[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Fantasy, Paranormal, Shape-shifters, Suspense, MM, HEA]
Gage is on the run from a crime he didn’t commit, but his luck is running out. Those after him have set hellhounds on Gage, and now he has a fight on his hands. When Gage meets Elijah’s boss, he’s stunned to realize the snow leopard shifter is his mate, and has been here right under Gage’s nose the entire time.
Roman has walked a lonely road for hundreds of years, most of which has been filled with pain and darkness. He hides it well behind his smile, but he’d give everything he has to find someone to shine the light into the emptiness that consumes him. When one of his employees walks into the diner Roman owns, he brings a friend with him. A friend who has trouble on his heels. A friend who is not only his mate, but hiding deep secrets. A friend Roman will kill to protect.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
Gage looked up into the eyes of Amrath. The cruelty in those amber eyes sent a chill to his soul. The highest-ranking member of the Seelie Council curled his lip as Gage hung suspended by ropes around his wrists, his shirt gone, praying to himself that this was a nightmare he would soon wake up from. They were in the largest rotunda of the building, the area with the most room for a large crowd.
“I didn’t do it!” Gage cried out, the pain in his wrists so intense that he thought he would pass out. “I didn’t use dark magic to try to overthrow the council!”
A whip, with no master, swung through the air, striking Gage’s back. Gage threw his head back and screamed, his skin feeling as if it were being peeled away from his body.
“You lie,” Amrath snarled. “Tell the truth and this punishment will cease.”
Gage looked at the crowd of fairies, tall, svelte, and regal, looking at him. In the midst of everyone was his father, whose eyes said he believed the charges. Gage wanted to cry out to his father that he hadn’t done it, that he hadn’t tried to overthrow the council, but his pleas would fall on deaf ears. His father had always been aloof when it came to Gage, cold, unfeeling, uninterested in Gage’s life.
Just as Gage was about to speak out in desperation, the whip cut through the air again. He let out a guttural cry, his body writhing in agony. His mind was a blur, the pain drowning out any coherent thought. He hung there, barely conscious, as the whip continued to strike him, each lash tearing through his skin and leaving behind trails of blood.
But through the fog of pain, a fierce determination began to build within him. Gage refused to give in to these false accusations. He knew he was not capable of such a heinous act, and he would not let them break him.
“You claim innocence,” the Seelie Council member said, his voice low and dangerous. “But what proof do you have?”
“What proof do you have?” Gage shouted back at Amrath. “So far you’ve shown me none!”
His outburst was met with another round of whippings.
“Have you had enough?” he asked sardonically.
Gage stared at him defiantly. “I will never confess to something I didn’t do,” he said firmly.
Amrath’s smile turned into a sneer. “So be it,” he said and used his magic to raise the whip again.
In his mind, Gage tried to recall the events leading up to this moment, when he had been falsely accused of using dark magic.
He remembered the day when he had stumbled upon a group of Seelie fairies, who had been plotting to attack the council and overthrow them. Gage had reported their plans to the authorities, but they hadn’t taken him seriously, accusing him of making up stories to get attention.
It was then that Gage decided that he had to take matters into his own hands. He had infiltrated the group, pretending to be on their side, gathering information and evidence that would prove their guilt.
But somehow, the tables had been turned on him. The ones who’d actually done the planning had framed him for their crimes after one of the members of the council was killed. The Seelie Council had bought their story without question.
It didn’t help that one of the bastards who’d framed him was the son of one of Amrath.
Gage’s eyes flew open as another lash of the whip landed on his back. He could feel his energy fading, the pain and exhaustion taking their toll. But he refused to give in. He knew what was at stake. His very life.
Summoning all the strength he had left, Gage lifted his head and looked straight at Amrath. “I may not have proof of my innocence,” he said slowly and deliberately, “but I know that the truth will come out in the end. And when it does, you will all regret what you have done to me.”
He looked away, and that was when he spotted his mother in the back of the crowd. She wore long, flowing green robes, her dark hair tumbling toward her waist. Her hood was hiding most of her features, but they locked gazes, and he saw the sorrow and pain in her gentle eyes.
She gave one small nod, and then her lips started silently moving. One moment Gage was hanging by the ropes, and the next, he hit something hard. Through the pain and haze, he smelled pine and heard birds and the tinkle of bubbling water in the distance.
The slight breeze felt like razors on his skin as he lay there, but he didn’t have the strength to get up and run. It had been whipped out of him.
As Gage lay on the hard ground, the pain causing his vision to blur, a different kind of ache seized him—one of betrayal and loss. He had been accused of a crime he didn’t commit by his own kind, and now he had nowhere to go.
“You’re so goddamn beautiful.” Roman couldn’t stop telling him that. Need had driven those words from his mouth.
“Stop talking and kiss me again,” Gage said breathlessly.
Roman’s leopard yowled in satisfaction, willing Roman to mate Gage, to bind the fairy to them. To Roman’s surprise and delight, Gage moved even closer to him, his ears wiggling, which was sexy as fuck, as his hands slid over Roman’s pecs. Happy my ass. They wiggle when you’re horny.
Roman took possession of his mate’s lips, his tongue, all of him as the fire inside of Roman burned so hot he was afraid it would consume him. The moans that escaped Gage’s lips were sensual, and Roman wanted to hear more. He wanted to know just how much he affected his mate, how much Gage wanted him.
Then Gage’s hand brushed his cock. Roman gasped against his mate’s mouth then groaned. He yanked Gage even closer, desperation taking over.
“Hang on,” Gage whispered against Roman’s lips. Roman didn’t want to stop kissing him but yielded, trying to get his body back under control.
Until Gage slipped down Roman’s body and knelt on the floor. He watched, mesmerized as Gage rose up slightly, his hands gliding over Roman’s quivering thighs. The anticipation was killing him. Roman’s gaze slid to Gage’s lips, already imagining what they would feel like wrapped around his cock.
Roman didn’t have to wait long. With one wicked grin, Gage engulfed his cock, the material of his shirt only adding to the sensations that ricocheted through Roman. He gritted his teeth, his hands landing on his mate’s head, his hips involuntarily thrusting.
Gage moaned, and the sound vibrated down Roman’s cock. His thighs tightened, his hands clenched, and if he’d gritted his teeth any harder, they would have cracked. Roman was holding back, dying in pleasure as he watched Gage’s lips slide up one side of his shaft and then down the other. His tongue was exploring, as if greedy to taste Roman.
Then Gage began to lick as if Roman’s dick was made of ice cream. The tip of his mate’s tongue circled the head, drawing out the pre-cum like honey. Roman’s body jerked. He was just as horny, and he could already feel the buildup coming, already feel his balls drawing close to his body.
When Gage took Roman all the way down his throat and squeezed those muscles, Roman threw back his head and shouted his mate’s name as all the pent-up cum in his balls exploded outward. It was wave after wave of pleasure, making Roman gasp for breath as Gage drank him down.
Gage leaned back, smiling up at Roman, a look of triumph as Roman struggled to get air into his lungs. His mate slipped his T-shirt off, tossing it aside, revealing a slim chest that Roman had to touch. He leaned forward, gliding his fingers over Gage’s nipples, watching as his mate gasped.
Such a sensual creature. Roman pulled Gage onto the couch, draping his mate over him, kissing him as if there was no tomorrow, his cock already thickening again.
If there had ever been anyone Roman wanted this badly in the past, he couldn’t remember. Gage was all Roman thought about, all he wanted.
Each kiss seemed just as needy as the last, each exhale filled with even more excitement. Roman slid his fingers down Gage’s sides and to his waist, playing with the waistband of his pajama pants as a purr rumbled in his chest.
“You sound like a real cat,” Gage said with a snicker.
“Because I am a real cat,” Roman answered. “I purr when I’m happy.”
Gage looked at him. “We both know you purr when you’re aroused.”
“And your ears wiggle when you’re aroused, too.” Roman smiled. “Glad we cleared that up.”
“If I didn’t have to hide my magic, I could transport us to anywhere you wanted to go so I could make this even better.”
Roman cupped his mate’s smooth jaw. “The only place I want to be is right here with you, love.”
Gage’s blue eyes shined with what Roman could only assume was appreciation and admiration. “Same.”
He drew Gage back in, took possession of his lips, and then realized that Gage was struggling to get his pants off. Roman helped him, sliding them slowly down his hips, using his feet to get them the rest of the way off.
Then Roman tweaked Gage’s nipples, watching as his mate’s eyes rolled back, his lips parted, and he let out a groan. Fascinated, Roman tweaked them again, and Gage gasped, his fingers digging into Roman’s shoulders, his arms wobbling as if he were barely holding himself up.
So Roman flipped them, placing Gage on his back, staring down at the most beautiful man he’d ever seen. That thought refused to leave Roman’s mind. It was living rent-free in his head. Beautiful. There was no other way to describe Gage. A real-life fairy under him, groaning and squirming at his touch.
With Gage on his back, it was easier for Roman to take him in, his entire body. It hit Roman, in that moment, that he didn’t deserve him. He didn’t think anyone did. Gage had this way about him that made him seem as if he shined through everyone else. As if Roman was touching someone who shouldn’t be touched because he was that special.