Skye has always lived life like it’s one big party. He makes his own rules, and consequences be damned. But one night when he takes things too far, his older brother steps in and demands he cleans up his act.
In comes Alden, known as one of the toughest trainers at the feline coalition, he takes on the job of turning Skye’s life around. The last thing the Tiger shifter expects is to find himself drawn to Skye, despite his bratty ways.
Will Alden be able to help save Skye from himself? Or will Skye self-destruct and shatter both of their lives?
“Hey, I have a question for you,” Skye said.
He hoped that Alden wouldn’t laugh at him or make light of what he was he about to say. If he did, Skye didn’t think he could take it. After being marked as the coalition loser for so long, Skye would be destroyed if Alden thought of him in the same manner. Skye didn’t know why Alden’s opinion meant so much to him, but it did.
“What is it?” Alden asked.
“Do you think I would ever be good enough to be a coalition soldier?”
Skye braced himself for Alden’s answer. Alden paused a moment as he was thinking it over.
“With a little bit of training, I don’t see why not. You are a damn good shooter. You need a lot of work with hand-to-hand combat, but it’s not something that we can’t work with,” Alden finally said.
Skye couldn’t believe it. Not only had Alden not scoffed or laughed at his question, but he had actually said that there might be a chance. Suddenly Skye felt ten feet taller. For once in his life, he didn’t feel like a loser or the coalition stoner.
“You really think so?” Skye asked.
“Yeah, I do.”
“Everybody else thinks I’m just some loser.”
“That’s because you never gave them a chance to think otherwise. You need to show them that you’re something else. I know you can do it if you try hard enough.”
“Do you think they’ll even let me into the soldier training program?” Skye asked.
“With my recommendation, sure.”
Skye shook his head. “Nah, I don’t ever see it happening. To them, I’m just some stoner who is a fuckup.”
Alden stepped closer and put his fingers under Skye’s chin, forcing him to lock gazes with the trainer. Skye felt his breath halting as he found himself getting lost in Alden’s dark eyes.
“You have to prove them wrong,” Alden repeated slowly.
“I don’t know if I can. I’ve been such a fuckup for so long it might be too late,” Skye answered.
“It’s never too late. You changed my opinion on you.”
Skye swallowed hard. God, how he loved having Alden touching him even if it was just his fingers on Skye’s chin. The moment seemed so intimate, yet Skye had to be imagining it. There could be no way that Alden had any feelings toward him. Alden was his mentor. Plus, Alden was one of the best warriors in the coalition. Somebody that everybody looked up to. There was no way possible he could be interested in a loser like Skye.
“I have?” Skye asked, his voice filled with awe.
“Yes, I thought that I was going to be dealing with a petulant brat. Instead, you have been fulfilling all my expectations and then some.”
“It’s because I don’t want to become like Gage’s mother. The night before I came here, I realized that I needed help, and I knew that you were the only one who could give it to me. Sure, there were times when I wanted to argue, but I’m not only doing this for me. I’m doing it for Branson and Gage. Gage already had to live with one drunk. He shouldn’t have to live with another one,” Skye said.
Alden feathered the pad of his thumb over Skye’s cheek. “So that’s why you’ve been working so hard. I wondered why I didn’t get any attitude from you.”
“I want to make sure that I do this right. I don’t want to fuck up this time,” Skye said.
It was so important to him to succeed this time. For once in his life, Skye wanted to make things right. He wanted to stop being the screw up and make Branson proud of him. Most of all, Skye wanted to stop being that scared kid in the cupboard.