Feathers and Fur:Brac Pack Next Gen 6

By: Lynn Hagen

Chapter One




“It's like some bad acid trip.” Dennis Little leaned against the counter at work and rubbed his forehead as he tried to piece together the snippets of memory from his visit to Brac Village.

Over the phone, Paden made a noise in his throat that told Dennis the fairy was currently rolling his eyes. “In order to make that kind of comparison, you'd have to have done acid first.”

“How else can I describe it? I have strange dreams that I've died, and when I'm awake, it's like snatches of memories just out of reach. Either I'm tripping on some kind of drug, or someone has fiddled with my brain.” Dennis scratched at his head as the temperature in the hardware store dropped a few degrees.

It had been like that for the past two weeks. The temperature would suddenly drop, or his chest would start hurting. A few times it felt as if something tight was wrapped around his wrists. And the dreams. They were the worst. Too many nights he'd woken up in a cold sweat, his heart racing, and the image of a pretty woman standing over him, laughing.

As if losing his mind wasn't bad enough, Ryker kept calling him. Dennis had a feeling something bad had happened to him and somehow the Siberian tiger was involved. He didn't want to see the guy. Not when Ryker might've been the one who monkeyed with his brain.

It was killing him that he didn’t have any answers. But until he knew exactly what had happened to him, Dennis was staying as far from the tiger as possible.

He heard the beep that signaled call waiting. Dennis pulled his phone from his ear, saw it was Ryker, and then pressed the phone back to his ear, ignoring the call.

“Maybe you're going through some kind of midlife crisis,” Paden said.

“I'm young and hot. That's definitely not the case.” Dennis wished he knew what was wrong with him. Even his uncle was acting screwy. Fiaschetti kept calling him, asking if he was okay, then hung up when Dennis said yes.

It was as if the world had turned upside down.

“I always knew you were a little off, but I think that scale is finally tipping over.”

Dennis would have normally argued with Paden, but he was beginning to agree with the fairy. His sanity was definitely in question.

“I need to get back to work. I’ll be by later.” Dennis hung up and tossed his phone onto the counter. He didn’t feel like being at work, but even if he was losing his mind, he still had bills to pay.

He grabbed the sweater off the hook behind him and slid it on. It was still cold in the store, even though he saw the sun shining brightly outside and the thermostat said he should have been comfortable without the sweater.

When the bell above the door jingled, Dennis glanced up, and his heart nearly stopped.

Ryker.

The man moved through the store as if browsing. His hands were clasped behind his back as he strode slowly down the aisle. Dennis’s gaze shot left then right as he wondered if he could make a run for it before the tiger caught him. He touched his pocket to reassure himself that he still had his Taser tucked there.

It was.

The question was, would he use it on his mate?

The answer.

Hell yes.

He still didn’t trust the man. There was something ominous and foreboding about the guy, lethal, in the strongest sense of the word.

As Dennis watched the tiger, his gaze fell to the man’s backside. Hmmm, nice. If he didn’t fear the tall and broad tiger, he might have hit on him. But once again, he’d snagged a crazy in his boyfriend web. Only this time he’d caught his mate instead of some cute guy who was mentally off balanced.

Then again, Ryker was cute—no, he was downright gorgeous with a capital delicious—and Dennis suspected the man was off balanced.

My life story.

There were times when he wondered if he had some kind of sign on his forehead that said he loved the crazy ones. He didn’t. He’d checked his forehead multiple times over the years.

Dennis’s breath caught, and he couldn’t move as Ryker’s dark brown eyes swung his way. They were hooded, and Dennis couldn’t tell if that was lust or if the guy was ticked off. He’d never been any good at reading facial expressions. Unsure of Ryker’s intentions, he let his hand drop to his pocket and linger there. If Ryker tried anything, Dennis would turn his Taser to full wattage and zap the bastard into next week.

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