“You object to loving me all day?” He pouted.
Sinclair laughed. “Not in the least. I was just thinking of how sore your little ass is going to be. You won’t be able to bike.”
Tanner shrugged. “Then we’ll have to stay in bed all cuddled up.”
Sinclair chuckled and fed Tanner a piece of crusty French loaf before taking a bite himself. “I’m looking forward to it, too. Spring Lake is such gorgeous country.”
“Hmm.” Tanner nodded and picked up his bottle of tea. “I’d rather that simple beauty than Paris or Nice.”
Sinclair lifted a brow. Sin had taken him to France for Valentine’s Day, and he’d hated it. “We’ll try Italy next,” Sinclair told him.
“I’m just glad we aren’t going now,” Tanner said, and Sinclair gave him an amused smile. “Baby, I appreciate you wanting to show me the world. I just don’t want to visit it all more than once.”
“I’m not arguing,” Sinclair said, and Tanner’s cell phone rang.
Tanner got to his feet and retrieved it from the floor behind his desk, where it had fallen from its holster. “It’s Nels. Hello.”
“Hey, bro,” Nels said. “Have you talked to Val today?”
“This morning,” Tanner said. “Why didn’t you tell me she’d gotten married and had kids?”
“That was all hers to tell,” he said, sounding guilty.
“That’s a cop out, Nels. You should have told me.”
“If you hadn’t been so involved in your own romance, she might have talked to you,” he muttered. “Don’t push this off on me.”
“I’m putting the blame where it belongs,” Tanner snapped.
“The hell you are! Blame Val.”
Tanner sighed. “I don’t want to fight over Val’s life,” he said as he crossed the room to drop back onto the couch. “How long has he been beating her?”
“I don’t know,” Nels said. “I suspect about six months, but it could be longer. I can’t be sure. You know Val keeps her own counsel.”
He ran a hand through his hair. “I know.” She was like him in some ways, and he’d wounded her heart by not going out of his way to get her involved in his relationship with Sin. She’d seemed so resistant with Roni around that it hadn’t seemed worth the fight.
“She’s not saying, but I think he threatened to kill her if she left. She was a little jumpy at first last night. You should convince her to move in with you and Sinclair for a while. You have that big guesthouse she and the twins can live in.”
“She said she’d think about it,” Tanner said, and Sinclair gave Tanner’s thigh a light squeeze. “Maybe you can convince her.”
“I’ll talk to her later,” he said. “I’m inviting her to dinner tomorrow night. Why don’t you come?”
“I don’t think Sin would have a problem with that.”
“I mean just the family, Tanner,” he said. “I know you live with him, but maybe if you tried to talk to her without him around, she’d be more responsive.”
He frowned. “It might be a good idea,” Tanner agreed. “What time?”
“Six. We’re going out later.”
“I’ll be there.” He only worked eight hours now and had an evening manager and staff.
“Great. Tanner, I mean it. Leave him at home. This is too important for you to be rubbing him in her face.”
“I’m not a child, Nels,” he said coldly. “And for the record, I have and had as much right to a love life as you three. You never gave a damn what I thought about yours, even when you were flaunting it in my face, so back off.”
“I wasn’t fucking boys either,” he muttered.
“If that’s the point, then you all have the problem, not me, not anymore,” Tanner snapped. “I’m not ashamed of loving Sin, and I won’t hide it because you all don’t like it.”
“He is part of why Val didn’t come to you.”
“Val has her own issues and I can’t fix them,” Tanner said evenly. “I can only be there for her now, and I plan to be, but I won’t cut my heart out for my family.”
“Damn it, Tanner, for once—”
“I’m not bringing Sin with me, Nels,” he cut in. “I’m just saying I’m not giving him up just to help her. I will, however, go above and beyond the call of duty otherwise.”
“For the record, I don’t hate Sinclair. I just think you need some space from him. You’re always with him now. Moving in together was a bad idea.”
“I’ll talk to you tomorrow, Nels,” Tanner said in a tone rife with resolution. He ended the call and set the phone on the table. “I won’t let them ruin my life,” he said angrily. “I’m entitled to be loved too, even if they don’t approve.”
Sinclair sighed. “Darlin’, don’t go there,” he said. “What’s wrong?”
“Nels wants me to come to dinner without you at his place tomorrow. We’re going to talk to Val about staying.”
Sinclair shrugged. “So what. It’s dinner, Tanner, not a prison sentence, though I’d break every law if I had to just to get thrown in jail with you.”
Tanner smiled. “Oh baby, you are truly Mister Too Damn Good.”
Sinclair gave him a wicked grin. “You’re just saying that because I fucked you good a little while ago.”
Tanner laughed and moved to rest his head on his lover’s shoulder. “It’s a never-ending battle, isn’t it?” he murmured.
“We’re okay, Tan, so don’t go getting melancholy or dramatic,” Sinclair said softly. “Your family will all learn to tolerate me and accept our relationship without condition, or they won’t. Either way, we’ll still be us.”
Tanner’s heart beat fast. His skin was catching fire, and he smiled as he said, “I’m going to hold you to that.” Then Tanner glided one hand over Sinclair’s chest as he leaned up on tiptoe to press a kiss to Sinclair’s throat.
Sinclair moaned softly and Tanner trailed kisses down the column to flick his tongue in the hollow at the base of Sinclair’s throat.
He traced kisses along Sinclair’s jaw before claiming his man’s lips for a slow kiss.
Their tongues came together in a duel that further shattered his control. They tasted each other slowly, and Tanner moved his hand between them to push beneath Sinclair’s T-shirt.
Tanner broke the kiss, dragging air into his lungs. “I need to take this off,” Tanner said in a demure tone.
“Get rid of it,” Sinclair encouraged him in a tone rough with desire.
Tanner pushed the fabric up and Sinclair lifted his arms, allowing Tanner to slide it off with ease. “Damn, you’re so sexy.” He glided his hands over the expanse of coffee-with-cream skin sprinkled with dark curling hair.
Tanner lowered his head and traced his tongue along the collarbone. He nipped lightly at the flesh before licking his way to a flat nipple.
“Tanner,” Sinclair said breathlessly.
He flicked over the tiny tip before running his tongue around the areola. Sinclair shuddered and Tanner forced himself to be patient. He wanted to climb Sinclair and ride him until they were both too exhausted to think.
“Tanner,” he cried and pushed his fingers into Tanner’s locks and pulled.
Tanner sucked the flat disc into his mouth while lightly scraping Sinclair’s back with his short nails. He lifted his head, moving to the twin dark peak.
“Oh, darlin’, yes.” Sinclair moaned.
Tanner flicked his tongue over the tight point, and then blew over it. He flicked the nipple again as he pushed his hand inside the waistband of Sinclair’s silk lounge pants, past his briefs. He closed his fingers around the erect flesh.
Tanner watched Sinclair. His eyes were half-mast as Tanner caressed him. Heat slithered through Tanner, hot and rough, pushing his own desire higher, but he wanted to give a little more pleasure. He wanted to see his husband well sated on their wedding night.
He released Sinclair’s shaft to kiss a path over the hard plane of Sinclair’s chest and down to his stomach. Tanner drew his tongue over Sinclair’s stomach, nipped at the hard-packed ab muscles before licking over the navel and down to his lower belly.
“Oh God, Tanner.” Sinclair breathed out harshly.
Tanner sank to his knees before Sinclair, looking up at him, loving the light of hunger glimmering in his man’s eyes. He pulled Sinclair’s pants down and his thick cock sprang free. Tanner licked his lips.
“Suck my dick, baby.” Sinclair grasped the thick length and pressed it to Tanner’s lips.
Tanner parted his lips over Sinclair’s dick and swirled his tongue around the mushroom head. With the point of his tongue, he licked slowly down the shaft to Sinclair’s balls. He licked and then sucked each one before using his hand to stroke the sack.
He pumped Sinclair’s cock before closing his mouth over the head and sucking the cock deep into his mouth.
“Damn, your mouth is lethal, sweet darlin’.” Sinclair pushed Tanner’s hair to one side so he could watch his cock slipping in and out of Tanner’s mouth.
Tanner drank in the bliss on Sinclair’s face as he scraped his teeth along Sinclair’s shaft.
“You’re killing me here, Tanner.”
Tanner bobbed his head up and down. “Mmm.”
“Enough.” Sinclair urged him up and Tanner pouted, but Sinclair claimed his mouth. The kiss was searing. “Let’s get rid of some of these clothes.” He tore Tanner’s shirt away before stroking his fingertips over Tanner’s skin.
Sinclair kissed him again before lowering his head to circle the nipple with the tip of his finger. He pinched the sensitive flesh and then licked the nipple.
“Undress,” Sinclair ordered and stepped back.
Tanner pushed his cotton pants down, dragging the briefs with them. He kicked them aside and watched as Sinclair removed his own pants. His body hard and sexy, the muscle just heavy, corded though not bulging.
Tanner tugged his own T-shirt over his head and cast it aside before moving around Sinclair to the bed. He sat on it as his man turned to follow. Sinclair opened the top drawer of the nightstand and removed a tube of lube, which he tossed onto the bed before putting a knee on the mattress. He claimed Tanner’s mouth in a greedy kiss as he urged Tanner back.
Sinclair trailed kisses down Tanner’s chest to a dusky nipple. He sucked hard, pinching the other nipple as he did so. Sinclair bit the tiny point and Tanner arched into him. The pleasure was so intense it bordered on pain. He closed his eyes and Sinclair bit him again.
“Mmm.” He stroked a hand over the back of Sinclair’s head. He liked the flares of pain. They made his cock pulse, giving off drops of pre-cum. Sinclair played his moist tongue over the areola. He licked the small point before kissing his way from one nipple to the other. Sharp teeth scraped, caught the taut bead.
“Oh my God, Sinclair!” He hissed as he ran his fingers down Sinclair’s back.