[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, M/M, shape-shifters, HEA]
The holidays are supposed to bring festive feelings but Ray is ready to toss the eggnog and mistletoe out the door—along with Lorenzo, the handsome and tenebrous construction worker who fascinates and frustrates Ray in equal measures. But when Ray discovers a world he never knew existed and is pulled into the conflict, he finds there is more to his grandmother than meets the eye. And what she confesses to him leaves Ray reeling.
Ten years ago Lorenzo left Brac Village to deal with something that changed his life forever. Angry, confused, and filled with bitterness, he is approached by the Ultionem to join a battle that may very well end his life. But when he discovers his mate, Lorenzo is torn between his duty and the one man who engulfs his soul with flames of deep hunger. As the Christmas celebration draws closer, Lorenzo is left with a decision to either save his mate or walk away forever.
A Siren Erotic Romance
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
- Mountain Mist
More From Brac Village
Customers began to fill the shop, and Ray joined Johnny behind the counter as his workday got underway. His wrist still hurt, but he managed. If it got worse, he’d go to the emergency room later. Ray prayed he didn’t have to. He couldn’t afford a hospital bill.
He was still paying off the vet bill. He could have paid the bill off right away, but Ray wasn’t frivolous with his money. Half of the profits from The Café went back into the business. One fourth went into his portfolio, and the other fourth he needed for living expenses. He didn’t plan on serving coffee for the rest of his life.
“This drink tastes funny,” a man said from the other side of the counter.
Eyes wide, Ray watched as Johnny grabbed the cup from the guy, took a sip, screwed his face up, took another sip, and then handed the cup back to the man. “Just needs some sugar.”
“I’m not drinking this.” The guy slammed the cup onto the counter. Ray would be upset as well if some random guy drank from his cup.
“Sorry.” Ray took the cup and tossed it in the trash to his right. “Tell me what that was, and I’ll make you another one.”
“Hot cocoa with extra sugar.”
Ray paused. He wasn’t even going to go there. Not today. He whipped up another cup and handed it to the guy. “Try that. I added some Ghirardelli chocolate syrup.”
The man smiled after tasting it. “Fantastic.”
At least something was going right. Ray’s foot was still soaking wet, and it squished whenever he walked, but that would have to wait. Sooner or later it would dry.
Hopefully before he had to head back out in the cold.
Johnny nudged Ray as his chin went up a miniscule notch toward the door. Ray finished with his customer and then glanced to where Johnny indicated.
Sweet baby Jesus. It was Lorenzo, the man Ray had been lusting after for the past week. The construction worker walked toward the counter, rubbing his large hands together as if warding off the cold.
Of all days for Lorenzo to come in. Ray just knew he was going to fuck this up. He turned into a babbling idiot whenever the handsome construction worker was around.
With the way his day was going, he was double-whammied. Somehow he had a feeling that karma wasn’t finished dicking him over just yet.
Please don’t let me say or do anything to embarrass myself.
He ran his fingers through his hair, checked to make sure he didn’t have any stains on his sweater, and then cleared his throat, trying his best to seem unflustered by Lorenzo’s presence. Ray even did a quick breath check in the palm of his hand. Nice and minty. Thank you, Scope.
The dark-haired man stepped to the counter, and Ray wanted to bite the guy on his bearded jaw. Good-looking didn’t even begin to describe this man. Big, brawny, bedroom eyes, always smelled good, and the list went on and on.
“Hi,” Ray said as he smiled. His skin was roasting, and Ray hated the fact that he blushed so easily around Lorenzo. The man must think him a strange mutant. No one blushed this damn much. “What can I get for you?”
“A regular coffee is fine.” The guy’s baritone voice had Ray’s pulse skyrocketing. He was breathing just a little faster, and his palms felt damp. He had the biggest urge to smile from ear to ear. God, he was tingly all over.
Ray turned and collided with Johnny, making his employee spill the drink he had in his hand. “Sorry,” Ray apologized.
“Don’t worry,” Johnny said. “I like smelling like pumpkin spice.”
The man was being sarcastic. Ray hurried over to the urn and grabbed a cup, filling it with Morning Blend coffee. He turned back around, walked toward the counter, and then tripped over Johnny, who was bent down, cleaning up the spilled mess.
The coffee cup flew from Ray’s hand, hit the counter, and splashed Lorenzo’s crotch.
“Son of a bitch!” Lorenzo swatted at his crotch as if he could stop the coffee from burning him.
Ray’s eyes bugged before he grabbed a towel and began to pat the man’s groin from over the counter. He rubbed, trying his best to soak up the coffee when it dawned on him what he was doing.
Lorenzo took a step back, unbalancing Ray. Ray’s chest hit the counter, and he yelped. The hot coffee soaked through his sweater, burning his chest. Ray dropped the towel and tugged his sweater off, blowing down his torso.
“I think you need to go take a break before you hurt yourself.” Johnny grabbed Ray by the arm and yanked him toward the break room. “Your game is off today.”
Ray glanced over his shoulder to see Lorenzo storming from the coffee shop.
He’d spilt piping hot coffee on the man’s family jewels, molested the guy, and then stripped in front of him.
Maybe tomorrow he could accidently run Lorenzo over with his car.
“Please don’t tell me you purposefully spilled hot coffee on the guy’s beans and wiener. That would be the most depraved thing I’ve ever witnessed.”
Ray gaped at Johnny. “Of course not!” He took a seat at the table and slumped in his chair. “I’m just having a really off day.”
Johnny patted him lightly on the shoulder. “Do you want me to call your grammy?”
Ray couldn’t figure out which was worse, embarrassing himself in front of Lorenzo or Johnny calling Ray’s grandmother to tell her he’d molested a customer after nearly scalding the guy’s family jewels. “No, really, I’m fine.”
“Okay, just don’t handle any sharp objects for the rest of the day.” Johnny was speaking to Ray like he was some mental patient.
I’m starting to believe I am one.
Without skipping a beat, Lorenzo had Ray out of his boxers and his warm slick hand wrapped around Ray. The pleasure and the intensity and the at last had Ray dropping his head over the back of the couch, and his mouth went slack. The pressure stayed, the steady slide, a slow stroke from bottom to top and a swipe of a thumb over the head.
Biting back a moan, Ray had himself lifting his hips into Lorenzo’s hand in time with the strokes. He heard a low groan before there was warm breath at his ear and a firm hand at his stomach, pressing him into the couch.
“I’ve been waiting for this…for you.” And for once in a hell of a long time, Ray was speechless. Lorenzo’s face was hardened with determination and control ... and want.
The desperation was back with the mind-numbing kissing that barely left enough space for breath. It was the same kind of kissing Lorenzo had done in the coffee shop. Hot. Breathless. Needful. Lorenzo sucked and licked into Ray’s mouth as his hands gripped Ray tight.
Lorenzo flipped and was on top of Ray in seconds. His eyes took in Ray’s face as the man’s hand continued to stroke Ray’s cock. He started bucking into Lorenzo’s hand, desperate for friction. Lorenzo stopped Ray’s movement easily, pinning him down with his hips. Lorenzo’s eyes were on Ray as he slid down Ray’s chest and took in his erection bobbing between them.
And then Ray met Lorenzo’s eyes, one of Lorenzo’s hands moving to grip him, the other to hold Ray’s hips. The light-brown eyes burned bright in the dim light just before Lorenzo bent down and took Ray into his mouth.
“Oh ...shit.” The warmth and the pressure and the intensity with which Lorenzo looked at him… Ray’s head pushed back into the couch, and he looked at the ceiling before managing to take another look down at the dark head moving between his legs. The grip on the base of his cock loosened as Lorenzo took more of Ray in, pulling back to suck pressure on the tip before licking down his length. It took every muscle in Ray’s body not to thrust hard into that warm, wet mouth. His hands gripped at Lorenzo’s back, fingers digging hard into even harder muscles.
Ray choked on his moan as Lorenzo took in his whole length. His hips lifted off the cushions, and Ray was quickly shoved back down, a steel cable of an arm thrown over his lower abdomen, locking his hips down. Then vibrations were sent along his cock as Lorenzo growled at Ray fighting against the arm, seeking to move his hips, aching to finish.
“Shit!” Ray’s body tightened. Lorenzo alternated between kissing and licking, even nipping at Ray’s skin, eliciting all sorts of noises but not any words. Ray’s body wriggled, and his hips bucked. He wanted more, right now, but Lorenzo went slow.
Lorenzo took his hand and cupped him. He let his fingers wander until he found the sensitive bridge of flesh just underneath Ray’s balls. Ray’s breathing grew shallower.
The shifter’s eyes turned to liquid as soon as Lorenzo began to rub in small circles around Ray’s tight muscles. With one hand stroking Ray and the other hand massaging, it was seconds before Ray’s neck was stretched back, the corded muscles of his shoulders straining.
“Ah.” Ray began to breathe in rapid rhythm. Lorenzo used his forefinger to press a little harder into Ray’s body, in time with gripping Ray tight in his hand.
“Oh fuck!” Ray yelled in a matter of seconds. His hands shoved into the couch cushions, and his legs almost wrapped around Lorenzo as he came.
“I’m far from done with you.” Lorenzo leaned back, licking Ray’s seed from his fingers. Ray lay there gasping for breath as Lorenzo moved off the couch and stripped, showing off every fine damn inch of his delicious body. Ray leaned up and tossed his own shirt aside. He wanted nothing between them, no clothes, all bare skin.
When Lorenzo returned to him, Ray released the breath he was holding and let his head relax on the cushion, felt his shoulders melt. Lorenzo scooted in behind him, wrapped his strong arms around Ray, and began kissing him along his shoulder.
Ray was floating, in heaven, pushing back, wanting more.
“Easy now,” Lorenzo said. “Take this slow.”
Slow was going to kill Ray.
“You feel amazing,” Lorenzo said in a low, tight voice. “Do you know how good you feel right now?”
Ray didn’t want to talk. He wanted to feel. And he got his wish when Lorenzo pulled his hand free and started to inch his way into Ray’s body. Ray felt the pressure, the fullness, along with the overwhelming feeling of being stretched like a rubber band.
Lorenzo took his time, alternating between pleasing Ray with his mouth and rubbing his hand along Ray’s chest.Once the feeling lessened, Ray loosened his grip and gave Lorenzo’s hand a squeeze to tell the man to move faster. He felt Lorenzo’s hand come to rest on Ray’s hip as he slowly thrust in. This time, when Lorenzo pushed until he was flush against his ass, Ray felt the hint of a familiar thrum of pleasure. Like the time Lorenzo had kissed him in the coffee shop, that all-consuming feeling washed over him.
Lorenzo did it again and again, very slowly. He was ever cautious, ever careful until the thrum grew to a shot of pure heaven. The shifter must have known it too because Lorenzo began to rock against Ray a little faster. Never rough, but not quite so controlled. The feel of Lorenzo inside him knocked the breath right out of Ray. Ray’s fingers knotted up into the cushions, his neck straining. It was like finding that itch that needed scratching, only to skip it and then find it again. “Oh god...Lorenzo,” he groaned, needing…something.