This week it’s back to Trooper Jared Kingsley and the shapeshifter he managed to hit. Are you reading for the next chapter?? Avery sure hopes so!
This week’s prompt was “Just hold me, please.” I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble spotting it. And, yes, my flash comes in below the 1000 word limit. Yay!
Without further delay…
Bear to Bear, Chapter 2
Coal Carter groaned long and low as his mind slowly returned to consciousness. He lay there—wherever there might be—eyes closed, not wanting to face the drama which awaited him.
Last thing he remembered was being chased by a mountain lion. Normally, whenever he ran across a big cat, they avoided each other. This time, though, the female lion was pissed about something and decided to take her aggravation out on Coal—in his bear form. Damn women.
Rain splashed against his naked body, rousing him further. Guess I’m back in human form. But what’s with all this pain?
“What in the hell…” an unknown tenor voice asked. “Fuck…how am I supposed to call this in?”
Footsteps sounded close to Coal’s head.
He cracked his eyelids. After a moment he was able to take in the sight of wet pavement and black boots. His eyes followed those boots to dark green trousers, fitted snuggly against muscular thighs. Quit checking him out! Tilting his head, his eyes continued their journey. Skip the package, Coal, now’s not the time. Gun belt with an empty holster. Rut roh. He checked the man’s hands. Yep, there it was—a pistol gripped securely in the man’s left hand.
Coal stopped his exploration of the police officer to gingerly lift his arm, putting his palm out. He mumbled, “Please…don’t shoot.”
The man didn’t holster his weapon, but at least he didn’t move. He did utter a curse. “What the hell are you? I know I hit a black bear. I swear I did.”
Slowly rolling onto his back, Coal moaned and grabbed his shoulder. He brought his knees up, hoping to minimize the pain in his abdomen. Squeezing his eyes closed, hoping to fight off a bout of nausea, he complained, “Couldn’t you have swerved? I wasn’t running that fast.”
A snick and then a soft click sounded. Good, must have put the gun away. Next, Coal felt a light touch on his uninjured shoulder. “I-I’m really sorry. Between the rain and the wet roads…”
Coal opened his eyes and met the softest, most expressive hazel eyes he’d ever seen. Rain drops beaded on long, dark lashes while the man worried his lower lip.
“S’okay. I should have looked before I barreled into the road.”
“So, you were really a bear? I’m not crazy?” The man stroked his hand down Coal’s arm before lifting it to Coal’s forehead and brushing back his soaked hair. Apparently the officer was trying to convince himself Coal was, in fact, a man. In the flesh.
Lost in the feel of the man’s hand on his bare skin, Coal didn’t immediately respond. His murmured “don’t stop…feels good” must have startled the officer. He jerked his hand back and breathed what sounded like an apology. Gee, Coal, good thing you didn’t say something like, “Just hold me, please.” Imagine his reaction to that!
He tested his injured shoulder. Still hurt, but it was slowly healing. In a half hour or so, it would be good as new. Now for his abdomen. Coal released the hand holding his shoulder and began to lightly palpate the area of his stomach and ribs. He cursed when he applied pressure on his last rib. Likely fractured. He took a deep breath. Painful, but not impossible.
“Uh, do you need me to call an ambulance?” The officer sounded uncertain. He still knelt next to Coal, but kept his hands to himself.
Damn it! Shouldn’t he be the one checking me for injuries, exploring all my exposed skin?
“Nah, I’ll be okay. Doesn’t feel like anything’s broken.” Coal struggled to sit up. Thank goodness the officer was paying attention. Strong hands found their way to his back and helped guide him.
It would have worked well had it not been raining, and if the officer would’ve anticipated how much Coal weighed. He was all muscle—in a defensive end kind of way. As it was, the officer lost his balance and fell. Coal landed with his head on the man’s groin. Talk about awkward…
Seriously awkward as Coal shifted his weight, trying to right himself. That failed thanks to his uncooperative shoulder. His cheek ended up pressed against something hard as steel behind the man’s zipper. Dear God…he’s aroused, and he’s fucking long!
The position lasted only seconds as the officer scrambled back on all fours. Coal barely kept his head from hitting the pavement. Without making eye contact, he asked the officer, “Do you have a blanket or towel I could use?” Coal shivered as the rain let up and a breeze wafted down the mountainside.
“Of course, I’m sorry.”
Coal rolled ungracefully into a sitting position. He rested his elbows on his knees and laid his head on his arms. Modesty was the farthest thing from his mind. As a shifter, being naked around other people was commonplace. He had no problem with his junk hanging out. At least he managed to keep arousal at bay. Coal shivered again, wishing the officer would hurry up.
Soon a scratchy wool blanket found its way around his shoulders.
Coal pulled it tighter around himself. “Thank you, Officer…”
The officer walked in front of him and crouched down. “Actually, it’s Trooper. Trooper Jared Kingsley.” He held out his hand.
Coal snaked his arm out from beneath the blanket. “Coal. Coal Carter.”
“Well, Mr. Carter, how about we get you into my dry car. I’ll see that you get home.” The trooper stood and moved behind Coal.
Grinning, Coal said, “I’d like that Trooper Kingsley. Although, I’m going to need some help.”
The trooper chuckled, his breath warm against Coal’s neck. “Please, call me Jared.” Firm hands found their way to Coal’s biceps. “Besides, it’s the least I can do.”
After getting Coal to his feet, the Trooper wrapped an arm around Coal, steadying him as they shuffled to the police car. “Although, we still need to discuss the damage to my car…”
to be continued…