Authors: Jory Strong
Tags: #gay romance, #mm romance, #native american romance, #fated mates, #male male romance, #fated lovers, #thunderbird chosen
Copyright 2015 by Valerie Christenson
A huge shout-out and thank you to Jennifer Kiziah for
Thanks to James H. for reading this story and giving
me feedback from a gay man's perspective.
Cover design by Syneca Featherstone
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The oppressive feeling of having his life
completely out of control pressed in on Trey Masters like a heavy
Could it be any worse?
His stomach clenched. His skin chilled and
the rush of his pulse said yes, yes, hell yeah it could be a lot
worse, a whole lot worse.
He could be ostracized for a crime he didn't
He could be in prison with a thousand
inmates looking for a chance to jump and shank him.
He could be in some unmarked grave.
So yeah, it could be a hell of a lot worse.
And that only scratched the surface of real horror, the things that
had already happened to kids he didn't know—and what could have
happened to his students or the kids he coached.
He shivered, goose bumps rising along his
arms. He rested his forehead against the cold passenger-side window
of the blue-and-white police cruiser.
No regrets. Even now, he didn't have any
He'd done what he needed to do. He was an
elementary schoolteacher, for god's sake. But even if he hadn't
been, what kind of a man would say no to the Feds when they showed
up and asked for help bringing down a powerful family making and
distributing child pornography?
Even if he'd known beforehand that Patricia
Veron made a deadly, vengeful enemy, he would have kept sleeping
with her and pretending everything was okay. The kids she and her
family had already hurt deserved justice.
But that wasn't the only reason he'd have
kept sleeping with her. If the Feds hadn't stepped in…
Bile rose in his throat at the possibility
that he might eventually have asked her to marry him. He wanted to
believe the answer was no. But…
Until this had gone down, he'd been
desperately clinging to the illusion of heterosexuality.
Fisting his right hand, he struck his thigh
once, twice, as if that could drive out the urge to run and keep
running from the truth.
Pretending, yeah, he was good at that.
Pretending and denial had been a part of his life since he was
twelve and got an erection thinking about his best friend,
He'd been convinced he was going straight to
hell. He'd become certain when the fantasies became more detailed
and erotic as he grew older.
Fag. Queer. Pervert. The names were knives
with the power to eviscerate.
He'd seen what happened when other kids got
labeled. He'd done everything in his power to avoid it. In high
school he'd become a track star, a debate team captain, the boy who
never lacked for a date or a girl willing to hook-up.
In college it was more of the same. He'd
continued to run track though he'd traded the debate team for the
school paper. There'd been fewer girls, but the ones he did go out
with, he'd fucked, wanting to convince himself he was straight.
Old feelings of self-loathing threatened to
return. He ruthlessly stomped them down.
Even if he hadn't already been steeped in
years of denying his core self
Patricia, he wouldn't
have acknowledged his sexuality. Not in his devoutly religious
mother's house growing up or after, when she started exhibiting
signs of the disease that would come to define both of their
On the outside, he'd been the successful son
his mother had wanted. But on the inside, he'd had to work harder
and harder to suppress the truth of what he really was. Gay.
He grimaced. What a word. Gay. There was
nothing about being homosexual that made him even remotely happy,
much less lighthearted and carefree. Then again, when had he
allowed himself to act on a same-sex attraction? Never.
Maybe it was time to stop pretending. Maybe
when this was over and it was safe to involve someone else in his
He was still a teacher. How could he ask a
man he'd come to care about to pretend to the outside world that
they were nothing but friends?
So that left him where? Going the rest of
his life without gay sex when the thirteen years since getting an
erection for Aaron had only gotten harder and harder?
Maybe when this was over he'd take a trip
somewhere and…what…hit a gay bar, check out the personals? Yeah,
His virgin ass was so obvious it glowed.
He'd attract every predator in town.
A flash of lightning was followed by a sharp
crack of thunder. They passed a sign welcoming them to Hohoq.
The round-faced cop in the driver's seat
grunted and said, "They might as well have sent you to Alaska.
Christ, who picked this place?"
Trey didn't have an answer as he looked at
what was supposed to be his refuge but seemed more like a dreary
prison. He counted five buildings, all of them old, and prayed the
rest of the town was being hidden by the mist pressing in on the
The hope of there being a bookstore was
instantly extinguished. They were hard enough to find in a big
city. But maybe there'd be a library.
He'd probably end up grateful for a TV that
picked up more than one or two channels.
The police car slowed to a halt in front of
an old-fashioned sign swinging on heavy chains.
"Grab your stuff," the cop said, cutting the
engine and placing a hand on the door handle. "As soon as I make
the official handoff, I'm out of here."
"Sure thing. I know you're in a hurry."
"Bet your ass I am. My wife'll kill me if
I'm not back and on the plane with her to Vegas."
Trey rubbed at the ache centered in his
heart. He wanted what the cop had, a nice heterosexual lifestyle
that included a wife.
He wanted it, but it wasn't going to happen
unless he was willing to spend the rest of his life living a lie.
Or until he stopped letting what others think define how he
lived—and was willing to risk how that might impact him as a
Don't ask, don't tell
solely to the military. It applied to lesbian, gay, bisexual and
Yeah there were legal protections,
, but discrimination didn't have to be overt to be a
reality. And social media meant it was nearly impossible to keep
private and professional lives separated, not when even elementary
kids had cell phones with cameras and posted on Tumblr!
Snagging the single duffle bag he'd had time
to pack in his mad rush to get out of the house and into an
informal protective custody arrangement, he opened the cruiser's
door. A blast of wet, icy wind hit him and it was enough to center
him in the here and now. Survival. Until Patricia Veron stopped
being a threat, he didn't need to deal with being gay.
He ducked his head and plowed through frigid
air in the cop's wake. They made it into the office. A Native
American man with a thick, black braid and a sheriff's star pushed
off from the heavy pine desk he was leaning on. He dropped what
he'd been reading onto the desk's surface and met them in the
middle of the small room.
Dark, penetrating eyes studied him. "You
He nodded. The cop who'd brought him to
Hohoq said, "He's all yours. No sign of Patricia Veron, but that
doesn't mean she won't surface for some payback."
"So expect trouble?" the sheriff asked as
another Native American man, also with his black hair braided,
stepped into the room, letting in a blast of cold air, but all Trey
felt was an explosion of heat.
He stiffened, cock-first. His heart beat
like it was tapping out Morse code and the message was
suck me, fuck me
He inhaled, caught a woodsy masculine scent
and had his skin shrink-wrap, trapping the heat and intensifying
the wild-pounding effect of his heart banging away with its
Trey buried his hands in his jacket pockets
and was grateful it was long enough to cover a boner that'd scream
Ducking his head was the only defense
available to hide the blush blitzing into his face, and the panic
in his eyes that'd be easy to read for men whose daily lives
involved dealing with criminals.
I'll be out of here in a few minutes. Just
zone out like someone who is still a little shell shocked.
Impossible. Not when he was hyper aware of
the man wearing jeans, cowboy boots, light blue denim shirt, and
who was an arm's length away and standing next to the sheriff, not
when his cock was hammering out its own message, that it was tired
of being denied what it really wanted, another man's attention.
, he told it. Not in
this tiny town and not with a sheriff's deputy.
Tenino was having a hard time paying
attention to the conversation between the city cop and Tekoa. His
gaydar was pinging and his dick was at attention and ready to serve
in the line of duty.
It was the last thing he'd expected when he
stepped into the office. He'd been dreading hauling a stranger out
to his cabin, but now…
Blond hair, blue eyes, a neat ponytail he
could already see himself freeing so that hair could spread out
across the sheets on his bed. He could hardly wait for
Ever since his cousins Ukiah and Tekoa had
found their mates, he'd been hoping his mate was in the offing.
Hell, he'd been hoping that before coming back to Hohoq, not that
there were good odds on finding a mate in the truest sense, a man
who could join him in flight when the storm called and the
Thunderbird spirit rose. For that to happen he'd have to find one
among The People, which didn't seem likely since not many of them
were bisexual, or like him, one hundred percent gay.
It was a downer when he thought too hard
about not having that ultimate spiritual connection, so mainly he
think about it. He lived. He had sex when he could
get it, which was far easier during the tourist season, not that he
wasn't ready to be done with casual, but… Use it or lose it and his
dick liked a workout.
It said the blond who seemed to be trying
his best to ignore him would be an excellent workout partner. Not
that he could see as much as he'd like to with the heavy black
jacket hiding what he'd bet was a mighty fine boner.
Shy? With hands crammed into the pockets and
the collar up, the guy had turned his jacket into a turtle's
He'd never found shy attractive in men
though it could be kind of cute in women. But he could make an
exception for the blond.
Besides, the blond was going to find it hard
to stay shy at the cabin. The place was small. They'd be bumping
into each other every time they turned around.
Tenino grinned. Bumping and grinding wasn't
going to be a hardship.
He tried to remember exactly what Tekoa had
told him about his soon-to-be guest. It hadn't been much. Friend of
a friend asking a favor. The possibility of danger so Tekoa didn't
want the stranger at his cabin, because of Jessica, or at the lodge
his brother Ukiah owned because of Marisa.
That's all he remembered about the
situation. Good enough. If he needed more information, it'd come.
The grin widened. Hopefully
Tekoa made the introductions. Trey. It fit.
He liked it. And imagining himself lying on top of Trey, saying it
as he thrust into heaven was enough to have his foreskin retracting
in preparation for the main event.
Forget the foreplay his dick said. It'd been
out of action for too long, or at least action that didn't involve
His eyes met Trey's. His gaydar pinged
harder and Trey's quick look-away only put him more in the mood for
a sexual takedown.
Tenino swallowed a laugh. Shy was going to
be a hell of a lot of fun.
He turned to shake hands with the city cop.
The cop's face was flushed and his expression said it wasn't
because the office was too hot.
. I'm gay.