Summer McCoy perched in the uppermost branches of her special Ponderosapine, in raven guise, engaging in her favorite pastime, spying on the lone wolf chopping wood below. Two days’ worth of whiskers shadowed his rigid jaw. She loved when he forgot—or didn’t bother—to shave. Scruffy stubble suited him.
The sun beat down on the backof his bronzed neck and shone on his hair, the color of roasted coffee, a shade lighter than the dark shadow that charcoaled his face.
She fluffed her feathers in anticipation. Take your shirtoff, Brick. She’d heard the giant werebear, Gee, call him that name a decade ago. He’d made some joke about a wall and the hardness of the male’s head. But Brick hadn’t laughed back then. Not ever.
He’d fascinated her from the moment he’d arrived in the glade, bruised and battered. Once she’d learned his name, she’d treasured it, taking pleasure from repeating it often. Secretly, of course. Unwrapping the syllable frequently to admire its radiance in the privacy of her tree house, the way a woman wearing pearls against her warm skin enhanced their luminosity and iridescence.
Now, as if he’d heard her silent urging, he complied with her plea, shrugging out of the plaid flannel and flinging it onto a tree stump. Her beak opened as she sucked in breath. Sweat glistened on his torso, glazing rippling pecs and abs, shoulders broad enough to span the Badlands. A huge, incredible specimen of masculinity. Thick biceps flexed as he wielded the ax. Her heart beat faster than a humming bird’s wings. Heat licked her.