Lethal Encounter (MM)

Midnight Falls 10

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: Sextreme
Word Count: 30,217
2 Ratings (4.0)

[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Paranormal, Shape-shifters, Suspense, MM, HEA]

Needing to go for a run, Beckett Lovato takes off into the forest surrounding Midnight Falls, only to find a snared little bunny desperately trying to get free. When Beckett frees it, he smells shifter on the bunny and demands it take human form. To his shock, Santee is his mate and in deep trouble. Not only are poachers back in the forest, but they’ve already made two kills. And somehow Santee’s brother is involved in all of it.

His entire life Santee Delk has been abused by his brother. Not even their parents stepped in the way to save him. Now their parents are off on their dream vacation, leaving Santee vulnerable to Marvell’s evil tendencies. Santee has lost all hope that he can live a safe life until he’s rescued from a snare by a cheetah shifter. When Beckett refuses to let Santee return to the abuse, Marvell gets creative, determined to get his brother back.

Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.

Lethal Encounter (MM)
2 Ratings (4.0)

Lethal Encounter (MM)

Midnight Falls 10

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: Sextreme
Word Count: 30,217
2 Ratings (4.0)
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Cover Art by Jess Buffett
Excerpt

STORY EXCERPT

Moving closer to the sound, Beckett saw a bunny caught in a snare. It was thrashing wildly, some of its white fur stained red from where it must have been cut by the wire.

Who in the fuck had set up a snare? There had been problems with hunters lately, even though hunting wasn’t allowed in Midnight Falls. Beckett would let Sheriff Harper know about it, but first he wanted to help the bunny.

Beckett’s shifted, walked closer, then knelt in front of the frightened creature. “Calm down while I try to get you out of this.”

That only made the bunny wiggle harder.

“You’re going to hurt yourself even more if you don’t calm down.” Beckett grabbed the bunny by its scruff before lifting it up, taking the makeshift frame and crossbar sticks with it.

“I’m going to unwind the wire from around you.” Beckett had started to untangle the bunny when it suddenly smelled like crisp, clean, freshly fallen snow. The kind of smell that evoked memories of Beckett and his brothers spending winters at their grandparents’ house.

Those were some of the best memories Beckett had from his childhood. Snowball fights with his siblings. Hot apple cider. Chopping wood with his grandfather. Lying in front of the fireplace to get warm after spending hours outside.

Beckett frowned as he glanced down at the bunny, carefully removing the wire. Then he stood, keeping his grip on the scruff. “Shift.”

The bunny tried to scratch him.

“Shift or I’ll put that fucking wire back around you,” Beckett threatened. He wasn’t into hurting anyone smaller than him, but he wanted to know why a shifter was prowling around the forest behind his house.

The bunny shifted, revealing a petite man with a heart-shaped face and striking blue-gray eyes. Beckett nearly dropped the man when he saw the wide, frightened doe-eyes staring back at him, but he tightened his grip and set the guy on his feet.

“Who are you?” Beckett demanded, keeping a firm hold around the stranger’s nape to prevent him from running away. “Why are you sneaking around my property?”

The man squeaked, trying to pull away from Beckett’s grasp. “I-I’m sorry!” he stammered, his gaze darting nervously between Beckett’s face and the forest beyond. “I didn’t mean to sneak onto your property, I swear! I was just…just…” The guy bit his lip. “Well, I was following someone, if you must know.”

“Like an ex-boyfriend who isn’t interested in dating you anymore?” Beckett really needed to get Dax’s visit out of his head.

The guy laughed then sobered. “I’m not dating anyone.”

“I’m not in the mood for games.” Beckett eased his hand away from the guy’s neck. “Who were you following?”

“Some very bad men,” the guy admitted. Then he stuck his hand out. “My name is Santee Delk.”

“And my name is No Trespassing,” Beckett said. “Didn’t you smell cheetah markings? A little bunny would have to be crazy to enter a cheetah’s territory.”

“Well, Mr. No Trespassing, it won’t happen again.”

Beckett hated to admit that he liked Santee’s sass.

Santee leaned in closer, his noise wiggling. “Why do you smell like wood burning in a fireplace?”

A sensation in the center of Beckett’s chest seized him. He could still scent snow, as if they were standing in a foot of the white stuff. Which was insane because it was the middle of summer. There wasn’t a threat of snow on the air, so the smell must have been…

Beckett snarled as he looked Santee over. The guy was his mate. He also saw deep lacerations on Santee’s side and thighs. “You’re hurt.”

“I can heal,” Santee said. “I’m a bunny shifter. I heal quickly.”

But Beckett couldn’t let Santee leave in his condition, not when he was hurt and had just been caught in a snare. He had to do something about it. And he knew exactly what needed to be done.

Beckett picked Santee up in his arms, earning a squeak from the smaller man. “What are you doing?”

“Taking you home so I can make sure you’re okay.” Beckett’s hand settled against Santee’s side, where one of the deeper cuts was. “You look like you’re on the verge of passing out.”

Santee shook his head, but Beckett could feel his racing heartbeat and the tremble in his muscles. The bunny shifter was in pain, whether he admitted it or not.

He carried Santee through the forest, making a beeline for his house. He’d already seen that Santee was no match for him physically, so there was no need to pretend otherwise. Besides, Beckett wasn’t interested in hurting Santee or anyone smaller than him. He just wanted to make sure his mate was okay.

His mate. Fuck, Beckett would shelve that for now because he wasn’t sure how to react in a way that wouldn’t scare Santee further.

Once they reached the house, Beckett gently set Santee down on a chair in the kitchen. His mate was sitting up with his arms wrapped around himself, seemingly trying to hold himself together.

“Do you know why I smelled like wood burning in a fireplace?” Beckett tucked a few strands of blond hair behind Santee’s delicate ear.

“We’re mates,” Santee whispered, as if someone unseen would hear him.

“Hey, Beckett,” Hayden said as he came into the kitchen. Santee quickly shifted into his bunny form and scrambled from the chair, racing to hide under the table.

Hayden cocked his head. “Since when do you bring prey home, still alive? Wanna share it?”

Beckett snarled. “You dumbass, that’s my mate.”

Hayden’s brows shot up. He blinked then looked from Santee—who had his fluffy white tail peeking out from under the table—back to Beckett. He nodded toward the kitchen chair. “And you brought him in here while he’s hurt? Are you trying to kill him? I smelled his blood as soon as you walked into the house, and my cheetah is going apeshit.”

With a snarl, Beckett shoved Hayden against the wall. “Touch one strand of fur on him and I’ll rip off your arm and shove it up your ass.”

“What’s going on?” Bran asked as he entered the kitchen, his brows hiked. “Why are you threatening Hayden, and why is there a cute little bunny under the table?” Bran paled. “Please don’t tell me you’re going to eat it.”

“Not if I want to keep both my arms in their sockets,” Hayden said.

Beckett released his brother. “No touching the bunny.” He turned to Bran. “He’s my mate.”

Bran’s jaw dropped. “You’re mated to a bunny? How does that work? Isn’t it too small for you, and how do you communicate?”

Hayden chuckled. “He’s a shifter, gatito.”

“There are bunny shifters?” Bran laughed. “He’s so adorable!”

Beckett crouched down, hoping Santee didn’t have a heart attack. “Come out, conejito.”

“What does that mean?” Bran whispered to Hayden.

“Bunny,” Hayden whispered back. “Maybe we should go so Beckett’s mate can calm down.”

“I want to hold and pet him,” Bran whined. “He looks so soft and fluffy.”

“He’s a person.” Hayden grabbed Bran’s hand and pulled him from the kitchen.

 

ADULT EXCERPT

 

Beckett smiled. “Turn around so I can wash the baking soda and vinegar off of you. I only want to smell your natural fragrance.”

“What do I smell like?” Santee asked as Beckett shampooed his hair. Holy smokes. Santee never knew letting someone else wash his hair could feel so dang good. His eyelids fluttered closed as his head fell back, a groan slipping from him.

“I take it you like me washing your hair?”

“God yes,” Santee murmured.

“You smell like crisp, clean, freshly fallen snow to me.” When Beckett’s fingernails scraped Santee’s scalp, he nearly came from the sensation. Okay, so he’d just learned something new about himself.

Santee wanted to be bold, to assert himself with Beckett. He might not be experienced, but he’d seen enough movies and television shows to know how to seduce someone.

Then again, he’d watched entertainment, so everything he’d learned might be bullshit. He was about to find out.

After Beckett washed the shampoo out of his hair, he turned Santee around and grabbed a rag and the body wash. Santee simply stood there, waiting.

His mate seemed focused, his hands gliding over Santee’s body almost clinically. He’d said that, right now, things were nonsexual, but Santee wanted to have sex with Beckett more than anything. Just having the guy this close to him was making his cock hard.

And it was evident since his dick was at full salute.

When Beckett’s hand slid over Santee’s hip, Santee couldn’t hold back. Santee grabbed his mate by his nape and yanked him down for a searing kiss, grinding his hard cock against Beckett’s thigh.

Beckett slid his tongue up Santee’s ear, slowly moving him back, trapping Santee against the shower wall, one of Beckett’s hands on either side of his head. “You’re playing a dangerous game, sweetheart.”

Santee groaned at the thickness he heard in Beckett’s voice.

“Maybe I don’t want things to be nonsexual right now.” Santee slid his arms around Beckett’s wet shoulders, letting his fingers play in the man’s short hair. Beckett nuzzled his neck, one of his hands lowering to tweak and pull at Santee’s nipple.

Desire swept through Santee, his cock becoming impossibly harder for his mate, no longer caring what his nipples looked like just as long as Beckett didn’t stop touching him. 

“I think you’re clean enough.” Beckett twisted to the side and shut off the water. Then he backed up, took Santee’s hand, and guided him to the bedroom but not before grabbing two towels.

When they were in Beckett’s room, his mate used one of the towels to dry off Santee, and Santee freaking loved how his mate pampered him. It seemed everything Beckett did was a first for Santee.

Beckett tossed the towel aside, solely focusing on Santee, his electric-blue eyes never leaving Santee’s. At that moment, he felt like the most important person in the world to Beckett.

Beckett leaned down, pressing a soft kiss to Santee’s lips. “I want to make sure you know that this is your choice. We can wait, or we can…”

Santee didn’t let Beckett finish his sentence. He wrapped his arms around his mate’s neck and pulled him down for a deep, passionate kiss. As they kissed, Santee ran his hands over Beckett’s muscular chest and back, feeling the water droplets on his skin.

Beckett responded by picking Santee up and laying him down on the bed. He trailed kisses down Santee’s neck and chest, causing Santee to shiver with pleasure. Beckett took his time, exploring every inch of Santee’s body with his mouth and hands.

Santee was in heaven. He had never felt this desired, this loved before. He wrapped his legs around his mate’s waist and pulled him closer, wanting to feel their bodies pressed together.

Beckett seemed to sense what Santee needed and adjusted his position so that they were chest to chest. He continued to kiss Santee, their tongues moving together in a sensual dance.

Santee felt Beckett’s hard length pressed against his own, and he couldn’t help but wriggle his hips, causing a soft purr to escape Beckett’s throat.

“Patience, sweetheart,” Beckett murmured against Santee’s lips. “We have all the time in the world.”

Santee nodded, but an impatient whimper escaped his throat. He wanted Beckett inside him, filling him up and making him feel whole.

His mate reached for the lube in the nightstand and slicked up his fingers. He gently breached Santee’s entrance, causing Santee to gasp at the intrusion.

Beckett took his time, stretching Santee until he was ready for him. And when he finally entered Santee, it was with a slow, gentle thrust. Santee breathed out, telling himself that the pain would pass.

“Try to relax.” Beckett rested his arms on either side of Santee’s head. “Concentrate on me, babe.”

Santee wasn’t sure how much time had passed, but when the pain morphed into pleasure, it made Santee see stars. He wondered why he’d waited so long to have sex, yet he was glad Beckett was his first.

Beckett began to move, slowly at first, but then picking up the pace as Santee relaxed beneath him. Santee wrapped his legs around Beckett’s waist, meeting him thrust for thrust. He could feel the heat building in his belly, spreading throughout his body, until he was a writhing mess beneath his mate.

“Oh, Beckett,” Santee moaned, burying his face in Beckett’s shoulder as he rode out the waves of pleasure.

Beckett pulled Santee closer, thrusting deep inside his body. The guy was not a small man. Santee’s bottom ached, but it was a damn good ache, so good Santee never wanted to stop.

“Beckett.” Santee held on tighter as his mate sent Santee toward the edge in a heated rush, his body burning alive for the man holding him.

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