Valentine's Day Sale!


The Southlands End. The orange, neon words hung high above the doorway, glowing brightly in the nighttime sky. The loud music playing inside could be heard clearly from the crowded parking lot. This place was meant to serve as a safe haven for the shifter kind who resided in Southlands, Montana, but to Karson Maddox, it only served as a reminder of the life that had been stolen from him.

He took a deep breath and inhaled the smell of the familiar rugged landscape. Montana had been the place he’d called home for many years, until that fateful night had changed his life forever. After five years, Karson had finally made it back home, but now, he was uncertain of what awaited him on the other side of those metal doors, and frankly, he didn’t care. The only thing he cared about was finding Marcus.

Reaching out with a shaky hand, he opened the door and stepped inside. He was instantly greeted by the bouncers, set in place to keep wandering mundanes—a shifter term for the majority of the human population—out.

“Passcode,” the large one on the left requested in a less than pleasant manner. His voice was deep and his intimidating stare was enough to stop any sensible person from advancing.

Karson ran a nervous hand through his shaggy hair. “I don’t know it, but—”

Before he could even get the rest of his sentence out, the other bouncer, who had yet to speak, grabbed ahold of his arm and pushed him back outside.

“Hey, wait a minute. Lemme go!” Karson struggled against the painful grip. “I’m here to see Marcus.”

His words did nothing to stop the two shifters from removing him from the building. They tossed him to the ground like a ragdoll, and the sting from the gravel scraping against his exposed flesh burned like a son of a bitch. 

He glared up at the two men, his temper flaring from their harsh handlings as his mind was taken back to the past five years of abuse he’d endured in one moment. He could feel the animal inside him rise to the surface, itching for a release that couldn’t be sated. His inability to shift only fueled his desire to defend himself as he lunged at the taller man His fist collided with the bouncer’s jaw, but despite the pain that radiated up his arm, his target appeared to be unfazed by the blow.

“Fuck,” he cursed as he shook his hand in an attempt to free it from the ache that emanated from his knuckles.

“Is there a problem here?”

His heart caught at the sound of the slight southern drawl. He knew the man who had spoken those words even before he turned around and his rage was instantly calmed by the familiar voice. A wave of nervousness washed over him as his hands began to tremble. Turning slowly, he met Marcus’s eyes for the first time in five years and the world around him seemed to fade away. 

Marcus Deveraux stood in front of him, dressed in a pair of dark-wash Wranglers and his favorite pair of cowboy boots. His white shirt was left partially unbuttoned, no doubt to showcase his well-muscled chest. Strands of his blond hair fell in front of his ice blue eyes as he stared down at Karson. The soft features of his face had hardened with the years, but everything else was just as he remembered.

Karson’s mouth went dry. He tried to find the words he’d rehearsed earlier in the day, but nothing came to him. Instead, all he could do was stand there like a deer caught in headlights.

“Karson?” Marcus whispered as recognition finally kicked in. A look of shock and confusion fell upon his face as the pain and agony of the past few years shimmered inside the depths of Marcus’s piercing eyes. 

The desire to reach out to him was overwhelming. It was an impulse that had surprised Karson given that he’d changed so much in the past few years. Something shifted inside him, awakening a mixture of emotions he hadn’t felt since the day he was taken from Marcus. Tears pooled in his eyes and he tried desperately to hold them back. He wouldn’t cry. Not here. Not now.

“Sir, you know this man?” the large shifter Karson had punched questioned Marcus.

Marcus gave a slow nod, his eyes never leaving Karson. “Yes… he’s my mate.”

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