This week's prompt is the winning prompt form the THIRDS Beyond the Books: Volume 1 Release Day event!
Prompt: I am begging no I am pleading lol for a scene with Dex and Sloane (something funny and sweet or even badass) from Sloane’s therian point of view. I don’t care if his jaguar says “mine” the whole time I just want to know what he thinks about or what his instincts are saying…preferably a scene either after Sloane stopped trying to fight his feelings or after they’ve officially been together (but not necessarily marked), and they’re either just having fun or being badass out in the field.
I won’t let you get away.
Sloane skulked in the deep shadows, his dark fur helping to conceal him. His prey lay unsuspecting, his back turned to him. Never turn your back on a Felid.
His paws made no sound as he slinked forward, his sharp gaze focused on his quarry. Sloane loved to hunt. Loved the thrill of it. He was stronger, faster, deadlier. His prey was at his mercy.
Flattening himself down against the concrete of the parking garage, he crawled out from the shadows then dashed behind a car. His tail twitched. He remained unseen, and his prey unsuspecting. Or so he believed.
Dex stood from his crouched position, his eyes still focused on the tablet in his hands. “I know what you’re doing,” Dex said, his voice loud enough for Sloane to hear. “I know you need to hunt and all, but I would appreciate it if you didn’t scare the shit out of me while doing it.”
Sloane stilled. To pounce or not to pounce? Pounce. Always pounce.
Dex returned his tablet to the padded pocket of his tactical pants. “Okay. We’re doing this.” He tapped his earpiece. “Hey, Sarge. Sloane’s in hunt me mode. Yeah. You know how he gets if he doesn’t get it out of his system. Okay. Meet you back at HQ.”
Dex rubbed his gloves together, his grin wide. “All right, babe. Perps are in the truck on their way back to HQ. It’s just you and me.” He stilled and pointed off in the distance. “Hey, is that Cory from the doctor’s office over by the elevator?”
Sloane popped his head up and hissed in the direction of the elevator. Cory the nurse? He’d wanted Dex. Sloane roared and bounded out from behind the car. He flattened his ears, his fangs bare when he saw there was no one at the elevator. He’d been tricked!
Sloane waggled his tail and perked his ears up. Dex was gone. Not gone. Sloane could smell him. Have to hide. Sloane dashed behind another car. Tricky. He’s tricky. Sloane lowered himself so he could see under the parked cars. Nothing. He listened closely. Nothing. Why couldn’t he hear Dex? He could always hear Dex. Sloane sniffed the air. Dex was getting closer.
Something hit Sloane’s butt and he darted out from behind the car with a hiss, a soft laugh meeting his ear. Looking around he didn’t see Dex. Slowly, Sloane edged to where he’d been and sniffed the object that had landed on him. A packet of gummy bears. Sloane huffed. Dex knew where he was.
Suddenly there were boot steps, coming fast. Sloane shot forward as Dex rounded the car on his tail almost grabbing him. Dex chased him around the parking lot, behind cars, between cars, with Sloane staying out of reach. When Dex stopped to catch his breath, Sloane pounced, knocking him onto his side. Dex laughed and rolled onto his back. His eyes were so bright, his smile wide. He was perfect, and he was Sloane’s.
“You got me. Maybe next time you can hunt me on some nice soft grass or carpet instead of concrete. How’s that sound?”
Sloane licked Dex’s face making him wrinkle his nose. “Ew. Just not the ear, okay?” Dex ruffled Sloane’s fur and Sloane nuzzled Dex’s temple, huffing out a happy breath, his eyes closed in contentment.
“Hey! Get off him! What are you doing?”
Sloane’s ears perked up, and his fur bristled. He stood over Dex, fangs bare as he hissed at the approaching Human.
“Woah, hey! It’s okay.” Dex held a hand up and slowly pushed Sloane off with the other.
Don’t push me. I’m protecting you. Sloane growled, his gaze moving to the man watching them. A sniff told him the man was scared. He didn’t stand a chance against Sloane. Not a threat.
The big man blinked, then seeming to recognize Dex, his smile went wide. “Dexter Daley? Holy shit.” He held his hand out, and Dex quickly slapped it away before Sloane could snap at him.
Maybe threat. Put your hand in my face again.
“Sorry, dude,” Dex said with a laugh. “You don’t want to do that. Not unless you want to lose that hand. I’m good. This is my THIRDS partner, Sloane Brodie.”
Boyfriend. He’s mine. My partner. My Dex. You smell like moth balls and too much cologne. Sloane sneezed and stuck his tongue out. Gross.
Dex stood and held his hand out to the Humam. “Man, it’s been a long time.”
“Yeah. You’d just graduated from the academy and were celebrating.” He looked Dex over with his deep brown eyes. His scent changed, and Sloane flattened his ears. He didn’t like that smell. The man took a step closer to Dex.
“Wow, look at you. A THIRDS agent.”
“Yeah, trippy, huh?” Dex put his hands on his hips and shrugged. “So how have you been?” The man didn’t move away.
Sloane edged closer.
Still too close. Maybe he doesn’t see me. I should get closer to Dex. He lifted his butt and sat on Dex’s boot. He looked up at the man. Mine. This is mine. Finish talking and go away.
Dex cringed and scratched the stubble on his jaw. “Listen, um,” he cleared his throat, his scent changing. Was he nervous? Sloane looked up at Dex. He’s embarrassed.
“I’m sorry I didn’t, um, call you back the next day.”
The man smiled. “Or ever.”
“Yeah, or ever,” Dex said with a chuckle.
Why was he still talking? Too much talking. Wait. Why was Dex sorry for not calling. Sloane sniffed the air. He sniffed the man again. Sloane’s fur bristled from his head to his tail. He drew his claws out and hissed. He knew what this man was.
My teeth and claws are sharper than yours. Want to see? Move. Away. Move away now.
The man jumped and took a step back.
“Shit, your partner looks pissed.”
“Easy there, tough guy.” Dex scratched behind Sloane's ear and he leaned in to the scratch. So good. Mmm. To the left a bit, just a little… that’s it right there. He closed his eyes and breathed out, releasing a motor-like sound.
“Is he… purring?”
“Big cats don’t purr. Well, technically they don’t. I say they do. I mean that lawnmower sound you hear right there is purring. He just does it on exhalation, so it’s not considered a “true” purr. My little brother on the other hand, he purrs on inhalation and exhalation because he’s a cheetah Therian. And that’s your Felid Factoid of the day.”
The man laughed, catching Sloane’s attention again. He opened his eyes and stared up at him. Why was he laughing and smiling like that? Sloane rubbed his head against Dex’s leg. Sloane let out a huff when he remembered. The man wouldn’t smell him on Dex. He’s human. Dex already smelled like Sloane, but this man needed to know. Sloane circled Dex, sniffing his feet, and Dex jumped back.
“Woah, no. No. You are not pissing on me.”
Sloane mewed and Dex gave him a stern look. “Sloane, no. I am not walking around with the smell of your piss on me. We talked about this.”
Sloane flopped down on his belly with a huff.
“Sulk all you want. It’s not happening. Rubbing on me is one thing, but I draw the line at marking your territory on me.”
“He’s actually done that?”
“Yeah. He’s a little protective, and well, he’s my boyfriend, so he can get a little possessive when he’s in his Therian form.”
The man stared at him. He took a quick step back. “Oh my God, Dex. Your boyfriend is a lethal jaguar Therian who works for the THIRDS, and you’re talking about us in front of him?”
Dex smiled down at Sloane, his eyes filled with warmth and love. “It’s a bit embarrassing, but Hank and I slept together one night after celebrating my graduating from the academy. I was a dick and never called him back.” He turned his attention back to Hank. “I’m sorry. That was a jerk move.”
Hank looked from Sloane to Dex. “It’s okay. I get it. It was just a onetime thing. No big deal.” He swallowed hard and motioned to Sloane. “Is, uh, he okay?”
“He will be once he’s back to his Human form. He’s a little intense like this so, you know, don’t make any sudden movements or anything. Anyway, it was good seeing you, Hank. If you ever need anything, just give me a ring. I’m down at the Manhattan HQ.”
“Thanks, Dex.” He made to hold a hand out then seemed to think better of it. Instead he waved and slowly backed away. Sloane watched him until the man got into a car and drove off. Dex crouched down in front of him.
“So, you okay? It was one night, a long time ago.”
Sloane licked his face.
Don’t like it, but okay.
What mattered was that Dex was his now.
“I love you,” Dex said, wrapping his arms around Sloane and squeezing. Sloane chuffed, and purred. He padded alongside Dex as they walked to the elevator. Dex pulled out his cellphone and called Cael.
“Hey, you mind picking us up? Great, see you in a few. Yeah, he—” Dex sighed, dropping his head, his eyes closed. “He just peed on me.”
Sloane could hear Cael laughing.
Hi, Cael! Sloane liked Cael. Cael was good. Sweet. A good cheetah. Good agent.
“Could you bring some extra pants? Thanks. You can stop laughing anytime.” Dex put his phone away and arched an eyebrow at Sloane.
“I guess I deserved that. Thanks for not turning Hank into a scratching post.”
Sloane closed his eyes and opened his mouth.
“Yeah, I know you’re pleased with yourself. We’ll see how pleased you feel when you’re back to walking on two legs and I remind you of what you did.”
Sloane rubbed his head against Dex’s leg. Mine. All mine.
THIRDS copyright © 2016 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published with Dreamspinner Press.