[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Romantic Suspense, Werewolves, Paranormal, Vampires, MM, HEA]
A one-off in a club bathroom should have been it. A good time and amazing memories. To say Gem was shocked to see the stud show up at the coffee shop where he worked was an understatement. Now Grey has set his sights on Gem, and Gem wasn’t sure what to think. His boyfriend of two years dumped him for a shinier new model, and Gem was still licking his wounds, but when he discovered that things are not what they seem in Willow Point, Gem found himself running right into Grey’s strong, nonhuman arms.
Grey had been kicking himself for a week for not getting his mate’s name or phone number. He hadn’t realized Gem was his until after the human had hauled it out of the bathroom of The Manacle and split before Grey could find him. Now Gem was in his town, right under Grey’s nose the entire time, and there was a lethal threat after him.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
Grey couldn’t believe his goddamn eyes. They had to be playing tricks on him. There was no way his mate was behind the counter. But he was, and Grey wasn’t going to let him run away this time.
The guy nearly dropped the empty tray in his hands. If Grey hadn’t leaned over the counter to steady it, it would have fallen to the floor. “Whoa.”
“You!” The human paled as he stared at Grey with those haunting blue eyes. “What are you doing here?” He narrowed them. “Are you stalking me? How did you find out who I was and where I worked?”
Grey still couldn’t believe this was real. He’d mourned the loss of the guy for an entire week, pining over him, miserable with the thought of never seeing him again.
And he lived in Willow Point? How? Grey was pretty sure he would have noticed someone as good-looking as his mate before they’d met at the club.
“I live here.” Grey leaned back, still trying to wrap his head around his good fortune. “You live here, too?”
The human nodded as he tucked the empty tray under his arm. “Been here about a month.”
That would explain why Grey hadn’t run into him yet. He spent most of his time at home working. And from what he could see, his mate spent most of his time in the kitchen.
Grey stuck his hand out. “I’m Grey Matthews.”
The human eyed Grey’s hand like it would turn into a snake and bite him. “I’m not sure we should become chummy. It was a one-off,” he whispered.
“So, who says we can’t be friends?” Grey asked.
He looked skeptical but shrugged. He finally shook Grey’s hand. “Gem City.”
“Seriously?” The word was out before he could stop it.
“Yes, seriously.” Gem glared at him. Boy, Grey was racking up the brownie points in the first five minutes of reuniting with him. If he kept this up, Gem might kick him out of the coffee shop.
“I love it.” Grey tried to soothe Gem’s pride with a smile. “It’s very unique.”
His wolf was going insane, batting at Grey’s ribs to get to their mate. Grey had to use every ounce of self-control he possessed not to pull Gem over the counter and run away with him.
Gem blushed. “I have to get back to work. The dishes aren’t going to wash themselves. It was, um, good to see you again, Grey.”
Once again Grey let him walk away, but now he knew where to find Gem.
“What’s going on?” Kent asked as he walked up to Grey. “Is everything okay?”
Kent was a part of Grey’s pack, and of course he would be concerned. Grey probably looked feral as he watched the human go into the kitchen.
“Gem is my mate.”
Kent looked wide-eyed at him then chuckled. “You’ve got to be shitting me. If I had known that, I would have introduced you two when he first hit town.”
Grey was still dumbstruck that Gem lived here right under his nose. He really needed to get out more often. “I need his address. I’ll have Ayden send a guy to watch him while he’s not at work.”
With the current problem they had in Willow Point, he wasn’t taking any chances. His gut churned as he thought about a rogue vampire getting his hands on the cute little blond.
Mates were precious, and Grey would do whatever it took to keep Gem safe. He just wished he’d bitten Gem when they’d had sex. That would have bonded their souls.
That was one regret he had had all week. But now that Grey knew where Gem lived, they had time for that. This was no longer a one-night stand. Now he would woo Gem.
“Let me get that information for you.” Kent walked away.
After ordering a latte, Grey took a seat since he didn’t want to seem like he was stalking Gem, like his mate had implied, but Grey wanted another chance to talk to him. He felt his cheeks stretching from the wide smile that not even a chisel could remove. His funk was over. Gem was here, safe and sound. There was no more wondering where he was or what he was doing, because he was thirty feet away from Grey, tucked in the kitchen.
Grey’s heart felt like it could finally restart.
Kent returned and handed a piece of paper to him. “He’s here every morning by four and leaves at two.”
Grey looked at his watch. An hour before Gem was off work. If Grey had waited to meet with Kent, he might not have known Gem was here considering Grey didn’t come to the coffee shop too often. Now he was going to be the most loyal customer in Willow Point.
Kent dropped into the chair across from him. “He’s a damn fine baker. My customers absolutely love his pastries.”
A baker. Grey would have never guessed that. It didn’t matter to him that Gem held a few extra pounds. It looked damn good on him, and the pastries he baked were unbelievably delicious. Grey would have gained weight, too, from baking all those amazing treats. He probably would once he convinced Gem to move in with him.
“He came here because his ex-boyfriend dumped him,” Kent said. “He’s heartbroken, Grey. He tries to hide it, but I’ve caught him a few times in the kitchen crying.”
Yes, the ex. Grey remembered Gem telling him something about that. His mate didn’t have to worry about a broken heart. Grey planned on making the guy smile every chance he could get. By the time Grey was done wooing Gem, his ex would be a distant memory.
Once again, he wanted to feel Grey behind him, as if Gem hadn’t punished himself enough with gorgeous men who thought he was disposable. But he was turned on by the thought of how it had felt before when they had rocked that stall.
Gem wanted that experience once more. He would call himself all kinds of idiots later. And nope, he wasn’t fazed by the fact that Grey wasn’t human. He looked it, so Gem would pretend that tidbit of information didn’t exist…for now.
It was downright baffling what you fooled yourself into thinking when you were horny and had a hot guy right in front of you who was willing to throw you down and fuck you until you screamed his name.
God, his thoughts were not helping.
But it was too late. The heat was already sizzling through Gem, threatening to set him on fire if he didn’t get Grey naked. Fucking hormones. But he wasn’t going to deny himself such a hot hunk. Not this afternoon anyway.
Tomorrow he would go back to trying to ignore Grey and his crazy world. Right now, Gem was going to seize the moment. Again. Just like at that club. Only this time he couldn’t run away, because this was his home.
He pulled out of Grey’s arms, loving the confused but heated look in those hazel beauties. The confusion wouldn’t be there for long. This must have been the way Gem dealt with stress. Sex. He had to admit it took his mind off of the other things, and damn, there was no way he could have that hot stud in his apartment and not jump all over that.
Grey had been the only thing on Gem’s mind for the past week, dreams and longing, and now that he had Grey here, Gem’s libido was through the roof.
After walking out of the kitchen, Gem yanked his shirt over his head and tossed it aside. He hid his smile when Grey followed right behind him and gave a low, throaty growl.
“I need a shower after my long day at work.” Gem didn’t wait for him to reply. He walked down the hallway and headed for the bathroom, undoing his pants on his way. When he reached the bathroom, he slid out of them, as well as his underwear, and pulled off his socks, leaving his discarded clothes in a pile on the floor.
Gem still didn’t look behind him because he liked this game, so he reached in and turned the water on, making sure Grey got a good look at his ass.
Warm, strong hands touched Gem’s hips before Grey turned him around. Gem gasped. How on earth had the guy undressed that quickly and so quietly? He stood there nude, his body so perfect that Gem wanted to drool and touch every inch of him.
“Figured I’d take a shower with you,” Grey said in that sexy deep voice. “You need someone to scrub your back and keep you safe.”
Gem twisted his lips. “One, I’ve been washing my own back for as long as I can remember. Two, I don’t think I need protection in the shower.”
“Stop wrecking my excuses.” Grey opened the sliding glass door and led Gem inside. He didn’t ask why Gem had changed his mind, why he was being a slut again, and Gem was glad because he couldn’t even figure out his own feelings, let alone explain them to anyone. Like he said, this was how he dealt with stress.
Sure, Grey had explained things about fate and being his mate, but Gem wasn’t completely convinced of that, and he didn’t want to dwell on it.
He noticed Grey was so damn hard that the head of his cock was an angry purple color. Gem stood there, mesmerized by the hard sinewy muscles that encased the man’s thighs. There wasn’t an ounce of fat anywhere on his body. Gem hadn’t had the chance to check him out in the club, and early this morning didn’t seem like the right time to ogle him. But now? Gem could drink his fill until he was drunk off of the sight in front of him.
Gem’s gaze slowly began to rise, taking in the slim waist, the very erotic V shape on either side of Grey’s groin, and an abdomen that proudly displayed a very gorgeous six-pack of muscles.
Grey stood as if he prided himself on his well-honed body, shamelessly displaying his male physique for Gem to swoon over. And he was heavily swooning.
“You just going to stand there?” Grey asked as his large hand slid down his stomach and his hazel eyes lowered until he was staring directly at Gem’s own full-blown erection.
The water hitting Gem’s back pulled him out of his stupor. He grabbed his loofa off the shelf and wet it, concentrating on the water and not the naked temptation behind him.
“I got this.” Grey plucked the loofa out of Gem’s hands, soaped it up, and began to draw circles on his back. Oh god. A moan escaped as Gem leaned forward, pressing his hands against the wall and loving every second of what the guy was doing. Grey had magical hands, or Gem was just turned on by someone else washing him.
He was lost in what Grey was doing, enjoying every scrub like the guy was a professional massage therapist. Those hands were a modern miracle. Gem jutted his ass out, the spill of hot water cascading over him as he thought about that hard cock inches away from his ass.
No one had ever shared a shower with him before, and although it was a tight fit, he definitely liked someone else scrubbing his body.
Grey slid his tongue over the shell of Gem’s ear, slowly moving Gem back and turning him around. He trapped Gem against the shower wall, one of his hands on either side of Gem’s head. “I can’t take that tempting ass anymore. I have to have you.”
“Oh my god. Take me.” In that moment, he was willing to do whatever the hell Grey wanted. He just needed the stud inside of him.
Gem slid his arms around Grey’s wet shoulders, letting his fingers play in the guy’s short hair. Grey nuzzled his neck, one of his hands lowering to tweak and pull at Gem’s nipple. Electricity shot through him, dragging another groan from his throat. Desire swept through Gem, his cock becoming impossibly harder.
Grey moved his hand lower, his powerful fingers wrapping around Gem’s cock. Gem’s mouth fell open as he struggled to breathe, while tiny little gasps burst out of his throat.
He hissed at how good Grey’s hand felt stroking his shaft, bringing Gem close even with only a hand job. The man had wonderful, glorious hands, and he knew how to use them. He gave one last tug before releasing Gem’s pulsating flesh. “Wrap your legs around me. I want to feel you riding my cock.”