Stopping to adjust his bulky backpack, Ryder took a deep breath. The air was crisp and fresh, the day sunny and a pleasant temperature. He smiled as he took in the view around him. The forest was losing its leaves as autumn headed inexorably to winter. Over to his left, obscured temporarily, were the mountain ranges. As beautiful as they were, they were not the objective on this trip. On his right was the river they were following.
Once through this part of the forest, which was likely to be another day yet, there was a rise that overlooked a magnificent lake. That was the intended destination. If the weather stayed as good as it was supposed to, there would be a perfect vista of lake, forest and sky.
A minimum of photographic equipment was in his backpack, but more than enough to get him some good shots; sunrise, sunset and, best of all if the night sky was cloudless, a reflection of the imminent full moon. He grinned widely. He had a couple of journals lined up to pay him for the shots if they were sufficiently good.
In addition, he would take any shots he thought might be good sellers. He had an eye for a good shot and an aesthetically appealing view.
And talking of aesthetic views…
Ryder ran his eyes appreciatively over the rear view of his guide. Lyall was a half blood Native American. His bone structure was sharp and defined, his skin smooth and almost burnished bronze and his long, dark hair plaited and tucked up inside the black, woollen beanie he currently wore. But at the moment, Ryder’s attention was drawn to the toned, jean-clad ass that swayed slightly as Lyall led the way.
Now that was a gorgeous sight. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath to compose himself. He had to stop his thoughts going in that direction. They had a lot of ground to cover, and he was on the look-out for good photo opportunities. Lyall had them on quite a strict schedule for reaching the lake, which they needed to achieve to take best advantage of the full moon when it came.
As he opened his eyes, it was to see Lyall leaning against a tree, looking back at him with amusement in his deep, mocha-brown eyes.
“You need to keep up, my friend,” Lyall said.
“Not a problem,” Ryder assured.
The eyes that ran over his skinnier frame seemed to possess a heat Ryder could feel even at the distance between Lyall and him. He put a great deal of effort into remaining nonchalant and casual, despite the very enthusiastic reaction from his cock. He casually tucked a few errant strands of straw-blond hair back into his own beanie.
“Okay, then don’t lag behind. This isn’t the city now,” Lyall warned.
“I may be a city boy, but I can deal with the great outdoors, too,” Ryder insisted as Lyall eased himself from the tree and sashayed towards him.
“So, a city boy like you isn’t scared at being out in the woods?” Lyall asked, his tone lightly mocking.
“Now why should I be afraid when I have a big, strong guide like you to look after me?” Ryder teased back, earning a lazy, sexy grin.
“You know why,” Lyall said, sauntering towards him, hips swaying provocatively. “With all the mountain lions, wolves and bears.” He stopped walking to stand just inches from Ryder already highly-aroused body.
“Lions, wolves and bears?” Ryder asked.
“Oh, my!” they said in unison and laughed.
“Not even when Halloween is so close?” Lyall added with a smirk. “From midnight tomorrow. Maybe it would be ghosts, ghouls and banshees.”
“Banshees are from Ireland,” Ryder said, folding his arms. “Hardly likely to be out here.” Despite his confident rebuttal, Ryder couldn’t help but glance around quickly. Something instantly noticed by his companion.
“Don’t worry, Ryder,” Lyall said. “We’re not going to any houses, motels or castles with a haunted or killer-lived-here history, we’re not going to pick up hitchhikers, there are no reports of strange lights in the sky, no unscrupulous companies dumping toxic waste into the water or any stories about government experiments gone wrong. We’ll be just fine. Come on,” Lyall urged, reaching to tug Ryder into moving again.
Glowering, Ryder followed. He just didn’t like slasher movies or the seemingly endless array of movies that equated horror with copious amounts of blood, torture and people being killed in many and varied ways. Then Lyall stopped and smiled at him.
“I wouldn’t take you anywhere I thought you would be endangered,” he said before walking on.
The smile, as much as the words, instantly evaporated Ryder’s annoyance. He walked a little faster and caught up with the other man.
“Thanks,” he said and returned the smile.
“We have a good hour or so of walking before we reach where I want to stop. Then I’ll catch us a fish dinner while you set up camp. Deal?”
“Deal,” Ryder agreed.
As much of a chore setting up camp alone would be, when it came to fishing, Lyall had him beaten hands down. Ryder had tried with a rod, and with a spear, he had even tried with a net. That had resulted in a catch. However, when Ryder had tried to land it, the… slippery article… managed to escape, much Ryder’s disbelief and gales of laughter, and many subsequent jokes, from Lyall.
Now the silence as they walked was companionable and Ryder was looking forward to making camp.
The meal of grilled fish and instant potato was followed by black coffee and a shared bar of rich, dark chocolate. Ryder smiled as Lyall checked the fire was safe to leave before they crawled into the tent. Ryder stripped out of his clothes, both men had thermal underwear to use if they felt particularly cold, but the sleeping bag had been picked for its warmth rating, so Ryder had few doubts he would be warm.
As the last of his clothing was removed, he turned and was enveloped in Lyall’s warm embrace.
“I’ve looked forward to this all day,” Lyall whispered, “I’ve wanted you so much.”
“Me, too,” Ryder instantly admitted.
As he was lowered onto the bedding, Ryder grinned as he realised Lyall had covered it with a towel. There were a couple of blankets handy if they felt particularly chilled and a packet of baby-wipes was also close by.
He doubted they would feel the cold for a while.
Ryder reached for his lover, their arms winding around each other as they kissed, each man’s lips seeking the warmth of the other. They moaned softly as the kisses deepened, becoming more demanding, more passionate. Their tongues teased and stroked, reacquainting each man with the familiar taste of his lover. One of Lyall’s hands tangled into Ryder’s hair, while his other travelled over Ryder’s chest.
As his lover’s fingers found one of Ryder’s bare nipples, a thumb teased it, and he moaned encouragingly. He gave a throaty groan as Lyall’s mouth began to meander down his highly aroused body. Starting at his neck, Lyall suckled and nipped downwards and then to the junction of Ryder’s shoulder and neck where he nipped hard enough to leave a small red mark.
Ryder’s hands weren’t still, exploring the smooth, contoured strength of Lyall’s musculature, caressing his lover’s back and trying to pull the bigger man more solidly against him. Lyall’s lips and hands moved over Ryder’s chest, lavishing each of his nipples with sucking kisses. Ryder felt them pebble as Lyall’s teeth pulled each into his mouth to suckle. Ryder gasped encouragingly and arched upwards, his hands running through Lyall’s long, dark hair.
Writhing as Lyall continued his descent downwards Ryder felt a warm tongue dip into the hollow of his navel. As he kissed and nipped, Lyall’s hand began to stroke Ryder’s leg, slowly moving up to his thigh. Ryder unconsciously moved his legs open wider, allowing Lyall further access to intimate flesh. He watched rapt at the look of raw desire that glinted in his lover’s eyes, the look alone threatened to consume him.
Ryder reached to pull Lyall against him, feeling another hot rush of arousal at the sensation of skin meeting skin. Their groins were in full contact and the two men ground shamelessly against each other. The friction grew hotter as their breath came in short, warm pants against one another’s skin.
“You feel wonderful, babe” Lyall said, his voice low and husky. “I wanted this for so long.”
Lyall was unable to reply due to the hungry tongue that possessed his mouth as he was kissed hard. Ryder’s hands were on Lyall’s tight, toned buttocks and he heard a soft sound from his lover as his fingers trailed down the crevice between the muscular mounds.
He gave a whine of disappointment as Lyall moved, that became a low moan as his lover’s strong, capable hands spread his legs further apart and Lyall kissed the creases of Ryder’s thighs. As he nibbled at the vulnerable flesh, Lyall’s fingers brushed against Ryder’s sac and Ryder arched again as his balls were expertly rolled and squeezed.
Tossing his head back and forth, Ryder muttered incoherent half-words as he ached with pleasure from Lyall’s teasing. He could feel the beads of sweat gather along his brow and over his chest. As he glanced down his body to watch Lyall licking at his inner thighs, the droplets glistened from the light of the lamp. It seemed as if his whole body was ready, just waiting for Lyall’s final touch to release him.
Slowly, the dark head lowered to Ryder’s eagerly waiting shaft and he whimpered as his lover’s tongue darted out to lick at it. His hips thrust upwards, needing more. In response Lyall licked at the red, engorged head, lapping the pre ejaculate. The sounds of pleasure that reached his ears told Ryder that his lover was savouring the taste.
As the process was repeated from inner thigh, up the solid flesh and to the head once more, Ryder moaned helplessly. He had one had clutching the towel underneath him while the other ran through Lyall’s dark hair, trying to hold him lightly instead of grabbing and thrusting as his body ached to do. He gave a cry of his lover’s name as Lyall took him in one swift, sure movement into the warm haven of his mate’s mouth.
Slowly, using his tongue and cheeks in a way that always drove Ryder to the brink of sweet insanity, Lyall brought him to the edge over and over. Ryder bucked and groaned, his head rolling from side to side, as Lyall continued the erotic torture. When Ryder was finally teetering helplessly on the brink of the abyss, Lyall sent him spiralling over by pressing the tip of his finger into Ryder’s defenceless opening.
As his climax hit, Ryder shook and quivered, sending his hot, salty semen deep into his lover’s mouth. He was dimly aware of Lyall sucking insistently, swallowing greedily, and holding him in place. His lover worked his flesh until Ryder had nothing left, and he slowly came back to his senses.
“Oh, Lyall, that was incredible,” Ryder murmured as his lover nuzzled against his damp skin.
As Lyall leaned over him to kiss softly, Ryder he could see pleasure and satisfaction reflected in Lyall’s eyes.
“Look at what I found,” Ryder whispered and gave a teasing smile as his hand closed around his lover’s hard column of flesh, eliciting a groan from Lyall. “I want your body inside mine,” he whispered huskily.
“Oh, yeah,” Lyall said, his voice low and husky.
Ryder relinquished his prize and waited as Lyall pulled out a small tube of lube. Ryder took it, squeezing a suitable amount into his palms. He rubbed his hands together to warm it slightly and took hold of Lyall’s erection. He gently coated the throbbing member, eliciting another soft groan from his mate.
Lyall signalled his readiness by taking back the tube and beginning to stretch Ryder. With a soft sound of encouragement, Ryder spread himself wide as one digit worked its way into his tight channel. Lyall spent a moment stretching and manipulating before a second and third finger joined in the task. It seemed to Ryder that despite his lover’s leaking, rigid erection, Lyall was in no hurry, working Ryder with a slow and steady rhythm. Ryder caught the knowing smile from his lover as his previously spent member started to refill.
“I want to look into your eyes,” Ryder said as Lyall’s fingers eased from his body.
For a few seconds, Ryder’s desire-darkened cerulean eyes gazed into Lyall’s mocha depths, before their mouth met and mated once more. Then Lyall moved between Ryder’s spread legs and aligned himself with the prepared opening, Ryder wrapped his legs around his lover’s waist. He could feel the tip of Lyall’s sex resting against his entrance and they smiled at one another as Lyall moved forward, penetrating Ryder.
A shared sound of pleasure rose into the cool air, heating it with the love the men shared. Each of them feeling both possessor and possessed. They remained motionless for a few seconds as Lyall became fully immersed in Ryder’s body. Then they began to move, slowly, in unison. Gradually, everything else seemed to melt away as they became lost in the scent, sound, sight and sensation of one another. Their world narrowing to the fragile point where two became one.
Lyall’s hips began to inexorably speed up, and Ryder kept pace, raising his hips in perfect counterpoint, never missing a beat. Although his lover’s hands could do nothing except brace Lyall’s body as he thrust, Ryder’s hands caressed and stroked every piece of skin he could reach. He heard Lyall groan through the sound of blood pounding in his ears as his nails dug into his lover’s back.
“Close, close, close.”
Ryder couldn’t be sure if he heard, or was chanting, the mantra. His head arched as Lyall reached between them and grasped Ryder’s fully resurgent shaft, pumping to a rhythm that mimicked his hips’ thrusting. Lyall was merciless, single-mindedly thrusting and ramming against Ryder’s sweet spot. It was a tactic guaranteed to send Ryder spiralling out of control.
Ryder felt his body tense, his breath coming in short, wet, open-mouthed pants. A strike to his prostrate coincided with Lyall’s thumb flicking over the sensitised head of his cock. Ryder shouted his lover’s name as he was sent over the edge, hurtling to a crowning peak of pleasure. His body was racked with wave after wave of pleasure as he heard his own name shouted and his body was filled with his lover’s seed.
As Ryder’s legs fell bonelessly from around Lyall’s waist, Ryder welcomed the weight of his lover as the older man settled on top of him. Each man petted the other as they came down from their shared high. Ryder smiled as a drop of sweat that had meandered from his temple to his cheek was licked away before Lyall buried his face in the junction of Ryder’s neck and shoulder.
They lay together for a few moments, simply basking in their sated afterglow. Ryder heard Lyall’s murmur of loss as he felt his lover’s shrunken shaft slide from his body. He carded his hand through Lyall’s long hair, enjoying the silky feel.
“I love you,” he whispered, his voice suddenly loud in the silence that had descended following their love making.
“I love you, babe,” Lyall replied. “Let’s get you cleaned up.”
Ryder smiled as Lyall eased up onto his knees and retrieved the baby-wipes. He gave a soft sigh as Lyall cleaned him, a towel following the wipe over his body. Tossing them into a bag, Lyall sealed it before turning off the lamp.
They were quickly comfortable in Ryder’s favourite position; Lyall’s left arm was underneath him, like a pillow, his lover’s right arm was tight around his waist and the bigger man was spooned tightly up against Ryder’s back.
At some point in the night Ryder was vaguely aware Lyall was awake.
“‘What is it?” he muttered drowsily, not fully waking.
“Nothing, babe, just something snuffling round the camp. Go back to sleep.”
Lyall’s words were accompanied by his lover pressing his nose against Ryder’s neck and licking him softly. Ryder was deeply asleep in seconds.
The day dawned as bright and warm as the last and Ryder was delighted. Everything was on track to reach the lake and get some fantastic photography. They broke camp quickly after breakfast and headed off as soon as everything was packed.
It was getting into the afternoon when Ryder stopped and looked around.
“I’d like to get some shots around here,” he said enthusiastically as his lover raised his eyes heavenwards. Ryder grinned. He could get completely involved in his photography and Lyall knew it, too. He watched as the brunet looked around as if gauging how safe Ryder would be on his own.
“Okay, fine,” Lyall finally said. “I know the drill. You won’t want me around as I’ll just distract you. Keep your cellphone handy. I’ll either be upriver about 15 minutes walk away, to give you your space, or in the forest, but I’ll come straight back if you need me. I might be lucky and get rabbit as well as fish for dinner.”
“Can I have you for dessert?” Ryder asked, letting his voice take on the breathy sound he knew drove Lyall crazy.
“I’ll have you,” Lyall said emphatically. “And I’ll want seconds,” he added as he pulled Ryder into his arms.
With a sigh Ryder pressed as close to Lyall’s body as he could. He regretted that he couldn’t keep his lover close when taking photographs, but they’d tried it and he hardly took any shots at all. The sexually-charged presence of the older man was always too much for him to be able to put his whole focus on his shots. However, the love-making that ensued afterwards more than made up for any absences his photography enforced upon them.
As they parted, they both checked their watches. Ryder absent-mindedly screwed up his nose as he estimated how much time he would have to take full advantage of the light.
“The light will be best over the next two hours,” Ryder said.
“I’ll be back before then,” Lyall promised. “Love you, babe,” he added, kissing Ryder.
“Love you, too,” Ryder vowed.
The time was flying, already a good chunk of the two hours Ryder had estimated for his light had gone and so the conditions were becoming more difficult for his shots. However, he was determined to finish. There was one last shot he wanted to get. On his knees, leaning over a rock, he balanced his camera carefully. He zoomed in for his close-up, a perfect shot of a droplet of water hanging from a bare twig.
Just as the shutter clicked, Ryder gave a shout of shock and dropped the camera as he felt two hands around his waist and a body press up close behind him, an unmistakeable erection grinding against his buttocks. His reaction was enough for him to dislodge his assailant and for them both to tumble to the ground. Ryder instantly scrabbled to get onto his hands and knees.
It wasn’t Lyall as he had first thought. Instead, he faced a complete stranger. An older man, with a weather-beaten face and a mass of washed-out brown and gray hair was slowly standing, his green eyes staring hungrily at Ryder. He wore faded and dirty jeans and a red plaid shirt topped a jerkin made from some kind of fur pelt. Ryder felt the hair at the back of his neck rise instantly.
“What the hell do you think you’re playing at?” he demanded angrily. It didn’t matter that as he stood, too, he could see the other man was taller and bulkier. Adrenaline was shooting through his veins and he was furious to have been caught so easily.
“Pretty little things like you shouldn’t be out on their own,” the stranger said in a laconic drawl. “Never know who or what might be out there. Watching, and waiting.”
“Good job he isn’t on his own then, isn’t it?”
A wave of relief swept through Ryder at Lyall’s appearance. He looked between the two men. If they had been bucks, he was sure they’d already be butting each other. Instead he could see the two men sizing one another up. Lyall was a little less tall and broad, but Ryder had no doubts his lover could handle the stranger.
“If he was mine, I wouldn’t be leaving him alone, vulnerable,” the stranger said.
“Ryder, I’ve left our stuff upstream, we can still do some more hiking before we need to camp. You go ahead. I just need a few words here before I join you,” Lyall said.
“Sure,” Ryder said with a nod.
He gathered his things quickly, glancing around a couple of times. The stranger’s eyes were fixed on him, not Lyall, as if uncaring of Lyall’s presence. There was no way Ryder could miss the way Lyall moved his body to that the stranger couldn’t see the direction Ryder took as he headed into the forest. He didn’t go far. He was sure his lover could deal with the other man, but wanted to stay close in case he was needed.
When Lyall caught up with him, Ryder could see his lover was still angry.
“Is everything okay?” he asked.
“Sorted,” Lyall muttered brusquely.
“You’re bleeding!” Ryder exclaimed, noticing a trickle of blood on his lover’s cheek.
“He swung at me,” Lyall said with a disgusted tone. “He must have clipped me with the ring he wore.”
Ryder had noticed the ring, too. It might have been silver or simply stainless steel and it looked like the head of an animal of some kind. He’d been too far away to see properly. He glanced back at Lyall, but his lover had wiped away the blood and there was no more, much to Ryder’s relief.
He pushed the memory of the man away. He wanted nothing to spoil their arrival at the rise.
It was fast approaching dusk as they began their ascent to the top of the rise. Both men were eager as the sky was clear and it was going to be a glorious sight. Lyall led the way and Ryder enjoyed both the view of the vista around him and that of his lover.
There was a steep drop to their right and they were taking care as they walked along the trail to the rise. The evening breeze was in Ryder’s nostrils as he raised his head in the direction of the lake ahead that would soon be visible in all its splendour.
He gave a shout of shock followed by a scream as a grey shape bounded past him from an impossible angle against the solid rock to their left. It lashed out at Lyall and sent him over the edge of the trail before launching itself at Ryder. He and the creature both tumbled back down the steep slope.
By the time Ryder had stopped rolling, he was dizzy and disorientated and rose to his knees groggily.
Then he stared.
The attack had been by what looked like a coyote, except coyotes didn’t stand on their hind legs. Nor did they have a human torso, arms and a human-like, if furred and bestial, visage. Nor did they wear a silver ring.
The name blazed into Ryder’s mind. A witch, capable of transforming themselves into the animal whose fur they wore. The stranger who attacked him earlier must have worn the pelt of a coyote, and now Ryder was facing a large, grey, rampantly aroused beast.
Even as it registered in his mind what he was facing, the skin walker lunged at him. It caught him around his waist, driving him backwards as well as to the ground. He hit the ground hard, the breath forced from his body in a pained grunt. The coyote’s claws immediately slashed at his clothing, ripping apart his shirt, leaving several scratches in their wake, and tearing the fastenings of his jeans.
“Get off me, you bastard!” Ryder shouted.
Her grappled desperately as he tried to fend off the teeth that snapped close to his throat, bucking frantically to dislodge the beast. Its breath was hot and fetid and there was no mistaking the lust in its eyes. Ryder felt it paw at him as he tried to fight it off.
A sound of pure animalistic rage rent the air, causing grey-fur to pause in his attack. Taking his opportunity, Ryder gave a forceful shove, scrabbling on hands and knees to put distance between himself and the beast before turning to watch what was happening.
There were now two beasts: gray-fur coyote who was standing slowly, and a dark-furred wolf, whose eerily familiar brown-gold eyes glittered with undisguised fury. For a few seconds the two creatures stared at one another.
Then they attacked.
Gray-fur coyote and dark-fur wolf collided in a flurry of teeth and claw. Snapping, clawing and snarling. They were a blur of light and dark to Ryder who could do little other than stand and stare, one hand holding up his almost shredded jeans. The noise was continual as they rolled, jumped and fought; each beast intent on nothing less than the defeat of the other.
Ryder watched, his eyes wide as the two shape shifters clashed; dark fur and grey twisting, clashing, snarling and slashing. He gasped as he saw grey-fur’s claws rake down the torso of dark fur and he shuddered at the howl of pure rage the wound engendered. Dark-fur left a bloodied trail against gray-fur’s back as the lycan twisted agilely.
As dark-fur gave a sound of pain from another wound, Ryder found himself moving forward, ready to help if the lycan needed it, but it wasn’t necessary. The second wound seemed to increase dark-fur’s fury. Ryder watched as it forced grey-fur farther away from where he stood, deep, bloody scratches appearing on the coyote’s torso. Finally, in a manoeuvre so swift Ryder could barely keep pace, dark-fur came up behind grey-fur, pinning the skin walker’s arms to his body.
The skin walker gave a scream as the lycan bit down hard, blood pouring from the wound in its neck and shoulder. Giving it a shove, dark-fur watched it as the coyote dropped to all-fours, limping away. Dark-fur gave a howl of triumph as the other vanished.
As gray-fur disappeared from view, Ryder’s eyes turned on the advancing form of dark-fur. The lycan’s shaft, red and glistening, erupted free of its protective sheath as the beast stalked purposely towards him. Ryder felt his mouth go dry and his hands go numb at the sight, his ruined jeans sliding down his thighs to his knees.
Before he could do anything else, the werewolf was at his side, the chocolate and gold eyes seemingly staring into his soul. Dark-fur sniffed at him as if gauging just how far grey-fur had gone. As dark-fur scented him, he began to growl angrily at the claw marks across Ryder’s chest and scratch at the clothing Ryder still wore.
As if in a dream, Ryder stripped out of the remnants of his clothing, baring his body to the eyes of the lycan. He forced himself to stand still as dark-fur circled him, listening to the snuffling sounds as it firstly checked him over and then stood facing him. The lycan’s eyes were now fixated on Ryder’s very obvious erection which danced and dripped at the undivided attention.
With a whoosh of sound, Ryder found himself on the ground, Dark-fur’s tongue licking him from throat to groin. When the lycan stopped and looked at him, Ryder instinctively tilted his head and bared his throat, showing his submission to the alpha male. There was a rumbling sound from its chest and then teeth fastened at Ryder’s throat.
He couldn’t stop the shudder or the surges of pre-ejaculate from his aching cock. He gave a soft cry as dark-fur bit down and Ryder felt his skin break. A soft tongue licked at the small wound before heading back down his body once more.
He gave a cry that mixed shock and pleasure as his legs were lifted and spread and a thick, wet tongue thrust eagerly at his entrance. The tongue jabbed insistently as the lycan’s hands stroked over Ryder’s chest and the beast made an almost purring rumble deep in its chest. Ryder moaned his appreciation as the slick invader flicked repeatedly over his prostate.
He started to voice his objection when the tongue vanished, but that died on his lip as he was flipped over onto his stomach and his hips pulled into position for the lycan to take him. He braced himself quickly and gave a cry that was drowned out by a howl of triumph from dark-fur.
The was nothing Ryder could do except keep himself braced as the lycan sheathed his cock in one swift motion and instantly began to thrust. His powerful haunches drove the solid flesh deep inside Ryder, striking his already stimulated prostate. He felt the beast’s tongue and teeth, licking and nipping at his shoulders. It was hard. It was fast. It was glorious.
A clawed hand left his right hip to reach underneath him. It scraped over his nipples until the buds were peaked and aching. Then it encircled Ryder’s throbbing dick and began to stoke him to the same hard, fast, feral rhythm of the lycan’s haunches.
There was no way that Ryder could hold back. His head lifted and he felt the lycan’s teeth fasten hard at the junction of his neck and shoulder as if holding him in place. It was all he needed to fly. His climax detonation in a maelstrom of brightly flashing stars behind his eyes and orgasmic convulsions that wracked his frame. As if from a great distance, he dimly heard a scream past the thundering of the blood in his ears.
He barely registered the lycan’s teeth had released him when a primal sound rent the air and dark-fur’s semen was flooding Ryder’s still-spasming channel. He shuddered as he felt the warm seed filling him. Unable to keep on his hands and knees, Ryder collapsed to the ground, the scent of earth and plants adding to the mix of his crazily-spiking senses. The weight of the lycan pressed on top of him, dark-fur still thrusting inside him.
Long moments passed before he felt the lycan slowly ease back. Ryder felt as if the loss of the flesh left an aching void. He couldn’t stop the groan that was in part loss of the intimate contact and in part his protesting muscles. He eased onto his side and saw dark-fur stretched alongside him. He reached to caress the furred visage.
“Lyall,” he murmured and was sure he could see the lycan grin.
Then the werewolf raised his head and gave another howl before leaping agilely to his feet and beginning to run in the direction of the rise. Muttering under his breath, Ryder eased himself up and knew exactly where Lyall was going as he saw the full moon in all her glory.
Reaching the top of the rise, Lyall leant back and bayed at the moon. As he straightened, a blond streak came hurtling up to join him, standing at his side. Lyall turned to regard his mate as the blond werewolf gave a discontented whine. In response, Lyall wrapped an arm around Ryder’s waist and pulled him close.
Lyall held tightly to the other lycan. With a soft snarl he tangled his fingers in blond tresses, angling Ryder’s head back. There was no resistance from his beta. Rather, his mate wanted the possession, wanted his mark, whining insistently as he tried to offer his throat willingly. The submissive gesture helped derail Lyall’s still simmering anger. He bit down hard, but tempered the motion, bruising rather than breaking, the fragile flesh.
They stayed in that position, Lyall was aware his fur was receding, as was Ryder’s, but he only relinquished his hold once they were fully human once more. He glared at Ryder.
“I can’t believe that asshole,” he snapped angrily. “He asked if we were mates and I told him we were. I even told him we were here to celebrate our anniversary and he still tried to challenge me for you. He wanted to take you from me…”
The rest of Lyall’s tirade was lost as he yelped. Ryder had nipped his collarbone sharply, but was already soothing the small hurt with his gentle tongue.As Lyall glowered at Ryder, the blond met his stare levelly.
“He can want as much as he liked, Lyall. I wasn’t going anywhere. Not then. Not now. Not ever. If I had thought for a minute, for a second, you couldn’t have bested him, and sent him packing with his tail between his legs, I would have joined in. I’m yours. Always have been. Always will be.”
The words were just the balm Lyall needed. Ryder was his; his friend, his lover, his life mate. Divorce was unknown amongst his kind. Alphas had a responsibility to care for their betas. If anyone even suspected a beta was being mistreated, elder alphas would investigate, removing the individual into their care if it was felt necessary. It was only a desperate, or very manipulative, beta that would not stand by their mate if the alpha was challenged and was losing.
In response he pulled Ryder closer and kissed him. It was a deep, but gentle, kiss as Lyall wanted to affirm his love for the blond. He gave a low rumble as he felt Ryder grind his pelvis into Lyall’s thigh, a resurgent erection rubbing sensually against his skin. He pulled back and smiled.
“Happy anniversary, babe. Come on,” he whispered.
Hand in hand, the two men ran down the rise and onto the shore of the lake. The water was still, dark and inviting and Lyall’s eyes immediately sought out the jetty that was out in the lake for swimmers to rest or sunbathe on.
“Ready?” he asked turning to give Ryder a feral smile. He received a sultry one on return that made his shaft jerk and freely drip pre-ejaculate.
“Oh yeah,” Ryder whispered.
They ran into the water and began to swim. The water was cold, but not too cold for them. Lyall remembered how cold Ryder had been last time they’d done this. He grinned at the sleek golden form powering through the water beside him. Ryder looked gorgeous when he was wet… or dry…. or anytime he was naked. He turned his attention to their destination. Swim now, love Ryder senseless very soon.
They reached the jetty almost simultaneously. Lyall was a fraction ahead and so he could help Ryder up and out of the water and then draw the younger man into his arms. They kissed passionately before Lyall eased Ryder down, covering the paler body with his own.
“Do you remember, babe?” he asked. The question was unnecessary and he knew it. But he wanted to hear it from Ryder’s lips anyway. “Five years ago.”
“Five years ago,” Ryder echoed. “When you revealed you were a lycan and asked me to be your mate. I’ll never forget. I was more stunned that someone as gorgeous as you wanted a geek like me than I was that you are a werewolf.”
“If you want to see gorgeous, babe, just look in a mirror, or into my eyes,” Lyall whispered before claiming Ryder’s lips.
This time as he pressed Ryder’s legs apart they remained in their human forms. His lover was still stretched and slick and Lyall slid effortlessly back inside, rocking gently as Ryder wrapped slender legs around his waist and began to move in counterpoint.
Each movement, each caress, each kiss they shared was a testimony to their love and commitment. Slowly, gently, inch by hard, throbbing inch, Lyall sank into Ryder’s body, until finally, once again, they were physically one.
‘Mine. Mine. Mine’.
Lyall was aware of his mental chant and sometimes he even said it aloud. But spoken aloud or just deep in his heart and soul the words were true. They were equally true of himself. As much as he was the alpha, he still belonged heart, mind and soul to the beautiful blond who welcomed him into his body.
Lyall could feel Ryder’s inner muscles ripple along the hot, moist channel that encased his solid flesh as it shifted to accommodate him. Waves of erotic pleasure crashed over him, enveloping him in carnal delight. He could feel his mate’s heartbeat throbbing, as if it surrounded his stiff shaft. They moved in harmony, loving, sharing, giving and taking, each seeking to pleasure the other.
They were bonding, mating; once more, two were becoming one.
Lyall was almost lost in the sensations, in the sexual pleasure they shared, until Ryder shifted. It caused his body to slide sensually along the rigid flesh buried deep within him. Lyall ensured he moved slowly this time. Each movement he made was a commitment of love to his beautiful mate. He smiled tenderly as Ryder caressed him; kissed any part of Lyall’s body he could reach and met each downward thrust of Lyall’s with an upward motion of his own.
It was too good, too much, too exquisite for either of them to last as long as they would like. All too soon Lyall’s hips began to move faster, driven by the need to bury his seed in his mate once more and bring sexual release to his precious lover.
His blood on fire, he began to move with preternatural speed. Mating with Ryder became an erotic maelstrom of taste, sensation, scent, sight and sound. Tremors strummed along his spine and his heart thundered like eagle’s wings in his ears. His form was shifting between fully lycan, human and a point between the two that defied definition and the same was true of Ryder.
In and out of his beloved mate, faster and harder, he claimed Ryder, inexorably making the blond his. Yet, even when all but lost in passion and heat, with the spirit of the wolf howling within, Lyall knew his mate, his beloved, was pushing back, meeting him thrust for thrust, passion for passion. The bonding was not just one-way.
They joined; in spirit, in body, in mind.
Lyall roared his possession and his joy and heard his mate echo the sound.
His pleasure coursed through him, gathered deep in his groin, glowing a deep golden, then expanding, shifting, becoming amber, then red as his semen prepared to fly from his body. With one final thrust, burying himself as deep into his mate as possible, he dropped his head and gripped his lover’s tender throat in his teeth.
The sweet taste of Ryder’s blood exploded on his tongue and he came. Releasing his lover’s flesh, he threw back his head and howled. His seed flooded Ryder’s channel, driven deep inside his mate by his pistoning hips. His orgasm swept through him and his body almost convulsed with the intensity of his release. It was perfection.
His orgasm triggered Ryder’s. His lover’s untouched shaft twitched and then jerked repeatedly between their bodies, coating their hot, damp skin with pulse after pulse of Ryder’s crème.
It took long minutes for the men to recover as they lay looking up at the moon, panting harshly. Lyall leaned over his lover and kissed Ryder softly.
“Happy Anniversary, babe,” he whispered. “Let’s get back to the shore. Wait for me there.”
They swam back to the shore and Ryder waited for Lyall to return, welcoming him back with a grin as he saw the sleeping bag and his camera equipment.
“We can sleep here tonight; there’ll be a nice sheltered spot along here. Then you can get your shots in the morning,” Lyall said as he took Ryder’s hand and they began to walk.
He found a niche for them alongside a good-sized rock and they settled together in the sleeping bag.
“Happy Anniversary, Lyall. Love you,” Ryder murmured drowsily as they kissed tenderly.
“Love you, too, babe,” Lyall replied. He gave a sigh of utter contentment. Under the full moon they had renewed their vows and reaffirmed their love. He would make sure they awoke early enough to love again before his precious mate became too wrapped up in his photography.
He grinned happily up at the moon as Ryder snored softly, his lover safe in his arms.