Catching a Phoenix (MM)
[Siren Allure ManLove: Erotic Alternative Romance, M/M, HFN]
Confined to rural England for a holiday, Ryan Holmes isn’t expecting the only person within a five-mile radius to be the man of his dreams. Hotheaded but introverted, Jazz Spencer, Ryan’s solitary neighbour, may look like a dream come true but has the potential to become a nightmare.
Giving in to mutual attraction, they begin an affair, and Ryan finds himself increasingly intrigued. But even though they are obviously very compatible on a physical level, Jazz remains distant. His reluctance to reveal his feelings, or indeed much personal information at all, forces Ryan to make his own assumptions, which mostly turn out to be painfully wrong.
Ryan soon has to realise that whenever he is about to fall in love, Jazz just shies away, leaving Ryan's heart burned by the heat of passion.
Determined that he can solve the mystery that Jazz is to him anyway, Ryan sets out to catch him for good.
A Siren Erotic Romance
Ryan ran his fingers through his hair. Oh, no. Please don’t say they stood me up. He pulled out his mobile phone and flicked through the long list of contacts, searching for the landlord’s number his parents had given him.
Tetchily scrolling through the numbers, he was just about to knock again but almost keeled over backward in surprise at the sound of a harsh, slightly husky voice behind him. Although the words were slurred almost to incomprehensibility, he assumed their meaning was something along the lines of “What do you want?”
Ryan quickly shook off the embarrassment at the startled yelping sound he’d made and greeted sarcastically, “Good afternoon to you, too, sir.”
No way was he going to let some grumpy, old sod spoil his rare time off. Turning around slowly, he involuntarily drew a deep breath. He knew that his parents had rented the cottage from a nice elderly couple who owned the mansion in what must be the zillionth generation of inbred country aristocracy. They rented out the former servant’s cottage to holiday makers and weekenders to keep it inhabited and cared for to prevent it from tumbling down eventually. Ryan’s parents had warned him that the couple was a little addled, which was probably a side effect of all that long-term inbreeding. But they hadn’t prepared him for meeting whoever that was. Although not quite the grouchy old boot Ryan had anticipated, the stranger standing in front of him certainly looked even grumpier than he had expected. Heathcliff. My solitary neighbour. The irrational thought flashed through his mind. Shoving it quickly back to the depths it had come from, he explained, “Uh, I’m here to pick up the keys for the cottage.”
“Are you?” Dark-brown, almost black eyes stared at him with barely concealed annoyance.
Realising that he’d failed to give the vital piece of information, Ryan added, “I’m Ryan, Judith and Andrew Holmes’s son.” He stuck out his hand politely but pulled it back to rub it on his hip when the stranger made no attempt at shaking it. Perfect. He hadn’t been expecting to make friends, but this was going to be tougher yet than he’d expected.
“They told me they had arranged for me to pick up the keys at the Spencers’ place, which would be this mansion as far as I know. You wouldn’t happen to know if Mr. Spencer is in, would you? I mean, I knocked about three times, but there was no answer. I just hope this isn’t the entirely wrong building. It would really suck if it turned out that I had the wrong address after all the time it took me to get here.” Aware that he was babbling, Ryan shut up and looked at the tall stranger expectantly.
He got an irritable groan and a scowl in return.
“So you did turn up after all,” the other man finally said. “Great.” The way he said the word made it obvious that he considered Ryan’s presence anything but.
“You got the right place. I’ll fetch the keys.” Passing Ryan without another glance, he bounded up the stairs, taking them two at a time, and disappeared into the building. Just as Ryan was wondering if he was invited to follow inside, the stranger returned, keys dangling from long, slender fingers.
“Here you are.” Holding the key ring out in front of Ryan, he pointed them out individually. “Front door. Back door. Garage. Basement. You’ll find the main switch for the electricity on the left hand side near the entrance. Make sure you don’t leave the stove on when you finish cooking. The water tap in the bathroom’s dripping. If it bothers you, I’ll get the parts to fix it. If it doesn’t, just let it drip. Any questions?”
Ryan stared at him blankly. The man’s husky voice was an amazingly soft, melodious drawl. Unfortunately, he spoke so fast that Ryan wondered if he’d rehearsed so as not to stumble on his words. In sharp contrast to the softness of his voice, the expression in those dark eyes was still almost hostile and certainly far from inciting small talk.
Ryan shifted uncomfortably. “Yes. Who are you?”
The man’s jaw muscles flexed irritably.
“Oh. So you would be the owners’ son?”
“Aren’t your parents in? Mum and Dad asked me to send them their kindest regards.” They had asked him to do so indeed. Usually he wouldn’t have bothered to oblige, but somehow it was giving him a kind of perverted pleasure to keep talking to the stranger, who was so obviously trying to get rid of him as fast as possible.
“No, but I’ll tell them,” Jazz answered in a clipped voice.
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. My parents have been talking about them in the warmest words, and I was really looking forward to meeting them. Do they intend to come here any time soon?”
Jazz heaved a deep breath, and his scowl darkened even more, if that was possible. “Look, my parents have moved to London. They’re not gonna come here any time soon. I’m in charge of this place. If there’s anything you need, you’ll have to sort it out with me. Apart from that, I’m really not looking for company, so you might as well save yourself the trouble and stop wasting time.”
Ryan glanced up at him, briefly wondering if he was maybe joking. The unfriendly expression on Jazz’s face told him plainly that he wasn’t. Ryan sighed but decided not to take the brush-off personally.
“I wasn’t trying to waste your time. I was merely being polite. Thanks for getting the keys for me. I’ll be off to the cottage.”
He got into his car, let the roar of the engine transmit his true feelings, and started manoeuvring the car around to return to the road. Flicking his eyes briefly at the front door, he saw not only Jazz Spencer’s still annoyed expression but also his raised hand that calmly pointed into the other direction. A narrow driveway, labelled with the sign Cottage, snaked off into overgrowing, green wilderness.
Ryan muttered a curse under his breath, put the car through another rather inelegant five-point-turn, and sped off in the indicated direction.
“Gosh, it’s like a fucking train station in here!” Ryan blurted out. Instantly regretting the remark, he made to apologise, but when he recognised Jazz’s tall, slender frame in the sparse light, all he managed to get out was a rather lame, “Oh, it’s you.”
He bit his lip, feeling silly and more than just a little self-conscious. Judging from the sheepish expression on Jazz’s face, he could relate to the sentiment easily enough.
“Yeah, I...wanted to get something,” he answered evasively.
“Oh.” Ryan’s brain suddenly felt empty and unable to come up with a coherent thought other than yelling kisshim-kisshim-kisshim in a frantic chant at him.
Pulling himself together, he settled for asking “What?”
“Huh?” Jazz answered, looking confused.
“What did you want to get?” Ryan insisted, not interested in the answer but desperate to say just anything to avoid what he knew would be a very awkward silence.
“I...I don’t know.” Jazz looked shifty and tense yet again.
“I...” Gosh, had this really always been so hard? There must be something he could say, surely?
Jazz had approached him and stopped right in front of him, close enough for Ryan to catch a waft of his scent. It was alluringly warm and spicy, mingled with the red wine that lingered on his breath. It made Ryan want to drop to his knees and beg Jazz to take him to bed. Well, thinking about it, it made him want to drop to his knees all right, but the begging and bed features would have to wait until he’d taken Jazz. All the way. The thought sent a delicious shiver down his spine straight to his groin where it settled in and kept bubbling excitingly, simmering the thoughts in his brain with its heat.
Ryan could feel Jazz’s dark eyes linger on him, apparently expecting him to continue. Had he been about to say something?
“Look, Jazz, I guess I was a bit harsh on you and...” he trailed off, swallowing tightly as Jazz took that one decisive step further that brought him right in front of Ryan. Their bodies were almost, but not quite, touching. All it took now was one of them shifting his weight ever so lightly. Just an inch or two. Ryan suddenly felt very sober. The pleasant drowsiness endless glasses of red wine had brought on was evaporating rapidly.
“Shut up,” Jazz growled. “I don’t care. I’m sick of this. I don’t give a toss what you said and why you said it. I want you to fuck my brains out, and I want you to start right. Fucking. Now.”
Ryan stared at him for a moment in utter surprise, immensely aware of the exact whereabouts of most of his body’s blood supply. Lunging forward before he could even think about it, he grabbed Jazz by the neck and the waist, pulled him close, and met his lips so hard their teeth clacked together. Jazz responded with a husky groan and equal hunger. He pressed his mouth to Ryan’s, opening up in welcome. Happy to accept the invitation, Ryan slid his tongue into his sweet warmth but drew back when he tasted the faint, metallic flavour of blood.
“Oh fuck. Sorry.”
“Screw it,” Jazz snarled, gingerly touching his split lip with the tip of his tongue before grinning crookedly. “Suppose that qualifies as collateral damage.”
“Guess I’ll just have to kiss you elsewhere then,” Ryan said.
“I’m not gonna say no to that offer.”
“It wasn’t exactly an offer. It was a suggestion rather.”
“Oh, okay.” The horny rasp in Jazz’s voice sent what little blood was still left in Ryan’s brain racing to his groin. “In that case, I suggest you get down on your knees and start putting that dangerous mouth of yours to use.” His husky order was barely more than a whisper, the words slurred even more than usual as coherency was replaced by arousal. Ryan wanted nothing more than to make him lose control entirely. He wanted to have him stammering, gasping, and panting, unable to even think about what Ryan was doing to him, just feel. Dropping to his knees, he opened the buttons on Jazz’s jeans to free his rock-hard erection. He brushed a welcoming kiss on the head, then licked a circle around it, and another, before he searched out the spot that made Jazz squirm with delight. He flicked his tongue over it again and again, teasing and playing, loving the feel of Jazz’s swollen cock against his lips. Soon the first glistening drops of pre-cum appeared. Ryan licked them off, savouring the salty flavour, then dipped the tip of his tongue into the tiny slit, pressing in gently. Jazz let out a groan, a husky sound full of lust.
Raising his hand, Ryan cupped Jazz’s heavy balls. He carefully squeezed them and tugged a little, just until Jazz snatched a sharp breath, then soothed them with the warm pressure of his hand.
“Fuck, please!” Jazz gasped, shuddering under Ryan’s assault on his most sensitive areas. Taking mercy on him, Ryan let him inside his mouth, allowing him in as deep as he could get, then pulled off again only to suck him right back in. He repeated the motion, faster and with increasing pressure. Within seconds, Jazz’s breath came in short gasps, and his hips moved in jerky stabs. Ryan started a soft hum low in his throat, remembering the reaction of Jazz’s body to it the first time he’d done it. It didn’t fail him this time.