[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Alternative, Paranormal, Werewolves, Vampires, Suspense, MM, HEA]
Benicio has come to Ridgeway to pass judgment on Eleazar. Ridgeway is in chaos, humans hunting vampires, coven leaders dead. He is going to put a stop to it. Benicio is judge, jury, and executioner. But first, he needs to know exactly what is going on, so his assistant tracks down someone who knows the city. What he hadn’t anticipated was to find his mate. But Benicio is hiding a secret—one that just might cost him his life.
David knows exactly who Benicio Moretti is, but he isn’t going to let an ancient vampire intimidate him. If Benicio wants information, he has to pay for it. What he never expected was to be drawn to the man, a vampire who is cold and uncaring. Unfortunately, the Council of Darkness won’t back down. They know a heavy hitter is in town and plot to kill Benicio. David isn’t going to let that happen, no matter how deadly things become.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
David had lost his ever-loving mind. He knew exactly who Benicio Moretti was. Any vampire with a lick of sense knew the ancient vampire. Well, not knew him, but they knew he existed. That was it. Benicio was a mystery shrouded in darkness.
And David had just mouthed off to him.
Yep, he had a death wish. It had to be the years of getting knocked around. Something had to have rattled loose in his head. Still, he was sticking to his guns. David wasn’t giving shit away for free. Eleazar would kill him if he knew that David was going to sell him out. Not that he wanted to. He seriously valued his life, but when someone like Benicio demanded something, you gave it to him.
For a price.
He could have asked for a lot more money, but he knew he’d been testing the old man’s patience. And Benicio was old. How old? David had no idea. No one knew anything about Benicio. Not even where he lived. It was just a rumor that Benicio was the oldest vampire in existence, but most vampires believed it.
Now David was stuck in some fancy house until Benicio handed over the cash. That was not part of the deal he’d made with Matteo, but what could he do? If he wanted to get paid, and he desperately did, he would have to camp out here for the night.
And pray Benicio didn’t change his mind and kill him. Not that his life meant anything, according to his father. A street hustler? How disgraceful. David was a black mark on his family, and he constantly told himself that it didn’t matter. But it did. It hurt like hell that he’d been disowned just because of the way he made a living.
But that wasn’t the real reason his father had kicked him out.
Pushing those thoughts back down to where they belonged, David wandered the house. Was he supposed to find his own room? Secretly, he was impressed with the place. Seriously, there was a frickin’ waterfall inside. Rich people baffled him with what they spent their money on.
If David was that rich, he would help the homeless, give to a worthy cause, or he would pay someone to smack around every person who’d mistreated him. Just because he hustled for a living didn’t mean he was trash.
Fuck you, Father.
David opened the first door he came to and was in awe of the bedroom. It was huge, with a king-sized bed in the center of the room and black silk sheets that gleamed in the dim light. The entire room was decorated in a gothic style, but it wasn’t like any gothic room David had ever seen before. It was dark, but somehow comforting. On the walls were huge paintings of old battlefields and warriors with swords. The bedside tables were black lacquer and covered in antique vases and jewelry boxes. Everything was opulent and grand.
David’s eyes fell on a painting of a beautiful woman. It was a portrait, and it looked old, like something from hundreds of years ago. The woman was stunning, with long auburn hair and bright green eyes. She looked like she was in her twenties, but the painting had a strange haunting quality to it, like there was more to the story than what appeared on the surface.
He walked over to the bed and sat on the edge. The sheets were so soft it was like sinking into a cloud. He’d never felt anything like it.
This was the life he wanted. A life of luxury and opulence. A life where he could forget about the streets and his father’s hatred of him. A life where he could be someone else entirely.
But he knew that was impossible.
As David lay back on the bed, he closed his eyes and let himself indulge in the fantasy just a little longer. He imagined what it would be like to be rich and powerful like Benicio. To be feared and respected by everyone around him instead of abused. To never have to worry about where his next feeding would come from or whether he would be killed by a hunter or his own kind.
But as much as he tried to run from his reality, it always caught up to him. The sound of a door opening made him sit up, fully alert. He saw Benicio at the doorway, a dark expression on his face. David tensed up.
“What are you doing in my bedroom?” Benicio demanded, his voice low and dangerous.
“You didn’t tell me which room to take,” David bit out. The vampire might be old and powerful, but hell if David was going to be spoken to that way. Benicio sounded just like David’s father, which made David instantly dislike the guy.
Even if Benicio was handsome for an old guy.
The vampire’s eyes narrowed, and David could feel his anger radiating off of him. “This is my private quarters. You have no business being in here.”
David stood up, not backing down. “Look, man, I don’t care about your personal space. I just need a bed to crash on. I’m not trying to steal your stuff or anything.”
Everyone always assumed David was a thief since he hustled for a living.
Benicio stepped into the room and strode toward David, his eyes flickering with an ancient fire. David realized too late that he’d pushed the vampire too far.
“Okay, peace.” David ran across the large room. “I’ll go.”
He frowned when he noticed that Benicio had stopped, pain flickering across his face. What the hell? “You okay?”
David moved closer, feeling like he was approaching a deadly lion. “Do you need me to get your servant?”
“Who?” Benicio frowned, but his frown was filled with pain.
“The guy who brought me here.” David didn’t like Benicio, but he wasn’t going to leave anyone who was hurting. He felt compelled to help, even if the person was downright evil.
“Matteo is my assistant, not my servant.” Benicio sat on the edge of the bed, holding his left arm. He hissed again, and this time, he didn’t try to mask the fact that he really was in pain.
“Okay, do you want me to get Matteo?” David asked. “Or maybe an ice pack. What did you do to your arm?” He didn’t understand what the difference between an assistant and a servant was, but he wasn’t going to ask.
“Just give me a moment.” Benicio’s features might have been tight, but he was still deadly, and David was terrified of getting too close. If the guy needed an ice pack, David would toss it to him then run.
Sweat beaded Benicio’s brow. He really was a handsome man, with dark hair that was peppered with gray. He even had facial hair—something David loved on a guy—that looked well taken care of.
Then again, Benicio was filthy rich, so of course he looked polished.
He squeaked when Benicio passed out.
“Are we really doing this?” David panted as he licked his lips. “I thought you didn’t trust me.”
Benicio spun them and placed David on his back. He worked the rest of the man’s clothes off then spread his hand over David’s chest, amazed at how perfect he was.
“This is nothing more than two people scratching an itch.” Benicio stood, keeping his gaze locked on David as he stripped his clothes off. His cock sprung upward, slapping his stomach as he reached into the nightstand drawer and grabbed the bottle of lube.
Clearly, the owner kept his rental stocked with anything the occupant would need.
“Wait.” David held up a hand. “I don’t have an itch that needs to be scratched. I thought…” He looked away.
“Thought what?” Benicio cupped David’s chin and made the man look at him. “Talk to me, love.”
“Nothing.” David looked up at him and gave a wobbly smile. “I’m reading too much into this.”
Had Benicio offended him in some way? Sadly, he couldn’t recall the last lover he’d taken. It had been that long. It was evident that his social skills were rusty, and the last thing he wanted to do was offend his lover.
Benicio was a lot of things. Cold, distant, ruthless, and so many other unflattering things, but the one thing he was not was a callous lover. He gave just as much as he took. He wanted David just as satisfied when this was over.
“I…” Benicio couldn’t force himself to finish what he wanted to say. He was tired of going it alone, tired of being the tyrant everyone thought him to be. He knew his actions hadn’t helped change that opinion, but when people looked at you like evil personified, like you were the living, breathing boogeyman, you tended to take on that role.
But with David, Benicio felt his softer side coming out, a side he hadn't been acquainted with in a very, very long time.
David rolled to his back, his gaze glued to Benicio’s, then palmed his cock and gave the heated, hard flesh a few strokes.
Benicio was powerless to do anything but stand there and watch. David was like a seductive imp, out to steal Benicio’s heart. Out to steal his senses. For the first time in months, the pain wasn’t at the forefront of Benicio’s mind.
“Stop standing there staring at me like you have no idea what to do with me.” David shoved Benicio onto the bed like a wildcat, pouncing on him, making Benicio chuckle.
David arched a brow. “Was that a laugh?”
“No.” Benicio schooled his features, loving how playful David was.
“I think that was an actual laugh. Not one given in surprise but an actual, genuine laugh. I just might have a heart attack.” He pressed his hand against his chest and fell to the side, as if he was truly having one.
“It was a simple, small laugh,” Benicio said. “You don’t have to make a production out of it.”
David propped his head on his hand. “I like how it sounded. You should do it more often. My next trick is to get you to give me a big, booming laugh.”
Benicio snarled, pulling David closer, but the guy pushed Benicio away. He didn’t understand what was going on until David took one of Benicio’s nipples between his lips. Benicio arched his back and hissed, cupping David’s head.
Then David switched to the other nipple, teasing the pebbled nub. Benicio’s body woke with a vengeance. His cock had become painfully harder. His head spun, and tiny jolts of electricity shot through him.
David moved lower, kissing and nipping Benicio’s stomach and sides. He swirled his tongue around Benicio’s naval then used his teeth to pull at the hairs that led from his naval to his cock.
Benicio felt so close to the edge already. How had he forgotten just how amazing sex was? With his pain, with ruling over the council, his duties, and his fear of being used, he’d kept himself closed off from others.
Now all he wanted to do was drown in the emotions flooding him.
David moved until he was settled between Benicio’s spread legs, and then he kissed Benicio’s inner thighs. It was the most intimate thing Benicio had felt in ages. More intimate than the act of sex itself. His legs trembled. Benicio swallowed roughly. He couldn’t tear his gaze away from what David was doing to him.
His lover mouthed Benicio’s balls, sucking them in and using his tongue to lavish them. Benicio was barely holding on to his control. He groaned, closing his eyes briefly, and then opened them, because he didn’t want to miss a second of this.
At that moment, Benicio would have given David anything he asked for. That was dangerous thinking, but he’d been attracted to the vampire since laying eyes on him. Had wanted him desperately. He felt a connection to David that confused him, but Benicio wasn’t going to lie there and examine his feelings while the vampire was seducing him.
When David used the flat of his tongue to work his way up Benicio’s cock, Benicio had to curl his hands into the bedding to stop himself from cupping David’s head and fucking his mouth like a savage beast. Although he couldn’t stop his hips from bucking, driving his cock farther into the amazing heat of David’s mouth.