[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Paranormal, Shape-shifters, Romantic Suspense, MM, HEA]
After a night at Loose Lips, Stefan can’t remember his night at the bar. When he arrives there to retrieve his car keys, a stranger greets him, holding Stefan’s keys in his hand. Now the guy is telling him that they’d spent hours talking last night, a memory Stefan couldn’t recall. While trying to figure Richard out, Stefan is contacted by his father, a guy who’d bailed when Stefan’s mom found out she was pregnant with his sister.
Richard isn’t sure how to feel about Stefan completely forgetting him. There was only one solution. Woo the human, because Stefan is his mate, and Richard isn’t giving up on him. Unfortunately, Stefan is a hard nut to crack, until Stefan’s four-year-old sister wants to adopt Richard. How cute. If only Stefan was that crazy about him. Thankfully Stefan starts to warm to the idea. Too bad his deadbeat dad shows back up in town, and Richard’s gut tells him that the guy is up to no good.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
Stefan zeroed in on the fresh pot of coffee on the counter. Tilly let his hand go as she went to the refrigerator and pulled out a head of lettuce, jelly, and a container that clearly held leftovers.
When she popped the lid, Stefan saw tuna salad inside.
“I’ll make you a sandwich,” Tilly said as Stefan went for a mug.
“I was thinking more along the lines of eggs and bacon, Silly Tilly.” He grinned. No way was he eating a tuna sandwich with lettuce and jelly. His stomach lurched just thinking about it.
“I’m not allowed to use the stove.” She looked so disheartened that Stefan didn’t stop her from making that awful sandwich.
His mother finally ended her call and turned toward him. “Fun night?”
Stefan groaned. He honestly didn’t want a lecture from his mom. He knew she loved and cared about him, but his head was still killing him, and he hadn’t had his coffee yet.
“Wicked night.” He filled his cup with coffee and then grabbed the creamer from the fridge.
“Luckily, you got a ride here,” Selma said as she passed him the bowl of sugar.
Stefan snorted. “That’s because I gave my keys to the bartender last night when I started drinking.”
His mother had drilled into his head that drunk driving wasn’t acceptable. That he could not only kill someone but an entire family if he ever got behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Stefan had taken her warning to heart and never drove when he drank. She’d filled his head with images of people dead in a car, tragedies he might inflict if he ever ignored her warning.
At least she wasn’t lecturing him. Cool.
“So, who was the guy who dropped you off?” She smiled at him as she grabbed the jelly from Tilly and put it back before she could apply it to his sandwich. Tilly frowned then shrugged, glopping the tuna onto the bread.
Stefan racked his brain trying to recall who had driven him home, but he couldn’t remember. How much had he drunk? Enough that he’d given his mom’s address instead of his own. “Just some nice guy.”
Selma frowned. “I thought I taught you not to take rides from strangers.”
“I had to get home,” he argued. Well, he didn’t technically argue because he had too much respect for his mom and she’d been through enough arguing when it came to her ex-husband. “It’s not like I could have walked here from the bar.”
His apartment was even farther from Loose Lips than his mom’s house.
Now that he was thinking hard about the stranger, tiny snatches of memory came to him. Not enough for him to remember the guy’s face. It was more shadowy but still there.
Whatever. It wasn’t as if Stefan would see the guy again. Now all he had to do was get to the bar to retrieve his keys and car.
“Here you go.” Tilly handed him his sandwich on a napkin.
Selma hid her smile as Stefan took the offered food. A glop of tuna fell from the sandwich, hitting the floor. There was also a huge piece of lettuce covering the surface just under the bread.
“Thanks, Tilly.” Stefan smiled. “I’ll eat this in my old bedroom.”
“Nu-uh.” She shook her head. “Mommy says we’re not allowed to eat in our room.”
At least his tuna sandwich didn’t have any jelly on it. Stefan took a deep breath before he bit into the sandwich. His stomach revolted. Not because the sandwich was bad but eating tuna while hungover was disgusting.
“I’ll take you to get your car,” his mom said. “I have to run some errands, so I can drop you there.” She turned to Tilly. “Go find some socks so we can get out of here.”
As she raced from the room, Stefan grinned. “Does she still love wearing mismatched socks?”
His mom rolled her eyes. “Not only does she love different socks, now she likes different sizes. One knee-high with one ankle sock.”
Stefan laughed as he took a sip of his coffee. “Gotta love her style.”
An hour later, he was in the parking lot of the bar, glad to see his CRV still sitting there. It was an older model, but it ran well and was clean.
The only problem was the bar wasn’t open yet. Drat. Maybe next time Stefan would tuck his keys somewhere on the car instead of handing them over to a responsible adult.
He’d told his mom to just drop him off before she went on her errands. Now he wished he’d asked her to wait. He was just about to turn around and go to the diner for breakfast—because he’d secretly tossed the tuna sandwich when Tilly ran for her socks—when he saw a pickup pulling into the parking lot.
Maybe Merrick had come in early. Stefan prayed it was him. He didn’t have to work today, but he sure as hell didn’t want to wait around for hours for the bartender.
But it wasn’t Merrick who got out of the truck. It was a very tall, very blond, very hot guy who looked vaguely familiar. The stranger walked right toward Stefan, and Stefan just watched instead of heading for the sidewalk. Something about the guy screamed lethal, and if Stefan had a brain cell working, he would have run.
“Somehow I knew you’d show up this early.” The guy’s grin was nice, and so were his hazel eyes.
“I’m sorry,” Stefan said when the stranger stopped a few feet away. “Do I know you?”
The guy’s chuckle was soft and deep. “You were pretty wasted last night, but I didn’t think I was that forgettable.”
Stefan still had no clue who this guy was, so he pressed his hand against his front pocket where he kept his mace. Just because he lived in a small town didn’t mean he’d walk around defenseless. Stefan wasn’t a very big guy and definitely lacked muscle. The mace had been a gift from his mom when he’d nearly gotten robbed a few weeks ago.
Stefan’s apartment was easy enough to find, but filled with nerves, Richard paused at the curb. He still sat behind the wheel, staring up at the building as if the bricks held all the answers. The building itself was only three stories with plenty of windows and a small courtyard to the front door. It wasn’t a big enough courtyard to sit and have a picnic in the grass, but it was still well maintained.
He still couldn’t believe Stefan didn’t remember him from last night. They’d spent hours talking about anything and everything, and Richard had been pleased he’d not only found his mate but that Stefan seemed like a real nice guy.
Only, his mate had been blacked out, and Richard hadn’t seen that. He hadn’t noticed anything to indicate that Stefan would have amnesia and remember nothing of their night together. That truly blew.
Now Richard was the only one who knew of their fun conversation and Stefan looked at him like some kind of stalker creep who’d just happened to see a cute guy in a parking lot and decided to follow him around.
“Here’s to hopin’ he remembers tonight.” Richard hopped out of his truck, pocketed his keys, and blew into his cupped hand to make sure his breath was decent.
On the third floor, he raised his hand to knock, his insides jittery at the prospect of spending time with his mate without the loud noise of a bar or Stefan being drunk to the point he hadn’t looked or sounded inebriated.
The door swung inward, and Stefan stared up at him with big, doe-like blue eyes. That look punched Richard right in the gut, and it felt like he couldn’t breathe. Even his white tiger snarled at how cute and innocent their mate appeared.
“Come in.” Stefan took a step back then stumbled over his own feet.
Richard reached out to grab him, but Stefan caught himself at the last minute.
The interior was a lot bigger than Richard expected when he walked through the door.
“You want something to drink?” Stefan closed the door and walked away, Richard following like a lost puppy.
He’d been around the block a few times when it came to dating. He’d always known the score, but he’d never been this nervous.
It wasn’t every day you met the one person you were destined to spend eternity with. This person mattered to Richard. Stefan was it for him, and if he screwed this up, Richard wasn’t sure what he would do.
“You’ll never guess what I was doing when we were texting.” Stefan handed him a bottle of juice. “You only get one guess.”
“And if I guess correctly?”
“We’ll see what happens from there.”
Richard popped the cap and took a drink, thinking carefully. What would a grown man be doing around midnight? He had a good idea but wasn’t sure he should say it out loud. Fuck it. Richard was going to speak his mind. He licked his lips, tasting the sweetness from the juice. “Masturbating.”
Stefan gasped then gagged, staring wide-eyed at Richard. “How in the hell did you know?”
That got a good hearty laugh out of Richard. That shocked look on Stefan’s face… “Lucky guess.” He wiggled his brows. “What happens from here?”
Stefan grabbed the bottle out of Richard’s hand and set it aside. He had some kind of look in his eye, a determination. Richard had just seconds to react to when Stefan jumped up and curled his lithe body around his. Holy shit. He had a wildcat on his hands!
Their lips crashed together. Smacking noises filled the kitchen as Richard plunged his tongue deep, devouring his little wildcat. Stefan’s hands were everywhere, gripping, squeezing, massaging, driving Richard insane.
If this was his reward for guessing right, Richard would turn into a mind reader. His cock was as hard as the countertop he leaned against it for leverage. Richard turned, putting Stefan’s butt on the surface. They were still going at it, and then Richard took a chance and slipped his fingers down the back of Stefan’s pajama pants.
A groan erupted against Richard’s lips. Their heavy panting increased as they tried to decide how far to take things. Words hadn’t been said. It was in the way they touched, kissed, and breathed. Since Stefan hadn’t protested to the hand down his pants, Richard took a chance.
He lifted his mate’s bottom and slipped the pants down to his knees. Stefan’s stiff cock sprang free, fat and gorgeous, begging for attention. So lost in the moment, Richard didn’t know where to begin. A quick stroke or taste his mate?
Decision made, Richard pulled back out of Stefan’s grasping hands and dropped to his knees. There was a quick inhale from his mate before Richard took the fat cock all the way down his throat. It was like tasting nirvana. He moaned around the dick in his mouth, sending vibrations through it, and smiled when Stefan jerked and grunted, his hands grabbing at Richard’s hair as if he was pulling weeds.
Then Stefan started punching his hips forward, lodging his cock in Richard’s mouth, tapping the back of this throat. The only thing to do was to grab Stefan’s hips. Richard stopped his mate from choking him then went back to sucking him off, using the flat of his tongue as he went up one side and down the other.
“This is so much better than what I was doing to myself,” Stefan said in voice just above a whisper. “So good. So, so, so good.”
If his mate could talk, Richard wasn’t doing a good enough job. He took Stefan’s cock back down his throat and used his throat muscle to clench the dick, squeezing it tight.