Home > A Snarl, a Splash, and a Shock

A Snarl, a Splash, and a Shock
Author: K.C. Wells


Chapter One





“HONEY, I’M home.” Vic Ryder smiled at his habitual joke. Saul always got a kick out of it.

“In the kitchen.”

Vic dropped his bags on the floor in the hallway, shrugged off his jacket, and hung it on a hook. Saul was a stickler for keeping the place neat. Vic stuck his head around the kitchen door and gaped. “You are not cleaning guns on our table.” The surface was covered in rags, cleaning patches, brushes, solvent, degreaser, and various handguns and rifles.

Saul glanced up. “Why the hell not? I covered it first. Besides, I wasn’t going to do this in the garage. Too freaking cold out there.” He grinned. “At least this way I get to wear as little as possible.”

Vic was trying not to stare at Saul’s pointy little nips. The urge to lick and tease them was overpowering. Then he bent over to peer under the table. Saul’s half-hard dick decided to attempt a greeting, and Vic straightened in an instant. “You’re naked.”

“See, remarks like that show why you’re in Intelligence.” Saul’s grin had a lascivious air about it.

“But why are you naked? Did you run out of clothes? Because you certainly couldn’t fit into mine.” There were times—like always—when Vic hated clothes shopping with a passion, especially because he had to look in the teenage section.

Having a build like mine sucks.

Saul gaped at him. “You were coming home. I wanted to be ready.” He grabbed a bottle from the table and held it aloft. “See? Even got my gun oil.”

Vic coughed. “You’d better not put that anywhere near my ass.”

Saul frowned and glanced at the label. “Oopsie.” He gave a sheepish smile. “Hey, they’re both lube. This one is for your gun,” he said as he grabbed the second bottle. “And this one is for mine.” He glanced down into his lap with a wide grin. Then he set the bottle aside. “So, how was Idaho?”

“Cold. Snowy. And interesting.” Except that last word had to be the understatement of the year.

Saul cocked his head to one side. “You look tired.” He wiped his hands on a rag.

Tired? He wasn’t tired; he was shaken to the core.

“Vic?” Saul’s brow furrowed. “What’s wrong?”

He wasn’t sure he could put the roiling mass of conflicting emotions inside him into words. “As an oral historian, I’d be the first to confess there’s so much we don’t know about shifters. That history goes back almost a thousand years, but when you look at what we’ve got, it amounts to fragments. And when I learn something new, it only adds to the big picture and brings me a little closer to better understanding where we came from.”

Saul got up from the table and walked around it to where Vic stood. “I may not be a shifter, but I know when you’re troubled. Whatever it is you’ve discovered, is it something you can share with me?”

Vic laughed softly. “Is there anything I don’t share with you?” The sight of Saul’s cock was a definite distraction.

Saul moved closer and put his hands on Vic’s waist. “Okay, let me put it another way. Is it something we need to talk about, or do you want me to make it all go away?” Then Saul’s lips were on his neck, and Vic shivered. Saul chuckled against his skin. “Oh, you like that idea.” He moved his hands to Vic’s ass, molding him against Saul’s body, the heat and hardness of him sending waves of desire through Vic.

He locked his arms around Saul’s neck, their mouths fused in a lingering kiss. “Missed you,” he whispered when they parted.

“I think talking can wait.” Saul cupped Vic’s ass and hoisted him into the air. Vic wrapped his legs around Saul’s waist and held on as Saul left the kitchen, carrying him as if he was no heavier than a bag of groceries.

“You forgot the gun oil,” he called out as they reached the bedroom door.

Saul’s throaty chuckle was such a turn-on. “Are you kidding me? We have lube in every room in the house.” Then he kicked the door shut behind them, locking out the world.



THE BED was warm, the sheets rumpled, and Vic had aches in all the right places. Being away from Saul was always tough, but this time he couldn’t wait to get back into his arms—into their bed. And judging by the way Saul had nailed his ass, the break had been hard on him too.

Does he need me as much as I need him?

It was a habitual thought. Vic still marveled at what Saul saw in him. Saul could have any guy, and yet he chose Vic, a world away from him in terms of physique.

That wise inner voice piped up. Maybe he thinks there’s more to you than that.

He stared at the ceiling. Usually sex wiped him out, but something in his head wouldn’t shut down. Then he realized what was niggling him. Whenever he and Saul made love, it left him feeling complete.

But not this time.

He couldn’t imagine why. Saul fucked like a god, and then after, he was gentle and caring, cradling Vic to his chest, assuring him everything would be okay.

So why isn’t it?

Vic rolled onto his side and found Saul in the same position, staring at him. Vic smiled. “See something you like?”

Saul’s eyes gleamed in the lamplight. “Saw it, enjoyed it. Might enjoy it some more before the night is over.”

Vic ran his fingers lightly over Saul’s muscular shoulders. “Have I mentioned how much I like this?”

Saul grinned. “The way you kiss my guns when I flex might be a bit of a giveaway.”

“It’s not only your muscles, though. It’s the hair too.” Saul’s chest was covered in it, and then there was the trail leading down to his pubes. The beard that hugged Saul’s jaw was all kinds of sexy too.

“Got a thing for hairy guys, huh?”

Vic smiled. “Just this hairy guy.”

Saul propped his head in his hand. “Now suppose you tell me what had you so shook up.” He narrowed his gaze. “You’re still shook up, so it must be bad.”

Vic should have known he couldn’t hide a bean from this guy. “That obvious, huh?” There was no way he’d tell Saul about the… incompleteness that had him so confused.

Saul leaned in and kissed his forehead. “Only to me.” Then he went back to his original position. “I’m listening.”

Vic took a deep breath. “I saw something I’ve never seen before.”

“In Idaho? I doubt that.”

Vic gave him a playful swat. “I need you to be serious right now. I mean it. This is… huge.”

Saul’s face lost all trace of humor. “Okay.”

Vic swallowed. “You know I went there because Doc Tranter called?”

“That ex-military doc? Sure.”

“Well, he told me there was a group of shifters I needed to meet. So I went there. There were six guys in a log cabin, plus the doc. Three of them were shifters.”

Saul’s eyes widened. “The others knew about them?”

Vic snorted. “God yes. All I did was ask if it was safe to talk in front of them, and one of them almost bit my head off. Mouthy bastard.” That had been the one they called Crank. Stupid name. No one in Vic’s unit would ever have such a dumb nickname. Not someone I could easily forget.

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