Just a little Love Bite: When a man who thinks he’s straight acknowledges his attraction to another guy, he has to fight more than the shifter’s stubbornness to win him.
When Jerome Harsnen’s best buddy, Stanton, meets a hot guy and gives in to his bisexuality, he learns something unimaginable—vampires are real. Stanton’s lover is one, and he’s part of a coven in Montana. Since Jerome’s younger brother is already living in another state, he decides to move with Stanton when his buddy asks him to. While Jerome could admit to being wholly unprepared to live with a coven of vampires, he’s even more ill-equipped to handle meeting a shifter who revs his engine like no one ever has before. The shifter lets slip that Jerome is his mate, but then he walks away. After some soul-searching, Jerome decides to track the man down. It’s a small town, after all. He discovers the guy is a red fox shifter named Deputy Cain Whistler. When Jerome goes to introduce himself, he’s surprised to find Cain having lunch with his fiancée. At least that answers why Cain walked away.
With the wedding fast approaching, can Jerome figure out if his fox is worth fighting for and why Cain would be willing to walk away from his fated mate?
So vampires are real.
Jerome Harsnen was still having a hard time wrapping his brain around that little tidbit, and it had been over two months since he’d learned about them. What he found even more mind-blowing was the fact that he was now living with them…in Montana…on a cattle ranch.
Vampires run cattle ranches? Who’d have thunk it? Certainly not me.
Not only that, but there was a shifter on the ranch, too—a paranormal that could turn into an animal at will—Xerxes, who turned into a prairie dog, of all things. A shifter called it sharing their spirit with that beast, and while in that form, they were still completely cognizant. Xerxes was bonded with the head enforcer of the coven, Monte.
To make things even more mind-blowing, Monte was in a very rare paranormal ménage…with War—a Horseman of the fucking Apocalypse. The horsemen normally resided on another plane of existence where they commanded demons. A few of those demons lived part-time at the ranch because one was bonded with a vampire and another was bonded with a human who was an honorary coven member due to his brother living there, who was bonded with a different vampire.
Actual demons with wings and tails and horns and magick.
“Are you still processing?”
Turning his head, Jerome watched Master Dante Mannis settle on a rocking chair next to him. The blond-haired man held out a beer to him. His thin lips were curved into a small, understanding smile.
After taking a sip of the beer—damn, the leader of the coven just brought me a beer—Jerome nodded. He forced a small smile as he met the vampire’s gaze. When Jerome had agreed to move from Texas to Montana so he could stay close to his best friend, Stanton Thundler, it hadn’t occurred to him that he would end up living with vampires.
It should have, though.
Jerome had already been working at the construction company as a drywaller for over a year when Stanton had been hired on as an assistant to the company’s mason—Larry Chinz. Larry was a patient, older man, and he saw potential in Stanton where most others saw a big, dumb, brawny guy. After working on the same projects a few times and getting to know the huge, younger man, Jerome had seen it, too. Sometimes Stanton needed things explained in a simple way, but that was just because his brain worked a little differently. That didn’t make him dumb. Besides, Stanton was kind and friendly and would be the first to offer the shirt off his back.
In fact, after hanging out at Stanton’s place a couple of times—Jerome’s younger brother, Tony, had wanted to bring a date home—Jerome had realized Stanton’s roommate was taking advantage of his giving nature. When Tony had received an amazing job offer in another state, Jerome had thought about moving, too. He could get a job in construction almost anywhere.
By then, Larry had retired and Stanton had become the construction company’s head mason. With how Stanton’s roommate was taking advantage, Jerome knew he couldn’t leave the man behind. He was almost a second little brother to him. Jerome had looked for decent jobs for them both but had come up empty.
Tony had understood since Jerome had taken his brother in when their parents had kicked him out at age fifteen for being gay. Jerome didn’t talk to them anymore. When Tony had moved out, he’d convinced Stanton to move in with him. Then he’d taught his buddy proper money management as well as how to spot people taking advantage of him.
With Stanton living at the ranch with his new partner, Francois Toulouse, all their expenses were paid. His buddy was damn near living the high life, spending his days learning ranch life while being pampered by his vampire lover. He still used his skills as a mason, though. Stanton was in the process of creating an intricate mosaic path to a gazebo…which he intended to add stonework around.
Living at the ranch without a bond with a vampire, Jerome didn’t have quite the same support system. He wasn’t certain what to do with himself. While he didn’t know shit about horses, he still tried to help out, learning to muck stalls, halter and lead the animals, and move and feed hay.
What else am I going to do with my time? Maybe get a job in town?
“It’s hard for a human to wrap their mind around our existence when they don’t have a beloved to ease the way,” Master Dante commented mildly, redirecting Jerome’s thoughts to where they should be—the powerful master vampire sitting next to him. To Jerome’s surprise, Dante smirked at him. “Or become a donor, so they can enjoy the benefits of learning about our kind.”
Jerome cleared his throat before he admitted, “I’ve been approached.” Feeling his cheeks heat a little, he appreciated his dark-brown skin. “By both men and women.”
Dante hummed. “I do hope you weren’t offended.” Arching one brow, he added, “Unless you took one of them up on the offer?”
Rubbing the back of his neck with his free hand, Jerome mumbled, “I was tempted by Karina.”
“Ah, she is an excellent tracker,” Dante mused. Pinning his intense, blue-eyed gaze on Jerome, he continued, “Very beautiful, too, with her strong, slender build and ample breasts.”
Jerome nearly choked on the sip of beer he’d just taken. After a quick swallow that burned his nostrils, he stared wide-eyed at Dante. He took in the way the vampire master eyed him with amusement shining in his eyes.
“I thought you were bonded,” Jerome rasped, finding his voice.
Dipping his head in a slight nod, Dante replied, “Indeed I am. Just because I have no desire to screw another doesn’t mean I’m blind and dumb.” He grinned, his white fangs flashing in the early-evening light.