After torturous hours spent doing edits this morning I thought I would pass this on by posting an excerpt from Forbidden Mate for you *grins evilly*
HB4 is due to be released on October 1st through Silver Publishing (In case you hadn't heard yet) and is currently available for pre-order here
Walking into the house, Rick couldn't stand the thought of going back into the lounge room with all the happy couples. Especially as he knew that would never be him. He knew who his mate was and they would never have the chance to sit cuddled up on a lazy Sunday afternoon watching football. Or get caught making out by his brothers when they came home from work.
Rick made his way to the kitchen. He wanted a drink and needed some peace so he could think. Grabbing a beer from the fridge, Rick headed outside and sat on the back steps leading from the porch to the garden. A cool breeze blew his hair and he lifted the bottle to his lips. Drinking half the beer in one go, Rick agonised over what he was going to do.
Should he find someone else and try to be happy? Even as much as Jake had hurt him over the last ten years he knew, without a doubt, he would never love another man. The thought of letting someone who wasn't Jake touch him sent shivers of revulsion down his spine. Well, it looked like his life was shaping up to be a lonely one.
Rick was so lost in his thoughts he didn't hear the back door open and was startled when Brian came and sat down beside him holding a glass of water.
"Hey," Brian said quietly.
"For what it's worth, I'm sorry," Brian said quietly. Confused, Rick looked at his brother-in-law.
"What in the world do you have to be sorry about?"
Brian smiled slightly at him then lowered his voice further, "I'm sorry Alex is making you go on this trip with your mate."
Rick sucked in his breath and jumped back, never once taking his eyes off the man next to him. His heart was hammering away in his chest. How did he know? Rick hadn't told a soul and he didn't think Jake would have either, seeing how he didn't want him.
Thinking fast, Rick did the only thing he could think of. He wasn't strong enough to outright deny the truth so he did the next best thing. "I don't know what you're talking about. Are you feeling okay?"
"I'm fine and you know exactly what I'm talking about. I don't know why he hasn't claimed you but I'm willing to bet everything I own that Jake is your mate."
Rick couldn't talk, his throat was burning and his head was shaking, trying to deny that which he couldn't voice. Brian placed a hand on his arm.
"It's okay, you know, to talk about it. I'm here if you ever need me."
"How—" Rick wasn't sure how he'd managed to squeeze the word out of his throat but he had and he really wanted to know how Brian had known.
"It's fairly obvious if you know what you're looking at. I noticed it the first time I met Jake. The sexual tension practically explodes around the pair of you whenever you're in the same room together. You also can't keep your eyes off him. It's almost like he can tell the exact moment you look away because then his eyes are all over you. Jason noticed it as well but your brothers seem to be particularly obtuse to the tension between you two."
Rick could feel a tear running down his cheek as he listened to Brian.
"How long have you known he was your mate?"
Rick hung his head and answered as a sob tore though him, "Ten years."
"Jesus Christ, you must have the restraint of a saint! Marcus and I couldn't even last a night after we met. Ten years—" Brian repeated. Rick didn't know if Brian sounded awed at the length of time or saddened by it.
"What are you going to do?" Brian asked him quietly.
Rick didn't know why he was opening up to Brian after he had managed to go ten years without discussing this with anyone else. Why now? "There's nothing much I can do. My mate doesn't want me and I can't stand for anyone else to touch me. Believe me, I've tried." After Jake being around so much lately and always staying as far away from Rick as he could without being rude, Rick had snapped.
"Is that where you were going in the evenings?" Rick had decided that if his mate didn't want him, he would find someone who did. So he hit the clubs and tried to pick up men. The first time Rick had almost thrown up when another man touched him. He decided he needed some liquid courage to go through with his plan. The problem with being a werewolf though, was it took a hell of a lot of alcohol to get drunk. And he meant a hell of a lot too. By the time he was starting to feel a slight buzz, the bars would be closing and he just ended up going home alone.
"Don't give up hope yet, Rick. I believe everything will work out in the end." Rick didn't answer. He'd had ten years of hoping his mate would come around and tell him he was madly in love with him then claim him so they could live happily ever after. If it hadn't happened so far, it wasn't going to happen. He wasn't going to say that to Brian though. He would let the man continue to think there was a happy ending to his story.
Walking inside, Rick threw his bottle in the recycling and made his way to his room, luckily avoiding everyone else in the house. He had a bag to pack and things to organise before he spent the next tortuous week in his mate's company.