Bayou's End [Rougaroux Social Club 2]
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by Lynn Lorenz
Category: Erotica/Paranormal Erotica/Gay Fiction
Description: Genre: LGBT Paranormal Shape-shifter
Peter Graham's pack threw him out when they discovered he was gay. Ever since then, Peter's been adrift. Denying his wolf and being the boy toy of a string of older men is all Peter knows. But when his lover brings another man to their bed, and that man abuses Peter, there's nothing left for Peter but to run, all the way back to St. Jerome, a small town on the edge of the bayou, where he once painted. He meets Billy Boudreaux, a deputy and a werewolf, and discovers the town's secret -- the Rougaroux wolf pack. They have a gay man as their alpha who is mated to a gay man. To Peter this looks like home, but he's not the type of man either Billy or the pack would want.
Not everyone in the pack is happy about the inclusion of gay werewolves, and Peter joining the pack is seen by some as a threat. Can Billy keep his mate safe until he claims Peter in front of the pack?
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices, sex in shifted form, violence (date rape, beating).
eBook Publisher: Loose Id, LLC, 2011
eBookwise Release Date: November 2011
35 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [241 KB]
Reading time: 159-223 min.
Peter had decided he'd start his search for Ted at the last place Peter had seen him, Bayou End.
But when he pulled up and parked, he realized the name had changed. Now the sign read BAYOU'S END BED AND BREAKFAST. Despite the small change, it felt a little like coming home, the same way it used to feel when he'd come home from college, to his mom's cooking and his father's open arms. He figured he'd never feel that way again, and now, here he was, feeling something so similar it made him ache.
There was just something about this place. He'd felt it the first time, something in the heavy air hanging thick and damp like the moss from the oak trees. The surrounding swamp had called to him, and he'd loved the few times he'd been able to get out and walk around during the workshop. Of course, he'd never been truly free to explore the swamp, but he'd gotten used to denying those needs.
Ever since he'd seen the sign for St. Jerome and turned off the I-10, he'd grown more and more excited. By the time he turned onto the black top road leading to the B & B, he'd just about been bouncing in his seat.
He'd really enjoyed the workshop and the quaint old house on the edge of the bayou the first time he'd been here. The trunk of his car still held his artist supplies, and the itch to paint this house was almost too much to resist.
He had to find Ted first. Find out if the man would give him a break and let him hang around long enough to get back on his feet. Then he could find a job, earn some money, and decide if this was truly home.
St. Jerome was a small town, and Peter knew as well as anyone small towns could be narrow-minded. Especially about gays. And in predominately Catholic south Louisiana, it was a given he might not be welcomed with open arms. He was prepared to stay on the down low if he had to, but he'd really liked the idea of living somewhere he didn't have to hide who he was or at least some of what he was. He didn't really think St. Jerome was that place, just a sort of in-between place.
He got out of the car and took a deep breath. The scent of long ages hit him, and he exhaled, reveling in the familiar smell of the trees, water, and debris. He'd missed this, and it filled his chest to hurting.
He shook it off and took the stairs two at a time, pushed through the door, and approached the desk. A few people sat in the living room and parlor, but Marie, the elderly caretaker and owner, was nowhere to be seen.
Peter rang the little bell on the desk and clutched the countertop to keep from racing around searching for her.
Marie came out of the back room. "Well, I know you! Peter Graham, isn't it?" She grinned at him as she stuck out her hand for him to shake.
"Yes, ma'am! From the artist's workshop a few months ago." He shook and then let her hand go.
"Well, what brings you back here? Do I have a reservation for you?" She looked down at her old-fashioned ledger, flipped a few pages back and forth, and frowned.
"No. I'm looking for someone. I understand he's living here now. Well, not here, but in St. Jerome."
She gazed at him, head tilted like a little gray-headed bird. "Who might that be?"
"Ted Canedo. He gave me his card, but the phone number is no good, and I need to speak to him."
"About that bruised face of yours, I'll bet." She frowned and shook her head. "Are you all right, son? It looks painful."
"It's not too bad. It's getting better." He didn't answer her other question but let it drop.
"I'll bet you could use some ice for that." She gave him a sad smile and turned to go to the kitchen.
"Thanks! That would be nice." Peter sighed and leaned against the counter. He wasn't getting answers, but Marie's thoughtfulness showed the kindness within her, and right now he could use some kindness.
A few moments later, she returned with some crushed ice wrapped in a towel and gave it to him.
He pressed it to his eye, winced, then exhaled as the pain lessened. "Much better. Now, do you know if Ted ever came back?"
"Yes, he did. He's made quite an impact here in St. Jerome." She winked at him. "I'll let him tell you about it, though. In the meantime, he's living with Scott Dupree, the sheriff."
"The sheriff!" Peter didn't even try to keep the surprise from his voice or face. "So it was true. I'd talked to someone he knew in New Orleans, and he'd said Ted had fallen for some lawman, but I thought it had to be a mistake."
"Sure did--no mistake."
"That's sort of odd, isn't it? I mean St. Jerome isn't San Francisco."
"Nope, it isn't, but it doesn't mean we don't understand love." She smiled at him the way his mother used to smile at him when she'd reprimanded him over something.
"You wouldn't happen to have his phone number, would you?" It was wishful thinking but couldn't hurt to ask.
"No, cher. But I'll bet if you swing by the sheriff's station, they can help you."
"Thanks, I will. And thanks for the compress." He tried to give it back to Marie, but she waved him down.
"You keep it. Good luck." She watched as he left.
Peter went back to his car, not as happy as when he got out but nowhere near as downhearted as when he'd left New Orleans. The trail would lead him straight to Ted; he just had to follow it. It was kind of exciting and reminded him of hunting in the woods with his dad, uncle, and cousins, following the trails and signs of rabbits and deer.
Once he was back on the blacktop, he headed into St. Jerome proper and searched for the sheriff's station. He vaguely remembered passing it somewhere on the main street during one of their excursions to paint.
Main Street in St. Jerome looked like a lot of small town main streets. Stores ranging from hardware to greeting cards, a diner, and even a pizza place, lined the drag, all of them with angled parking spaces out front of the older buildings.
He found it on the left, pulled into a spot on the other side of the street, and parked. Peter got out, waited for traffic to clear, then crossed over to the station. Up the steps and through the door, and he found himself in the waiting area of a large office.
The place smelled of burned coffee, pine-scented cleaner, and something familiar he couldn't put his finger on.
On the other side of a half wall, a woman sat at a metal desk, probably the receptionist. She looked up at him and asked, "What can I do for you, sir?" Her voice sounded perfectly normal, but she stared at the mark on his face. "Do you want to report a crime?"
She beckoned to an officer sitting at a desk toward the back of the room. The man stood and came forward. "Can you help this young man, Frank?"
The deputy gave Peter the once-over. "When did this happen?"
"No, I don't want to report a crime." Peter shook his head and took a step back. "I wanted to speak to Ted Canedo." He glanced around the place. Half a dozen desks in four neat rows stood to one side, and a door with SHERIFF SCOTT DUPREE stenciled on it stood open behind the secretary's desk. At the rear of the room were four jail cells.
Frank's eyes narrowed. "Ted, huh? What's he got to do with this? Was he involved? When did it happen?" His hand moved to his gun butt, the man's posture tense and threatening.
Peter pressed his lips together. How did this get so turned around?
"No, it's got nothing to do with Ted. I'm just looking for him, that's all."
"Just looking for him? Does he know you? What's this about?"
Peter looked to the woman for help, but she just stared at him as if he had turned into the legendary rugarou the swamps around St. Jerome were famous for. This wasn't getting him any closer to finding Ted.
"Yes, I know him. Look, I just need his phone number. I just want to talk to him." His voice wavered as his frustration level shot off the charts, and he backed away. The flight response kicked in, and all he knew was to get the hell out of there.
Before Peter could bolt, Frank stepped through a gap in the waist-high barrier wall and up to him. "Are you a stalker? Are you following Ted from New Orleans? Are you gay?" As if that were the worst of the accusations. The deputy grabbed Peter by the arm and hauled him up on his toes.
Fear coursed through Peter like an electric current. He whimpered, certain the man would start shaking him any minute, and the thought of being manhandled, beaten again, brought tears to his eyes.
The officer just pulled him farther into the room, through the half door, and toward the small jail cells against the back wall.