A pain in the ass mate wasn’t what Eilam expected on his first day on the job as the head of Midnight’s security. Life would’ve been much easier without, especially since his mate refused him and his brother bear, Noah.
Especially since his mate is the King of Midnight.
Adriel, Son of Theral, has felt the connection to Eilam from the moment the bear shifter walked into his throne room months before. He refused the man then and there, and refused to meet “the other one,” knowing full well he couldn’t handle two bear shifters in their prime and still walk away unclaimed.
But when Eilam is attacked and on the brink of death, Adriel comes face to face with his feelings, as well as finally confronting Noah—the man he’s denied for months. Add in the whole assassination plot and a vast conspiracy, and Adriel’s had better weeks.
Surrender could mean the end of their world. Adriel is torn between the two men he can’t ignore and the needs of the many. Will his duty to Midnight prevent his happily ever after?
Adriel felt his body tense. Being alone with Eilam was growing harder by the day. He picked up his quill and leaned over his desk. “Make it quick. I’ve had too many interruptions today as it is.”
He sensed the bear shifter move closer.
“We’ve had several reports of an increased vampire presence inside Midnight,” Eilam said as he sat across the desk from the king. “They’re not coming through the terminals, or we’d have them on the logs. They’re likely using an illegal portal somewhere in this city.”
Adriel listened to the bear shifter seated opposite him without lifting his stare. His lack of attention wasn’t out of rudeness or lack of time, but a knowledge that one look in the man’s direction would cause his cool, calm exterior to shatter. From the corner of his eye, he saw enough to make his pulse race, his breathing quicken, and his cock thicken.
“Come now, Eilam… you must know by now that there are illegal portals springing up all over this city. It’s one of the reasons I have to employ men like you to protect Midnight,” he said as he made a note on one of the parchments on his sprawling, ornate desk.
Even without looking, he could sense the ire coming at him in waves from Eilam.
“I am aware,” the man said, his tone slightly lower and darker. “I only meant that we might want to focus our efforts on closing more of them. A task force, solely focused on the illegal movement of people in and out of this city. I might need to hire more men… though I have a few in mind from the Midnight PD. I need your approval to make it happen.”
“Hire as you like,” Adriel said, waving a hand before making another note. “If there’s nothing else?”
Eilam grew silent. Adriel was finally forced to lift his stare. Across from him, Eilam was livid, his eyes glowing brightly. Even with that anger brewing on Eilam’s face, meeting the man’s stare was enough to set off the lust simmering within Adriel.
“Hire as I like?”
Adriel leaned back, frowning. “I gave you what you want… so why am I suddenly the focus of your anger?”
“I’ve been trying to bring in new king’s guards for months now and you refuse them all. I’ve made recommendations for re-organizing the police department and making it more productive. I’ve made dozens of suggestions, only to have most of them refused.” Eilam rose to his feet and placed both fists on the desk, looming over Adriel. “I would love to be able to do my job effectively, but you make that impossible.”
Adriel looked up at Eilam, his body throbbing with want.
Succumb and he’ll win. I am ruler of this world. I won’t be controlled.
“I still don’t understand your anger… I just gave you what you asked for, yet I get attitude in return. I am particular about my guards and have every right to be. My king’s guard is at my side, day and night.” Adriel rose to his feet as well, refusing to cower. “And I think you may forget yourself and to whom you speak.”
Eilam snarled for a moment before lifting his chin arrogantly. “I would never place someone on your personal guard I did not trust completely. My only desire is to protect you.”
Since you won’t let it be me who protects you…
Eilam hadn’t spoken the words, but they might as well have been. They hung heavily in the air between them. Adriel wanted to escape… to put distance between him and this man who thought Adriel was his mate.
I belong to him.