His late-night hunts leave him winded, the twelfth rewrite of his novel is crap, and his last good lay was five drafts ago.
He’s staring down forty with a creative well as empty as his bed.
The last thing he needs is a beautiful, intimidating, obnoxious pup bent on exposing Dmitri’s underbelly…
…and everything else that’s gone soft.
Thierry Marrou has burned every bridge from Montréal to Juneau.
Once a prospect for Canada’s Olympic hockey team, he’s just been kicked off a piddling local squad in Nowhere, Alaska.
But one whiff of the silver wolf on the opposing bench was enough to confirm that the erotic dreams drawing Thierry across a continent have a very real source.
Now all he has to do is convince Dmitri Sernov to be his alpha. Très simple, non?
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Dmitri stood next to his truck, waiting. He didn’t have to wait long. After only a few seconds, the younger man stalked out of Mac’s, looked around and quickly spotted him. Then he was coming at Dmitri as if drawn to him.
He willed his legs to stop shaking. He didn’t know what was going on. What he knew amounted to this: this guy had met him on the ice tonight, had collided with him on purpose, several times, had spoken to him. Had raised the small hairs on his neck. Had raised other parts as well.
The guy was younger than he was, a good ten years maybe. He could tell in the arena that he guy was good-looking but Christ, when he had pulled off his hat in the bar…
Those eyes met his now, close. Sensual, expressive lips were forming words.
“What?” he stammered.
“Take me home.”
Dmitri managed a nod. He was behind the wheel and starting the ignition before his brain kicked in with any kind of question. What was he doing? He didn’t know this guy. What if he was some kind of nut-job? Images slammed into his mind, of Stephen King stories about writers held hostage by their biggest fans.
Which almost made him laugh. Yeah, right. Like this guy next to him was remotely interested in the kinds of books he wrote. Or even old enough to have read the last one he’d published.
Getting old sucked.
He pulled out of the parking lot, hyperaware of the body next to him. The guy fairly vibrated energy into the small space of the cab. His legs were long under that ridiculous coat. His hands rested on his thighs. Dmitri didn’t dare look at his face or even further up his torso. He had longish hair, dirty blond and curling. At least a day’s worth of dark scruff shadowed his jaw and mouth. His eyebrows made dark, expressive slashes above a nose that had been broken, maybe more than once. If tonight’s action had been any indication, that didn’t surprise Dmitri at all. He had a feeling this guy attracted fists to his face like honey attracted bears.
He tried to concentrate on getting them back to his cabin without driving off the road. It was a close thing on one of the final turns, when the guy flexed his fingers and Dmitri was momentarily distracted by how long they were. The tires skidded.
Fuck. But he managed to right them again. Finally, the dark outline of his house rose in front of them.
He gulped greedily at the cold air outside the truck. Slamming the door shut—it was the only way to get it to latch these days—he reached into the bed to pull out his duffel. A sudden presence at his side stilled him.
Dmitri looked sideways at him. He couldn’t make out the man’s features in the cloud-covered moonlight, only the more luminescent shapes of his teeth. “Who are you?”
“Who are you?”
“I asked first.”
The teeth turned into a grin. “My name is Marrou.”
“Marrou? What kind of—”
“And you are?”
“Dmitri,” he said before he could stop the words.
The guy took a deep breath through his nose, and his shoulder rose under his coat. “Dmitri.” He said it as if he were tasting the name. Apparently it tasted good; the man smiled again. “Nice to meet you.” He looked as though he might say more, but then his eyes only glittered in the silver light, and Dmitri figured he’d misread his face.
Not that he had a bead on any of this, but the guy was compelling. Literally, and he hated when people misused the word literally, but this stranger was literally compelling him to move, to speak, to—
“Run with me, Dmitri?”
Shit, a request, and with his name attached, added like a thumb pressed to the throat during a kiss.