Sit up and Beg and Sit Pretty features Killian and Evan, the werewolf and the man who saved him from captivity.
In Chew Toy, CIA agent Jack thinks being eaten by a tiger is a bad way to go. Good thing the tiger is also a man. Crate Trained sees Gary getting a bite he never expected during casual sex.
In Doggie Style, Ray thinks Doc is just a new foster pet. He’s in for a shock. Finally, in Wolfy Resolutions, Cage has no desire to go to his demon friend’s party, but it might be worth his while.
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"Sit up and beg."
"You're crazy," Killian said, fingers dancing in the air just over the collar wrapped around his neck. "I'm a werewolf, not a pet."
The collar was driving him fucking crazy. It had to weigh several pounds, and it was like those radio collars so-called scientists put on wild animals. More like sadists. Let's make the animal stand out from all the other animals so it's ostracized and killed!
That wasn't the purpose of Killian's collar. His was more like one of those sci-fi series shock collars. Misbehave and get electrocuted. Or at least fried like a hairy sausage.
No, his collar was designed to kick his ass if he tried to get loose.
The guy who had finally appeared in front of the cage his kidnappers had put him in smiled. "I guess you are, at that. At least for now. These guys? They want to make you a fighting dog. A human pit bull, if you will."
"These guys?" Killian eyed the big man, noting the faded jeans and button-down shirt, the strapped on shoulder-holster. "What are you?"
"I'm just hired security."
"Hired…" Damn. Damn, damn, damn. Anyone who could work for the guys who'd taken him as a hired gun would probably only respond to one thing. Money. That was a commodity that Killian was flat out of.
"Yep." The guy nodded, blue eyes twinkling. Maybe glinting. A glint was more shark-like, right?
"Well. Stop taunting the captive, Mr. Security."
"But it's so much fun!" The guy tilted his head. "And it's Evan."
"Why do I care?" Killian tugged at the collar again, wondering if it would just fry him if he went berserk and changed. He could do full on wolf, but that wouldn't help him. He'd have to try and maintain that transitional stage, where he was a huge, misshapen mix of man and wolf, which was tough to do even when he wasn't singing the song of electrocution.
"Because I've been thinking of letting you out of here."
Widening his eyes, Killian went for shocked. It wasn't a stretch. "What?"
Evan sighed. "You're different. I've seen maybe twenty, twenty five guys come through here in the last two weeks. They've all been… damaged. Broken, somehow. You seem like just a guy."
"I just told you I'm a werewolf, and I seem like just a guy?" That was a new one on him. He'd been called a lot of things lately, including "bitch" by the one skinny little guy with the cruel smile and cold hands, but just a guy wasn't one of them.
Shrugging, Evan smiled a little, the little curl of the upper lip kinda hot. "My mom was a were-cat. It's recessive with me, but my sister is a shifter."
Matter-of-fact and… "Wait. If your family is were-friendly, then how on earth…"
"Can I work for these guys?" Evan leaned close to the bars of the cage. "So when someone like you comes along, I can get you the hell out of here."
He blinked, just stunned as all hell. Man, it had been one weird day. His fingers grazed the collar again. "Can you get this thing off me?"
"Not without the controller." Evan's well-shaped mouth twisted a little. "I'll get it. They think I'm kinda mindless. Won't be hard."
"Says you. I can't get past the bars without falling down."
"I know." Cocking his head, Evan grunted. "You'd better make like you're still drugged up. They won't poke you until you're awake and aware. I'll be back."
Amazing, how Evan had heard their incipient company before he had. Killian thought his hearing was pretty damned good.
He curled down around himself, protecting his privates and pretending to sleep. Evan's footsteps faded away, and Killian figured that was the end of that. He'd never see the guy again.
Pity. Evan was damned pretty. Too damned pretty for Killian's piece of mind.
"What do you mean broke?" The urge to pull the phone away from his ear and stare at it was strong. Huge, because Colby couldn't stare at Little Mike in person. "Like Shiloh Walker cracked that vertebra last year?"
"Like he cain't breathe on his own no more, Colb. Like he ain't never gonna be whole." Little Mike sounded lower than a worm. "Alan's been wantin' to come on home to you, so I told him to load up all the horses and head out. He had a two hour drive to fetch them back 'fore he could get started."
Jesus. The words hit him, each one a blow to the chest. "What do you need, Mikey? You know I'll help any way I can."
"There's no help now. He's got pneumonia. He can't breathe on his own and he's done give up. You know James -- he don't want to live like this."
"I know. I-- Christ, I'm sorry, Mikey. You let me know what you need with the stuff." He meant bills or funeral arrangements or anything. Mike knew that, too. He'd come to the service, but if Mike needed him before that...
"You got it. Tell Alan to give Elvis some oats for me."
"I will." He went ahead and hung up, knowing Mike didn't need his worry or sorrow. The man had enough of his own. James was the best of all of them, and this broken neck and severed spinal cord was no way for a cowboy to go.
He tried to call Alan again and got nothing. Someone let his minutes run out again, he'd bet. Damn it, where was the damned fool? Even with going back for the horses, Alan should have been here by now. He hoped Alan knew he was still welcome, even though Colby had gotten tired of being second to the rodeo, had maybe had a little snit and not answered the phone for a bit.
This was still Alan's home, right?
God, he hoped so. Hell, he didn't know anything right now, his head reeling from what Mike had told him. He gritted his teeth. He'd need to get some stalls ready for the horses.
He assumed there were three horses coming -- Little Mike's Elvis, Alan's Joanie, and whatever little mare James had been able to afford. Alan pulled a three horse trailer and no one had called for money to rent a bigger one. Hell, Alan's truck didn't have a gooseneck hitch anyway...
Colby pushed his phone into his pocket and headed down to the barn. He'd need to feed and water, check shoes and hooves, and make sure they all got a vet check-up this week.
Dust started billowing near the gate, the big metal thing sliding open. Huge black Ford shining. Alan.
Relief made Colby's knees weak for a moment. He grabbed the top rail of the corral fence, just standing there, watching Alan drive back into his life.
Those blue-sky eyes stared at him, the shock of blond hair sticking out from under the cap and scarred jaw familiar as breathing. When Alan pulled into the turnaround next to the barn and killed the engine, Colby walked over to the driver's side door, needing to see Alan up close. To touch.
"Tell me it's cool to come home, man. I cain't drive no more, and I need you like breathing."