Dark blue eyes that belong more to a predator than a man watched him. Avery didn’t need to turn his head to see the burning gaze that bore into him. Instead, he focused on the passing scene as the car moved down the road. He wanted to yell and order Bishop to watch the road, not him, but that meant lowering the armor that protected his heart. He needed to remain indifferent. One chink and it was over. The outburst didn’t count. He shouldn’t have talked about the past. It opened doors that needed to remain closed. He didn’t share personal feelings, but was putting things in perspective. Still, it shouldn’t have happened. Lately, he had been angry. How long had it been since anger took over? Not since the day he left the elf territory. Avery closed his eyes. The past needed to stay in the past.
He focused on breathing, inhaling and then exhaling. The relaxation technique helped patients in pain and helped him with the panic attacks. He concentrated only on breathing. He started to count. The tension left his muscles. His heart no longer tried to pound through his chest. He wasn’t going to reach a meditative state, but he wasn’t going to leap from the moving car. So it was progress. He turned away from the window, refusing to look toward Bishop. “You’re alone in the car,” his mind whispered. He needed to believe that, but his body wouldn’t cooperate. The tension existed within the cracks. Instinctively, he knew his mate was next to him. A part of him yearned to be held, to bask in Bishop’s muscular arms, to seek shelter and security in the man’s embrace. “Cold, remain cold,” his mind ordered. He tried, but the desire burned through him, warming every inch, tempting him to reach over and rub a hand down Bishop’s strong body. He could reach out, but then what, a slap on the hand for the effort, or full-blown car sex. There was no in between—rejection or hot, heavy, meaningless fucking.
He gripped his thighs to prevent his hands from wandering. This was a bad idea. They couldn’t go back, and they couldn’t go forward. If it wasn’t for Luka, he wouldn’t be here, but the other elf needed him. Why did Bishop have to pick him up? Just because he didn’t drive didn’t mean he had to go through the torture of riding with a man that fate deemed to be the other half of his soul. Was that it? Did he feel incomplete?
The car hit a bump. He jerked forward. Bishop’s hand landed across his chest. He hissed at the contact. “What are you doing?”
“Making sure you don’t get hurt.”
The only danger in the car was the vampire touching him. The hand pressed harder into his chest.
“You’ve been working out.” Bishop rubbed down his chest toward his abs. “Solid muscle.”
“That’s right.” He grabbed the vampire’s hand. For a few seconds their skin touched, and then he shoved it away. “I can take of myself and that includes kicking your ass if you touch me again.”
Bishop threw back his head. A laugh filled the car. “Don’t tempt me. Now I want to do something friendlier and a little friskier to see that.”
“Friendlier? Friskier?” What did he mean? He was afraid of the answer. It meant getting close, something he was against.
“I was thinking of pulling you into me as I ravish your mouth, while squeezing your ass.”
Avery’s mouth dropped open. After a second he closed it. “Try something like that and I rip off your balls and burn them.”
“If you do that, then they won’t slap against your ass when I fuck you.”
A flash of being on all fours, while Bishop sunk balls deep inside of him invaded his thoughts. He squeezed his thighs together. “I’m not going to respond to that comment.”
“Just say the word. My bed is always open.”
“As long as you get my ass.”
“No, while that would be nice, if you ever need a place to sleep, I’ll be there for you. No expectations.”
The offer sounded nice, but it came eighteen years too late. Back then he wanted a relationship, but that was no longer an option. Maybe Roman was right. He was running. Why did that have to change? Running helped him survive. Roman stopped helping him run. His boss didn’t say it, but his actions spoke louder than words. The demon knew they were mates, and insisted that Bishop pick him up and drop him off. Basically, only his mate could be was trusted with his safety. Even if Bishop could protect his body, who would protect his heart?
If he was going to break, there was no better place than in Bishop’s arms. Those powerful arms could hold him up to face the world. His strength floundered when doubt clouded the vampire’s intense gaze. Before he pulled away, Avery wrapped his arms around Bishop’s neck and pulled him closer. For the first time in eighteen years their lips met. This time he wouldn’t let go. He wanted what happened after the kisses. Bishop tried to push him away. That wasn’t part of Avery’s plan, but he couldn’t fight against the raw power. He whimpered when their lips separated. No, the kiss wouldn’t end. He leaned forward trying to reconnect with Bishop’s mouth, but two powerful hands held Avery’s arms. It was like trying to move solid steel bars. He shook his head. Failing wasn’t an option.
“Stop.” Bishop pulled away. He studied him. Avery quivered under the scrutiny, but he wouldn’t be denied. His hand unbuttoned his pants. Maybe, if he pulled out his hard shaft, than Bishop would take the hint and fuck him long and hard.
A strong hand prevented him from freeing his cock. He whined then tried to push the hand away.
“You’ll regret this.”
He glared. No one was going to tell him what he’d regret. Before the pain broke his soul, he wanted someone to hold him. That wasn’t true. Not any cock would do. Only Bishop’s stiff shaft filling him would work.
“Hold me,” Avery demanded. The situation was unfair and selfish, but he didn’t care. For one night he’d be free. When tomorrow came, he’d regret it, but his life was full of regret. Tomorrow when he sat on his butt and felt the sweet pain of sex or when he took a shower and cum dripped down his leg, he’d remember being free. What was another regret for a night of pleasure? He reached up, wrapped an arm around Bishop’s neck and pulled him down onto the bed. The kisses continued one after another. Shaking hands rubbed all over Bishop’s body. Clothes acted like a barrier that kept him from feeling flesh against flesh. His fingers reached for the end of the vampire’s shirt. He started to work the fabric up his chest. Bishop pulled back. Their eyes locked and then Bishop moved. With one strong tug, he removed the shirt from his body. Avery’s cock jerked as his eyes came face to face with perfection. Bishop’s hard abs and rippling muscles reinforced the image of raw power, knowing that the strength and power would belong to him left his body close to exploding. He salivated over the perfection. His fingers itched to touch every inch of bare flesh. He rubbed muscles and gently moved fingers over each pink nub.
Bishop laid a hand on top of his hand. Avery closed his eyes. The strength oozed into him like air filling a balloon.
“Are you sure?” Bishop asked.
He nodded not trusting his voice. Bishop was his mate. Not something he was willing to accept, but he trusted fate. Not for the happily ever after type of ending, but he knew the other man wouldn’t hurt him. A part of him needed a change before the pieces of his heart became too small to stick back together.
Bishop pulled Avery’s shirt off. The cold air felt good against his heated flesh. Blue eyes took in every inch of exposed skin with a hunger that left him quivering. Then fingers reached for his pants, unbuttoning and then unzipping. The hand slid in between his pants and underwear, pressing into his hard shaft, and then squeezing him through the fabric. A finger outlined his cock. He threw his head back and bit his lip before a moan could escape. He cursed the white cotton from keeping the fingers from him. With one hard yank, the pants and underwear slid down his legs and off his body, leaving only his feet covered with dark sock. Cool air danced across flushed skin, a relief against the burning. Every nerve ending tingled. It coiled in his belly and spread outward. He was on fire. The hunger wouldn’t be satisfied with only touching. The bed dipped underneath him. He bit down harder to keep from moaning. A hand rubbed against his cheek, down his neck toward his chest. His cock hardened as legs spread to give the other man room to rest in between his thighs. Bishop slid both hands down, leaving a trail of fire.
“Are you sure?” Bishop asked. The razor-sharp gaze tuned onto him.
The words wouldn’t come. Instead, he moved his hand to his hardening shaft. He wrapped one hand around the throbbing cock and started to jerk up and down.
Bishop groaned. “I’d prefer words, but I’ll take that as a yes.”
He nodded and continued to stroke his cock. Getting relief from his hand wasn’t something new. He knew how to move to get the most pleasure, but it wasn’t enough. He couldn’t get enough friction.
Bishop’s lips pressed to his neck. A moist tongue ran across his jugular, teasing the skin. Avery swallowed. He wasn’t ready for a complete mating. He wanted a nice hard fuck. If Bishop drank from him, their souls would join, but it was too soon. His mouth opened, but he was helpless to stop the wanton need building inside of him.
A large hand slid down his chest, stopping to tease a nipple.