Home > Beck Bear (Daughters of Beasts #2)(4)

Beck Bear (Daughters of Beasts #2)(4)
Author: T.S. Joyce

Plate of spicy wieners in hand, he patted his back pocket to make sure he had his truck keys and strode for the trail that led to the parking lot and farther down the mountain. When he spied his rusted-out old Chevy pickup, he grinned because this was it. Escape without the twenty questions from his nosey Crew. Grim was working, Kamp was sleeping in, and Remi, the nosiest Crewmate of all, was in town picking up her friend.

But when he was halfway through the flat field to his truck, he heard it—the soft rumble of Kamp’s truck. Mother fucker. Rhett walked faster, but when he tried to open his truck door, it was locked. When his inner lion growled, he didn’t even try to swallow it down. Everyone was obnoxious with their breathing and existing and showing up at inopportune moments.

Weiner down! One of the brats had rolled off the plate as he was rushing to dig his keys out of his pocket. “Fuuuuudge pops!” Poor bratwurst. It’s only job in life was to be delicious and eaten, and what had happened? It had rolled into the dirt before it had made it to a belly. That was tragedy right there.

And here was Remi, climbing the final ridge in Kamp’s big black F150. Stupid jerk had bought a new truck when he started getting paid consistently. And now he was all devoted to making the Crew finish their shifts. Annoying. All Rhett wanted to do was coast by with just enough to take care of his sister. He needed what he needed and nothing more.

“Hi!” Remi called out her open driver’s side window.

Crap, now he was going to have to converse with her. “Bye!”

He unlocked the door and set the brats on the seat, but something was behind him. Something big and dangerous. Something that raised the fine hairs on the back of his neck. He turned slowly, and there was a girl. She was tall, only a couple inches shorter than him, and her hair framed her face in perfect golden waves. Her makeup was done up like she was ready for the runway, and she wore a business suit.

She was staring at him with a spark of recognition, a frown drawing down her delicately arched eyebrows. Her eyes were bright silver.

“I found you,” she murmured.

Oh, shit. Distract her with insults.

“You found nothing, lady. And why the hell are you dressed for a business meeting? Look around you. You’re in the wilderness.”

“I know you,” she murmured, her frown deepening.

That pissed him off. Pretty girl, but just another nosey person in his life.

He dragged his attention from those striking silver eyes to Remi. “Keep your friend on a leash, Novak. The least you can do is let us keep our privacy here.” He tossed her one last dirty look for bringing her fangirl friend out here and hopped up in his truck, slamming the door beside him so hard his rig rocked.

Now he was gonna have a fan all over his life, taking pictures of his trailer and selling information. He bet that in ten minutes she would be all over Twitter, crowing about how she’d found Rhett Copeland. Well, she hadn’t found jack-shit. He wasn’t Rhett Copeland the country singer anymore. He was just Rhett of Rogue Pride, perpetual fuck-up, and disinterested in anything outside of this little corner of Oregon.

“Rhett!” Remi called as he pulled away.

When he glanced back once in the rearview, Remi looked hurt. Hurt? What had he done? Just asked for privacy. She was ruining everything. How long had it taken him to find sanctuary, and the first thing Remi does is get him busted?

He ripped his gaze off Remi’s pout and back to the girl. She was a silver-eyed beauty. With his luck, she probably had a thousand followers on social media. Everything was stupid.

He gunned it and spun the tires on the dirt, zoomed down the mountainside, and didn’t look back again.

He was going to have to find a new hidey hole around here. That thought made him feel empty in his middle. As much as he pretended to hate this last-chance Crew, they’d grown on him.

I know you.


Nobody knew him.

Chapter Five

“What the hell is wrong with him now?” Remi murmured.

Shocked. That’s the only word to describe Juno right now. Complete and utter shock. She hadn’t in a million years expected to come face-to-face with Rhett Copeland. The Rhett Copeland. The young badass of country who wrecking-balled his way through Nashville and hit every award on his debut album. As a shifter! An open-to-the-public shifter. Not only did he have the voice of a motherfreakin’ angel, he could rip on guitar and drums, and he’d done more for shifter public relations than just about any other person in existence right now. He’d gotten droves of human women fawning over a lion shifter. A lion shifter! The tide of bitterness toward shifters had turned because he’d blazed a trail, both middle fingers up, no fucks given.

And then he’d disappeared.

Like…people-calling-the-police-filing-a-missing-persons-case disappeared. The world had been playing Where’s Rhett? for months. Teams of fans were dedicated to searching their towns. His agent was on the news, bullshitting about how he was just in hiding, writing his next album, but any shifter could hear the lie in his answers. He didn’t know where Rhett was either.

It had stunned the music industry. First album sold millions, he looked steady on social media, was hilarious, took the sex appeal attention in stride, gave great advice to up-and-coming artists trying to do the same thing he was doing, was the perfect puppet in interviews, well-behaved, and no stories of drinking or drugs ever hit the media. And then he vanished as if he’d never existed at all. And all during a time he was supposed to be recording his second album and releasing some hyped-up single.

The mystery surrounding Rhett Copeland was the biggest gossip and speculation to ever hit the music industry.

And here he was…looking completely different but just the same all at once.

He’d cut off his perfect shoulder-length rock ’n roll hair, and now it was short on the sides and all mussed up on top. He’d given up his clean-shaven look for a short beard that made him look rugged as fuck. Those eyes, though…he couldn’t hide those eyes.

Dark blue like storm clouds, but they turned the color of ice when his animal was riled up. Girls would faint at his concerts if his eyes turned colors. There were rumors in the shifter world that he’d trained himself to change the colors on cue instead of only changing when his lion was agitated, just to demolish the ovaries of the swooning girls when he sang.

Every interview that she’d watched, he’d been polite, kind, caring, and as steady as a river.

But he sure wasn’t as steady as any river anymore.

“What happened to him?” Juno asked Remi as the taillights of his old pickup disappeared over the ridge.

“Hell if I know. He’s always weird, but that was like…angry weird.”

“How could you not tell me you are in a crew with Rhett Copeland?”

“Copeland. I didn’t even know his last name …” Remi’s eyes went round. “Copeland. That singer dude that went missing?”

“Remington Novak, you didn’t know you were in a Crew with motherfucking Rhett Copland?” Juno yelled. “What has happened to your mind, girl?”

“Well, I don’t listen to country, and I didn’t follow the story. I only heard about it, and my mind has been a little preoccupied with leaving the city and finding a mate and settling here!”

Juno looked around the woods, focusing on one tree and then another and another. Her thoughts were racing a billion miles per hour. Rumor had it his label was about to drop him. Drop. Him! If she could get him to sign with Halfstone Records, she would be on easy street for the rest of her short life. She would make her mark on the industry and maybe, just maybe, not be forgotten in the first year she was cold in her grave. “What do I do?” she yelped.

“Uh, you can unpack your bags and go ATVing with me?”

“No, about Rhett! God, he’s really handsome in person. Like…really hot.”

Remi scrunched up her face and stared off in the direction his truck had disappeared. “Rhett is?”

“Yeah.” Juno’s heart was beating too fast. She pressed her fingers against her wrist to check her pulse. Was she going to Change? “That T-shirt clinging to his muscles. He sure didn’t let himself go. He’s probably put on twenty pounds of mass since he was touring. His eyes are all drop-dead-gorgeous blue, and I could see the line of his pecs right at the top of his loose collar. And that beard. I’m totally into beards. I mean fans. Fans are totally into beards. The world is going to freak out when they figure out he isn’t dead in a ditch somewhere! Did you see the way he walks? Like a damn Alpha. Like he could eat anything in his path.” Juno let off a little hungry growl. “And did you feel his animal? He’s a total Beast.”

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