[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Paranormal, Werewolves, Vampires, Suspense, MM, HEA]
Spencer thought his troubles were behind him when his abusive uncle died. What he hadn’t counted on was inheriting Lyle’s debt. Now he has to figure out a way to come up with the money before Friday. When he arrives at work with a black and swollen eye, it’s Luka, the man of Spencer’s dreams, who comes to his rescue. Only Luka isn’t human, and he has a dark and sordid past that just might save Spencer’s life.
After his last job, Luka decides to retire, to put away his claws and guns and live a normal life. Whatever that is. He’s no longer an assassin, or so he thought, until he meets Spencer, an innocent human with trouble on his heels. When Luka discovers that Spencer is his mate, and Spencer is taken from him, Luka will use every skill he’s honed over his career and unleash his fury to get Spencer back.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
Spencer was wiping down the bar, expecting nothing more than another mundane evening of pouring drinks and collecting tips. The only difference was that tonight Luka walked through the door, and Spencer’s heart skipped a beat as he caught sight of the handsome stranger. With dark hair cut stylishly and piercing green eyes, Luka reminded Spencer of a warrior whose perfect body had been carved out of marble.
The hum of voices in the bar faded into background noise as Spencer continued to stare, imagining what it would be like to run his fingers through Luka’s hair and feel those strong arms wrapped around him.
A guy could dream…
Spencer didn’t know him personally. I wish. He only knew Luka’s name because the guy had answered his phone once, using his name as the only greeting. He didn’t even use a credit card to pay for his drinks. Luka always used cash.
If only Spencer could land someone that handsome. He’d tried to start up a conversation with Luka a few times before—a charming smile, a witty comment—but all Luka did was sit on the last stool, his broad back facing the wall like he owned the place. Spencer couldn’t help but wonder what thoughts raced through Luka’s mind as he surveyed the room with guarded eyes.
But Spencer knew better than to push his luck. Luka was someone who clearly didn’t want to be bothered, which was why Spencer was surprised when he looked over to find Luka staring right at him. He could feel the heat creeping up his neck and the butterflies in his stomach. But then, Luka glanced at his phone and turned his attention back to his drink.
Spencer couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed. Maybe Luka was just a regular guy, not interested in anything beyond his whiskey.
“You should just give up,” Tanner said from beside him. “You’ve been staring at that guy for a month now, and he hasn’t acknowledged you exist.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Spencer huffed. “I watch all our customers.”
“Not like you do him,” Tanner teased in a low tone. “It’s like he hypnotizes you whenever he enters the bar.”
“Why are you watching me so closely?” Spencer tossed the bar rag over his shoulder, stealing a glance Luka’s way. Again he was surprised when he saw Luka watching him. Then Luka got up and walked outside, his phone to his ear.
“Because it’s like watching a train wreck about to happen,” Tanner said. “You don’t even know if he’s gay. He probably thinks you’re creeping on him. Your boo is probably working a dead-end job, married, and comes to the bar to unwind— just like every unhappily married man.”
Spencer hadn’t noticed a wedding ring. He’d looked the first time he’d seen Luka at the bar. No ring. All Luka did was watch the people around him and once in a while take a call. Tanner was probably right. Luka might be the type to take off his wedding ring and it was his mistress calling him.
Unfortunately, Spencer had built up an entire persona regarding Luka. Some badass ex-military guy who was on the lam, making shady deals just to get by. Spencer also made him out to be the best lover in bed. The kind of guy who would rock Spencer’s world.
Too bad he would never find out. Spencer needed to get over his infatuation with Luka. Nothing was ever going to come from it. He was more than likely some average Joe who worked, drank, and went home to wifey.
With a sigh, Spencer set his towel on the bar. “I’m going on break.”
It was slow at Shinedown—a popular bar in a fairly nice neighborhood—and Spencer needed some fresh air. He took the side door out, making sure to use the piece of wood he and his coworkers used to prop the door open. Spencer sat on an overturned milk crate, resting his back against the building as he stared up at the stars.
It had been nearly six months since his coworker had come out to take a call and had vanished. A week after his disappearance, they’d found Ralph’s body in the building across the alley, along with evidence of foul play.
Since then Spencer’s boss had put up a security light as well as a camera. Not that those would help if someone decided to snatch him off his crate.
“You can’t call me for every problem you have. I don’t care how much you’re willing to pay me.”
Spencer sat up at the sound of the low and deep voice. He’d never heard anyone sound so damn sexy. It was a deep timbre that attracted his full attention.
Wait. Was that Luka? Spencer had only heard him speak a handful of times, and when Luka did talk, he hadn’t said much.
“Lose my number,” the stranger said with a growl that sounded too animalistic for Spencer’s liking.
He’d gotten up, ready to head back inside, when the security light above him went out, bathing the alley in darkness.
As far as Spencer knew, that had never happened before. He reached the door, only to accidentally kick it, sending the piece of wood flying away and making the door slam shut.
“Fuck,” Spencer muttered.
There was still light from the street, but it wasn’t as bright and frankly bathed him in shadows. Spencer reached for his phone so he could use his flashlight to find the damn buzzer. Tanner was going to have a snit about coming to let him in because the guy was a freaking drama queen. Before he could turn on the flashlight, he felt something or someone move behind him.
Spencer’s breath hitched as he slowly turned around, his heart racing like crazy. He saw nothing in the darkness, but he could feel the presence behind him. He took a step back, his hand still clutching his phone tightly.
“Who’s there?” he asked, but his voice was barely above a whisper.
“I normally don’t talk a lot. I don’t engage in idle conversations or go out of my way to make friends. I internalize everything, including my feelings, keeping things bottled up inside of me. For me to not only befriend you but bring you here, honestly, it’s a fucking miracle.”
“The lone wolf.”
Luka grinned. “Yeah, I guess.”
“But you’ve opened up to me, shared your secrets,” Spencer pointed out. “I’m honored, Luka. No, really, I am. I don’t take this friendship lightly, or your trust in me. If you want me to be truthful, I’m a bit of a loner myself.”
Maybe that was why they’d clicked. “But I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, and…” Spencer blew out a breath as he rubbed his palms on his pant legs. “I want to give this a chance.”
Luka’s face broke into a wide grin. “Are you sure?”
Spencer nodded, his resolve firm. “Yes. No. I don’t know. I’m not very good at making decisions. Hell, it took me two whole months to decide what couch I wanted in my apartment. I sat on a milk crate until I’d made a choice. If you let me, I’ll procrastinate about us for the next five years.”
“Can’t have that.” Luka slid his fingers down Spencer’s arm, sending goose bumps scattering all over his skin.
Without another word, Luka closed the distance between them and pulled Spencer into a deep kiss. Spencer’s heartbeat kicked up a notch as he felt Luka’s body press against his own. It was like he was meant to be there, in Luka’s arms, and nothing else mattered.
It was possible that the henchman had already beaten Spencer to a pulp. Maybe he was in a coma and none of this was real. Hell, Spencer didn’t know what to think. He just knew he was sick and tired of being alone.
He was ready to take a chance on Luka, to explore the connection that they shared. And who knew, maybe he really was meant to be Luka’s mate. But even if he wasn’t, he knew that he had found something special with Luka. Something worth fighting for.
Luka pulled away from the kiss, his eyes shining with something Spencer couldn’t name. “I promise to make this worth your while,” he said, his voice low and thick, like honey being poured in the sunshine.
Spencer felt his knees weaken. Everything he had ever wanted was right here in front of him, and he wasn’t sure he was ready for it.
Luka lowered his lips to Spencer’s neck, his teeth grazing the sensitive skin. Spencer gasped, his hands moving to grip Luka’s shoulders. Luka’s hands traveled lower, undoing Spencer’s pants and pulling them down. Spencer stepped out of them, his body shaking with anticipation.
“We’re outside.” Spencer gave the needless reminder.
Luka chuckled. “Don’t worry. No one’s around. If a bear decides to watch, I’ll mount his hide to my wall.”
“Are there really bears around here?” Spencer looked around nervously, but Luka’s touch was already making him lose his inhibitions. He was swept up in a wave of desire as Luka’s hands roamed over his body. He moaned softly as Luka’s lips met his once more, their tongues tangling in a fierce kiss.
“I won’t let any wild animals hurt you.” Luka pushed Spencer up against the tree. Spencer felt like he was on fire, every nerve in his body electrified. He ran his fingers through Luka’s hair, pulling him closer for another kiss.
They continued like that for what felt like hours, their bodies moving together in a perfect rhythm. And in that moment, Spencer knew that he had made the right decision.
When they finally separated, gasping for breath, Luka pulled Spencer into his arms. “I meant what I said,” he whispered. “I’ll protect you with every skilled I’ve honed.”
Spencer felt tears prick at the corners of his eyes. For the first time in his life, he felt truly safe. And it was all thanks to Luka, the wolf shifter who had come into his life and turned it upside down.
“I believe you,” Spencer said, his voice barely above a whisper. “But you’re not mounting the hides of any innocent animals on the wall.”
Luka’s laugh was soft and breathtaking. “I’d never hurt an animal. I was just trying to make a point.”
“Good.” Spencer traced his finger along the man’s jaw. “Now make me yours.”
Luka swept Spencer up into his arms and carried him inside. He laid Spencer down in front of the fire, the warmth of the flames creating a cozy and intimate atmosphere. Luka took his time undressing Spencer, worshipping every inch of his body. Spencer felt like he was melting under Luka’s touch, his body alive with pleasure.
Luka pulled back, got up, and walked away, leaving Spencer lying there panting. But he didn’t stay alone for long. Luka was back, lube in hand. When he lowered to his knees, Spencer spread his legs.
His pants were still lying outside, as was his underwear. Spencer felt kind of foolish just wearing a shirt and socks, but he was too into what Luka was doing to really care. Before Luka lubed his fingers, he undressed, and Spencer’s mind went completely blank as he stared the most perfect body he’d ever seen.
Luka slid his fingers into Spencer’s ass, and Spencer moaned with pleasure. He felt like he was on the edge of something beautiful, his entire body alive with pleasure. “Need more.”
“Patience.” Luka chuckled. “I want to take my time with you.”
And he did. Luka took his time, exploring Spencer with gentle, unhurried movements. His touch was soft, yet there was a possessive edge to it. Spencer could feel it down to his bones. Soon, Spencer was bucking against Luka, his breathing ragged and erratic.
“You gonna come for me right now?” Luka nibbled at Spencer’s neck. “Come for me, babe. Show me how I make you feel.”