One surly bear and one bunny boy…what could possibly go wrong?
Jagger Osterman is having a bad day. In fact, he’s not the slightest bit impressed with 2015 at all. His job is on the line, and it’s not like he loves being a marketing wunderkind, but he has to do something to pay the bills. If he had his way, he’d just vanish into the mountains and live out his life as the black bear he yearns to shift into. Unfortunately, Jagger doesn’t have the time to let his beast run. He has responsibilities that he can’t walk away from.
Kevin Kelly could tell Jagger a thing or two about bad days, bad years, and just out and out bad luck. He made the mistake of smarting off to a curandera years ago and hasn’t been able to shake the curse she put on him yet. There’s not an area of his life that hasn’t been screwed up in one way or another. As a pronghorn shifter, he’d be okay on his own in the wild. Sure, there’d be predators, but Kevin had come to realize the worst predators were the human kind.
But he can’t shift. He’s been solidly bound to human form since being cursed.
Two men, both trapped in their own ways. They’re about to find out that freedom comes in many forms.
This time, it’s a real bunny shifter and you know the saying about doing something like bunnies…
Oliver Biggerstaffer comes to Texas from Boston, looking for a job and a new life. He’s hoping the advertising firm he interviews for will hire him, and he can put his past where it belongs—behind him. No one will know who or what he is—a snake shifter.
Except he’s interviewed by Jagger Osterman, a bear shifter, and he meets a cute bunny shifter at the hotel where he’s staying. Oliver can’t hide his shifter status from them. And he doesn’t want to, once he meets them—especially the bunny, Peter Ruiz. It’s lust at first sight, but Oliver wants to take things slow as long as he’s staying at the hotel Peter’s working at.
Peter wants to get laid, and he wants to get laid now. The sexy snake shifter he’s attracted to has morals and ethics and things most of the guys Peter’s screwed around with before lack.
Oliver treats Peter like a person, not a body to have sex with, and if they can survive a series of weird accidents that might not be accidents after all, then Oliver and Peter just might have a happy ending all their own.
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and kidnapping.
General Release Date: 18th October 2016
Excerpt from Bearly There
It was going to be another one of those days. So far, 2015 had been filled with them.
“Jagger, the Montemayor case is on the line. They hate the ad campaign idea. Hate it.” Debbie growled the last two words out as she tossed the file on his desk. “Assholes. Screw professionalism here. They’re just being jerks because they want a high-quality ad at a bargain-bin price.”
Jagger picked up the file and opened it. It was a brilliant ad campaign he’d planned, if he did think so himself. He was good at his job, though more and more, he found himself disillusioned about it. Crap like this doesn’t help at all.
“What is it, specifically, that they hate about it?” he asked, glancing up at Debbie. With her blade-sharp cheekbones and Nordic good looks, she could have been a model. Would have, but according to her, she was too heavy and she wouldn’t starve herself for anyone. Jagger didn’t get the too heavy part, but he was aware that society had warped visions of both male and female beauty.
And he was glad he had Debbie on his team, because she was one tough, smart person.
“The cost, of course,” she seethed. “They don’t want to pay three million for a successful and innovative campaign. They want something similar to this but for less than half the cost.”
Jagger wanted to throw the whole damned file away. “Well, that’s gratitude for all our hard work, huh?”
“Yeah,” Debbie scoffed. “After you brought them back from the brink of bankruptcy and doom three years ago and Sonny Montemayor swore he’d be indebted to you and your brilliance forever. Asshat.”
“It’s business.” And Jagger hated it. “What is an asshat, anyway?”
“Don’t give me any shit, Jag,” Debbie warned. “I know you’re even more pissed off than I am over this.”
Jagger didn’t bother to deny it. Debbie had worked with him for seven years and she knew him well. “Have we tried reaching Sonny?”
Debbie snorted. “Oh yeah, several times. He’s miraculously out of the office every time, and his cell goes to voicemail. Cowardly bastard hasn’t returned any of our calls directly. He’s had his assistant pass along messages. It’s like he’s reverted to a fourth-grader.”
“Seen it before when someone becomes successful and wealthy.” Jagger used a finger to trace a path down the numbers for the ad’s costs. “There’s no way to do this any cheaper. If he wants a whole different campaign for his organics, then it’ll be equal to what he’s willing to spend. We’re not carrying the costs for this.”
“Renner won’t be happy,” Debbie pointed out. “He just about shit a pony over the cruise ship campaign. As if we could have predicted that whole debacle. Then with the Fortuna company dropping us for that new ad agency? Yeah, Renner will not be happy if we lose this client.”
“He won’t be happy if we eat the cost on it, either,” Jagger muttered. “God damn it. I need to talk to Sonny, or someone who can sit down and go over other options. That’s not going to be his assistant.”
“You might have to go all stalker-like on him and hunt him down in person.” Debbie sat in the chair across from him and took a pen out of her suit pocket. “Hand me some paper.”
Debbie preferred to work the art for her ideas out by hand first before moving on to the more complicated techniques. Jagger passed her a notepad he had in the top drawer. “Have at it. I’m just going—” Movement outside his office window caught his attention and he frowned. There were definitely people approaching his office.
Shit, he’d hoped no one would remember. As stressful as the office atmosphere had been lately, there was more to think on than Jagger’s birthday.
But maybe he was wrong, and whatever was going on had nothing to do with his birthday.
Debbie looked up at him, then twisted around to peer over her shoulder. Her smile in profile warned Jagger that he was about to be embarrassed at the very least.
“Come on in!” Debbie called out.
“Don’t—” Jagger started, but the door was flung open and his jaw dropped as he stared at the blond-haired man wearing a pink bunny costume.
“Just be glad we only paid for the singing telegram and not the strip-o-gram,” Debbie said as the blond stepped right into the office.
“Well now,” the bunny man drawled as he cast his hazel gaze on Jagger and smirked. “Is this the birthday boy? No one told me he was so handsome.”
Jagger snapped his mouth shut and leaned back in his seat. He was probably a nice, bright shade of red, but he’d be damned if he’d let himself be any more embarrassed than he already was. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Debbie, maybe you could move to one side so you’re not blocking the view.”
Excerpt from Harey Situation
Oliver Biggerstaffer wiped the perspiration off his forehead. He’d just stepped out of the San Antonio Airport less than a minute ago, and he was already drenched in sweat. The heat and humidity combined were sheer hell. He only had himself to blame for being caught unprepared for the weather—had he bothered to check what it’d be like, he sure wouldn’t have worn a suit on the flight in from Boston.
If he hadn’t wanted to get away from Boston so badly, maybe he’d have paid attention to where he was going. Instead, excitement had taken over when he’d received a call from a well-known headhunter. Oliver had packed and bought a one-way ticket, trying to feel optimistic about the potential job. An advertising firm based in Abilene was branching out, and San Antonio would be their first big venture. His interview would be with Jagger Osterman, and from what Oliver had been able to dig up on the guy, he was rather intimidating.
Well, Oliver wasn’t easily spooked. In fact, he tended to be sly and devious when needed. It was business, and the advertising business in particular, could be quite cutthroat. Added to that was the fact that Oliver never liked to fail—and there went his brain, right back to Boston, his biggest failure ever.
Oliver shook his head and wiped his forehead again. He had his luggage, and if a taxi didn’t stop for him soon, he was afraid he was going to melt from the heat and end up a puddle on the pavement. Fortunately for Oliver, a driver did pull up in right under a minute. He quickly stowed his bags when the driver popped the trunk, not caring to wait for help, then Oliver got into the cab and sighed in relief.
“Not used to this Texas weather, huh?” the cabbie asked.
Talking was beyond Oliver just then. He managed a grunt as he closed his eyes and leaned his head back. Then he remembered he had to give the address for where he was going.
“Hotel Emma,” Oliver muttered. He opened one eye up and checked the meter. “I Google Mapped it, in case you need to know the shortest route.” He closed his eye again. There was no way would he let some cab driver rip him off. Not that all of them were crooked, but he’d had a few try to drive ‘the long way’ around.
“One of those,” he heard the cabbie grouse under his breath. “Hotel Emma it is.”
Oliver considered checking out the San Antonio scenery, but really, he just couldn’t dredge up the interest. Yes, he wanted—no, needed—the job he was interviewing for, but he had never considered living in the South, and certainly not in Texas, with rednecks and cowboy hats and those awful ball sac things hanging from the undercarriage of huge, jacked-up trucks.
Maybe he was stereotyping, but he’d seen pictures online and read plenty of stories about the Lone Star State, and Oliver wasn’t impressed.
And it’s hotter than Hell. Satan himself probably couldn’t stand the heat.
Oliver started to sneer and quickly suppressed the reaction. He wasn’t better than anyone else, not in Texas, not in Boston, not anywhere, and he’d do damned well to remember that. It’d been his ego and arrogance that had caused the trouble in Boston. He was smart. Smart enough to know he must learn from his mistakes, and that he did make mistakes in the first place.
And when he made them, they were colossal mistakes. No one could ever accuse him of doing anything half-assed.
Oliver was just beginning to feel like he wasn’t going to broil in his own skin when the taxi came to a stop and the driver said, “Here ya go, bud.”
Oliver bit back the urge to ask whether he was a flower bud, a beer, or some other type of bud. He knew the answer but detested the false friendliness. After checking the meter to make sure it was accurate, Oliver paid the cabbie and tipped him twenty percent. The man had done his job well and honestly. That was what mattered, not whether or not he called Oliver ‘bud’.
The Hotel Emma wasn’t the fanciest or most expensive hotel Oliver had ever stayed in, but it wasn’t a dump, not at all. In fact, he quite liked the look of it, and the history it held. Oliver had done his research on the hotel before choosing it to stay in. He would have preferred to book one of the suites, but those were reserved well in advance, and he understood why after having viewed them online. They were works of art as far as he was concerned. Very few hotels managed to pull that effect off, despite being very expensive.
His room would hopefully be delightful to stay in.
“May I help you with your luggage, sir?”
Oliver glanced away from the hotel—he’d been looking at the name of it, the design—and gave his attention to the valet. Pert was the first word that came to mind when he saw her. She smiled as if she truly enjoyed her job, and despite her uniform, she wasn’t sweating at all.
“Please.” Oliver internally winced at the thought of the tip he’d have to leave her. His funds were low, but he had a certain image to maintain—that of a confident, successful man rather than a desperate one fleeing a bad situation of his own making.
And that image included tipping well and seeming at ease when inside he was trying not to panic and fret over what would happen if he didn’t get this job.
Oliver checked in and was pleased with the efficient clerk. She was neither too friendly nor snobbish, and he appreciated people who could find that balance.
The interior of the hotel was aesthetically appealing and very well laid-out. A little of the tension he’d been carrying for the past two weeks eased off his shoulders. Everything will be okay. I’ll get this job. I’ll fix everything.
This was his new start, his chance at redemption, and Oliver wasn’t going to blow it.
* * * *
Peter had to admit it—he had a weakness for uptight jerks. Every time he found a guy attractive and made a move or vice versa, he ended up being used for nothing more than sex. Did he learn from it? Nope. Not once.
As he eyed the tall, thin man with the weird accent—well, weird for Texas—Peter guessed the stranger was from one of those North-Eastern states along the Atlantic Ocean. Just hearing that strong accent made Peter’s dick perk up.
“Stop drooling,” Lucy said, but she was smirking at him and even her eyes lit up with her amusement. “Mr. Biggerstaffer is a customer. You can’t jump him and lick him like a lollipop!”
Peter’s mouth watered and he gulped, suddenly envisioning just such a thing—Mr. Biggerstaffer, nude, all that uptightness gone as he moaned and thrashed while Peter sucked his long, thick cock.
“Peter Ruiz, get that look off your face right now, mister,” Lucy teased as she waggled a finger at him. “Or at least go on break and take care of that.” She pointed to his erection, which was tenting his trousers. “Seriously, dude.”
Had it been anyone but Lucy, his BFFaEaE—Best Friend Forever and Ever and Ever, not to mention his cousin—Peter would have been embarrassed. However, Lucy had been born on the same day as him, and their moms were not just sisters but also best friends, so of course, Peter and Lucy were like twins. They even looked it, both with black hair, dark brown eyes and slight overbites. Both were an even five-feet tall, and a hundred and twenty-two pounds dripping wet. Peter would have loved to put on some weight, but his metabolism was set at warp speed.
“Go take a break,” Lucy urged, making a shooing motion at him. “I can smell your arousal and ick!”
Peter wiggled his nose at her, a trick they both had, but he left Lucy at the counter. He wouldn’t want to smell Lucy’s arousal, either… Well, he had, as close as they were and as much time as they spent together. Sometimes one of them did get laid, and that person tried to warn the other to stay away if the sex took place at their shared residence. A couple of years back, Lucy had texted him that she had a date she was bringing back to fuck.
Peter’s phone had been dead. When he’d entered their home, the scent of sex, and the sight of his cousin bouncing away on some random guy she’d never dated again, had seared Peter’s eyeballs. He tried not to think about it. The sex, and seeing his cousin naked, because both of those things were just wrong. Lucy was his sister, as far as Peter was concerned. Sex was something neither of them wanted from each other. As much as they shared, they never went into detail about that part of their lives.
Peter wasn’t a fuck-and-tell kind of guy, anyway. He scurried to the employee restroom and was relieved to find it empty. His conversation with Lucy was all but forgotten as he let himself picture Mr. Biggerstaffer again—and wonder if his last name was a declaration or just a name.
For his sake, Peter wanted it to be a declaration. He was, unabashedly, all about size. More girth than length, but either made him happy.
So long, and thick, but not too long. Thick, yeah. Real thick. Peter dashed into the nearest stall then locked the door. He didn’t bother with his belt or anything more than unzipping his pants so he could pull his cock out. Underwear was not something Peter bothered with. He licked his hand a few times, then bit back a moan as he began masturbating.
As usual, he’d barely started before he came. No more than a picture of Mr. Biggerstaffer’s face had him shooting on the third stroke.
Not that he was done, not at all. Peter’s cock didn’t grow soft after he came. It remained hard and the cum from his release slicked his shaft nicely, making the second orgasm even more intense, and his third almost caused him to pass out.
Peter had to wait a few minutes for the fourth one, but when it came, his knees gave out and he plopped down on the toilet, hard enough to jar him back to reality. He looked at his hand—at all the cum on it, on his pants, his shoes, the floor. “Well, crap.”
He froze, then sniffed the air. He was still alone, and he didn’t detect any fresh odors other than his own, so no one had come in while he’d been jerking off. There was the whole problem of him having made a mess, but Peter had a change of clothes stashed at work, because he did at times tend to get overexcited and have to masturbate. Never as much as he’d had to today, but Mr. Biggerstaffer just really did it for him, and anyway, Peter wasn’t unusual in his horniness. Everyone made jokes about people fucking like bunnies, but the same held true for hares.
If they only knew about hare shifters… Peter chuckled, then stood and began cleaning up his mess.