[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Menage, Paranormal, Shape-shifters, Werewolves, Romantic Suspense, MMM, HEA]
After being left at the altar, Milo has no intention on starting anything with a new guy, let alone two. When he needs to find a second job to afford his apartment, he walks into Loose Lips only to realize that sometimes fate has other plans.
Jared ran from his skulk of fox shifters and is now on the run. He moves to Willow Point, thinking he’s safe, and ends up at Loose Lips for a job, only to find two mates inside.
Merrick owns Loose Lips. He wouldn’t say he was happy, but he was content with life. That is until two strangers upend his lonely existence. One is running from heartbreak while another is running for his life. It’s up to Merrick and Jared to show Milo that not all men are jerks. It’s also up to Merrick to keep Jared safe while the three of them try to learn how to navigate the new dynamics of their lives.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
Spring wedding. A joyous occasion, if not a hectic one. Milo had been in a dark suit, Brad in a lighter one. Husbands. Pledging their lives to each other. Tearful smiles, heart-stopping moments, the vows. The kiss.
At least, Brad was supposed to wear a lighter suit. If only he’d shown up for the wedding. Twenty minutes after the ceremony was supposed to start, Brad had texted Milo to say he wasn’t ready for a commitment. He didn’t think they were right for each other.
The church had been full of guests, all waiting to see Milo and Brad tie the knot. Milo’s mom had beamed from her spot in the front pew. Brad’s parents hadn’t been there. He’d grown up an orphan, but his side had all his friends.
It was the most heartbreaking and mortifying day of Milo’s life.
One year ago today.
No wedding bells. No honeymoon. No hyphened last name. Just misery and embarrassment at being stood up at the altar. Why couldn’t Brad have told him this before the wedding? They’d even talked of buying a house and adopting kids. It had been a dream come true until it wasn’t.
Milo fingered the two wedding bands in his front pocket as he headed down the street in Willow Point. The only reason he’d kept the rings was to remind himself that love was for suckers. Never again would he be fooled by a handsome guy with pretty words, false promises, and an even falser smile.
Now Milo was in search of a second job. He wouldn’t have needed one if he’d combined incomes with Brad, but that hadn’t happened. Brad was a coward, and Milo was quickly running out of the tiny inheritance he’d gotten when his grandmother passed away ten months ago.
He could have moved back in with his mom, but that wasn’t even an option in Milo’s opinion. He was twenty-six and had been living on his own since he was twenty. He liked his freedom, and although he loved his mother, she could be a bit much to live with. She’d had him when she was sixteen, and Milo’s grandmother had helped her raise him. Now, Sara McConnell was only forty-two. She still had years of living ahead of her, but she fussed over Milo like he was still three.
If Milo moved back in, he could just see her cutting his meat and making him eat his veggies. He shivered at the thought as he walked into Loose Lips. Since Milo already worked at Salvador’s, slinging drinks wasn’t anything new to him. Not that he bartended at Salvador’s. Maybe Loose Lips was hiring servers. After all, they did serve food.
Milo walked into the dimly lit bar, noting how good it smelled. Not as good as Salvador’s of course. Loose Lips wasn’t a high-end establishment.
People sat at booths and tables. The air was filled with light conversation and the sound of silverware scraping across dishes. There was a faint sound of country music playing overhead. Jack Dane, if Milo wasn’t mistaken.
The bar was to his right, the back shelf lined with liquor bottles. A mirror hung behind them, with colorful scribbled-on Post-It notes stuck here and there.
Milo had moved to Willow Point a year and a half ago, and he’d yet to visit this bar. He’d been too busy chasing behind Brad to pay much attention to anything. After his disastrous almost-wedding, he’d plunged himself into work then going home.
It was about time he got back into living, though he wouldn’t have much time for a social life working two jobs. Fortunately, if he was hired, he would be too exhausted to think of this rotten day. Too tired to deal with men and their crap. Ever since he’d been stood up a year ago, Milo had avoided dating at all costs.
He wandered over to the bar and tried to get the bartender’s attention. The guy’s back was turned to Milo, so waving wasn’t working. Instead, Milo dropped his hand and strummed his fingers on the worn wood, waiting for the guy to turn around. When the bartender did, Milo did a double take.
Light brown hair that reminded Milo of sand and blue eyes as clear and beautiful as the Caribbean Sea. Now Milo longed for a beach, though he wouldn’t mind frolicking with this gorgeous hunk. The stranger’s body was sculpted in steel, and Milo also wouldn’t mind lying down on the counter to be his buffet.
Knock it off. You’re here for a job, not a date. All men are scum! Milo nearly laughed at his inner voice. Men were scum, but he wouldn’t mind breaking his celibacy for the hot bartender.
Not that Milo planned on remaining sexless forever. He’d just lost faith in his gender after what Brad had done. Now it was Milo with a commitment phobia. Every time he eyeballed a gorgeous man, he broke out into a cold sweat.
The least he could do was have sex again. Who said anything about a relationship? And if Milo started working here, coworkers were off-limits. He knew better than to play where he worked. He’d learned that the hard way when he was nineteen. Milo had fallen for someone he’d worked with, and when it had ended, things at work had become awkward to the point Milo had quit his job.
The sexy bartender walked down to him with a dangerous gait, one that said he knew he looked good. What a turn-off. There was nothing worse than a guy who knew how gorgeous he was. Those types tended to be assholes.
“What can I get you?” The guy winked, and Milo rolled his eyes.
“A guy who doesn’t flirt with everyone.”
The stranger’s smile never wavered. “Now why would you assume I flirt with everyone? Maybe it’s just you.”
“Maybe you need to stick to slinging drinks and stop harassing customers.”
The guy’s smile faded. “Sorry you’re having a shit day.”
Milo sighed. “Look, just tell me who the owner is. I’m looking to work here.”
“Then maybe you should readjust your attitude. Who goes into a place looking for work with a sassy mouth?”
“Oh my god. I so didn’t ask for your advice.” Milo’s frustration mounted. He might have overlooked Mr. Flirt, but he wasn’t in the mood today of all days. Not when those wedding rings were in his pocket and he’d cried over a pint of ice cream last night, wondering why Brad had done him so dirty a year ago.
His ex hadn’t been the first jerk Milo had dated. It was as though he had a tattoo on his forehead that said he dated losers. It had to be invisible, only seen by those losers, because Milo had looked in the mirror just to make sure and hadn’t seen it there.
“What qualifies you for a job?” Mr. Flirt asked.
What qualifies you to be so gorgeous and irritating? “Not that it’s any of your business, but I have skills.”
Milo grunted in irritation. “Are you going to get the owner for me or continue to get on my nerves?”
Milo wasn’t even sure why this stranger rubbed him the wrong way. Yes, it was the one-year anniversary of being left at the altar. Yes, the bartender’s cocky attitude was off-putting because, underneath it all, Milo was interested. But he couldn’t figure out why he was being so hostile toward Mr. Flirt.
“You’re looking at the owner,” the bartender said. “Merrick Daltrey.”
Jared stepped into the bedroom to check on his mates. He had been pleasantly surprised when he’d returned to find Merrick and Milo snuggled in bed. Hopefully this would be the day they finally bound their souls.
Walking over to the bedroom window, Jared stared down at the street. He just hated that he knew Vincent was in town somewhere, probably quietly stalking him. That was how Vincent rolled. He was a coward underneath all his bluster. Jared couldn’t honestly see how Vincent had been chosen as the next alpha of their skulk. The very idea was ludicrous. A snail had more leadership skills than Vincent.
Turning away from the window, Jared saw that Merrick wasn’t asleep. He was lying there watching him. Walking over to the bed, Jared sat down. He and Merrick locked eyes, and a raw need began to tighten in his groin.
Merrick rose from his prone position, moving toward Jared like a graceful predator. His handsome face drew closer, his lips slightly parting. Jared blinked, amazed at how much he wanted this man. He might have been sassy, but he really was nervous about being with two men.
Lips as soft as silk skimmed over Jared’s neck, making him shiver with need. His cock was painfully hard, and images of what could be between them filled his mind.
Merrick’s tongue slid over Jared’s Adam’s apple. “It’s time we bound our souls.”
“I can’t think with your lips on me,” Jared managed to say between pants.
“You know what I’m saying is true.” Merrick breathed the words over Jared’s skin.
“How do we do this?” Jared asked.
Merrick sealed his lips over Jared’s neck, sucking up a bruise as he slowly lowered Jared to the bed. Jared’s insides formed knots as his muscles locked into place, waiting for this to begin.
But all Merrick did was suck erotically at his neck. The sensation only made Jared’s cock harder, throbbing more heavily in his pants. Gentle hands slid down Jared’s sides until they reached the snap on his jeans.
Jared held his breath as Merrick slowly began to work Jared’s jeans free. Merrick pulled away from Jared’s neck and took Jared’s pants down and all the way off. He stopped momentarily to remove Jared’s shoes, and then Jared was naked from the waist down.
God, I’m about to have sex with two guys. The thought startled and excited him in the same measure. But Jared couldn’t just be still. He pulled at Merrick’s shirt until the man lifted his arms and allowed Jared to slide it over his head, tossing it aside.
Milo stirred, looking up at them with wide eyes.
Jared turned but gazed up at Merrick first, giving him a look that said he wasn’t finished with the man, not by far. Merrick dipped his head, saying he understood, and then Jared slipped under the covers, pressing his bare chest to Milo’s naked back.
“Tell me to back off and I’ll move away,” Jared said as he pressed his lips to Milo’s ear. “I swear, sugarplum.”
Milo didn’t say a word, but neither did he relax. Jared lay there holding his mate, his breath shallow. Milo’s heat began to slowly seep into Jared, his cock pressed between Milo’s butt cheeks.
Milo didn’t move away.
Splaying his fingers, Jared ran his hand down Milo’s chest. When his hand reached the man’s lower stomach, he felt the head of his mate’s cock.
Milo was rock hard. A very good sign this was going to happen.
Merrick moved in behind Jared, his lips grazing over Jared’s exposed shoulder, sending tiny sparks of electricity along his flesh. This would be the first time Jared had ever been with two men at the same time, and the thought excited him. Merrick and Milo weren’t two strangers sating a need but his mates. That thought only made what they were doing more intimate, more profound in his eyes.
And having the human he had been attracted to since the word go only solidified Jared’s need to protect the man from the world. Protect Milo from an asshole who wanted to make his life miserable.
He grazed his fingers over the head of Milo’s cock and then played in the man’s pre-cum. He slid the clear liquid over his fingers, enjoying how it felt. Milo’s breath was coming out in short gasps.
Jared pressed his lips to the nape of Milo’s neck and slid his tongue across the smooth expanse, tasting the salty skin as Merrick’s fingers curved around Jared’s ass. He wasn’t sure if he should press forward into the crease his cock was nestled in or push back into Merrick’s warm hand.
Both options filled him with desire and a need that was making his head spin.
“Place him between us,” Merrick whispered into Jared’s ear. “Let’s both show him how much we want him.”
It was Milo’s decision. Jared wasn’t going to force the man. If Milo wanted them both, he would let them know. If he only wanted Jared, then he wasn’t going to move the guy.
Milo gave a slight, timid nod.
Jared mentally pumped his arm in the air. He was going to tap that tight little ass. He had to breathe out slowly, gaining a measure of control before sliding Milo over him and settling Milo between him and Merrick.
Of course, Jared made sure Milo’s ass was turned toward him.
“It’s all yours,” Merrick said with a chuckle. The smile made the man’s blue eyes shimmer. It was a beautiful sight.
Milo huffed. “Why don’t you just call dibs on my ass so—”
“Dibs!” Jared quickly shouted and then felt his face flush with embarrassment as Merrick laughed. Even though Jared was blushing from his outburst, he felt the stroke of the man’s laughter deep inside of him.
Milo gave a throaty growl, which only made Jared’s cock throb. The noise was too damn sexy. It was also adorable, considering Milo was human.
“Then I call dibs on his tempting cock.” Merrick winked at Jared.
Milo just lay between them, his eyes wide as they flickered from Jared to Merrick. “What am I supposed to do?”
“Be the center of a Milo sandwich,” Jared said as he bounced his eyebrows.
Milo looked skeptically at Jared until Merrick slid down and swallowed Milo’s cock down to the root.
“Fuck!” Milo slammed his hands onto Merrick’s head.