Author Charlie Richards
Now Available at eXtasy Books!
Snorkeling with a Saw-shark
Beneath Aquatica's Waves: Book Nine
World of Aquatica: When one thoughtless comment drives away a shifter’s mate, he finds his patience tested as he attempts to correct the misunderstanding.
When Westram McKinley met Noah Redruvian, an uncouth offer for a roll in the hay has Noah painting him with the same brush as his ex-boyfriend—an unfaithful playboy. As a nearly two-century-old longnose saw-shark shifter, he did have plenty of experience, but nothing could have been further from the truth. Noah was his mate. Westram would never stray from the man. As weeks without his mate turn into months, Westram’s shark begins to pine, becoming increasingly volatile, only calmed with the help of his alpha, Kaiser. The continued updates about Noah from Kaiser’s mate, Arthur—who is good buddies with the man—also help keep Westram from losing his mind. When Arthur comes to Westram and shares that Noah hasn’t answered his calls in two days, Westram doesn’t waste a second. He heads to Noah’s, ready for any type of vitriol the distrustful human throws at him. To his dismay, when he arrives, Noah is injured and nearly catatonic, fear oozing from every pore. Can Westram figure out how to soothe Noah and get his mate to talk to him before whatever danger had terrorized him returns?
Excerpt - Snorkeling with a Saw-shark
The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content.
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“How are you doing?”
Westram didn’t quite manage to hide his jerk of surprise upon hearing Beta William’s softly spoken question, which yanked him out of his thoughts.
Meeting William’s understanding gaze, Westram opened his mouth, then closed it again. He rubbed at his chest, his heart sending phantom pains through him at being separated from his mate. Instead of answering, Westram just shook his head.
William nodded. “Yeah, I sorta thought that when I saw the vacant glint in your eyes.” Resting his hand on Westram’s nape, he squeezed supportively. “Do you need a break to compose yourself?”
Bowing his head a little, Westram admitted, “I don’t know if that will help.” Grimacing, he told the beta, “My shark is pushing me to jump into the ocean so he can swim down to San Diego, and we can track Noah down.” Upon seeing the concern enter William’s green eyes, Westram quickly added, “I know that’s not a possibility. My mate doesn’t want to see me, and the only way I can swim these days is with you or Kaiser near me.”
Having met Noah Redruvian months before, Westram’s longnosed saw-shark was becoming damn pushy. His animal didn’t understand the problem. He wanted Westram to grab the man, toss him into the ocean, and let the shark drag him home—literally.
So not an option.
Alpha Kaiser and his brother, William, were both huge squid—although not the same kind—and could keep his shark from taking off.
William nodded, squeezed his neck once more, then released him. “Well, take off anyway. Arthur wants to talk to you.”
Confused, even as Westram nodded, he commented, “I thought he was in video conferences all day.”
“He was supposed to be,” William confirmed, shoving his hands into his pockets. “So it must be something important for him to step out for a few minutes and text me to get you.”
Westram nodded. “I’ll hurry over there.” Then he started speed walking in the direction that would take him out of the north gate of the park. The narrow paved road led to a sprawling complex of condominiums. Most of the people working at the park lived there. Many were shifters with a smattering of human mates thrown in.
In Kaiser’s suite, he’d set up a massive office for Arthur to work remotely from. The human owned an engineering business out of San Diego. On the occasions he couldn’t do something from their location north of Sacramento, Kaiser would fly there with Arthur on a private jet.
Westram knew Noah worked as an accountant, so he would be able to work from anywhere, too. He had even already moved into a larger suite and fitted one of the rooms as an elaborate home office. Westram just had to figure out how to convince Noah that he was sincere.
Except, how can I do that when he won’t even take my calls?
Arthur told Westram to be patient. He was putting a good word in for him, but it would take time. Evidently, his ex-boyfriend had been a cheating bastard who’d mentally abused Noah. The man needed time to heal before accepting the fact that Westram wasn’t just like him.
Westram wished he could help Noah heal, but his beautiful mate wasn’t ready to accept his advances, yet.
That was the only promise he could make to his shark.
We have time. We’re only a little over two hundred years old. We’ll have centuries together, once Noah is ready.
Those were the thoughts Westram clung to when he lay down to sleep at night with loneliness causing his gut to clench and his arms aching to hold his human and soothe away all his fears.
Once Westram was out of the marine park, he broke into a sprint. He streaked up the path as fast as his legs would carry him. Being a shifter, that was pretty quickly, so it only took him a couple of minutes to reach Kaiser and Arthur’s apartment.
Westram’s knock on the door was immediately answered by Arthur. The human wore a headset, and he was speaking into it. At the same time, he beckoned Westram into the room.
“Yes, George,” Arthur was saying. “I apologize, but I need that five-minute break now.” A smile creased his lips as he chuckled softly. “I’m glad the restroom break is welcomed. I’m putting the call on hold, and I’ll be back in five.”
Then Arthur hit a button on the left side of the earpiece. He took the device off his head and set it on the coffee table. Turning away, he began to pace while scrubbing his fingers through his hair.
Seeing the alpha-mate’s tension, Westram shifted uneasily. “If there’s anything I can do to help…” he began, hoping the human would confide in him.
“I know, Westram,” Arthur replied immediately, turning to face him. “I called you because it’s about Noah.”
Westram’s gut clenched. “Noah?” Seeing the grimace on Arthur’s face, he hated the bad feeling that burst through him. “What’s wrong with Noah?”
Arthur shrugged, his expression appearing helpless. “I’m not sure. That’s the problem.”
The butterflies in his stomach morphed into bile in his throat. “What do you mean?”
“He hasn’t responded to my calls or texts in two days,” Arthur told him. “That’s never happened before. He’s always prompt.” Running his hands through his hair again, Arthur continued, “I’d go see him, but I have three days of meetings I just can’t reschedule. I—”
“I’ll go,” Westram cut in. “Whether he wants to see me or not, I’ll see what’s going on.”
Sighing with obvious relief, Arthur nodded. “I thought you’d say that. I have the jet being readied at the airport.” After a second of hesitation, he added, “Maybe take Doc Keller and Solomon with you?”
Westram growled as his uneasiness turned to a feral need to see his mate safe and healthy. “You think there was trouble?”
Arthur shook his head. “I sure as hell hope not, but he made an odd comment the last time I spoke with him. Something about feeling as if he was being watched.” Frowning, Arthur told him, “When I questioned him about it, Noah laughed it off and said he was just being paranoid. Then he changed the subject.”
Turning toward the door, Westram claimed, “I’m on it.”
No matter what, Westram would make certain his mate was safe, even if he had to endure some yelling from the man to do it.