[Siren Publishing: The Lynn Hagen ManLove Collection: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Alternative, Paranormal, Werewolves, Vampires, Romantic Suspense, MM, HEA]
Redemption Security is Rhys Maxwell’s company, his creation, his baby. He employs members of his pack and they get the job done. With any company who eliminates threats, they’ve created enemies.
Only, it wasn’t his enemies who came after Adam.
Adam Winters is the salvation to Rhys’s soul. He is Rhys’s mate. His everything. When Adam witnesses a hit going down at a gala event, Rhys has to save him from the monsters who are after him.
Vampires. Rogues. The vilest creatures to walk the earth.
They are hunting Adam, hell-bent on killing him to shut him up. It is Rhys’s job to keep him safe, to protect and cherish the man who has come to mean the world to him. Even, if at times, he has to save Adam from himself.
There isn’t anything he won’t do for Adam, and Rhys will kill anyone foolish enough to come after what is his.
Lynn Hagen is a Siren-exclusive author.
It was nearly midnight when Rhys saw the lights go out in the window. He moved across the street and made sure no one was around before he unlocked the downstairs door and made his way to the human’s apartment.
He stood motionless in the hallway as he listened. There were only two doors, but the scent of the human from the gala was strongest behind the door to his right.
Even so, he didn’t move. Rhys remained still as he made sure he didn’t hear anyone moving around. Once he was sure the human was asleep, he slipped into the apartment and closed the door behind him.
Rhys looked around at the modest décor. Nothing in the room would have been his first choice, or his fifth, but the place was clean and had a citrusy scent to it.
When he silently moved into the kitchen, he saw mail on the counter. It was addressed to Adam Winters. Now Rhys had the human’s name. He set the piece of mail down and turned, only to get clobbered over the head.
“I’m calling the cops!”
How in the hell had the human managed to sneak up on him? That had never happened before. Rhys held his head, snarling at the little shit before yanking the bat from his hands. “Are you trying to crack my goddamn skull open?”
Goddamn his head hurt.
“You’re the one breaking into my house!” Adam shouted. “Give me back my bat!”
Instead, Rhys broke it in half and tossed it aside. He wouldn’t be surprised if he had a goose egg. If any of his pack members found out what Adam had just done, they would rib Rhys for the rest of eternity.
Adam stared wide-eyed at him. The male had the prettiest emerald green eyes Rhys had ever seen. And was that strawberry he smelled? “How did you do that?”
Rhys curled his lip. “There’s a lot about me that would scare you.” He rubbed his throbbing head then lowered his hand. “Pack a bag.”
Adam stared at him as if Rhys had asked him to cut off his own arm. “I’m not going anywhere with you. Who are you, and why did you break in?”
After taking a bat to the head, Rhys was not in the mood to explain anything, but he knew he had to tell Adam the truth. “You witnessed something at the gala tonight.”
Adam backed away, glancing at the two pieces of discarded wood as he paled. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I didn’t witness anything.”
Smart man, but his denial wouldn’t be enough to save him from the Hutton coven. “Regardless to whether you want to admit it or not, you are now being hunted. I don’t have time to stand here and coddle you. Some very nasty men are tracking you, and trust me, it won’t take them long to find you.”
“You still haven’t told me who you are.”
Rhys moved past Adam. “The only man standing between you and a very brutal death. Now either grab some things or you can go in your underwear. That’s up to you, but we’re leaving in two minutes.”
Rhys headed down the hallway, looking in the rooms until he found a bedroom. He opened dresser drawers, grabbing some shirts, before moving to another drawer and grabbing socks and underwear.
“What are you doing?” Adam asked from the doorway.
Stowing his irritation, Rhys turned to face him. “I already told you we’re running out of time. Now either help me gather your things or stay behind and die.”
Maybe he’d had to say the warning twice, but Adam finally put some fire under his ass and opened his closet door, yanking on a pair of jeans. He grabbed two more pair before snatching a backpack from the shelf above him.
Rhys jammed the clothes in there then went to the bathroom to grab Adam’s toothbrush and deodorant. That would have to do because they were out of time.
When he returned to the bedroom, Adam was fully dressed and tying his sneakers. His backpack was already on his back. Rhys shoved the other items in there before zipping it up.
“Let’s move, and whatever you do, stay behind me.” Rhys headed for the front door then stopped.
“What do you mean I have nasty men tracking me and you’re standing in the way of a brutal death?”
Rhys slapped his hand over Adam’s mouth as he scented the air. The vampires were already there. Fuck. There wasn’t another exit out of the apartment. He would have stayed and fought, but not when he had a fragile human with him.
He grabbed Adam’s hand and yanked the little blond toward his bedroom then opened the window. The breeze was a bit chilled as it gently blew the curtains, fanning them aside to reveal the streetlight just outside.
Adam shook his head as he backed away.
“Follow me or die,” Rhys whispered. In these types of situations he tended to be a little more understanding, gentler with his coaxing. But they were out of time and he needed Adam to get a move on.
“I just might die if I follow you,” Adam whispered right back. It looked as if panic threatened to crush the oxygen from his lungs. “That’s a long fall.”
They didn’t have time to debate.
“When I go out the window, get on my back.” Rhys stuck one leg out, straddling the sill. Heights never bothered him, but it would be a long fall if he lost his footing.
This was why dealing with humans always frustrated Rhys. For him, this was a logical solution. Give the sister a ride home while keeping Adam safe. Why was his mate fighting him so hard on this?
He walked out into the living room but didn’t see Adam anywhere. Rhys went upstairs and found him sitting on his bed, his arms crossed, his brows furrowed.
If Adam’s green eyes had been laser beams, he would have sliced Rhys in half.
“Tell me what the problem is.” Rhys leaned against the wall and crossed his arms. “I did what you asked. Your sister will get a ride home.”
That was if she was still there when Zack arrived.
“Everything,” Adam said as he got off his bed and balled his fists at his sides. “I never get a say in anything, Rhys. I never say no to my siblings, and I let Kayla talk me into going to that stupid gala in the first place. I didn’t even say no to you when you took me from my apartment. For once I want someone to ask what I want, what my opinion is, instead of giving in to everyone. It’s like my voice doesn’t even matter.”
Rhys had no idea that Adam’s life had been like that. He still wouldn’t have let him go get his sister, but Rhys would have been gentler about this had he known Adam hardly got a say in his own life.
He’d even made Adam quit his job without asking him what he thought.
Rhys closed the distance and pulled Adam into his arms. God, it felt good to do this. He’d held his mate earlier when the guy had fallen asleep, but this was different. Adam was fully awake and touching him right back, driving his wolf insane.
“I’m sorry I didn’t talk to you about any of this,” he said. “I’m used to barking orders and having them followed.”
“But I’m not one of your men,” Adam countered but thankfully didn’t pull away. “Whenever Anthony calls, I capitulate. When Alicia wants something, I capitulate. When Kayla bends my arm to go to one of her shindigs, I capitulate. When you showed up and demanded I come with you, I went. When in the hell do I get a say in what I want?”
“You get a say,” Rhys told him. “Just not when it comes to your safety. Until we figure out what those two vampires are up to, I cannot, in good conscience, allow you to put yourself in harm’s way.”
This time Adam did pull away. He ran his hand through his blond hair, ruffling the strands and making a few stick up. “I get that, Rhys. I’m not saying that I don’t want to stay safe. I’m just saying that asking my opinion and actually listening to it would have been nice.”
“I’ll work on my highhandedness.” He pulled Adam back into his arms where he belonged. His voice did matter to Rhys, and Rhys would take that thought into consideration the next time he made a decision where his mate was concerned. “How’s your head?”
“I’m no longer tipsy, if that’s what you’re asking.” Adam slid his hand over Rhys’s chest. This time, if his mate wanted sex, Rhys would gladly give in to him.
There was no way he would have given in earlier. Not when Adam wasn’t clearheaded. One, Rhys had too much honor, and two, he didn’t want his mate regretting their first time together.
Adam tilted his head back and stared up at him. God, those fucking eyes. They were so damn beautiful. “Thank you for listening to my ranting.”
“What you have to say matters.” Rhys’s own voice had gone guttural, to the point he barely recognized it. He was also running his hand down Adam’s back, enjoying the closeness.
“Then, can we pick up where we left off?” His blush was too damn sexy. Rhys wanted to see what other parts of his mate’s body held that rosy glow.
He was willing to explore every damn inch of Adam to find out.
“And where did we leave off?” He yanked Adam’s shirt over his head then brushed the pads of his thumbs over his mate’s hardened nipples. Adam groaned, his head lolling to one side as his eyelids fluttered closed.
Fuck, Rhys liked that look on his face. He liked that he was the one putting that look of rapture there. He pressed his lips to Adam’s throat, sucking along his Adam’s apple before moving to his smooth jaw, nipping and kissing along the way.
“Hold o-on.” Adam pulled back and sat on the edge of the bed, yanking his shoes free before removing his pants and underwear. He stood there gloriously naked, making Rhys’s nostrils flare with hunger.
“Okay, now we can pick up where we left off.” Adam reached out, unsnapping Rhys’s jeans. “Is it a bad thing that I’ve wanted you since you showed up at my apartment?” He tugged the fabric apart. “That sounds insane since you broke into my place talking about rescuing me and I didn’t know if you were crazy or telling the truth.”
Rhys gave a soft laugh. “I would have thought I was crazy, too. But, no, it’s not insane that you want me.”
“And now I get to have you.” Adam dropped to his knees, pulling Rhys’s cock free before taking the shaft into his mouth.
Rhys let out a low and heated curse, his legs becoming instantly rigid. “You can have any part of me you want.” His hands fisted into Adam’s hair, tugging the blond strands as he hissed when Adam took his cock deeper.
He watched Adam as he moved his head up and down the hard length of Rhys’s erection, the sight serving to arouse him almost to madness. His mate wasn’t the only one who’d wanted the other person on sight. Rhys just hadn’t admitted that to himself at the time because he’d never been that attracted to anyone before.