Darren Carpenter is running from his love of Samuel and his future as the Coimeádaí of a Sandman.
Samuel Tolliver just wants what he wants and is willing to raise a little mischief to get it.
Dailon knows he is more than human but has no clue what he is or what he needs.
But the Fates have a plan for them, even if family, friends, and fairy royalty must get involved.
When everything goes wrong, can they make it right again?
“Samuel did what?” Darren shouted, exasperated.
“You heard me, Darren,” Kristoff’s brandy voice, smooth and rich, sighed into the phone. The alpha mate was at the end of his rope, and Darren had joined him there years ago.
Darren didn’t need this right now. His little shit was so getting it. He could practically see the handprint he would leave on Samuel’s pale ass. “Another orgy?”
“Yes, though, it is quite ironic to hear you speak as such, as you are also human.”
“I don’t have time for this, Alpha Mate Kristoff. My to-do list is doubling as we speak. I know there must be more. Please continue so I can add Samuel’s needs to the ones I have already.” After all, it wasn’t as if orgies were unfamiliar when considering his friend Samuel. Tiresome, yes. New, no.
“With my boy, I know there has to be more. It wouldn’t be Samuel if there were not.” Darren added one of the items he’d overlooked to the file he’d been studying earlier, then sat back to fully listen. He couldn’t afford to make an error in his work merely because Samuel had gone AWOL yet again.
Kristoff’s bark of laughter was loud across the phone. “You know your Samuel.” He sighed. “Unfortunately, he’s marked several of the humans.”
“Shit,” Darren groaned. He placed his head in his palm, his exhaustion suddenly overwhelming.
“Yes, complete der’mo, and the ice of the cake? He refuses to release them.”
Darren let out a longsuffering sigh, ignoring the Russian’s destruction of American slang. One week. He’d only been gone one week.
Hindsight was 20-20. What Darren needed was foresight. At the very least, he needed help. Being the one person Samuel listened to was wearing him down, no matter how he felt about the man.
Is Samuel my responsibility? So hard to answer that question.
The little witch was 23 but so fucking powerful, no one could control him. Samuel refused to listen to anyone. Not his parents, his grandfather, and barely the Alpha’s Mate. Darren was the only person Samuel heeded. A tired human trying to start his career, who’d had to go out of town and had no one to babysit a sex-crazed spoiled dynamo.
As a half-sprite, half-wolf, Samuel’s appetite for sex was insatiable. For a human to receive his mark was almost life-threatening, because said human could then only be satisfied by the essence of the one he served. The sharing of essence between the two was particularly concerning when the one harnessing the energy had no interest in the one he’d marked.
If Samuel had marked humans, it meant he was frustrated and had allowed his feelings to control his actions. Samuel was impulsive, but he was typically careful of marks. He knew better.
It wasn’t a challenge to know the true target of Samuel’s rage. Fuck, it’s not my fault.
Darren had to work. He couldn't be available to Samuel twenty-four-seven. He was determined not to live off Samuel, no matter how many times the man offered. They were friends, not lovers, though his dick got hard whenever Samuel was near him.
Darren didn’t have time for relationships. He was on the path to opening a new office for his law firm and doing what he’d wanted all his life. If he could impress his bosses, he was in a prime position for success.
He was determined to be master of his own fate, subject to no one’s will.
Years ago, Darren’s life had nearly been forfeited. Keith Mulligan, a Sandman bent on revenge, had used him, removing the will Darren wielded like a shield. He had been nothing but a tool for the evil Keith wrought. He would never forget how Danny and Aiden, a Sandman himself, had fought to save his life. The battle, the blood, and the terror were memories that would stay with him always.
Daniel Tolliver—or as Darren preferred, Mr. T—wasn’t just Samuel’s teacher but had become like a father to him. Danny had surprised Darren back then. He had always been a gentle spirit, but the fierceness with which he’d fought had been impressive.
When Darren had first met Keith, the man had presented as a good guy and someone completely devoted to Danny. Keith had arrived in Danny’s stead to help their play go on while Danny convalesced after an accident that put him in the hospital.
At the time, Darren had thought Keith was Danny’s friend who just wanted to help. All of it was a lie. Danny had gone home to the safety of his family when he left the hospital. The only way Keith could get to Danny was through the abuse and terrorizing of Darren. That was when Darren had learned that Keith had spent years doing the same thing to Danny.
To discover that Keith was in reality a monster along with being an abuser had opened Darren’s eyes to a world he hadn’t known existed. His inability to see the monster for who he was made him despise himself—even more so when he discovered what he was.
Like Danny, Darren was a Coimeádaí, a balance for a Sandman, destined to be a mate for the same creature that tried to kill him, use him as bait and a threat. A Sandman. Darren would never forget and vowed never to be that vulnerable again.
As for Samuel, if Darren had the little minx in front of him, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to deny his friend the spanking he was asking for. Had been asking for since Darren told him about his intended move. It was less than two hours away, but when Samuel’s face had taken on that eerie cast, Darren knew he was in trouble.