Love Bytes (MM)
[Siren Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, M/M, vampires, HEA]
Hoping to reignite their rocky romance, geeky IT tech Benjamin Kempler goes out of his comfort zone to buy a sexy Valentine for his boyfriend. But before the big day arrives, he gets dumped by a text message and it looks like he'll be spending another Valentine's Day on his own. Ben decides to make a life-changing move. Instead of suffering V-Day depression alone in Los Angeles, Ben will be suffering culture shock in London where he relocates for a new start.
Sexy Welshman Rhys Wynn welcomes Ben into his hostel—and his bed. They share a strong connection, but Ben backs off. He would rather spend Valentine’s Day alone than risk another broken heart. Rhys knows they belong together, but his secret prevents him from pursuing the young American. He's a vampyre who's already lost one soul mate, and he won't risk Ben's life.
Can love conquer all, or will history repeat itself?
Note: This book was previously published with another publisher and has been extensively revised and expanded.
A Siren Erotic Romance
“Rogue wave! All hands on deck!”
Rhys swallowed his mouthful of beer and watched his plate of salted meat and hardtack slide across the table.
All in all, it had been a dismal voyage, and Rhys had been looking forward to a few days of respite at the harbor. Now it appeared the misery would continue with more gloomy weather.A totally disheartening prospect, it felt as if Mother Nature herself had purposely conspired to depress his spirits.
The day had started out calm enough, but early on clouds began rolling in and the sky darkened. Gradually the winds had intensified. The gentle breeze became a stiff blow, and the ship had begun a nauseating rise and fall in response to the deepening swells. Below decks, the swaying of the ship had increased, but still the call came as a shock. The captain of the packet ship Deliverance believed in having a well-fed crew, and he only called the men away from the mess table for dire emergencies. Expecting the worst, Rhys pulled on an oilskin and come topside immediately.
It would take more than foul weather garb to protect against the monstrous wall of water heading for the ship. It had to be forty or fifty feet high. In his ten years aboard the Deliverance, so named because she carried mail and other cargo between Liverpool and New York, he’d never seen anything like it. The ship had not been designed for speed, but she was a good watertight vessel built for the rough North Atlantic seas. Still, she sailed at the whim of wind and weather, and these conditions were brutal. The old hands told stories of freakish ocean waves, but Rhys had always dismissed them as tall tales. The nightmare in front of him would not be dismissed so easily.
The gusts had risen to gale force, and the intense blow stole his breath and kept him in place. Rhys had no time to think. He grabbed at the rigging just as the monstrous wave crashed over the ship.
God help me.
The Deliverance listed dangerously to port as the great wave broke over the ship and nearly swamped her. Even as he sputtered under the onslaught, Rhys couldn’t help but be awed by the forces at work. Around him, water lashed across the deck as the ship fought to stay upright.
Dear God, here’s another one!
For a second, Rhys felt his heart stop. The crest of another wave towered over the ship. It had to be sixty-five feet or more. Old-timers told tales of The Three Sisters—a strike by three killer waves, one higher than the last. He prayed that wasn’t happening now. Men clung to whatever they could, but their screams were lost as water covered the Deliverance once again. Rhys could do nothing but clench his eyes shut, hang onto his rope for dear life, and pray. God must have heard him, because the water retreated and Rhys was still alive. But his relief was short lived. When he opened his eyes, he saw the third sister, a wall of water so high, it appeared their ship was sailing straight into the White Cliffs of Dover.
This mother of all waves, possibly a hundred feet high, presented a vertical wall that blocked the sky. A deep trough before it looked like an enormous black cave in the sea. The Deliverance fell into the trough and rolled. Rhys, still clutching his rope, was tossed in the air as if someone had pulled a rug out from under his feet. The water buried him with an icy-cold death grip, and his heart did a free fall into his stomach. It all happened so quickly, but Rhys knew he was a dead man. He tasted salt and felt a chill, crippling cold seep throughout his body.
Rhys’s frozen fingers curled around the rigging and the sinking ship dragged him down toward Davy Jones’s locker. His mind leapfrogged from one scenario to another, and they all ended with his death. Even if he could free himself, no one could survive in this freezing sea.
Lower and lower he descended through the dark, silent vastness. He felt himself slipping into unconsciousness, and he knew he couldn’t hold his breath much longer. Lost in time, memories from the past flashed before his eyes. He’d almost drowned once. As a young lad of five, his mother had taken him to a lake for a picnic. While she busied herself with their lunch, Rhys had gotten bored and wandered off. There’d been other children, swimming and playing on a raft in the water. For a time he watched them. They looked like they were having fun, and Rhys decided to join them. The water was shallow at first, becoming deeper as he ran. Very quickly, it reached his chin, climbed over his ears, then over the top of his head. He didn’t know how to swim…
Rhys let out a sigh of exasperation, but he led Ben into the small water closet off the lobby.
“Sit,” Ben ordered.
Rhys raised a brow, but he sat on the toilet and rested his arm on the sink. “See, it’s already slowing down.”
“Yes, but an open wound should always be cleaned.” Ben wet a corner of a towel and leaned over the Welshman. Acutely aware of invading Rhys’s comfort zone, not to mention his own, Ben tried to keep a bit of distance as he dabbed at the blood.
“Hey, doc, everything okay?” Rhys looked up at him with a devastating grin.
More of the Welshman’s musky scent surrounded Ben, and his mouth went dry. “Keep still and I’ll be done in a second.” But Ben took his time. He was enjoying this moment, and he was unwilling to have it end too soon. Being this close accelerated the chemical pull he felt toward Rhys, and when chemistry hit, it was damn hard to fight it.
Rhys appeared a bit tired. His shaggy, dark hair needed a cutting, and he was long overdue for a shave, but the stubble on his jaw only made him look sexier. Ben couldn’t help reaching out and grazing it with his thumb.
Oy vey, boychick.
The devil made me do it, Bubbe.
Ben and Rhys exchanged a long eye-fuck that said more than words could ever express. It was hot as hell. A scenario played out in Ben’s head. Two naked, sweaty bodies writhing on the double bed upstairs. Rhys’s full, sensual lips on his. Ben could almost feel them. Amazing what a rush of lust and adrenaline could do to a guy’s insides.
Ben’s cheeks burned as he imagined himself having wild sex with Rhys, but it could never become a reality. Time to back off. Ben averted his eyes and mumbled something about the bleeding having stopped.
“I like your gentle touch, Ben. You can nurse me anytime,” Rhys said softly. His hot eyes raked Ben’s body, and Ben’s arousal spiked.
In the blink of an eye, Rhys stood and they were clutching each other. Lips pressed against lips. The Welshman’s moist, firm mouth demanded a response, and Ben opened to him. Their tongues sought each other’s out and danced together in a silent melody. Rhys devoured Ben’s mouth in a deep, achingly sweet exploration, and Ben savored every moment of the kiss. He willed it to go on and on and on, but at last Rhys pulled back to catch his breath.
“God, you’re beautiful,” Rhys told him in a breathless whisper.
No one had ever said that to Ben before. Maybe it was just a line, but he loved hearing it.
Rhys pulled at the waistband of Ben’s pants. “Want you,” he moaned. His eyes glittered with a fierce red heat that seemed to twist and turn around the irises. The motion made Ben dizzy, and for a second he felt a shimmer of fear, and then Rhys was dropping to his knees and pulling Ben’s jeans to his ankles. Rhys buried his face in Ben’s groin and nuzzled his curly brown pubic hair. When he took Ben’s weeping dick in his mouth, Ben hissed in a breath and forgot everything else. Rhys’s warm, wet mouth engulfed him, and a rough tongue swirled around the base of Ben’s shaft. The Welshman’s lips slid up the length of his prick, and that talented tongue bathed Ben’s engorged cockhead. Rhys seemed to savor this intimate taste of Ben. His nose pressed against Ben’s pubes as he fondled his balls. The fingers of his other hand teased Ben’s hole.
A soft moan escaped Ben’s lips as Rhys slipped a finger into his hole while he sucked him off. Rhys opened up his throat to allow Ben’s dick to slide in deeper. Ben’s eyes fluttered shut, and he moaned as his cock hit the back of Rhys’s throat. Rhys’s tongue flattened across the base of Ben’s dick, and Ben felt his balls tighten in response. Anticipation of an impending climax made Ben’s breathing speed up, but Rhys slowed down, teasing him, trying to keep him on the edge. Ben could only last a little longer before the sweet sensations, the musky scent of sex, and the sound of Rhys sucking him proved too much. Ben came with a groan and filled Rhys’s throat with his cum. Rhys sucked greedily, one hand gently squeezing Ben’s sac as he swallowed every drop.
Ben felt like he’d gone to heaven. He couldn’t remember ever coming so hard. After his orgasm subsided, Rhys released Ben’s softening penis. Ben expected Rhys to stand, but Rhys stayed on his knees, licking a long path along Ben’s thigh. Rhys’s teeth grazed the skin over Ben’s femoral artery. Ben shivered at the sensation, and his cock twitched with renewed interest. Rhys’s teeth pressed deeper.
Oh God, he’s going to break the skin—