Landon Weir and Brock Summers are happily settling into their life as a couple, easily balancing Landon’s work as an animal rehabber with Brock’s career as a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer. When they find a bear shot and skinned, they set out to discover who’s behind the heinous act.
Events force Brock to come out to his boss, causing him and Landon to rethink how public they want to make their relationship. As more bear sightings – and more carcasses – show up in the area, Brock is attacked by a black bear he’s trying to release back into the wild, but his injuries don’t prevent him from helping Landon and their friends with the investigation. Despite leads being thin on the ground, the two men try to uncover the poachers before more bears are killed. But when the evidence points them in an unexpected direction, Teller County’s bear population may not be all the killers have in their sights.
BROCK SUMMERS twisted his face as he looked at his boyfriend, Landon Weir. “I don’t know if I like it. Sure, I’ve seen you without it before, but I was used to your winter look.”
Landon ran a hand across his now smooth cheek. “But it’s not winter anymore. You’ve known me long enough to realize I only keep the beard in the winter. I like the shaved look in the summer.”
Stepping through the bathroom door, Brock frowned. “Yeah, but we were just friends then. I liked rubbing my fingers, and other things, across your beard. It tingled. I guess I’m going to miss it until it comes back.” He tentatively touched Landon’s face. “At least it’s not baby-bottom smooth.” Then he ran his hand through the thick brown hair on Landon’s chest. “I’ll have loud objections if you shave this.”
“No way.” Landon laughed. “You don’t have to worry about me shaving anything below the neck. First, I think it’s sexy, and second, I know you think it’s sexy.”
Brock continued petting Landon’s hard chest, brushing his fingers against the silver barbell in Landon’s left nipple. “You got that right. No razors are allowed near it.” He kissed Landon. It had only been a couple of months since he and his big dog, Bear, moved in with Landon, but it still felt like just last week he’d been waking up alone. Since moving in together, after Brock was nearly killed stopping some eagle poachers, their love had grown to the point that Brock knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Landon at his side. He couldn’t imagine not having Landon in his life and bed.
Landon chuckled as their lips parted. “I thought you said we had something to do this morning? You keep this up, and we’re going back to bed for a while.”
“You’re right.” Brock sighed as he stepped away from Landon. “We need to get going. We’re supposed to meet that researcher in Woodland in less than an hour.”
“So are we taking Bear with us?” Landon bent over the sink and splashed water on his face.
Brock ran a hand over his blond crew cut. “I don’t think so. The researcher wants to get a good feel for the wildlife in the area. Having Bear along might spook more critters than we will on our own. I trained him well, but he’s still a dog, and dogs in the woods affect wildlife.”
Landon grabbed the brush and pulled it through his tangled brown locks. “You know, I’m thinking about getting a haircut too.” He paused, put down the brush, and ran his hand over Brock’s head. “What would you think about me getting a crew cut? It’s been a long time since I had one. I think it would help with my nice butch look.”
Brock frowned again. “I don’t know. You’ll look like a totally different man, especially with the beard gone. Can I think about it? I like you the way you are. You don’t need to change for me. But if it makes you happy, I’ll adapt to it.”
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A.J. Marcus has been writing to pass the time since high school. The stories he wrote helped him deal with life. A few years ago, he started sharing those stories with friends who enjoyed them, and he has started sending his works out into the world to share with other people.
He lives in the mountains with his extremely supportive lover. They have a lot of critters, including dogs, cats, birds, horses, and rabbits. When not writing, A.J. spends a lot of time hiking, trail riding or just driving in the mountains. Nature provides a lot of inspiration for his work, and keeps him writing. He is also an avid photographer and falconer; don’t get him started talking about his birds because he won’t stop for a while.