Author Stephani Hecht
The Lost Shifter Series
Sometimes bigger isn’t
From the moment they met, there was an undeniable attraction between Colby and Tobias. Even though months had passed since they’d seen each other, the sparks haven’t dimmed one bit. So, when they finally meet again, it’s only natural that they end up horizontal on one of the coalition’s more popular conference tables.
Just as they are sure there is no doubt they are destined together, their older brothers intervened and tore them apart. Not because Colby is a Lion shifter. It’s not because Tobias is a Wolf shifter either. The reason for their split can be summed down to two words—they’re runts. And in the shifter world, runt equals weak and vulnerable. So, it’s only natural that their older siblings are overprotective.
The one thing that their brothers fail to see is that Colby and Tobias are determined to be together, even if that means defying their elders. Will everybody finally see how perfect Colby and his little Wolf are for each other? Or, will the pair have to resort to drastic measures to have any kind of happiness?
“Hey, guys,” Tobias said as he took the seat next to Colby.
It was only then that Colby noted that Tobias also smelled like basil, garlic, and tomatoes. Looking closer, he could see red streaks on the Wolf’s black jacket and blue jeans.
“Is that blood, or spaghetti sauce?” Colby asked.
He was somewhat surprised that he was actually having to ask that question, but it wouldn’t be the first time somebody sported blood in the cafeteria.
Tobias smiled and Colby was struck at how beautiful the Wolf’s eyes were. They were an interesting shade of amber and there were also lighter flecks present that one would call amber. They were framed by lashes so long, they should have come off as girly, but on Tobias they somehow worked.
Some time, since they’d last seen each other, Tobias had cut his hair. While the brown locks were still somewhat longer than most of the soldiers, they were more under control and styled.
“I think it’s a little of both.” Tobias chuckled as he glanced down at his own body.
“We got into a fight in an Italian restaurant.”
“Were you hurt?” Colby demanded, his gut clenching at the thought of Tobias being in any amount of pain.
Tobias shook his head. “Nah, but one of my bodyguards was stabbed. They are stitching him up in the infirmary.”
“Who attacked you?” Xavier asked.
“A group of Ravens. You’d think they’d have learned not to mess with us by now.”
Even while Colby agreed, another comment struck him as odd. “You have bodyguards.”
A slight blush came over Tobias’s cheeks. “Like I told you before, my brother is way too overprotective of me.”
That was something Colby could relate to. Thomas didn’t allow him to walk out the doors of HQ unless he had some muscle with him. While Colby knew Thomas only did it out of love, that still didn’t make it any less annoying. Some days, Tobias just wanted to be able to dart out and grab a burger without there being a big deal made out of it.
Tobias held out his hand. “Give me your cell phone?” When Colby hesitated, Tobias cocked a brow. “Thomas did give you a phone, didn’t he?”
Fishing it out of his front jeans pocket, Colby gave it to the Wolf. “Of course, he did. He wants to make sure that he can reach me at all times. You’re not the only one with an overprotective brother.”
When he saw Tobias punching in some buttons, Colby frowned. “What are you doing?”
“Putting in my number. You told me to call you the last time we met and I never could because we didn’t exchange digits.” Tobias then pulled out his own phone and began to add Colby’s number to his contacts.
Once done, Tobias handed it back with a smile. “Now we can reach each other any time we want.”
That thought thrilled Colby. “I like that.”
Tobias stood, then held a hand out to Colby. “Come on, let’s go for a walk. I want to get to know you, and it’s too crowded in here.”
Colby didn’t have to be asked twice. He immediately took Tobias’s hand and stood. A shiver of desire went through Colby as he realized that he was actually touching the only guy he’d ever been interested in. Sure, it might only be holding hands, but it was a good start.
Tobias leaned in until his lips were only inches from Colby’s ear. “Do you know somewhere that’s more private?”
Actually, Colby did. It was a conference room that was barely ever used. Colby had sought refuge in that place several times since he’d come to live at HQ. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think that he’d be sharing it with Tobias, though.
“I know of the perfect spot,” Colby replied.
Another shiver went through him when Tobias gave his ear a gentle love bite. “Then take me there.”