A Lot To Be Thankful For
Juggling his phone onto his shoulder, Rhys pulled into his driveway beside Sterling’s black Jeep Wrangler and grinned. “Hey, what’s Sterling doing here?”
“Hold on.” Jake shouted in Rhys’ ear. “Remi, what’s Sterling doing at Rhys’?”
Wincing, Rhys pulled the phone away. Jake had two volumes lately, an outside voice and…well, a stadium voice. Probably from yelling at all the football games. Or it could be from trying to talk over Sterling to get a word in edgewise, but Jake had been doing that the last several years. Sterling’s high school football team was heading for state this year. It was pretty neat this being Sterling’s senior year and him being the star wide receiver. It seemed like everything anyone said lately ended in “Woo go Spartans.” Rhys turned off the ignition, removed his keys and got out of his car. “Hey, Jake.”
“Hold on. Remi!”
“Nevermind. I’ll ask him myself.” Rhys hit the button on the key fob, locking his door. He hadn’t seen much of the kid lately. This was a nice surprise.
The porch light was on, so apparently Sterling anticipated Rhys being late because it was only six o’clock and not quite dark yet. How long had Sterling been here? Knowing Sterling he’d already eaten half the sweets Rhys had picked up from the bakery yesterday for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Rhys’ grin faltered into a groan. Oh god. Sterling on a sugar high. The years hadn’t made a bit of difference. After a few desserts, Sterling was just as hyper now as he was at fifteen.
“You gonna feed him?” Jake asked munching on something. If Sterling was already digging into tomorrows food, apparently he wasn’t the only one.
As Rhys stepped onto the front walk, Sterling opened the door with a huge grin on face. “Hi.”
Unable to help himself, Rhys smiled and continued up the walk. Sterling was the one thing guaranteed to brighten his mood no matter what. Not that he was in a bad mood, but the day just got a whole lot better. “Yeah I’ll feed him. What time do you want him home?”
There was more crunching. “What the— Holy shit, pup. What are you wearing?”
“Sorry, listen why don’t you just keep Sterling there with you. We’ll be there at what? Noon tomorrow? Sounds good. Gotta go.” Jake hung up.
Yeah, easy for him to say. He didn’t have to keep his damned hands off his mate. Fucker. He was, from the sounds of it, about to get laid. Asshole. Rhys flipped his phone shut and stuffed it in his pocket.
Grinning brighter, Sterling pushed the door further open and leaned against it. He wore a tight black thermal t-shirt, showing off the nicely toned biceps he’d earned in football, and a pair of jeans with a rip in the right knee, that were so tight they should be illegal. His ever present black ostrich cowboy boots were still on, so he must have just gotten here. Normally, he kicked his boots off within minutes of arriving.
Sterling took a bite of one of the chocolate chip cookies Rhys had bought and held it out to him as he stepped onto the porch. “Hey.” Sterling’s gaze raked down Rhys body and the smell of his interest fill the air between them. As if it wasn’t difficult enough for Rhys to keep his hands to himself without adding Sterling’s overactive hormones into the mix.
“Hey.” Rhys opened his mouth and let Sterling feed him, trying his best to ignore the intoxicating scent of his mate’s attention. He couldn’t afford to get hard. If Sterling caught even the smallest whiff of arousal, he’d start an all out seduction. And damn he could tempt a saint, which Rhys most certainly wasn’t.
“I ordered pizza.” Stepping back, Sterling allowed him to enter.
A hand grazed Rhys’ ass as he stepped through the threshold. It was so nice that Rhys nearly forgot to growl his disapproval.
Sterling chuckled but didn’t push.
Rhys sighed. Anyone else would’ve cowered in fear if he growled at them.
The TV was on but turned down, Sterling’s Macbook and homework cluttered the coffee table and Sugar Daddy by the Bellamy Brothers played on the stereo. Sterling had found and confiscated that CD as well as the Eagles Greatest Hits CD and a Lynard Skynard CD last weekend.
Grinning, Rhys shook his head. That was Sterling for you; he had way too much energy to just do one thing. He got bored too easily. Hell, Rhys was actually impressed he wasn’t playing video games, talking on the phone, cooking or cleaning too. Rhys had come home more than once to find his house cleaned, Sterling parked in front of the Xbox 360, homework spread all over the floor and dinner waiting in the oven on warm. “What are you doing here?”
Closing the door, Sterling shrugged. “Thought I’d get a head start on tomorrow. Football practice let out early. I called your mom and checked the flight info again. Remi and Jake are going to pick her up on their way over here tomorrow. So they should be here around noon.”
“Ah. Thanks. You put the turkey out to thaw?” Rhys headed to his room to take his gun and shoes off.
“Yup.” Sterling followed Rhys into his bedroom. “I had to look up how to cook a turkey on the net. Said I should let it thaw for a couple of hours, so I put it out and started on my calculus homework. Are you sure she won’t care that I’m younger? What if she doesn’t like Remi? I don’t think I could take someone not liking Remi. That would be worse than her not liking me. Do you think she really likes me? She seems to like Jake. She asked about him and— What if she doesn’t like the dinner? What if I burn it and—”
On and on it went but Rhys stopped listening. He’d heard all he needed to. Sterling constantly rambled, but this was a different babble. A rushed type of chatter. Something was bothering him. Sterling was always so self confident and sure of things. Actually, Rhys was pretty sure he was the only one who ever witnessed Sterling’s infrequent insecurities.
Rhys’ chest tightened with pride at the realization that his mate trusted him so much, but it pained him to think of Sterling even slightly uncomfortable. Stopping in the middle of taking his belt off and freeing his shoulder holster, Rhys turned.
Arms folded across his muscled chest, Sterling leaned against the doorframe. The stance was casual but the scent of lingering arousal was now laced with nervousness. Sterling shrugged and gathered the fabric of his sleeves in his fists, making it pull tight across his biceps.
Damn, that was a nice shirt. The jeans weren’t too bad either. At six foot one Sterling still stood several inches shorter than Rhys, but damned if those tight jeans didn’t show off his long legs. Sterling had grown in to one fine looking man. Ignoring the flutter of excitement in his stomach, Rhys crooked his finger.
“What?” Sterling pushed away from the wall with his eyes cast downward and ambled up to Rhys.
“My father was a wolf and thirteen years older than my mother, so she knows all about wolves and their mates. The age difference doesn’t matter to her. She will like Remi. She adores Jake and—”
“But what if she doesn’t?” Sterling’s brow furrowed.
Sterling drew close. “I hope you’re right.” He pulled Rhys’ gun out of the holster and tossed it on the bed.
Stepping closer, Rhys hooked his index finger under Sterling’s chin and lifted. He ran his other index finger down the middle of Sterling’s forehead, smoothing the winkles. How could anyone not adore Sterling? But Rhys understood the concern. Talking to someone on the phone over the years and meeting them in person were different. “I am right. She already likes you.”
“You think so?” The scent of nervousness eased, and those big brown eyes widened slightly. Licking his lips, Sterling tilted his head slightly. He moved closer until his warm breath fanned across Rhy’s chin. The sharp tangy smell of arousal flavored the air. Sterling’s eyes closed and his lips parted.
Oh damn. I’m so fucked. “I know so.” Just a small kiss. No harm. He’d kissed Sterling on the mouth before. A peck, no big deal. He could do so again, then get things back on track. Rhys touched his lips to his mate’s and all good intention fled.
Sterling half sighed half moaned against Rhys’ mouth. His tongue eased out and swiped across Rhys’. “Please…” His voice sounded low and seductive as he pressed his hard body against Rhys.
I am so very fucked. Gripping Sterling’s hips, Rhys tugged him closer until the hard ridge of Sterling’s erection rested against his thigh. Rhys deepened the kiss, and his cock hardened almost instantly.
Sterling took immediate notice, purring and bucking against him. Shit.
Sterling tasted so good. Like mint and coffee. It was exactly how Rhys imagined Sterling would taste. Rich, earthy… refreshing.
Hands roaming down Rhys’ back, Sterling moaned and ground himself against Rhys’ leg. Sterling’s cock was rock hard. His tongue slid through Rhys’ lips, and his hand found Rhys’ ass.
Rhys shouldn’t be doing this. He’d promised himself he’d wait until Sterling was out of school. Sterling needed to concentrate on studying and making good grades not—Damn it, Sterling was just so fucking sweet and… Rhys gripped a handful of Sterling’s short dark hair and tipped his head farther back. Breaking the kiss, he trailed his lips down the smooth column of Sterling’s throat.
The strong pulse flared against his tongue, and his lips caressed the soft skin. His prick throbbed, yearning for more. More that he couldn’t possibly have. Not now. But now he’d enjoy what he could for just a few moments more.
Groaning, Sterling thrust against Rhys, and his hand slid around, gripping Rhys’ prick through his jeans.
Holy shit. Rhys moved toward that hand. He should stop. He should pull away and make Sterling—
The doorbell rang.
It was like being hit by a bucket of ice water, a welcomed one. Rhys stepped back or tried to. Sterling had a death grip on him. “Sterling…”
“No. Please, don’t stop.”
Rhys groaned. God, he didn’t want to, but he’d promised himself and… “Babe, the pizza is here.”
“Huh?” Blinking, Sterling let go of Rhys. The irises of his eyes stretched to the edges, blocking out the white. Wolf eyes.
Rhys’ own eyes blurred, his cock jerked and his stomach tensed. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath trying to control himself.
Sterling’s fingers tickled over Rhys’ beard and down his throat.
Swallowing hard, Rhys opened his eyes.
Sterling’s gaze followed his fingers. The look on his face was one of pure lust. He stepped closer reaching for Rhys, but Rhys stuck his hand out, stoping him.
“Get the pizza, Babe.”
Sterling tilted his head, and his nose twitched, sniffing. “Son of a bitch.” He blinked, and his eyes shifted back to normal.
It never ceased to impressive Rhys how quickly Sterling could shift.
Sterling frowned, and his shoulders drooped a little. “I thought I was going to have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.” Shaking his head, he strolled out of the bedroom.
Rhys didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He sat down on the edge of his bed and ran his hands down his face. There was a lot to be thankful for this year. Sterling, being chief among them. Rhys chuckled. Now he supposed he could add ill timed pizza men to the list.