal just to keep himself busy. He ordered everything that sounded good, giving the man that brought it a nice tip before sitting down to enjoy, as much as he could anyway while he was worried about Nebi. Nebi sauntered out, hoping to tease Raymond a little more, wanting to be absolutely sure he had hooked him. He then drove in a random direction. He wasn’t sure if this man had his prey followed but he wanted to be sure not to lead Raymond or his goons back to Nathan. He’d drive around and maybe park somewhere for a bit before going back to where they were staying.
Nebi let out a sigh when he finally made it back to the hotel and made sure to lock his car before heading up. The smell of food hit his nose the moment he opened their room door, his stomach giving a little growl, but before he could even think of asking what Nathan was eating, the wolf had him pulled into a tight hug. “Well hello to you too.” He said with a laugh. “Miss me?”
“I was worried.”
“I can tell.”
“You have a strange scent on you.”
“It’s his, he touched me and we were in close proximity so my clothes probably absorbed his cologne.”
The wolf growled, but Nathan held it in, instead pressing a kiss to Nebi’s neck and then gently biting him. He wanted to mark him where that man could see it, but stopped himself. All that mattered what that he was safely back. He wouldn’t mess up his job by making it obvious Nebi was with someone. “I…I don’t like it.”
Nebi chuckled as he pulled back, smiling lovingly at him as he leaned in, letting his lips lightly brush Nathan’s, delighting in the goosebumps that covered his mate’s skin. “Maybe you could replace it with yours.”
“But, the food.”
“It does smell pretty good, I guess we could eat first if that’s what you want.”
Nathan whined. “You’re not playing fair.”
Nebi grinned, almost chuckling. Nathan had no idea how instantly he was able to lift the tension off his shoulders. He could suppress it so others wouldn’t know, but dealing with horrible men like that man at the bar wound his muscles pretty tight. Now here, messing with Nathan all he felt was happiness and lust, well, hunger from smelling the amazing food in the room was there too, but that wasn’t what he was focusing on. “Come on, it’ll still be there when you’ve taken that monster off me.” Nathan’s wolf urged him to just tear Nebi’s clothes off and take him, to mark what was his once again. He gave into the desire, tugging off his mates clothes then his own before going over to the bed with him.
His lips moved hungrily against his mate’s, his tongue diving in, tasting liquor and lust. His hand moved over him, caressing and claiming him. Nebi clung to him, urging him closer, wanting his wolf’s dominance. “Nathan.” He rolled his hips, begging him to hurry and Nathan growled as he slammed into him. Nebi had to bite down on his shoulder to muffle the loud cry that rose in his throat. Nathan sat back, lifting Nebi’s hips as he rocked into him, watching as his leopard’s back arched off the bed. He stroked Nebi’s length, watching his face as he pushed him closer to the edge. Nebi reached for him and Nathan leaned down, their lips pressing together, Nebi’s fingers gripping his back as he came. Nathan picked up the pace and as he neared his released his teeth found Nebi’s shoulder. “Nathan, my wolf, I love you.” He let his fingers stroke Nathan’s neck when the wolf dropped his head on his chest and they laid there for a moment, catching their breath and letting the air cool their damp skin.
Nathan pressed a kiss to his shoulder and then his neck and finally his lips, his fingers sliding through Nebi’s hair. “I love you too, more than you know.”
“I think I know.”
“You don’t.” He stroked Nebi’s cheek. “Nothing I do can ever fully express how much I love and need you.”
“I think you do a pretty amazing job.” He rubbed their noses together.
“At least I can’t smell him anymore.”
Nebi chuckled. “So jealous, it really is adorable. Let’s not talk about him right now, it’s just us.”
“Want to enjoy this food and watch something?” Nebi gave a small nod and the two got up to replenish their energy. Nebi had no way of knowing when that monster would call him away tomorrow so he wanted to spend all the time he could with Nathan tonight. Once they finished eating they shut the television back off, just talking and joking around with one another until they both knew it was time to get some rest so Nebi wouldn’t be yawning when he was with Raymond tomorrow. They were surprised at how late they had slept when a phone call woke them. Nebi cleared his throat and walked onto the balcony of their room to make sure Raymond didn’t hear Nathan.
“Hello Mr. Hark, to what do I owe the pleasure?”
“Call me Raymond, please.”
Nebi chuckled. “Okay, Raymond.”
“Did you sleep well last night?”
“I always sleep well, and you?”
Raymond huffed. “I have to confess, I didn’t.”
“Too busy thinking of you.”
Nebi rolled his eyes. What a line, he thought, and one that was far more charming and endearing when it came from Nathan’s lips. “Only good thoughts I hope.”
“Of course. Now to why I called. I want to take you out on a date tonight.”
“That eager are we?” He said in a teasing tone.
“Can you blame me? I’ve never met a man as beautiful as you, let me take you out.”
“Hmm…I wonder if I should?” He was sure Raymond was seething, but he couldn’t help himself. He was a literal cat playing with its prey. “Alright, pick the place and I’ll meet you there, Raymond and perhaps I’ll consider rewarding you for treating me.”
The sound Raymond made caused Nebi to smile, he was definitely annoyed. This was probably the most fun he had ever had pissing someone off. Raymond was the only one on this phone call about to be punished for his behavior and he couldn’t wait for Raymond to find that out. “I’ll send someone to get you, where do you live?” Raymond asked, obviously trying to hide his annoyance.
“No, I’ll drive myself.” Nebi said with a grin.
“Come on now, I invited you out. It’s courtesy to pick you up.”
“Ah but that’s one of the dating rules from long ago. I prefer to live in the now. I’ll drive myself.”
Raymond gave in. “Fine then, meet me at the bar and we’ll go from there.”
“Why the bar?” Raymond hung up, probably struggling not to yell at Nebi for how much he had resisted.
“You shouldn’t play with him Nebi.” Nathan’s tone was full of worry as he stepped out onto the balcony and wrapped his arms around his mate from behind.
“I’m just throwing him off, baby.”
“But he’s dangerous right?” He dropped his head onto Nebi’s shoulder and kissed his neck. “He could hurt you.”
“Maybe if I were human, my love,” he said as he turned to face his wolf, “but I’m the great and powerful Nebi, leopard extraordinaire.”
“Trust me, I know you’re worried, but this is what I do. I play, they let their guard down and I kill them. He’s trapped in my web and doesn’t even know it. Besides, he doesn’t even know I’m a leopard. Even if he does manage to restrain me, I can easily slip out.”
“I’m sorry I’ve been so whiny and possessive. I just don’t want to lose you.”
“You won’t, I’m yours forever.”
“I love you, Nebi.”
“I love you too, now shower with me, I have to prepare for my date with that idiot.”
Nathan whined. “But you’re going to pick up his scent again.”
Nebi chuckled. “Then I guess you’ll just have to get rid of it again.”
They took a long shower, the two doing more cuddling and fooling around than actually getting clean but Nathan needed it and Nebi was just enjoying the fun before work beckoned him again. It was a long goodbye when Nebi absolutely had to leave, but Nebi wasn’t sure how long this would all take. Nathan unlocked his cellphone then went to his Kindle. He decided today instead of zoning out to TV that he’d try to get through a book or two. There were so many he wanted to read and currently, he had no excuse not to sit down and do it. He also felt it would be more successful at keeping away all his worries.
Nebi wasn’t surprised to find Raymond waiting for him when he stepped into the bar. The man looked his way and Nebi smiled as he made his way over to his prey. “You beat me here.” He said as he slipped onto the stool next to Raymond.
“You took longer than I expected.” Raymond replied.
“Well, I wanted to make sure I looked good for you.” He let his eyes move over Raymond. “I don’t feel quite as put together as you, maybe I should go back and change.”
Raymond grinned as he reached over, letting his fingers slide over Nebi’s cheek and down to grab his chin. “I doubt you have to worry about your clothes.”
“So, what do you have planned, for our date I mean?”
“If you come with me, I’ll show you.” He let his hand drop to Nebi’s and the leopard could feel the possession there. “You’ll like it, I promise.”
“Did you plan something romantic?”
Raymond shrugged. “It’s a surprise, come with me.”
“How mysterious and romantic. Alright, I’m intrigued, let’s go.”
Nebi’s leopard was ready to fight, it felt it coming. This date was going to quickly go south, but that was part of the plan. He needed to see precisely where he was taking these men, he needed to get all the evidence needed to finally convict Raymond of everything he had done. Nathan could sense the imminent danger as well even though he wasn’t even there. He wanted to run after Nebi, to protect him from harm but he was managing to make himself stay in their room. Nebi had worked a long time before him, he didn’t need nor did he desire protecting. Nathan knew he needed to respect his mate’s wishes, as hard as that was right now.
Nebi wasn’t surprised when Raymond pulled up the gate in front of his house. Of course the “surprise” would be in his home, it was the only way to ensure his victims didn’t escape. “I thought you were taking me out?”
“Trust me, this is better.” Raymond reached out the driver side window, punching in the code for the gate and then drove through when it swung open. “It’s much more intimate when it’s just us instead of a room full of people.”
He pulled into the driveway, parking his car right at the front steps and got out and went around to let Nebi out. Nebi smiled, feigning surprise that he was being so polite and allowed himself to be guided in. “So, what’s the surprise?”
“I had a meal specially prepared for you, dessert and drinks that I hope you’ll like.” He pulled Nebi close, let his fingers sliding over his cheek and tuck his hair behind his ear.
“I can’t wait.” Nebi could see how people could so easily fall for him. He knew exactly how to play his victims. He was like a viper, slowly stalking his prey, moving in close and then striking and sinking his fangs in. Nebi could see it, smell it, and feel the dark energy coming off of Raymond. It wasn’t just him, it was the bodyguards as well. They stood by and let this all happen, not caring as long as they were paid.
It took especially sick people to just sit there and watch, possibly help get a victim back under control if they managed to slip away. Nebi readied himself as he was taken to the room, pretending once more when he saw the food out and arranged by candle light. “You really are a sweet man, maybe I was the lucky one we met.” His energy was already growing darker. They sat down to eat, but Nebi’s nose told him not to consume anything. This was part of how he did it, this food was drugged, would make him less able to defend himself.
“You should try the salmon.” Raymond said as he poured Nebi some wine.
Nebi could smell that was drugged too. He really had all his bases covered. “Maybe a drink first.” He replied with a smile.
Nebi lifted his glass. “To an evening of fun.”
“To an evening of fun.”
Nebi shifted his feet as he started to bring the glass to his lips. He threw the wine in Raymond’s face, surprising him then pushed up, bringing his other fist up to connect with his chin, knocking him back, chair and all. He tossed the glass then reached into his coat and pulled out his knife. “Raymond, Raymond, Raymond, drugs?”
“You son of a bitch.”Raymond said as he pushed himself to his hands and knees. “Who are you?”
Nebi kicked him in the stomach so he fell over again then he rolled him onto his back and crouched over him. “I’m retribution, Raymond. Did you really think you could get away with hurting all those young men?”
“Wait.” Nebi grabbed his throat. “W…wa…please.”
“Where do you keep all your little toys and trophies?”
“Thank you, Raymond, I had a good time.”
Nebi drove the knife into his solar plexus and up into his heart, holding tightly to his throat until he bled out. He was almost surprised when no guards came rushing in, then he remembered they had probably heard a few people fall down in here. They were next and then he needed to take photos of everything Raymond had hidden in his room so he could send it to his boss who would give it to the authorities.
He rushed down, barely giving them time to register what was happening before they laid lifeless on the floor. He then collected the evidence he needed and rushed off, ready to be with his wolf again. The first words he uttered once his wolf wasn’t holding him too tight to speak was, “I’m done, he’s dead and I have what I need for the authorities to officially tell the families who is responsible.”
“Thank god.” Nathan said, holding him tightly again.
“I’m sorry if this was hard Nathan.”
“It’s your job, I know I should be better about being jealous.”
“Well, it’s harder for you. Wolves are notoriously the jealous type.”
“But I love and trust you implicitly.”
“Being jealous isn’t always about lack of trust baby. It’s an emotion almost impossible to control. It’s how you act when you’re jealous that matters and you were amazing.”
“When can we go?”
“I’m more comfortable there, in our bed, it’s more familiar and I can relax.”
“Tomorrow, but for now I need a shower.” He had blood on him from those men and Raymond’s scent permeated his clothing.
“Of course, sorry.”
“Hush, it’s sweet how worried you were.” He pressed a kiss to Nathan’s lips then pulled him into the bathroom. Nathan let out a little growling whine when Nebi started pulling his clothes off and got the water started. He couldn’t keep himself from pulling the leopard against him and biting the back of his neck. Nebi chuckled and turned his head to give his wolf another kiss. “I love you.”
“I love you too.” He pressed his forehead against Nebi’s.
Nathan made himself let Nebi go so he could pull his own clothes off. They climbed in together and held each other under the relaxing warmth of the water. Nathan slept with his arms wrapped tightly around Nebi that night, his nose pressed into his leopard’s hair, his body completely relaxed now that his mate was out of harm’s way. Nebi fell asleep with a smile on his face and kissed Nathan awake the next morning so they could get ready to go home.
“I don’t know how Allon stays put while Fino works.” Nathan said once they were checked out.
“You’re two different people baby, with different needs. You need the security of being close to me because of everything you’ve been through. That’s why I invited you.” He put their luggage in the trunk of his car then wrapped his arms around Nathan’s neck and rubbed their noses together. “Having you waiting here for me made me incredibly happy. You’re my home away from home, my love and I hope you’ll always come with me from now on.”
“I’d really like to”
“Then it’s settled.” Nebi said with a comforting smile. Nathan had always wanted to go and was glad he could from now on. Though at the moment he was happiest simply to be heading home with the love of his life. This case would soon be completely closed and they could go back to normalcy. Well, as much normalcy as you can have between a werewolf and leopard.
~ The End