[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Paranormal, Werewolves, Romantic Suspense, MM, HEA]
I’ve just been assigned to guard Lucas Drago because a contract was issued against him. The Malkovich pack wants not only Lucas dead, but the rest of the council. It’s my job to protect him, even though Lucas doesn’t want my help. He’s stubborn, surly, and gets under my skin in ways no one else has. Yet I can’t stop wanting him.
No one else sees the side to Lucas that I have. No one else knows he has a heart of gold hidden under layers of mistrust, pain, and trauma. He keeps me at arm’s length, until I ask him to show me the real Lucas. Slowly, I see the real Lucas through the cracks in his armor. I’m determined to win him over, for him to love me just as much as I love him. I’m determined for him to trust me, to know that I’ll keep him safe, even if that means sacrificing myself when the enemy closes in.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
“Whether you like it or not, you’re all getting a bodyguard.” Max held up his hand. “With bounties on our heads, I’m not taking any chances. Your lives matter more to me than your pride.”
I wasn’t thrilled with the idea. I was a very private person who didn’t need a damn babysitter, but the look on Max’s face said I wouldn’t win the argument.
“I’ve already hired a security detail for Danni,” Reese said from the other side of the conference table, “though he still insists on working. I don’t blame him. Danni wants as much normalcy in his life as he can get.”
“Fitch is well guarded,” Gabe said. “He took a leave of absence from his job and is at his parents’ house.”
I didn’t have a significant other. Didn’t want one. My life was too dangerous to involve an innocent. Besides, giving someone your heart made you weak. I knew Gabe and Reese were looking to get out of the crime boss business. Having boyfriends had changed their perspectives on life. Even Max had a significant other. Derek, his personal assistant. Derek had changed Max in ways I’d never thought possible.
I didn’t begrudge them their happiness. They all deserved it after the rough upbringing we’d had. I just didn’t want a bodyguard shadowing my every move. Some shmuck who would think he knew more about my safety than I did.
“For the record, I’m opposed to this.” I leaned back in my chair and unbuttoned my suit jacket. “I’ve been taking care of myself my entire adult life.”
Max’s expression said he knew I’d argue this point. I might have known I couldn’t win, but that never stopped me from trying. “Have you ever had a bounty on your head, Lucas? We’ve always had enemies. It comes with the territory when you hold power, but someone is dangling a delicious carrot in front of men who have considerably less to kill us. It’s a tempting payday that a lot of men will jump at. It can’t hurt to have extra eyes watching our backs.”
“Or you can just live in your office,” Reese said. “Though that doesn’t guarantee someone won’t come here looking for you. Like Max said, it’s a pretty tempting bounty.”
I knew my friends meant well, and arguing with them was a moot point. They weren’t going to back down. “Fine, where’s my bodyguard? I have things I need to take care of.”
I had meetings with clients across town. If I was going to make the first one, I needed to get going.
“He’s in your office,” Max said. “Don’t give him a hard time. He’s here to protect you, Lucas.”
Now I was curious to see who it was. There was a look in Max’s eyes that said I wouldn’t like his choice. “You know me,” Lucas said. “It’s in my nature to give people a hard time.”
“He’s not talking about sex, Lucas.” Gabe chuckled. “But it might not hurt for you to fall in love.”
That wasn’t going to happen. Gabe knew my past, knew I kept my heart on lockdown. There wasn’t a man alive who could get past my defenses. Just like Max, before he’d fallen in love, my heart was incased in ice. Or you could say it was made of stone. I didn’t have it in me to be vulnerable. Never again. I was no longer that helpless child, the kid who couldn’t stop his uncle from creeping into his room, too vulnerable to stop him. No. Hell no. Never again.
“Play nice,” Max warned as I walked out of the meeting room. I had to grab my files before I headed across town. I also had another engagement later this evening that I didn’t want a bodyguard privy to.
I walked into my office and ground my teeth.
Franco Salvador was seated on my couch, dressed in a crisp dark suit. We had worked together on a few occasions. Just two days ago we had helped Reese lay siege to a building and take down members of the Malkovich pack. I was used to seeing him in battle fatigues, geared up for a deadly fight.
His business suit caught me off guard.
I hadn’t known he could clean up so nicely.
“Salvador.” I gave a quick, sharp nod to acknowledge him as I went to my desk and stuffed my files into my briefcase, still pissed that I needed a babysitter. Although I considered myself a lethal person, I had to admit, if only to myself, I couldn’t take on the entire Malkovich pack on my own.
“Mr. Drago,” Franco said in return as he stood. I hated that his voice was deep, gritty, and managed to already get under my skin. “I just want you to know I won’t take this assignment lightly.”
I looked up at him, and damn if those beautiful blue eyes didn’t try to pull me in, try to suck me right into them. “I don’t need a babysitter, but since Max insists, try to remain in the background.”
“You won’t even know I’m here.”
I highly doubted that. Franco Salvador was the type of male who commanded a room whenever he entered. He was a take-charge kind of guy, someone who led, who called the shots when things heated up. Someone who kept a cool and level head when I was the hotheaded one.
There was no doubt in my mind that we were going to clash.
Five minutes later I was proven right.
I wasn’t sure what Lucas was up to because my brain had taken a nosedive. The only brain cells I had left were the ones lusting after this gorgeous male. He was at my back, and all I wanted to do was turn around and yank him into my arms.
But I wasn’t an idiot. I had to wait until Lucas made the first move. I wasn’t dealing with the aftermath of rejection if he refused my advances. Lucas was prickly, surly, and it would make working for him impossible if I made a move and he rebuffed me.
Raising my phone a bit higher, I asked, “See anything you want?”
Lucas rested his chin on my shoulder and then reached past me to use his finger to scroll through the menu. My entire body was acutely aware of his closeness, of his torso pressed into my back.
I’d seen the scars on his chest when I’d finally looked up at him, reminding me he hadn’t had a simple life. It was filled with violence, and I wanted to protect him from any more harm. I wanted to wrap this powerful man in a bubble and keep him safe from the world.
To keep him in my arms for however long he would have me.
“I see a few things I want.” When Lucas finally answered me, his lips were so close to my ear that I felt his warm breath skitter across my skin. My cock was now at full attention, ready to be used in whatever way Lucas wanted to use me.
“Like?” Was that my voice? How had it gone all breathy? It was deeper now, gravelly, filled with so much need that I was afraid to say anything else.
A shot of lust went straight to my groin when Lucas nipped my ear. My hand strangled my phone, my muscles locked into place. He nipped my lobe again then licked it so slowly that my dick throbbed.
“Is this what you want?” My voice was still unsteady, but I had to know what he was up to. What his intentions were. I was all for having sex, but I wanted to make damn sure we were on the same page.
“Yes,” Lucas hissed softly into my ear.
My heart was drumming to Lucas’s beat. His breath on my skin was sending an erotic sensation cascading down my body, pooling at my cock. I moved slowly from the stool, like a predator afraid of spooking its prey.
His fingers slid down the side of my body. They came to rest at my crotch, cupping my throbbing cock. I let out a hiss, my hips thrusting forward. My balls tightened up with a desperate sort of urgency, and I groaned when he moved his fingers to massage my hardness.
The cocky son of a bitch smirked.
“What kind of game are you playing?” I was shocked I got the words past my lips.
His brown eyes darkened. “I don’t play games, Salvador.”
“Then what do you want, Drago?” I grabbed his wrist and helped him stroke my cock, which was trapped underneath my gym shorts and underwear, begging to be set free.
“Do I really have to spell this out for you?” One of his dirty-blond brows arched. “Don’t tell me you’ve never had sex before.”
That made me snort. “Had plenty of sex, asshole.”
The ache inside my body deepened with ever stroke of Lucas’s hand. His hand was now curled around my cock, limited in movement because of my clothes, but I felt what he was doing down to my fucking soul. It was possible that all our interactions, even the heated ones, had been some sort of foreplay. A sexually tense dance that neither knew we were moving our feet to.
Not until now.
My heart quickened in beat when Lucas released my aching cock and slipped a hand into my waistband, taking my pants and boxer briefs down to my thighs. My dick popped free, the head already leaking pre-cum. It stood proud and thick, pulsing as Lucas wrapped his hand back around it, no barriers this time.
Already I was unsteady on my feet, so I gripped the counter behind me and watched as Lucas licked his lips, as though he wanted a taste of me. I didn’t say a word. I was too afraid of breaking this spell over us, of shattering this moment.
I didn’t want to see the shutters roll down over his eyes. I didn’t want him to erect those walls back around himself, shutting himself off from the world and me.
His hand strangled my erection right before he lowered to his knees. It was so perfect, the way he stroked me, the way he looked up into my eyes. It was as if he knew exactly what I wanted, what I needed.
Then he took the head into his mouth, and my world exploded. I gritted my teeth as I watched him watch me. He suckled the head, making my cock pulse harder, and then he palmed my nuts, rolling them in his hand.
I had to close my eyes. That sight would forever be burned into my memory, would be what I recalled on lonely nights when all I had was my hand. Lucas was already gorgeous, but to see him on his knees sucking me off was fucking beautiful.
Those lips wrapped around my cock, bringing me so much pleasure I wasn’t sure I would survive this. Not the sex but the moment, because I knew when this was done, when we’d both gotten off, those walls would be right back in place. The intimacy forgotten.
At least on his part, because there was no way I could forget what we were doing.