THE BEAR NECESSITIES
Bear Essentials 4
coming August 22nd
Enforcer Jeb Taylor found his mate in bear shifter Erik Thomas. He couldn't be happier. The man was sexy, smart, and funny. He wasn't happy that someone seemed intent on taking Erik from him. Helping his alpha establish a new clan wasn't easy, but losing his mate would be impossible.
Erik Thomas's life was one big roller coaster ride. He went from traveling home from seeing friends to being kidnapped to being rescued by the sexiest bear he'd ever seen. He'd get off the wild ride except that might mean giving up the best thing that ever happened to him.
When trouble comes at them from every direction, they have to learn to rely on each other and those around them to survive what might be someone's bid to take over the clan.
A scream ripped through the night air, sending chills down Jeb Taylor's spine. When his clan beta went tearing off toward the thick trees, Jeb went after him. He wasn't sure if he was running to protect Harvey or if it was the obsessive need to find that scream. He just knew he had to follow.
The sound of harsh whispers cut through the thick forest. It was coming from the same direction the scent of blood was coming from.
"It hurts," someone cried out. The voice was laced with pure agony.
"Quiet!" someone else whispered. "They'll hear you."
Anger unlike anything he'd ever felt in his life raged through Jeb when he broke through the trees and saw a young man caught in a bear trap. Tears streamed down his pale face. Jeb had been caught in a bear trap once, so he could sympathize. He knew it was beyond painful.
When Harvey placed one foot on the edge of the trap then reached down with his hands. Jeb moved forward and placed his hands on the other side.
"On three," Harvey said.
"One, two, three." Harvey pushed with all of his might, pressing the teeth of the trap down and away from the young man's ankle. "Pull him out, Jasper."
Harvey grit his teeth and growled as he waited for the man's ankle to be pulled free. Once it was, he glanced at Jeb. "Ready?"
"One, two, three."
Harvey jumped back, barely escaping the metal teeth as they snapped back together. "Can you shift?" Harvey asked the young man.
"No." The guy almost cried when he said that. "They gave me something that keeps me from shifting."
"What?" Harvey snapped.
Jeb growled as his anger renewed. Someone gave him something to keep him from shifting?
When Harvey slowly panned to look at him, Jeb shrugged. He couldn't explain his anger. He didn't understand it himself. Yes, anyone would be angry in this situation, but Jeb wanted to kill someone for what they had done to this poor man.
Harvey frowned then looked back down at the injured man. "Have you transitioned yet?"
"Yes, a little over a month ago."
"I'm going to wrap your ankle for now. We'll talk to Alpha Kersey when we get back home and see if he knows what they might have given you. How's that sound?"
The nod was instant.
"What's your name? Mine's Harvey."
Harvey ripped off the bottom of his shirt and started tying it around the young man's ankle. "I know this hurts, Erik," he said when Erik whimpered, "but it's got to be done. We have to stop the bleeding."
Erik nodded rapidly, his lips pressed so tightly together, they were white. Once Erik was all wrapped up, Harvey went to lift him. Jeb growled and pushed him out of the way, picking Erik up himself.
Harvey lifted an eyebrow.
Jeb's jaw clenched. He tightened his grip on the man in his arms, refusing to let him go, even to his beta. "I've got him."
"Jasper, did your brother kidnap you?" Harvey asked.
"He sent some of his guys for me," Jasper said. "I didn't want to go, but they made me."
"Did your brother tell you why he kidnapped you?"
Tears sprang to Jasper's eyes as he nodded. "He knows I'm an omega. He was going to sell me to the highest bidder."
Jeb's jaw dropped. Jasper was getting sold? By his own brother? What kind of madman were they dealing with?
"He was going to sell you?" Harvey snarled.
Jeb understood his anger.
"That's what he does," Erik whispers. "He kidnaps and sells people, and he doesn't care if they are shifters or humans as long as he can make money off of them."
Harvey clenched his hands. "Where is he now?"
"I heard him tell one of his men that he had one more package to pick up before the next auction," Erik said. "The auction is tomorrow."
"How do you know all this?"
A tear slipped down Erik's cheek. "I was to be auctioned off."
Oh hell no!
Jeb's growl was loud and clear this time. "No one is auctioning you off!"
He didn't care how many people he had to kill. It simply wasn't going to happen.
"Come on," Harvey said. "Let's get these guys—"
Jeb lifted an eyebrow when Harvey just suddenly zoned out. "Harvey?"
"Hold on." A frown wrinkled the man's forehead before his jaw clenched and his nostrils flared. "We need to get back to the house. Dwayne says there's trouble."
Oh right. Jeb had forgotten that part. They could talk to each other telepathically. It was a very handy skill to have.
"What kind of trouble?" he asked.
Jeb pressed his cheek against the top of the man's head. "I won't let him get you, Erik. I promise."
He had no idea why it was so important to his bear to make sure Erik was safe, but it was. It was all Jeb could do to keep from shifting. His bear was being very growly.
"I'm not sure you can promise that," Erik whispered. "Jason always gets what he wants."
"Jason hasn't met my alpha yet, but I suspect he's about to." Jeb chuckled as he envisioned that meeting. "He has no idea what he's up against."
Jeb might have grown up with Rob, and they'd been best friends since forever, but the man was still impressive even to him. Rob Colton stood a towering six foot five inches tall, and had the muscle to back that up.
Rob also had the heart and determination to be a great alpha someday. He had a little growing to do before then. He'd been an official alpha all of a day. He needed a little more experience, but Jeb and the others had his back no matter what.
Jeb kept a firm hold of Erik as he carried him through the woods. He was concerned about Erik's injury. The scent of blood was overwhelming and the man whimpered every few minutes. Jeb knew he had to be in a lot of pain.
"It's okay to cry, you know," he said. "I've had my leg caught in a bear trap before. I bawled like a baby."
He hadn't really, but he sure had wanted to.
"You can shift just as soon as whatever they shot you up with wears off and then your leg will heal and the pain will go away."
Eyes as blue as the summer sky peeked up at him through a fall of sunlight blond hair. "What's your name?"
Crap. His manners had gone to shit.