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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The Light at the End of the Tunnel - 15. Chapter 15

Sorry for the delay. It was a super crazy busy week at work and I've been battling a cold since Tuesday. Had to over-medicate just to get through my work days as taking a sick day was not an option. Not with the top dog manager in town, plus my supervisor. Throw in my knees and hip deciding it was the perfect week for the arthritis and bursitis to flare up, I was not a happy camper. At a few points, I wasn't sure if I was going to make it through the day. I survived and I'm still not at 100%, but I'm feeling much better. Had shots yesterday for the knees and hip and it's vastly improved.
So at long last, here's the next chapter.

Caleb removed his hat and wiped the sweat from his brow. Looking around, he was pleased to see the last of the debris thrown into the dumpster. Tossing the wet rag into the truck bed, he sat on the tailgate next to his mate.

“This went quicker than I thought it would.”

Asa nodded and handed him a bottle of water.

The dust hadn’t settled before they ordered dumpsters and bobcats. A dozen pack members worked in rotation to get everything cleared while Giles rubbed elbows in town, working to alleviate any potential issues or red tape. After a week of rigorous work, the land was ready to rebuild. They weren't concerned about waiting for the insurance check. Giles offered funds from the pack coffers, claiming it was worth the investment.

“I would never have been able to do this without you,” Corbin declared as he chucked his leather work gloves into the truck and admired the neatly graded dirt where his house and barn once stood.

“You could’ve,” Caleb replied. “But it would’ve taken a helluva lot longer. This is what Giles meant by the pack being your family now. The only ties stronger than those between pack members are those between mates.”

“Yeah, you two are lucky. I doubt fate holds a shifter mate in my future.”

“Eh, you never know,” Asa said. “I never thought I’d end up with this mutt, yet here I am!”

Caleb playfully shoved his mate when Asa leaned into him.

“Yeah, but you’re part of the supernatural world, so it makes sense that a shifter is your mate. I’m just a human.”

“Hey!” Caleb exclaimed. “Don’t sell yourself short. Human or not, it took a lot of courage and smarts to rescue the twins and take care of them.”

Corbin looked out over the horizon. “I just wish I could’ve been more helpful.”

“You did everything you could with the information you had,” Caleb assured him. “Ashton and Austin told me you always managed to calm them down when their wolves were restless. They think the world of you, and when all this shit is over, they’re planning on visiting.”

Corbin scoffed. “Now you’re just pulling my leg.”

“No, he’s not,” Asa said. “I had several conversations with the boys, and they mentioned it a few times. They’re serious about wanting to visit when things settle. It’s impossible until Huntington is taken care of. We still have many more hybrids to cure, and Sebastian and Giles have determined it’s better to wait before inviting them to Texas.”

“How did that go?” Corbin asked. “The healings? I meant to ask earlier, but we’ve been so busy I forgot.”

“It went very well,” Caleb answered. “My amazing mate cured all of the hybrids in Montana. There are teams out there looking for those who are still missing. We’ll deal with them as they are found. More pressing are the pups in Europe. Sebastian indicated that there are several who have issues that should be addressed sooner rather than later. Even though the hybrids there are more recent victims, it doesn’t mean they should suffer longer than necessary.”

Asa placed his hand on his chest and frowned. “My heart breaks every time I think about them. I feel like we should take advantage of this window of opportunity and heal them while it’s calm. The latest news from Lex shows no movement within Huntington’s compound. That doesn’t necessarily mean things aren’t happening, but it’s encouraging that he doesn’t seem to be preparing for an imminent attack.”

“Asa and I are going to call Sebastian and get his input,” Caleb said. “We promised to help, and now seems like a good time. We thought there were eighteen hybrids in Europe, but there are thirty-one. If Asa can heal them at the same rate he used for the Montana pups, we’ll only be gone for a couple of weeks.”

Corbin reached into the cooler and took out a bottle of water, placing it on the back of his neck for a moment before cracking it open and guzzling the cold liquid until it was empty. He crushed the plastic loudly and disposed of it in a recycle bin with other plastic refuse.

“Could I go with you?”

Caleb glanced at Asa, who gave him a slight shrug, then looked at Corbin curiously. “Why do you want to tag along?”

“Now that I’m part of your world, I feel I should be doing something to contribute to it. You said the twins told you I had a calming effect on them. Maybe I could help calm the pups if they get anxious?”

“What about rebuilding your ranch?” Asa asked.

“It’s the end of June. In Texas. The heat is about to get turned up to Lucifer’s ass-crack hot. There’s no sense starting construction until the fall when it cools off. I know you shifters can tolerate the heat better than humans, but c’mon, a hundred and twenty in the shade is a bit much, even for you guys. Besides, Giles prefers me to stay at his ranch until it’s safe. Even if we rebuilt my house, I wouldn’t feel comfortable being alone.”

“He’s got a point.” Asa shrugged. “I’m game if you are.”

“Okay,” Caleb agreed. “But let’s not put the cart before the horse. I still have to talk to Sebastian and see what’s what.”

Asa hopped off the tailgate and brushed off his thighs and ass, creating a puff of dust. “Then what are we waiting for? Everything here is done. The rest of the crew can finish what little clean-up there is. Besides, you stink. You’re gonna need to lather, rinse, and repeat.”

Caleb popped his mate on the butt as he tried to scamper out of reach. “Look who’s talking. There’s no way I’m riding in the truck with you with the windows rolled up!”

They secured their tools, and Caleb made sure the rest of the guys were okay with completing the clean-up. Asa was in the driver’s seat when he returned to the truck, laughing as Caleb got in beside Corbin. The light shifter hit the child safety lock so that Caleb couldn’t roll down his window. His wolf whined as the stench of three sweaty guys quickly filled the cab.

Corbin gagged, prompting Asa to open the windows and let some fresh air rush through, providing instant relief. Caleb reached past Corbin’s shoulders and flicked Asa on the back of his head, making his mate laugh.

Back at the ranch, they dropped Corbin off at the main house. “Let Mikey know we’ll be up for dinner later,” Caleb said as he let Corbin out.

Corbin gave them a mock salute and took the porch steps two at a time, disappearing into the house.

Asa looked over at Caleb, gave him a heated look, licked his bottom lip, and then dropped the truck into drive.

A low growl rumbled from Caleb’s chest. His wolf was interested in that bottom lip and wouldn’t wait long before taking over. It was a good thing his cabin wasn’t far. As soon as the truck came to a halt, his feet were on the ground, and he was hauling Asa out of the driver’s seat before the engine finished shutting off.

Caleb’s mouth crashed into his mate’s, and his incisors dropped down slightly, just sharp enough to draw a single drop of blood. His tongue darted out to catch it, and his wolf howled his approval. The raw scent of Asa’s sweat was now mixed with the musk of his arousal. It was too much for the wolf.

Bones cracked and popped. Tattered clothing drifted to the ground. In an instant, Caleb’s large white wolf stood and head-butted his mate, coaxing him to shift. After a few more cracks, pops, and ruined attire, Asa’s matching wolf rubbed himself against the larger animal, mingling their scents together.

Base instinct took over as Caleb’s wolf took what was his. The mating was over quickly when the giant beast emptied himself deep within his mate. It was the way of nature. In the wild, wolves are vulnerable during sex. It’s a perfunctory act done to perpetuate the species. Their wolves didn’t know the difference. It was all instinct to them.

What wasn’t instinct was when Asa’s wolf turned the tables and growled fiercely when Caleb’s wolf balked at submitting. The smaller animal used his teeth to his advantage and tightly gripped the back of Caleb’s furry neck until he acquiesced. He slid inside and pistoned his hips until his orgasm tore free and flooded his mate. Satisfied, the two wolves lay in the shade, recovering from their exertion.

Despite the heat climbing toward the ninety-degree mark, the Alpha wolf got his second wind and took off across the field, relishing his freedom as he ran. His mate kept pace as they loped over the terrain and stopped at the arroyo marking the edge of their new Alpha’s territory. They cooled themselves with a drink from the dwindling stream, then turned back. By the time they reached Caleb’s cabin, they were panting heavily. They quickly shifted, and Asa turned his face to the midday sun to soak up the rays. His face shone as he took the steps two at a time.

Inside, Caleb turned on the two window-mounted air conditioners he used to cool the cabin. Asa went straight for the bathroom and turned on the shower, setting the temperature to barely tepid before stepping under the cool spray. Caleb wore nothing but a smile as he crossed the threshold and caught sight of the light shifter in all his naked glory.

Sliding into the tiled enclosure, he hummed his approval as Asa caught his lips in a sweet kiss. “You think you’re all that just because your wolf got his way, huh?”

Asa squirted some shower gel on a loofa and started sudsing away the layers of sweat and dirt clinging to Caleb’s skin. It felt heavenly.

“Mmm. I know I’m all that because when we’re done here, I’m going take my cue from my wolf and tap into that magnificent ass of yours myself and see what all the fuss is about.”

Quirking his eyebrow, Caleb stepped back. “Oh, you think so?”

He found himself pressed up against the shower wall, his wrists pinned to the side as if he were being crucified, only instead of a spear in his side, he felt Asa’s hard cock press against his groin.

His cock jumped as Asa pressed his lips against his ear and whispered, “I know so.”

Asa gently turned him so he faced the wall, scrubbing his back, then down his legs. The loofa was abandoned, and strong fingers wrapped themselves around Caleb’s dick, giving it a few firm tugs before blazing a trail along his abs. He couldn’t help the groan that escaped when his nipples were pinched, flicked, and squeezed. His lover was a brat.

It was pure ecstasy when Asa’s fingers massaged his scalp, working up a lather as they threaded through the wet strands of hair, ridding it of the day’s grime. Residual dirt and soot were washed down the drain, swirling away with the disappearing suds.

His hands were batted away when he tried to reciprocate. Instead, he was treated to a show as Asa very sensuously washed every inch of his own skin. Yes, indeed, he was a brat in need of discipline.

“I don’t think so, loverboy.” Asa drawled.

“What do you mean?”

“If anyone gets to dole out punishment, it’s me.”

Caleb snort-laughed. Damn mate connection. It was the only explanation. He pulled his mate closer so they were nose to nose. “You going to spank me?” he asked, his voice thick and husky.

“Better. I’m going to fuck you.”

Without warning, Caleb felt a slick finger slide along his crack and then breach his hole. The intrusion was fast but not painful. It felt odd, and he automatically clenched down on the invading digit.

“Uh-uh. Relax,” Asa whispered. “Look at you. Your ass is still wet from my wolf’s cum. Your wolf liked it. Didn’t he?”

Caleb sucked in a breath and nodded. Asa’s finger wiggled and circled inside him. Oh damn! That felt good!

“I knew he would. I told you, didn’t I? I said you’d submit to me. Look at you. Legs spread. Your hole is greedy for my fingers. You want another one? Is that what you want?”

Caleb hissed.

“Words, big guy. Use your words. I want another finger in my ass, Asa.

“I. Want. Another. Finger. In. My. Ass. Asa,” he gritted out. His cock had never been this hard. Asa gave him what he requested and shoved his middle finger beside his index.

“Fuck!” Caleb shouted.

“That’s it,” Asa purred. He fucking purred. If Caleb weren’t wound so tight, he’d teach his mate a little lesson. It was all he could do to keep breathing. Air left his lungs in a gasp as Asa scissored his fingers, stretching his hole with a delicious burn.

“You like that? I wonder if you’ll like this?”

Without warning, the fingers departed his ass, leaving him empty. Instead, he felt his cheeks pulled apart, and Asa replaced his fingers with his tongue. Oh my fucking god! He was getting rimmed. After his wolf got fucked. The knowledge that Asa was tasting his wolf’s cum nearly overloaded his brain. His cock didn’t get the memo and shot all over the shower wall. His mate had the audacity to chuckle.

Asa stood and slipped his two fingers back inside, feeling the last few pulses of Caleb’s orgasm. “Now I get to fuck you nice and slow. All afternoon.”

Caleb wasn’t sure if he was going to survive, but at Asa’s words, his dick gave a half-hearted attempt at coming back to life. His mate didn’t miss a trick and gave it a gentle caress with his free hand.

“Bedroom. Now,” Asa ordered.

“Bossy little shit.”

“Yep.” Asa popped his ass with his bare hand. Not bothering to towel off, he pushed Caleb toward the bed, crawling on top of him when they reached the king-sized mattress.

Caleb had to admit he liked this side of Asa. It wasn’t until the light shifter took charge that he realized he needed someone to call the shots occasionally. Asa proved to be very good at it, too. He had a dirty mouth and even dirtier intentions. There wasn’t a hot spot he didn’t hit.

Despite their shower, Caleb could still smell his wolf’s cum inside Asa, and it fueled his libido like nothing else could. His mate kept his promise and tormented him for what seemed like hours—time always seemed to take on new meaning when he and Asa connected on a sexual level.

“How do you want me?” Caleb asked when he sensed Asa had reached his limit of teasing and tormenting.

“On your back. Pull your knees up. I want to see you when I enter you. I want to watch you come.”

Caleb settled into position, and despite his ass being on display, he didn’t feel embarrassed or vulnerable. This was Asa. His mate. His lover. Gone were the jokes and bantering. No more dirty talk. All he saw was love. It was all he wanted.

Asa pushed into him and easily slid past the ring of muscle. All the foreplay had loosened him well enough to feel no pain. In one long, glorious stroke, his mate was in and started moving his hips in an even rhythm. It was pleasant enough, he supposed. Although he didn’t see what the big deal was. So far, he preferred topping. Asa continued for several more strokes before noticing Caleb’s indifference.

“What’s wrong, love? Not enjoying it?”

“It feels good. I guess I just like being on top better.”

“Is that right?” Asa pursed his lips, and his eyebrows drew close, furrowing his forehead. Then, a smile spread across his face. Instead of being a warm, fuzzy smile, it was a carbon copy of the smile the Grinch got in that kid’s Christmas movie.

Asa leaned back, shifted his weight, and pushed Caleb’s legs toward the head of the bed, which lifted his ass further. He then scooted up on his knees and angled his body downward before slamming his cock into Caleb’s ass.

Holy fucking Christ, on a goddamn Ritz cracker with Cheez Whiz! What was that? A bolt of lightning shot through his body from head to toe. He yelled incoherently as his cock leaked faster than the Titanic after smacking into the iceberg. Asa double-downed, thrusting his dick into Caleb even harder. He was fighting a losing battle. Every time Asa pegged him, it brought him a second closer to blowing his load.

Three more deep thrusts were all it took. Caleb fought for control as his balls unleashed whatever was left in them with spasms that shook his body. His mind conjured up an old TV commercial for Tootsie Roll lollipops with the kid asking the owl, ‘How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?’

Three. Three licks. Three thrusts. Three times more powerful than any orgasm he ever had. What fucking alternate dimension did he just enter?

Asa hollered as he unleashed his orgasm, filling Caleb’s ass in a most satisfying way. When he was done, he collapsed, settling his smaller frame on top of him. Caleb started giggling, unable to get the whole Tootsie Roll comparison out of his brain.

“What the hell are you laughing at?”

Caleb confessed his image of the Tootsie Roll owl, and Asa called him crazy but laughed until he was breathless.

When they finally stopped snickering, Asa got up and came back with a warm washcloth and gently wiped the sticky mess from Caleb’s stomach and ass. Having Asa’s arms wrapped around him for a change felt good. He felt connected in a way he never expected. It was different from topping. He was complete. His wolf growled in agreement.

They lay there in silence for a while, dozing off and on as the afternoon sun blazed a path across the Texas sky. They finally stirred as the rays glinted through the window and across the bed. Caleb stretched, allowing his legs to glide along Asa’s. His lover hooked a foot around his calves and pulled him closer.

“In an ideal world, this is how we should spend every afternoon.” Asa hummed, kissing Caleb’s forehead.

“I can’t argue with that. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world. There’s a bad guy out there, and we need to go fix the mess he created.” Caleb scooted up, so he was now holding Asa in his arms. His wolf gave a satisfied huff and a low rumble. The beast enjoyed having his mate take charge earlier, but now he needed to assert himself again.

Asa chuckled. “I guess my turn as top dog is over for today?”

“You could say that.” Caleb kissed the top of his head. “We should head over to the ranch house soon. I don’t know about you, but I’m starving. We need to talk to Giles and then call Sebastian.”

Reluctantly, they got up and took another shower to rinse off the sweat and sex residue. It didn’t take long before they were presentable and on their way out the door. The paddock seemed forlorn without Eclipse and Hank, but for the foreseeable future, the two animals were safely ensconced in the pastures close to the main house.

Delicious aromas hit them as soon as they opened the front door. Luke greeted Caleb with a bone-crushing hug. He’d attended a few cattle auctions in the Dallas area and returned late last night. Caleb had neglected his friend for way too long. He mentally promised to rectify that as soon as this hybrid-slash-Huntington situation was in their rearview mirror.

“Caleb, my man. Look at you!” Luke pushed him back and held him at arm's length, looking him up and down. “I swear you’ve put on thirty pounds of muscle and look like your old self.”

Luke let go of Caleb and enfolded Asa into a bear hug, extolling, “It’s all you, Asa. Thank you for bringing him back. I’m proud to call you pack-mate.”

Caleb watched as a beautiful pink blush covered Asa’s face and neck. He thought it was adorable and was happy his best friend thought highly of his mate.

“I didn’t do anything special. I just didn’t give him much choice and wouldn’t take any bullshit.”

Luke threw his head back and laughed. Caleb shot his mate a glare that held no heat. It was the same look he used on Zev when he was younger and was up to no good.

“C’mon, you two. I think dinner is ready.”

The dining room was nearly full. Giles was saving seats for them at his table. After filling their plates, they sat down and listened as the Alpha caught them up on the latest updates. Zev and Ben explained the new security system they were installing, including motion-sensing cameras, silent alarms, and upgraded surveillance drones they could utilize whenever needed.

Giles warned them to be careful if they ventured out. The Fae king had been unable to provide additional support as he had his own issues within his kingdom. Cassiel had offered a dragon, but Giles had politely declined.

“A dragon?” Asa exclaimed. “Well, hell. That would have been fucking badass!”

“Badass, yes,” Giles agreed, “but too impractical. We hide a lot of shit from the humans around here, but a dragon would be pushing our luck.”

“My mate still has a lesson or two to learn on subtlety,” Caleb remarked, giving Asa a sly wink. “We’re going to call Sebastian and see if it might be possible to go to Europe and take care of the pups there. Corbin would like to tag along and needs permission. Everything here seems to be under control. It doesn’t make sense to start construction on Corbin’s place until the weather breaks.”

Giles picked up his napkin and wiped his mouth. “It seems like you barely settled down, and now you want to take off again. I understand, though. Those kids need to be taken care of as soon as possible. I can’t imagine what they’re going through. If Sebastian OK’s it, then I’m onboard.”

“Thank you, Giles,” Asa said, reaching to place his hand over the Alpha’s. It was a gesture of gratitude and respect and made Caleb proud of his mate. He saw the approval in Giles’ eyes.

They discussed more security measures with Ben and Zev as they finished with coffee and dessert. Sebastian was providing the best technology he had available. Luke was excited about the drones. “We’ll be able to zoom in on a lizard from a thousand feet in the air!”

Giles pressed his lips together and shook his head. “I hope you’ll use them for their intended purpose and not for tracking wildlife.”

Luke blushed. He rehabilitated a few Texas horned lizards after finding them injured. He had a soft spot for the creatures.

Asa choked a little as he tried swallowing a bite of his dessert. Caleb clapped him on the back and handed him his water glass. “Finish that bite, and let’s call Sebastian.”

They were on a sugar high when they reached Giles’ office. “Jesus Christ, pull yourself together!” Asa laughed as he watched Caleb lick his lips, looking for stray crumbs.

“Those things were so good!” he exclaimed, referring to the caramel-drizzled blondies Mikey made.

“I’ll get you the recipe if you just make the damn phone call!”

Corbin hung back in the doorway, so Caleb ushered him in.

The phone rang four times before Sebastian picked up. “Caleb? Is everything alright?”

“Hey, Sebastian. Yes. Everything is fine. Corbin’s lot is cleared, and we contacted an architect to discuss having plans drawn for a new house, an event venue, and a rodeo arena. But that’s not why I called. As I’m sure you know, Zev and Ben have things under control with the new security measures. Asa and I have been talking and think this would be a good time to go to Germany to heal the European pups. Corbin would like permission to accompany us. Do you think it’s feasible right now?”

There was a moment of silence on the other end before Sebastian answered, “Actually, I think it would be a perfect time. I just spoke to Lex; he hasn’t had any new information since you left. Huntington seems to be marching in place. I’ll have to reconfirm, but the last time I spoke to Pieter, the number of pups there still stood at thirty-one. Why are you considering taking Corbin?”

“Well, for one, he wants to go. Second, we can protect him if he’s with us. Zev and Ben have done a great job with the security upgrades, but if Huntington knows Corbin is still alive, it makes sense that we keep him close. I doubt if the bastard kitty would think we’d be crazy enough to travel right now. Third, Corbin had a calming effect on Ashton and Austin; we think he could help with the hybrids.”

There was a moment of silence before Sebastian responded. “I agree that Huntington won’t think any of us would travel. If he did find out, Germany wouldn’t be high on his list of places to look. Okay. I’ll allow it. He’s to stay in the castle or on the immediate grounds and listen to Pieter. He’s in charge of everything that goes on in that territory. If Corbin thinks he can help, I’m sure Pieter would appreciate the assistance. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to coordinate arrivals and departures and schedule the healings according to medical needs. Thirty-one doesn’t sound like a lot compared to what you accomplished here, but it’s a significant number nonetheless.”

“Are they scattered across the continent, or are they close to each other?” Caleb asked.

“I don’t think they’re scattered all over. There were only a few countries where Oswald and Belland had pups kidnapped from. Most of the families are within a short drive or flight. Pieter is caring for three boys who had nowhere else to go.”

“Three seems like a lot,” Corbin commented.

“Two are brothers. A year or so apart in age. The other boy’s family couldn’t take him back, although I’m not sure why.”

“That’s too bad,” replied Caleb. “I guess we’ll find out when we get there.”

“You have my blessing,” Sebastian confirmed. “I’ll arrange the flights and a driver to pick you up in Frankfurt. Keep me updated on your progress.”

“We will, Sebastian. Thank you.” Caleb ended the call and pulled Asa into a hug. He looked over at Corbin, who was grinning from ear to ear.

“Looks like we’re going to Germany!”

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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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