In this scene, Michael was just saved from a pack of feral pigs by a cougar who shifted into a man. The were-cougar carried Michael into his house and he’s at the shifter’s mercy.
“You have yet to give me your name,” Lev interrupted his thoughts, causing Michael to gulp and whip his head up.
Oh fuck, he caught me staring.
“Michael, and I should thank you for saving me from those…what the hell happened?” he babbled to himself, running a hand back through his hair. Which was when a thorn stabbed into his palm. “Damn it!” he cursed, that tiny prick the last he could take after this day of pain.
His body screamed at what he did. The still bleeding wound in his calf, the twisted ankle that could be something much worse, the scrapes and abrasions to his knees and elbows. And there, on his palm, a small thorn like one from a rose embedded into his skin.
It’d take nothing for him to pull it out, just a pinch of his thumb and finger, but Michael was beaten beyond belief. All he could do was sit and stare at it, tears rising in his eyes.
When a warm hand cupped under his, he gave into the touch. Lev plucked the offending prick free, a single drop of blood welling from the break in skin. With a slow smile, Lev placed a thumb to his lips, then pressed it against Michael’s tiny wound.
His heart leaped into his throat, his body at the mercy of the man using a kiss to wipe away the drop of blood. Slowly, those haunting yellow eyes rolled up and Michael’s body tingled from the base of his spine to his hair.
“You’re injured,” Lev announced, retracting his touch. Michael pulled his hand in close, as much to keep the cougar from getting it as to keep himself from doing anything incredibly stupid.
“A bit,” he admitted, “from the… Why were wild boars chasing me?”
“That is…” He paused to draw a finger through the rip in Michael’s jeans. Clotted puce blood flaked off the denim and coated the leg below. Lev frowned at the mess, no doubt because the man he saved was still bleeding over his couch. Blinking fast, Lev stared at Michael to say, “You require a bath.”
Michael laughed at that. His ankle was still swelling in his shoe, no way could he stand long enough to—
Without another word, Lev swept him up in his arms and hoisted him into the air. Every time it jarred Michael, who wasn’t exactly a lightweight. But Lev carried him like he was a feather showing no strain even as he walked the both of them up the creaking stairs.
“You don’t have to…” Michael began, only to be greeted by the cold gaze of the were-puma.
“Your body is filthy, do you not wish it to be clean?”
“I…yeah, I do,” he admitted while wincing. Still, ignoring the weirdness of the moment, it was nice to snuggle against the furnace hot chest. This time, Michael made note of how soft the line of downy hair along Lev’s chest was.
Michael runs for his life from a pack of wild feral pigs…straight into the claws of a cougar. How can he escape a yard full of 30-50 feral hogs without losing his heart to a puma shifter?