A dark new drug on the streets of Chicago threatens to overwhelm the city’s vampires and unleash chaos and carnage. Widespread use of ‘obsidian’ will turn the city into a bloodbath, and only two men can save the city before it’s too late -- Gideon, a vampire fighting to maintain the balance between good and evil, and Jesse Madding, his human assistant. When Gideon is unknowingly dosed by the drug, he attacks Jesse with all the pent-up desire he has for his best friend -- and changes everything between them.
While negotiating this strange new dynamic of desire, submission, bondage, and pain, they race to contain the violence threatening to destroy vampire and man alike. But can they find the source of this powerful drug before their own passion and growing emotions take them over completely?
It was both easier and more difficult to face Jesse when he was this calm. While Gideon wasn't eager to think Jess was in pain, the fact that he refused to even show it had to mean he was more hurt by what happened than he was willing to admit to Gideon. He carried over the hot mugs -- coffee for Jess, blood for himself -- and sat down opposite him. Waiting to talk was a bad idea.
"What did you think you were doing?" Gideon winced inwardly. The question came out angrier than he'd hoped. He supposed he still harbored some feelings about being manipulated.
Jesse took a long sip from his coffee before answering. "If it makes you feel better to think it was all my fault, that's fine. But I didn't thrust the knob into your hand. You took it from me, without, I might add, noticing the gloves I wore. I didn't force anything on you. But you know what? It doesn't really make a difference. Because I'm tired of both of us trying to pretend that everything is normal."
Gideon frowned. "What are you talking about? Everything will be normal again, if we keep that stuff -- whatever it is -- away from me."
Jesse looked at him with a combination of exasperation and amusement. "No, Gideon, it's not. It won't be. I was happy before to pretend that I didn't want you, and you didn't know it. But I can't now. And you sure as hell can't pretend you don't know what I ... want from you."
The echoes of his pleading filled Gideon's ears, and he fought not to squirm in his seat as his cock hardened. "What about what I want?" he countered. "You're the best friend and partner I've ever had. Doesn't that count for anything?"
"What makes you think I'd stop being those things, Gideon? I'm still your friend. I still know you better than anybody, and the only way I'd ever stop being your partner is if you fired me. And we both know you'd never do that, because you don't like to research."
"Because sex is messy, Jess. Especially the kind of sex ..." He braced himself for being honest. "... I'd want."
"That's why we shower afterward," Jess joked, but it fell flat. "Gideon, the kind of sex you want is the kind of sex I want. You haven't frightened me, or horrified me, or maimed me, or damaged me. We're both consenting adults, and I'm not so naïve I don't know what I'm consenting to."
He looked down at the mug of blood he cradled between his broad hands. "You can't tell me that given the choice, you wouldn't want the candlelight and roses route, Jess. Hell, that's what you deserve. Not being treated like a toy for me to drag out whenever I feel the urge."
"First, I do not have an unfulfilled need for candlelight and roses. And even if I did, messy sex doesn't preclude those things. Secondly, Gideon, what do I have to do to convince you that I want to be dragged out whenever you feel the urge? I don't want to be treated like a toy, true, but I do want to be treated like your toy."
Lifting his head, Gideon met Jesse's earnest gaze, noting the slight lean in the other man's upper body as he angled himself closer. It was the way he always was, Gideon realized now. Always trying to fill the space around Gideon, always there filling his senses. It was as much who he was as the fact that Gideon noticed. Jesse had preoccupied his thoughts more than once since coming into his life.
Was it so bad, what he was suggesting?